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Night or day, the bridge reflects Phuket's character and  blue skies

Phuket Environmental Best of the Year 2011

Monday, November 14, 2011
Phuket Environmental Excellence Award of the Year 2011


THERE have been some promising environmental ideas deserving of mention lately. Making Phuket's Nai Yang beach a candidate for National Surfing Reserve status boosts the fight to save all of Phuket's beaches from commercial encroachment.

And the campaign to wean Phuket off the plastic bag should reach a tipping point in December, January and February when thousands of reusable cotton bags will be distributed at supermarkets and stores.

Enviromentalist Nick Anthony won the inaugural Phuketwan/Phuket Post Phuket Environmental Excellence Award in 2010 for pioneering that project.

So, being adventurous and bold, the judges have selected the old Sarasin Bridge as this year's winner of the PhuketwanPhuket Post Phuket Environmental Excellence Award of the Year 2011.

Why? Because the bridge is Phuket's best and most obvious example so far of that green maxim: Reuse, Recycle, Reduce.

The old Phuket bridge could have been left to decay when the new Sarasin 2 Bridge was erected to cater for motorists streaming off Phuket to the mainland. Instead, some brilliant designer opted to remake it as a pedestrian sunset lookout, lifting it up so yachts could sail beneath.

So instead of being a conduit for gas-guzzlers, the old Phuket bridge is now a place where people exercise by walking, where they shake off stress, and where the natural beauty of each day's sunset can be appreciated.

People leaving Phuket by road even stop on the new Sarasin bridge to take photographs of tourists on the old Sarasin bridge, virtually all day every day, and even more often at weekends.

As well as now being beautiful where once it was strictly practical, the old bridge is a metaphor for Phuket.

The island can be reinvented, the good bits can be enhanced and lifted up, and a balance with nature can be preserved in the face of progress.

Sarasin Bridge, we salute you. You've won the Phuket Environmental Excellence Award of the Year 2011.

Comments

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Never been there, but looks like a cool place to take a stroll, look at the water and just chill.

People like to have smooth walking areas with something to look at.

Posted by Anonymous on November 14, 2011 17:30

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All Phuket yachties know, that if your yacht mast is over 10m high you cannot pass under the bridge. This roughly precludes any yacht bigger than a sailing dingy.

Posted by Boatie on November 15, 2011 08:16

Editor Comment:

Don't all three bridges now have the same clearance?

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Unfortunately, we will have to wait another 30 years before we have a new bridge with at least 30 meters clearance between the bridge and the sea to open a sea gateway for motor and sailing boats between Phuket and PhangNga to cruise north of Phuket toward Burma.
Lack of clear vision on short and long term tourism development leaves many governmental projects unsuitable for the tourism industry.
Just look at the Rawai Pier near the sea-gipsy Moken village, it has cost 120m baht to build and is useless for local tour boats.

Posted by Whistle-Blower on November 15, 2011 09:57

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ED you clearly said what was the best for Phuket's Environment in 2011: a bridge.. This means that very little or nothing was done to improve the environment that in 2011 reached the worse I never seen.. and next year will be worse.

Posted by Dave on November 15, 2011 18:03

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when i visited recently, the bridge and surrounding area was covered in plastic food and beverage containers some of which were blowing into the water below - hardly an environmental achievement!!

Posted by another msteve on December 31, 2011 14:05

Editor Comment:

One of our reporters told the Sarasin Bridge authority before the opening that they needed rubbish bins but her good advice must have gone with the sunset.

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My award for Phuket Environmentalist of the Year goes to the guy who erected the "No Rubbish Dumping, Fine 5000 Baht" sign on Chao Fa Road West going out of Kathu towards Chalong, and my award for Phuket Anti-Environmentalist of the Year goes to the guy who thought it was funny to dump a load of rubbish directly underneath the same sign.

Posted by Dun on December 31, 2011 18:31


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