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Remote-control aircraft crashes into Phuket temple hall

Legacy Phuket Gazette

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Remote-control aircraft crashes into Phuket temple hall | The Thaiger
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PHUKET: One of the island’s most famous temples is threatening to file a police complaint after a remote-controlled aircraft crashed into the roof of the nuns’ dining hall on Wednesday night.

News of the damage at Wat Luang Pu Supha in Chalong Village 6 was reported to the media yesterday at 12:30pm by Mr Piyawat Leehaweerachart, a 45-year-old layman who serves as the temple’s financial affairs coordinator.

According to Mr Piyawat, the triangular-shaped aircraft slammed into the roof of the nuns’ dining hall, dislodging three ceramic tiles.

Mr Piyawat said it was not the first time a remote-controlled aircraft had crashed on temple grounds.

A group of remote controlled aircraft enthusiasts have long used the area to fly their aircraft, he said.

Mr Piyawat told police he had warned the club members many times, but to no avail.

The fact that no-one had come forward to accept responsibility for the latest crash, or one that preceded it six months ago, prompted him to contact police, he said.

For comment on the complaint, the Gazette contacted Korn Chamreonwong, head of the Chalong Remote Control Airplane Club.

Mr Korn, who also operates a remote-control airplane parts shop on Soi Yodsane in Chalong, admitted it was his own aircraft that caused the damage on Wednesday night.

He said he went to the temple with Burmese workmen the following morning to fix the damage, but the workers said they needed an extra-high ladder that they could only get in Thalang.

Mr Korn said he went back to his shop to wait for them.

By the time the work team returned with the ladder, Mr Piyawat, accompanied by police and media, had already come and gone, he explained.

Mr Korn said he has already paid for the completed repair work and donated 1,000 baht to the temple to ask for forgiveness.

There have been three accidents over the past two years, he admitted.

The most serious was the crash of a remote-controlled plane into the roof of the main prayer hall six months ago.

The member responsible, identified only as “Toto”, refused to accept responsibility for the mishap, he said.

To pay for the damage from that accident Mr Korn said he set up a collection box in the area where the members meet, near the site where the new Klong Krata Reservoir Dam will be built. He had urged the members to chip in a small amount every time they met to pay for past damages, he said.

Chalong Police Deputy Inspector Pol Capt Chotipong Kessarin said that as soon as the temple directors file an official police complaint they will send letters to the Chalong Remote Control Airplane Club and the temple management, asking both sides to meet at Chalong Police Station.

Wat Luang Pu Supha bears the name of its abbot, the revered Luang Pu Supha.

Reputedly the world’s oldest living man he is about to celebrate his 114th birthday on September 4, and his devotees are preparing a grand celebration to mark the occasion.

For our previous report click here.

The Gazette notes that the club’s activities in the area predate construction of the temple.

The temple’s new main prayer hall, built at a cost of 30 million baht, will officially open on Luang Pu Supha’s birthday.

— P. Choksakulpan & S. Fein

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

Thailand

UPDATE: Confusion over Covid-19 tests for visa extensions

Caitlin Ashworth

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UPDATE: Confusion over Covid-19 tests for visa extensions | The Thaiger

UPDATE: Khaosod English removed a story on Covid-19 tests for those seeking visa extensions and replaced it with the article “Immigration backtracks on plan to require Covid-19 test for visa extensions.” They say the previous report sparked uproar among expats and immigration police spokesperson has since apologised for the misunderstanding.

Original article…

Confusion reigns today over whether Covid-19 tests will be required for visa extensions. While The Phuket News spoke with an immigration official who said “no… you don’t need a Covid-19 test to extend your visa or apply for a work permit”, Khaosod English wrote an article headlined “Covid-19 test will be mandatory for all visa extension”.

The Thaiger also contacted a respected visa agent who said Covid-19 tests are, indeed, now required for applying for both visa extensions and work permits, even renewals.

The Thai Immigration Bureau has not made any official announcement regarding Covid-19 tests. Talk about Covid-19 tests for foreigners was brought up after a rule was published in the Royal Gazette last month, officially adding Covid-19 to a list of dangerous diseases, prohibiting those infected with any of the listed illnesses from entering the country.

Immigration Police Bureau spokesperson Archayon Kraithong told Khaosod English that proof of a negative Covid-19 test will be required for visa extensions, regardless of how long a foreigner has stayed in Thailand. On the other hand, Phuket immigration deputy chief Nareuwat Putthawiro told The Phuket News that Covid-19 tests will not be required for visa extensions or work permit applications.

“We do not require any medical documents for an application to renew a visa, because there are few foreigners’ movements outside Phuket. Most of them live and work in Phuket, and have done so before the new wave of Covid-19… So they do not have to worry about it. Everything is still the same.”

Medical exams are currently already required for most work permit applicants (including tests for Syphilis and Elephantiasis). A visa agent told The Thaiger that Covid-19 tests have been added to the medical examination requirements for work permit applicants. But, on the other hand, Phuket immigration says they DO NOT require Covid-19 tests for work permit applicants.

“We have not received any notices about Covid-19 requirements for processing applications to renew visas. If we do receive any such orders, we will let the public know.”

It isn’t the first time there has been conflicting statements coming out of different officials, in different immigration offices on different days.

SOURCES: Phuket News| Khaosod English

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Coronavirus (Covid-19)

Visitors to Phuket from “highest risk” areas must show Covid-19 test results

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Visitors to Phuket from “highest risk” areas must show Covid-19 test results | The Thaiger
PHOTO: Chiang Rai Times

People arriving Phuket from the “highest risk” areas are required to take a swab test by the staff at emergency operation centres (EOC) or show the test result document endorsed by the EOC staff made within 72 hours of their arrival. The revised order is effective from now until January 31, according to the Phuket Governor.

Those people who are on a brief business trip to Phuket need to show certificates from their employers describing the reason and necessity of their trips. If they want to leave their accommodations, they have to make a request to the EOC and clearly explain the reason as well as the time and destination. Visitors are also asked to avoid going to the community areas to avoid crowded gatherings.

It is noted that the revised order by the governor has not been officially promoted by the Phuket office of the Public Relations Department. However, all visitors are still asked to register online via the Mor Chana contact tracing application and via www.gophuget.com according to the order re-issued on Friday.

SOURCE: Phuket News

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Tourism

The road less travelled – trekking to the Kalim Viewpoint

The Thaiger

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The road less travelled – trekking to the Kalim Viewpoint | The Thaiger

There are two well known ways to get from Kathu to Kalim or Kamala – one is across the Patong Hill, and the other is much longer, through Srisoonthorn and along the coastal road from Surin the Kamala (very scenic too).

But there’s also another way. Also very scenic but will take you about 2 hours through dense forest although there is a well-worn walking track. The track will take you from Kathu up to the Kalim Viewpoint. From here you can head back to Kathu along a different path, or down into Kalim, near Patong.

Starting about halfway down Soi Namtok in Kathu, you head up a nondescript road past the Flying Hanuman zipline attraction, although there’s no sign at the entrance to the soi (below). About the first kilometre is paved but then becomes increasingly ‘agricultural’ as you get higher into the hills, heading towards the Kalim Viewpoint. There’s also a small temple on the way up.

The road less travelled - trekking to the Kalim Viewpoint | News by The Thaiger

PHOTO: The start of the trek, a small soi off Soi Namtok – Google Maps

It will take around 2 hours to trek up to the Kalim Viewpoint. The walking is quite strenuous and you’ll need to be wearing the right shoes and take plenty of water – there’s no 7/11s on the way! As you get nearer the top, to the viewpoint, the track becomes less drivable although the track is still quite open and easy to follow. If you’re feeling a bit lazy you can take a motorbike about halfway up the road until you’ll need to proceed on foot from there.

From the Kalim Viewpoint you can see across Kalim to Patong Bay and the land that stretches along the bay south of Patong Beach. From the top you can either make your way down to Kalim or another exit along the Kalim-Kamala Road, just near the Iguana Beach Club.

You can also head back another way to Kathu, a longer return track that skirts around the top of the Kathu Waterfall. A lot of that track gets very narrow and parts of it are up and down the hills, some of it very steep.

The views are amazing and you get to see a vast swathe of Phuket, still very close to popular locations like Patong, Kamala and Kathu, but untouched by any civilisation.

You’ll need to be in reasonable health to take on the trip but, just to go up to the Kalim Viewpoint and back, or down into Kalim, should take around 5 hours in total. On a scale of 1 – 5 for difficulty, we’d rate it a 3. An easy trek for experienced people but will need a bit of planning if you’re not an experienced trekker.

Even on a hazy day, as it was today, the views were amazing. But best to start off early morning when the weather is cooler. Well worth the time for the views and the opportunity to see more of Phuket, away from the bars and beaches.

Thanks to BT for the pics and information.

The road less travelled - trekking to the Kalim Viewpoint | News by The Thaiger

The road less travelled - trekking to the Kalim Viewpoint | News by The ThaigerThe road less travelled - trekking to the Kalim Viewpoint | News by The Thaiger

The road less travelled - trekking to the Kalim Viewpoint | News by The Thaiger

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