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Under threat: the old Phuket. Intensive business damages the environment

Expat Hitman Jailed; Phuket's Unequal Balance; Property Thugs and Crims; Phuket Events

Thursday, August 12, 2010
UPDATE A hotel industry source said Dusit Group would soon take over some other properties in the South. In the latest report from STR Global on the ''Strong Recovery in Southeast Asia,'' Phuket is identified as showing RevPAR (revenue per available room) growth of 36.7 percent for the first half of this year versus last year, ranking second in Southeast Asia.

Phuketwan MediaWATCH

A daily wrap of Thailand news, with a Phuket perspective, plus relevant reports from national and international media. An assassin who flew from Thailand to kill a disabled divorcee in her home was sentenced to at least 28 years in prison. Briton Paul Cryne, 62, was paid 30,000 pounds to travel 3000 miles to the UK and strangle Sharon Birchwood for the insurance on the orders of her debt-ridden ex-husband. Mrs Birchwood, 52, a reclusive ME sufferer, was ambushed by Cryne in her home, bound and gagged with parcel tape and throttled with electrical cable. Cryne, who still holds the Guinness world record for swimming the longest distance underwater in 24 hours, met 65-year-old Birchwood in Thailand through the expat community. He became a hitman after blowing a 500,000 pound insurance payout on a flamboyant lifestyle and was suspected of carrying out another contract killing in 2003. Long one of Thailand's island gems, Phuket is the gateway to many holiday destinations in the Andaman Sea. Restaurants, hotels and resorts, tour operators and real estate companies have expanded so rapidly that they far outstrip the demand of Thai and foreign tourists during the low season. But during the high season, businesses compete intensively for market share and to maximise profits before the seasonal rains usher in the low season once again. When the crowds disperse and the rains clear, the destruction of the islands' delicate ecology stands in contrast against the very sales pitches and postcards that drew tourists to Phuket in the first place - its pristine natural beauty.

Today's Must Read The fact that a violent criminal from Britain can be employed as a debt collector by a property dealer in Hua Hin speaks volumes. I can't spend too much time on stories like this on Hua Hin. It's unpaid work, dangerous as you can see, and there's too much of it coming in to my office all the time. That there is a climate of fear among foreigners in Hua Hin created by foreign property dealers is pretty clear. August 10 marks the 10th anniversary of the murder and rape of backpacker Kirsty Jones, aged 23, in the Aree Guesthouse in Chiang Mai. At one stage police arrested a Karen hill tribe guide and tried to beat a confession out of him, even trying to get him to masturbate to provide a semen sample. The only reason to get a semen sample would be to plant it in the crime scene. I am not the only person who believes that several people actually know who Kirsty's killer is. More than $1.6 billion worth of assets will be seized from Thailand's former prime minister after an appeal request was rejected by the country's Supreme Court. Of the 119 judges who attended a closed vote on the appeal request, 103 rejected it. The result ends the case and allows Thai authorities to seize around $1.6 billion worth of Thaksin Shinawatra's assets.

More Essential Reading Thailand's Finance Minister, Korn Chatikavanij, has come up with a very big idea, albeit a simple one - raise workers' salaries. ''What's the cost to the country to significantly increase this minimum wage?'' he posits during our recent interview. Those people most likely to oppose Korn's suggestion are his own supporters. Korn is a senior figure in Thailand's oldest political party, the Democrats, whose heartland is Bangkok's conservative business elite. Many of their number are rich and yellow-inclined, regarding their privilege as a birthright.
Korn rejects a fashionable notion that Thailand is plagued by poverty and income disparity. ''There is poverty, yes, but over the past 25 years the statistics are clear. Then, 45 percent of Thais were below the poverty line, now it's 8 percent, so absolute poverty has been improving. They have mobile phones, they have televisions, and have more than enough to eat. This is not the poorest country in Asia, and the living conditions are better than in other countries.'' Steven Slater has been hauling around a lot of baggage. Long before he lost his cool on JetBlue Flight 1052, he complained about some aspects of his job - especially carry-on luggage. In a series of posts to an online forum, a user who appears to be Slater took a swipe at passengers who try to bring on too many bags. Hey, if Mark Hurd can grab $35 million before making his emergency exit from Hewlett-Packard, I've got no problem with JetBlue flight attendant Steven Slater grabbing a cold brewski before popping the disaster slide on Flight 1052 and kissing his airline career goodbye. The Internet is creaking under words of praise for Slater's decision to do what many of us wish we had the guts to do. In fact, the guy is a hero.

afp Russia admitted wildfires hit hundreds of hectares of land contaminated by the Chernobyl nuclear disaster as anger grew over the slack official response to its worst ever heatwave. Concerns remain over the environment in the Bryansk region bordering Ukraine and Belarus, whose soil is still contaminated by the 1986 Chernobyl disaster, as the authorities acknowledged the area had been hit by the fires. SALA Phuket Restaurant has joined the prestigious list of restaurants who can proudly boast recognition from the Wine Spectator 2010. The already renowned Phuket restaurant achieved this accolade by having an exquisite wine offering which has been recognised as being one of the most outstanding wine lists on the island. Wine Spectator is the most widely read wine magazine in the world.

Phuket Coming Events

THE International Business Association of Phuket is meeting on Friday August 13 at the Dara Hotel in Phuket City. The brightly colored hotel sits diagonally opposite the Central Festival shopping centre. The topic will be Biomaxx, a newly approved biological-integrative and non-invasive treatment for malignant and benign tumors. Speakers will include leading medical personnel who have introduced this new way to treat most forms of cancer, including but not limited to breast cancer, prostate cancer, liver and kidney cancer, colo-rectal, and many more cancer types. Standard entry donation for IBAP members is 200 baht while visitors are asked to donate 400 baht. Admission includes light snacks and complimentary drinks.

Until August 12 Andaman Motor Expo
Until September 9 Ramadan
August 12-13 Queen's Birthday Holiday, public offices closed
August 14-15 Baba wedding, Phuket Town
August 21 Rip Curl Hunt for Young Surfers, Nai Harn beach
September 4 Rip Curl Hunt for Young Surfers, Kata beach
September 11 Phuket Surf Lifesaving Carnival, Loma Park, Patong
September 18 Rip Curl Hunt for Young Surfers, Surin beach
October 1-3 Asian Hospitality and Travel Show, Central Festival Phuket Convention and Exhibition Center, Phuket City
October 8-16 Vegetarian Festival, Phuket
November 2-7 Phuket womens' beach volleyball, Karon beach
December 4-11 Phuket King's Cup Regatta
January 6-9 PIMEX boat show, Royal Phuket Marina
February 9-13 The Bay Regatta - Phuket, Phang Nga, Krabi
Phuket Tourists 'Ripping off Rent-a-Bikes'
Latest Phuket police are concerned about a new holiday island threat: tourists who do not bother to return rented vehicles. Some even try to make money by selling the vehicles.
Phuket Tourists 'Ripping off Rent-a-Bikes'

Phuket Beach Mayor Orders Resort Red Flag Alert
UPDATE All resorts in the Karon Kata beach district are to be told by the mayor to promote beach safety with signs and personal warnings. The action follows two tourist drownings at the beaches.
Phuket Beach Mayor Orders Resort Red Flag Alert

Phuket Sale Seen as a Win-Win for Dusit Laguna
Resort Transaction The sale of one of the seven resorts that constitute Laguna Phuket is likely to mean business as usual, with money to spend on a hush hush new project outside Thailand.
Phuket Sale Seen as a Win-Win for Dusit Laguna

Phuket Pirates 'May Target Cruise Ships'
Latest With illegal immigrants, ocean rescues, customs smugglers, fishing poachers and illegal timber merchants to look after, the Third Navy is also preparing for pirates in the Andaman Sea.
Phuket Pirates 'May Target Cruise Ships'

Two-Headed Turtle Shares a Flipper Future
Latest When you're a turtle with two heads, which one do you pull in first? Who gets to eat last? Are you in charge, or the other guy? An unusual turtle raises a few questions, as well as two heads.
Two-Headed Turtle Shares a Flipper Future


Comments have been disabled for this article.


3000 miles. I think the Daily Mail need to recheck that figure. Its about 2x that one way and 4x round trip. The Daily Mail are on the ball as usual.

Posted by Mike Hunt on August 12, 2010 15:47

Editor Comment:

We would have said ''a long, long way.''

Friday June 25, 2021
Horizon Karon Beach Resort & Spa


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