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Phuket hotels urged to discount

Legacy Phuket Gazette

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Phuket hotels urged to discount | Thaiger
Phuket NEWS Hound

– A daily digest of news from around the world compiled by Gazette editors for Phuket’s international community.

PHUKET: The Thai Hotels Association (THA) will launch a Buy-One, Get-One-Free promotion this month to match the time frame of the Amazing Thailand Grand Sale 2010, TTR Weekly reports.

Phuket hotels are being encouraged to participate in the promotion.

The Amazing Thailand Grand Sale this year runs until August 15 and includes discounts at more than 2,500 shops, department stores and retail outlets nationwide, including the Central department store and Jungceylon in Phuket.

According to the THA, the association has written to all member hotels and resorts urging them to participate in the room discount promotion. Although Phuket has generally enjoyed better room rates and occupancies than most, if not all, tourist destinations in Thailand to date this year, Bangkok has been severely damaged by the red shirt protests.

“This month, the Bangkok hotels will average a 40 percent occupancy, but July usually delivers 65 to 70 percent. We need to be proactive on rates and take into consideration that the city is still under an emergency decree,” notes THA president Prakit Chinamourpong.

In addition to Phuket, the Amazing Thailand Grand Sale is featured in seven other tourist destinations: Bangkok Chiang Mai, Pattaya, Hat Yai, Hua Hin, Koh Samui and Udon Thani.

Rough seas for Phuket

Bernama
Strong north westerly winds of 40 to 50kmph and rough seas with waves as high as 3.5 metres are expected to occur over waters off northwestern Malaysia and Phuket from today until Thursday.

The condition is dangerous for swimmers and to small boats, yachting and other recreational activities in the sea, the Malaysian Meteorological Department said late yesterday.

The department also issued a warning on thunderstorm activities over the waters off Perlis, Penang, Kedah, Selangor, Melaka, Negeri Sembilan and Johor.

New resort brand for Phuket

Asia Travel Tips
InVision Hospitality has signed a management agreement for The Residence Phuket. The integrated residential and resort property will also be rebranded as ‘The Residence Phuket – A Lantern Residence & Resort’.

The Residence Phuket is the first project being launched under the Lantern Hotels, Resorts and Residences banner.

The property’s villas feature full size swimming pools, multiple outdoor relaxation and dining areas, and landscaped private gardens, while the interiors include multiple televisions with DVD and CD players.

Each villa also has a fully-equipped “gourmet kitchen” with full size refrigerator, washer and dryer.

Guests can also enjoy a spa treatment at the Hattakarn Spa, or take a trip out into the Andaman Sea on board the resort’s Fountaine Pajot Lavezzi 40′ catamaran.

Thailand losing in drug war

Asia Times
Thailand is losing its latest war on drugs such as methamphetamine, heroin, opium, ketamine, cocaine and ecstasy continue to flood across its porous borders.

A rise in production and trafficking related to tensions between Myanmar’s military government and narco-trafficking ethnic insurgent groups based near the Thai border have undermined Bangkok’s efforts, according to the annual world report of the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC).

Large narcotics seizures have increased in Thailand over the past year. The Bangkok Post reported the seizure of over 300,000 methamphetamine pills in Bangkok on May 29.

On June 22, police in the northern province of Chiang Mai intercepted a six-wheel truck en route to Bangkok with 1.2 million methamphetamine tablets on board.

Phuket has also witnessed what appears to be a significant surge in drug trafficking and consumption over the past year, with many arrests documented in the daily news of the Phuket Gazette online.

In April 2009, Thailand embarked on its so-called “Five Fences” counter-narcotics campaign, aimed at curbing trafficking and abuse at the national, district and village levels.

A so-called “Border Fence” aims to monitor and interdict cross-border narcotics trafficking, mainly from Myanmar and Laos. Through a “Community Fence”, people and civil society are encouraged to participate in anti-drugs activities.

A “Society Fence” aims to combine social order with efforts to control entertainment venues, dormitories and other places where drugs are purchased and used.

A “School Fence” aims to integrate an anti-drugs message into the Ministry of Education’s outreach program.

And a “Family Fence” recognizes the importance of family participation to prevent drug use.

Glimmer of hope in the South?

Asian News Network
Malay-Muslim separatist organisations confirmed over the weekend that they have unilaterally suspended organised attacks against Thai government security forces for the past month in three districts of Narathiwat province in Southern Thailand.

The unilateral cease-fire, billed as a confidence-building measure, was in place in the Rangae, Yingor and Choh I-Rong districts from June 10 until yesterday.

“The aim of this limited cease-fire was two-fold: to indicate the movement’s sincerity in wanting to hold a dialogue on the political future of the southern provinces, and at the same time to demonstrate the movement’s command and control in the area,” according to a statement sent to Phuket Gazette partner newspaper The Nation by the Patani Malay Liberation Movement.

Thai police investigating jailed Dutchman

Associated Content
Law enforcement officials in Thailand have been investigating 22-year-old Dutch national Joran Van Der Sloot’s connection with sex trafficking and the possible disappearance of several young Thai women in 2008.

According to Thai police sources, several young women went missing while Van Der Sloot resided in Bangkok in 2008. The police are investigating to see if he may have been involved.
There is no indication as yet whether any of the trafficked women were from Phuket.

Van Der Sloot is currently in a Peruvian prison after being arrested last month on suspicion of murdering 21-year-old Stepahnie Flores Ramirez in May.

He had set up shop in Bangkok after Aruban authorities failed to charge him in the disappearance of 18-year-old Alabama high school student Natalee Holloway.

Although arrested twice, Van Der Sloot was released both times due to lack of evidence.

— Gazette Editors

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

Coronavirus (Covid-19)

Phuket begs Kolour attendees to come for Covid-19 testing

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Phuket begs Kolour attendees to come for Covid-19 testing | Thaiger
FILE PHOTO: Kolour in the park was more pleasant in 2018 before Covid-19.

Health officials in Phuket put out a public statement this week compelling all foreigners who attended clubs and Kolour events to report for Covid-19 testing. As many might expect, the response has been lacklustre at best. Spreading the message around the foreigner and expat community in Phuket, the message is aimed at the multitudes of people, mostly foreign who attended Kolour and related events that turned into a Covid-19 superspreader event. Many foreigners have not come forward, much to health officials chagrin.

Online and on social media, foreigners and Thais shed light on why this urgent public health request is going largely unheeded. Foreigners fear the repercussions of coming forward, especially since Thailand is not allowing staying home or elsewhere in isolation if someone tests positive for Covid-19. Quarantine is mandatory, and with infection numbers exploding across the country, many fear the less-than-posh comforts of being quarantined in an emergency field hospital.

Cost is the other factor that likely is preventing foreigners from turning themselves in to be tested for Covid-19. While Phuket health officials may test people for free, anyone found infected with Covid-19 will be financially responsible for all the costs of their treatment and quarantine. Foreigners with limited financial resources, especially after a year of holing up in Thailand to ride out the Coronavirus, may resist reporting to authorities when they cannot afford the mandatory quarantine and medical treatment.

Perhaps recognizing this hesitation, the message includes a plea for all attendees to self-quarantine and self-monitor for any symptoms over the next week, even if they fail to report or test negative. The note also reminds everyone to wear masks in public at all times. The statement to the public also instructed anyone who attended any of the Covid-19 spreading nightlife events to report to the Acute Respiratory Infection Clinic area of Vachira General Hospital to receive a Covid-19 swab test.

SOURCE: The Pattaya News

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Coronavirus (Covid-19)

Pattaya, Phuket and Hua Hin brace for increased restrictions

Tim Newton

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Pattaya, Phuket and Hua Hin brace for increased restrictions | Thaiger

Three of Thailand’s biggest expat areas are seeing sharp rises in new infections, partly from pre-Songkran traffic. The Songkran holidays, now officially over (but will see many people taking today off and making a weekend Songkran extension), and the government says they are expecting to see a rise in the cases numbers reported in the popular holiday locations.

Chon Buri Public Health office says they now have a total of 910 infections since April 1. They have 103 new cases in the past 24 hours. Most new cases are in Bang Lamung district which includes Pattaya City with 47, Siracha with 12) & Chon buri City with 8.

Pattaya, Phuket and Hua Hin brace for increased restrictions | News by Thaiger

Meanwhile Phuket has a total of 142 infections recorded on the island with the Governor still insisting there will be no need for a lockdown. Here’s a breakdown of the areas and the numbers of recorded infections so far (below).

Governor Narong announced that the Phuket Infectious Disease Control Committee won’t be implementing an official lockdown, but will “strictly raise the intensity of public health measures to counter the spread of Covid-19″.

“Everyone should wear a face mask, maintain social distancing, wash their hands frequently and install the Mor Chana app (available for free from App Store and Google Play Store).”

A meeting of the CCSA, chaired by PM Prayut Chan-o-cha is expected to upgrade restrictions in red zone areas around the country, which includes Phuket and Pattaya. Read more about the latest red and orange zones HERE.

Pattaya, Phuket and Hua Hin brace for increased restrictions | News by Thaiger

For Hua Hin expats, there’s been 100 new Covid-19 infections announced in Prachuap Khiri Khan in the past 24 hours, 75 cases from Hua Hin. This takes the total in the province since April 1 to 625. Hua Hin accounts for nearly 90% of the district’s total cases.

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Transport

Footbridges stop luxury yacht travelling from Phuket to Samui

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Footbridges stop luxury yacht travelling from Phuket to Samui | Thaiger
PHOTO: Thailand's version of the Suez Canal blockage.

Footbridges in Phuket stood in the way of a luxury yacht travelling from its home in Phuket to Koh Samui when the boat was too tall to pass. Police received a call around 8 pm last night from the truck driver after his trailer carrying the yacht had trouble getting under one of several bridges for walkers to pass over the highway. The boat was travelling down Thepkrasattri Road, where it was stopped by the bridge near Baan Tha Reua School. The boat also had trouble at the pedestrian bridge at the Provincial Electricity Authority Thalang Branch and the bridge at Baan Lipon School in Srisoonthorn.

All the bridges were supposed to have a 5-metre clearance, though one observer speculated that all the repaving of the road over the years may have raised the road and lowered the clearance. Traffic police responded to the first bridge incident by sending officers to direct traffic and make sure bikes and cars didn’t pass and impeded progress on freeing the boat. The second incident about 30 minutes later was resolved by letting air out of the truck’s tires to lower it just enough to pass under the bridge. The third snag prompted the driver to go in person to the Thalang Police station to request help yet again.

This time police were less amused and suggested the truck driver try to resolve the issue himself and call back to the police only if he was unable to free the luxury yacht. A traffic police officer went to follow up with the stranded boat at the end of his shift and found the driver had given up and decided to return the yacht to its Phuket origin at Boat Lagoon Marina in Koh Kaew. The boat, now damaged from the bridge bumps, wasn’t going to make it to Surat Thani to be sailed to Koh Samui on this journey. The boat radar had broken off on one of the bridges. No word on any major damage to the pedestrian bridges.

SOURCE: The Phuket News

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