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Phuket loves sun, sea, surf and… Singto

Legacy Phuket Gazette

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Phuket loves sun, sea, surf and… Singto | The Thaiger

PHUKET: Thailand’s indie music scene is ambiguous. That is to say, there doesn’t appear to be any defined ‘scene’ as such.

On the surface, the country’s live musical experience is a stable diet of tone-deaf karaoke yodelers screeching out Lady Gaga’s latest hit, or over-excited Thai jam bands churning out the same old predictable covers at deafening decibels.

But scratch a little deeper and the talent is undoubtedly here – even in Phuket – with accomplished musicians walking their own independent path. One such troubadour is “Singto” Numchok.

Singto’s voice and mellow guitar skills have shifted thousands of copies of his self-titled debut album, yet the man himself remains the same laid-back soul who began his musical apprenticeship as a busker on the mean streets of Patong several years ago.

A native of Buri Ram, Singto started playing guitar at the tender age of 12. He eventually moved to Bangkok, before the scent of the ocean and the beaches lured him to Phuket about three years ago.

“When I first arrived in Phuket I performed my music just for fun… on Soi Bangla among other places. A friend of mine owned a restaurant in Phuket Town and asked me to play there in the evenings. It sort of took off from there,” says Singto.

Phuket and Singto proved a perfect fit. Phuket was where he began to refine his music and give it direction. Island living is everywhere in his debut album – an unashamed, surf-fused pop record released last autumn to critical acclaim. Think Jack Johnston and you won’t be too far off.

The laid-back beach music of artists like Johnson and Jason Mraz has been well received in Thailand in recent years, but it took Singto to take up the baton for the local boys.

“Thailand already has a lot of reggae and ska but not too much surf music, so I decided to have a go at it,” he says.

“Surf music comes from simple pop music… it’s easy for people to get it and like it. Everyone loves the beach in Phuket. When you’ve got a broken heart or feel tired with things, you might think of the beach and it can make you happy,” he adds.

The opening track on the album, Wake Up, is performed in English; so too is the jazz-scat soaked Hoo Hoo.

Acoustic guitar is the main event on most tracks, but the ukulele is there as well, giving the music a Hawaiian bent.

Singto is self-taught on the ukulele – picking it up through clips on YouTube. And as it turns out, he is a natural on the instrument, scooping first prize at a national Thailand Ukulele Festival last year.

“I bought a ukulele in a small music shop in Phuket Town; it was the only one they had. I liked the sound of it and quickly got to learning it,” says Singto.

“I applied for the competition while I was still making the album. I wanted to win the grand prize of two really good ukuleles. I thought they might give the album something different. I sent a clip to the competition organizers and I was voted the winner.”

Playing live, Singto does mostly his own songs, but also throws a few covers into his repertoire. Stevie Wonder’s My Cherie Amour and Marvin Gaye’s What’s going on, both played in Singto’s unique, laid-back style, are two fan favorites.

Singto loves Phuket. “I have so many friends on the island that it feels very much like home to me now,” he says.

— Andrew Jennings

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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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Thailand

Noodle shop ‘taking the piss’ with special ingredient

Tanutam Thawan

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Noodle shop ‘taking the piss’ with special ingredient | The Thaiger

PHOTOS: sanook.com

Thai Facebook page ‘Return.v12’ has posted a storey about people who believe in the “power of urine” and that it can heal body pain and diseases. The noodle shop owner admitted that he has been using his own urine as a “secret ingredient” and that he has a lot of customers because of it.

He claims that his customers tell him that his noodles makes their muscle pain go away but admits he hasn’t told them about the additional surprise ingredient.

Ever since he added the secret ingredient to the noodles his sales have improved. He also attached a picture of his noodles.

Another member of the Facebook group asked the question…

“Hello, urine can be used in food right? I own a restaurant in the middle of a city, if I add my urine to the dishes would it make my food more delicious and would my customers gain better health? I’ll add more for those who come from this group.”

We don’t know where the noodle shop is.

“My family owns a noodle shop. Many people in the area come to my shop. Many of them are workers coming in for lunch. My customers often told me that they had back pain and muscle pain. I didn’t know how to help them, I wanted to tell them the truth but I didn’t want to seem weird about it.”

“So I took the issue into my own hands and started adding my own urine into the soup pot. Customers started loving my noodles, they tell me how their pain has gone away since they started eating my noodles. Some even asked if I had a secret ingredient haha.”

No photos were available of the cook adding the secret ingredient.

SOURCE: sanook.com | ThaiResidents.com

Noodle shop 'taking the piss' with special ingredient | News by The Thaiger

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Singapore

Singapore aims for paper-less border arrival by 2021

Tanutam Thawan

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Singapore aims for paper-less border arrival by 2021 | The Thaiger

Singapore is extending its SG Arrival Card trial that will allow visitors to submit an electronic arrival card in advance to speed up processing at border checkpoints

The Immigration & Checkpoints Authority has announced the beta trial of the SG Arrival Card project last week. The trial has been ongoing since last year and will phase out the paper arrivals card for a more efficient e-arrival process. The plan is to phase out the paper arrival system by 2021 by eventually extending the electronic arrival card system to all travellers.

The announcement says foreign visitors travelling with “selected transport operators” can now submit the electronic arrival card up to 14 days ahead of their arrival in Singapore. Singapore’s Today news service identified the selected transport operators that are participating in the beta trial version.

Airlines
AirAsia, Jetstar Asia, Cathay Pacific and Singapore Airlines

Bus
Transtar Travel

Ferries
BatamFast Ferries, Bintan Resort Ferries, Horizon Fast Ferry and Majestic Fast Ferry

This means that they will only need to produce their passports for immigration clearance upon arrival, as ICA’s immigration system will already have the electronic arrival cards, which they submitted in advance.

The SG Arrival Card e-Service and Mobile Application is available as an e-Service at the ICA’s website HERE.

It can also be downloaded as a free mobile application from Apple App Store and Google Play.

Users of the mobile application will have the option of scanning their passport biodata pages and enjoy the convenience of not needing to key in the information manually. The mobile application will also save previously submitted information for use on subsequent trips to Singapore.

SOURCE: ICA and Today

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Thailand

Smoking at home in Thailand has been banned from today

Tanutam Thawan

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Smoking at home in Thailand has been banned from today | The Thaiger

The ban on smoking at home in Thailand comes into effect today. From today people can be prosecuted for “domestic abuse” by lighting up a cigarette inside a home.

People can call Family and Protection centres on 1300 to report a smoker.

According to the new law, women and children are often the recipients of second hand smoke and the new legislation and fines is designed to assist in protecting them from the harmful effects of cigarette smoke.

Speaking to Manager Online, Dr Ronachai Khongsakon from a tobacco research group, says that women were particularly vulnerable with 81% suffering second hand smoke in their homes. He claims that 430,000 people die worldwide annually from second hand smoke, and that two out of three of the victims are women.

The ‘Report a Smoker’ hotline is 1300. Cases may then be referred to juvenile and other courts. The government says the move is the latest measure to stop people smoking in Thailand in public places, and now in their homes in the presence of other people.

Smoking has already been banned at airports, including the internal ‘smoking rooms’, now replaced with rooms outside terminals for smokers. Smoking on many Thai beaches was banned back in February 2018.

There is an estimated 10 million smokers in Thailand resulting in 72,000 deaths annually.

SOURCE: Manager Online

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