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Similans park chief warns Phuket dive tour operators

Legacy Phuket Gazette



Similans park chief warns Phuket dive tour operators | The Thaiger

PHUKET: The chief at the Mu Ko Similan National Park has warned that tour operators entering the park without a permit after its November 1 reopening may face a 10,000 baht fine – or even have their tourism license revoked.

The warning follows park officers at the Similans over past few weeks handing out booklets explaining a number of regulations that took effect from November 30 last year.

Although the park is closed to tour groups during the low season, officers are still there and many tour operators run “familiarization trips” or survey dive sites at this time of year in preparation for the high season.

“The new rules promote tourist safety and encourage operators to set up activities that adhere to our requirements,” said Similans park chief Panumas Sanseemeam.

“The focus will be on boat operators, such as dive tour operators, who must have National Park permission to operate in the area. Some operators are not fully complying with the regulations,” he added.

“I have heard that during the ‘off season’, from May 1 to October 31, when the park is closed, some operators entered the park. We have not ignored this.

“Under the new regulations, offenders will be fined 500 baht per person per day. Operators may face sterner punishment, including being charged with entering a restricted area without permission. For this, they may be fined 10,000 baht or even have their boat tourism license canceled,” the park chief warned.

The new regulations also focus on tourist safety, Mr Panumas explained.

“Boats entering the park must have appropriate safety equipment on board and have suitable safety procedures in place,” he said.

“I urge boat operators to obey the rules so we can develop our national parks to world heritage standard. I also ask them be more concerned with tourist safety, and not just looking to make a profit,” he added.

Nontawit Jaturabundit, park chief at Sirinat National Park at Nai Yang, said he had yet to decide on how the regulations would be applied there.

Officers at Mu Ko Phi-Phi National Park and at Mu Ko Lanta National Park confirmed to the Gazette that their offices also had yet to decide on how the regulations would be applied in their parks.

Paitoon Panchaiphum, head of the regional Department of Marine and Coastal Resources (DMCR) office in Phuket, said his office would like to introduce similar measures to protect dive and snorkeling sites off Phuket.

“It’s good that national parks can use these regulations. We want to use the same rules in other non-national park areas, but the problem is enforcement.

“We could adapt the regulation to use in some areas such as Koh Khai or Koh Racha by signing a Memorandum of Understanding with locals and tour operators instead,” he explained.

“But the only way to truly preserve important environmental sites is through common sense in conservation. Although there are laws, there will always be people breaking the rules,” he added.

— Sitthipong Nongkaew

Read more headlines, reports & breaking news in Phuket. Or catch up on your Thailand news.

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Police investigate motorbike hoons in Patong

The Thaiger



Police investigate motorbike hoons in Patong | The Thaiger

PHOTOS: Patong Police

Patong Police are investigating alleged foreign motorbike racing gangs in Patong after a viral video clip in local social media.

The Patong Police report that the clip of tourists who have been driving their motorbikes at high speed around the streets of Patong has been very popular and provided them with a lot of information about the locations, the bikes and the riders.

Police are now investigating the incident to find the people on the bikes so they can charge them and take legal action.

Every month they say there are about 2,000 cases as Patong Police enforce the road rules around the tourist town. Patong Traffic Police say they are strictly enforcing traffic rules to prevent road accidents and protect tourists.

Police investigate motorbike hoons in Patong | News by The Thaiger Police investigate motorbike hoons in Patong | News by The Thaiger Police investigate motorbike hoons in Patong | News by The Thaiger

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“Self-myofascial release” – what is foam rolling?

The Thaiger



“Self-myofascial release” – what is foam rolling? | The Thaiger

by Krix Luther

The word is out about self-myofascial release – foam rolling – and, no, Thailand people, this doesn’t have to do with a ‘soapy’ or ‘happy-endings’.

So what is foam rolling you ask? Well, it was once a secretive technique used by professional coaches and therapists but has become a regular practice for people across the spectrum of all fitness levels.

Self-myofascial release is just a fancy term for a technique of self-massage that helps deal with muscle tightness and trigger points.

With a massage parlour never being farther than a kilometre away, and decent one-hour massage costing you less than 500 baht, it might be difficult to see the point of learning the technique – which would explain why I always see a bunch of rarely used foam rollers in the corner of Nai Harn Gym in Phuket (one of the places I work).

Nonetheless, the understanding of your body and muscle structures that comes with practising the technique can offer many benefits.

  • Increases flexibility and range of motion
  • Improves blood circulation
  • Prevents chances of DOMS
  • Reduces post-workout stress
  • Helps with post-workout cooldown
  • Reduces recovery time
  • Prevents training-related injuries
  • Reduces chances of overtraining

The practice can be done with a foam roller, lacrosse ball, Theracane or your own hands by simply applying pressure to specific points on your body, aiding in the recovery of muscles and assisting in returning them to normal function. We can think of ‘normal function’ as when your muscles are elastic, healthy and ready to perform at a moment’s notice.

Foam rolling after a workout will provide deep compression that will help relax tight muscles and adhesions (fibrous bands) between muscle layers and their surroundings. The benefits of foam rolling are outstanding, in addition to increasing blood flow, which will speed up muscle recovery. Foam rolling can be used for a variety of corrective bodywork.

It can loosen muscles to re-balance posture, re-establish proper movement patterns, enhance performance and help create pain-free movement.

Stretching alone is not always enough when it comes to releasing the tightness, which makes the technique very helpful. Additionally, you are able to feel exactly what is happening and adjust the pressure so that it is uncomfortable, but not unbearable – not always the case when it comes to the toes of your Thai masseuse digging into your back.

Krix Luther has been a Personal Trainer in Phuket for more than 10 years, he specialises in weight loss, strength & conditioning, TRX and CrossFit. For more information about Krix and his services, visit

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Elderly motorbike driver dies in Thalang crash

The Thaiger



Elderly motorbike driver dies in Thalang crash | The Thaiger

A 74 year old motorbike driver has died after colliding with a high speed taxi in Thalang this morning.

The Thalang Police headed to the accident near an intersection of Thepkrasattri – Nai Yang Road in Thalang at 7.40am.

When they arrived they found a damaged taxi. Nearby they located the damaged motorbike.

74 year old Somchai Uttasaha, the motorbike driver, was taken to the Thalang Hospital but was later pronounced dead as a result of his injuries.

Police report that the taxi was traveling at high speed. The driver was 48 year old Prasert Malitong.

When the taxi arrived at the location of the incident, the motorbike was allegedly traveling outside his proper traffic lane.  The taxi collided with the motorbike at speed.

The taxi driver has been charged with reckless driving causing death.

Elderly motorbike driver dies in Thalang crash | News by The ThaigerElderly motorbike driver dies in Thalang crash | News by The Thaiger

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