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February 14: Phuket’s an island alight

Legacy Phuket Gazette

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February 14: Phuket’s an island alight | The Thaiger

PHUKET: February 14 – it’s that time of year again: a time to laugh and love for many, but certainly a time to live for all. That’s a cue to power down your tablets and smartphones, and slap on your mojo suits. This year, it’s not just Valentine’s Day we have to look forward to tomorrow, but two more important, cultural holidays are also marked on the calendar for this coming Friday.

3-4-1

In addition to the international day of love, this Friday is also being observed as an important Buddhist holiday, Makha Bucha, commemorating the initial assembly of the Gautama Buddha’s first 1,250 disciples some 2,500 years ago. Moreover, on the traditional Chinese lunar calendar, February 14, 2014 will mark the Lantern Festival, which marks the official end of the Spring Festival, signaled by the first full moon of the Lunar New Year or Chinese New Year (which began on the New Moon of January 31).

For those who are still undecided on how best to spend this auspicious evening in Phuket, here’s a list of itinerary suggestions and ideas for everyone – couples and singles, rich and poor, alike.

Romance 101

The moon will be bright and full on the evening of the 14, so it could just be your lucky night for love. Wooing is the name of the game, so be sure to remember the two (controllable) golden elements: food and mood. While a meaningful, mutual culinary affair is going to cost you one way or another – if not money, then certainly time – setting the right mood can be a little bit easier if not cheaper to facilitate.

For starters, bring your date on a pre-sunset stroll through King’s Park (map here) or Saphan Hin Park in Phuket Town, for example, or along any one of the many beaches across the island, chatting about the birds and the bees, waves crashing on the shore as the velvet dusk slowly engulfs a fiery horizon – you get the point.

Another romanctic walk would be a promenade among the Chinese Lanterns strung throughout Phuket Town for Chinese New Year. The reflection of the moody red light cast from the paper lanterns glistening in each other’s eyes could add a romantic twinkle to your evening.

And if your date’s not up for the walk, two words (or one really) – viewpoint. Phuket has many of them, all along the west coast (near Kamala and Kata, for example), with some hidden gems along the virgin northeast coast, and definitely refreshing views from the two main hills in town, likewise.

Fingers interlocked, the sun has set, it’s time for food. If you can afford to spend a little more on wining and dining, all the more conducive for… love love love… Phuket is certainly a culinary haven with just about everything on the menu. (Check out our what’s on page on page 35 of the paper for some ideas)

Important: before you make reservations, find out if your date has any particular diet restrictions. Trust me, you don’t want to pull off their blinds as you arrive to your favorite seafood restaurant only to find out he/she is a vegan. The less “fails” you have on the night, the better shot you have at getting the sparks flying. Do your homework!

Scratch the indoor, shopping center restaurants and try to pick somewhere open-air, or with huge windows or a skylight offering visual access to the cosmos. Viewpoint restaurants (such as those on Khao Rang, Tor Sae and Big Buddha hills, for example) are ideal. Allow the stars and moon beams to work their wonders.

For those of you (like the author) who aren’t looking forward to any date on Friday night, treat yourself anyway. Most local eateries will be business as usual on Friday, and Valentine’s Day is hardly more than a fad in Thailand anyway, so you won’t really stand out eating by yourself on this day.

But if you’re shy still, plan on an early dinner to avoid the crowds. In addition to couples, many Chinese families will be out for a feast (some at home, some on outings) in observance of the initial moon after the spring festival. Everyone should start to come out around 7 or 8pm.

Makha Bucha

Candles won’t only be alight at dining tables this Friday evening, but at all the local Buddhist temples as well. Head to the nearest Wat for a candlelight procession that will take place on Friday night. There are three major Buddhist holidays in Thailand when the candle procession takes place: Makha Bucha Day, Visakha Bucha and Asalaha Bucha.

Each holiday falls on the night of a full moon and each commemorates an important event in Buddhist literature. Makha Bucha is to commemorate the first 1,250 enlightened disciples who came to learn the “Middle Path” and “Triple Gem” teachings of the Gautama Buddha in Northern India more than two and a half melenia ago.

The candle procession involves encircling the Ubosot or ordination hall three times with a candle and three joss sticks – the number three symbolizing Buddhism’s triple gem – the Buddha (enlightened one), the Dharma (teachings) and the Sangha (community of followers).

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

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Bangkok

Tax on salt content being considered

Greeley Pulitzer

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Tax on salt content being considered | The Thaiger

The Excise Department is considering imposing a tax on the salt content of food to encourage food producers to reduce the sodium content of snacks, instant noodles and seasoning cubes.

The director of the Office of Tax Planning said that the department is discussing a limit on the amount of sodium food can contain, in line with the standard set by the World Health Organization (WHO), which is 2,000 milligrams of salt per day.

In reality, Thai people consume an average of 1,000 milligrams per meal, making their daily intake well above WHO guidelines, according to the director.

He said any tax imposed would be at a level which would encourage food producers to reduce the sodium in their processed food without being punitive, adding that the proposal isn’t intended to generate more tax revenue, but to help protect the health of consumers. Excessive sodium in the diet can lead to high blood pressure and kidney disease.

Fish sauce, soy sauce and salt would not be taxed.

SOURCE: thaipbsworld.com

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News

Water shortage warnings in 22 provinces

Greeley Pulitzer

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Water shortage warnings in 22 provinces | The Thaiger

People living in 22 Thai provinces are being warned to prepare for shortages of drinking water during the upcoming dry season, due to start on November 1st.

The warning was issued by the National Water Resources Office, citing low levels in reservoirs, which are the main sources for tap water production waterworks in 22 provinces.

Areas at risk identified by the office are in northern, north-eastern, eastern and southern provinces.

Measures have been adopted by agencies charged with dealing with water shortages. including dredging water channels to allow greater volumes of water to flow into reservoirs, drilling underground wells, enlarging storage ponds and the purchase of water to supply to those in urgent need.

The Royal Irrigation Department has announced that people should use water sparingly.

There are currently about 6 billion cubic metres of usable water in reservoirs in the affected provinces, with 5 billion cubic metres reserved for consumption and ecological preservation, leaving only 1 billion cubic metres for use in agriculture.

This means farmers in the Chao Phraya river basin may not be able to grow a second crop of rice this year.

SOURCE: thaipbsworld.com

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Bangkok

Green Day heading back to BKK in 2020

The Thaiger & The Nation

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Green Day heading back to BKK in 2020 | The Thaiger

Green Day, five-time Grammy Award winners, are embarking on a global tour in 2020, including a stop-over in Bangkok during March. The rock ‘n’ roll Hall of Fame inductees will perform a series of concerts throughout Europe, UK, North America and Asia.

“Green Day Live in Bangkok” takes place on March 11, 2020 at Impact Arena, Muang Thong Thani. But it’s not their first time. Green Day sold out concerts in their last Thai live gigs in 1996 and 2010.

Formed in 1986 in Berkeley, California, Green Day is one of the world’s best-selling bands of all time, with more than 70 million records sold worldwide and 10 billion cumulative online streams of their music and performances. Their 1994 breakout album “Dookie” is widely credited with popularising and reviving mainstream interest in punk rock, catapulting a career-long run of No 1 hit singles.

In 2004, Green Day released the rock opera “American Idiot”, selling more than 7 million copies in the US alone and taking home the Grammy Award for Best Rock Album. In 2010, a stage adaptation of “American Idiot” debuted on Broadway to critical and commercial acclaim. Entertainment Weekly called Green Day, “The most influential band of their generation,” while Rolling Stone said, “Green Day have inspired more young bands to start than any act this side of KISS, and that doesn’t seem to be changing.”

Green Day Live in Bangkok 2020 is on March 11, 2020 at Impact Arena, Muang Thong Thani.

Ticket prices start at 2,000 baht and tickets go on sale on November 2 at all ThaiTicketMajor outlets via www.livenation.co.th or www.thaiticketmajor.com or call: 02 262 3838 for more information.

SOURCE: The Nation

Green Day heading back to BKK in 2020 | News by The Thaiger

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