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Hold on to your skirt!

Legacy Phuket Gazette

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PHUKET: Beware, fellow ladies of Phuket: skirts are not advised at the island’s newest tourist attraction, as you might feel compelled to strike some compromising poses once you walk into Baan Teelanka – otherwise known as the Upside Down House. So, be sure to plan ahead and throw on a pair of pants.

Baan Teelanka is a place of dizzying delight, a quirky yet fully functional house with just one catch – the floor you walk on is actually the ceiling, and everything that belongs on the floor in a normal house, is hanging above you.

Have you ever been wondering what Phuket has to offer that no other place in Thailand does? Maybe, you have been looking for something new to do on a rainy day? Well, look no further than Baan Teelanka and its backyard labyrinth – A-Maze-in-Phuket.

As you walk into the house – camera at the ready – you may just hear Alex Riva, one of the masterminds behind the house, saying, “Welcome to the Upside Down House, where even the fish swim upside down. After six months of training, they finally got it!”

Multiple attractions

“We are not an attraction – we are attractions. Two is better than one,” Mr Riva told the Gazette, proudly boasting that Baan Teelanka and A-Maze-in-Phuket are two separate sights, and both the first of their kinds in Thailand.

“We are the first and only upside down house in Thailand. It is very simple; there is no magic in the house. Other places like this use magic or special effects, but that is not what we wanted to do. All we wanted to do was build a house – an upside down one,” said Mr Riva.

“The maze is a nice activity that the kids love” he added, and although the hedges that line the maze are still growing, it has already seen kids and adults racing through its pathways trying to beat each other to the exit.

Mr Riva makes up just one half of the dynamic, driving force behind Baan Teelanka, with the other half being his wife, Tiwa Yodying.

“Teelanka means upside down – when kids do a flip we call it [in Thai] tee lanka. Nah lak dee – it is cute,” said Ms Tiwa.

Baan Teelanka is fun for all ages, said Ms Tiwa, from tiny tots to grannies with canes.

“We have had people of all ages visit the house, even the elderly “omma” Chinese women. One woman told me, ‘Thank you for building this here, so I don’t have to go far away to see something like this.’ She came with her grandchildren and had a lot of fun,” Ms Tiwa said.

All about the pictures

Baan Teelanka was not originally designed with social media in mind, said Mr Riva, but the first wave of customers has proved that picture sharing is an integral part of most visitors’ experiences.

“We thought that people would come and appreciate the architecture – the high ceilings, the high roof, the Asian-style design – but it turned out that for most of our guests at the moment, it is all about the pictures,” said Mr Riva.

“People want to take pictures here, so they will ask me: ‘What pose do I have to do?’ My answer would be: ‘It is a house, you do whatever you want!’

“They come with that in mind, so at every corner they are looking for a different pose, which is wonderful, because then they share the pictures through social media.”

“Some just go up there and lay on the roof and act like spiders – it’s great!”

The Facebook reaction to Baan Teelanka has been quick and very positive, said Mr Riva and Ms Tiwa. The homeowners also happily pointed out the creative picture-taking opportunities of the house’s open spaces and nicely decorated rooms.

“I do hope that people appreciate the fact that this isn’t just a two-dimensional painting on a wall, it is a house – you have to appreciate the spaces.”

Not a restaurant

Baan Teelanka is new and colorful, and is starting to attract the attention of tour buses and cars as they drive down the Bypass road, and Mr Riva and Ms Tiwa told the Gazette that they can see tourists pointing at the house as they go by.

The biggest issue the upside down homeowners face right now is informing the public and tour guides about what the house actually is, Mr Riva added.

“Tourists are asking their guides what the house is, and we think their guides are telling them: ‘Well, I think it is a restaurant,'” said Mr Riva.

“We have even had people come by in the evening, asking us, ‘Are you open for dinner?'”

Some tour guides have been visiting the house to inspect it for customers, said Ms Tiwa, but most travel agencies have been slow to react.

“Tour guides and agencies are still offering the same packages as always, and we are trying to get Baan Teelanka into some of those packages,” she said.

“It is going to take some time. We did a lot of groundwork on Facebook so that when we opened, we could hit the ground running,” added Mr Riva.

A family affair

After eighteen months of preparation, ten months of construction, countless hours of brainstorming and personal touches from the hands and home of the Riva family, Baan Teelanka opened its doors to Phuket on April 23.

The logo is the product of some serious brainstorming by the two younger Riva daughters, while a few pieces of artwork featured throughout the house were created by the oldest. Some objects in the house came from the family home, like the golf clubs found on the top level of the house (which is actually the garage).

The hotelier husband and wife spent more than 20 years working in hotels and constantly moving their family around, said Ms Tiwa. So, after much deliberation, they decided to settle with their children in Phuket.

“We wanted this to be a Phuket family business,” said Ms Tiwa. “We saw that Phuket had nothing like this, so we wanted to bring it here.”

— Mauri Grant

 

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

Thailand

Increase in suicide feared in Thailand as Covid-19 grows

Neill Fronde

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FILE PHOTO: The affects of Covid-19 may drive more people in Thailand to suicide.

Suicides increasing may be the most unfortunate side effect of living through a pandemic. In Thailand, those living in red and dark red zones, and people afflicted with Covid-19, or with close relatives or friends affected, are the most vulnerable to suicide according to the Thai Department of Mental Health.

The increased restrictions tend to lead to depression and high stress for residence, echoing a common fear that the effect of the Covid-19 pandemic increase suicide rates and create a mental health crisis. The very intention to reduce the spread of Covid – socially distancing people from one another – produces an unintentional state-legislated consequence of the lockdowns and restrictions.

Normally, nearly 800,000 suicides are recorded around the world each year, and experts believe that attempted suicide numbers are severely underreported. A recent study predicted about 9,570 additional suicides around the world due to unemployment. Financial insecurity, unemployment, loneliness, isolation, loss of social support, and fear of infection and death all contribute to the stress of life during the pandemic.

According to The Telegraph, the suicide crisis helpline in Thailand reported their call volume doubled last year with the onset of Covid-19, with 80% of the calls being finance-related. The Samaritans have 80 volunteers working from home and recently opened a Facebook Messenger account, citing younger people’s preference of messaging over phone calls.

The Thai government attempted to calm lockdown-induced financial panic by implementing 5,000 baht payments for 3 months but the rollout was slow and troubled. Last year one woman even drink rat poison outside of the Ministry of Finance to protest flow payments of financial aid. Worse, in a country full of under-the-table jobs like migrants, farmers, and sex workers, the funds were unavailable to many.

Many workers instead took loans that the unpredicted length of the pandemic has made impossible to repay. Household debt reached an all-time high last year with the population’s total debt reaching a record 89% of Thailand’s GDP. People are getting increasingly desperate and hopeless with government assistance programs failing to compensate for the struggles that much of Thailand is facing now.

International studies into the issue showed that in many countries, in the early phases of the pandemic and lockdowns, suicide rates actually decreased or remained even as people were hyper-focused on the immediate challenges of daily life. But with Covid-19 dragging on in Thailand, suicide rates tend to creep up, as feelings of long-term hopelessness and economic despair set in.

With Thailand’s tourism-weighted economy and the disproportionate strength of Covid-19’s third-wave, the economic effect has been severe. According to The Telegraph, 1.45 million jobs in the tourism sector were lost last year and another 1 million losses are predicted this year. The sudden near-complete drop in tourism income is similar to the 1997 Asian financial crisis, a time which saw suicide rates in Thailand jump 20 to 30%, according to some government figures.

Thailand had escaped the worst of the Covid-19 pandemic last year, almost unscathed economically (barring its loss of tourism income), but the third wave beginning in early April dashed all hopes of a mental and economic recovery anytime soon.

Covid-19 is now spreading much faster and wider than ever before in Thailand, and only 1% of the people have been vaccinated. 80% of death by Covid-19 in Thailand took place just in the last 30 days, pushing feelings of despair in the struggling nation.

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).

SOURCE: The Telegraph

 

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Thai Life

Top 5 classes to take in Thailand

Cita Catellya

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Looking for great classes to take in Thailand for 2021? Then you’ve come to the right place!

Thailand is one of the most popular tourist and expat destinations in the world, and it’s easy to see why. It is known for its beautiful beaches, gleaming temples, delectable cuisine, and natural beauty. It boasts stunning beaches, gleaming temples, delicious food, and natural beauty. The country, undoubtedly, is the go-to place for everyone who wants to enjoy a tropical holiday or have a relaxing lifestyle. Travelling or living in Thailand is also an excellent opportunity to learn new skills and get a closer look at the country’s culture. In fact, the country is teeming with classes you can take to get a taste of the real Thailand or to simply acquire a new skill.

Besides learning more about Thailand, many people also take classes for the sole purpose of obtaining a Non-Immigrant O Visa (ED) or Education Visa. This type of visa allows them to stay in the country long term, but they need to study or participate in the training of some kind. However, with so many courses and schools to choose from, it can be difficult to pick the best one. That’s why we’ve compiled a list of the top 5 best classes you can take in Thailand.

5 Best Classes to Take In Thailand

Whether you want to be productive during your stay in Thailand or you simply want to take classes to obtain an ED visa, let’s take a look at our pick of the top five classes to take in Thailand.

1. Duke Language School – Learn the Thai Language

The first class on our list is Thai language class because there’s no better way to understand Thai people and their culture than learning the language. If you’re determined to improve your Thai language skills, make sure you learn from the best. Based on our research, Duke Language School is one of the top Thai language schools. Even during this Covid-19 pandemic, their classes often sold out!

Located in Bangkok, Duke makes learning Thai fun, interesting, and engaging. The teachers are highly trained and will teach you in an enjoyable and interactive way, so you’ll never get bored in class. Their learning process is broken down into 9 modules, which depend on your level of Thai. Each module lasts 4 weeks.

Instead of adopting the typical 90 minutes, once-a-week format, this language school has a different timetable. With Duke Language School, you’ll learn Thai 5 days a week, from Monday to Friday, for 3 hours per day in the morning or afternoon. Alternatively, you can also choose to have night and weekend classes, with slightly different timetables, but still as extensive. If you need a more flexible schedule, you can also enroll in their private lessons.

Duke Language School offers Education Visa packages. By enrolling in their 8-month or 14-month program, you will obtain Education Visa.

Pricing:
INTENSIVE GROUP LESSONS – ฿8,000 per course (60 hours of class).
PRIVATE LESSONS – ฿600 per hour (2 hours per session), with no minimum booking.

Address: 10/63, Trendy Building, 3rd floor, Sukhumvit Soi 13, Wattana, Bangkok 10110. 5 minutes walk from Nana BTS station.

Contact Info: info@dukelanguage.com / +66 2-168-7274 / +66 8-2444-1595

Website: dukelanguage.com

Thai Class in Duke Language School

Group lessons in Duke Language School.

2. Tiger Muay Thai and MMA – Learn Martial Arts

Muay Thai, also known as Thai Boxing, is Thailand’s national sport and cultural martial art. It is the most famous form of boxing in the Land of Smiles.

There are numerous gyms and schools around Thailand offering Muay Thai. However, one of the most famous is Tiger Muay Thai & Mixed Martial Arts. In this Muay Thai school, you can learn how to transform your body into a lethal weapon as a way to protect yourself and to box in the ring. You will be taught numerous techniques to utilize your arms, legs, shins, elbows, and knees as a way to box. Most certainly, you will train and fight with some of the most experienced Muay Thai Trainers.

The Muay Thai training in Tiger Muay Thai & Mixed Martial Arts is divided into 3 levels: Beginners, Intermediate, and Advanced. In addition to Muay Thai Training, you can also combine the classes with Mixed Martial Arts (MMA) Training to further hone your skills. If you prefer to have private lessons, then you can consider their 1-on-1 Muay Thai Privates.

If you’re looking for Muay Thai and ED visa packages, Tiger Muay Thai & Mixed Martial Arts offers courses for 6 months and 12 months. Each option includes the ED visa and immigration extension fees.

Pricing:
MUAY THAI TRAINING – ฿3,900 (1 week), ฿12,500 (1 Month), ฿32,500 (3 months).
1-ON-1 MUAY THAI PRIVATES – ฿700 (1 session), ฿6,500 (10 sessions).

Address: 7/35 Moo 5, Soi Ta-iad, Ao Chalong, Muang, Phuket 83130.

Contact Info: info@tigermuaythai.com / +66 (0)76 367 071

Website: www.tigermuaythai.com

Muay Thai Class in Tiger Muay Thai and Mixed Martial Arts

Muay Thai Class in Tiger Muay Thai and Mixed Martial Arts.

3. Hua Hin Thai Cooking Academy – Learn How to Cook Thai Dishes

Thai cooking classes have become a staple for those visiting Thailand. Various culinary schools can be found all around the country, and Hua Hin Thai Cooking Academy is among the best. They tailor their menus and styles to cater to all dietary needs. Therefore, vegans, vegetarians, and picky eaters can all take part and have fun here.

The professional, English-speaking Thai chef in Hua Hin Thai Cooking Academy will teach you authentic Thai cooking in enjoyable and easy-to-follow ways. First, the chef will demonstrate how to make each dish. Then, you will have the opportunity to duplicate the dish with their help. Each class usually includes 5 – 10 dishes. The best thing is, you have the freedom to pick the dishes you want to learn. After each class, you can enjoy what you cook and get a taste of authentic Thai food.

Hua Hin Thai Cooking Academy offers half-day and full-day classes. They also provide a 90-day student visa cooking program. This program allows you to complete the 4 weeks, 6 weeks, and 7 weeks Advanced Cooking Course.

Pricing:
REGULAR COOKING CLASS – ฿1,300 (half-day class) and ฿2,200 (full-day class).
1-ON-1 PRIVATE CLASS – ฿2,650 per 4 hour class for 1st student, ฿1,550 for each additional student.

Address: 210/4 Phetkasem Road, Soi 82, Hua Hin 77110.

Contact Info: Ron@HuaHinThaiCookingAcademy.com / +66 86 004 0839 (domestic calls) / +66 860-040-839 (international calls)

Website: huahinthaicookingacademy.com

Cooking class in Hua Hin Thai Cooking Academy. The best cooking class in Thailand.

Cooking class in Hua Hin Thai Cooking Academy.

4. rumPUREE Dance Studio – Learn Thai Dance

Want to dance like a Thai? Learn how at rumPUREE Dance Studio. Established in 2006, rumPUREE means “City of Dances,” which comes from “Rum” (Thai word for “dances”) and “Puree” (Sanskrit word for “city”). At this dance studio, you can learn all about Thai dance while improving your posture and balance. You may even be able to reduce stress by learning the dances.

There are several levels of dances in rumPUREE Dance Studio, starting from introduction to advanced level. There is also an “All Level” class, which is open to everyone with or without previous dance experience. With the all-level class, the dance instructor will adjust the lesson to fit the participants.

In addition to Thai dances, rumPUREE Dance Studio also offer classes for numerous world dances. You can choose to take part in pole dancing, belly dancing, Tango, Hip Hop, and even Bollywood dances.

Pricing:
FIRST TIMER – ฿400 per 1 hour and ฿600 per 1.5 hours.
PAY PER VISIT – ฿650 per 1 hour and ฿900 per 1.5 hours.
1 WEEK – ฿1,500 for 1 hour.
1.5 MONTHS – ฿3,000 for 6 hours.
3 MONTHS – starting from ฿5,000 for 10 hours.

Address:
ASOK – 2nd Fl, Jasmine City Bldg., Sukhumvit 23 Alley, Khlong Toei, Watthana, Bangkok 10110. BTS Asok (Exit 6), MRT Sukhumvit.
SAMYAN – Samyan Mitrtown 3rd floor, 944 Rama IV Rd, Wang Mai, Pathumwan,
Bangkok 10330.

Contact Info: +66 92-204-9677 (ASOK) / +66 92-204-9655 (SAMYAN)

Website: www.rumpuree.com

Thai Dancers at rumPUREE Dance Studio. The best Thai dance class in Thailand.

rumPUREE Thai Dance Class.

5. The Thai Massage School of Chiang Mai (TMC) – Learn Thai Massage

Although sometimes painful, Traditional Thai Massage can induce comfort and does wonders for your nervous system. Therefore, taking Thai Massage classes is an excellent opportunity while you’re staying in Thailand.

The Thai Massage School of Chiang Mai, also known as TMC, is a very well-known Thai massage school in Thailand. Founded in 2001, this Thai massage school offers a wide range of Thai Traditional Massage classes. They also have a teacher training program.

The courses at TMC Thailand ranges from short courses (30 hours) up to comprehensive courses (150 hours). If you prefer to take part in shorter classes, you can choose to learn chair massage, foot reflexology, table massage, and more. Each course in this Thai massage school is taught by high-quality teachers.

Pricing:
SHORT COURSES (LEVEL 1-2-3) – ฿8,500 (30 hours – 5 days).
COMPREHENSIVE COURSES (COMBINATION OF LEVEL 1-2-3 COURSES) – ฿25,500 (9 hours – 15 days).
THAI FOOT REFLEXOLOGY – ฿6,900 (12 hours – 2 days).
THAI TABLE MASSAGE – ฿7,500 (12 hours – 2 days).
BASIC THAI MASSAGE – ฿7,500 (18 hours – 3 days).

Address: 203/6 MAE JO ROAD (Across Ruam Choke Market), Moo 6, T.Faham, Chiang Mai 50000.

Contact Info: +66 53-854330 – +66 53-854331 (domestic calls) / +66 53-854330 – +66 53-854331 (international calls) / info@tmcschool.com.

Website: www.tmcschool.com

Thai Massage Clasess at TMC

Massage classes at TMC.

We hope that this list of top classes you can take in Thailand motivates you to challenge yourself to learn new skills!

 

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Thaiger app sending you too many notifications? Quick fix here

Thaiger

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We all hate it when our phone buzzes and the endorphins start firing, only for the excitement to be crushed as you realise it’s just a notification for an article about Tuk Tuk drivers having a fight somewhere off the Sukhumvit Road! Too many notifications can be really frustrating, which is why The Thaiger App lets you specify exactly what notifications you want to receive and what ones you don’t. All you need to do is find the Settings button in the bottom-right of the screen, click that, and set up your notifications – all done in less than 5 seconds.

Only want notifications for the latest Covid-19 updates? Toggle all others off and leave Coronavirus (Covid-19) on.

Thaiger app sending you too many notifications? Quick fix here | News by Thaiger

 

Don’t want to receive any notifications from The Thaiger App? Easy, just toggle the Recieve Push Notifications option off, and you won’t get any.

 

A Work in Progress

The Thaiger App very much remains a work in progress as we fix issues and improve features, so please bear with us and do let us know if you ever encounter any problems. Some, we’re aware of and currently in the process of fixing, such as the Android issue where some headlines link to the wrong article – this is almost fixed.

We’ll always welcome your feedback, whether something’s broken and not working as expected, or it’s something you think we should include that we don’t currently have. Just remember though, our sole intention for the app is to deliver the news to your mobile phone in a cleaner, more convenient way. We’re not quite ready to implement any groundbreaking tech enhancements just yet!

To send your feedback, stay on the Settings page and scroll down a little, there you’ll see an option that says Send feedback on the app, click and it’ll open an email window (assuming you have email on your phone). Here you can tell us what you think.

Thaiger app sending you too many notifications? Quick fix here | News by Thaiger

 

We hope you found this article helpful and we really appreciate your support and your patience! If you haven’t downloaded our mobile app yet, you’ll find the links below for iOS and Android.

 

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