Love is in the air
Bridal couple reaches new heights, becomes first to wed in an ultralight
Wut Artkhom and his bride, Saisamorn Wichairat became
Thailand’s first couple to marry in an ultralight last week when the two
love birds took their vows about 499 feet (about 150 meters) in the air.
Artkhom and his bride, Saisamorn Wichairat became Thailand’s first couple
to marry in an ultralight on January 18 when the two love birds took their
vows about 499 feet (about 150 meters) in the air above Bangphra Reservoir.
The couple, dubbed by some as Thailand’s “lovers of
the year” married in an ultralight on January 18 as over 1,000 wedding
guests witnessed the thrilling event. Chadej Insawang, permanent secretary
of Ministry Sports and Tourism presided over the wedding ceremonies.
Wut Artkhom is a 35 year-old marketing manager at
Chonburi Muang Thong (C.M.T.) Co. Ltd and his bride, Saisamorn Wichairat, a
39-year-old insurance firm employee at Thai Insurance Co. Ltd. The wedding
took place from the Chonburi Flying Club near the Chonburi-Rayong bypass.
They dubbed the event: “One Plus One Sky Love Match”.
The list of honored guests included Prakaud Chanthong,
Sriracha district chief, Suporn Pradprung, the chairman of Chonburi Muang
Thong (C.M.T.) Co. Ltd. and members of the media.
During the ceremony, the master of ceremonies spoke about
the bride and groom’s love story; how they arranged the 7 USA imported
small ultralights, for the bride and groom, and for Sriracha district chief
to present the marriage registration papers to the couple.
At 5:00 a.m. Wut and Saisamorn dressed in aviator suits
and sat in the ultralight and drifted into the sky, 499 feet above the
Bangphra Reservoir, while guests in 5 other ultralights joined to throw
popped rice and flowers in the sky.
The sweet words from the couple were, “We will love
always, on the earth, in the sky or under the sea.”
When the ceremony in the sky was finished, Chadej
Insawang, the secretary of Tourism and Sport Ministry blessed and sprinkled
water on the bride and groom on the ground.
Wut Artkhom said when he was young, he feared heights,
but when he learned to fly, he grew to appreciate the sport. When he glides
with his wife, he said he loves and cares for her more and more.
Saisamorn Wichairat added that although the wedding
ceremony was very challenging, she was very happy that she and her husband
could touch the clouds in the sky.
After the wedding ceremony, they hosted a reception that included a
thrilling ultralight acrobatics show performed by special pilots from the
Chonburi Flying Club, and an exhibition of Thai aircraft. The ceremony also
included presentations of scholarships to children and a free concert by
Thai popular singers.
Pattaya’s Indian community celebrates Lohri
Pattaya’s Indian community celebrated the festival of
Lohri at the Gurdwara, or Sikh temple, on Jan. 13 in North Pattaya. For
Punjabis, this is more than just a festival; it is also a way of life.
Singh celebrates his first Lohri.
In the morning, children go from door to door singing
songs in praise of Dulha Bhatti, a Punjabi version of Robin Hood who robbed
from the rich and helped the poor. These visitors are usually given money as
they knock on their neighbor’s doors. In the evening, people gather around
bonfires, throw sweets, puffed rice, and popcorn into the flames, sing
popular folk songs and exchange greetings.
Geographically speaking, the earth leans towards the sun
along the Tropic of Capricorn from the day following Lohri. The earth,
farthest from the sun at this point in time, starts its journey towards the
sun along its elliptical orbit. It is this transition which is celebrated as
gathered at the Gurdwara to pray in the afternoon.
The period, beginning from the 14th of January and
lasting till the 14th of July, is known as Uttarayan. The festival assumes
greater significance if there has been a happy event in the family during
the elapsed year, like the birth of a male child or marriage.
This year’s festival was particularly significant for
Amrik Singh, the head of the Sikh community of Pattaya, as he celebrated his
grandson, Anmolrattan Singh’s first Lohri.
In the morning, prayers were held at the temple and the
ladies of the community held a celebration in the afternoon. In the evening,
friends and relatives gathered at Amrik Singh’s home to celebrate this
The festival that brings joy and happiness to millions of people in India
brought this community of Pattaya together, as they celebrated Lohri with
the newest member of the Sikh community.
Four organizations join hands in training project for youth detention center
Kids at Chonburi’s youth detention center recently got
a helping hand through training sessions aimed at teaching productive skills
which can eventually lead to their successful reentry into society when they
Sutsuwan, chief judge of the family and juvenile court in Chonburi and
members of the four organisations cut the ribbon to officially open the
vocational training project in front of the Chonburi’s youth detention
On January 9 four government and private organizations,
including Chonburi’s family and juvenile court, led by district judge
Patinya Sutsuwan, the Rotary Club of Taksin-Pattaya led by Ingo Rauber, club
president and Peter Thorand, past president, Pattaya Sports Club,
represented by president Karl Engel and charity chairman Bernie Tuppin, and
Chonburi Vocational College’s professors and lecturers, cooperated in
organizing three training projects for the center’s young residents.
The projects include teaching how to grow organic
vegetables and beauty salon skills, and the group also supports a motorcycle
repair training center.
Peter Thorand said the toxic-free vegetables plantation
project was so successful at the Sattahip School that the club wanted to try
it at the detention center. The plants cultivated can be cooked for children
at the center and will also reduce the center’s operating expenses.
The beauty salon skill training is supported by the
Pattaya Sports Club and was very popular as it drew a lot of girls in the
center to participate in the 50-hour hands-on training program.
Judge Patinya, head of Chonburi court said these children
also need love and care to nourish their lives. They can become great people
if they are given opportunities to develop themselves.
On the same day, YWCA Bangkok-Pattaya led by Nittaya Patimasongkroh and
members presented sacks of raw rice to the center.
Privy Councilors survey the development area around Yarn Temple
His Majesty the King has graciously designated a group of
Privy Councilors, led by Palakorn Suwanrat, a privy councilor and His
Majesty’s representative, to survey the development area around
Yarnasungwararam Temple in the royal-initiated project. They were welcomed
by Chonburi deputy governor, Phisit Boonchaung and Banglamung District
Chief, Somsak Yonokpha.
His Majesty the King Bhumibol Adulyadej the Great looked
at the barren land and poor residents in this area in 1982, and knew about
the desire of His Holiness the Supreme Patriarch (when he was the abbot of
Yarnasungwararam Temple) to develop Yarnasungwararam Temple’s area.
His Majesty King Bhumibol Adulyadej the Great spoke to
the group who had an audience with the king to consider development area
around Yarnasungwararam Temple entitled “The training center of
agricultural youth of Wat Yarnasungwararam in Royal-initiated project”,
and started the project in 1985.
Regarding progress in 2002, there were 4 sections. The
first one was called the conservative natural resources group and divided
into 6 different categories including land development project, river
development project, the Banglamung research and the wildlife nurture
station, grounds for animal preservation and the Sirijaruenwat forest
The second section was allocated for agricultural study
and research, the third was allocated for occupation promotion and
development group and the fourth was the management group.
Diving business operators voice their
opinion on Larn Island natural resource preservation issue
Pattaya City Hall spent almost 10 million baht in 180
days for Pattaya Bay and its islands’ natural resources preservation
Thammasak Yimin (center) officiates over a seminar with local divers and
fishermen about the 10-million baht worth of buoys being set in the bay to
protect endangered coral.
The money went to two natural preservation consulting
companies: Mahanakorn Consultant Company and Binary Company. These companies
will be supervising and controlling the standard and quality of buoy markers
to effectively preserve endangered coral reefs in the areas near three main
islands. On January 13, twenty seven diving business operators attended a
seminar held at Pattaya City Hall to express their opinions on the issue.
Doctor Thammasak Yimin, sea natural resource preservation
expert said the project was aimed to designate marine areas to be preserved,
and urged underwater diving tourism business operators and fishing boats to
cooperate with the authorities in this development campaign.
The three main natural preservation and development spots
are areas around Larn Island, Krok Island and Sark Island. These three areas
are endangered sites that officials could no longer ignore due to vast and
rapid coral reef damage caused by increased tourist activity.
The committee will set up 150 buoys in safe areas for
boats to anchor so that they won’t damage the reefs. The committee will
also draw up an underwater map and distribute it to sailors, provide GIS
computer programs for tourists to correctly search for natural resources,
and publish general information brochures and buoys manual maintenance
Business operators said the proposed project was a good
and helpful one. However, in their view 150 buoys will not be enough for
tourist boats sailing in Pattaya Bay, as the boats sometimes number up to
1,000. They proposed there should be tougher restrictions on anchoring in
In the past, Pattaya City received 300 buoys from the government but they
did not work well and some are now missing. Doctor Thammasak concluded that
the project is due to finish in February and the committee will take every
suggestion into consideration. He also urged the officials to tie up buoys
properly for effective use in the future.
Internal Security Department holds training seminar
Two hundred and twelve officials from a group of
volunteers of self-development villages and Internal Security departments
from 31 provinces - Regions 1 through 4, recently attended a training
session set up to improve their management efficiency.
Panlop Pinmanee, deputy director of the Internal Security Department of
General Panlop Pinmanee, deputy director of the Internal
Security Department of Thailand opened the training seminar for the year
2003 at the Town In Town Hotel, which ran from January 14 through 17.
The officials were trained to develop logical thinking,
problem solving and help find ways in which villages can become stronger
through unity. They were provided with techniques to manage their
communities and strategies to increase cooperation between the government
and private sector in developing designated border provinces.
The officials are expected to pass their knowledge on to community
members to boost national security.
Police gather for some footy
Pattaya police organize tournament to enhance unity and relationships
Pol. Lt. Col. Cheerasak Chareonchasri, the investigation
officer at Pattaya police station, recently opened the Pattaya police
internal football tournament at the Pattaya School Number 8 football pitch.
stars of the football pitch gather for a team photo.
Police officers from 6 different departments of Pattaya
police station attended the football tournament. The friendly matches were
set up to provide a chance for the officers to get in a little healthy
exercise, improve their physical and mental health and make them more alert
on their jobs.
Police work involves teamwork and the games help build a sense of accord
and unity in their working relationships.
‘One Stop Service’ to operate in Banglamung district from January 31
Somsak Yonokphan, Banglamung district chief said that
recently the Ministry of Interior handed over responsibility to the ruling
departments to reorganize and develop government service systems and
procedures to streamline public services.
The reorganization is intended to make procedures more
practical and precise. In order to increase efficiency, the MOI wants to
combine as many government services as possible under one roof, which will
be referred to as One Stop Service.
The ‘one stop’ means that people will be able to have
access to all types of facilities such as electricity, tap water, telephone,
and public transportation. At the bureau, people will be able to book bus
seats, and pay electricity, telephone, and water bills. The public will also
be able to obtain much more general information offered by both private and
Banglamung District is one of 8 initiative districts in
the kingdom that will include the one stop service in their bureaus. The
other 7 districts are Muang District in Nakornpathom, Muang District in Udon
Thani, Sansai District in Chiang Mai, Bangrakam District in Phitsanulok,
Sadao District in Songkhla, and Muang District in Nakhon Rachasima.
The one stop service national project is scheduled to
commence in several district bureaus on January 31, 2003. The other 800
district bureaus are scheduled to begin the service in 2004.
In Pattaya and Banglamung, tourist information and
services will be given top priority. The one stop service in Banglamung
District will provide information on tourism businesses and services.
The district chief said he has been to Tiffany and
Alcazar shows and commented that both places are a powerful magnet that
attracts great numbers of tourists to Pattaya City and he was personally
very impressed with the international standard of performance.
The district chief added that the most important concern
right now is the security and safety of tourists visiting Pattaya and nearby
regions. He also urged people in Pattaya and Banglamung to help the
authorities look for flaws that they may come across and report them so they
can be quickly corrected for the benefit of the city and the district.
Service girls arrested for solicitation along Pattaya Beach Road
Over 50 tourist police and 20 foreign crime prevention
volunteers converged on Beach Road and detained 40 women selling their
“wares” along Beach Road.
let mom see my face in the paper!
The 20 foreign volunteers had been dispatched to the
areas where it was reported that the women were soliciting male tourists. As
the volunteers were approached by the women, police officers stepped in and
were able to take the women into custody, after which police recorded their
details for official records.
Questioned and fined, the offenders were released with a warning to clean
up their acts.
Pattaya’s hustlers and indigents are ruining the image of ‘paradise’ city
Social Commentary by Boonlua Chatree
Pattaya is a very well known tourist destination in
Thailand and attracts people from around the world, and increases the
national income. Nevertheless, city management is still inefficient in
solving the social problem that tarnishes the reputation of Pattaya City.
A large number of homeless people are dwelling on Pattaya
beaches, from north to south, creating a very degrading scene for tourists
who are there to enjoy the beautiful beaches Pattaya has to offer.
The question is - why isn’t anyone doing anything about
it? Has Mayor Pairat no shame for his city? Some local indigents are
approaching tourists and offering sexual services for 300 baht. This has to
stop and the authorities must take action and clear these undesirables out
of the area.
At the moment, Pattaya is gaining the reputation of a
paradise city - but only for thieves and hustlers who can easily take
advantage of the tourists.
Vogue Fashion short-circuits
in Central Pattaya
Not trying to set a new fashion trend
A local business operator called police and firefighters
to the scene of a fire on Central Pattaya Road after sparks from a
transformer ignited the roof of the Vogue Fashion clothing outlet on Pattaya
Police officers and 2 fire trucks rushed to the scene to
find that the electrical meter behind the shop had been destroyed by fire
and the roof set alight, sending smoke billowing from the flames. Firemen
brought the blaze under control in 20 minutes.
An initial investigation showed the electrical
transformer behind the shop had overheated and started the fire.
Fortunately, quick action on the part of the proprietors and firemen avoided
Maybe the shop’s owner will get lucky and the
“slightly singed” look will be “in” this year.
Paranoid drug addict seriously injured falling out of a tree
Supot Prompila, age 23, from Nong Khai Province, was last
week perched on a tree branch about 10 meters from the ground, screaming for
people to save him from an imaginary person who was trying to kill him. The
drama unfolded in the Naklua 12 area.
ghostly figure was perched high atop a tree as he tried to escape an
imaginary person he said was trying to kill him. Ya ba (crazy pills) was
determined as the cause. They don’t call it dope for nothing.
Police spent over 2 hours trying to convince him to come
down, but to no avail. As dusk approached the befuddled man tried to climb
even higher but suddenly slipped and fell to the ground and landed on his
back. He was promptly sent to Banglamung Hospital for treatment.
An investigation into Supot’s police record revealed
that he was previously convicted for stealing and had served 6 months in
jail, after which he came to Pattaya looking for a job.
On the day of the accident he took 2 amphetamine pills and began to
hallucinate thinking that somebody was after him and was trying to kill him,
so he climbed up the tree to escape.
Shooting at a local karaoke leaves one teenager dead
Another teenager wounded
A gang dispute in a local karaoke bar ended tragically
when things got out of hand and led to a shooting, which left one young man
dead and another wounded.
cry over their wounded friend, who was actually lucky, as his friend died
from gunshot wounds.
The crime occurred in the very early hours of the morning
last week at karaoke venue on Pattaya Third Road. The deceased was only 18
The teenage man died after being shot by another group of
teenagers following an argument. The dead man’s friend also received a
bullet wound during the shootout. Both men were taken to a hospital by
friends before police arrived.
Police went to the hospital to question witnesses who
said that they, including the deceased, were enjoying themselves at the
karaoke club when another group came in. A fight erupted shortly after and
spilled out onto the street.
One of the rival gang members pulled out a gun and shot
the two victims, then fled. In their haste the perpetrators left two
motorcycles behind, both of which were impounded by police.
The identity of the motorcycles’ owners was traced to two local
addresses in the Banglamung area. Police are searching for the teenage
owners of the bikes and expect to make an arrest of the teenage shooter
shortly and charge him with murder.
Illegal phone repair shops raided by local officers
Police raided several shops at Talad Nad on Thepprasit
Road and arrested 4 persons for operating mobile telephone repair shops
without licenses. Samran Joimuang, Sarawut Worakarn, Premsiri Onmak, and
Damrong Plabplaplung were taken to the police station for questioning.
During the raid officers confiscated 24 mobile phones and 63 battery units,
all of which had been smuggled into Thailand to avoid taxes. The group was
charged with importing goods illegally and running a communications business
without business licenses. It is not known whether they were actually able
to repair said mobile phones.
Local discotheque raided for serving juveniles
Pattaya investigation police raided a Soi Bua Khao disco
for operating after hours and allowing patrons under the age of 20 to enter.
Forty underage teens and another 20 who did not have ID cards were taken to
the police station and fined. The owner of the discotheque, Ruengsak
Wanprasert was arrested and fined 1,000 baht for operating the business
after hours, 1,000 baht for allowing under age patrons to enter, and another
1,000 baht for employing underage workers. He was also booked for selling
alcohol after hours. The 3000 baht (US$70) fine might seem a bit hefty to
some, until one considers the place probably took in ten times that amount
after the legal closing hour.
Police raid nets 19 illegal gamblers and over 3,000 baht in cash
A group of avid betters just couldn’t wait for
Pattaya’s first legal casino to be built. On the evening of January 15,
police broke up an illegal card game, netting 19 very surprised men and
women. The raid took place at a rented apartment behind the Chaimongkol
Temple in South Pattaya.
Head of the Criminal Investigation Unit, Sakrapee
Preawpanich led the raid and ordered the arrest of all 19 gamblers. All were
charged with illegal gambling and were bound over for trail without bail.
Police received an unusually large windfall from the
event, as they confiscated a total of 3,155 baht in cash and deck of cards.
These reported raids usually only net about 30 baht.
Rayong police round up over 100 illegal immigrants and vow to deport
Police and employment officials in Rayong Province
conducted a mass haul of illegal immigrants on January 17, netting over 100
immigrants without documents. Officials vow to send them back to their
countries of origin.
Over 30 police officers took part in the swoop, which was
aimed at the Pak Nam area of Rayong Town, well known for the vast number of
illegal immigrants who reside there.
The January 17 raid marks the first such haul following
the expiry of the government’s temporary easing of immigration regulations
allowing previously illegal immigrants to register. Immigrants were warned
that they would face prosecution if they did not register by January 15.
Police said they netted a total of 110 immigrants, mostly
Burmese, Cambodian and Lao, in the raid. The immigrants will be housed in
the Maptaphut Immigration Office to determine their nationality before being
deported back to their countries of origin.
Describing illegal immigration as a problem of national security,
Krissadorn Phleethanawongse, deputy superintendent of Maptaphut Immigration
Police, warned that the swoop was a just a taste of more to come. (TNA)