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Older and archives of samui and thailand news



We thought that you would appreciate of being able to read the older Samui (and beyond) news any time. We display them throughout the year to let you be aware of life on the island. Some of the news contain useful information and tips. These are the reasons why we decided to make them available to you from now on.
Have a good reading!     ;-)


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July 11th, 2004
Angelina Jolie gets tattooed in Thailand
A big tiger will soon be roaring from the back of one of the sexiests Hollywood's stars. Angelina Jolie has visited for the second time Thailand to get tattooed by Khun Sompong Kanphai, one among the most famous tattoo masters in the world. With this last design on her body, Angelina Jolie's tattoos amount to 25.








July 6th, 2004
Belgian Bikinis on Koh Samui
The current Miss Belgium, Ellen Petri, visited Koh Samui in late April for a fashion shoot alongside last year's holder of the country's most prestigious beauty crown. Miss Petri was modelling bikinis for top Belgian fashion magazine, 'P Magazine', and stayed on Samui for a week, posing daily in various states of undress all over the island. Ellen told everyone she met how much she loved Koh Samui, and spoke very highly of the warm friendly people and beautiful beaches. Local fishermen lucky enough to catch a glimpse of her reciprocated the compliment by staring for long periods with their mouths open. This was the second time the fashion magazine has chosen Samui as a shoot location, and they returned to the east coast islands having tried a similar project in Phuket.

  More pictures of Ellen Petri, Miss Belgium 2004

Source: Community Magazine


June 29th, 2004
Thai Airways' newest routes
Two new destinations have been added to Thai Airways' network. To mark the 44th anniversary of Thai, as well as support the government’s aim to promote Bangkok as a Fashion City, Thai launched a twice weekly flight between Bangkok – Milan, utilizing MD11 aircraft, every Tuesday and Friday. Milan is recognized as one of the world’s fashion center. This new route is in addition to 6 weekly flights between Bangkok and Rome. The other destination is Jinghong. Thai's newest destination in China is situated on the Mekong River in southern Yunan province. Twice daily flights, on Wednesday and Friday, connect Thailand's northern city of Chiang Mai to tradition rich and tropical Jinghong.

Source: Thai Airways International



June 22th, 2004
Agri-tourism
The TAT, in conjunction with the Thai Agricultural Office, has produced a booklet highlighting the many facets of Thai agriculture. The guide includes descriptions of a number of routes around the country that allow tourists to experience a more traditional Thai lifestyle at first hand. There are sections on types of farming, weather conditions, and life in rural communities, which is an important part of the country that few people see or know about. Particular focus is given to important agricultural techniques such as: fish farming, market gardens, hand made products and dairy farming. The booklet is the most comprehensive handbook of its kind available, and can be bought from all TAT offices around the country for just 95 baht.

Source: Community Magazine


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June 21st, 2004
Odd football match
The playing field is that one of a prison. Two goal, two teams, on the one hand ten elephants, on the other hand the inmates of a penitentiary in Ayutthaya. The match ended with the elephants wining by a short head 7-6. The elephants were skillful above all in avoiding goals with the help of their trunk. The local authorities organized the match in order to teach to the prisoners that is better to play football than to bet on it. The colours of the teams? Those of the clubs involved in Euro 2004.






June 14th, 2004
New Channel for Samui
Concerns are finally being addressed, regarding the number of people on Samui who are unable to receive Thai government television station, Channel Eleven. The channel is the only one that people cannot watch consistently on this island, and this means that they miss out on local news and information regarding economic and social issues in the region. In addition to this local programming, for those without cable or satellite facilities, Channel Eleven is sometimes their only option for live football games. The government public relations ministry have now agreed to install brand new equipment in seven stations around the country, including Koh Samui.

Source: Community Magazine


June 7th, 2004
Dulwich International lands on Koh Samui
Dulwich International College will open on Koh Samui. The land has been purchased and the architect is already busy creating the designs. The new school will reflect all the qualities of Dulwich International College, Phuket, and will open in August 2005. The continuing success of the Phuket campus, where numbers are currently approaching eight hundred children, and the expanding demand for places from within Thailand and overseas, has confirmed the college's belief that another campus would both broaden the appeal of DIC and answer the needs of the population, current and future, of Koh Samui. The new school will be akin to a British Prep School, offering classes for 3 to 13 year olds, from Kindergarten through to Year 8. Older children will then graduate to the Secondary School in Phuket as boarders to take advantage of the excellent academic and extra-curricular facilities available there. The new school will have a capacity of over four hundred children. An Outdoor Education Centre (OEC) is also planned. This centre will include teaching facilities for outdoor, geographical, scientific, and environmental education, as well as facilities for training students in pursuits such as kayaking, climbing, sailing, orienteering, and team building exercises. Students at both Dulwich International College campuses will have access to the OEC, a resource that they claim will rival the best in the region.

Source: Community Magazine


June 1st, 2004
Go Asia Award
Thailand's much publicised presence at the ITB tourism fair, held from March 12th to 16th in Berlin, Germany, proved to be a great success. Princess Ubonrat visited the stand, which was designed as a traditional Thai Sala, and included a Koh Samui section, as well as an area devoted to OTOP (One Tambon, One Product). Thailand also received the Go Asia Award for most popular Asian destination. This award is presented by German magazine 'Reise und Preise, in conjunction with Go Asia, and 5400 people vote from twenty three businesses within the industry. Thailand received 75% of the vote over Singapore in second place and Indonesia in third. The ITB is the world's largest tourism fair, with more than 150 different countries represented. Thailand, and Samui, were promoted as a warm, friendly, and safe destination, with an unique welcoming culture and style.

Source: Community Magazine


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May 24th, 2004
Thai film awarded at Cannes Festival!
The Jury Prize goes to actress Irma P. Hall for her role in The Ladykillers by the Coen brothers and to Tropical Malady from the Thai director Apichatpong Weerasethakul. He thanked the jury with all his heart. "It's a great honour for me to be here because it's the first Thai film to be shown in competition at the Cannes Festival. And we have a prize, which represents a great privilege. I'd like to thank the jury and the Festival for having invited me. I would like to dedicate this prize to my family, my mother and my father who passed away before we finished filming."
Original film name: Sud Pralad
Major actors: Banlop Lomnoi, Sakda Kaewbuadee




May 23rd, 2004
Third Samui Regatta
Competitive sailing will be the main focus for many on Koh Samui from 23rd to 29th May, when the third Samui Regatta takes place around our breezy shores. The race headquarters will again be the Central Samui Beach Resort on Chaweng Beach, and The racing is organised under the auspices of the Yacht Racing Association of Thailand, with support and assistance from the Royal Thai Navy. Competitions will take place over five days, and include a mixture of coastal passage races and racing around the cans. Every evening there will also be a special function, with six evening cocktail and prize-giving parties at various locations around the island culminating in the Prize Giving Gala Dinner at the Central Samui Beach Resort on the final day. To date there are around 50 boats registered, with an even mixture of keelboats and beach catamarans, and there will be five classes in all: Racing, Cruising, Sports Boats, Multihulls, and Beach Cats. Capital TV will again film the Regatta as part of a sports and lifestyle television show, which will be broadcast throughout Asia and the Far East on the Star TV and UBC satellite networks. Yachting and Lifestyle magazine journalists from Thailand, Singapore, Hong Kong, Australia, and Europe will be covering the event for their regional and international publications. The Koh Samui Regatta is a non-profit organisation and almost all the work required to run an event of this size is carried out by volunteers and part time helpers. Most of the action takes place within site of the eastern and northern coasts of Samui, and can therefore be viewed from the look-out points to the south of Chaweng Bay, Bophut and Mae Nam beaches, as well as right in front of the Central Samui Beach Resort from where the racing crews and beach cats will launch each morning around 10.00 and return in the early to mid afternoon. Everyone is invited to enjoy what is one of Koh Samui's most impressive international spectacles.

Official website: www.samuiregatta.com
New  Regatta 2004 Results

Source: Community Magazine


May 5th, 2004
Food Safety Year
2004 has been officially branded the year of food safety in Thailand. The government has said that it will monitor food provision 'all the way from the farm to the table', and that this will involve a serious of measures, to be implemented at every stage in the production process. Companies and individuals involved in food production and sale will be required to join special organisations, and will also need a license to operate, issued only when they can apply the appropriate levels of hygiene and quality. Special attention will also be paid to processes and additives that are considered carcinogenic, promote harmful bacteria, or involve the use of chemicals. Approved foodstuffs will be marked with a "Q", as a seal of quality, and those that do not meet the necessary standard will be returned, with sub-standard producers removed from the organization.

Source: Community Magazine


April 27th, 2004
'Moor' laws
The harbour department is in the process of implementing new regulations for all boats wishing to moor in and around Koh Samui, Koh Pha-Ngan or Koh Tao. There are currently no laws in place to restrict the dropping of anchors in delicate marine environments, and this is beginning to have a detrimental effect on the sea life in the region. After meeting with the Koh Samui Authorities to decide on specific procedures, the harbour department will create zones for different types of craft, be it ferries, tourist boats, diving or fishing vessels. The new controls, once implemented, will apply to all boat arriving on Koh Samui and her sister islands in the future.

Source: Community Magazine


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April 24th, 2004
Boutique Bangkok Air
This year marks the 36th anniversary of Bangkok Airways, and to celebrate their longevity, the airline is launching a new public relations campaign that will promote the company as 'Asia's Boutique Airline'. The approach is believed, in part, to be a response to the establishment of low cost airlines in Thailand, and will focus on the style and service provided on Bangkok Airways' flights. The company currently has 13 planes in operation, including four Boeing 717 jets, that seat up to 125 passengers each, as well as their ATR propeller planes. Mr Prasert Prasarttong-Osoth will soon increase the fleet further, with the delivery of two Airbus A320s offering 160 seats each, which will begin flying in August. The plan is then to focus on China as a destination, rather than compete more heavily on Thai domestic routes, although the airline does intend to offer special packages connecting Phuket, Koh Chang and Koh Samui.

Source: Community Magazine

If you would like to have more info regarding Boutique Bangkok Air, you can click here



April 12th, 2004
Miss Tiffany's Universe 2004 is Thai
A kind expression, a sweet smile, dark deep eyes, long dark-haired, velvet vanilla skin complexion on a swirling and tapering body. Saknarind Malyaporn, 19 years old, is in fact a man. But she is beautiful like only some oriental women know how to be. And, in fact she has been awarded the prize of winner of Miss Tiffany's Universe, edition 2004, the transvestite beauty contest that is held every year in Thailand, in Pattaya, 150 kilometres from Bangkok. The contest is held since 1998, and is bound up with the Tiffany Show, a Pattaya theatre famous for welcoming, since thirty years, the main southeast Asia transvestite show. The event, beyond to having, among the declared aims, that one to promote tourism in Thailand, is arranged also for noble goals. As an example, to donate a part of the proceeds to the associations that take care of AIDS sick children. And, as its statutes says, "to promote to an international scale a positive image of tranvestites".






April 11th, 2004
Happy Songkhran!
From the 13th to the 15th of April, is held the festival of lunar New Year's day. The statues of Buddha are "bathed"; the young people pay homage to monks and to the elderly by water sprinklings on the hands and, to have fun, everybody sprinkles water on all that moves. The Songkhran holiday is the opportunity people seize to release themselves from frustrations and to freshen themselves up during strong heats. Stay in your room if you do not like water, but you will have more fun by celebrating outside on the streets.







April 7th, 2004
Dive, Dive, Dive
Mr. Wichid Cesar, the President of the Koh Tao Diving Association, recently launched the island's high season in the capital Mae Haad, under the banner of 'underwater world'. More divers are certified on Koh Tao annually, than in any other place in Thailand, and the seas around the island are also famous as one of the few places left on the planet, where you can still catch a glimpse of a Whale Shark. Unfortunately, over-diving is also becoming an issue around Koh Tao, and this may soon affect the amount of marine life that can be seen in the area.

Source: Community Magazine

By the way, you can catch a glimpse of a Whale Shark among other odd species here (hi-res photos, best viewed with a fast connection).



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March 30th, 2004
Lonely Planet Survey
An annual survey, conducted by the Lonely Planet Guidebook, into the world's most popular travel destinations, has put Thailand at the top of the list in several categories. Last year, Thailand came fourth on the list, behind Australia, New Zealand and Italy.
But the new survey, released last month, shows Thailand leading the way in terms of its friendly people, excellent food, and comfortable climate. The study included a range of opinions on 134 countries, and the people who chose Thailand as their favourite country fell mainly between the ages of 18-34. The most popular activities were either cultural trips, such as visiting ancient temples, or recreational activities such as diving.

Source: Community Magazine


March 26th, 2004
Tourism Exchange
Mr. Ruengnam Jaikwang, the head of the Tourist Association Koh Samui, announced that his organisation will join forces with their equivalent association in Krabi, to promote travel between these popular destinations. Khun Ruengnam said that the idea is to link Krabi and the Andaman islands with Suratthani and the Gulf islands, offering special packages at a standard price, no matter from which side of the country tourists wish to book. The packages will promote Koh Samui as a Health and Spa destination, while Krabi and the Andaman islands will be part of the 'Unseen Thailand' campaign. The offer will take effect in April this year, and both associations hope that their co-operation will help promoto an increase in the movement of visitors between the two regions.

Source: Community Magazine


March 18th, 2004
Bangkok Airways Discounts
Mr Prasert Prasarttong-Osoth, CEO of Samui's only airline, Bangkok Airways, has reacted to the recent announcements regarding the construction of a second airport on Samui for low cost airlines, by discounting his own company's flights to and from Bangkok. From 15 January to 15 April 2004, a return flight to the capital will cost 6000 baht, excluding airport tax, which is a reduction of 1100 baht on the standard fare. In addition, those passengers able to book on either the 6.00am or 7.30pm flight to Bangkok, will enjoy a special promotional fare of just 4000 baht return. A further offer will also be applied to the Bangkok to Siem Reap route, which will be reduced from 11500 baht to 9000 baht for the same period. A representative of the airline said that no other routes in Thailand would be discounted, as they already represent excellent value for money.

Source: Community Magazine


March 8th, 2004
Samui's Second Airport
Khun Wichid Kasemthongsri, the assistant Minister of transport, recently ordered the Thai Air transport Authority to conduct an impact and feasibility study into a proposed new public airport for Koh Samui. He gave the study team just three weeks to complete the study, and would charge the same department with the management and supervision of the facility. This news comes after recent reports that the country's newly established low cost airlines have been looking for alternatives to the existing Samui landing strip, which was built on private land, and is therefore currently used almost exclusively by its owners, Bangkok Airway. At present, the cost of landing a passenger aircraft on Koh Samui is ninety thousand baht per flight. This compared with an estimated ten thousand baht, were the runway to be publicly owned. Once approved, Koh Samui public airport will be scheduled for completion by the end of this year, and the transport ministry have said that its design and facilities will resemble existing airstrips already operating in places like Mae Hong Song and Uttaradit. The new airport is, in fact, part of a national plan to expand and improve domestic air services, in order to serve an imminent increase in domestic passenger numbers, which is projected to grow from 8 million to 20 million within the next five years. This is largerly due to the introduction of low cost airlines in Thailand, one of which is owned by Shincorp, a company belonging to the Prime Minister. Khun Chalon Khotcharat, the director of the Air Transport Authority, said that the budget for the construction of Samui's second airport would be between 500 and 600 million baht, not including the cost of leasing private land for the project. The reaction to the proposal has been mainly positive, with most commentators welcoming an increase in competition, which they claim will greatly reduce the airfares to Koh Samui, making the service more competitive, and therefore attracting significantly larger number of visitors. The current air service to Samui provides for around a thousand passengers per day in peak periods, this compared to more than 5000 passengers per day that arrive on Samui by ferry.

Source: Community Magazine


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March 2nd, 2004
Clear by Midnight
Recent reports that the government intends to impose a 12 o'clock closing restriction on entertainment businesses, have worried many people involved in the tourism industry on Koh Samui. However, there is as yet, no decision on this policy from Bangkok as the cabinet are divided on the appropriate action to be taken. The proposal grew out of a report made by a study team commissioned to look into social problems amongst teenagers, but was one of several suggestions, which have not yet been fully discussed. The team met on February 6 to collate results, and made recommendations to the government on February 10. Without a consensus, however, political commentators say that the law seems unlikely to be implemented in the near future, which will, no doubt, be music to the ears of bar and nightclub owners on Samui.

Source: Community Magazine


March 1st, 2004
Suratthani Food Fair
The annual Suratthani food fair will take place from 6-16 March this year along the banks of the Tha Phi River in the centre of town. More than hundred stalls will represent the most famous restaurants in the province, serving up a wide selection of local and international dishes. There will also be cooking contests and other promotional events relating to the food and beverage business, with a special focus on the delights of southern Thai cuisine.

Source: Community Magazine





February 18th, 2004
New Routes for Bangkok Air
Bangkok Airways have started negotiations with Burma to establish a network of airline routes to and from the country. Last October, the airline began operating a new route between Chiang Mai and the Burmese city of Bagan, and plans are now underway to establish a regional airport there, serving various other destinations in the region. The project is part of the CEO Khun Prasert's vision of an Asian domestic flight and tourism network, with China included as a major destination, as well as a main passenger source. Last year, Yunnan province alone accounted for 1.6 million passengers, and a brand new airport there now provides a more efficient service for those arriving and leaving this part of mainland China. Khun Prasert told that he believes the time is right for all the countries in the region to sit down and discuss the future of travel and tourism, perhaps even establishing a co-operative visa system such as the one in use in the European Union, removing the need for costly and time-consuming application procedures. The effects of SARS, claims Mr Prasert, are now over, and business is opening up fast again in Asia. His company suffered losses of around 80 million baht per month during the scare, with the Koh Samui route dropping by 40%, and flights to Cambodia by 45%. There is therefore plenty of work to be done if Bangkok Airways is to successfully reclaim an overall 20% loss in profit, and a wider regional network would certainly make a significant difference.

Source: Community Magazine


February 8th, 2004
Koh Tao District
The popular dive destination of Koh Tao officially became a government district on December 2nd, 2003.
The new Suratthani governor, Khun Tirarot Khanapornphan, presided over the opening ceremony, which marked the establishment of various departments on the island that are designed to allow residents and visitors better access to public services and facilities. Koh Tao remains relatively small in terms of actual residents, with around 925 Thai families living on the island, and a total resident population of just 5'000 people. In contrast, more than 130'000 visitors arrived on the island in 2003 and 36'000 of these were Thai. A large majority of visitors travelled to the island to enjoy the spectacular underwater scenery that surrounds the location. It is therefore hoped that the new district status will help preserve the island's natural resources, as well as improving the facilities and services available to residents and tourists alike.

Source: Community Magazine



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