Crocodile bites the hand that feeds it
How a monk nearly became a croc’s breakfast
A cry for help brought Deputy Abbot Tirasak Jantawangso
hurrying to the animal compound at Sattahip’s Payoob Temple early in the
morning of March 29. There he found one of the temple’s monks, 47-year-old
Phra Nongyao Deekarn, clutching his right hand, which was bleeding
profusely. Looking on from its pen was a five-year-old crocodile named Ai
The deputy abbot bundled Phra Nongyao into the temple
car, which rushed him to the Queen Sirikit Hospital on the Navy Base.
Doctors in the emergency room cleaned the wound and stitched it. Such was
the size of the gash made by Ai Tone’s teeth that 19 stitches were
Phra Nongyao said that he had been at Payoob Temple for
two years. Other than the usual daily duties of cleaning the temple area, he
had a special responsibility for taking care of and feeding many kinds of
animals, including a crocodile that the abbot had brought to the temple when
it was still young.
Named Ai Tone, and now five years old, the
crocodile lives in a small pool in a square enclosure with a wire fence.
Phra Nongyao said that although the behavior of a wild animal is never
predictable, he believed Ai Tone had to some degree become
domesticated. Every morning, when it saw him coming in the front gate and
heard the sound of him calling, the croc crawled out of the pool and waited
with its mouth open ready for the food he carried.
Phra Nongyao said that he was careful at all times. He
never let the crocodile out of his sight. But on this morning he had looked
away for an instant, and Ai Tone had immediately jumped up and bitten
his hand. Phra Nongyao said he was fortunate in being able to pull his hand
away quickly, otherwise the crocodile could have bitten it clean off.
Signboard on Thepprasit causes
lights out in Pattaya
If, like most people in town, you were wondering just
what happened on Saturday, March 31 to cause the lengthy power outage, we
received the following explanation from Manoo Dulyanai, chief of the
operations and maintenance section at the Provincial Electricity Authority
in Banglamung district:
At approximately 2 p.m., during installation of a
signboard above a village project sales office in Pattaya, in an area near
the Grand Condo T junction on Thepprasit Road, strong winds caused the
aluminum signboard to fall onto 115 KV high voltage power lines. This
triggered a breaker switch at the Electricity Generating Authority of
Thailand South Pattaya Branch, and electricity was cut throughout Pattaya
City and in some parts of Banglamung. The outage lasted nearly 6 hours.
Sparks flying from the accident injured a technician
working to install the signboard. The technician suffered electrical burns
and was taken to hospital. His condition at the time of going to press was
It took a long time to repair the power lines, Manoo
said, because the break occurred at a critical point. Technicians had to
wait for equipment to change the switch, which eventually arrived and power
was restored by 7:30 p.m.
Manoo said he did not know whether the vendor installing
the sign had received permission from city hall, but, he said, a report as
to the cause of the outage will be filed with the Provincial Electricity
Authority in Central Region 2.
Mayor Niran Wattanasartsathorn said that he didn’t think
the vendor had obtained permission. “I will ask this entrepreneur to explain
the situation,” the mayor said, adding, “Many warnings have been issued to
entrepreneurs about installing signboards near high voltage power lines, but
this problem persists. Many entrepreneurs install signboards without
permission. When a problem occurs, it is already too late.”
Koh Larn wind turbines
ready by end of the month
The wind turbine power plant on Koh Larn is currently
more than 50 percent complete and Ratchamongkol Thanyaburi University of
Technology has confirmed that it will be ready by the end of April with 45
Dr Wirachai Roynarin from the Ratchamongkol Thanyaburi
University of Technology’s mechanical engineering department said the
construction and installation of machines for wind power and solar cells on
Koh Larn should be finished by the end of the month.
Permanent secretary of Pattaya City Sittiprap Muangkoom
held a meeting on March 26 at Pattaya City Hall to discuss progress on the
construction and installation of machines for wind power and solar cells on
Ratchamongkol Thanyaburi University of Technology is
installing the plant under a budget of 84 million baht. Representatives of
the university advised the meeting that they are certain the contract would
be completed before the end of April.
Sittiprap said it is important to have more power on Koh
Larn, along with more wastewater treatment facilities and more tap water
production. The island has many projects that require electrical power. At
present generators are used to produce the electricity, and they must use
fuel. This is expensive, hence the employing of Ratchamongkol Thanyaburi
University of Technology to construct the machines that would convert wind
power to electricity for residents on the island.
Dr Wirachai Roynarin of the university’s mechanical
engineering department said that to date, 23 of the planned 45 wind turbines
have been installed. One machine is able to produce 20 watts of power. They
are being installed at Nernnomsao, Samae Beach.
The project began on April 29 last year. Upon completion,
the university will take care of the turbines and guarantee the turbine
blades for two years. Personnel will check them every month, and lightning
conductors will be added for protection. The system includes lights that
will illuminate the turbines and make them an attractive landmark.
Baywatch: An uncomfortable position for Soi 69
(Photo by Vimolrat Singnikorn)
Heavy rains fell on March 23, but the city center was
free from flooding thanks to the cleaning out of drainage pipes and other
remedial work undertaken by city hall. Not so lucky, however, were some of
the outer areas, especially those that lie on a lower level such as
Sukhumvit Soi 69, between Central and South Pattaya.
The water that was unable to drain away from the city
center ran back down the newly cleaned pipes and emerged through the Soi 69
drains, flooding the community to a depth of 20 centimeters.
So yet again the familiar lament of the 69ers, “every time it rains, we
get flooded” could be heard, even as their neighbors in Central Pattaya were
going about with warm, dry feet.
Draft of new constitution will be ready on time says Noranit
Public opinion must be listened to
The chairman of the Constitutional Drafting Assembly,
Assoc Prof Noranit Setabutr, believes that the new constitution will be
finished to the agreed schedule.
Chairman of the Constitutional Drafting Assembly, Assoc
Prof Noranit Setabutr said he believes the new constitution will be finished
to the agreed schedule.
Prof Noranit addressed a conference at the Royal Cliff
Beach Resort on March 23, with members of the Constitutional Drafting
Assembly and many scholars from Thailand and abroad attending.
The King Prajadhipok Institute in cooperation with the
Royal Institute organized the conference, which was held over the period
March 23 to 25. Designed as a debate to exchange experiences from abroad
about constitutions, laws, and the prevention and suppression of corruption
and misconduct, the conference discussed the experiences of scholars from
the USA, France, Australia, Germany, Japan and Canada.
Also discussed was the role of the Election Commission of
Thailand, and the scope of its authority to control elections.
Prof Noranit, addressing the gathering, said that the
constitution the Constitutional Drafting Assembly is creating is expected to
reduce the problems of conflicts. He accepted that the period of time for
creating the constitution given by the National Security Council is very
Comparing this with the experiences in creating
constitutions in the past, said Prof Noranit, it is certain that this
constitution cannot be created faster than 180 days. This is because the
opinions of the public must be listened to for every procedure.
Through listening to public opinion over different phases
of the draft, it is doubtful that the new constitution will have less than
400 articles. This is because of the enormous expectations surrounding the
Previously, no one had thought of putting many of the
issues now being discussed into a constitution. It is only now, with the
benefit of experience, that many of the issues are being considered.
Prof Noranit said that this is the first time in
Thailand’s history that people really do have the opportunity to voice their
opinions as to the way in which the country is governed. However, if the
public disagrees over the content, they will not accept this constitution.
The Constitutional Drafting Assembly has set April 10 to announce the
next step in the process.
Bargirl in vicious knife
attack on Austrian
A 20-year-old bargirl has been arrested and charged with
the stabbing of an Austrian man who was found with severe stomach and throat
wounds at his apartment in Pattaya Beach Condo on Second Road shortly after
midnight on March 27.
Komonwan reenacts the crime for police.
Pol Col Sutin Suppuang, superintendent of Pattaya Police
Station, led a team of officers to the scene after receiving a call for
urgent assistance from a Swiss man who lived in the same building.
They found Werner Tantscher, a 65-year-old Austrian
citizen, trying to prevent his intestines spilling out of a gaping wound in
his stomach. He had also suffered wounds to his throat and face and his
naked body was covered in blood. Police radioed for an ambulance from
Bangkok Pattaya Hospital.
Tantscher told officers that the attacker was a Thai
female he knew only as Aen, and who worked the bars on Second Road around
the Soi 6 area. He had taken photos of her on his mobile phone. He said that
he had paid for the girl at one of the bars and after sleeping together she
attacked him with a knife and made off with his property. He immediately
called a friend who lived in the same condo to come down and help him.
Tantscher was unable to provide a full version of events,
as he had to be rushed to the hospital. Police, however, had the photographs
on his mobile phone, and investigators went out onto the streets to track
They didn’t take long. At 16:00 hrs in the afternoon of
the following day, March 28, equipped with an arrest warrant they arrested
Miss Komonwan Longphasuk, also known as Aen, a 20-year-old native of Ubon
Ratchathani. She was found in a rented house on Sukhumvit Road, in North
Komonwan told officers that she had known Tantscher a
long time. On the night of the attack he had called her and asked her to go
to his apartment. After sleeping together she asked him for 1,000 baht, but
he refused. She said he also assaulted her, and that she had run into the
kitchen and grabbed a 10-inch knife. She pointed the knife at him and
demanded he open the safe. Tantscher refused, so she stabbed him in the
stomach, ripping open his intestines, and stabbed him again in the throat.
She then opened the door and left on a motorcycle taxi and went home. She
threw the knife away at the side of the road.
Gang who dismantled bar released when owner refuses to testify
Police surrounded and arrested a gang of men who destroyed
a bar on Soi 8.
A gang of 20 men who dismantled a bar near Pattaya Police
Station got away with being fined after the bar owner declined to testify
The men moved into the bar just after midnight on March
26 and placed a white fabric across the entrance to prevent anyone entering
before they dismantled the place.
The bar was in the basement of the Prince Hotel, on Soi 8
behind the police station.
Officers surrounded the premises and escorted the men to
the police station, where one of them was found to be carrying a loaded 11mm
The police are aware there is a legal dispute surrounding
the bar, but the owner refused to press charges. Consequently the men were
fined and released.
Wife stabs Australian
man who swore at her
An Australian man who allegedly cursed and swore at his
Thai wife was severely injured when she turned on him with a knife and
Police led by Pol Col Sutin Suppuang, superintendent of
Pattaya Police Station, were called out at 12:30 a.m. on March 24 when it
was reported that a foreign man had been stabbed at a house in Attasit Villa
on Soi 17.
At the scene, officers found the door to the house open,
and a man moaning for assistance. He was identified as Josef Scherhaufer, a
41-year-old Australian national. He had a stab wound to his abdomen and
another to his left arm, and was lying in a pool of blood. There were traces
of fighting and things in the room had been broken.
Scherhaufer was transferred to Pattaya Memorial Hospital
for treatment. Doctors immediately operated on him, because his wounds were
deep and he had internal bleeding. Later on his condition was reported as
Also inside the house was Miss Pisamai Pakkantri, 27, who
is the wife of the injured man and the owner of the house. She was standing
and crying hysterically in the kitchen, and her hand was covered in blood.
Police found a fruit knife with a black handle covered with blood on the
floor. It was confirmed as the assault weapon.
Pisamai immediately confessed that she had stabbed
Scherhaufer. She said she had come back home and was planning to go to a
South Pattaya beer bar. “He complained to me using words that I couldn’t
accept,” she said. After admitting to the stabbing, she became quiet.
Police say the couple had a serious quarrel in the house.
Scherhaufer may have been drunk, and criticized his wife using bad language.
Pisamai is being held in a cell on a pending charge of attempted murder
until Scherhaufer has recovered sufficiently to be interviewed by the
9 killed in Navy helicopter crash
The victims of the helicopter crash were given full
military honors and sent back to their hometowns for funeral ceremonies.
Nine Navy officers were killed on March 23 when a
helicopter they were traveling in crashed after suffering engine failure.
Two Bell 214 ST helicopters had left on a training flight
from Utapao Airport on the previous day, bound for Ubon Ratchathani
Province. The Naval Air Division crews stayed as scheduled overnight and
then headed back to Utapao. An engine on one of the helicopters
malfunctioned on the return journey.
Three commissioned officers, one chief petty officer and
five petty officers lost their lives. They were named as Commander Tossapol
Thumwong, age 38, commander of Squadron 202, Lt Commander Passakorn Rakwong,
32, Lt Jirut Jit-Aree, 38, Chief Petty Officer 1st Class Suwit
Panichwattana, 28, and Petty Officers 1st Class Thanakorn Nuansutha, 30,
Niwat Mungsaeng, 23, Manit Khumpai, 33, Somkiet Seuyoi, 30, and Sukthawal
The helicopter had been transferred from the Royal Thai
Army in 1996 and assigned for duty with Squadron 202 a year ago. It was used
for transporting VIPs and military personnel, mainly on inland flights
because of the age of the machine.
The bodies of the dead marines were airlifted out from
the crash site on March 24. Five were taken to Sattahip Temple, two to
Payoob Temple, and two to the Sattahip Royal Thai Navy Crematorium.
HRH Princess Soamsawalee in tribute to fallen Marine Bunchouy
(Front row, left to right) Mrs Somtawin Yangyoo,
assistant secretary to Her Royal Highness Princess Soamsawalee, Governor
Pracha Taerat and Pol. Maj. Gen. Anan Charoenchasri, commander of Chonburi
Provincial Police pay their respects.
Her Royal Highness Princess Soamsawalee sent a wreath to
be placed at the coffin of Warrant Officer Third Class Bunchouy Inbut, who
was killed by insurgency action while on duty in the South, during the
funeral rights at the Sattahip Royal Thai Navy Crematorium on March 23.
Rear Admiral Sonthaya Noichaya, commander-in-chief of the
Royal Thai Fleet at Sattahip, presided over the ceremony that was attended
by high-ranking officers from the Naval Base, and relatives of the deceased.
A representative of His Majesty the King presented money
to assist Bunchouy’s widow, Mrs Dawan Inbut, and Mrs Somtawin Yangyoo,
assistant secretary to Her Royal Highness Princess Soamsawalee, placed the
Pracha Taerat, governor of Chonburi Province, Pol Maj Gen
Anan Charoenchasri, commander of the Provincial Police Office at Chonburi
Province, and Prakit Rojanadilok, Sattahip District Chief, were amongst
those bringing wreaths and presenting money to Mrs Dawan Inbut.
A representative of the Alliance for Democracy in
Thailand, Mrs Pojanart Kaewpleuk, along with representatives of groups from
many areas also laid wreaths, both as a mark of respect to Bunchouy and to
signify the seriousness with which the fighting in the South is regarded
throughout Thai society.
Navy rescues two British fishermen
Two British tourists were rescued after the boat they
were in suffered engine failure.
At 12.10 a.m. on March 14 the Naval Fleet received a
radio call from a trawler. It said they had found a tourist trawler called
Captain Tong carrying tourists in rough seas and feared they might get into
trouble if a storm broke out.
A Navy patrol boat was sent out to rescue a stranded
fishing boat with two British tourists aboard.
A patrol boat was sent out to the trawler, which was
about 20 nautical miles from the coast. On board were two Thai crew members,
Rungtham Phansaam, 35, and his wife. Two British nationals were also on
Rungtham said he had taken the two tourists fishing at 6
p.m. on March 13 off the east coast of Koh Juang. The trawler suffered
engine trouble so he cut the motor and left the trawler floating in the sea,
hoping it would be pushed back to the coast by the waves. The British
passengers praised the Thai Royal Navy for their speedy response and
City launches photo contest focusing on tourism
Pattaya City has set a budget of 600,000 baht to support
a photo contest with the aim of boosting tourism in Pattaya.
Sawat Patipanprasert, chairman of the Photographic
Federation Society of Thailand.
Sawat Patipanprasert, chairman of the Photographic
Federation Society of Thailand, hopes to use the winning photos to promote
Sawat said, “It is good that Pattaya helps boost tourism
by using photos as symbols for promoting activities. This time we would like
the winning photos to be used to promote tourism in Pattaya, and we hope
they will be photos that will clearly show tourist locations in Pattaya.”
Three main categories have been announced for the
contest: “Visiting Pattaya, Impressionable and Unforgettable” and “Amusement
in Every Square Inch of Pattaya”.
The photos must be 10 x 15 inches and be on photo paper,
and then placed on the back of a picture board. This should include the
original digital CD photo file. Pattaya City will own the copyrights to the
The winner will receive 70,000 baht, second-place will
get 50,000 baht, third place is worth 30,000 baht, and there will be ten
consolation prizes worth 5,000 baht each.
Photos can be sent in from April 15 - July 30, and
judging will take place on August 15.
Anyone interested can submit their photos in person or
post them to the Tourism Development and Promotion Section, Tourism Section
of Pattaya City Hall, North Pattaya Road, Nongprue Sub-district, Banglamung
District, Chonburi Province, 20150. Each entry should include the words
“Photo Contest in the category of …”, in brackets on the corner of the
For more information go to www.pattaya.go.th
City considering an underground parking lot
City officials listen to a proposal from the Easywork consultancy company for a car park, library, and restaurant near Pattaya School #8 sports field in South Pattaya.
Pattaya’s parking problems may be somewhat relieved if
city hall gives the ok for a 230 million baht underground car park project.
City officials recently heard a report from the Easywork
consultancy company about a feasibility study for the car park, library, and
restaurant near Pattaya School #8 sports field in South Pattaya.
Three versions have been proposed: a two-storey, a
two-and-a-half storey or a three-storey version, and it could hold up to
1,000 motorcycles and 600 cars.
On the ground level would be a library and a large
restaurant, and a multi-purpose sports field for use by the school. The
construction costs are 200-250 million baht.
However, at a meeting on March 21 at city hall, there was
no final decision on the specifications. Officials told the consultancy
company to compare construction costs and benefits from the various
buildings and report back.
Question: Howard writes in: Where might one
acquire a fully legal international drivers licence in Thailand?
Answer: International driving licenses can only be
applied for at the Department of Land Transportation in Bangkok, 1032
Phaholyothin Road, Lardyao, Chatuchak district (opposite the well know
The Department of Land Transportation requires one set of
original documents and photocopies of the documents listed in 1 - 4 and a
fee of 505 baht (the license will be issued at the time the application is
Required documents for international driving license
1. Non Immigrant Visa
3. Work Permit or certification from the local
Immigration Department confirming the address of the applicant
4. Domestic driving license valid for 5 years (a
temporary driving license will not be accepted)
5. Two 2" photographs (full face, half body photograph,
not over 6 months old on date the application is submitted)
Further details can be obtained from the Department of
Land Transport, Chonburi, Banglamung branch on 038-221399 or the Department
of Land Transport, Bangkok, tel: 02-2723614 and 02-2723618.
This information has been supplied by the Department of
Land Transport, Chonburi, Banglamung branch.
Submit your questions to email@example.com and we
will try to find and answer. Questions deemed appropriate and the answers
will be published when possible.