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Police await fingerprint results over Phuket yacht thieves’ knife attack

Legacy Phuket Gazette

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Police await fingerprint results over Phuket yacht thieves’ knife attack | The Thaiger

PHUKET: Police are waiting for fingerprint test results to determine whether the two yacht thieves arrested last weekend also carried out a knife attack on a Frenchman who disturbed the duo while they were trying to rob his yacht just two days earlier.

Niwat Duangmanee and Theeraphol Malasan, both 21, were charged with using knives to commit armed robbery, using a vehicle to evade police and receiving stolen property after a cat-and-mouse chase through Chalong Bay marina on April 26 that ended with police firing into the air and apprehending the men (story here).

The suspects, not willing to surrender, made a brazen escape attempt in Phuket Town in broad daylight the next day, attacking two police officers with a broken bottle (story here).

Both officers suffered deep cuts in apprehending the escapees, with one officer requiring 10 stitches to a cut on his face.

The two suspects were originally discovered after local yachtsman Capt Bruce Issell was notified by a silent alarm at about 11:30pm on April 26 that intruders had boarded the well-known Phuket catamaran DaVinci, prompting him to investigate.

“I was alone on the DaVinci Sunseeker 50 towing a dinghy behind and my fellow captain, Phayon ‘Nhu’ Phumthong, was in another dinghy. When the alarm went off we went to see what was happening and Capt Nhu saw people on the boat with a yellow dinghy tied up at the back,” Capt Issell explained.

“We called the police and I said to Capt Nhu just wait, stay away and watch them. Do not let them see you and if they leave, you can follow them from a long way behind – just watch where they go,” he said.

On seeing the two boats maneuvering around them, the thieves attacked the Sunseeker and attempted to climb into the dinghy trailing behind the luxury yacht in order to board the vessel and capture Capt Issell.

“They also tried to board the dinghy Capt Nhu was in, threatening him with knives,” he said.

A chase ensued around the moored yachts and commercial craft in the bay for some 20 minutes, with the Sunseeker ducking and weaving to hold off the raiders.

Police officers soon arrived in force on board a dinghy offered by a local dive company.

“They also threatened the officers with knives, taunting them to come on board their dinghy to fight,” Capt Issell explained.

In response to the threats, police fired two warning shots into the air.

“The bad boys did not have guns,” Capt Issell confirmed, correcting a witness report from the shore of Chalong Bay on the night of the event (story here).

Realizing they had no way to escape and that police were armed, the thieves surrendered and were brought ashore.

The suspects, Mr Niwat and Mr Theeraphol, have confessed to the charges of using knives to commit armed robbery and using a vehicle to evade police. However, they denied the charge of receiving stolen property, Sub Lt Kraisorn Boonprasop of the Chalong Police confirmed.

Capt Issell, present at Chalong Police Station when charges were pressed, told the Gazette that both men also confessed to police to taking ya bah (methamphetamine) and ya ice (crystal methamphetamine). Both men underwent urine tests for the drugs and both tested positive, he said.

Police also seized as evidence 11 knives the men were carrying, two underwater cameras, 20 coins packed in a plastic bag and a bright yellow dinghy with the Suzuki outboard attached to it.

“They did not have any guns,” Lt Kraisorn confirmed.

The next day, Mr Niwat and Mr Theeraphol attempted a brazen escape in broad daylight while being transported to Phuket Provincial Court in Phuket Town.

“When the transport pickup truck stopped at the Seng-Ho intersection on Montri Road, they kicked open the cage door at the rear of the vehicle and ran off into the nearby Bang Yai Canal,” Capt Nucharee Longkaew of the Phuket City Police explained.

Two Chalong Police officers, Sen Sgt Maj Boonpob Kingmala and Sen Sgt Maj Chaloem Thanyapan, gave chase and cornered the escapees in the canal.

“The suspects, still handcuffed together, smashed a bottle they found in the water and used it to attack the police,” Capt Nucharee said.

The officers moved in and bravely arrested the men, but not before Sgt Boonpob suffered a cut that required 10 stitches and Sgt Chaloem was slashed on the arm.

For their efforts, Mr Niwat and Mr Theeraphol both had attempting to escape custody and assaulting a police officer added to their list of charges.

CRIMINAL HISTORY

During questioning, the pair confessed to committing one other yacht robbery before their arrest.

Lt Col Pongsakan Boonprakong of the Wichit Police told the Gazette his officers had yet to confirm whether or not the two men were the same thieves who terrorized the Baan Nit area off Cape Panwa the week before their arrest.

A Frenchman whose yacht was anchored off Ao Yon – where both Mr Niwat and Mr Theeraphol are well-known, long-term residents – was attacked by raiders two nights before the Chalong Bay arrests.

A scuffle broke out on board and the Frenchman suffered at least seven knife lacerations during the attack, including a cut on his head.

Fearing for his safety, the man did not return to sleep on his yacht the next night. It proved a prudent move as the thieves returned and made off with what was reported as a substantial bounty of yachting “removables”.

The yacht has been since moved from the area.

“At this stage, we have yet to have any evidence to link these two case,” Col Pongsakan said. “We have to wait for test results of fingerprints from the yacht to identify the suspects.”

Mr Niwit and Mr Theeraphol are both well-known as petty thieves among local residents in the Ao Yon and Ao Makham areas, Col Pongsakorn explained.

“Officers found many stolen items in their house, and now we have more victims in the area turning up at the police station to report stolen property,” he said.

“Police did not recover the computer notebook reported missing by the Frenchman and he cannot identify his attackers as it was very dark below deck when the attack happened,” Col Pongsakorn added.

SHOW OF FAITH

The robbery attempt has not shaken Capt Bruce Issell’s faith in Phuket as an attractive destination for yachtsmen.

“It is not dangerous for yachts coming to Phuket. There have been many minor robberies over a long time. I think it is fantastic that the police caught some of the bad guys this time. It is the first time anybody in Chalong has been caught stealing like this and locked up,” he said.

“This is a big warning to everyone who is thinking about robbing a yacht. There are alarms on the boats and the police had the opportunity to come out onto the water to make the arrests – and they did so quickly.

“This is a good message for the yachting and bayside communities,” he added.

The two men were denied bail by the police, but it is now up to the Phuket Provincial Court to decide whether they can post bail or not, Capt Nucharee said.

Additional reporting by Chutharat Plerin

— Saran Mitrarat

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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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Phuket

Top 10 spas and massages in Phuket

Donna Toon

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Top 10 spas and massages in Phuket | The Thaiger

One of the best things about living in Asia, and in particular Thailand, is the abundance of fabulous places to have spa treatments. From the true local experience on the beach, to the ultra chic five star luxury treatments here is, in no particular order, our Top Ten Phuket Spa Experiences.

1. Let’s Relax (Boat Lagoon)

Let’s Relax’s latest addition to their Thailand spa portfolio is located in the residential area of Boat Lagoon in Koh Kaew and by accounts a winner in our books! It is a beautiful space with the natural light also bringing a sense of calm as you walk down the long entrance. With multiple treatment rooms as well as a well appointed foot massage space that can accommodate a large gaggle of girls it is has become popular very quickly with the local ladies.

Being brand new it also is a treat to sit in lush white comfy chairs while having your foot massage and a chat to your girlfriend or boyfriend. Priced on the lower end of the market, but higher than the local spas on the side of the street and well worth the extra baht, Let’s Relax is fabulous new addition to the flooded spa market.

Top 10 spas and massages in Phuket | News by The Thaiger

2. Oasis Spa (Kamala)

Oasis Spa Group has a few little gems around the island including one in Laguna and also another great one on the beach road in Kamala, however this hidden sanctuary located on the back roads in Kamala is our pick of the bunch. From the main street you would never know there is a tranquil ten treatment room spa and delightful pool setting behind the single wooden door. With an impressive and consistent list of treatments, positioned above the street-side prices but below the five star offerings, Oasis Spa is wonderful place to pamper away your day.

Top 10 spas and massages in Phuket | News by The Thaiger

3. Kata Rocks Infinite Luxury Spa

Winning the World’s Luxury Spa Awards for 2015, 2016 and 2017 we couldn’t put together a top ten spa list without including the very modern and chic Infinite Luxury Spa at Kata Rocks.

The spa blends the beyond organic philosophy of ILA spa products with its own “Me Time” philosophy, the latest spa massage technology in its eight luxury treatment rooms and suites, each designed around specific treatments. This includes two rooms for couples complete with luxurious his and her bathtubs, a chromotherapy room for coloured light therapy, a waterbed room equipped with Italian-made Iso-Benessere, a water massage bed for aiding spinal integration, a sleeping pod room with Metronap rest pod, traditional Thai spa massage treatment room, consultation and treatment room, pedicure and manicure treatment room and a contemporary tropical relaxation patio for after treatment chill down.

Positioned in the very high end of the spa market, Infinite Luxury Spa is an impressive and fabulous space to spend your day, worth every baht!

Top 10 spas and massages in Phuket | News by The Thaiger

4. 4th Floor Central Festival Phuket

‘It’s not a very accurate location’ I hear you say, but I love this spa, and whenever I am at Central I always try and allow at least 60 minutes extra to escape the crowds and enjoy a foot massage while reading my book. Located on the top floor of Central on the left hand side as you head towards Central Department Store (sort of above McDonalds), it’s hard to miss it but the staff are always outside greeting you and encouraging you to come in and take a load off. Priced perfectly at 300 baht for a 60 minute foot massage (plus tip of course), the experience is consistent and friendly. Full body treatments are also available behind the traditional curtain.

Top 10 spas and massages in Phuket | News by The Thaiger

5. Amatara Wellness Resort

Located at the very South of Phuket at Cape Panwa, Amatara Wellness Resort as the names suggests has an incredible spa perched high on the cliffs overlooking the Andaman Sea. One of the largest spas in Asia with over 2000 square metres of dedicated spa bliss, paralleled by the extensive menu and holistic and wellness packages, it really is an experience not to be missed.

Amatara has also just opened a new spa wellness experience, the exquisitely designed Thai Hammam brings together traditional Turkish and Moroccan bathing practices with the wisdom and gentleness of Thai spa therapies. Soak your worries away.

Make a whole day of it, indulge in their fabulous Sunday Brunch and then move through to the spa! Perfection!

Top 10 spas and massages in Phuket | News by The Thaiger

6. Banyan Tree Spa

A market leader for many years not only in Phuket but around the world, Banyan Tree is has provided us with professional and impressive spas for decades. Banyan Tree Phuket Spa with it’s impressive 24 treatment rooms hidden in lush surroundings within the gardens of the resort has well trained and dedicated therapist giving you the ultimate in spa experiences. The attention to detail which is synonymous with the spa philosophy of the group together with the consistency and surroundings makes it one of the best spa experiences certainly in Thailand. I can highly recommend the three hour Royal Banyan package, which included a cucumber and coriander scrub, Banyan Tree herbal pouch massage, jade chilled facial and flower bath. My girlfriends and I indulged just last week, and it was such a treat.

Top 10 spas and massages in Phuket | News by The Thaiger

7. Beach Shack next to Dream Beach Club on Layan Beach

We are creatures of habit in our house, we have been in Phuket for ten years now and when we like something we tend to go back regularly. Sunday’s are for chilling and we tend to either head to brunch or down to the local beach at Layan, away from the larger more commercial eateries and clubs we like eating and massaging with the locals.

Purely bang for your buck, the full body oil massages on the beach for 300 – 400 baht are an absolute must. I would love to say head to “Phung’s Massage Shack” next to Dream Beach Club but to be honest it doesn’t have a name but that doesn’t mean it shouldn’t get a mention and make our list. Head to the top end of Layan and facing the beach next to Dream go left, it’s worth the trip!

Top 10 spas and massages in Phuket | News by The Thaiger

8. JW Marriott Mai Khao Spa

Mandara Spa at JW Marriott Phuket Resort & Spa is an oasis within an oasis, the resort itself sits on 27 acres of lush gardens and beach side bliss just North of the airport in Mai Khao. Within it’s tropical gardens is the king pin for many years on the island Mandara Spa, its an icon in the local spa industry.

Tranquil, exotic and extremely relaxing, the Mandara Spa at JW Marriott Phuket Resort & Spa features a full service beauty salon, separate steam rooms for male and female guests, five double luxurious spa suites and eleven double deluxe rooms. The spa suites are well fitted out, with some enjoying outdoor bathrooms, but the most impressive aspect of the spa itself is the staff. They are incredibly well trained, and efficient in their craft, professional yet approachable and deliver every time.

The JW Marriott Wellness Retreat (bi yearly) is a highlight every year in my calendar, hosted and facilitated by Linda and her team, as well as the best wellness experts on the island, including Hayden Rhodes, Kim White and Andrew Stanndard. The four day program has informative workshops, wellness consultations, spa treatments, healthy meals, hands on activities, yoga, cooking classes and so much more.

Top 10 spas and massages in Phuket | News by The Thaiger

9. Atmanjai Wellness Retreat

Located on the South of the island just past Chalong circle Atmanjai Wellness Retreat at Friendship Beach offers a friendly and relaxed haven where guests can participate in detox, yoga or wellness programs that help restore your vitality, happiness and health. The cute bungalows located around the pool and on the beach side are a perfect excuse to indulge just a little further and stay on location while doing your retreats.

Top 10 spas and massages in Phuket | News by The Thaiger

10. Coqoon Spa at The Slate

Unlike anything else in Phuket, Coqoon Spa at The Slate is tranquil and idyllic space nestled in the lush green trees of the resort. It has a “cocoon” tree house made from bamboo and other natural products located high off the ground in true robinson crusoe style. Being in the trees is a unique experience matched perfectly with the highly trained and efficient practitioners. Subtle touches throughout the spa together with the extensive well thought out menu make Coqoon a special occasion treat.

Top 10 spas and massages in Phuket | News by The Thaiger

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Phuket

Phuket Town – In CNN Travel’s “Asia’s most picturesque towns”

The Thaiger

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Phuket Town – In CNN Travel’s “Asia’s most picturesque towns” | The Thaiger

“Though most famous for its beaches, the Thai island of Phuket offers ample opportunities for cultural immersion as well.”

Phuket’s Old Town was listed as one of Asia’s 13 most picturesque towns by CNN Travel.

The article mentioned, that whilst the island is renowned for its world-class beaches and leisure, offshore and adventure tourism activities, Phuket Town delivers on romance, history and cultural beauty in the island’s main commercial centre.

Tourism Authority of Thailand Governor Yuthasak Supasorn says the article correctly highlighted Phuket’s cultural diversity and history; things that are often eclipsed by its beaches and Patong nightlife.

“Phuket Town retain its charm and unique identity that comes from the influence of the Baba-Peranakan culture, which started when Chinese families migrated to Phuket. We are seeing more fully independent tourists with discretionary spending power who want the unique experiences that Phuket Town is rich in.”

The pocket-sized town welcomes a large number of foreign tourists each year, a significant number of who come from China and are interested in exploring the area and its Chinese influences.

“The historic old quarter of Phuket Town, located in the centre of the island, is lined with Sino-Colonial style shop houses, built during the island’s tin-mining boom of the 18th and 19thcenturies.

“There are plenty of hip shops, cafés, restaurants and bars, including the batik shops along Thalang Road run by ethnic Malays and Indians. The area is also filled with Chinese temples, crumbling mansions, cultural museums and a nunnery.”

CNN also recommended that one of the best ways to soak up Phuket Town’s rich culture and bohemian atmosphere was to find a local company that specialises in walking tours of the Old Town.

In addition, CNN noted that Phuket Town is where travellers can indulge in some of the island’s best restaurants, ideal for those visitors who have had their fill of the same old tourist fare served in beach areas. Top picks according to CNN include Southern Thai specialist Raya, Tantitium and One Chun.

SOURCE: TAT News

Phuket Town - In CNN Travel's

Phuket Town - In CNN Travel's

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