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Two-baht pieces in cellophane are thrown to mourners at Khun Wanpen's funeral

Phuket Farewell for a Friend from Sweethearts

Wednesday, July 14, 2010
SWEETHEARTS murder victim Wanpen Pianchai was given a sad farewell by about a dozen Phuket friends in a ceremony and cremation at Kata Temple today.

The large space where the monks chanted and the dozen friends and colleagues prayed was light and airy and enclosed by glass. One Westerner, the boyfriend of one of the mourners, waited outside for the cremation to conclude.

In a final tribute, each of her friends placed a white paper rose on Khun Wanpen's coffin. There were tears, and there was laughter, too.

One of the mourners turned her back on the others and, in the manner of a bride throwing a bouquet, tossed handfulls of two-baht coins, each individually wrapped in orange cellophane, over her shoulder.

They were eagerly scooped up, for good fortune.

Four of the women spent last night at the temple, keeping Khun Wanpen company.

Talk afterwards turned to other funerals and, as it happened, the Sweethearts Bar staff were familiar with itinerant Swedish freeloader Gabriella Rose-Marie Strand, who was cremated in a much lonelier ceremony just a month ago.

Khun Tose, who shared a final drink with Khun Wanpen and the man who may have killed her, told Phuketwan that he spoke good Thai. The man, bearded and blue-eyed, said to the two women he had lived on Phuket for a long time.

She and Khun Wanpen slept in the same room at Sweethearts. Now Khun Wanpen's friends are to send home her ashes, to her two young children and her mother.
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Tuesday December 19, 2017
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