stretchout

Apr 192014
 

WORD ON PHUKET: Thailand’s biggest gay festival returns to Patong for another fun filled 8 days of flamboyance on the beach front.

All genders, ages and persuasions are welcome to come along and “Celebrate who we are” with events, parades and parties where anything goes from Sunday 20th April to Sunday 27th April.

Gay pride Phuket

 

Gay Pride Phuklet 2014

Gay Pride 2014, Phuket, Thailand

 

Get more info about Phuket’s biggest bash at phuket-pride.org.

Download the Gay Pride Festival schedule

Check out these photos from previous gay pride festivals

Gay Pride Phuket

Gay-pride-phuket-2012 (324)

Gay-pride-phuket-2012 (98)

Gay-pride-phuket-2012 (101)

 

Apr 172014
 
  • ASEAN advisors push for Thailand to develop more as a medical tourism hub for the region

  • Thailand’s blooming medical tourism market made over THB 120 billion in 2012

  • Middle Eastern visitors given 90-day visa extensions

  • Thailand to focus on Spa, Thai food & herbs, Spiritual meditation, Tourism, Sports, Cultural activities & Medical care

  • Target tourists include: shoppers, honeymooners, golfers, filmmakers, and MICE visitors

Medical Tourism Thailand

WORD ON MEDICAL TOURISM: The ASEAN National Economic and Social Advisory Council has proposed to the Cabinet that Thailand continue to develop the country’s multi-billion-baht medical tourism industry along with other countries in the region.

Part of the proposal includes granting further visa extensions to foreign senior citizens seeking a long-term stay in Thailand for medical services.

Visitors from six Middle Eastern countries have been enjoying 90-day visa extensions since January 2013. These countries include: Kingdom of Bahrain, the State of Kuwait, the Sultanate of Oman, the State of Qatar, the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, and the United Arab Emirates. There are reportedly plans to give similar visa privileges to visitors from other ASEAN countries some time in 2015.

The National Economic and Social Advisory Council wants to have a database of medical tourism products and information for tourists in five categories: spa services and beauty; Thai food and herbs; spiritual meditation; tourism, sports and cultural activities; and medical care.

As well as targeting long-stay tourists and retirees, the advisory council suggested targeting niche groups such as shoppers, honeymooners, golfers, filmmakers, celebrities and MICE visitors, adding that health centers with physicians and interpreters would also be needed.

According to Thailand PRD, Medical tourism generated 52 billion baht in revenue for Thailand in 2008, 58 billion baht in 2009, and 65 billion baht in 2010. The earnings rose to 97.8 billion baht in 2011 and 121.6 billion baht in 2012.

Apr 162014
 

WORD ON THAILAND: April 2014 marks the 20th anniversary of the opening of the Thai-Lao Friendship bridge connecting Nong Khai province in northeastern Thailand with Lao capital of Vientiane.

The two countries — joined by Australia, which funded construction of the bridge — held a celebration event April 4-8, 2014.

Thai-Lao Friendship bridge

Opened in 1994, the Thai-Lao Friendship bridge is 1,170 metres long, connecting Nong Kai (Thailand) with Vientienne (Laos) across the Mekong River

The bridge first joined the two cities across the Mekong River on 8 April 1994. Their Majesties the King and Queen, Her Royal Highness Princess Maha Chakri Sirindhorn, Lao President Nouhak Phoumsavan, and three ministers of Thailand, Laos, and Australia were present at the inauguration ceremony.

The bridge was funded by the Australian government. It was the first to have been built across the 4,200-kilometer-long Mekong River. With a length of 1,170 meters, the bridge has two 3.5-meter-wide vehicle lanes, and two 1.5-meter-wide footpaths. Fifteen columns provide support along the edges of both halves of the bridge, eight on the Thai side and seven on the Lao side.
Link to original article

Apr 162014
 

WORD ON THAILAND: This April Thailand’s National Broadcasting and Telecommunications Commission (NBTC) has begun broadcasting digital television with the aim of phasing out analog TV by the year 2020.

Digital TV Thailand

Thailand plans to phase out analog TV by 2020

So far 24 commercial channels have been granted permission to operate on the new digital broadcasting, which is being rolled out from 1 to 24 April, covering Bangkok, Nakhon Ratchasima, Chiang Mai, and Songkhla initially.

All existing channels are set to make the switch to digital TV broadcasting by April 25, including: MCOT, the National Broadcasting Services of Thailand (NBT), TV5, and Thai PBS.

In May, local residents in Ubon Ratchathani, Surat Thani, and Rayong will be able to watch digital television.

Those living in Sing Buri, Sukhothai, Khon Kaen, and Udon Thani will have the chance in June, when digital broadcasting is expected to cover 50 percent of households in Thailand, or 11.45 million families. There are about 22 million families across the country.

In the second stage, 13 provinces will have access to digital broadcast by December 2014. In 2015, the second year of the terrestrial digital television broadcasting, residents in 39 provinces will be able to watch digital television. By then, digital television broadcasting services will cover 80 percent of households in Thailand, or about 18 million families.

In the third year, the digital television operators that were granted licenses are required to set up additional stations in more provinces, so that the digital system will cover at least 90 percent of all households. In the fourth year, the system coverage will be at least 95 percent.

Viewers can get access to these new services through new digital television sets, or digital set-top boxes. In order to help consumers switch from analog to digital television broadcasting services, NBTC will use the money received from the bidding of the 24 commercial channels to give subsidy coupons for all households, about 22 million families across the country. The coupons will be used to buy new digital television sets or digital set-top boxes to convert analog to digital signals.

NBTC is expected to spend between 15 to 20 billion baht on the subsidy coupons at the initial stage. It has set a target for a full digital broadcasting system by 2017.

ASEAN Ministers Responsible for Information at the 10th Conference of the ASEAN Ministers in Vientiane, Lao PDR, in 2009 agreed that ASEAN adopted a phased approach toward the analog switch-off over a period of time from 2015 to 2020.

Source: PRD

Apr 162014
 

WORD ON EVENTS: Southern Thailand’s biggest and best known international rock climbing event Krabi Rock & Fire 2014 is on from 21 to 23 April.

The annual rock climbing event in one of the most dramatic settings in the world is as usual being held at Railay Beach and Ton Sai Bay in Krabi, where more than 30 international and local teams will be competing on the province’s famous limestone peaks.

The contest is open to all levels of climber but the hundreds of world-class climbs over Railay Beach have attracted some of the world’s top international competition climbers.

The annual rock climbing contest is supported by the Tourism Authority of Thailand (TAT).

TAT governor Governor of the Thawatchai Arunyik said the Railay Beach area was recently named by TripAdvisor as ‘one of Asia’s top-ten beautiful beaches’.

Rock climbig Krabi

Apr 152014
 

WORD ON PHUKET PROPERTY: Leading leisure real estate developers The Attitude Club introduced the latest lifestyle innovation in March with the launch of Saturdays – an oasis of villa-style condos nestled among superior shared facilities, including four swimming pools a fully equipped fitness club, library, trendy restaurant and a high-end health spa.

 

Saturdays condo

Saturdays central pool surrounded by 5 styles of freehold condo

Under the concept, ‘A simple change makes all the difference’, Saturdays condos are designed to give owners very unique practical living spaces with extra indoor and outdoor corners and dens (dream spaces) to accommodate a wide range of interests and activities.

 

Saturdays Condo

Saturdays Condo living space

Each of the one- and two-bedroom condo designs in five distinct styles have tall, three-metre high ceilings and large 3m wide balconies letting natural sunlight drench every room, making every day feel like Saturday so you can ‘sleep less’ and ‘dream more’.

Saturdays condo

Living space with hobby corners

Saturdays is located in a gated community in Baan Sai Yuan, Nai Harn, in southern Phuket, where the pace of life is most definitely more laid back and the locale is ideal for all kinds of weekend family activities.

Nai Harn Beach, Rawai Pier and the tranquil natural surroundings are popular with health and raw food fanatics providing a multitude of healthy home-made dining options in relaxing restaurants.

 

In keeping with the tranquil surroundings, Saturdays is a low-density complex of just 119 units covering six rai (9,600sqm). The five Saturdays condo styles are:

 

Live (57 square meters ). Although this one-bedroom option is Saturdays smallest condo, it is considerably larger than average condominiums, making it spacious enough to accommodate a variety of weekend activities – an ideal retreat for seamless leisurely living.

 

Learn (84 sq meters ) is two bedroom, two bathroom arrangement with large private balconies off each room providing secluded spaces filled with tropical sunlight and naturally ventilated.

 

Love (80sqm) is a distinctly romantic two-bedroom, two-bathroom arrangement designed exclusively for couples. This amorous and very spacious Saturdays style has a master bedroom with an en-suite bathtub for romantic weekend soaks. The vast living area gives you plenty of space to fill as well as a perfectly proportioned kitchen.

 

Saturdays-condo-launch-10

Kanokpan Pranveerapaiboon (right), director of The Attitude Club

Let (88sqm) is an extra large two-bedroom, two-bathroom set up that can effectively be divided into two separate living spaces, each with its own bathroom and separate entranceway into the living space, so all or part of the property can be rented out at the owner’s convenience.

 

Lux (95sqm) corner units are the largest and most luxurious of the Saturdays styles with an inspiring open-plan living space and two huge bedrooms that open onto a full-length balcony for a highly luxurious Saturdays experience with a new age ambiance.

Saturday is usually the only day of the week that we have the chance to finally spend some quality time alone or with family and friends, doing those things we enjoy the most. They are days to focus on fulfilling dreams and taking on personal challenges,” said The Attitude Club director, Ms Kanokpan Pranveerapaiboon.

 

It is this passion for weekend pursuits that sparked the inspiration to put Saturdays on the map in south Phuket, where all kinds of sports, leisure and creative activities can be enjoyed in a vibrant, easy-going international community,” said The Attitude Club director.

 

Located in Saiyuan, near Nai Harn Beach on the southern-most tip of the island, Saturdays is an oasis of spacious one- and two-bedroom condos with special features for a diverse range of weekend indulgences. Hobby corners and opulent bathing arrangements with alfresco appeal are just some of the innovations worked into the Saturdays designs.

 

Master bedroom

Saturdays Condo Master Bedroom

The quiet roads and green hills are an idyllic backdrop for all manner of weekend pursuits. Cycling, surfing, photography, painting, gardening, and eating in or out are all part of easily accessible lifestyles at Saturdays.

Priced from 4 million baht, Saturdays residents will enjoy the exclusive communal facilities, including a well-equipped fitness centre and indoor/outdoor meeting places with optional leaseback and holiday rental services on site as well. Saturdays Condo

Construction of the new development is set to take 24 months, scheduled to begin this October and is expected to be complete by October 2016.

To get into the weekend groove, visit the Saturdays demonstration unit at the Saturdays project in Saiyuan, near Nai Harn Beach, in south Phuket.

Saturdays residents can also benefit from a exclusive membership privileges with properties and services under The Attitude Club such as free accommodation, privilege cards for Two Villas Holiday, discounts on interior décor packages by Number Twelve; accommodation with organic passion at Saiyuan Estate; stylistic hospitality at Foto Hotel near Kata Beach; Peranakan-style villas, Wings, in Cherng Talay; architecture and construction management by Roof Design & Management; and urban hostel Blu Monkey in Phuket Town.

The Attitude Club has a solid track record of providing highly valuable real-estate brands to serious investors in quality property for profitable returns. Starting from 3.7 million baht, Saturdays condos are guaranteed to give owners rental yields of 6% per year over a 5-year average under Two Villas Holiday Limited management.

Investors in Saturdays can also enjoy annual allocation of complementary nights in other properties in the lease back program in The Attitude Club’s unique collection of projects.

 

Construction of Saturdays is expected to take 24 months, beginning in October 2014 and scheduled to be completed by the end of October 2016. Visit the Saturday’s show homes at the site in Saiyuan on the road towards Nai Harn Beach.

For more information visit www.theattitudeclub.com or facebook.com/Saturdayscondo

Tel: 081-9683760. Email: Sales1@theattitudeclub.com

Apr 152014
 

WORD ON PHUKET PROPERTY:  Home seekers looking for a fresh perspective on suburban living with an ecological outlook should visit the new tropical town homes in the Baan Tak r Kard neighbourhood near the west coast of Phuket.

eco town homes phuket

Naturally cool open-plan living space at Baan Tak r Kard

Developer Living Vis is now welcoming visitors to get a feel for the recently completed tropical town homes with unique ecological and cost-saving features in the quiet community of just 59 stylish homes.

Eco tropical town homes

Entrance to Baan Tak r Kard neighbourhood in Talang, Phuket

‘Baan Tak r Kard’ means a ‘summer home’ where you can appreciate the natural surroundings. The two-story houses with broad balconies and private gardens in this spacious western-style neighbourhood have already attracted families looking for an affordable home with international appeal.

Baan Tak r Kard townhome

Spacious town homes with garden space back and front

Designed and built with cost savings in mind, Baan Tak r Kard homes come in two affordable options ideal for small families with growing kids, and the need for privacy and space.

Priced from 3.08 million baht for Emotion One (2 bedrooms) to 3.57 mb for Emotion Two (3 bedrooms), the homes have been designed to stay cool by allowing natural ventilation through the open-plan living space.

Living Vis has also included top-quality materials throughout such as durable Kholer bathroom fittings and asphalt roof shingles plus Fletcher Aluminium glazing for complete weather protection and noise reduction.

Emotion One is five metres wide and has two en-suite bathrooms and a guest restroom. Including The garden and driveway the property covers a total area of 126 sqm.

Emotion Two is six metres wide with three bedrooms, each with plenty of space for king-size beds.

The three bathrooms include an en-suite off the master bedroom, a shared shower room and a guest restroom. These larger units cover a total area of 149 sqm.

You’ll find Baan Tak r Kard down a quiet lane in tranquil Ban Don, Talang, near Laguna resort complex and Layan and Bangtao beaches on the west coast of Phuket, about 2km from Thepkrasatree Rd. It’s a 15-minute drive to Phuket International Airport and shopping is easy with several superstores and markets nearby as well as two international schools in the area.

living space

Living space in Baan Tak r Kard’s 2-bedroom home

Master Bedroom

Master bedroom, Emotion One 2-bedroom home

 

ABOUT THE DEVELOPER
Established in 2010, Living Vis Co., Ltd is dedicated to building affordable high-quality housing with a transparent approach that means long-term cost savings for home owners. Living Vis is headed by directors with a wealth of experience in global building standards: Mr Sunchai Nuengsit (MBA), a member of the Judging Committee of the Thailand Property Awards and with 15 years experience as a manufacturer and distributor of cutting edge solutions for environmental sustainability and Mr Sokoun Chanpreda – multi-award-winning developer of Bangkok’s iconic Bed Supper Club.

 

Apr 152014
 

WORD ON PHUKET: Central Festival Phuket has transformed the ground floor of the mall into a traditional temple fair for the Thai New Year holiday weekend. At the main entrance shoppers can have a splashing good time enjoying traditional fun and games including greasy pole boxing, dunking damsels and building sand chedi at TableSpoon Cafe.

 

Slippery Muay Thai

Slippery Pole Muay ThaiPhuket

Songkran shoppers at Central Festival Phuket can also get a taste for traditional festive treats from the market-style stalls inside and out selling a variety of authentic sweet, sour and savoury summertime snacks until Wednesday (April 16).

Thai snacks

Traditional Thai snacks

Among the Thai desserts on offer at the temporary stalls are traditional favourites such as Mango & Sticky Rice, Jack fruit and coconut cakes.

Thai sweets

Thai sweets

 

Savoury snacks

Traditional Thai savoury snacks

Miniature fruit

Miniature fruit-shaped snacks

 

 

Apr 082014
 

WORD ON PHUKET: Aspiring Thai models took to the stages of Phuket Bike Week in Patong over the long Songkran holiday weekend to compete in the Miss Phuket Bike Week 2014 beauty contest, held at The Andaman Embrace Resort & Spa near Patong Beach and on the Patong Beach promenade Loma Park.

Miss Phuket Bike Week 2014

Miss Phuket Bike Week 2014, Anthiya.

The winner, Miss Anthiya, went home with 30,000 baht in prize money from the Andaman Embrace resort, which also provided the pageant venue.

The resort’s Phuket Old Town Sino-Phuket style decor was an excellent backdrop for the final rounds of the judging during the week before the finals.

On the week of the finals, the Miss Bike Week 2014 contestants were whittled down to 20, and then 10 finalists.

This year’s bike week has attracted record crowds and about 10,000 bikers from around the world, who arrived just in time to get soaked in the Songkran (Thai New Year) water-throwing festivities.

Winner Miss Phuket Bike Week

Andaman Embrace Resort & Spa owner, Ms Salisa Limsakul, awards Miss Phuket Bike Week 2014 a cheque for 30,000 baht

Bigger and better each year, the Phuket Bike week is now celebrating its 20th anniversary and attracts tens of thousands of visitors joining in the wild water fights around Patong.

Thai models - Phuket Bike Week 2014

Semi finalists at Andaman Embrace resort for Phuket Bike Week 2014

Thai models Phuket Bike Week 2014

Thai models competing in Miss Phuket Bike Week 2014 at the Andaman Embrace Resort, Patong.

Mar 292014
 
Fight for Yashika

The Artist Taxi Driver on deportation of Yashika

WORD ON CHANGING WORLD: Teachers and students from Oasis Academy in London are behind the fastest-growing online petition in history and a surge in people power against the imminent deportation of an A-grade asylum seeking student.

The petition at change.org –  titled “FightForYashika — Stop this sixth form student being deported alone. She deserves a future!” — is addressed to British Home Secretary Teresa May and has already garnered more than 144,000 signatures since it was started less than a week ago to try and stop the imminent deportation of fellow straight-A Mauritian student Yashika, who had been is studying for her A levels, but is now locked up alone and faces being deported as early as Sunday.

Protesters against the unexpected and unusually sudden move to deport Yashika have organized a massive protest outside the Houses of Parliament at 4pm today (Saturday 29th March).

Watch the short videos below by The Artist Taxi Driver for the full story.
*Warning. These videos contain strong, adult language.



Click here to sign the petition

 

Mar 272014
 

WORD ON MISSING MALAYSIAN AIRLINER: A Thai satellite has reportedly detected more than 300 objects floating in the southern Indian Ocean, which could be related to missing Malaysia Airlines flight MH370.

Thai satellite - Debris Indian Ocean

Debris spotted by Thai Satellite Thaichote possibly from missing Malaysian Airlines 777

The latest mainstream media reports on the missing Malaysian Airlines 777, which disappeared east of Malaysia more than two  weeks ago, says the objects spotted by the Thai satellite range from two to 15 metres in length and are scattered across an area about 2,700km south-west of Perth.

“It is believed the objects, discovered by Geo-Informatics and Space Technology Development Agency, could be related to missing Malaysia Airlines flight MH370.”

The Australian Maritime Safety Authority today called off its search for the Boeing 777 due to bad weather and poor visibility.