Gung Hei Fat Choy
Pattaya welcomes in the Year of the Pig
Pattaya’s Chinese New Year celebrations begin today, February 16,
and will run throughout the entire weekend, ending on February 18.
One of the main attractions will be cultural performances from eight
provinces in China, along with a host of other events that will center on
Bali Hai Pier.
The final lineup was announced on February 2 by Deputy Mayor Ronakit
Ekasingh, Itthipol Khunplome, advisor to the mayor, Chaiwat Charoensuk,
director of the Tourism Authority of Thailand Central Region 3 Office, and
Sunthorn Kangsirikul, vice president of the Pattaya Walking Street
Friday will see a performance given by 100 artists from eight provinces in
China, with the show beginning at 7 p.m.
Saturday February 17 will see a talent contest between boys and girls aged
from six to 12 years, with the winners receiving prizes of 8,000 baht, 6,000
baht and 4,000 baht, two consolation prizes valued at 3,000 baht each, and
five special prizes of 1,000 baht each.
February 17 and 18 sees two eating competitions, open to residents and
tourists, with prizes of 4,000 baht, 3,000 baht, 2,000 baht and 1,000 baht.
On this final day there will also be a ceremony for the God of Good Luck,
Chai Sing Eia, at the Sawang Boriboon Thammasathan Foundation offices. The
evening will feature a concert by the Pan Cake and Phynix bands.
Chaiwat said that Pattaya is one of five cities to which the Chinese
government is sending cultural performers from eight of the Chinese
Zantong province will stage an acrobat show, there will be a Hanjo dance
from Jerjiang, a hand puppet show from Chihong in Jiangsu, a magic mask show
from Chengdu in Szechwan, acrobatic shows from Sao Lin Temple in Shanghai, a
show along with music from Huey Long Jiang, a show from the independent
state of Neimenggu, and a Beijing Chinese opera from Beijing.
Sunthorn said that special security precautions are being taken, with police
officers and volunteer police officers on patrol in the festivity areas.
Police prepare for states of emergency
(L to R) Pol. Col. Ittipol
Ittisarnronnachai, superintendent of Pattaya Immigration; Pol. Col. Sutin
Suppuang, superintendent Pattaya Police Station; and Pol. Col. Noppadon
Sornsumrarn, superintendent of Banglamung Police Station will all work
together in case of a state emergency.
Contingency plans are being drawn up to prepare Pattaya for the possibility
of a state of emergency being declared, in the wake of unrest in other parts
of the country.
Deputy Mayor Ronakit Ekasingh chaired a meeting at Pattaya District Office
on February 6, with representatives of Banglamung and Pattaya police,
Pattaya Immigration, Pattaya Tourist Police, Sawang Boriboon Foundation and
the Pattaya hospitals amongst those present.
Ronakit said safety plans are being prepared with local police stations for
states of emergency, especially bombings and fires, in order that effective
measures can be implemented.
Superintendent of Pattaya Police Station Pol Col Sutin Suppuang said that
plans are being drawn up to be consistent with various situations if they
arise. A single person should be able to issue orders in order to avoid
confusion and be able to react immediately if instructions are issued
Pol Col Noppadon Sornsumrarn, superintendent of Banglamung Police Station
added that he agreed with Pol Col Sutin that there should be only one person
in charge with the authority to issues orders to all agencies and officers
at all levels immediately a situation arose.
The agencies that would be required to work together would be the police,
hospitals, fire services and Sawang Boriboon Thammasathan Foundation.
Cow saved from drainage ditch
With a big heave ho, rescue
workers are able to pull this old cow out from her predicament.
Officers from the Rotchana Thamasathan Foundation rescued a cow that fell
into a drainage ditch behind Sattahip Market just after midnight on February
Ten rescue workers went to the scene, which was located near HRH Prince
Chumporn Park. They discovered that the cow has two calves, and that they
all came to graze in this area, designated a public park by Sattahip
Municipality and Chonburi Provincial Administration Organization.
The drain was an old one, and although it was full of water the cow managed
to keep her head clear for breathing until she was released.
Tourists complain over jet-ski charges
Tourist complaints that jet-ski operators were overcharging them resulted in
a meeting in late January between Deputy Mayor Ronakit Ekasingh and the
operators from all three beach areas, namely Pattaya, Jomtien and Koh Larn.
Pongvuthitham, representing the Pattaya Beach jet-ski operators explained
the issues and proposed remedial measures.
Also present were Pol Lt Col Sirichai Krooprasertwattana, deputy
superintendent of crime suppression at Pattaya Police Station and Pol Lt Col
Pathravuth Jarujareet of Sriracha Police.
The meeting discussed standard pricing and safety policy in the provision of
jet-ski leasing services.
Jaroon Pongvuthitham, representing the Pattaya Beach jet-ski operators
explained the issues and proposed remedial measures, saying that the cases
where tourists submitted claims of overpricing with the police were a
misunderstanding between operators and tourists as a result of communication
One of the major issues resulting in high pricing is that there are too many
jet skis, which forces competition, he explained. Some foreigners are
stubborn and don’t listen to warnings, which results in accidents. He
proposed that the number of jet skis be limited and that safety standards
and fixed prices be made clear to operators and tourists at all three zones.
Pol Lt Col Sirichai said that limiting the number of jet skis and enforcing
the standards would be considered in depth, as would the appointment of an
intermediary for when there is a dispute or an accident.
Ronakit said that he would meet further with operators in all zones, and
with lawyers, police officers and city administrators.
Interior Ministry hears of Pattaya City administration problems
The Ministry of Interior has sent a study group to Pattaya to see how the
city’s management structure works and to hear about the problems faced by
Mayor Niran Wattanasartsathorn and Pratheep Jongsuebtham, Banglamung
District chief, together with councilors and department heads welcomed the
group to Pattaya City Hall on February 6.
Dr Paiboon Changrian, advisor to the Minister of Interior.
Prof Dr Paiboon Changrian and Lady Somchintana Paksriwong, advisors to the
ministry, led the group of visitors.
Niran outlined the structure of the Pattaya City Administration Act, which
has been in use since 1999, and the problems administrators encountered when
following the stipulations of the Act.
He said there are problems issuing laws, and problems with the educational
facilities because there are a limited number of educational institutes and
a limited budget to support them.
There are also water resource problems that have affected tourism. Niran
said he had already asked the ministry to cooperate with the Department of
Irrigation in transferring the responsibility of the Chaknork Reservoir.
This is to be used as a water resource dam with up to 60,000 cubic meters of
water for Pattaya City.
Beach Bus looks to a brighter future with Red and Yellow Lines
Despite enormous losses and suspension of services last year for part of the
year, Pattaya Beach Bus Co Ltd hopes that at least one of two routes that is
making a profit will enable the company to stay in business and offer new
Klindee (inset), marketing director and general manager of Pattaya Beach Bus
Co., said the Red Line bus is now making a profit.
Bus services began in the second half of 2005, with a Green Line route
covering short distances. The company lost about 300,000 baht each month
Suriyon Klindee, marketing director and general manager of Pattaya Beach Bus
Co, said that the Green Line route, which ran from South Pattaya to
Photisarn, had lost so much money that that it had been suspended in
September and October last year.
However, the Red Line service from Soi Chaiyapruek through to Jomtien Beach
has been attracting many passengers, and has been making a profit of about
300,000 baht a month.
The company has therefore restarted the Green Line service, and has also
launched a new Yellow Line route that runs from Soi Chaiyapruek through to
Thepprasit Road, via Thappraya Road, Third Road, South Pattaya, Central
Pattaya, North Pattaya, Pattaya City Hall, and Sukhumvit Road.
The company has set up a timetable for this year showing that buses are
running at a frequency of one every 20 minutes. Statistics show that 70
percent of the passengers are foreigners. There is a special summer
promotion in which unlimited-use tickets can be purchased for 90 baht, and
this ticket can also be used to obtain a discount at attractions including
Ripley’s Believe It Or Not, Underwater World, Mini Siam, and Tiffany’s.
The Yellow Line will start running on March 1. The company will also
increase the quantity of buses to 17, and estimates that this year profits
would reach 3 million baht.
Pattaya Beach Bus Co Ltd provides a service every day from 8:00 a.m. to 9:00
p.m. at a flat-rate fare of 20 baht.
Juvenile crime in Chonburi and
Pattaya is top of the league says judge
A leading Chonburi judge has said that Pattaya’s youth are at the top of the
league for crimes committed by or involving young people.
Mrs Arunee Prayongyaem, chief justice of the Chonburi Juvenile and Family
Court, on February 9 launched a project designed to encourage young people
to play a more responsible role in family and community life.
Also taking part at the session, which was held at Ban Nernplabwan School,
was Ms Sutin Thepsuwan, deputy chairman of the Joint Judges Assistance Unit.
Attending the opening were 104 students from the school’s secondary school
This project is a pilot scheme that will be carried out in five schools in
Chonburi, and which the Chonburi Juvenile and Family Court is conducting.
The emphasis is on tackling problems at their root, by instilling youngsters
who may be lacking care and warmth at home, with parents out at work, with a
sense of responsibility for themselves and others.
Arunee addressed the children and advised them on ways of staying away from
trouble, and Dr Sumol Nakchalerm of the general staff at the 14th Military
Ring Command gave them practical advice on how they can help their families
and their neighbors.
Arunee said during the period January 1 to December 31 last year, the court
had 1,498 cases with 3,000 accused youngsters.
Chonburi and Pattaya have the highest crime rates involving juveniles, she
said, because families move into the area from all parts of the country to
try and improve their living and working conditions, and the parents often
do not have enough time to take care of their children.
Consequently, she said, the youngsters congregate in areas such as games
shops, where they find they have no money to play games and where they can
so easily be led into crime to earn money.
Children between the ages of 11 and 15 are particularly at risk, said
Arunee, and crime cases involving this age group have been increasing at the
rate of 20 to 30 percent per year.
Sopin Thappajug, chairman of the assistant judges at Chonburi Juvenile and
Family Court said that this project was one of two projects that the
assistant judges are carrying out in the field of child welfare.
Two youths jump American and try to steal motorcycle
Two youths jumped an American and his girlfriend in a dark soi in an attempt
to steal the motorcycle they were riding.
Police were called out just after midnight on February 5 when they received
a report that two Thai men were assaulting a foreigner on Soi Ruamsap,
behind the old police station in Central Pattaya.
Peraz and his girlfriend Onanong Nakpranom were able to keep Rungathid
Janrakon from stealing their motorcycle.
Officers arrived at the scene to find American national Joseph Peraz, 44,
and his Thai girlfriend Onanong Nakpranom, 21, fighting with Rungathid
Janrakon, a 19-year-old native of Ubon Ratchathani Province. A Suzuki Smash
motorcycle was lying on its side in the road.
Peraz told the police that he had been riding his motorbike to collect
Onanong from her rented room on Soi Ruamsap. She had joined him but as they
were riding away Rungathid and an accomplice had jumped out of the shadows
and blocked their path. Peraz lost control of the bike, which fell to the
road. The thieves tried to take the motorcycle and a struggle ensued. One of
the thieves ran away, but the other, Rungathid, continued fighting for
control of the bike until the police, alerted by neighbors, arrived.
Rungathid wasn’t able to give any reason as to why he had attempted so
energetically to steal the motorcycle, nor would he give the name of his
accomplice. Police observed he looked as if he was high on drugs. He has
been charged with assault and attempted robbery and investigations are being
made to track down his partner in crime.
Thief snatches necklace from Russian tourist
A thief who snatched a Russian tourist’s necklace was caught by a passer-by
in front of Pattaya Police Station.
Police received a report just after midnight on January 29 that a foreign
visitor had apprehended a snatch-and-run thief outside their doors. Officers
turned out and found Italian tourist Fasseha Pranuo, 64, detaining Noppadol
Saentue, a 29-year-old native of Buriram. Police searched Noppadol and found
a brass knuckle-duster.
running from the scene and with brass knuckles in his possession, Noppadol’s
“I didn’t do it” defense didn’t hold much credence.
Two women, Miss Rocpera, 54, and Miss Tatiana, 53, both Russian tourists,
came up to take a look at the thief.
Rocpera told officers that she was walking along the beach and heading back
to the Golden Beach Hotel with her friend. When they arrived at Tip Plaza,
500 meters from Pattaya Police Station, two men approached from behind and
one of them snatched her diamond studded gold necklace, worth about 15,000
baht, snapping it in the process.
The two men ran off along the beach towards the police station, and the two
women chased after them, screaming for help. Passer-by Pranuo, who saw the
incident, gave chase and managed to catch up with and grab Noppadol, but the
attacker who snatched the necklace made his escape with it.
Noppadol said that he had nothing to do with the attack. He said he had come
to the beach looking for a service girl with a man named Ton, whose real
name he didn’t know. He said he gave money to Ton to pay for the girl. He
then saw Ton snatch the necklace and make a run for it. Out of fear of
losing the money that he paid for the girl he ran after him and was grabbed.
The women and other witnesses, however, had a more credible story, and
Noppadol was charged with theft. Police are looking for Ton.
Snatch thief wanted money for his girlfriend
A man who was caught by his victim when he snatched the bag of a Korean
tourist told police that he needed money to pay his girlfriend’s college
Police were called out to the scene of the robbery in front of Royal Garden
Plaza on Second Road at 12.20 a.m. on January 27.
They found Sen Yong Chun, a 45-year-old Korean national, who along with
three of his friends was detaining 22-year-old Anuchit Lamlert. Anuchit was
clutching a black bag containing over 50,000 baht in Thai and foreign
currency, and some documents belonging to Sen.
Sen said that he had been waiting for a baht bus with his friends in front
of the mall. Suddenly Anuchit appeared on a motorcycle and snatched Sen’s
bag from his hand. The man tried to escape, but Sen’s friends chased him and
pulled him off the motorcycle.
Anuchit stated that his family was broke and he was trying to find some
work, but he couldn’t get a job. Meanwhile his lover is a student, and he
must earn money for her expenses. So he decided to rob a tourist.
Police didn’t believe him during the primary questioning, because his
behavior suggested that he had experience. Anuchit was charged with robbery.
Police in hospital watch over suicide bid Indian after girl is found dead
An Indian man was taken to hospital after a suicide bid, apparently after he
had killed his Thai girlfriend with a dose of drugs or poison.
Police were called out at 1:30 a.m. on February 4 to a room at the OD Bowl
Hotel on Pratamnak Road, along with rescue workers from the Sawang Boriboon
In room 508 on the 5th floor the officers found the dead body of a Thai
woman identified as Ms Rattiya Nawa-Aran, 20, of Nakhon Ratchasima.
She was lying on her back on the bed, and covered with a cream colored
blanket from her feet to her neck. The body was dressed in a black T-shirt
and a skirt with a black flower design. Her face had contusions, including a
long contusion under her chin. She was wearing a gold necklace, and there
were eleven US one-dollar bills beside her. No other injuries were found on
Police examined the room and noted that beside the bed there were traces of
a candle having been lit, and there was an amount of medication for the
treatment of various ailments. There were photos of the couple, and a
farewell letter written in English saying that the girl’s life was being
taken deliberately because she did not love and care about the writer as
before. On the balcony outside the window were two plastic tubes believed to
have contained drugs, which were taken by the police for examination.
Ms Tanaporn Sornpanu, 45, a cashier at the hotel, said that Harminder Singh,
a 38-year-old Indian national, had been renting the room since January 23,
and had been staying there with the deceased. He had come down to the lobby,
and was clearly ill: his face was flushed and he was vomiting. Tanaporn
called Bangkok Pattaya Hospital to collect him for treatment, and also
called the room. No one picked up the phone. She suspected that some kind of
incident had occurred, and asked a hotel employee to open the room. There
they found Rattiya’s corpse.
Tanaporn told police that Harminder seldom left the room. Rattiya would go
out alone late at night and come back in the early hours, usually in a state
of drunkenness. The cashier didn’t know the reason why she went out.
Police believe that Harminder and Rattiya had been taking drugs in the room,
and that Harminder had either taken the opportunity to give her poison or
had given her an overdose. Then he had laid her on the bed and covered her
up before taking the same poison or overdosing himself.
Officers are monitoring Harminder’s condition and waiting an opportunity to
Ceremony held to lay to rest the spirits of those who have perished in Samaesarn Bay
Buddhist monks chant prayers
during the ceremony.
Nine-nine monks conducted a religious festival at sea on February 3, with
149 fishing boats joining the warship HTMS Matapon while a ceremony was held
to lay to rest the spirits of all those who have died in Samaesarn Bay over
the years, and to ensure a safe passage for all the boats sailing there.
Abbot Wisatsutakorn of Chong Samaesarn Temple, in Samaesarn, Sattahip led
the ceremony, which was attended by Vice Admiral Jumnong Kittipeerachol,
commander of the First Naval Area Command, Vice Admiral Chanchai
Charoensuwan, commander of Sattahip Naval Base, Admiral Ditawat Wongsuwan,
advisor to the Royal Thai Navy, Sontaya Khunplome, former Minister of
Tourism and Sport, and Santsak Ngampiches, former Minister of Public Health.
Prasert Pitakkorn, head of the Samaesarn Administration Organization, said
that thousands of people have perished in the bay over the years, and that
making merit was a way of ensuring their souls rested in peace and that the
lives of the local community and the fishermen were not troubled by restless
In former times, said Prasert, Chong Plawai in Samaesarn Bay was used as a
navigation point for junks and other cargo boats plying their trade between
Siam and China. Chong Plawai was also a pirates’ lair, where robbers lay in
wait for boats that they boarded, throwing the bodies of the crew overboard
where they were often eaten by sharks. In more modern times, fishing vessels
have also been attacked and robbed, and their crews dumped into the sea. The
bay, he said, was an ocean tomb.
Two days later, on February 5, a wooden charm bearing the image of HRH
Prince Chumporn, Father of the Royal Thai Navy, went on sale at the temple
for the price of 299 baht. Priest Wisartsutakorn said the funds raised would
be used to construct a hall that would be dedicated to the spirits of all
those who had perished in Samaesarn Bay.
149 fishing boats surround the
HTMS Matapon warship to make a potent charm to lay to rest the spirits of
all those who have died in Samaesarn Bay over the years, and to ensure a
safe passage for all the boats sailing there.
District chief urges fair spending of village development funds
Banglamung’s district chief has called upon the community heads to ensure
that village development funds are fairly disbursed.
District Chief Pratheep Jongsuebtham
Pratheep Jongsuebtham chaired a meeting of the village funds community at
Banglamung District Office on February 2, to discuss the division of the
There are six villages within the district that have registered a juristic
person for this purpose, namely Mabkhawarn, Nongyang, Huaykainao, Pusai,
Pong and Nongyai.
Pratheep said that in the 2006 financial year there were 75 funds divided
into 60 village funds and 15 community funds. The money totals approximately
60 million baht, and there is an overdue debt of 6.3 percent.
He said that management of the money, which is for development projects, has
so fair not been entirely fair. Although the money is for the collective
good, not everyone is benefiting in the way they are supposed to be.
“Unless the funds committee shares the money out fairly for community
projects, the people will not feel the benefits of development,” he said.
“This fund is for everyone, not only specific groups.”
Community enterprise launches own drinking water brand
The entrepreneurial spirit of the residents of Ban Hua Thung Community has
led to the creation of their own brand of drinking water, initially being
sold locally but with plans to extend sales into nearby areas and to local
Watsana Pipatwong, president of the Ban Hua Thung Community, poses with the
proud community’s new drinking water.
The launch of the project took place on January 25 at the Ban Hua Thung
Community Office, in Naklua. Heading the presentation was Mayor Niran
Wattanasartsathorn, accompanied by Itthipol Khunplome, chief advisor to the
mayor, and city councilors from Zone 2.
Ms Watsana Pipattanawong, president of the Ban Hua Thung Community, and
community committee members welcomed their guests.
Watsana said the Ban Hua Thung Community had received a development budget
of 200,000 baht, under the Pattaya City Social Welfare Department, and this
had been used to open the community office, which is used as a social center
and for committee meetings.
She said that the community had decided to raise funds by the installation
of a water filtration machine to produce drinking water, and a certificate
has been received from the Food and Drug Administration to distribute water
in the community at a price of 55 baht per dozen bottles.
The Drinking Water Production Group has raised income from the local people
for a fund totaling 246,500 baht. They did this by selling a total of 493
shares valued at 500 baht each, and the profits will be divided amongst the
shareholders once a year.
The first stage was to install the equipment for producing the drinking
water, including packing and distributing it, which was completed on October
15 last year. When the system was running smoothly, the community felt
confident in giving the product an official launch.
Watsana said that this idea should create a good income for the local
community, and it has had a good response from the local people. In the near
future, Ban Hua Thung will produce an extra volume to distribute in the
nearby areas and at festivals.
Nine Buddhist priests were invited to perform the religious ceremony for
prosperity, and lunch was offered to them before the official opening of the
Ban Thung Community Office. Pattaya councilors from Zone 2 donated a
1,600-liter stainless steel tank to the community for use in the water
Baywatch: Slap a charge on the stickers
urged Pattaya Mail to take a look at
the area around Soi 1 on beach road, where an unknown hand has been posting
black stickers around the place and giving the area an ugly, tatty
appearance. The stickers measure about 14 by 17 centimeters, are black in
color, and have a barcode design.
Our reporter found them on electric posts, stone benches, and electricity
boxes. Any flat surface, in fact. They are an eyesore. Neither is Soi 1
alone in this unwanted form of decoration, for similar stickers can be seen
at other places in the city.
We suggest two courses of action. Firstly, city hall workers need urgently
to be sent out with detergent and scrapers to remove these offending
notices. Secondly, anyone spotting the perpetrator should report him
immediately to the police who we have no doubt could slap a charge of some
kind on him, whether it be for littering, defacing public property, or
Pattaya has enough problems with maintaining its image without someone
deliberately setting out to besmirch it.
Pattaya police chief says crime can be cut with right tools
Pattaya’s recently appointed police chief says that despite the enormous
problems facing the city in terms of crime he is confident that efficient
policing can make Pattaya a tourism destination safe for visitors.
Colonel Sutin Suppuang, Superintendent of Pattaya Police Station
Pol Col Sutin Suppuang, in an interview with Pattaya Mail, said the police
carry a particularly heavy responsibility in Pattaya, because this is an
international tourist town and society here is structured differently to
society in other large towns in Thailand. Consequently the problems are
different, and the people the police deal with on a daily basis are
“Add to this the dangers posed by crime to the image of Pattaya overseas,
and consequently the livelihoods of the residents here, and the police
really do have a complex role to play,” he said.
In his first three months in the job, said Pol Col Sutin, he had spent a lot
of time working with the various units that deal with all aspects of police
work in Pattaya, and finding out what problems they have in the way of
budgeting, administration, equipment, and communications.
He said that the police public relations unit has an important function,
creating understanding and building relationships between the police and the
village communities. Much emphasis is placed on holding entertainment events
in the communities, staged by officers, to build trust and help in the
grassroots fight against narcotics use.
Another area the superintendent is keen on developing to the next stage is
the website that provides information on and for the communities. He also
wants to set up a special police unit that would work on solving old crime
cases and bringing to justice those who thought they had escaped the law.
Pol Col Sutin has served the Royal Thai Police for 27 years. He was a
metropolitan police officer for nine years, served three years at the
Choulachomklao Royal Military Academy, was at the Crime Suppression Division
for two years before moving to Taopoon Police Station for two years, and
then returned to take the position of deputy superintendent of the Crime
Suppression Division for five years.
More facilities are needed in Pattaya if the police are going to provide
better protection, he says, and he has submitted several proposals to the
city council. One of these is for more police patrol vehicles because there
are not enough at present to carry out the patrol requirements needed.
“We have already had a positive response to our request,” he says.
More police boxes are needed because many areas are not covered. Newer
computers are needed to replace the existing ones. Permanent interpreters
are needed at Pattaya Police Station to provide a more efficient service for
“People need to have an interpreter and a line of communication in their own
language if they are filing complaints or are completing police
The superintendent said that the cooperation between the police and the army
and navy in mounting joint patrols has been very effective, and visitors
have become more confident in the safety of themselves and their property.
There are many other priorities on Pol Col Sutin’s list. He wants to set up
a special unit for investigating violations of the rights of women and
children, another unit dedicated to investigating motorcycle and vehicle
theft, and an increase in checkpoints and tourist service points. He wants
volunteer police officers on 24-hour duty to protect tourists on Beach Road
and in the entertainment establishments, and he wants a community relations
team that would build on the goodwill generated by the public relations unit
and dispense help in tackling petty crime and drugs use in the villages.
Pattaya Police Station has a special reception desk for the public, and two
officers are always on duty to advise residents and visitors.
“We have a slogan here,” says Pol Col Sutin. “It says, ‘People in trouble
are the police in trouble.’ Which means essentially that if the police
cannot solve people’s problems, then they are not doing their job.”