HEADLINES [click on headline to view story]: 

Safety is theme of this year’s Songkran festival in Pattaya

Murder for Mercy

Gen. Kanit Permsub gives good advice to youngsters at Songkran blessings ceremony

Elderly Day celebrated with blessings and scented water

Monsters can be loveable too

Safety is theme of this year’s Songkran festival in Pattaya

Young novice monks line up for alms.

Banglamung District Chief Pratheep Jongsuebtham (right) and Mayor Niran Wattanasartsathorn (left) leading people in making merit at Lanpho, Naklua.

A monk takes time to stop by one of the entrants at the sand castle building contest at Wat Chaimongkol in South Pattaya.

Umbrellas from the North were a popular feature during the Songkran parade.

Youngsters taking part in a Songkran dance contest.

It’s all good fun.

The grownups have fun preserving Thai tradition, too.

Mayor Niran gets a face full of powder from a young reveler.

Elephants, mahouts and kids join the fun during Songkran celebrations at Nong Nooch Tropical Gardens.

Young dancers perform an ancient Thai dance to preserve Thai tradition.

Pattaya Mail elders and senior staff received blessings from, and gave blessings to, the rest of the staff during the Songkran festivities.

It was complete madness during the Wan Lai festivities.

Four girls from the Girly Berry pop-group holding a concert in front of Hard Rock Cafe Pattaya to alleviate the heat.

The party raged on until sunset.

Tourist police and volunteers have fun whilst spreading the “Don’t drink and drive” message down Walking Street.

Our camera man Pop (left) and the police were not immune to receiving a complete soaking.

There wasn’t a dry spot in the city, outside on the streets.

A typical scene during Songkran – three on a motorbike and not one person wearing a helmet.

Oooh, that’s cold!

Sorry, your little squirt gun just doesn’t stand up to an elephant’s built-in water cannon.

More than a few revelers were standing red-faced as police confiscated more than 500 PVC water guns.

Song and dance as tourist police and volunteers spread the “Don’t drink and drive” message down Walking Street.

Pol. Col. Sutin Suppuang, Pattaya Police superintendent, mandated that PVC water guns would be confiscated.

It’s a tough job directing traffic during Songkran.

Traffic was at a standstill nearly all day – as it is every year during the Songkran water throwing melee.

Ariyawat Nuamsawat
Whereas traditional values were the theme last year, this year’s Songkran theme was deemed “safety” when the annual water throwing madness once again took over the greater Pattaya area. Police were sent out in force to quell any disturbances, checkpoints were set up on roads to discourage drunk driving, and PVC water cannons were confiscated.
The extra effort seemed to work, at least in part, as there were no road deaths recorded in Pattaya. There were, however, 5 traffic deaths reported in Chonburi province, slightly down from last year. 53 people were injured, and most of the accidents involved motorbikes.
Pol. Col. Sutin Suppuang, superintendent of Pattaya Police, said that checkpoints were set up on the roads from April 9 - 19, resulting in 17 drunk driving arrests. Police also managed to confiscate over 500 PVC water cannons during the festival.
Pol. Col. Sutin said, “985 people were given a citation for not wearing helmets, 158 people were cited for not having the necessary equipment for vehicles, 168 people were not using their seatbelts, 608 people didn’t have driver’s licenses, and 221 people were driving on the wrong side of the road.”
Police were also on the lookout for “people who weren’t dressed in appropriate attire,” Pol. Col. Sutin said, but “officers were not able to cite everyone due to there not being specific laws to do so. Nevertheless, police officers were sent to warn groups of people who were playing in the water and not dressing in appropriate attire. However, it was unknown if anyone heeded there warnings.”
Traffic throughout the holiday period was heavy, and once again came to a complete standstill in Pattaya on April 19, the height of the Wan Lai festivities. An attempt was made to mitigate the congestion by trying to keep most water throwing traffic in the large, one-way Beach Road to Pattaya 2nd Road loop.
In Jomtien, Beach Road was converted to one-way traffic from the Grand Condotel intersection to Sukhumvit Road at Soi Wat Boonkanjanaram on Soi Chaiyapreuk. People with cars from Sattahip that wanted to play in the water at Jomtien Beach were required to enter the fray from Thepprasit Road.
Deputy Mayor Ronakit Ekasingh said that, even though the results this year were satisfactory, more could be done in future years. He suggested a more advanced safety campaign and establishing a set time for water play. “There were complaints from people who had problems going to and from work,” he said. “Perhaps zones should be set for playing in the water.”
Ronakit also suggested that perhaps Pattaya Beach Road should be closed to traffic during the Wan Lai period in Pattaya. “The road would be used for playing in the water and holding activities to boost local culture … to show foreign tourists the good traditions of Thailand, so they will know more about them,” Ronakit said.
Even with all the safety measures in place, Pattaya was once again turned into a big free-for-all. Thousands of tourists, both Thai and foreign, converged on Pattaya for a week of water throwing fun, culminating in the city-wide water throwing party on April 19.
Most hotels and resorts held their own versions of the festivities, many offering safe havens from the complete madness outside. And since the annual event infuses billions of baht into the local economy, no doubt it is here to stay.

Murder for Mercy

Nova Devoe and Eddie Cheek brutally murdered

The shocking announcement as the murderess Billy Clubb confesses her crime.

Lynne questions the suspects as the hunt for the killer intensifies. Billy Clubb remains tight-lipped in the background.

Actress Nova Devoe (Rachel Hoag) and Producer Eddie Cheek (Paul Strachan) were both brutally murdered at the Habitu restaurant in downtown Pattaya on Saturday night, April 21.

“Have you stolen my script?” Andrew and Nova go through their lines.
Pattaya’s wealthiest rubbed shoulders with the social elite at this glitzy event held in the chic Habitu restaurant where they had gathered at the invitation of producer/director Eddie Cheek. The evening was designed to attract backers for Mr. Cheek’s new film venture “The Alien was a Zombie”.
Rock Stud (Mike Diamente) was in attendance escorting the newest Pattaya starlet, Cheri Pitt (Jacinta Chamberlain). Miss Devoe appeared to be without an escort except for her mysterious and somewhat inept bodyguard Dan Druff (Matthew Hoag). Also in attendance was Billy Clubb (Clare Bryant) from Clubb Casting, and the rest of Eddie Cheek’s production company - Edith Header (Glenis Townsend), his costume designer; Quinnie Winston (Sanjay Lamba), his makeup artist; Henny Loggersnapper (Ann Ribbins), his script supervisor; and Dr. Willie (Nancy Bradburn), Rock Stud’s therapist.
LA has Hollywood, India has Bollywood and Pattaya has Pollywood with all the accompanying rumors and gossip. Tensions were certainly running high early in the evening with Miss Devoe, Rock’s former wife, threatening to tell all in an interview with Entertainment Tonight to be aired later this week.

Dr. Willie (left) and Graham hand out the evening’s awards.
Eddie Cheek held impromptu auditions with the wealthiest backers reading short scenes from the new movie, with Quinnie Winston, Nova Devoe and Cheri Pitt. One banker who had a realistic foreign accent is rumored to have secured a bit part.
Mr. Cheek then dropped a Pollywood bombshell by announcing that he had rewritten the script and was taking the lead from Cheri Pitt and giving it back to Nova Devoe. The resulting scenes were ugly and ended in what can only be described as a cat fight between dueling divas.
It was shortly after this that Nova Devoe staggered into the room, blood streaming from a head wound, and died in the arms of a multi-millionaire banker. The rumor that she asked for his phone number before dying cannot be substantiated.

Judy (left) picked up the ‘Best Costume Award’.
The rumor mill then took over sparing nobody. It seems that everyone in attendance had a secret to hide or a motive to kill Miss Devoe.
Rock Stud tried to assert some order, citing his experience as a TV Private Investigator. With Eddie Cheek, who was in his customary evening dress, they decided to try to solve the murder before the local police could get involved and ruin their careers. All this was to no avail, and just moments later Eddie Cheek staggered into the room, the victim of a brutal stabbing.
Pandemonium followed as all the guests shouted accusations and tried to question each other in a quest to find the guilty party.
Order was restored by Dan Druff who revealed himself as an undercover policeman. He announced that Eddie Cheek was being blackmailed by Billy Clubb, the original author of “The Alien was a Zombie”.
Billy Clubb tried to slip away but was detained by Dan Druff. She then tearfully confessed to killing both Nova Devoe and Eddie Cheek. Her final swansong was her attempt to also murder Dan Druff, but she was thwarted in this attempt and eventually was detained by a Thai policeman who cuffed her and escorted her off the premises as the evening came to a dramatic end.
That brought to a close the PILC’s first Murder Mystery event with the proceeds benefiting the Mercy Center for their dental program. The cast, under the direction of Lynne McIntosh had been rehearsing for the past three weeks to put on the event which was a resounding success. The event was filmed by PMTV and excerpts will be shown at a later date.
As a finale, the cast presented certain guests with following awards: The Outstanding Detective, won by George McDonald; The Bumbling Detective Award, won by Lisa Hernandez; The Best Costume Award, won by Judy Hoppe and The Most Involved Detective, won by Graham Joyce

Quinnie Winston and Lisa are relieved that the murderess is now behind bars.

Lynne, Roseanne and Edith haggle over the tip.

Gen. Kanit Permsub gives good advice to youngsters at Songkran blessings ceremony

Vimolrat Singnikorn
Gen. Kanit Permsub, deputy chief aide-de-camp to HM the King, led an annual ceremony to bless members of the community during Songkran.

Andrew Khoo pours lustral water on the hands of monks and receives their blessings in return.
The ceremony was held on April 13 at the Hard Rock Hotel, with general manager Andrew Khoo and his staff gathering to welcome the guests.
Gen Kanit was accompanied by his wife, Busyarat Permsub and other guests including Pratheep Malhotra, managing director of Pattaya Mail Publishing Co Ltd and his wife Vasinee Malhotra, Suwanthep Malhotra, head of sales and marketing for Pattaya Mail and his wife Rungratree Malhotra, and Jiraphong Ruksasut, CEO of Royal Furnishings Co Ltd along with his wife Ubolpan Ruksasut.

Gen. Kanit Permsub blesses the children at the “Kids Wanna Rock Project VI”, at the Hard Rock Hotel’s Songkran Festival.
Thai traditional ceremonies followed, with nine Buddhist monks chanting prayers. Management and staff line up to receive their blessings from the holy men, after which Gen. Kanit and Khunying Busyarat presided over the blessing of the Hard Rock Hotel employees. 42 youngsters from Pattaya School No 7 were invited to join in the Kids Wanna Rock Project VI celebrations, which included a sumptuous lunch, before jumping into the hotel’s swimming pool for an afternoon of fun and games.
Gen Kanit addressed the children, saying that he was very happy that the children had been given the opportunity to visit the Hard Rock Hotel, which he considers to be one of the best anywhere. He thanked the management for their generosity and compassion by making Songkran for the children a most memorable one.
“I hope you carry the memory of this experience with you,” he said. “My own past was a difficult one. I was an altar boy, I ate food left over from the monks, and I learned the principles of uprightness and strict morals. At your tender ages, you must concentrate on your studies. You must become a person who seeks knowledge for the betterment of your lives.

Children from Pattaya School No.7 enjoy spending Songkran in the Hard Rock Hotel pool.
“An excellent example of improving oneself is Her Royal Highness Princess Maha Chakri Sirindhorn. Wherever she travels, whether at home or abroad, she always carries a notebook and a pen. She takes notes of everything that she hears and sees. She is very keen in keeping an account of her experiences and interesting information about all the places that she visits.
“When she comes back home she puts all her notes into their proper order and compiles them together into the form of a book. These books are then printed and distributed not only for the reading pleasure of the people but also that they may learn something from them. Income raised from the sales of these journals is redirected back to support the youth in the country.
“Her Royal Highness is an outstanding example that youngsters should follow in developing and improving their quality of life. If you let life’s experiences go by without taking advantage of the wisdom and knowledge from them, then they would have all been for nothing.”
In conclusion Gen. Kanit said, “You must learn to be generous and kind to others. You must learn to help those in need. This is true happiness that you cannot buy, but can achieve only by your own good deeds.”

Andrew and Roslyn Khoo give and receive blessings from Gen. Kanit and Khunying Busyarat Permsub.

Pratheep and Vasinee Malhotra, join in the ceremonies to give and receive blessings from and Gen. Kanit and Khunying Busyarat Permsub.

42 children from Pattaya School No.7 enjoy the activity at the Hard Rock Hotel Pattaya.

Elderly Day celebrated with blessings and scented water

Director of the center Somdej Naen-Udorn sprinkles scented water on the hands of the elderly folks at Ban Banglamung.

Banglamung district chief Pratheep Jongsuebtham (left) sprinkles scented water on the hands of the elderly folks, asking for blessings.

The elderly folks participate in a Thai folk dance on “National Elderly Day 2007”.

Vimolrat Singnikorn
National Elderly Day was celebrated on April 12 at the Ban Banglamung Social Welfare Development Center for Older Persons with a Songkran ceremony conducted by Banglamung district chief Pratheep Jongsuebtham.
Director of the center Somdej Naen-Udorn said the ceremony, which included the sprinkling of scented water on the senior citizens, was part of the Songkran tradition of showing respect to the elderly for the sacrifices and the contributions they have made during their lives.
Other activities were organized during this day, including foot massages performed in cooperation with the Foundation of the Center in Honor of Her Royal Highness Princess Sirindhorn, haircuts from Ketsiri Beauty School, and medical services from Abhakornkiatiwong Hospital and Chonburi Hospital.
Money was presented to a total of 26 elderly families in Banglamung, and a total of 24 families in Laem Chabang.
Pratheep said that Banglamung district has been carrying out a project in cooperation with the Thai Red Cross to repair the residences of the elderly who have no families to support them. Ten houses in the Banglamung area have so far been repaired, under a budget of 200,000 baht.

Monsters can be loveable too

Pattaya’s newest attraction displays freaks of nature

Theerarak Suthatiwongse
The discovery of freaks of nature such as a turtle with two heads, a house lizard with two tails, and coconut trees sprouting baby bananas tends to send people hurrying to light incense or to buy lottery tickets, but Chonlachai Anumas had an even better idea.
Monster World Pattaya, opened just seven months ago on the ground floor of the Herb Garden Hotel on Sukhumvit Road, just past the intersection with Soi Chaiyapreuk, gathers many of these curiosities together and presents them as an attraction for visitors.

This frog has a wee too many legs.
Thitisak Fhakpairoj, better known as Oh, is the 31-year-old general manager of Monster World. He says that Chonlachai, who is a Bangkok-based businessman, has a hobby of collecting unusual animals and oddities of nature, and that his collection has been growing. Rather than keep these rarities to himself, Chonlachai decided to place them in a setting where everyone could see them.
Monster World is the only exhibition of its kind in Thailand.

A turtle on a diet? No, it just has two shells.
“At Monster World Pattaya we have land animals, water animals, amphibious animals, and reptiles that are very hard to find, including genetically mutated animals,” says Oh.
“There are more than 160 species of animals here, with approximately 1,000 exhibits.”
The show is divided into two zones. In the indoor zone are smaller creatures that are kept in glass cages and tanks. Here can be seen albino red-eyed stingrays, a giant iguana, a white crow, and an oarfish from the Mekong River. Mutants such as the two-headed soft shell turtle, a tortoise with two shells, a six-legged frog, and a white cobra draw the crowds.

Perhaps this turtle took too seriously the clich้, “Two heads are better than one.”
Oh says that this part of the exhibition is carefully temperature controlled, and that the salt level of the tanks for the sea creatures is carefully moderated to ensure that all the creatures swimming there are in their own kind of environment.
The other zone is outside, and looks like a miniature zoo. Here are found rare animals from many countries. One of the favorites is the hairless pig, which is from America. The skin has no hair at all, and the eyes glow a red color. Although it really is a pig, the animal is only 35 centimeters from head to tail. It lives on green vegetables and is a peaceable creature, says Oh.
Monster World is open daily from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. Admission is 150 baht for adults and 70 baht for children.

No, this isn’t the star of the Austin Powers movie, it’s a hairless pink cat.