Ms Somjai Tungkoo, new General Manager of Kata Rocks
Infinite Luxury is delighted to announce the appointment of Ms Somjai Tungkoo as General Manager of Kata Rocks, its award-winning resort in Phuket, Thailand.
Somjai has more than 25 years’ experience in the hospitality industry. She began her career in Phuket, Thailand as a Human Resources Coordinator at the Cape Panwa Hotel. After working at a number of boutique and luxury resorts, including a stint at the Mandarin Oriental Hotel Group, Somjai moved to Twinpalms Phuket where she started as Sales and Marketing Manager in 2004.
She was promoted to Group Executive Manager in 2009, overseeing the resort, Catch Beach Club, Bake, HQ Beach Club, and Palm Seaside.
Somjai joins Kata Rocks from her most recent position as Managing Director overseeing three hotels under the La Flora brand in Khao Lak. In her new role, Somjai will manage the resort’s day-to-day operations, the Infinite Luxury Spa, the award-winning Clubhouse restaurant and the residences. She will also focus on training and talent development.
“I’ve watched the Kata Rocks resort and brand strongly establish itself over the past few years and I’m delighted to now join this innovative team. My mission is simple: I want to inspire my team to push the boundaries of innovative luxury hospitality and bring it to new heights,” Somjai said.
As an active member of Phuket’s dynamic community, she is also a judge on the Labour Court in Phuket, as well as a strong supporter of sustainability and green initiatives. Somjai holds a degree in Business and Human Resource Management along with an MBA from Stamford International University in Bangkok, Thailand.
Commenting on the appointment, Richard Pope, CEO of Infinite Luxury says, “Somjai’s wealth of experience and understanding of the Phuket market made her the ideal candidate for this important position. I am confident that she will take this unique resort to the next level and ensure that it continues to be the number one address in Phuket when it comes to luxury hospitality.”
Mu Pa 13 have 22 film offers awaiting appro
Looks like we’re going to see many screen adaptions of the ‘Miracle at Tham Luang’ (and whatever other titles they come up with).
22 movie, documentary and book project and ideas, about the Tham Luang cave rescue and life of the 13 young men, have been proposed by both local and foreign studios to the Creative Media Committee. This was confirmed by the Culture Minister Veera Rojpojanarat today.
In addition, there are 27 TV show programs for the boys and their coach from Thai and foreign TV stations still being considered by the committee.
Thai PBS is reporting that producers are invited to apply for the rights to shoot movies, documentaries or animation films of the dramatic rescue mission, the life of the rescuers and the boys trapped in the cave complex for two weeks during the period between November 15-30.
Minister Veera says foreign producers will have to seek approval from the Ministry of Sports and Tourism whereas the Thai producers must contact the Culture Ministry for approval.
Of the 22 proposed projects, ten are movie projects with five each proposed by Thai and foreign producers and ten documentary projects with the remaining two being book projects.
The minister said the committee agreed that there was no need for the rights to be given to just one producer or studio and all of them would be treated equally.
Studios can start their production based on the information which is already available publicly, but for in-depth information about the private life of the boys, consent from the boys and their parents is needed and also with the approval of the committee which will consider the benefits to be offered to the boys, said Mr Veera.
He stressed that any commercial deals involving the team must be approved by the committee and must have the consent of the boys and their parents.
PHOTO: Nation Multimedia
SOURCE: Thai PBS
‘Big Joke’ is the ‘real deal’ according to Thai Rath
PHOTOS: Thai Rath
Thai Rath have published a feature on the closest person Thailand has to Batman (aka Maj-Gen Surachate Hakparn) or “Big Joke” as he’s affectionately know to the Thai media. He’s taken the role of Thailand’s poster-boy crime fighter.
He’s also recently been promoted to the top job at Thai Immigration.
The article says that Big Joke is the ‘real deal’ and his appointment will mean greater security for the country and better services to the wider public. They say that will include tourists and expatriates in Thailand.
Two weeks ago Maj-Gen Surachate Hakparn replaced the former Immigration Chief, Suthipong Wongpin, who took a sidewards step to become the head of the metropolitan police in Bangkok, a year before his retirement.
Surachate attracted the attention of the Thai government while working as deputy commander of the Thai Tourist Police.
His “One World One Team” vision emphasises teamwork and cooperation, not just within Thailand but internationally, according to the Thai Rath article.
Many have criticised “Big Joke” for being nothing more than a poster boy and ‘lackey’ of the elite but the Thai media is say this is ‘shallow thinking’. Surachate’s supporters point to his ‘modern methods’ in crime solving and dedication to stop corruption (which we note also appear to involve a lot of photos and media conferences parading the baddies in public).
“He is seen as new style of policeman the like of which Thailand has rarely if ever seen before”, reports Thai Rath.
Many illegal foreigners posing as tourists have already been rounded up, sent home and black-listed creating a fear of further crackdowns. But Surachate says he’s determined to root out illegals and criminals and protect the multi-billion dollar tourism industry.
“Ultimately bona fide tourists and expats will reap the benefit through greater security and improved service from immigration”.
Deputy PM Prawit Wongsuwan its also calling for heightened security with an ‘international focus’.
Surachate believes in giving greater satisfaction to foreigners in Thailand as well as committing to coordination within Thai police departments and foreign agencies.
Critics say that many of those arrested are relatively small fry and that “No Tip” signs that have gone up at immigration entry points are merely paying lip service to the issue. But Thai Rath seem convinced that ‘Big Joke’ is the real deal and will make a true difference.
SOURCE: Thai Rath
Street art gallery in the ruins of Ban Roeng Chit
An interesting part of the Phuket Town’s street art culture is that it tackles taboo social topics. It is a loud shout from street artists to express their opinions in a creative way and the former stand-alone theatre ‘Roeng Chit’ has become the location of Phuket street artists where they are allowed to freely spray their thoughts away.
One of the biggest pieces at the avenue is a graffiti against the elephant riding business. The ironic artwork depicts an elephant riding on an unhappy man to portray the idea of how unpleasant it is for an intelligent and loving wild animal to spend their lives exploited until the day they are retired.
“The elephant is widely respected among Thai people and they are the official national animal of Thailand, having contributed to the development of Thai history and society. They are wild animals that belong in the jungle.”
“Think about it, who do we think we are that we can force them to do as we please and ride them just for entertainment. We have cancelled slavery among humans in Thailand since King Rama V but we still treat animals like uncivilised people,” said Agradeth ‘Amann’ Tanhemnayoo, a group member of the artists behind the drawing.
“I was contacted by @thailandelephants asking us to create some street art so I said ‘yes’. We don’t mean to say that people shouldn’t be happy spending time with elephants but our message is that people can choose to be happy by observing them with nature by their side without having to ride on them.”
“I understand that we can’t stop the elephant riding business immediately but we are offering an alternative way of traveling that is nature-friendly.”
The crew went to create the art on World Elephant Day.
“On the opposite side of the elephant riding business is a human is a cycling activity which we proposed as an option to tag along the elephant while trekking.”
“We plan to keep going back as we received a great support from the landlord, Ban Roeng Chit, and we planned together to make the avenue a centre to collect street art. So far, we have a dozen graffiti artists bringing their talents together and we want people to see the work of different creators.”
No matter whether you are a professional photographer or just visiting, Ban Roeng Chit is the new spot to observe street art in the heart of Phuket town, where you’ll see more than just graffiti, but also the social issues they confront.
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