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Welcomes do not come any warmer than the one on Phuket today

Phuket, Not to Be Eclipsed, Says 'Hello Hillary'

Wednesday, July 22, 2009
Album Above: Inside Hillary's Resort

Phuketwan UPDATE

Reuters news agency reported in two paragraphs on Thursday that there was a loud noise heard near where an Asean summit was being held on Phuket. ''Everything is operating normally,'' a spokesperson at the Sheraton Grande told Phuketwan.. The noise came from a high-pressure water hose, turned on a suspicious motorcycle with a flat tyre.

Original Report

SHE waved a welcome to Phuket with her right arm, the one that was in a sling until recently because of a broken elbow.

The weather? It was overcast, not exactly what it should be on a holiday island in Summer. Especially when cloud obscured an eclipse of the sun earlier in the day.

But the main thing is, Hillary Clinton is here.

For Phuket and for Thailand, watching her walk down the steps from the plane to the tarmac would have brought broad smiles to many faces.

Tonight she is due to see the show at FantaSea in Kamala with other senior delegates to the Asean Regional Forum from 26 nations.

And after watching the trapeze artists and the elephants, she will head for a three-storey luxury villa at the Dusit Thani Laguna Resort, across the lagoon from the Sheraton Grande Laguna Phuket, where most of tomorrow's talking will take place.

The best part of a Dusit Thani villa is the rooftop pool. If she is in one of the few with an ocean view, it will be a shame if grey skied dull tomorrow morning's spectacular vista out over the Andaman.

Most mornings, a small elephant trundles along the beach with his handler, past the Dusit Thani villas. If security permits, greeting the little elephant on the beach is a great way to start the day.

There's beachside bocce too, if her elbow needs a workout.

Today Mrs Clinton landed on Phuket at 1.05pm and children from eight island schools waved a welcome on the short drive from the airport.

Some important talking is scheduled for tomorrow, with North Korea and Burma likely topics for discussion.

Fortunately for Phuket, the island appears to be making a good impression.

Officials have already announced that the Asean Plus Six summit of 16 national leaders, cancelled in embarrassing circumstances because of a red-shirt protest in Pattaya in April, has been rescheduled for Phuket in October.

That gives Governor Wichai Praisa-nob three months to sort out a few of the island's long-term problems.

If the October summit is held further south, to give the Karon, Kata and Patong resorts a chance to impress, then the lawlessness that brought a deadly daylight shootout in Phuket's tourist heartland yesterday will need to be brought under control before then.

Phuket needs some of the hundreds of extra police, imported to the island for the summit, to stay on, to help restore the island's sunny holiday image permanently.

They need to impound all illegal firearms, and to win back the confidence that tourists and residents can walk the island's streets without fear, day and night.

What would happen to Thailand's reputation if there was a shootout within earshot of a national leader next October?

Is Thailand truly safe for tourists?

Governor Wichai Praisa-nob knows there is an enormous job to be done. But he will need Bangkok's help to do it.

Phuketwan Phuket News

Patong Gunfight: Police Warn of Killers On The Run
Murder Alert The gang that shot four men today, killing one, are on the run on Phuket and dangerous. Police tonight warned people to stay clear of the fugitive gang, and named the victims.
Patong Gunfight: Police Warn of Killers On The Run

Patong Gunfight: One Dead, Three Wounded
Updating Report A shootout in Patong has left one man dead and three injured this afternoon. Bystanders said it was a like the Phuket version of a scene from the wild west.
Patong Gunfight: One Dead, Three Wounded

Phuket Rampage: Knife 'Held at Tourists' Throats'
Latest Police have arrested three men accused of a Phuket City rampage during which, security camera footage reveals, they held a knife to the throats of a tourist couple in a lift.
Phuket Rampage: Knife 'Held at Tourists' Throats'

AseanWATCH: Clinton Show Rolling on to Phuket
Latest Human rights will be high on Hillary Clinton's list as the arrest of five Malaysian Immigration officers provides topicality. Phuket gives her a chance to impress the critics.
AseanWATCH: Clinton Show Rolling on to Phuket

Comments

Comments have been disabled for this article.

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To me, I really enjoy all the road blocks, reminds me of the home land I left. Here it reminds me I am safe, sort of, leave the folks here, but send 12,000 more police. Then lets start to have a safe environment for all, lets make money, lets make ..... well yes everything right. Long live the island style.

Posted by Graham on July 22, 2009 17:46

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Hilary at Fantasea? Do they really think someone of her calbre would enjoy to see elephants trained to do stupid tricks and tigers in glass boxes? After that show she will surely know Phuket is all form and no substance.

Posted by VFaye on July 23, 2009 09:48

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The very loud bangs heard last night near Laguna were, traaa daah, Thunder. Yes damn thunder, three big bangs, that's all. Had a massive thunder and lightning show given by mother nature, just for guests who probably have never experienced tropical magic before. Lighten up, it's the monsoon season.

Posted by Graham on July 23, 2009 11:57


Monday July 6, 2020
Horizon Karon Beach Resort & Spa

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