Oct 232017

Smoking is to be banned on Phuket’s Patong Beach this November. The popular Phuket tourist spot is among some 20 beaches nationwide considered Thailand’s most beautiful where bans will be imposed. Bo Phut Beach on Ko Samui and Khlong Dao Beach on Ko Lanta are among the beaches to be rendered smoke-free zones.


The beach smoking ban is part of the country’s sustainable tourism plan efforts. The ban comes into effect in November 2017, announced the Tourism Authority of Thailand (TAT) recently.

The other beaches where smoking will be banned are: Krabi (Phra Ae); Chon Buri (Bang Saen and Pattaya as well as Tam Pang on Ko Si Chang); Prachuap Khiri Khan (Hua Hin and Khao Takiap); Phetchaburi (Cha-am); Phang-nga (Ko Khai Nok and Ko Khai Nai on Ko Yao); Songkhla (Chalatas); Pattani (Tha Wa Sukri); Rayong (Mae Phim); Chanthaburi (Laem Sing), and Chumphon (Sai Ri).

Tourism Authority of Thailand Governor, Mr. Yuthasak Supasorn said, “These beaches are among the most beautiful in Southeast Asia, and the aim is to keep them that way.”

Oct 222017

The final stages of preparation are underway for the royal cremation ceremony of the late King Bumiphol Adulyadej (Rama IX) to be held on October 26. The nation has been in mourning since he passed away in October 2016.

Today (Oct 18), His Majesty the King has presented the Prime Minister with royal flames, which will be distributed to officials in all provinces of Thailand and in foreign countries to use in the upcoming royal cremation ceremony.

This evening, His Majesty King Maha Vajiralongkorn Bodindradebayavarangkun granted an audience to Prime Minister Gen Prayut Chan-o-cha as well as the Permanent Secretary for Foreign Affairs and all provincial governors at Amphorn Sathan Residential Hall, Dusit Palace.

On this occasion, His Majesty conferred on the Prime Minister royal flames, which are to be lit at the 85 royal crematorium replicas in all 77 provinces and at ceremonial sites in 94 other countries worldwide during the royal cremation of His Majesty the late King Rama IX this October 26.

Following the royal audience, Gen Prayut proceeded to Santi Maitree Building, Government House, where he hosted a ceremony to pass on the royal flames to the responsible officials.

All provincial governors received the flames from the royal lantern while the Permanent Secretary for Foreign Affairs was given a fire chest, which will be used to deliver the flames to foreign countries.

Oct 222017

The streets of Phuket Town are lined with food stalls adorned with yellow flags and selling all kinds of vegetarian snacks and meals for the 2017 Phuket Vegetarian – Nine Emperor Gods –Festival, held this year from 19 – 28 October.

Phuket vegetarian festival

Piercing procession during the Phuket vegetarian festival

As well as the vegetarian food stalls hundreds of people take part in parades in various locations around Phuket during which participants pierce their bodies with spikes, swords and even bicycle parts.

The vegetarian festival is unique to Phuket and harks back to the days when Chinese immigrants began populating the island during Phuket’s tin mining industrial revolution, long before Phuket became knnown as a tourist destination.

Fire walking and climbing ladders of swords are also part of the festivities that can be witnessed at the Chinese shrines all over Phuket.

Participants wear white and fast or eat only vegetarian food before and during the festival as an act of cleansing the body in order to get in touch with the spirit world.

This year’s festivities are more subdued than usual in honour of the late King Bumiphol Adulyadej, while ceremonies are underway to mark 1 year since his passing and his cremation this month in Bangkok.




Feb 222017

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Feb 062017

WORD ON PHUKET: An Australian woman was killed in a jetski collision with her husband off Kata-Karon Beach in Phuket yesterday.

The couple, in their 20s, were on holiday in Phuket, staying at a well-known beachfront resort in Karon, and rented out jet-skis on Sunday afternoon (5 Feb).

Australian woman killed in jet-ski crash Kata Karon beach Phuket

Medics and lifeguards attempt to help a 20-year-old Australian woman fatally injured in a jet-ski crash with her husband at Kata-Karon Beach, Phuket

The fatal jet-ski collision occurred just before 5pm.

Lifeguards on duty at the beach said the huband and wife collided with each other head-on at high speed. The woman suffered fatal head and neck injuries in the smash.

Her husband suffered only minor injuries and struggled to keep his unconscious wife afloat while lifeguards and jet-ski operators rushed to help.

fatal jet-ski crash kata karon beach Phuket

Medics stretcher the fatally wounded Australian to an ambulance at Kata-Karon Beach.

On shore, police, medics, Navy personnel and members of the public attempted to administer first aid to the comatose Australian. However, she did not regain consciousness and was reported dead shortly after being rushed to Vachira Phuket Hospital.

Eye witnesses to the fatal accident said the couple appeared to be novice jet-ski riders and lost control of their crafts before colliding with each other.

The Australian woman was aged 20 years old. Phuket authorities are assisting the Australian Embassy following the fatality. Details of the husband’s name and age have not been released. However, it has been confirmed that both were Australian nationals.

Phuket Word is withholding the name of the deceased until it can be confirmed her next of kin have been informed.

Jan 102017

WORD ON PHUKET: Police are looking into the circumstances surrounding the death of a 27-year-old British woman who was staying with her boyfriend at a rented room in Chalong.

Police were called to the room located in Soi Ta-iad in southern Phuket, which is populated with Muay Thai boxing gyms and fitness clubs, early Saturday morning after the couple had returned from a night out in Patong.

Initial reports are that the couple had a disagreement and separated while they were out in Patong and that the woman returned alone to their room at 3am.

The boyfriend reportedly returned at 6am to find the body of his girlfriend inside the room, propped against the door, with a bed sheet tied around her neck and to the door handle.

The boyfriend told investigators that he had then removed the bed sheet and placed the body of his companion on the bed.

Police said there were no signs of a struggle in the room but were continuing their investigations.

Jan 042017

WORD ON PHUKET: Police in Phuket are working to close the net on a person or persons breaking in to cars and stealing valuables and warning motorists not to leave precious items in view when leaving their car unattended.

car robberies phuket

Thieves stole a gold ring and a bank book after smashing the driver’s-side window.

About 15 car break-ins have been reported recently in central Phuket and Talang, the latest in Sapan Hin on Jan 3, after the 28-year-old female owner of a Honda Jazz parked up and went for a stroll in the public park around 10pm.

The owner, Ms Suphawan, returned later to find her driver-side window smashed in and valuables missing that she had left on the front seat, including a gold ring and a bank book.

Police investigating the robbery suspect Tuesday’s theft was carried out by the same thief or gang of thieves who have been robbing cars in a similar manner in Phuket Town and Talang.

The brazen burglars have been targeting cars parked in public places where they could easily be spotted by members of the public, said investigating officers, who are looking through CCTV footage for clues.

Meanwhile, police are distributing leaflets advising motorists not to leave valuables in their cars when parking in public places.

Jan 042017

WORD ON THAILAND: Thailand’s prime minister has urged the general public to obey traffic regulations for safe travels as more than 360 people are reported killed in road accidents across the country during the new year holiday.

Thai PM road deaths

Prime Minister of Thailand Gen Prayut Chan-o-cha

Prime Minister Gen Prayut Chan-o-cha has asked road users to be considerate to others, refrain from driving while feeling drowsy or under the influence of alcohol in order to travel home safely.

So far, 367 people have died in five days on Thailand’s roads, during the 2016-2017 new year holiday, according to national news sources, exceeding last year’s road fatalities during the same “seven days of danger” period last year (2015), during which 341 people were reported killed and 3,117 injured on the roads – a drop of 7% compared to the previous year.

However, on Jan 4, 2017, a total of 3,342 injuries in road accidents have been reported.

An estimated 30% of road accidents are blamed on drunk driving with more than 20% of those involving people under 20 years old.

In 2015, the United Nations reported that Thailand’s roads are the second deadliest in the world, after Libya, with 14,059 reported road-deaths per year – 70% of them involving motorcycles.

More fatalities are feared as people return to work from their home provinces over the next few days.

Meanwhile, according to the National News Bureau of Thailand, the government plans to allocate 895 billion baht (23,945,249,771 euro) for the expansion of land, water, and air transport infrastructure, while a new ferry service from Hua Hin to Pattaya is being tested for free between January 1 and 15.

Prime Minister’s Office Spokesperson Lt Gen Sansern Kaewkamnerd said the government will push for 36 transportation programs this year in order to spur economic growth and provide convenience among commuters.




Jan 032017

WORD ON THAILAND: A crocodile clamped its jaws down on the arm of a handler as he put his hand in the croc’s mouth as part of a show in Nakhon Sawan Province, central Thailand.

The horrific crocodile attack occurred in front of a crowd of tourists at the Bung Bor Raphet crocodile farm in Nakorn Sawan, just north of Bangkok, on Jan 2.

The above video footage was captured by facebook user Duangruedi Di Satefano. YouTube link: Spring News

The handler, Sumet Thongkhammuan, had to roll with the crocodile as the large reptile instinctively attempted to rip off his arm.

Sumet survived the croc attack and was rushed to hospital.

After a 15-minute delay, the show reportedly continued as normal with a replacement handler.

Link to this video


Jan 022017

WORD ON PHUKET: Thick smoke filled the air along Patong Beach Road this evening after a fire broke out in the basement of a hotel under construction along the popular tourist strip in Phuket.

fire hotel patong

Eight fire engines tackle a blaze in the basement of a hotel under construction in Patng

Fire fighters in eight fire engines arrived on the scene at about 8pm to tackle the blaze but have been hampered by the thick smoke, making it difficult to access the underground area and get to the source of the fire.

Frightened tourists have been seen leaving nearby hotels and resorts with their luggage.

fire patong beach hotel

Tourists staying near the half-built hotel have been fleeing with their luggage

Latest reports are that firefighters have sealed off the area and poured water into the basement. However, smoke continues to billow from the lower floor of the hotel.

No injuries have been reported.


Dec 282016

Visitors to Central Festival Phuket are being given a taste of festive cheer at the Holland Village Christmas Fair until December 31 at the mall’s forecourt, where market stalls are serving up special seasonal treats, including candy floss, popcorn, melted chocolate fondue as well as toys and locally-made handicrafts, plus live musical virtuoso performances from virtuoso violinist Alex Greg.

Christmas fai at Central Festival Phuket

Families snap happy seasonal memories among the Christmas trees and fairy lights at Holland Village at the Central Festival Phuket forecourt, on display until December 31.

Shoppers can snap happy seasonal memories among the Christmas trees and fairy lights at Holland Village at the Central Festival Phuket forecourt.

Inside the mall at the Grand Hall, seek out a variety of discount deals for new year’s gifts – from sweet and savoury snacks to clothes, accessories, jewellery and household décor – at the indoor Christmas Market.

Christmas Central Festival Phuket

Watch daily east-meets-west performances from virtuoso violinist Alex Greg.


Chocolate fondue fountain

A visitor indulges in a chocolate fondue fountain.



Shoppers visiting Central Festival Phuket between December 10 and January 15, 2017 can also enjoy gifts and giveaways in the mall’s ‘Lighten Up Together’ promotion and the chance to win some 30 prizes and up to 10,000 baht worth of cash vouchers with every 1,000 baht purchase.

For every 10,000 baht spent, shoppers have the chance to win 100,000 baht worth of vouchers that can be used at restaurants and clothes stores, including Central Department Store, Tops Supermarket, Supersports, ZARA, H&M, Uniqlo, Jaspal, Marimekko, Pandora, MK Restaurant, The Pizza Company, Sizzler, Swensen’s, KFC, Ootoya, SF Cinema and Major Cineplex.

Other New Year giveaways for shoppers include a free DD tote bag and special brown rice from the Royal Project with every 5,000 baht spent. MasterCard and Thai Life Cardholders get the free DD tote bag with purchases of only 4,000 baht.

Thai Life Card members get 100 baht worth of Tops vouchers free when spending 1,000 baht and over and The 1 Card holders can redeem 10 points for discounts on products from over 300 brands and 2,000 stores nationwide.

For more information visit

Oct 222016

WORD ON THAILAND: Millions of Thais gathered at Sanam Luang in Bangkok today for an historical live recording of the Royal Anthem of Thailand (Sansoen Phra Barami) in honour of His Majesty King Bhumibol Adulyadej, who passed away on October 13.

Royal Anthem of Thailand Bangkok live

Millions of mourning Thais made history singing the Royal Anthem of Thailand in remembrance of HM King Bhumibol

Holding portraits of the Late King and bank notes depicting the monarch, the emotional crowd that spilled onto the streets surrounding the Grand Palace were accompanied by live orchestras as they sang and cried.

The event was broadcast live on all terrestrial TV channels and radio.

Dressed in black, many of the mourners had travelled from all over the country to pay their respects to the departed king.

The government has laid on free transport to the capital for the occasion and many people are providing free food and refreshments as well as accommodation for the masses of mourners, estimated to be several million in number.

Royal Thai anthem recorded Bangkok

The crowd of mourners spilled onto the streets surrounding the royal park and the Grand Palace.