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Phuket has appeal to everyone, as this beach art show demonstrated

Let Phuket Games Begin with Lightrail, 750m Baht

Monday, November 15, 2010
PHUKET is ''80 percent certain'' to have a lightrail transit from the airport to Phuket City before the island hosts the fourth Asian Beach Games in 2014, Phuket Governor Tri Augkaradacha said today.

He told Phuketwan that the games would cost 750 million baht and involve 64 nations and at least 20 sports. Most activities would take place on Karon beach and Patong beach over one week in the 2014 high season, he added.

With three Chinese construction companies putting up their hands to build the lightrail, a go-ahead and speedy implementation were likely for the Asian Beach Games, the governor said.

Thailand's Cabinet will discuss the final budget for the Games next Tuesday, but the organisers have asked for a 750 million baht spend. Governor Tri is to put Phuket's case directly to the Prime Minister.

Approval of 500 million baht from Cabinet is anticipated. The rest of the funding is expected to be raised by the Ministry of Tourism and Sport and local Phuket authorities.

Governor Tri said ''more than 10 billion baht'' could come Phuket's way as a result of the Games and its aftermath.

''This is a very good chance for Phuket to prove its capacity to be a world sports centre, and to solve some of the enduring infrastructure problems of the island as a result,'' he told Phuketwan.

Next week Governor Tri will begin the Games campaign trail by telling authorities, businesses and vendors in Patong how Phuket's main tourist town needs to improve its game for the Games.

Governor Tri said he would take the opportunity to discuss the reversal of the Patong one-way system with Mayor Pian Keesin. ''Police tell me they are against the reversal and fear it will cause more problems,'' he said.

''Beach businesses, jet-skis and associated problems . . . we will need to make sure solutions are found quickly, and permanently,'' he said.

The Games could provide stadiums close to both Karon and Patong beaches that become permanent assets.

All 19 local government authorities, plus representatives from Public Health, Natural Resources and Environment, Tourism and Sport, Tourism Authority of Thailand, Marine Transport, Transport Office, Highways Department and the Phuket Road Office met the governor at Provincial Hall today.

In a recent News Analysis, Phuketwan made a case for campaigning to improve Phuket's beach safety, water pollution and beach cleanliness in the leadup to the Games.

Bali held the first Asian Beach Games in 2008 and the second Games are to be held in Muscat, Oman, from December 8-16 this year. Phuket will be sending representatives as observers, Governor Tri said today.

The third Games are set for Haiyang in 2012. Boracay in the Philippines withdrew its bid for the 2014 Games because of the high entry cost.
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Comments have been disabled for this article.


I'm interested as to why the light rail would go to Phuket Town as surely the bulk to airport users would be travelling to the major west coast resort areas. Surely a train travelling down to Thalang, then through Cherngtalay to provide for the Laguna/Bang Tao area, past Surin then down to Kamala, Patong, Karon and Kata would be the most effective??

Posted by Jimmy on November 15, 2010 13:45


Jimmy....I would imagine there is currently a quiet yet powerful voice coming from tuk tuk drivers, making it's presence felt about this as having a rail go to the west beaches makes sense but think about the impact it would have on these guys....they won't go down quietly!

Posted by sky on November 15, 2010 15:54


Sky, they could always have the light rail stations at a specific drop off point near the beaches, then the tuk tuks can pick up passengers from there.

Posted by Grimeslily on November 15, 2010 17:07


As others have previously commented, it makes absolutely no business sense to construct a lightrail system from the airport to Phuket Town, when the vast majority of users will want to travel to the west coast resorts.

If such a system is constructed, will customers be expected to travel to Phuket Town by lightrail, and thence onto the west coast resorts by the existing taxi/tuk-tuks? That is plain stupid!!

Don't waste money on a lightrail system if it does not meet the needs of the users!


Posted by Simon Luttrell on November 15, 2010 21:26


Please do tell me what is a Lightrail. Is a tram like in Melbourne, or... Maybe show a pic.

Posted by Benny Hansen on November 15, 2010 22:39


Has no one noticed them thar hills running down the spine of the West Coast? I'm curious as to how the budding engineers plan to span that obstacle.

Posted by Mister Ree on November 15, 2010 23:56


I can wager that we will still be discussing this in 10 years time, just like the tuk tuks, just like the jet skis, just like corruption, this one is going nowhere...

Posted by Maximus on November 16, 2010 09:31

Editor Comment:

Yet he who backs the same horse every time eventually loses his money.


Dumb, dumb, dumb.

The essence of the transport problem here is not Phuket Town, which is the hub for transport. Rather, it is the west coast beaches, for which the use of public transport requires use of Phuket Town as a hub, totally impractical.

The answer is not light rail, elevated tramways, or magical dragons driven by elves. It is simply buses.

Posted by D on November 17, 2010 07:49

Wednesday June 26, 2019
Horizon Karon Beach Resort & Spa


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