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Army considers lifting curfew in Phuket

Legacy Phuket Gazette

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Army considers lifting curfew in Phuket | The Thaiger
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PHUKET: The military is considering lifting the curfew in Phuket and other tourist destinations such as and Pattaya, provided there are no signs of unrest in those areas.

The consideration follows National Council for Peace and Order (NCPO) chief Gen Prayuth Chan-ocha being informed of how the nationwide curfew was badly hurting tourism-dependent businesses, NCPO deputy spokesman Col Nattawat Chancharoen said yesterday.

The initial curfew from 10pm to 5am (story here) had been particularly tough on restaurants, entertainment venues and other tourism-related businesses.

Weerawit Kurasombat, president of the Patong Entertainment Business Association (PEBA), last week warned of the town’s ruin if the curfew continued (story here).

Tourism Council of Thailand (TCT) President Piyaman Tejapaibul last Sunday also petitioned the NCPO to lift, or at least relax, the curfew hours in order to support the nation’s tourism industry (story here).

The NCPO on Tuesday agreed to shorten the curfew hours to midnight to 4am (story here), effective from last night, after Tourism Authority of Thailand (TAT) Governor Thawatchai Aranyik joined the call to lift the curfew on tourist attractions that operate at night.

The TAT remained confident that reducing the curfew would not impair the nation’s security.

Regardless, the NCPO has assigned working committees in charge of the economy and security to assess the situation in tourist destinations.

“If there are no signs of unrest or anti-coup protests, then the NCPO might consider cancelling the curfew on a case-by-case basis,” the spokesman said, adding that a decision on the matter should be made by next week.

The Tourism and Sports Ministry recently reported that the number of tourist arrivals had dropped by as much as 20 per cent since martial law was declared on May 20.

Still, some 4,000 Chinese tourists went ahead with their travel itinerary, which included Pattaya, despite an advisory from the Chinese government.

The Federation of Thai Industries, meanwhile, has lowered this year’s target for tourist arrivals to 26.8 million from 28 million mainly because of the political unrest.

Shops open longer

Separately, Robinson and Central department stores in Bangkok and elsewhere will now close at 10pm, as well as all branches of The Mall, the Emporium and Siam Paragon.

Convenience stores such as 7-Eleven and FamilyMart will also close at midnight instead of 10pm..

— The Nation / Phuket Gazette

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

Pattaya

Pattaya bike rider injured after plunging into large construction hole in road

Maya Taylor

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Pattaya bike rider injured after plunging into large construction hole in road | The Thaiger
PHOTO: The Pattaya News

A motorbike driver has been injured after his bike plunged into a 2-metre deep construction pit in the Naklua area of Pattaya. The Pattaya News reports that the accident occurred around 4am on Thursday morning, with rescue workers arriving to find the bike at the bottom of the pit.

Pattaya bike rider injured after plunging into large construction hole in road | News by The Thaiger

The driver, 39 year old Wassapon Thataworn, had managed to climb out of the hole, despite his injuries, and was transported to a local hospital for treatment. His friend, who has not been named, says he was following Wassapon on another bike, when the accident happened. He claims the hole was not well-lit.

However, the police disagree with his assessment, saying there were barriers around the pit, as well as several neon white lights. It is not known if anyone will face legal charges over the accident.

SOURCE: The Pattaya News

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Events

Pattaya firework party lights up the weekend | VIDEO

The Thaiger

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Pattaya firework party lights up the weekend | VIDEO | The Thaiger

After much anticipation, the Pattaya Fireworks Festival lit up the sky this past weekend, delighting spectators with beautiful night beachside spectacle. More importantly, it was the first time Pattaya was packed with tourists since March this year, albeit mostly Thai tourists.

The event program was packed with long fireworks shows with hotels offering promotions for advanced bookings in an attempt to provide a much-needed boost to the local economy over the weekend.

To watch some of last night’s events from Mike Bridge, click HEREand HERE.

The annual festival saw Thais and foreigners taking part in the festivities as local bars, pubs, restaurants, and food vendors enjoying a bit more padding in their pockets. Organisers didn’t disappoint as they carried out their assurances to provide a world-class show with 4 fireworks shows per night. Such titles as “Shining in Sky,” “Paradise Pattaya, Everyday for Everyone,” “Pattaya Twilight, Decorated Stars,” and “Light is Life,” summed up the shows’ themes.

During one of the shows’ breaks, a 45 minute concert by popular Thai artist “Mean” graced the ears of onlookers, while an elephant show, by the Pattaya Elephant Camp, proved to be a sight for sore eyes. Marching bands featuring local Thai students started from the North Pattaya area and parading down Beach Road to the main stage area, located near Central Festival Mall filled the air with music, along with tiger shows and an art show by Nong Nooch Botanical Garden rounding up the schedule.

The popular Thai rock band “Big Ass” wrapped up the last fireworks show at 9:30 pm, with another popular Thai band “Boom Boom Cash” rocking out the night.

SOURCE: Bangkok Post

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Pattaya

City officials plan to demolish abandoned Pattaya condo project

Maya Taylor

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City officials plan to demolish abandoned Pattaya condo project | The Thaiger
PHOTO: Sophon Cable TV / The Pattaya News

After years of talks, threats, and complaints, the abandoned Waterfront condo development at Pattaya’s Bali Hai pier looks set to be demolished. The Waterfront Suites and Residence is a half-finished condo project that was stalled in 2014 after safety inspectors discovered that the building’s fire escapes and elevator systems designs varied from the already approved construction designs. Read an earlier story about the eyesore HERE.

Pattaya’s mayor, Sonthaya Khunplume, says officials plan to tear down what many have condemned as an eyesore, “as soon as possible” – and charge the owners for it. According to a Pattaya News report, the date of the demolition, along with the name of the company being hired to carry out the work, have not yet been confirmed.

The controversy surrounding the development dates back to 2014, when construction was halted following multiple legal threats and complaints from local residents. The Israeli-owned development company, Bali Hai, are accused of violating building regulations, by building a structure that exceeds the legal height limit, as well as restrictions on proximity to the beach. Local residents have also complained that the development obstructs the panoramic vista of the bay from Pattaya Hill, and the view of the memorial to the renowned Admiral Abhakara Kiartivongse, Prince of Chumphon.

For their part, the developers insist they have complied with all regulations and had the necessary paperwork and permits for the project. It seems however, that Pattaya officials have had enough, and, ignoring the developer’s claims of bankruptcy, they say the whole Waterfront saga must end. They say the demolition will not affect lawsuits being brought by those who paid for condo units that never materialised, insisting that court hearings can still go ahead, regardless of the condition of the building.

SOURCE: The Pattaya News

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