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Mathieu and Emelia report on Phuket and Phi Phi

MediaWATCH: Gay Couple Win Thai Tourism Gig

Friday, December 11, 2009
Phuketwan MediaWATCH: Photo Album Above

A daily wrap of Thailand news, with a Phuket perspective, plus relevant reports from national and international media.

examiner.com Beginning today, gay couple Ben Reed and Brian Sommer will undertake a six-day exploration of Pattaya in hopes of winning $10,000 for their efforts to promote Thailand as a vacation destination. Reed and Sommer, who reside in Orlando, Florida, are one of five couples selected as finalists by The Tourism Authority of Thailand in their social media competition: Ultimate Thailand Explorers. ''Neither of us have been to Thailand before, so we are looking forward to learning about the culture, sampling the local cuisine and, of course, discovering the many attractions and beaches that Pattaya has to offer,'' said Sommer.

ultimatethailandexplorers.com Mathieu, from France, and Emelia from Poland, both 32, won the vote to report on Phuket. ''We are a couple, and met 2 years ago through the paramotor communauty (sic). We live quite far away each other (France and Poland), but we find any occasions to meet; in competitions, or travels; and in fact, the distance is not a major problem. Mathieu is an adventurer, in many ways. In love with travels, and meeting people. The planet begins to be short for him, because of his thirst of explorations. Flying makes his life like a dream, and he gives inspiration to a large public in his lifestyle and adventures. Emilia is a very sportive girl, giving a very feminine touch in some mostly ''guys sport'' which are paramotor and motorbiking. She's not shy, and curious about everything, and this behaviour brings her all the time out of her country.''

cnngo.com Hey Explorers, It's Ben and Brian, Ultimate Thailand Explorer Finalists to Pattaya. If you'd like to follow our adventures in Pattaya, you can read our blog here: http://www.ultimatethailandexplorers.com/blog/pattaya/ If you like what you see, please consider voting for us. There's a lot of content already up there for you to catch up on. We'll see you out there!

Advice about Thailand Finalists should be advised that Thailand features cars with ''right-hand drive'' (the steering wheel is on the right side of the vehicle) and traffic flows on the left hand side of the road (opposite in both regards to the US but the same as the UK). Finalists who are unfamiliar with driving such a vehicle under these conditions may wish to find a driving school where they could practice (Some driving schools feature vehicles with controls on both sides of the vehicle and you may request to switch seats with the instructor.)

asiaone.com Thousands of supporters of former Thai premier Thaksin Shinawatra rallied in Bangkok on Thursday, turning up the heat on Thailand's embattled government ahead of big protests planned for January in a push for new elections. The United Front for Democracy Against Dictatorship held a one-day rally near Democracy Monument to press for the dissolution of parliament and a repeal of the 2007 constitution, drafted by the army after it ousted Thaksin in a coup in 2006.

Phuketwan Phuket Update ''Most of you have probably heard about the passing of our friend and colleague, Ruediger Konzelmann (Ruedi owner of Private Dive and Sai Mai Liveaboard). There will be a Buddhist ceremony at Kathu Temple (next to Loch Palm golf course) on Saturday, December 12 at 10:30am. The funeral service is from 12:00-12:30; please come and pay your last respects to Ruedi.''

foxnews.com According to People magazine, Woods' allegedly scorned wife Elin Nordegren is planning to stay with the golfer for the sake of the children. ''She's a child of divorce and that's not something she's likely going to want to do,'' a source told the magazine. ''She really believes in the importance of parents and staying together.'' Tiger and Elin have two children, Sam, 2, and Charlie, 10 months.

foxnews.com Has Tiger Woods left his home in Florida? Neighbors in Windermere, Florida, tell Fox News that they believe that Woods left his home Tuesday. So, if true, where has Woods gone?

bostonherald.com When three white women were said to be romantically involved with Woods in addition to his blonde, Swedish wife, blogs, airwaves and barbershops started humming, and Woods' already tenuous standing among many blacks took a beating.Woods has declined to identify himself as black, and famously chose the term ''Cablinasian'' (Caucasian, black, Indian and Asian) to describe the racial mixture he inherited from his African-American father and Thai mother.

Nobel Prize for Peace Speech ''So let us reach for the world that ought to be - that spark of the divine that still stirs within each of our souls. Somewhere today, in the here and now, a soldier sees hes outgunned but stands firm to keep the peace. Somewhere today, in this world, a young protestor awaits the brutality of her government, but has the courage to march on. Somewhere today, a mother facing punishing poverty still takes the time to teach her child, who believes that a cruel world still has a place for his dreams.''

cnn.com A statue of the US President, who lived in Jakarta, has been unveiled in a park in the Indonesian capital. The larger than life-size statue depicts a 10-year-old Obama, wearing school-boy shorts with his outstretched hand holding up a butterfly. The US president was born in Hawaii and lived in Indonesia for four years in the 1960s with his mother and Indonesian stepfather.

telegraph.co.uk Somali pirates freed a Greek cargo ship and its 24 Ukrainian crew after being paid $2.5 million, ending a seven-month hostage ordeal off the lawless country's coast. The MV Ariana was captured on May 2 while on its way to Brazil from the Middle East ferrying 10,000 tonnes of soya beans and had lately been held off Hobyo, a pirate den in the northeast of Somalia.

Associated Press Rising land disputes and crackdowns on government critics are ''worrying trends'' in Cambodia, a UN representative said in a speech marking international human rights day. Christophe Peschoux, head of the UN's office of the high commissioner for human rights in Cambodia, said: ''As land has become a new source of wealth, they (minority people) are being dispossessed of their lands. And day after day villagers are robbed of their land by powerful economic interests, often with the support of the authorities.''

cnet.com Rafe Needleman writes: Here's how to exercise full control over your Facebook privacy settings. First, blast past the new simple settings page. It doesn't matter what you put on it. Then go straight to the top menu, and under the Settings drop-down pick ''Privacy Settings.'' From that screen you can select several privacy-related categories. The most important is the ''Profile Information'' page, which gives you very precise, fine-grained control over who can see what.

Associated Press The failure of a new Russian intercontinental ballistic missile during testing, not a UFO, was the cause of spectacular spiraling blue lights in the skies over northern Norway. ''Russia has run free fireworks for the Norwegians,'' said one analyst in Moscow.
Best of Phuket Awards: Have Your Say Now
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Phuket Tuk-Tuk Row 'May Hit Scandinavia Market'
Latest The Phuket tuktuk dispute has reached Provincial Hall, where a Centara Resort spokeswoman said Turismo Asia, TUI Nordic and the Scandinavian market had become involved in the row.
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AirAsia to Link Phuket Daily Direct to Isarn's Heart
Phuket Isarn Daily AirAsia goes hub to heart with a new service that will fly direct and daily from the holiday island to the Islarn provinces that many island residents call home.
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Phuket Jetstar Boosts Singapore, Sydney Flights
Flights Fly High Flights to Singapore and Sydney from Phuket increase dramatically until Chinese New Year as Jetstar unleashes plan to offer the holiday island to the world.
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Boy's Narrow Escape: Phuket Faces Beach Anger
Latest A boy came close to drowning on Phuket over the weekend, a dramatic reminder to officials to hasten to implement a year round lifeguard system for Phuket as speedily as possible.
Boy's Narrow Escape: Phuket Faces Beach Anger

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Gay couple wins tourism gig. You're kidding?
No, I guess not. Boy, are they going to love Pattaya

Posted by Frank in Rawai on December 11, 2009 11:50

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It must be sort of a sad joke to send US gays to promote Pattaya! Kinda like the straight couple sent to Chiang Mai in this gig. The male only teams to BKK and Pattaya won this sponsored trip to Thailand with a lot of controversy.

Posted by Ladylover on December 11, 2009 14:18


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