Pattaya Mail turns 12

Vol. XIII No. 37
Friday September 16 - September 22, 2005

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Fun City By The Sea

Updated every Friday
by Saichon Paewsoongnern

 


TRAVEL & TOURISM
HEADLINES [click on headline to view story]: 

All aboard the elephant for a trek through the forest

British Airways Supports Elephant Polo

Tsunami-hit provinces to be developed as world-class ‘Andaman Paradise’

Phuket to build more warning towers

Amari Watergate supports rehabilitation of disabled children

Newly appointed management team members of Marriott Resorts & Spas, Thailand

All aboard the elephant for a trek through the forest

Chatchanan Chaisree

Elephant conservation has become extremely important in recent years, especially with the traditional habitat of these great gentle beasts decreasing, along with their usual logging work in the northern provinces. One of the sadder sights in Thailand is an elephant trudging along a city road as a tourist attraction, risking damage to its feet or injury from passing vehicles, because its owner can no longer make money from logging or clearance projects.

Tourists take a relaxing elephant trek through the jungle of the Elephant Village.

Elephant Village in Pattaya was set up by its owner Pairat Chaiyakham so that as many elephants as he could accommodate would be safe and looked after, and where visitors could see them in a natural habitat. Pairat also provides housing for the elephant’s mahout, and his family if necessary, saying that a wife can use the land to grow vegetables, or take in work such as silk weaving, which would help increase the family income.

Visitors to the Elephant Village, which has become firmly established as a tourist attraction, learn the basic commands that a mahout will give to guide the beasts, for there is a common language, known as Suay, that handlers share. “Pia” means go, and “hao” means stop. They learn that when a new young elephant is being trained, the mahout will not bathe for a week, so that the beast will remember his body odor. After that, the relationship will be a long and enduring one.

Visitors are invited to climb aboard and enjoy a trek through the woodlands surrounding the village, fording a stream and passing through banana and pineapple plantations. The guides will point out certain plants along the way. “Look kling klang dong” is a kind of fruit for doping the elephant when it needs medical or other attention. For human use, a plant of the family Urticaceae is used to clean the teeth, while the Artocarpus trunk makes a musical instrument and its root is used as a prescription for curing a headache.

They return to the village by ox cart.

At the end of the tour the guide kindly requests the tourists not to feed any elephants when they are seen on the roads. Marching elephants through city streets is against the law now, the guide says, and it should be discouraged.

Visitors interested in trekking and seeing an elephant in its natural habitat should log on to www.elephant-village-pattaya.com or tel 038 249 818, 249 853.


British Airways Supports Elephant Polo

This year, on the 5th - 11th of September at the Development and Resources Division (formerly known as 16th Infantry Division or Som Dej Pra Suriyothai Military Camp) on the southern outskirts of Hua Hin, British Airways sponsored the “British Airways Army Team” from England to compete with other domestic and international teams at the 5th King’s Cup Elephant Polo Tournament. The event was hosted by Anantara Resorts & Spas and is supported by the Tourism Authority of Thailand. All spectators were allowed to view the event free of charge.

Funds raised from the 5th King’s Cup Elephant Polo Tournament will be donated to the National Elephant Institute. These funds provide medical care, sustenance, employment, welfare and mahout training to Thailand’s elephant population.

Hataiporn Suwanmethajarn (3rd from left), marketing & distribution manager of Qantas/British Airways together with the airline staff is seen with Juthaporn Rerngron-asa, deputy governor for Domestic Markets of Tourism Authority of Thailand and Christopher Stafford, vice president of Anantara Resort & Spas.


Tsunami-hit provinces to be developed as world-class ‘Andaman Paradise’

Thailand will develop its three tsunami-hit provinces - Phuket, Phang-nga and Krabi - as the ‘Andaman Paradise’, a world-class marine tourism hub.

The plan, called “The Strategy on Developing the Andaman Triangle,” was approved by the cabinet when it met in Phang-nga recently. Under the strategy, Phuket will revive its globally distinctive status as the ‘Pearl of the Andamans’, while Phang-nga, especially its Surin and Similan Islands, along with Krabi, will be developed as naturally tranquil eco-tourism centers.

In 2004, about 9.5 million tourists visited the provinces, or 52 percent of the total tourist arrivals in the kingdom’s entire southern region. 67 percent of those tourists were foreign visitors, according to official figures released by the cabinet. The provinces normally earn the nation more than Bt.100 billion (US$2.5 billion) in annual tourism revenues.

The cabinet also resolved that the construction of 62 disaster warning centers be completed by December 26 to commemorate last year’s tsunami disaster, with events and activities to be organized for the day.

Surviving tsunami victims, both Thais and foreigners, as well as relatives of those killed in the giant waves, will be invited to join the commemoration, with all costs to be borne by the Thai government.

The cabinet also approved a plan to build a ‘Tsunami Museum’ and the permanent closure of the tsunami victims’ identification center, headed by Pol. Gen. Nopadol Somboonsub, as Pol. Gen. Nopadol retires at the end of September. The Ministry of Justice was assigned to continue the work of the center at another site.

The cabinet also reviewed assistance plans for tsunami victims, including children orphaned by the disaster and those who were mentally or physically affected by the tsunami. Agencies concerned have been asked to accelerate pending assistance, including construction and repair of houses for victims, as well as providing loans to local businesses.

Prime Minister Thaksin Shinawatra also instructed the Bureau of National Buddhism to repair local temples damaged by the tsunami. (TNA)


Phuket to build more warning towers

Thailand’s southern resort province of Phuket will spend Bt.14 million for the construction of another nine warning towers before the start of the coming high season for tourism in November.

Phuket Govenor Udomsak Assawarangkura signed a contract with a private company on Wednesday to install warning systems at the nine additional locations in Phuket, with a budget of Bt 14.65 million (about US$ 366,000).

The installation will be finished in the next two months, just ready in time for the high season that brings thousands of tourists from around world to Phuket’s beaches, the governor said.

The warning towers will help boost tourists’ confidence, he said. With additional warning towers, the early warning system will cover all areas of the resort island. There will also be observation towers manned with lifeguards to help rescue tourists on beaches in case of accidents. (TNA)


Amari Watergate supports rehabilitation of disabled children

Pierre Andre Pelletier (3rd right) presents the cheque to Khunying Sarassanun (3rd left), as Rossukon Pookleang (left), Gen. Wanchai Ruengtrakul (2nd left), Manit Nivessilp (2nd right), representing the artists, and Nichaya Chaivisuth (right), director of public relations of the hotel look on.

Khunying Sarassanun and Gen. Wanchai Ruengtrakul, president of Foundation for Assistance and Rehabilitation of Disabled Children, recently received a donation cheque from Pierre Andre Pelletier, general manager of the Amari Watergate Hotel. The funds came from a charity art exhibition titled “Sanam Luang” which was organized at the hotel. Hilight group, led by artist Manit Nivessilp, painted the artwork


Newly appointed management team members of Marriott Resorts & Spas, Thailand

Haydee Cruz

Haydee Cruz is now the group director of sales of Marriott Resorts & Spas, Thailand, and will responsible for overseeing all sales activities for the Marriott Resorts & Spas, Bangkok, Hua Hin, and Pattaya. Prior to this appointment Haydee was director of sales & marketing at JW Marriott Hotel Caracas, Venezuela. Haydee has worked for Marriott International in Quito, Ecuador, San Jose, Costa Rica and Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic

Christina Krause is the new group director of revenue strategy of Marriott Resorts & Spas, Thailand and Anantara Resorts & Spas, Asia, and will be responsible for overseeing the revenue management activities for the Marriott Resorts & Spas, Bangkok, Hua Hin, and Pattaya. Prior to this appointment Christina was director of revenue management at Le Meridien Thailand Resorts. Christina has worked for Mayfair Marriott Executive Apartments Bangkok, JW Marriott Hotel Bangkok and JW Marriott Phuket Resort and Spa.

Patrick Martinez has been appointed as the new general manager of the Hua Hin Marriott Resort & Spa. Prior to this appointment Patrick was resident manager at JW Marriott Bangkok since 2001. A French native, Martinez has worked for Marriott International for the last 9 years, and has worked for international hotels such as Hyatt & Intercontinental hotels in London, France, Monaco, Paris and Dubai. During his previous tenure in JW Marriott Bangkok, the hotel won many awards from Marriott International. Martinez is married to Fabienne and has two kids, Marine and Clement.

Patrick Martinez

Christina Krause


 


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