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Top 10 things to do in Phuket during the wet season

Tim Newton

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Top 10 things to do in Phuket during the wet season | The Thaiger

There’s a bit of rain around. No worries. It’s rainy season and the island looks a lot better when it’s all green and the dams are filling. Try something on our instant list of the ten things you can do when it’s wet and raining in Phuket.

So here is our completely random Top 10 things to do whilst it’s wet and raining in Phuket.

1. Siam Niramit

One of the best shows on the island. There’s pre-show ‘walk around’ displays where you can see Muay Thai matches, traditional Thai villages and elephant shows (you can choose not to attend these if you’re ethically sensitive about animal shows). Then it’s into the theatre for an astonishing show about Thai culture and history which will blow your mind. For everyone in the family.

I’ve been 20 or more times – always take tourist friends there for a lesson in Thailand 1.0. Almost impossible to explain what you’ll see but, believe me, it’s worth the price. There’s also a mega-international buffet available before the show. Take your appetite. Even when it’s wet or raining, the show is always on – they cleverly adapt the schedule to fit around the rain.

Top 10 things to do in Phuket during the wet season | News by The Thaiger

2. Simon Star Cabaret

There’s the famous Simon Cabaret in Patong – there is also the companion show in Samkong – better parking and a newer theatre but much the same show. “The prettiest girls in Asia” they say. Completely family friendly but be prepared for a few questions after the show if you take the kids. Also, if you want to get a picture with one of the performers after the show you’ll need to hand over 100 Baht or so for the pleasure. The shows are bright, spectacular, fun and a lot of fun. You’ll forget about the rain and wet outside. In the middle of the island adjacent to the Samkong intersection is the Aphrodite Show, in the same vein as the Simon Star shows.

Top 10 things to do in Phuket during the wet season | News by The Thaiger

3. Jungceylon and Central Shopping Centres

Head to one of the island’s big international shopping centres for some retail therapy if there’s a bit of rain outside.

There’s Central Festival and the adjoining Central Floresta in the middle of the island, Jungceylon and Central (over the road) in Patong.

Both have plenty of label brands and excellent food options. There are also excellent cinemas at both locations (Jungceylon and Central Festival) where tickets will probably cost you a fraction of what you pay in your home country (unless you come from Nigeria where it’s quite cheap I hear). Cost around 230 baht+ unless you go on cheap-Wednesday when the tickets are half-price.

Top 10 things to do in Phuket during the wet season | News by The Thaiger

4. Elephant Sanctuary

It has been much publicised that riding the incredibly intelligent elephants is cruel. Be part of the change and visit one of the best elephant sanctuarys in Thailand. Education is power, help spread the word that it is no longer acceptable to jump on the saddle. Yes it is an outdoor activity, but you are going to get wet anyway when you wash the elephants so get out there and play with the elephants.

The Elephant Jungle Sanctuary is a home for retired working elephants, set amongst three camps in remote sections of Phuket. It doesn’t matter if it’s wet and raining in Phuket – elephants love the wet!

There are a number of better, more elephant-friendly, alternatives around Phuket these days, all with the elephant’s welfare as paramount. Also the Elephant Retirement Park, Phuket HERE.

Top 10 things to do in Phuket during the wet season | News by The Thaiger

5. Have a Thai massage or Spa treatment

You deserve it. There’s plenty of alternatives and style of massage all over the island, well, all over Thailand. A traditional Thai massage – firm, medium or light – will be an experience you’ll always remember. Don’t ask for firm unless you’re prepared for some PAIN! Despite the publicity, most massages don’t include a happy ending. Unless you’re in Patong, you’re probably not going to get that ‘optional extra’.

There are also plenty of spas for all sorts of additional indulgences. Many of the bigger international hotels have excellent spas for ‘walk-in’ customers. Leave the rain and wet outside and enjoy.

Top 10 things to do in Phuket during the wet season | News by The Thaiger

6. Go for a walk on the beach

It’s still warm, the beaches are still amazing, the monsoonal air is fresh off the Andaman Sea and you can enjoy the drama of nature doing what it does. Also, be amazed at the people who have paid their hard-earned money to visit Phuket and, whether it’s raining or not, are determined to go to the beach. And they do, sometimes with tragic consequences. Always obey the flags on the beach.

Red means DON’T GO SWIMMING. Rain, sunshine, wet… the beaches are always amazing.

Top 10 things to do in Phuket during the wet season | News by The Thaiger

7. Bowling

There’s a bowling alley at Jungceylon in Patong. It’s really inexpensive and a great escape for a few hours. Strike or no strike you’ll always look like a star in those rental bowling shoes (who have been worn by thousands of people before you… hmmmm). BYO socks. Mums and dads, there’s usually alcohol served at the premises so you can cope with the sheer boredom of watching all those others having fun.

Top 10 things to do in Phuket during the wet season | News by The Thaiger

8. Aquaria

Aquaria Phuket is the biggest aquarium in Thailand located in the heart of the city, in the basement at Central Floresta (go down to the food court and take the escalator down just near the entrance of Central department store, next to Tribuhm). A magical underwater journey that takes you through the wonders of the ocean and the mysteries of the rivers. There is a LOT to see, leave yourself a few hours.

Be entertained and inspired by over 25,000 animals and interact with our knowledgeable and friendly staff to learn more about the wonders of the ocean. There’s also a new-tech ‘Trick-eye” attraction next to Aquaria’ where you can buy one ticket for the two attractions and save some money. Speak of trick-eye attractions…

9. Phuket Trick Eye Museum

We love this place. A few hours of optical illusions and laughs. Great for the kids and the big kids as well. Located in the middle of Phuket Town. Take your camera or your mobile phone. An interesting back-story to the franchise of Trick Eye museums about a South Korean artist… you’ll learn more about it when you go there. Perfect for a Phuket rainy day.

Top 10 things to do in Phuket during the wet season | News by The Thaiger

10. A Thai cooking class

Admit it, we all talk about taking Thai cooking class but few of us do. Hey, why bother with all that pesky preparation, cooking and doing the dishes when we can get magnificent street food for 50 baht, almost anywhere (except Patong where you’ll pay a bit more). Most of the larger hotels all have their own Thai cooking lessons. But for the best of the best head to the Blue Elephant Restaurant right on the border of Old Phuket Town for a memorable experience. The Sino-Portuguese building used to be the old Governor’s residence

Top 10 things to do in Phuket during the wet season | News by The Thaiger

So get out and enjoy Phuket, whether it’s sunny, wet or raining. Even if it is raining, remember the rain is warm!

 

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Tim Newton has lived in Thailand since 2012. An Australian, he has worked in the media, principally radio and TV, for nearly 40 years. He has won the Deutsche Welle Award for best radio talk program, presented 3,900 radio news bulletins in Thailand alone, hosted 360 daily TV news programs, produced 1,800 videos, TV commercials and documentaries and is now CEO and writer for The Thaiger - Website, Radio, TV, Facebook, Instagram and Twitter. He presented for CNN, Deutsche Welle TV, CBC, Australia's ABC TV and Australian radio during the 2018 Cave Rescue and provides stories for Feature Story News as the south east Asian correspondent.

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    haymanpl

    September 25, 2017 at 10:22 am

    Drink a few beers at Black Cat in Kamala.

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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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Entertainment

The K-pop Olympics: performers battle in the K-pop festival

The Thaiger

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The K-pop Olympics: performers battle in the K-pop festival | The Thaiger

On the streets, in parks and garages, seven Cuban youngsters spent seven months practising K-pop moves to secure a spot on their dream stage: an appearance in South Korea to imitate their idols. 13 final teams from 80 countries are competing in the 2019 event.

At the grandly titled and government-funded Changwon K-pop World Festival contestants from around the globe perform imitation dances or sing cover versions of the genre’s biggest hits, with thousands of fans cheering them on.

In terms of global heft, South Korea is overshadowed by its much larger neighbours China and Japan, but the event is a way for Seoul to derive soft power from one of the country’s biggest cultural exports. In terms of pop-power, South Korea’s K-Pop is now a recognised world-wide music phenomenon with bands like BTS and Blackpink figuring amongst the other big-hitters on the Billboard charts and outselling their western counterparts with millions of albums and downloads.

The K-pop Olympics: performers battle in the K-pop festival | News by The Thaiger

Finalists for this year

Cuba’s Communist government is one of North Korea’s few remaining allies: when President Miguel Diaz-Canel, successor to the Castro brothers Fidel and Raul, visited Pyongyang last November he was only the third foreign head of state to do so since leader Kim Jong Un inherited power in 2011.

But rather than geopolitics, Havana performer Karel Rodriguez Diaz – whose mannerisms and sleek hairstyle could easily be mistaken for those of a K-pop star – is more motivated by high-tempo beats and superslick dance moves.

“We never had a place with a mirror or a choreographer who could teach us the steps” but they kept on practising, he said.

His team-mate Elio Gonzalez added: “We are so excited to represent not just Cuba but also the whole of Latin America.”

Some 6,400 teams from more than 80 countries entered the competition, according to organisers, with 13 groups from places as diverse as Kuwait and Madagascar winning through to the final in Changwon, where they appeared on stage waving their national flags.

“This is like watching the Olympics, a K-pop Olympics,” said the event’s host Lia, a member of K-pop group ITZY.

The K-pop Olympics: performers battle in the K-pop festival | News by The Thaiger

The Korean Wave

K-pop – along with K-drama soap operas – has been one of South Korea’s most successful cultural exports to date. A key part of the “Korean Wave” which has swept Asia and beyond in the last 20 years, the K-pop industry is now estimated to be worth $5 billion, with boyband BTS its latest high-profile exponent, becoming the world’s most successful band in the past 12 months, selling out stadium concerts within minutes, around the world.

The South Korean government has financed a variety of K-pop themed events in what CedarBough Saeji, a visiting professor at Indiana University Bloomington in the US, said was a form of long-term “soft power diplomacy”.

“When you are covering you get to ‘become’ those idols for the three and a half minutes of the song,” she said, adding that performers will go so far as matching their clothing, accessories and hairstyle to their heroes and heroines.

“The cover dancers of today will be diplomats, news reporters, and business leaders in forty years,” she went on.

“And hopefully they’ll still have a soft spot in their heart for Korea. Korea can’t win the world through hard power – armies, economic bullying – but with soft power even a small country like Korea has a chance.”

The music also provides an artistic alternative for overseas fans, especially those in developing countries, Saeji added.

“The West, especially the United States, has been so dominant culturally for so long, and having a different cultural pole to look to provides hope that one’s own country can experience similar success in the future.”

The K-pop Olympics: performers battle in the K-pop festival | News by The Thaiger

Be who you want

Beneath its glitz and glamour, the K-pop industry is also known for its cutthroat competition, a lack of privacy, online bullying and relentless public pressure to maintain a wholesome image at all times and at any cost.

Sulli, a popular K-pop star and former child actress who had long been the target of abusive online comments was found dead on Monday, with her death sending shockwaves through fans around the world.

“I think a day where (people) would be ashamed of the K-show business will surely come,” a South Korean online user wrote in the wake of the star’s death.

“I think an industry that makes money by (making people) sing, dance, undergo plastic surgeries and go on a diet to please the gaze of others since they are teenagers should really go bankcrupt.”

But for Kenny Pham, a finalist from the US at last week’s contest, K-pop’s diversity – with some tunes having dark themes, while others were “cute” or sensual – is what gives him a sense of liberation.

“I like how expressive you could be,” the 19 year old told AFP last week.

“I feel like it’s a place where you could show the passion you have for music, dance or fashion. No one is bashing you for what your likes are.”

SOURCE: Agence France-Presse

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Chiang Rai

Journey back to Tham Luang in ‘The Cave’ – VIDEO

The Thaiger

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Journey back to Tham Luang in ‘The Cave’ – VIDEO | The Thaiger

PHOTO: Tom Waller on site during the filming of The Cave – AFP

Determined divers racing against time. Rising waters threatening lives. 12 teenagers and their soccer coach trapped inside for two weeks. A remote cave that most had never heard of.

The stuff of a Hollywood drama, except that it’s all true and happened in Chiang Rai last year. Now the first of several re-tellings of the story comes to the big screen in The Cave.

The ordeal in late June and early July last year had barely ended when filmmakers began their own race to get the nail-biting drama onto cinema screens. The first of those projects premiered at the start of October, when director Tom Waller’s The Cave showed at the Busan Film Festival in South Korea.

The film was shot over three months earlier this year and has been in post-production since then. The 45 year old Thai-British filmmaker says the epic tale of the Wild Boars (Mu Pa) football team was a story he simply had to tell.

“I took the view that this was going to be a story about the people we didn’t know about, about the cave divers who came all the way from across the planet.”

The 13 young men entered the Tham Luang cave complex after soccer practice and were quickly trapped inside by rising floodwater. The boys were forced to spend nine nights lost in the cave, whilst Navy Seal and other diver searched frantically, before they were spotted by a British diver.

It would take another eight days before they were all safe, against all odds, in a risky mission.

Waller was visiting his father in Ireland when he saw television news accounts of the drama.

“I thought this would be an amazing story to tell on screen.”

But putting the parts together after their dramatic rescue proved to be a challenge. Thailand’s government, led by the military NCPO, became very protective of the story, barring unauthorised access to the Mu Pa team or their parents. Waller often feared his production might be shut down.

His good fortune was that the events at the Tham Luang cave in Chiang Rai province had multiple angles and interesting characters. Especially compelling were the stories of the rescuers, particularly the expert divers who rallied from around the world. He decided to make a film “about the volunteer spirit of the rescue.”

Other people proposed telling the story from the point of view of the boys, and Netflix nailed down those rights in a deal brokered by the Thai government.

“I took the view that this was going to be a story about the people we didn’t know about, about the cave divers who came all the way from across the planet. They literally dropped everything to go and help, and I just felt that that was more of an exciting story to tell, to find out how these boys were brought out and what they did to get them out.”

Waller even had more than a dozen key rescue personnel play themselves.

Waller said they were natural actors, blending in almost seamlessly with the professionals around them, and helped by the accuracy of the settings and the production’s close attention to detail.

“What you are really doing is asking them to remember what they did and to show us what they were doing and what they were feeling like at the time. That was really very emotional for some of them because it was absolutely real.”

Waller says his film is likely to have a visceral effect on some viewers, evoking a measure of claustrophobia.

“It’s a sort of immersive experience with the sound of the environment, you know, the fact that is very dark and murky, that the water is not clear.”

“In Hollywood films, when they do underwater scenes, everything is crystal clear. But in this film it’s murky and I think that’s the big difference. This film lends itself to being more of a realistic portrayal of what happened.”

Some scenes were filmed on location at the entrance to the actual Tham Luang cave, but most of the action was shot elsewhere.

“We filmed in real water caves that were flooded, all year-round. It is very authentic in terms of real caves, real flooded tunnels, real divers and real creepy-crawlies in there. So it was no mean feat trying to get a crew to go and film in these caves.”

The Cave goes on general release in Thailand on November 28.

ORIGINAL ARTICE: Associated Press | Time.com

Journey back to Tham Luang in 'The Cave' - VIDEO | News by The Thaiger

PHOTO: Tom Waller – Associated Press/Sakchai Lalit

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