Keep up with Thaiger Daily News. Sign up below.

The latest news, information and resources from Phuket and across Thailand.

* indicates required
Connect with us

Phang Nga

Similans re-open with tight new restrictions

The Thaiger & The Nation

Published

on

Similans re-open with tight new restrictions | The Thaiger

by Pratch Rujivanarom

The number of visitors to the Similan Islands will be capped at 3,850 people per day as part of new tourism management reforms to preserve the pristine natural beauty of the islands and promote sustainable eco-tourism.

When Mu Koh Similan National Park reopens today, tourists will discover some changes on the islands; they will find more tranquil beaches but also tighter enforcement of rules by national park officials to make sure that both tourists and the picturesque natural beauty around them will be safe.

Mu Koh Similan National Park chief Ruamsin Manajongprasert says the new tourism management plan has been revised to deal with two major challenges that the national park had been facing – excessive tourism and ecosystem degradation.

“Since Tachai Island is closed to all visitors due to environmental damage caused by tourism activities, the Similan Islands are the destination where the mass groups of tourists are diverted to,” Ruamsin said.

“Therefore, the National Park, Wildlife and Plant Conservation Department [DNP] decided that it was now time to come out with tougher tourism management rules in order to ensure that tourism activities at Mu Koh Similan National Park will be sustainable and cause less harm to the fragile ecosystems of the islands.”

He said starting from this tourism season, every tourist boat will have to notify the national park and get permission first before entering the islands. No more than 3,325 visitors will be allowed per day for one-day trips and 525 visitors per day will be allowed on scuba-diving tours at Similan Islands.

There will be no overnight stays at the islands.

“I am confident that our national park officers are now ready to perform their duties to look after the tourists’ safety and preserve the islands’ rich ecosystems, which will ensure that our next generations will have a chance to appreciate the natural beauties of our national parks,” Ruamsin said.

Similans re-open with tight new restrictions | News by The Thaiger

Prof Dachanee Emphandhu, a lecturer at Kasetsart University’s Faculty of Forestry and a researcher on tourism management and carrying capacity of Mu Koh Similan National Park, said if the measures were successful, the tourism management reform at Similan Islands would become an inspiration for other marine national parks to emulate.

“This is not the first time that the DNP is trying to limit the number of tourists and enforcing tighter rules to preserve natural resources and the ecosystems of the national parks. But this time it is different, as the officers of the DNP and the Mu Koh Similan National Park are very determined about tourism management reform, because the existence of our unique and priceless marine ecosystems are at stake,” Dachanee said.

However, tourism business operators arn’t happy with the reforms at Similan Islands. They regard the national park’s new tourism management rules as too radical and also too suddenly enforced, hence most of the operators are unable to adapt to such extreme changes and will unavoidably suffer severe damage to their business.

One of the tour operators in Mu Ko Similan National Park, Torphong Wongsathienchai, revealed that due to the significant adverse impacts to tourism business from the new tourism management rules at Similan Islands, he was forced to lay off 120 employees in order to keep his company operational.

“I have no choice but to ask many of my staff members to resign and put their families in financial uncertainty,” Torphong said.

“We totally support sustainable tourism management at Similan Islands, because the picturesque nature of the islands is a goose with golden eggs for us, but we want the change and enforcement to be gradual so that the tour operators can adapt.”

Similans re-open with tight new restrictions | News by The Thaiger

SOURCE: The Nation



Read more headlines, reports & breaking news in Phang Nga. Or catch up on your Thailand news.

Chiang Mai

Toxic free school lunches

The Thaiger & The Nation

Published

on

Toxic free school lunches | The Thaiger

“Meat balls and sausages used in student lunches were also found to be contaminated with borax and formalin.”

A major study has been released researching contaminants in vegetables used in the state-sponsored school lunch program. You’d hope that the lunches were fresh and nutritious, right?

Instead, they were dangerous.

Vegetables and fruits found in lunches for students under the government’s free lunch program are almost 100 percent contaminated with pesticides and 99 percent of the urine samples from students and teachers in four provinces were tested with organophosphate, a deadly toxic pesticide that can attack the nervous system.

The alarming findings were the result of a research jointly conducted by Thai Education Foundation, Thai Health Promotion Foundation, Field Alliance of Chiangmai University and Greenpeace Thailand between July 2017-October 2018 on student lunches in 55 schools in Chiang Mai, Pathum Thani, Sakon Nakhon and Phang-nga provinces.

Vegetables, widely used in student lunches which were tested, include carrot, cabbage, Chinese cabbage, kale, long bean and tomato.  However, only two types of chemicals were tested – organophosphate and pyrethrum because organophosphate are widely used in insecticides for fruits and vegetables.

Thai PBS reports the the Thai Education Foundation secretary-general Marut Jatikate said that the most alarming findings appear to be the organophosphate residue found in 99 percent of the 436 urine samples from students and teachers in the four provinces.

Organophosphate poisoning symptoms include increased saliva and tear production, diarrhea, vomiting, small pupils, sweating, muscle tremors and confusion.

He said that the tests this time focused on two chemicals – organophosphate and pyrethrum – but they should have covered more toxic chemicals.

Nevertheless, he said findings from this research would be sent to the schools and parents of students in order that they would change the menu of student lunches but switching from mass-produced vegetables and fruits to organic vegetables and fruits which should be safer.

Besides the unsafe fruits and vegetables, Mr Marut said meat, meat balls and sausages used in student lunches were also found to be contaminated with borax and formalin.

Toxic free school lunches | News by The Thaiger

ORIGINAL STORY: Thai PBS

Continue Reading

Phang Nga

Phang Nga hotel ordered to stop holding weddings on the beach

The Thaiger

Published

on

Phang Nga hotel ordered to stop holding weddings on the beach | The Thaiger

PHOTOS: Manager Online

The Damrongdhama Centre in Phang Nga Office has banned a ‘luxury’ hotel in Phang Nga for arranging a wedding event on Natai Beach after investigations over beach encroachment.

After an inspection at Natai Beach in Kokkloi, Phang Nga officials, led by Phang Nga Governor Siripat Pattakun, found that a luxury hotel had put umbrellas and chairs on the beach to arrange a wedding event on a public beach.

Officials have ordered the hotel to remove the umbrellas and chairs from the beach within three days. The hotel has been banned from arranging future weddings and events on the beach.

Phang Nga hotel ordered to stop holding weddings on the beach | News by The Thaiger

FULL STORY: Manager Online

Continue Reading

Phang Nga

Phuket’s hotel and property players look north

Bill Barnett

Published

on

Phuket’s hotel and property players look north | The Thaiger

by Bill Barnett of c9hotelworks.com

One of Greater Phuket’s real estate and hotel market’s that has a decided buzz of late is the area up over the Sarasin bridge in Phang Nga.

In Natai, the entry of the Baba Beach Club and nearby Akyra is creating renewed visibility for the broad West Coast stretch of white sand beach.

Two upscale hotels are in the development phase in the vicinity, with one being flagged to an international hotel operator.

Up at the 1,000 plus rai Thai Muang mega-project, movement is once again underway, as is a nearby massive Japanese-led mixed-use project including a golf course.

Land values are currently running amuck in the Koh Kloi area where the AOT (Airports of Thailand) has reportedly acquired land for an upcoming Phang Nga airport which will provide Phuket with a second gateway alternative.

Premium land transactions are taking place, with the most notable being the recent trade of the former oceanfront site in Bodan that was to be at various stages first a Raffles and later a Ritz-Carlton Reserve.

Looking at Phuket’s light-rail initiative, one knock-on effect will be the eventual linkage between the island and larger connection to a broader rail terminus in Koh Kloi. This will likely spur real estate speculators to acquire peripheral locations.

As Phang Nga’s West Coast four land highway expansion moves forward to Khao Lak and beyond, Phuket’s Northern neighbor is seeing a renewed push in its tourism, property and infrastructure.

Continue Reading
Phang Nga Weather
December 17, 2018, 10:26 am
27.5
°C
Temperature
74
%
Humidity
13
km/h
Wind from East
0.0
mm
Rainfall
75
%
Cloud Cover
30
Heat Index

The Thaiger Newsletter

Keep up with all the day’s news. Subscribe here.

The latest news and information from Thailand.

* indicates required



Trending