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Phuket Vegetarian Fest to generate 200 million baht

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Phuket Vegetarian Fest to generate 200 million baht | The Thaiger
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PHUKET: Tourists coming to Phuket for the annual Vegetarian Festival from October 8-16 are expected to pump at least 200 million baht into the local economy during the nine-day festival.

Occupancy rates in Phuket Town stood at 50%-60% on Tuesday, but many hotels in the island’s capital district were already fully booked for the last three days of the event, Wanaphapar Suksombul, Assistant Director at the Tourism Authority of Thailand (TAT) Phuket Office, said yesterday.

TAT-registered hotels and accommodations in beach areas are already enjoying occupancy rates of about 70%, she said.

Ms Wanaphapar said the TAT expected a 10% rise in the number of visitors this year because the event coincides with school vacations in Thailand and the three-day China National Day holiday on Monday that marks the start of a long holiday period in the People’s Republic of China.

Adding to the influx are two more direct flight services to Phuket, both landing on the island for the first time on October 12.

Qatar Airlines inaugural Doha-Kuala Lumpur-Phuket will arrive at 10:25pm, the first of the airline’s six-daily-flights-a-week service.

Earlier that day, Air Asia’s inaugural direct flight from Ubon Ratchathani will land at 2:20pm.

Ms Wanaphapar added that the bulk of the visitors coming to Phuket were ethnic Chinese from Singapore, Malaysia, Mainland China, Hong Kong and Thailand.

Other important inbound markets during the period are Australia, India and the Middle East, she said.

“Phuket will be more crowded than ever,” she said.

The announcement was made at a joint press conference yesterday headed by Phuket Governor Tri Augkaradacha. Also at the conference were Phuket Shrines Association President Prasert Fakthongphol and Phuket Culture Office Director Tawichart Intorrarit.

Mr Tawichart announced that in addition to the opening ceremony at Saphan Hin on October 7, there will also be a special Chinese ceremony on October 9 to wish health and happiness to HM King Bhumibol Adulyadej. It will be the first time an official opening event will be held in the event’s 185-year history, he said.

Another first for the festival will be an information center set up near the tin mining monument at Saphan Hin, which will remain open for the duration of the event.

The main attraction of the center will be an exhibition presenting the history of Vegetarian Festival, Mr Tawichart said.

It will also have stalls selling vegetarian fare and distributing free booklets with maps showing where the 17 participating shrines are located and their street procession schedules.

Mr Tawichart asked participants to wear white clothing throughout the festival.

Phuket Shrines Association President Prasert Fakthongphol said he had asked participating shrines to have their mah song (spirit mediums) use only “traditional” objects to pierce their cheeks.

The request reflects the increasing popularity of “modern” objects like beach umbrellas, power drills and motorbike parts in recent years.

Among the traditional items he suggested as the instruments of choice are those mentioned in Chinese legends. Swords, axes, maces and 12-inch spiked-staffs with figurines of Chinese gods as headpieces.

Maintaining this tradition was difficult because some mah song do not register with the shrines.

“They pierce their bodies outside the temples and join the processions on the streets,” he said.

— Pimwara Choksakulpan

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Thailand

Phuket police arrest 6 after finding large amounts of methamphetamine in raid

The Thaiger & The Nation

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Phuket police arrest 6 after finding large amounts of methamphetamine in raid | The Thaiger

Phuket Provincial Police have arrested 6 people after finding large amounts of methamphetamine and other drugs during a raid. One suspect alone allegedly had 7.6 kilograms of crystal meth (ya ice) and over 12,500 methamphetamine pills (ya bah). 29 year old Surasak ‘Bank’ Wijit and 27 year old Panida ‘Mei’ Saeyang were arrested at an apartment car park in Soi Lookkaew, Moo 6, Rassada, in eastern Phuket, after they were found in possession of the drugs.

Police also found 2 mobile phones and a red Honda PCX, registered in Phuket, as evidence. Both suspects have been charged with posessing a Category 1 drug with the intent to sell.

Other suspects arrested at the same time include 36 year old from Chiang Rai, 42 year old Sarawut ‘An’ Srichanon, from Ranong and 31 year old Pornthep ‘Iew’ Thepchampa, who were charged with the same crimes in Chalong after police found more drugs in their possession. 33 year old Kamon ‘Kung’ Sae-ngow, was arrested as well after police found kratom juice and leaves at a house in Rassada. He was taken to Phuket City Police station and was charged with a Category 5 drug possession.

SOURCE:The Phuket News

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Thailand

Phuket Muay Thai fighter is the first Thai national to compete in UFC

The Thaiger

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Phuket Muay Thai fighter is the first Thai national to compete in UFC | The Thaiger

The upcoming Ultimate Fighting Championship Fight Night event in Abu Dhabi will feature Thailand’s only national marking her third fight with the UFC, the world’s largest mixed martial arts competition. 24 year old Loma Lookboonme, from Burirram in northeastern Thailand, will fight in the event on October 3, 2020.

Loma is a Muay Thai fighter who has adapted her MMA skills to fight in the UFC where she currently trains at the Tiger Muay Thai gym in Phuket. Loma qualified for the national team at the age of 19 and has fought in over 12 nations worldwide. She currently trains 6 days a week starting daily at 6:30am with a 3 kilometre run. In the UFC, she will be competing against China’s Angela Lee who is the undisputed champion of the 52 kilogram fist weight category.

Phuket Muay Thai fighter is the first Thai national to compete in UFC | News by The Thaiger

Loma’s parents are former Muay Thai fighters and her 2 sisters currently compete as well. She reportedly started training at 8 years old after being inspired by her father, whom she describes as her “hero.”

Like most Thais in such fighting sports, Muay Thai offers a way to rise out of poverty-and fighting for the UFC can be financially lucrative. But Loma says her only Thai sponsor is the gym where she trains, with the rest of her sponsors being from foreign brands. She says she is trying to get more Thai sponsors but feels that maybe she needs to win the UFC first before Thai brands notice her.

Loma lost her last fight and says her new opponent gives her nothing to lose. She says her goal is to get into the Top 10, but is not sure when it will happen. Loma says for now, it would be good to fight against someone in the Top 10 to help her prepare for her future.

FULL INTERVIEW: Thisrupt.co

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Tourism

Phuket airport ready for tourists after finishing Covid screening labs

The Thaiger & The Nation

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Phuket airport ready for tourists after finishing Covid screening labs | The Thaiger

Phuket Airport is officially ready for tourists as authorities say they have finished installing Covid screening labs in an effort to welcome international travellers. The 5T Model for Covid-19 is being used at the airport with the goal of screening large groups of people in a quick and efficient manner. The Phuket health chief says the 5T’s stand for Target, Testing, Treating, Trusting and Tracing.

Phuket has one large airport at the north end of the island but is separated into two separate terminals – a domestic terminal (the original airport terminal), and a new international terminal opened in 2016.

The target category refers to the target groups of tourists while the tracing stands for software that will be used to monitor their movements. The testing category refers to Covid tests that will be implemented to travellers upon arrival along with the treatment and trust categories signifying the readiness of resources for medical treatment and confident communications between all parties respectively.

The Covid-19 lab container module has been set up at Phuket airport’s Terminal X (the terminal opened for charter flights opened in 2014) and will be tested tomorrow with its operation to start on September 30. As large groups of tourists could arrive (later in the year, the lab is reportedly capable of testing 96 people at a time with test results becoming available in 6 hours. What the airport would do withe tested passengers whilst waiting for 6 hours, has not been detailed at this stage.

Such a readiness plan to welcome foreign tourists originally singled out Phuket due to its popularity with travellers, and as a so-called guinea pig model to test in a controlled environment (Phuket is an island joined to the Thai mainland by a single 300 metre road bridge). Once dubbed the Phuket Model, authorities have proposed to rename the plan to “Special Tourist Visa” due to the confusion and opposition it reportedly caused. The scheme is reportedly now being proposed for all areas of Thailand but only allowing foreigners from specific countries.

SOURCE: Pattaya Mail

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