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Phuket gears up for opening of new bus terminal

Legacy Phuket Gazette

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Phuket gears up for opening of new bus terminal | The Thaiger

PHUKET: The Phuket Land Transport Office (PLTO) is in the process of negotiating set fares for all forms of local transportation that will operate out of the new Phuket bus terminal in Rassada, which will open on Saturday.

“We will set standard fares for all types of local transportation, with tickets that passengers can buy at a counter in the terminal,” said PLTO chief Teerayut Prasertpol.

“We have created a management system to ensure that only taxis, tuk-tuks and motorbike taxis that are legal and registered with the PLTO will be allowed to wait at ranks based inside the new terminal,” Mr Teerayut said.

The Phuket Provincial Administration Organization (OrBorJor) will provide its iconic Po Tong pink buses every 15 minutes to shuttle passengers between the new terminal on Thepkrasattri Road in Rassada and the old bus terminal (Bus Terminal 1) on Phang Nga Road in Phuket Town, he added.

“It will cost 10 baht per person for the full journey, and passengers can hop off en route,” Mr Teeryut said.

“Motorbike taxi fares will start at 60 baht. Taxi and tuk-tuk operators offered to drive passengers to Patong for 400 baht, but I will discuss this with them further to try to get the price down to 250 or 300 baht, which is a possibility,” he said.

“We already had a meeting with taxi operators and they all agreed with our new system. So taxi drivers will not be hassling and grabbing passengers at the new terminal,” said Mr Teerayut.

Taxis that are already fully legal and registered to serve passengers at Bus Terminal 1 will be allowed to wait at the taxi rank inside the new bus terminal.

Illegal “black” taxis will be permitted to drop off passengers, but will not be allowed to pick up passengers up from the new terminal, Mr Teerayut said.

The 11 legal, registered tuk-tuks that operate out of Bus Terminal 1 have agreed to move to Bus Terminal 2 from Saturday on to serve passengers there.

For people arriving by private transport, the car park at the new terminal will be away from the main building and have a capacity for about 30 cars.

Inside the main building there will be a minimart, a coffee shop and souvenir shops. However, the restaurant will not be ready for the station’s soft opening on Saturday, Mr Teerayut said.

The PLTO will operate the new bus terminal before it is handed over to either Rassada Municipality or the OrBorJor.

“However, the OrBorJor might be better suited to manage the terminal because it already has a budget and their own transport management department,” Mr Teerayut said.

“We expect some problems to arise, but we are prepared to solve them,” he added.

Addressing road safety concerns, Chief Teerayut said that traffic lights will regulate when buses can exit the new facility onto the busy Thepkrasattri Road.

“The traffic lights will be set to match the traffic lights at the nearby Tantalum Junction. This will make traffic flow well,” he said.

As Bus Terminal 2 will be the new terminus for nearly all buses to other provinces, the first bus to leave the new station will depart for Chumphon, via Ranong, at 5am, Saturday.

Bus Terminal 1 in Phuket Town will continue to be the terminus for interprovincial buses to Takuapa and some other destinations in Phang Nga, and will become the new terminal for all songtaew buses serving routes within Phuket.

Phuket songtaew have long used the stretch of Ranong Road in front of the Downtown Market as their Phuket Town terminus. They will continue to stop there, Mr Teerayut confirmed.

He added that some confusion was expected during the opening days. “PLTO officers will be on duty at Bus Terminal 1 to assist anyone who is confused by the new system,” Mr Teerayut said.

Buses arriving from other provinces outside the new bus terminal’s operating hours, from 10pm to 5am, will make their final stop at Bus Terminal 1, he said.

Bus Terminal 2 will serve the following locations by bus or van: Ranong, Krabi, Tung Song, Nakhon Sri Thammarat, Trang, Phatthalung, Haad Yai, Surat Thani, Satun, Songkhla, Chumphon, Koh Samui, Koh Lanta, Betong, Nong Khai, Pattaya, Chiang Mai, Chiang Rai, Khon Kaen and Hua Hin.

Bus Terminal 1 will serve the following locations by songtaew: Bus Terminal 2, Tesco Lotus on By-pass Road, Phuket Vocational College, Laemchan Health Care Center, Saphan Hin, Phuket Rassada Pier, Koh Sireh, Tah Chat Chai, Kamala, Al Bang Rong, Rawai Beach, Nai Harn Beach, Ao Makham, Phuket Marine Biological Center, Ao Chalong Pier, Karon and Kata Noi.

Bus Terminal 1 is also the Phuket Town terminus for buses to and from Patong.

For more information about Phuket’s new bus terminal and the services being offered there, call the PLTO at 076-220791 during office hours or their hotline at 1584.

— Atchaa Khamlo

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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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Crime

Mystery surrounds security guard found dead in his Phuket room

The Thaiger

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Mystery surrounds security guard found dead in his Phuket room | The Thaiger

PHOTOS: Phuket Hot News

The security guard of a hotel in Nai Yang, northern Phuket, 52 year old Yingyot Butsabong, from Maha Sarakham province, was found dead yesterday (October 16) in his room. Police remain mystified how the man came to grief.

A woman named Supattra received a call from the hotel he worked at and was informed that he didn’t show up at work yesterday, so she went to his apartment to check on him.

She saw that his room was locked from the inside, so used the key she had in her possession to open the room and found Yingyot laying on the floor, face down. She thought he was just sleeping so she tried to wake him up but once she flipped him, she found that he already passed away.

She immediately called Saku police, and once on the scene, police found that there was some blood on the floor. The man had a 2 centimetre wound on his left eyebrow which was deep into his skull. There was also a wound on his chin about 1 centimetre long and about a centimetre deep. His left eye had a bruise which looked like he was attacked by a hard object.

Police report that he had been dead for around four hours in the room.

The room was not ransacked and there was no sign of fighting or theft. His body has been sent to Thalang Hospital for a detailed autopsy and to look into the cause of death.

SOURCE: Phuket Hot News

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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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