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Riddle in THAI’s Phuket policy

Legacy Phuket Gazette

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Riddle in THAI’s Phuket policy | The Thaiger
Phuket NEWS Hound

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

PHUKET: Cancellations and a shortfall in advance bookings are forcing THAI Airways to revise its route network, capacity and fleet use to curb losses. Phuket continues to be a riddle in the plans.

According to TTR Weekly, adjustments are being made to keep the average cabin factor through the second quarter at around 70, about 2.16% points below the April average.

THAI President Piyasvasti Amranand had said that a contingency plan would be activated on May 4, concentrating on Phuket since it remains the most viable destination in Thailand with continued strong bookings throughout the Bangkok protests.

“Since the decline in bookings to Thailand, we have to concentrate on sales to Bali, Australian cities and Auckland, New Zealand. As the Indonesian national airline is not so strong, we can sell Bangkok as a transit hub to Bali.

“We will [also] have to start more direct flights to Phuket as soon as possible,” he said.

However, the perception of Phuket as an antidote to the airline’s sagging passenger loads may encounter some stiff headwinds.

On April 1, the national carrier hiked the price of an ‘economy’ class ticket on the Bangkok-Phuket route by 46%, while the Chiangmai-Phuket run was dealt a whopping 64% rise.

Kiwi expat dies in crash

New Zealand Herald
A New Zealander who survived the 2004 Boxing Day Tsunami died in a freak motorbike accident in Phuket last week.

John Grant Kerr, 53, broke his neck after falling off his bike at Patong Beach.

Kerr died instantly after hitting his head on the footpath about 100m from the ‘Anzac Bar’, which he had bought in 2005.

Sister Marlene Foley said he was a keen traveller and a “fun-loving and caring person”.

His bar was popular with tourists and he was a social person with a lot of friends.

Bangkok Air turns to locals

Bangkok Post
Bangkok Airways is joining forces with local hoteliers and tourism bodies in discount campaigns to attract local tourists to Thai beach resorts, particularly Phuket, Samui and Trat, to offset a plunge in foreign visitors.

International arrivals have plummeted after many countries advised their citizens against visiting Thailand due to its political turmoil.

Bangkok Airways’ passenger numbers were down by 30% last month, and by 50% so far this month, said vice-president Nandhika Varavarn.

Because of its heavy reliance on international tourists, who constitute 80% of its passengers, Bangkok Airways is now trying to reduce this dependence to 70%, while raising the percentage of Thai and expatriate residents to 30%.

M.L. Nandhika says that, “Basically, anyone who buys a Bangkok Air ticket [to those three destinations] will get a hotel room, transfer service and even breakfast for free.”

The campaigns will run to mid-July, helping the airline, as well as hospitality and tourism companies, to stay afloat during the low season.

Phuket unfazed by tsunami warning

NBT Phuket
A tsunami watch followed a 7.4 magnitude earthquake which struck off northern Sumatra in Indonesia at around 1pm Thai time on Sunday afternoon.

In Phuket, sea gypsies on Ko Sireh, east of Phuket Town, evacuated to safe shelters at a local school. They said they felt the earthquake. Some, however, kept up their routines while waiting for official warnings and kept their eyes on the level of the sea.

Meanwhile, residents and tourists in Patong carried on as normal, some sunbathing and walking on the beach.

After no tsunami waves had been detected, the NDWC sent out SMS messages to revoke the watch, at 14:11, Phuket time.

Koreans love Phuket

National News Bureau of Thailand
A group of 38 delegates from Thailand, including tourism entrepreneurs, hoteliers, and golf and spa operators from Phuket, along with members of the Phuket Tourist Association (PTA), went to Seoul and Busan late last month to attract Koreans to Phuket.

During the demonstrations in Bangkok over the past two months, 90% of the bookings for hotels in Bangkok and Pattaya were reported to have been canceled, while the cancellations for Phuket were said to have stood at only about 5%.

Thailand is the third favorite destination for Koreans, following Japan and China. Golfing and honeymoon trips to Phuket and Koh Samui are particularly popular.

There are about 20 direct flights between Seoul and Phuket each week.

Phuket Tourist Association President Somboon Jirayus voiced his confidence that the Korean market for Phuket will expand at 10-15%, especially if THAI Airways launches its direct flights between Seoul and Phuket.

Bargains in Phuket

PR-Urgent
Phuket will play host to an “Amazing Thailand Grand Sale” again this summer, June 15 through August 15.

The event is nationwide and sees price cuts ranging from 5 to 80 per cent. The discounts apply to products such as clothing, jewelery and food, as well as travel packages, rounds of golf at various Phuket courses, and a number of other products and services.

The list includes both homegrown, handmade products and items imported from around the world.

The Amazing Thailand Grand Sale will also bring with it a number of special events exclusive to Phuket, details of which will be released closer to the time.

Thai censorship under scrutiny

The Jakarta Post
Thailand’s declaration of a state of emergency has served to further aggravate its negative image regarding freedom of the press.

Immediately, it ordered 36 politically oriented websites blocked, along with key red shirt radio stations and their satellite TV connection.

Accusations of bias were raised as none belonging to the Yellow Shirts are known to have been targeted.

Reporters Without Borders says that over the past few years more than 50,000 websites have been blocked.

“Thailand is getting increasingly like China when it comes to Internet censorship,” said Poomjit Sirawongprasert, president of the Thai [Website] Hosting Service Providers Club.

Consequently, Thailand’s standing in the Press Freedom Index of Reporters Without Borders plunged to 130 last year, from 65 in 2002.

— Gazette Editors

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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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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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