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Phuket Food Festival goes “booze-free’, but lays on the entertainment

Legacy Phuket Gazette

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Phuket Food Festival goes “booze-free’, but lays on the entertainment | The Thaiger
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PHUKET: For the first time in its 15-year history, the annual Phuket Good Taste Food Festival at Saphan Hin in Phuket Town this year will be held specifically without any alcohol for sale and with no plastic food containers.

Announcing the news on Saturday, Phuket City Mayor Somjai Suwansupana said that about 100 booths selling food will be at this year’s week-long festival, together generating about 10 million baht.

Mayor Somjai explained that the restaurateurs taking part in the festival themselves requested that no alcohol be sold at this year’s festival, which starts on Friday.

“The festival is intended to support and promote local food vendors and to help boost their sales. The food vendors asked us this year to hold the festival without any alcohol for sale for the very first time,” she said.

Although no alcohol will be sold at the fair, visitors may bring their own, but may not consume alcohol in a designated “booze-free” area to be set aside at the festival.

Songkran Pakchokdee, director of the government-affiliated Stop Drink Network, said that he expected the booze ban to have little effect on visitor turnout.

“This is the first time the Stop Drink Network has joined the Phuket Food Festival. We have joined many other festivals in other provinces where public drinking has caused a lot of trouble.

“At first, we were afraid fewer people would come to the festivals because no alcohol was being sold, but so far we have seen that the festivals still attract a lot of people,” he said.

“Phuket has its own local food as its selling point. I believe a lot of visitors will come to this festival,” he added.

Mayor Somjai also pointed out that her officers will be monitoring food hygiene at the festival.

“We will ask the food operators not to put MSG [monosodium glutamate], artificial citric acid or any other additives in their food. Officers from Phuket City Municipality’s Public Health Department will test food at every booth at the festival to make sure it is clean and safe for consumers,” she explained.

Regular visitors to festivals at Saphan Hin might have noticed that many of the stall operators over the past year have switched to using long-life, eco-friendly, energy-efficient light bulbs to light up their stalls, instead of regular light bulbs.

This year, they will also cease using Styrofoam containers for serving their food, opting to use biodegradable containers instead.

Chaisin Jiasakul, president of the Phuket City Restaurant Operators Association, highlighted that in addition to the usual low-priced fare on offer, the festival will host many stage performances as free entertainment throughout the festival.

Among the artists performing live on stage will be “Dear At Ten”, known for her sexy song and dance performances; as well as Southern Thai look thung (Thai country) singers O Para and the bands Zuzu and Dalah Sao Satul, and the Teng Noi Copy Show comedy performance.

The fair, to be held at the central stage area at Saphan Hin Public Park in Phuket Town, will be open from 4pm to 11pm daily from September 14 to 22.

— Kritsada Mueanhawong

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

Phuket

Phuket workshop helps residents cope with high stress brought on by the economic crisis

Caitlin Ashworth

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Phuket workshop helps residents cope with high stress brought on by the economic crisis | The Thaiger
PHOTO: Facebook: ประชาสัมพันธ์ เทศบาลตำบลวิชิต

Hundreds of residents in Phuket’s Wichit subdistrict attended a workshop focused on reducing stress from to the pandemic-induced economic crisis. A psychologist was even on site to help those who had extreme mental stress and a Buddhist monk taught meditation techniques to reduce physiological effects of stress.

The event was planned in response to an online survey conducted by the municipality asking residents about how much stress they were experiencing from the economic climate. They found that some residents had serious stress issues brought on by the pandemic and financial problems, according to Wichit Mayor Kreetha Chotiwichphiphat.

“The loss of income due to the economic crisis brought on by the Covid-19 situation has resulted in some people in the area suffering serious stress, which can lead to serious mental health issues.”

Around 350 people attended the event. The mayor says it was the first step in caring for the residents’ mental health. Local officials plan to hold similar workshops in the future.

“It was a good opportunity for people to realise the importance of mental health and to learn techniques of how to deal with stress, which will help people to maintain their physical health and avoid developing mental health problems.”

SOURCE: Phuket News

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Phuket

Phuket’s Soi Dog Foundation opens Humane Education Centre at Mai Khao shelter

The Thaiger

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Phuket’s Soi Dog Foundation opens Humane Education Centre at Mai Khao shelter | The Thaiger

The Soi Dog Foundation has officially opened its Humane Education Centre, the first of its kind in Thailand dedicated to the welfare of stray animals. The centre, located at the Soi Dog shelter in northern Phuket, forms part of the foundation’s Humane Education program. Rolled out in 2017, the program sees a team visit Thai schools to teach the next generation the basic principles of animal welfare and promote empathetic attitudes towards both owned pets and free-roaming strays.

The program has reached a total of 15,058 students and 861 teachers to date. With a dedicated classroom as well as educational tools and resources now on site at the shelter, Soi Dog will be able to expand the programme and reach an even greater number of young minds.

Co-founder and president of Soi Dog Foundation International John Dalley said, “The cornerstones of what we do – what I believe very firmly are the answers to the stray dog problem throughout Asia – are large-scale sterilisation of stray dogs and cats and education of, particularly, the next generation.

“We see all the time the problems that are being caused through us not respecting the environment and not respecting the other animals with whom we share this planet. That’s why education is so important.”

John also thanked the supporters and donors who made the construction of the centre possible. After cutting the ribbon, the students filed into the brand-new facility for the very first on-site class – a fun and interactive hour of roleplaying, brainstorming and problem solving.

Humane Education Manager Nuttawut “Film” Kumngern. said… “We want to encourage kindness toward animals, especially free-roaming dogs and cats, and teach youngsters to be responsible pet owners. This will sustainably reduce animal cruelty and pet abandonment.”

“We hope to one day see animal welfare incorporated into the curriculum in Thai schools, and our education centre is a great start.”

Soi Dog is ready to welcome school groups from Phuket and other provinces to the centre which can accommodate up to 40 students at any one time. Schools interested in participating are encouraged to email film@soidog.org

Phuket's Soi Dog Foundation opens Humane Education Centre at Mai Khao shelter | News by The ThaigerPhuket's Soi Dog Foundation opens Humane Education Centre at Mai Khao shelter | News by The Thaiger

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International Schools

Police have yet to investigate illegal hiring of foreign teachers at international school in Phuket

The Thaiger

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Police have yet to investigate illegal hiring of foreign teachers at international school in Phuket | The Thaiger

Chalong police in Phuket say they have yet to start investigating the illegal hiring of foreign teachers at an international school in Rawai, south of the island. Palm House International School allegedly hired foreign teachers illegally in which 2 were arrested by Phuket Immigration police on November 4.

Somkiet Sarasin, the leading investigator of the case, says the 2 Brits were informed that police were processing a charge of working illegally in the country against them, in which both denied the charges. Somkiet says the 2 were released on bail, but did not confirm the amount of bail that was set by the police.

“They are still staying in Thailand. I am not worried. I have their passports. I am not available to explain [any details] because the investigation is still ongoing.”

“This is normal for an investigation when the suspects deny the charge against them. I have to check more information against their claims. This case will probably be concluded next month.”

However, the investigation has yet to begin, with Somkiet saying he has not even questioned the owner of the school, despite his claims the case would be finished next month.

“The investigation into the school will take time. The investigation into the two British people must be finished first.”

Such allegations of foreign teachers working illegally have recently been in the news after Sarasas Witaed Sainoi Pitiyakarn School, in the central province of Nonthaburi, saw 7 foreign teachers probed for being hired illegally. That school, along with others in its private network, made nationwide news after CCTV caught a Thai teacher hitting, pushing and dragging a young student in the classroom. Such widespread violence against students has long been a sad component of many Thai schools, in which some of the teachers are unqualified and unlicensed to teach, but are hired anyway.

SOURCE: The Phuket News

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