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Sea Gypsy Cultural Center to open in Phuket this year

Legacy Phuket Gazette

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Sea Gypsy Cultural Center to open in Phuket this year | The Thaiger

PHUKET: The long-anticipated Sea Gypsy Cultural Center, or Urak Lawoi Culture Center, is now scheduled to open toward the end of this year.

The inauguration of the facility is expected to happen about six months after it is officially transferred from the Phuket Office of Public Works to Rassada Municipality at the end of this month.

At a cost of 5.4 million baht, the Sea Gypsy Cultural Center being built at Baan Laem Tukkae village, claims to be the first of its kind in Asia and aims to both preserve the distinctive way of life and culture of the Urak Lawoi sea gypsies and attract tourists to Phuket.

The project was first announced in September 2009, with the Phuket Provincial Public Works Office placed in charge of constructing the facility on four rai of land. On completion, Rassada Municipality will take over the running of the center.

“Since the Cultural Center Sea Gypsy is located in the Rassada Municipality’s area of responsibility, operations will be transferred to us and we will manage and maintain the facility, as well as the displays in the center,” said Rassada Municipality Chief Administrative Officer (Palad) Dachakanee Leelanon.

“The Ministry of Culture Phuket office has only the budget for the construction work, everything else is down to us,” he added.

Just over 2mn baht of the funding was from the 2010 provincial budget, with the remainder provided by the 2010 Thai Khem Khaeng (Strong Thailand) financial stimulus package instigated by the former government under then-prime minister Abhisit Vejjajiva.

We are expecting responsibility for the center to be transferred to Rassada Municipality on May 28, Mr Dachakanee explained.

“Once the center has been handed over we can proceed to the next step, which is the preparation of the exhibition area,” he added.

Even though the building is up, there is still much to do to get the center ready to open.

“Once the center opens, people who want to learn about Urak Lawoi culture and their history can visit the exhibition for free. We will not charge any fees to enter the museum. We may just put a donation box there to help pay for the utilities, but the overall budget for the center will come from Rassada Municipality,” Palad Dachakanee said.

The new center being a tourist attraction is in line with plans of Rassada Mayor Phudit Raksaraj to rejuvenate the area.

“Koh Sireh has been neglected for so long, but Mayor Phudit has a plan to bring this part of town back to life. He wants to develop Koh Sireh into one of the important Rassada tourist attractions,” Mr Dachakanee said.

Other plans to promote Rassada as a tourist destination include developing the viewpoint on the hill behind Koh Sireh temple as a place for visitors to watch the sunrise; creating an artificial beach at Koh Sireh, similar to a project in Singapore; and installing a musical fountain in the sea.

“The musical fountain would be similar to the one the Phuket Provincial Administration Organization [OrBorJor] built [at Saphan Hin], except our musical fountain will be in the sea. No one else has done that before,” he added.

“We haven’t given much attention to this area before, but investors have seen the potential in Koh Sireh, as can be seen from the many hotel projects springing up around this part of town.

“I think it would be good for Rassada if we tried to promote Koh Sireh as a important Phuket attraction. This is the time for us to polish this previously neglected island, so it can be the ‘Pearl of Phuket’,” he said.

— Chaiyot Yongcharoenchai

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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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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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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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