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 Vietnamese Ambassador Ngo Duc Thang on Phuket yesterday

Phuket, Vietnam, Burma Trail Link 'Just What Many Tourists Want'

Tuesday, September 4, 2012
PHUKET: Phuket could become the central link in a Burma-Phuket-Vietnam tourism alliance, Vietnamese Ambassador Ngo Duc Thang suggested on Phuket yesterday.

''It's certainly an idea for the very near future,'' the ambassador said when he met Phuket Vice Governor Dr Sommai Preechasin at provincial Hall in Phuket City yesterday.

Earlier in the day, Phuket's new Tourism Authority of Thailand Director Chanchai Doungjit coincidentally suggested the same need.

''For many people, a trip to Burma or Vietnam is a once-in-a-lifetime experience,'' he said. ''Phuket needs to join with its neighbors for a win-win-win.''

Air-Asia tried a Phuket-Vietnam link once but the time may be nearing when Thai Airways or another airline could resurrect the route.

Dr Sommai told the ambassador that Phuket had about 500 Vietnamese who were residents and that numbers were likely to increase with the arrival of the Asean Economic Community in 2015.

She noted that Phuket remained virtually 100 percent dependent on tourism and needed more diversity, something that perhaps could come with Vietnamese investment.

The ambassador mentioned Burma's Dawei deep sea port and the planned land bridge from the Andaman to the Gulf of Thailand.

''Phuket could certainly benefit from working with Burma and Vietnam and perhaps Cambodia to negotiate with larger tourist markets,'' he said.

The vice governor and the ambassador had previously met when Dr Somai was vice governor of an Isarn province.

The ambassador confessed this was his second visit to Phuket.

His first came as a golf tourist, playing at Phuket's Loch Palm and Red Mountain courses. He confessed to becoming a fan of the ''liveliness'' of Phuket by day and especially by night.

Comments

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Looking at the map and checking where Phuket lies relative to Burma and Vietnam, this suggestion about a rail link hub sounds a bit odd to me.

That would be one huge detour enroute from Burma to Vietnam, not to mention the dilapitated state of the State Railway in Thailand and the fact that currently nearest railway tracks are 300km away from Phuket in Surat Thani.

Posted by Andrew on September 4, 2012 13:34

Editor Comment:

No suggestion of a train link . . . it would be flights only. Nothing in the report about trains.

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Indeed, I misread "Trail" as Train.

My bad, I stand corrected.

No wonder it didn't seem to make any sense :o)

Posted by Andrew on September 4, 2012 13:52


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