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Profile: Mayor Somjai toils for her hometown

Legacy Phuket Gazette



Profile: Mayor Somjai toils for her hometown | The Thaiger

PHUKET: Phuket City Mayor Somjai Suwansupana, 64, is a true Phuket native, born and raised in the heart of Phuket Town.

Ms Somjai recalls her childhood fondly, but frankly admits that she wasn’t an outstanding student in her school years.

However, she still chose to further her education after completing her basic education. She went on to obtain a bachelor’s degree in Marketing from Bangkok University and then a Masters in Social Development from Prince of Songkla University.

Her life turned around when she was introduced to the world of local politics by former Phuket City Municipality Council President Wiroj Bumroongwong – a man she says is the true inspiration for her craft.

She has worked for the municipality since 1980 and was elected to be the mayor in 2004.
“I became a member of the Phuket City Municipality Council in 1980, and didn’t know much about the field at first,” said Ms Somjai.

Her first job as a councilwoman was in the Welfare and Education Department, which helped her take time to grow as a councilor.

Ms Somjai said she managed to pace herself, without taking on too much to work at her own pace, and without taking on too many responsibilities all at the same time.

“I make sure I always keep in touch with my staff, meet with officials, keep myself involved with the community and remain up-to-date, so people can see that I have proven myself by taking the necessary actions and not just by making empty promises,” said Ms Somjai.

One of the aspects of her job that she stresses as being the most important is planning ahead of time.
“I believe in long-term planning – at least 20 years into the future – not just a few years at a time,” she said.

Ms Somjai says that traditions are very important to her and makes sure she represents them by wearing the local Phuket dress called a ‘Baba’.

“My dress represents who I am; when I wear my traditional dress, people recognize me and that makes me proud. Phuket has a unique generations-old culture and I hope to see it last forever,” Ms Somjai said.

Although the problems facing the city add more than a few complications to her job, Ms Somjai said she tries not to be overwhelmed by them, instead striving to meet every challenge head-on.

“Thinking positive and looking ahead are both key elements of my job. It’s extremely important to keep developing yourself, your work and your thought process,” Ms Somjai said.

“I will never stop learning and will continue to do whatever needs to be done to improve my beautiful hometown.”

— Chutharat Plerin

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Leo returns to ‘The Beach’

The Thaiger



Leo returns to ‘The Beach’ | The Thaiger

… well, a beach in Phuket anyway.


It’s 19 years since Leo DiCaprio starred in ‘The Beach’. The film made both Leornado and Maya Bay famous. Maya Bay on Koh Phi Phi is now closed but Leo has made a return to Phuket island where he shot many of the scenes for the film (including at the On On Hotel in Phuket Town).

Leo returns to 'The Beach' | News by The Thaiger

Now the Mirror Online reports that Leornardo has returned to Thailand with his 21 year old model girlfriend Camila Morrone for a break at the luxury resort Amanpuri in Phuket.

Leo returns to 'The Beach' | News by The Thaiger

Leonardo DiCaprio in the 2000 film shot in Thailand ‘The Beach’

The Mirror suggests that the 44 year old is a little out of shape compared to his bronzed boy bod in ‘The Beach’.

“But despite a heavy workout regime of volleyball and kissing, it looks like even Leo can’t hold back the sands of time.”

Leo and his current gf Camila (whose stepfather is Al Pacino) first sparked romance rumours in December 2017, according to the Mirror report, when they were seen shopping together in Los Angeles, where the Morrones lives.


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Hua Hin

Hua Hin expat postpones attempt to cross the Gulf. On a paddle board!

The Thaiger



Hua Hin expat postpones attempt to cross the Gulf. On a paddle board! | The Thaiger

A Russian living in Hua Hin is attempting to cross the Gulf of Thailand. And he’s not going on the daily ferry. His mode of transport is just a paddle board.

Vladimir Kruchinin was scheduled to depart on Monday from the shores of Pattaya, according to his Facebook page.

“Exciting times at 4am for the start of our Pattaya to Hua Hin crossing… but it was not to be with technical difficulties with the support boat… back for another attempt soon!”

37 year old Vladimir will navigate the 110 kilometres across the Gulf of Thailand from Pattaya to Hua Hin using just his stand up paddle board. Bad weather on Monday forced him to postpone his initial departure date. He says he first started paddle boarding in 2016 and became hooked after renting a board from a resort at Sam Roi Yot beach.

“At that moment, I fell in love with stand up paddle boarding and within a week I had my own first board”, Vladimir told Thaivisa.

He told Thaivisa how he has lived in Hua Hin with his wife and son since 2012.

“Since that time, the sport plays a major role in my life. Thanks to SUP, I have improved my physique, have discovered many interesting places and have found new friends”.

“Usually in the daytime, I travel around 20 to 40 kms. When you are surrounded by such beautiful scenery in Thailand, a long way doesn’t seem so far. The first time I paddled over 70 km in one day, I realised that much greater lengths were possible.

“I had a dream of crossing the Gulf of Thailand from Pattaya to Hua Hin. At first, I was scared at the thought, but now I am determined to do it. The path will take me across about 110 km. I’m yet to achieve such distances in a day but I believe I am capable”.

You can follow Vladimir’s progress HERE.

SOURCE: ThaiVisa

Hua Hin expat postpones attempt to cross the Gulf. On a paddle board! | News by The Thaiger

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VIDEO: British pianist performs at Thai Elephant Sanctuary

The Thaiger



VIDEO: British pianist performs at Thai Elephant Sanctuary | The Thaiger

PHOTO: Tree Hugger

Paul Barton is a British classical pianist who seems to have made some new friends. At the Elephants World Retirement Sanctuary in Kanchanaburi province in Thailand, Barton has gotten himself a rather ‘big’ fanclub.

A frequent visitor to the sanctuary, the musician enjoys taking his piano out in front of a herd of elephants and serenades these mighty pachyderms. In the video below watch as Mr. Barton’s music sweeps you away and the surreal image of his audience, trying to quietly eat at the same time, appreciating the finger work.

Having studied at London’s Royal Academy of Arts, Barton hopes that these gentle creatures can find some solace in his renditions.

There has been much criticism on social media regarding the treatment of elephants in the tourist trade, with Thailand often being a topic of conversation. Many elephants who come to the sanctuary come from overworked backgrounds which sometimes leaves them disabled.

In this second video (below) watch as Barton plays for a very special elephant, Ampan, who is 80 years old and considered 10 years over the average elephant lifespan. Blind in one eye and barely being able to see with the other, its mesmerising to see a creature of such size have a appreciation for french classical composers.

SOURCE: EuroNews

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