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Phuket sings: Big bird contest around the corner

Legacy Phuket Gazette

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Phuket sings: Big bird contest around the corner | The Thaiger
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PHUKET: One of the biggest events Phuket will see this year – if you are the owner of a singing bird, that is – will take place in Thalang tomorrow.

As many as 720 singing red-whiskered Bulbuls, Nok Pa Rod Jook in Thai, are expected to take part, coming from all over Thailand to do so.

The winner of this particular contest, a nap dork contest, will be the bird who sings the most in a specified time. The owner of that bird will be richly rewarded with 10,000 baht and a trophy from the Ministry of Agriculture and Cooperatives.

The contest is organized in two rounds, in time periods 18 seconds long – 18 seconds because time is kept not with a stopwatch but by dropping a bowl into a clear container of water. The bowl, which has a hole in it, takes 18 seconds to sink to the bottom.

In round one, birds have four chances to sing, each chance 18 seconds long. By the end of the fourth chance, they must have sung at least eight times. If not, they’re out.

Referees will be not only listening carefully, but watching with keen eyes, because if the bird flaps its feathers while warbling, that warble does not count.

In the second round, birds have only one chance to sing. The bird who sings the most is the winner.

Participants may not wear dark glasses or hats, as these are thought to scare the birds.

Bird contests go on regularly in Phuket during the dry season – one is held two times a week just across Thepkrasattri Road from the Phuket Gazette offices (map here).

“Sometimes we take the bird out for a ride to help it relax,” said Saeree Mueanprakarn, who had brought several birds to the small contest there last week.

“The birds are not free, so we have to help them relax,” Mr Saree said.

This includes mixing a little tranquilizer with their water, he added.

“The birds love to stay in a clean place, so at night we throw out all their food, then we cover the cage with fabric and put it in a quiet place,” he added.

“The ideal food is kluai khai, because it is harder than the average banana and won’t make the cage dirty, but it is expensive, so I usually feed the birds other things, like apples, orange, and luffa gourds,” he said.

Some birds are caught in the forest; those that are bought cost anywhere from 1,000 to one million baht. Cages are equally expensive, running from 250 baht to one million baht as well, depending on the wood, according to Mr Saree.

Birds can be mixed but must be at least 95 per cent red-whiskered Bulbul.

As for how the birds learn to sing – other birds teach them, Mr Saree said.

The contest tomorrow will start at 11am, at the Department of Agriculture Phuket office, across from Muang Thalang School on Thekrasattri Road, Thalang (click for map here).

Entry for bird owners costs 300 baht. Spectators may enter free.

More than 100,000 baht in cash prizes will be up for grabs, as follows: 1st prize 10,000 baht, prizes 6-10, 2,000 baht; prizes 11-80: 1,000 baht.

Please be aware the contest may be called off if it rains.

— Saran Mitrarat

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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 told to prepare “response plan” in case of second Covid-19 outbreak

Caitlin Ashworth

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Phuket told to prepare “response plan” in case of second Covid-19 outbreak | The Thaiger
PHOTO: Daily News

As Phuket awaits foreign tourists, city officials are told to prepare a “response plan” in case of a second wave of Covid-19. An official from the Ministry of Tourism and Sports held a workshop in Phuket today to discuss the risk of another outbreak as the country opens up to those on the Special Tourist Visa.

The ministry’s permanent secretary Chote Trachu says now that the country is allowing tourists (who are required to quarantine upon arrival) an infection “may somehow slip through.” He says a response plan needs to be in place in case this happens, adding that there should be corporation from the Ministry of Public Health and Ministry of Defense.

“If any tourists are found to be infected, the disease must not be allowed to spread among the people. There should be no panic, and public health officers will investigate the case. Tourist Police will track down the suspected person in an investigation with the Ministry of Public Health.”

Chote says all provinces – not just Phuket – should have a response plan. Although tourists must go through a mandatory 14 day quarantine upon arrival, Chote says there are some cases where the incubation period for Covid-19 is longer than 14 days.

“There are a variety of cases. Sometimes, the infection does not show after 14 days, or even 15 or 16 days. Each situation is different.”

Recently, a woman in Koh Samui tested positive for the coronavirus 5 days after she was released from a Samut Prakan quarantine facility. Traces of the virus were found on gym equipment the woman used at the quarantine, leading health officials to suspect she was infected before arriving to the island.

“We urge Thai people to not let their guard down. Everyone must wear masks, wash their hands and take care of personal hygiene. This will help prevent them from contracting the disease.”

SOURCE: Phuket News

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Business

Approval sought for multi-billion-baht Phuket medical hub

Maya Taylor

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Approval sought for multi-billion-baht Phuket medical hub | The Thaiger
Mai Khao beach in north Phuket - PHOTO: www.makemytrip.com

Industry officials are seeking the go-ahead for a project to transform over 140 rai of government land in Phuket into a world-leading medical hub. The project is budgeted at 3 – 4 billion baht, depending on which report you read. Kitkong Tantijaraswarodom, from the Federation of Thai Industries, believes the development of a medical and wellness hub in the sub-district of Mai Khao, north Phuket, will help revive the southern island’s battered economy. Phuket has become increasingly reliant on a steady flow of tourists over the past 2 decades.

The southern division of the FTI covers Phuket, Krabi, Phang Nga, Nakhon Si Thammarat, Trang, Patthalung, Surat Thani, Ranong, Satun, Chumphon, and Songkhla.

“The FTI will ask the government to green-light the project during the scheduled mobile cabinet meeting on the island on November 3.”

Kitkong says businesspeople in the south are anxious for the government to approve the project, which will provide both locals and foreign medical tourists with state-of-the-art medical care. The facility is expected to include long-term care, hospice and rehabilitation services, in addition to a dental hospital, sports therapy centre, and a medical training school for doctors, nurses, pharmacists and medical laboratory scientists.

The chair of the FTI’s southern chapter is also calling on officials to provide small and medium-sized businesses with additional support, in the form of access to loans, in order to deal with cash shortages.

“In the short term, the FTI wants the government to help SMEs, especially those in the tourism sector.”

SOURCE: Bangkok Post

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Phuket

Man’s body discovered hanged in a Phuket Town apartment

The Thaiger

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Man’s body discovered hanged in a Phuket Town apartment | The Thaiger

A man has been found hanged in Phuket Town apartment yesterday. Police are treating the cases as a suicide at the moment.

The man was found hanged from the apartment’s ceiling fan. His lifeless body was discovered around 11am after neighbours complained to the manager about the smell coming from the man’s room.

Police and the local Kusoldharm Foundation rescue workers attended the scene. Police later confirmed the incident happened in room on the 3rd floor of an apartment lock in Soi Phoonphol Soi 1, Talat Nuea in Phuket Town. Police said the man was 35-45 years of age and had a 29 year old girlfriend from Chumphon. He was paying 1,000 baht a month and had been renting the room for 2 months. Police estimate that the man had been dead for at least 3 days.

Police told media that the man had used, what appeared to be a dress, tied around his neck and then to the room’s roof fan. The apartment manager told police that he had been late on on his recent rent, speculating that the man may have been suffering financial hardship.

The man’s identity has not been released at this stage.

His body was taken to Vachira Hospital for an autopsy.

If you or anyone you know is in emotional distress, please contact the Samaritans of Thailand 24-hour hotline: 02 713 6791 (English), 02 713 6793 (Thai) or the Thai Mental Health Hotline at 1323 (Thai).

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