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Tiger Disco fire: Governor visits survivor who ‘leaped to safety’

Legacy Phuket Gazette

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Tiger Disco fire: Governor visits survivor who ‘leaped to safety’ | The Thaiger

PHUKET: The Phuket Governor and his wife this morning visited a survivor of the Tiger Discotheque fire, who gave the press a first-hand account of how she leaped from the blazing nightspot, breaking an ankle in order to save her life.

After the visit, the governor revealed that the Patong Police are now under investigation for neglect of duty for allegedly allowing nightlife venues to remain open past designated closing times.

The survivor, 32-year-old Suree Deeying, was presented with a gift basket by Governor Tri Augkaradacha and his wife Nalinee as Ms Suree lay in her bed at Bangkok Phuket Hospital this morning.

After thanking the Governor and his wife, who chairs the Phuket Chapter of the Phuket Red Cross Society, the Tiger Discotheque employee gave her account of the events of 4am last Friday.

“I was working behind the bar on the second floor. When the fire broke out, the pub had already closed, but there were still some people inside. We had already stopped selling drinks at that time and I was preparing to close up the bar. All of a sudden I heard someone yell, ‘Fire! Fire!’ Then I looked up and saw flames all over the place,” she said.

“There are many fire exits from the second floor. So I ran out through one of them, but I was so afraid that the flames would get me, that I jumped off the staircase and landed on the ground.

“As I tried to run away, I realized that my right foot was broken. I was taken to Patong Hospital [by a good citizen] even before any ambulances arrived. The owner of Tiger Group paid for my transfer to Bangkok Hospital and my treatment here,” said Miss Suree.

She showed the press an x-ray image of her badly broken right ankle, which has already undergone reconstructive surgery.

“I am not sure how long I have to stay here, but I am feeling good overall. I will get back to work as soon as I fully recover,” said Miss Suree.

When Miss Suree does return to work, it will likely have to be at another Tiger Group venue.

“Since the fire at Tiger Disco on Friday morning, the area has been declared a disaster. We will not allow anyone into that area without permission. I have ordered the Phuket Office of Public Works and Town & Country Planning to determine whether the building is still structurally sound,” said Gov Tri.

“The Forensic Police office in Phuket has already inspected the site, but they have not yet confirmed the actual cause of fire to us. I will have to discuss the issue with Provincial Police Commander Chonasit Wattanavrangkul later today. He will give me a full briefing about the investigation.

“We will get all the facts sorted out, especially regarding the opening hours of this pub. We have to find out if they were operating past the designated closing time or not,” Gov Tri said.

As highlighted by top-level building inspectors earlier, foam-based building materials used to construct the walls of the venue appear to have been a key factor in the rapid spread of the fire.

“We will have to check why the Tiger Discotheque was allowed to use foam-based materials as part of the construction since it is a flammable material. I have to check with Patong Municipality office about the design of the discotheque, because they are the ones who signed the permits for the structure and its extension,” said the governor.

“I inspected this pub once a long time ago, before they did the extension [work]. At that time, they seemed to be following all the rules and regulations regarding construction, but I am not sure about the extension; we will have to check with Patong Municipality first,” he added.

Governor Tri has ordered all entertainment venues throughout Phuket to be inspected after the tragedy, which claimed the lives of at least four and left at least 12 others injured.

“This may sound like a case of ‘closing the stable door after the horse has bolted’, but we now have to check with all of the entertainment venues to see whether they comply with all rules and regulations. I will ask all local administrations of all areas in Phuket – especially Patong, Karon, and Phuket Town – to check the entertainment venues in their jurisdictions,” he said.

“We launched a pilot project called ‘White Entertainment Venues’ in the Phuket Town area even before the fire happened. This project now will be put into effect throughout Phuket. I want to ensure that all entertainment venues on the island are safe and following all rules and regulations,” Gov Tri warned.

“The Phuket Provincial Office has assigned a committee to investigate whether or not Patong Police are neglecting their duty by allowing night entertainment venues to open past designated closing times. We hope we can get their findings in a few days,” he added.

“The rules and regulations are already in place. Now it’s up to people who have the authority to be more strict about law enforcement.

“After the incident happened, there was wide-scale international media coverage, and [there were] many reports that Phuket entertainment venues do not have good safety standards. I have to say that it is not true. We inspect all entertainment venues on a regular basis to ensure that all of them follow all rules and regulations,” he said.

“It may take awhile before we regain [tourists’] confidence, but I want to confirm that the safety of both tourists and local residents is our top priority,” he said.

“The owner of Tiger Group has promised to help with the medical expenses for all injured people. If the help is not enough, I will offer the help myself to ensure that everyone gets proper medical treatment,” Gov Tri said.

— Chaiyot Yongcharoenchai

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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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Patong

Phuket authorities confirm alcohol ban Sunday (starts midnight) for 24 hours

The Thaiger

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Phuket authorities confirm alcohol ban Sunday (starts midnight) for 24 hours | The Thaiger
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