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Phuket divers unite for underwater cleanup

Legacy Phuket Gazette

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Phuket divers unite for underwater cleanup | The Thaiger

PHUKET: Several boatloads carrying teams of experienced divers visited local reefs over the weekend, taking part in the International Coastal Cleanup Day 2008 activities organized by the UN-affiliated Green Fins Thailand initiative.

Off Koh Maiton, about 10 kilometers southeast of Cape Panwa, some 30 divers led by Sea Bees Diving tour operator Stefan Hinterberger descended on an open-water dive site known to collect a lot of submerged debris.

Leaving from Chalong Pier aboard the 27-meter Excaliber II, the team managed to fill two large containers in a one-hour dive with a variety of debris, including bottles, fishing nets, anchors, shoes and flip-flop sandals, from depths of up to 10 meters.

However, calm seas early in the morning soon gave way to choppy conditions as winds picked up and the vessel had to head back to Chalong Bay earlier than expected, at about 11:30 am.

Sea Bees’ Public Relations Manager Frank Mueller told the Gazette that the event was not only aimed at removing coral-killing debris, but also at raising public awareness of the importance of not throwing such items overboard in the first place.

The Sea Bees Diving cleanup was organized with the support of the Thai Dive Association (TDA), accreditation body SSI, and Green Fins.

Also taking part was the 23-meter Dive Asia vessel, which headed towards Koh Khai Nok. A tiny islet located equidistant from Koh Yao Yai and Phuket’s Koh Sireh, Koh Khai Nok is one of the most popular snorkeling destinations in Phang Nga Bay.

Once there, the 30 divers aboard the Dive Asia vessel painstakingly removed some 150 to 200 kilograms of abandoned fishing netting.

Organizer Juergen Schenker of Dive Asia told the Gazette that one diver reported taking an hour to safely remove one square meter of netting without damaging the coral on which it had caught.

Three other dive boats – from South Siam Divers, Sea Fun and Scandinavian Scuba Doo – left at about the same time as Dive Asia and headed in the direction of Koh Racha Yai, where they recovered a huge net found drifting between Phuket and Koh Racha Yai.

Unfortunately, the Scandinavian Scuba Doo boat developed mechanical problems and had to abort the mission early, Mr Schenker said.

Making their way to the east side of Koh Racha Yai was the Scubacat dive boat, with about 20 divers who took part in four garbage collection dives at about 22m deep, where they recovered about 600 kilograms of debris.

Scubacat Operation Manager Prasith Boonsob said that about 85% of the recovered debris was netting and rope. Also recovered were various kinds of fishing tackle – plastic bags, bottles and an old car tire.

Some debris was also collected at a depth of about 10m outside the reef, he said.

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Archiving articles from the Phuket Gazette circa 1998 - 2017. View the Phuket Gazette online archive and Digital Gazette PDF Prints.

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People

‘Always Smile Journey’ raises fund to provide free English classes for underprivileged people

Nattha Thepbamrung

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‘Always Smile Journey’ raises fund to provide free English classes for underprivileged people | The Thaiger

On October 18, the ‘Always Smile Journey’ group and its partners will host an exhibition with plenty of fun activities at the Yak Yai Market, near Chalong Circle, in Phuket. This event was designed to raise funds to provide free English classes for underprivileged people on the island of Phuket on Saturdays and Sundays. The group does not accept donations but aims to raise money through the sales of the products available at the event.

‘Always Smile Journey’ raises fund to provide free English classes for underprivileged people | News by The Thaiger

From 2 pm to 8 pm, there will be a number of artists, musicians and performers who will keep the attendees entertained along the way. There will be a short film about His Majesty King Rama 9 as well as fun activities and games for kids and families, which are all free of charge.

The big bike crew is also a part of this event. They will ride a parade from Rawai Beach heading to the market and showcase their gorgeous two-wheel buddies.

One of the highlights of the Always Smile Journey exhibition is the ‘Happening’ artists group, who will draw and paint a picture of the His Majesty King Rama 9 under the name ‘Street Art King Bhumibol’ on a 4×10 meter sign live at the event so the guests will experience this large-scale art in action. The Happening will also offer portrait sketching for the participants.

‘Always Smile Journey’ raises fund to provide free English classes for underprivileged people | News by The Thaiger

One of the works created by the Happening team; a painting of HM the King Rama 9 on a huge wall (Photo credit: Chawat Chumpasan)

There will also be some western menus available at the event which will be donated to underprivileged children.

This free English class project has over seven years of experience through its cooperation working with individuals and other charity organizations. Throughout the years, the group visited several areas such as Ban Laem Hoy School, Ban Bopud School and Ban Angthong School in Samui, Surat Thani province, Ban Bueng Ao Oun School and Ban Kakoh Rayong, in Surin province, Jalae Village of Lahu (Muser) in Chiang Rai province, as well as community education centers in Siem Reap, Cambodia and in Luang Prabang, in Laos.

This event is a cooperation between several groups, including Happening, Yak Yai Market and Arrow Media, Tattoo artist group, Thonburi Art School Alumni, International School of Tourism, Suratthani Rajabhat University, big bike group from Phuket, artists/performers/musicians from many provinces as well as several businesses across Phuket.

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Bangkok

The world’s fastest growing tourist destinations

The Thaiger

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The world’s fastest growing tourist destinations | The Thaiger

PHOTO: Hello Phuket – destined for huge tourist growth in the next six years – fodors.com

In 2018, international tourist arrival traffic grew by 6% to reach a total of 1.4 billion world tourists, according to research by UNWTO World Tourism Barometer. And there’s a lot more to come with international travel predicted to increase by a massive 35% over the next six years to 2025.

But where is all that extra traffic going to go? Which destinations are quiet now that might be swarming with tourists in the years to come? Two destinations in Thailand are set for a prosperous future, according to the data. Whilst almost all the growth is excepted to be to Asian destinations, an under-visited resource for world tourism so far.

Euromonitor data has been used to simulate tourist growth models and reveal the fastest growing projected visitor arrivals in major cities and destinations around the world for 2025, compared to arrival figures in 2018.

In Thailand, Phuket’s tourist traffic is poised to increase up to 85% in the next six years, from nearly 12 million arrivals in 2018 to over 22 million in 2025. Bangkok is predicted to see the 8th most prolific rise in tourist traffic, with arrivals in Bangkok set to swell an additional 68% during the same period. Doha, the capital of Qatar, is set to explode with 104% increase in traffic over the next six years.

The data also predicts that both Bangkok and Phuket will rebound big time in 2020, Phuket in particular with a growth of around 20% for the next year, accord to the data from TravelSupermarket.com.

By 2025 the data predicts that Bangkok will be the world’s #1 tourist destination, a position it’s held before in recent years. The Thai capital will be followed by Singapore, Dubai, Phuket and Kuala Lumpur, making South East Asia the world’s emerging tourism hotspot.

Some of the world’s favourites – New York, Paris, London – will continue to grow their tourist numbers but not at the rate of most Asian destinations.

You can read the full list HERE.

The world's fastest growing tourist destinations | News by The Thaiger

Stats compiled by travelsupermarket.com

The world's fastest growing tourist destinations | News by The Thaiger

Stats compiled by travelsupermarket.com

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Phuket

Rawai beachfront water shut-off tomorrow for mains works

The Thaiger

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Rawai beachfront water shut-off tomorrow for mains works | The Thaiger

The Phuket Provincial Waterworks Authority says Rawai’s mains water supply will be shut off tomorrow (Tuesday, October 15) as new water pipes are fitted in front of The Title Beach Front condo resort complex on the town’s beachfront.

The mains water supply will be shut off from 9am until 4:30pm along the beachfront strip.

The PWA says the areas affected will be along Wiset Road along the Rawai beachfront road, as well as Soi Yanui and Soi Ruafaed.

Residents and businesses are being urged to collect water for use during the day today, before tomorrow morning’s shut-off.

As usual, the PWA say…“We apologise for any inconvenience caused.”

Contact the Phuket Provincial Waterworks Authority on 076 319173 or 082 7901634 for more details.

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