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Phuket Dining: “Up’ market beach dining

Legacy Phuket Gazette

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Phuket Dining: “Up’ market beach dining | The Thaiger

PHUKET: What’s Up? Well, for one thing it’s a delightful new beach club at the southern end of Nai Thon beach.

There have been a number of beach clubs popping up around Phuket, some successful, others less so but this recently opened Up Beach Club seems to have the mix just right. For one thing they have kept the concept simple therefore not detracting from the natural beauty of the surroundings. The horseshoe-shaped beach is fringed with boulders at both ends and a steep backdrop of lush vegetation helps create the perfect secluded tropical getaway.

A long stairway leads down to the white powdery sand and 24 beach loungers are well spaced out as are several small white ‘cabana’ tents. The southern end of the beach is left untouched and is open to the public as is the club itself. Facing west it is a perfect location to watch the sun set into the sea.

As with most beach clubs there’s some background thump-music but this is kept at a reasonable decibel level and the three-phase mains electricity, means no background hum of a generator.

Managed by nearby Malaiwana, this oasis is overseen by Phuket F&B veteran Nitichai ‘Yuth’ Nenraksa who is obviously enjoying his new ‘office’.

“I love it here especially at this time of day. Every day from 4pm to sunset we offer very special prices on drinks and the music attracts people from the main beach over to us. Being under Malaiwana, the quality of what we offer is only the best” he says.

Given the vagaries of monsoon weather the Up Beach Club at Malaiwana is only open from November to May after which Mother Nature takes over and the beach returns to the sea.

On this balmy evening however the white sand scrunched underfoot as I took my place at one of the solid wooden tables covered with white linen. On the horizon a luxury yacht was moored and the well-heeled owners were frolicking along the beach. Paradise.

At lunch time they usually serve light snacks such as salads, sandwiches and pasta, with most guests attired in swim wear. But in the evening a healthy selection of fusion food is on offer and patrons, including residents and guests from nearby resorts, dress up a bit more.

Cooked on the spot using only the freshest ingredients the ‘surf and turf’ menu includes many Japanese-influenced dishes including Kobe beef and Yuth’s signature Tuna tataki (390 baht).

As it is still quite early – I am here for the sunset – I decide to go lightly and order a grilled sea bass (480 baht) and of course the Tuna tataki, made from fresh yellowfin tuna which is marinated in ginger, wasabi, onion, tomato and lime juice. Both are perfect and the sea bass comes with a Thai seafood sauce and garlic butter with fresh vegetables on the side. A chilled, Chilean Sauvignon blanc washes this down nicely. Wine by the bottle starts from 1,200 baht and beer at 120 (cheaper before sunset).

Then it happens, the most glorious sunset I have seen in ages, after which tastefully arranged LED lights set the atmosphere and a spotlight facing the sea is turned on. I did not wait around to see what the evening crowd get ‘up’ to but I imagine there’s a lot of getting down to the music. It is also a popular location for staff parties, weddings and other events.

No wonder then that Up Beach Club is so popular on the weekend. When the 24 sun loungers are all taken, beanbags are offered, as are beach toys and paddle boards. There is no lifeguard present but the 12 attentive staff keep an eye on things.There is even a toilet and rain shower available on site.

Things are definitely looking ‘up’ for Nai Thon beach goers.

Seats for dinner are limited to 12 for so reservations are important. Call O80-144-6635 or 076-510225 or Email: info@upbeachclub.com or visit: www.upbeachclub.com.

— Marc Mulloy

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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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People

‘Always Smile Journey’ raises fund to provide free English classes for underprivileged people

Nattha Thepbamrung

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‘Always Smile Journey’ raises fund to provide free English classes for underprivileged people | The Thaiger

On October 18, the ‘Always Smile Journey’ group and its partners will host an exhibition with plenty of fun activities at the Yak Yai Market, near Chalong Circle, in Phuket. This event was designed to raise funds to provide free English classes for underprivileged people on the island of Phuket on Saturdays and Sundays. The group does not accept donations but aims to raise money through the sales of the products available at the event.

‘Always Smile Journey’ raises fund to provide free English classes for underprivileged people | News by The Thaiger

From 2 pm to 8 pm, there will be a number of artists, musicians and performers who will keep the attendees entertained along the way. There will be a short film about His Majesty King Rama 9 as well as fun activities and games for kids and families, which are all free of charge.

The big bike crew is also a part of this event. They will ride a parade from Rawai Beach heading to the market and showcase their gorgeous two-wheel buddies.

One of the highlights of the Always Smile Journey exhibition is the ‘Happening’ artists group, who will draw and paint a picture of the His Majesty King Rama 9 under the name ‘Street Art King Bhumibol’ on a 4×10 meter sign live at the event so the guests will experience this large-scale art in action. The Happening will also offer portrait sketching for the participants.

‘Always Smile Journey’ raises fund to provide free English classes for underprivileged people | News by The Thaiger

One of the works created by the Happening team; a painting of HM the King Rama 9 on a huge wall (Photo credit: Chawat Chumpasan)

There will also be some western menus available at the event which will be donated to underprivileged children.

This free English class project has over seven years of experience through its cooperation working with individuals and other charity organizations. Throughout the years, the group visited several areas such as Ban Laem Hoy School, Ban Bopud School and Ban Angthong School in Samui, Surat Thani province, Ban Bueng Ao Oun School and Ban Kakoh Rayong, in Surin province, Jalae Village of Lahu (Muser) in Chiang Rai province, as well as community education centers in Siem Reap, Cambodia and in Luang Prabang, in Laos.

This event is a cooperation between several groups, including Happening, Yak Yai Market and Arrow Media, Tattoo artist group, Thonburi Art School Alumni, International School of Tourism, Suratthani Rajabhat University, big bike group from Phuket, artists/performers/musicians from many provinces as well as several businesses across Phuket.

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Thailand

21% of Thai teenagers are gambling

Greeley Pulitzer

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21% of Thai teenagers are gambling | The Thaiger

PHOTO: Gambling, local style, Rai Et, north-east Thailand – Pinterest

Early in October the Thai Health Promotion Foundation met to discuss the gambling situation in Thailand in 2019. Also present were the Centre for Gambling Studies, Stop Gambling Foundation and related groups.

The meeting was set up after a report revealed that more than half (57%) of the Thai population, or 30.42 million people, gamble. The director-general of the Centre for Gambling Studies at Chulalongkorn University shared the report, which was based on data from a survey of 44,050 people across 77 provinces.

The figure is an increase of 1.49 million people from 2017. While most Thai gamblers are of working age, 2.4% of the total were aged between 15-18 years. This means that 21% of that age group are gambling.

According to California’s Council on Problem Gambling, youth, like everyone else, gamble for many reasons, including entertainment; socialisation; competition; loneliness, and boredom; to get rich quick; to impress others; be the centre of attention; make new friends, and because winning provides an instant, temporary boost of confidence.

“The California Council on Problem Gambling lists depression as one reason youth turn to gambling, noting that depression can just as easily be an effect as a cause. This is especially important to note in a country like Thailand.”

In an article in The ASEAN Post, it was noted that in December 2017, Thailand’s Department of Mental Health (DMH) reported that an estimated one million teenagers are believed to suffer from depression, many of whom go untreated, with two million more are at risk, making upward of three million among a population of eight million teens then.

The DMH said that stress and anxiety may affect a student’s ability to concentrate and perform well at school, and they may show several warning signs, such as lack of attention, loss of interest in daily activities, lethargy, sadness, and sleeping issues.

“It is clear from studies that depression and gambling go hand-in-hand: the unfortunate case in Thailand is that it is affecting children too.”

SOURCE: The ASEAN Post

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Bangkok

Professor: Military government too interested in tourism – not people’s welfare

Greeley Pulitzer

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Professor: Military government too interested in tourism – not people’s welfare | The Thaiger

A professor of Rangsit University has criticised the previous military government for focusing too much on tourism and not enough on the welfare of the Thai people. The professor was speaking at Chulalongkorn University at a seminar discussing street stalls and urban development.

She questioned the National Council for Peace and Order’s policy of clearing street vendors in all but a few areas such as Yaowarat and Khao San Road that mainly cater to tourists.

She claimed that the NCPO – in power since the coup of 2014 until this year’s election – was more interested in economic development through tourism than in the welfare of the public.

Having affordable street food options was not just about tourism, she said, it was vital for poor workers who have migrated from the countryside, adding that it was part of an informal rather than a formal economy.

“For years people had earned their living from selling goods and services, including food, on the streets.”

This in turn provided an affordable option to eat for workers who came to Bangkok on for large investment projects. The issue, she said, was not just about tourism but the wider economy that might benefit.

The professor noted that CNN had once called Bangkok the best place in the world for street food but this had changed with the sanitized food trucks that have appeared since stalls and vendors were banned from most areas.

The Thaiger notes that banning street vendors has divided the capital. Many are happy that the sidewalks are easier to navigate, but others – including tourists – have said that the lifeblood and character of the city has suffered.

SOURCE: Naew Na | ThaiVisa Forum

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