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This visitor loves Phuket. Why doesn't everybody?

MediaWATCH: Phuket Not World's Top Island. Why?

Saturday, October 17, 2009
Phuketwan MediaWATCH

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

PHUKET has lost out again to Bali with Conde Nast Traveler announcing the results of its 2009 Readers' Choice Awards, ranking the best cities, islands, cruise lines, airlines, hotels, resorts, and car rental agencies around the world.
The Top Islands of the Asia/Indian Ocean are: 1. Maldives 2. Bali 3. Phuket.
But the loss goes deeper than that, with Ubud, Bali, even beating Bangkok and Hong Kong as the Top City in Asia. And Ubud took on the entire world to win the title of ''the friendliest town of all.''
The awards appear in the November issue.
If Thailand prides itself on being the most hospitable destination in the world, why does Phuket consistently lose out to Bali?

Bali Versus Phuket. Which is Better . . . and Why? Send Your Comment Now


Phuketwan Update Thai Airways International is to launch flights between Phuket and Hong Kong from October 25. The new route will operate three times a week on Wednesdays, Fridays and Sundays, providing Airbus 330-300 aircraft with a seat capacity of 305 seats (42 on Royal Silk Class and 263 on Economy Class). Flights leave Phuket at 13:15 and arrive in Hong Kong at 17:45. The return leg departs from Hong Kong the following days at 08:00 to arrive in Phuket by 10:20.

aap Manchester Airport has been forced to rethink trials of its invasive new X-ray machine after claims the ''naked'' images of airline passengers could violate child pornography laws. This week, the airport began a year-long trial of the full-body scanner, which can instantly detect any hidden weapons or explosives without passengers having to remove any of their clothing for a search.

antara.co.id An earthquake measuring 5.1 on the Richter scale hit North Sulawesi on Friday night. The epicenter of the quake which struck at 8.10 p.m. was in the sea about 140 km northeast of Melonguane, North Sulawesi, the Meteorology, Climatology and Geophysics Agency said in a report.
The quake was the fourth to hit Indonesia on Friday.

AFP There was no fire, engine problem or medical emergency when an Air Canada Jazz flight made an unscheduled stop in western Canada: the pilot diverted the jet because of a beer theft, police said. A passenger who stole a beer from a beverage cart and tried to flush the empty cans down the 50-seat jet's toilet was arrested.

straitstimes.com Thailand's Supreme Court on Friday upheld a death sentence for a former senior policeman who abducted and murdered a gem merchant's wife and son as he investigated the theft of Saudi royal jewellery. Ex-police commissioner Chalor Kerdthes was convicted of the abduction and murder in 1994 of the family members of Santi Srithanakhan, who had bought some of the jewellery stolen in a notorious heist from a Saudi prince's palace.

bangkokpost.com Recent visits by foreign warships have given Phuket's economy and its tourism sector a much-needed shot in the arm. Generally regarded as a playground for foreign and local tourists, many visitors from afar also find it a challenge of sorts to brave the seas and visit the island on their leisure craft to enjoy the pleasures of this world famous resort.The bar girls are now eagerly awaiting the arrival of the next warships.

latimes.com Though the Colorado sheriff says he doesn't believe the incident was a hoax, a remark make by the six-year-old child during a CNN interview has 'raised everyone's level of skepticism. The Colorado sheriff whose deputies chased a homemade balloon across three counties before the boy it purportedly was carrying turned up safe at home says that investigators will seek to reinterview the family after comments the child made that suggested the incident had been staged.

Xinhua.com A research team from the National University of Singapore says they have created the world's first semi-cloned fish, local media reported. According to local radio 938live, the fertile female medaka fish named Holly, was created with the semi-cloning genetic approach, which uses a new and unpredictable combination of genetic traits from both parents similar to normal fertilisation.

voanews.com Authorities have arrested a fugitive Iraqi terrorism suspect as he tried to enter Malaysia using a false passport. Mohammed Al-Daini was held at Kuala Lumpur airport last Saturday. Iraq's government has accused him of ordering a series of attacks and insurgent plots, including a 2007 bombing that killed two.

monnews-imna.com Incidents of Thai gangs harassing and robbing Burmese migrant workers in Southern Thailand are on the rise, claim several migrant workers. A Mon migrant worker, employed at a rural rubber plantation in Had Yai district, said that if he or his friends fail to pay the monthly extortion fee, a gang follows them back to their homes and harasses their families.

bangkokpost.com Fractional ownership of property may not appeal to Thai buyers, due to their unfamiliarity with the concept and the lack of regulation, experts say. Fractional ownership is common in other countries where property is priced too highly for buyers to own an entire unit, said Phanom Kanjanathiemthao, managing director of property consultant Knight Frank Chartered (Thailand).

property-report.com Bill Barnett writes: For fractionals, whereas in many developed markets undivided interest and deeded ownership is available, here it remains in the development curve. Ownership trustee issues and security are high on the 'wish list' of larger developers who would like to see the best of international practices and regulatory processes be developed here.

usatoday.com Ed Perkins writes: As far as I can tell, the current worldwide practice of tipping practically everybody emerged after World War II: Those days, tip-happy Americans did most of the world's leisure and business travel, and they exported their tipping culture just as they exported entertainment and music cultures. Current no-tipping countries include Japan, Malaysia, Oman, Singapore, South Korea, Thailand, the United Arab Emirates, and Vietnam.

sundial.csun.edu Student Cyle Zezotarski, 20, is a couch surfer. Couch surfing is staying at someone's home and experiencing his or her lifestyle, based on www.couchsurfing.com His first time couch surfing was in Bangkok. ''When you hang out with the locals, you see a completely different side of the world. You have a totally different experience and it's not scary,'' he said.

Phuketwan Update Accor Asia Pacific reports that it retains the mantle of the regions largest hotel operator, with 32 hotels opened this year to date adding over 6000 new rooms. Another 22 hotels with over 4000 rooms are scheduled to open before 2010. Accor has 380 hotels and 76,000 rooms under management. In the new frontier market of India, Accor will have 50 hotels operating by 2012. By year's end there will be 42 ibis hotels in China. The ibis Phuket Kata will open later this year.
Latest Phuket News

Governor Seeks Solution to Rawai Road Stayput
Latest Update Efforts were being made today to finally resolve the traffic hazard where the four lane road between Chalong Circle and Rawai suddenly becomes three lanes.
Governor Seeks Solution to Rawai Road Stayput

Phuket Push to Crack Down on 'Working Tourists'
Latest Tourists who come to Phuket then work will be among those being pursued under a crackdown from the end of the month, Phuket's Governor announces.
Phuket Push to Crack Down on 'Working Tourists'

Phuket's Amari Remake Comes with $44m Growth
Latest After 25 years, Amari Coral Beach Phuket is being reshaped as part of the brand's 44 million dollar Asia Pacific expansion. Another 80 rooms are being added, too.
Phuket's Amari Remake Comes with $44m Growth

Four Fresh Tiger Flights Give Krabi an Air Lift
Latest Krabi is set for takeoff this high season with four new flights coming its way from Singapore, which is a whole lot closer than Scandinavia. And that's a significant change.
Four Fresh Tiger Flights Give Krabi an Air Lift

Phuket's Jet-Skis: Insurance Deal Ends Crisis
Photo Album The signing of a deal today means all Phuket jet skis will require insurance from now on, and the responsibility lies with the operators to end the allegations of scams.
Phuket's Jet-Skis: Insurance Deal Ends Crisis

Phuket Taj Drops Pier, Offers 50m Baht 'Forfeit'
Photo Album The governor's new environmental approvals committee checks out the Taj Exotica and the Novotel Kamala sites, with Phuketwan for company.
Phuket Taj Drops Pier, Offers 50m Baht 'Forfeit'

New Phuket Police HQ Just Needs More Police
Photo Album Phuket has a new police headquarters but remains short of police. Just 1160 officers maintain law and order on an island with one million inhabitants during the high season.
New Phuket Police HQ Just Needs More Police

Comments

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We have just returned from three weeks in Bali after holidaying in Thailand ( mainly Phuket ) for the past 11 years. Bali has changed from what it used to be, we stopped going because of the rip-offs.

The money changers in Bali are still up to their old tricks, but we just used ATMs ( no charge as in Thailand ). The food in Bali is very good and cheaper than Phuket! The beer is cheaper but not as good. The transport in Bali is excellent, metered cabs that do not rip you off!

No Tailor touts in Bali! There is time share touts, but they are Indonesian and not in your face sarcastic farangs like in Phuket!

Posted by Terry - Perth on October 17, 2009 07:47

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Phuket beaches are lovely, but that's ALL it has over Bali (well, that and the easier visa situation). Bali has gorgeous attractions; living/visible culture, art and history; better restaurants & shops AND no obvious sex tourism. It presents as a much more cosmopolitan, sophisticated destination with less of the in your face, downmarket hassles of Phuket. Oh yeah, and most Balinese that you come in contact with speak English or other languages with aplomb!

Posted by phuket lover on October 18, 2009 13:30

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Phuket beaches are much more beautiful than Bali's, true. I go often to both islands .Personally, I prefer Thai food, but the art and shops in Bali are wonderful, I shop till I drop. The Balinese people are very welcoming, kind and polite, quietly (!!!!) spoken .

What disturbs me most about Phuket are the ignorant Tuk Tuk drivers, lack of public transport, and the screaming girls around the bars etc, not very classy .Finally, the dry season in Phuket suits me, and many others , better !

Posted by elizabeth on October 18, 2009 15:47

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Phuket has nice beaches and good climate (in high season) but not too much else to offer the tourists.

In rainy weather, there is little to do on Phuket.

IMHO the nighttime happenings on Bangla Road (i.e. sex industry) is nothing to be proud of. The transportation system (taxi mafia) is a real downer. Until (if ever) the situation in Phukets cleans up, I won't bother to return.

Posted by Allan on October 19, 2009 11:28

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The fact that Ubud beat every other Asian city in the poll says more about the poll than it does Ubud. It's a nice little town sure - but how on earth does it stack up against the likes of Hong Kong or Tokyo - something's rotten in Denmark in that poll.

Phuket rocks and comparisons with Bali are always a little unfair - Bali is TEN times the size and demography.... so naturally more varied.

Posted by Darren c on February 23, 2010 18:45


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