How safe are the special pathways for the physically challenged?
Can they be used without fear of further injury?
Pattaya City has implemented a policy to care for the welfare of the
physically challenged, but it always seems like they are not the priority
concern, when it comes to caring for their immediate needs like swift
maintenance and repairs of pathways and ramps. How does one jump over a
pothole sitting in a wheelchair?
“It’s very difficult to cross Pattaya Beach Road to get to the beach,”
said Pranee, a 21-year-old disabled tourist who was seen using one of the
new pathways for the physically challenged to get to the beach.
physically challenged girl points to one of the many obstacles that she has
to go through to get anywhere in Pattaya.
“Even though there is one way traffic, looking several times is needed
before crossing the road. It’s already difficult enough for normal people to
get across, but it’s more difficult for me because I have to cross with my
“Where are the zebra crossings,” she asked bewildered.
There are some 50 slightly sloping cement “handicapped walkways” as the city
calls them on Pattaya Beach, but only some of them can be used.
Some are simply inconvenient because there are obstructions, including the
trees and plants recently added to Beach Road as part of the landscaping.
Others are obstructed by signposts and even by garbage.
It’s a terrifying mission,
just crossing the street.
A standard walkway for handicapped people should be 90 cm
wide and this implies that the immediate vicinity of the walkway should be
of at least similar width, but with the various obstructions many of the
walkways are not broad enough for a large size wheelchair.
is promoting itself as a tourist destination for the physically challenged,
where they are promised all the amenities and services that they would get
in their own countries.
Pranee says that it is very difficult for handicapped people to cross Beach
Road, not just because of the traffic but because it is difficult to see if
the walkway is clear enough for a wheelchair. Once across the road, any
difficulties encountered could cause a problem.
“After crossing the road the water drainage pipe is encountered. For normal
people it is okay but for disabled people it causes a problem,” says Pranee.
The difficulties continue once a wheelchair user has reached the beach side
of the road. There are 10 wooden walkways that have been constructed to
allow the disabled access to the sea, but Pranee says not all of them can be
used because some have a steep slope that is difficult for wheelchairs.
A friend holds her breath as Pranee hesitates at the top of the ramp. Not an
easy feeling when one dreads getting hurt, every ‘step’ that one takes.
“Disabled people can’t climb them in their wheelchairs, and they are afraid
of an accident,” she says. “Furthermore, some parts of the walkways are
broken, damaged by heavy rain.”
Pattaya Mail asked Amnuoy Na-Ek, construction supervisor of Pattaya City
about the obstructions.
“We cannot move a tree away from a disabled walkway, but it is still useable
even though it may be inconvenient in some cases. However, many places are
good and useable.
“Regarding the walkways to the sea, some were changed after construction
because the surface was being covered by sand blown by the wind. We are
looking at these various problems and will resolve them as quickly as we
“It was important for Pattaya City to go ahead with the main plan for the
disabled, in line with Mayor Niran Wattanasartsathorn’s policy on the
welfare of disabled people. This in some ways is still a project under
Pattaya Mail is Fourteen
on July 23, 2007
Pattaya Mail turns 14 years old with this issue, and as
such represents a milestone, not just for the Pattaya Mail newspaper, but
for Pattaya and the Eastern Seaboard itself.
For any enterprise to get into the double digits, in this fast-paced age,
means that not only is the product right, timely and fitting, but also
filling a need in the community. The community response to the Pattaya Mail
over the past 14 years has shown that this is the case. You have made and
molded your newspaper to where it is today.
To understand the community’s needs has taken dedication by senior
management in the newspaper. To be guided by the community has required the
newspaper to be part of the community, to feel the way the readership is
moving and growing. The Pattaya Mail, your Pattaya Mail, has been central to
many beneficial community projects, especially to those extending the hand
of charity to those less fortunate in the community. For 14 years, we have
been there for them.
Whilst there are always those from the newspaper who have a higher, or more
obvious, public profile, the Pattaya Mail is not just these people. The
Pattaya Mail has, over the past 14 years, developed a strong group of
personnel who help put the paper together from the editorial and advertising
point of view. Some of these people have also been with us since day 1. They
are just as important as the high fliers.
As the paper has grown over the past 14 years, so has the staff, now
numbering over 50. We need them all to be able to continue and grow, now
being the largest employer in the newspaper industry on the Eastern
Seaboard. We, the Pattaya Mail Publishing Co. Ltd, thank you Pattaya for
your 14 years of assistance and trust.
PBTA urges police to crack down on power line thefts
The Pattaya Business and Tourism Association has said that the continual
theft of power lines has reached a critical stage, causing grave problems
for real estate developers and costing the government millions of baht.
president Chamroon Witsawachaiypan, (left) and vice president Sanga
Kijsamrej make an appeal for action against the bandits.
Chamroon Watsawachaiyapan, the association’s president made an appeal for
action during a meeting held on July 11 at Bangkok-Pattaya Hospital.
His call was backed up by information from PBTA vice president Sanga
Kijsamrej, who said that the problem started to become particularly acute at
the beginning of the year and that the thefts are being carried out on a
Chonburi Governor Pracha Taerat has already classified the situation as
being one that affects the entire province, and has directed that close
monitoring be carried out by the police of all the secondhand shops, many of
which are known to be dealers in stolen goods.
However, the value of copper is too high to completely deter the thieves and
the thefts are continuing.
The PBTA says that the thefts are being made from projects in the private
sector and from government departments, and is causing both sectors heavy
financial losses in addition to delaying projects. The association wants the
police to be more active, but continual monitoring of the large number of
secondhand shops is an unrealistic use of police time.
Deputy Mayor Ronakit Ekasingh said that this situation has already been
discussed with the police, and that Pattaya is far from being nonchalant
about the problem.
He added it was important that these thefts should be registered with the
police, because very often, when copper had gone missing from storage and
had been found in a dealer’s premises, it was unclear who the actual owners
of the stolen goods were.
IT fair to be staged in September
An information technology fair will be held at PEACH, in the Royal Cliff
Beach Resort during the period September 5 to 9.
AR Information and Publication Co Ltd, the organizers of Commart Pattaya
2007, presented a program of events to Pattaya Deputy Mayor Verawat Khakhay.
The exhibition will display computers, mobile phones and other IT products,
and will be promoted throughout the Eastern region.
The organizers have requested help from the city in providing billboards and
contacting the media, and a press conference will be held on August 2 at
Pattaya City Hall. Verawat proposed that AR Information invite the Tourism
Authority of Thailand Central Region 3 to be co-host to increase the public
relations coverage, as the TAT has the facilities to handle the local media.
Xi’an to sign tourism agreement with Pattaya
Li Jianhua presents a souvenir
to Deputy Mayor Ronakit Ekasingh as representatives of both parties look on.
Xi’an in Shaanxi Province, China, is to sign an agreement with Pattaya in
which the two cities will exchange information regarding international
Li Jianhua, Deputy Director-General, Foreign Affairs Office, People’s
Government of the Shaanxi Province, visited Pattaya City Hall on July 9,
where he met with Deputy Mayor Ronakit Ekasingh and city council chairman
Chainarong Keratiyutwong, head of the Royal Thai Consular Office in Xi’an
said the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in China is impressed by Pattaya’s
performance as a center of tourism and was keen to exchange international
information as well as stimulate tourism between Shaanxi and Pattaya.
In the past two years Shaanxi Province has also signed an agreement with
Sukhothai Province, both having a heritages as ancient capitals and centers
of cultural development.
Deputy Mayor Ronakit said that tourism agreements are of great benefit to
both signatories, and that Pattaya also has agreements with Kazakhstan,
Xinjiang, Hainan, and Karamay.
Such agreements can be undertaken at the provincial level with the approval
of the Ministry of Interior, said Ronakit. In addition to the exchange of
information and the generating of tourism business, visitors to both
destinations are assured of well-organized tours that use authorized guides
and other personnel to take care of the visitors’ needs and interests.
Xi’an is the largest city in northwest China and was the ancient capital for
13 dynasties. Its most famous attraction is the army of terracotta warriors
unearthed in 1974 and now part of a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
Thieves rob prize elephant of potent tail hairs
Used as charms, hairs are worth more than 500,000 baht on black market
Thieves made off with the tail hairs of a famed breeding elephant at Nong
Nooch Garden that will find a ready market in Asian countries where belief
is held in the potency of elephant hairs for magic spells and as cures for
woefully shows the almost bare tip of Plai Bird’s tail.
A mahout reported on July 8 that a 30-year-old elephant named Plai Bird, who
has fathered 20 elephants, had been robbed of an estimated 2,000 tail hairs.
Worth at least 500,000 baht on the black market, the hairs are made into
rings, bracelets and necklaces that find ready buyers amongst Indian and
Korean people, as well as Thais.
Two baby elephants had also been robbed of their tail hairs, and Nong Nooch
Garden has now mounted a security watch to try and prevent this happening
Officers from Sattahip Police Station were called in at 7:00am on July 8 by
Kaichae Wongkittikhun, a 33-year-old mahout from Nong Nooch Garden, who
reported that an unknown number a thieves had subdued Plai Bird with
veterinary lances and removed his tail hairs. Suspicion has fallen on local
mahouts as the theft was carried out while the elephant was tethered behind
the central kitchen of Nong Nooch Garden.
Kaichae said that after the show in which Plai Bird is one of the stars he
had taken the elephant to eat grass and then tethered it behind the central
kitchen. Next morning, when he went to bathe Plai Bird, he discovered the
tail hairs were gone.
In addition to his strength, potency, and dexterity as a performer, Plai
Bird has a tail that is shaped like a bodhi leaf, and is darker, thicker and
longer than other tails. This would make the hairs even more desirable and
valuable, and it is suspected that a dealer paid a neighboring mahout to
commit the theft.
Kaichae said the price of a single hair would be about 80 to 100 baht, and
that a ring would fetch 300 baht, a necklace 500 baht, and a bracelet with
nine braids of tail hair between 2,500 and 3,000 baht. The loss of the
elephant’s tail hair, if used only to make bracelets, would be valued at
approximately 500,000 baht. The special qualities of Plai Bird’s hair would
make it even more valuable, and the potency of the elephant means the hair
could be used to ward off curses.
Plai Bird was stupefied for the remainder of the day following the theft, as
the cutting of the hairs would have given him a feeling of loss of balance
and he would also have been unable to swat flies and other insects.
Mrs Kwanwan Kantisuk, general manager of Nong Nooch Garden has ordered the
questioning of all the mahouts employed there, saying it was possible one or
more of them was associated with the thieves, or knew who committed the
Whoever committed the theft knew how to carry it out. The incident occurred
at night when it was raining, and the lights were out. Furthermore, Plai
Bird had two legs tethered with a chain, so he could not avoid the thieves.
It will take between nine and 12 months for the hairs to grow back again.
Samples of what the rings and
bracelets look like made
from an elephant’s tail hairs.
74-year-old grandmother arrested for selling porno mags
Police have busted a 74-year-old grandmother who was selling pornographic
magazines from her bookshop on South Pattaya Road.
Pol Col Suthin Sappuang, superintendent of Pattaya Police Station had
discovered during investigations that a bookshop was illegally selling
pornographic materials, and at 17.30 hrs on 7 July a team of officers
descended upon the premises.
inspect bookshelves displaying the obscene reading material before
The shop is located on the ground floor of a four-story building and sells
all kinds of reading matter. Mrs. Duon the 74-year-old owner was serving a
customer when the officers arrived. They found 100 Thai and foreign
pornographic magazines on open display. The owner was arrested and the
materials confiscated as evidence.
Mrs Duon told officers that she ordered fortune telling magazines from an
agent in Bangkok who made the delivery in a 10-wheeled truck. Inside the
boxes there were also some pornographic magazines so she put them on show.
The magazines sold very well and she didn’t think that she was breaking the
law until she was arrested.
Pol. Col. Suthin said the arrest was made under National Police Headquarters
policy to eradicate all types of pornographic materials. Such crimes incur
punishment of not more than six months’ imprisonment or a fine of not more
than 30,000 baht. Anyone found selling pornographic materials would be fined
and arrested, he said.
Police officer injured in crash with truck
A policeman was injured when the car he was driving was involved in a
collision with a six-wheel truck at 08.00 hrs last week.
at the condition of the car, Pol Capt Chavalit is very lucky to have
suffered only minor injuries.
The accident happened at the U-turn near the Khao Main Kaew flyover on the
Highway 36 stretch from Chonburi to Rayong.
Police and rescue workers from Sawang Boriboon rushed to the scene, where
500 meters from the flyover they found a Toyota Fortuner in a drainage ditch
at the side of the road with its side smashed in. Inside the vehicle in the
driver’s seat they found Pol Capt Chavalit Thamacharn, a crime suppression
officer with Pattaya Police Station. He had suffered an injury to his left
ankle but was fully conscious. He was freed and taken to Bangkok Pattaya
The six-wheeled Hino truck was 10 meters away, and had suffered a slight
bump in its right side. The driver was waiting for officers and was
identified as Charan Chanthung, 40, of Phechabun. He told officers he was
driving from Khao Mai Kaew to Rayong. At the U-turn he indicated a right
turn and the Toyota smashed into the side of his vehicle. Passing vehicles
slowed down to see the incident, which resulted in another accident
involving three vehicles, but all involved were able to reach agreement.
Police are now waiting for Pol Capt Chavalit to recover before proceeding
Complaints of lewd behavior in public cannot stem tide of prostitution
The beach promenade is lined
with girl offering their services.
Police appear powerless to stem the tide of prostitution along Pattaya
Beach, despite numerous complaints from tourists who are being harassed and
also despite the lewd behavior that often occurs in full view of the public
between the service girls and their prospective clients.
During an inspection by media reporters on July 14 there we saw an estimated
400 to 500 girls sitting along the beachfront offering their services to the
public. Some were even going as far as to let men touch them, to the
embarrassment of passers-by.
When the reporters asked Pol. Col. Suthin Sappuang, superintendent of
Pattaya about the size of the prostitution problem, they were told that the
police had effectively run out of ideas.
All they can do, said the superintendent is to book the girls for offering
sexual services, and that 20 to 50 are brought in daily. They are fined and
have their names recorded, and they are given a warning. The following day
they are out there again offering their services to foreign tourists.
A meeting is to be held with the chairman of the Pattaya Cultural Council to
consider what else can be done to remedy the problem.
Two die as pickup
smashes into 18-wheeler
The pickup truck is seen
rammed under the trailer with its top cut off, killing two passengers.
Two people were killed during the evening of July 13 when their pickup
crashed into an 18-wheel trailer on Highway 36 inbound near the Khao Mai
Police arriving at the scene found a large crowd of onlookers at the U-turn,
about 1 kilometer from the flyover.
Police deduced that the accident occurred when the silver pick-up truck
rammed into the 18-wheeler as it was making a U-turn to head towards Rayong.
There were two dead people in the pickup, one in the front passenger side
and one in the rear. The dead where identified as Khamron a 34-year-old
resident of Nakhorn Rachasima, who had been decapitated, and Somchai
Moenphote, 27 of Sa Kaew. Rescue workers had to use steel cutters in order
to remove the bodies from the wreckage.
Two other passengers in the pickup were injured. They were identified as
Vacharintr Chimavong 34, the driver, a foreman and Somchai Phanich, 28, of
Pathumthani. Both had suffered only minor cuts to their heads.
The trailer driver, identified as Bunchan Srimunagmae, 31, of Saa Kaew stood
nearby waiting for police officers to arrive. He said that he was on a
delivery run to Sriracha, when he reach the place of the accident. When he
had to make a U-turn, he signaled and moved to the left lane so that the
massive truck could maneuver the U-turn. Suddenly he heard the sound of
screeching brakes and the pickup rammed into the trailer.
The pickup driver told police that, having finished work, he and his
colleagues were driving back to Bangkok. He was driving in the right hand
lane behind another vehicle. The vehicle in front indicated that it was
about to make a right turn so he put his foot down to overtake it and saw
that the trailer also moving to the right. He tried to brake, but it was too
late, so the pickup smashed into the trailer.
The driver of the trailer was taken into custody and charged with reckless
driving causing death.
Mayor Niran celebrates 47th birthday
Well-wishers gather for Niran’s final birthday in office Pattaya residents,
business people and government servants and officials gathered on July 12 to
wish Mayor Niran Wattanasartsathorn a happy 47th birthday.
inundate Mayor Niran with red roses to show their love and respect for him
and wish him many happy returns of the day.
Pattaya City permanent secretary Sitthipab Muangkum led well-wishers to the
mayor’s office where they presented Niran with bouquets of flowers and gave
their congratulations for what will be his last birthday celebrated in
office, as the mayor is now in the final year of his term.
Niran Wattanasartsathorn was born on July 12, 1960. He finished his primary
schooling at Pungbun Wittaya School, and then continued his secondary
education at Phothisampanpittayakarn School, at the Dusit Commercial School
in Bangkok. He graduated in Jurisprudence at Ramkamhaeng University, and is
currently studying for his MB at the National Institute of Administration
Development at the Special Course in Chonburi.
Niran first served Pattaya City in 1989 as a city councilor. He succeeded in
private business before becoming the deputy permanent secretary of Pattaya
City in 1996. He became permanent secretary in 1999 when the government
changed the administration system in Pattaya.
He first became deputy mayor of Pattaya City in 2001 before being elected to
serve Pattaya City as mayor in 2004.
Narcotics control officials given tour of Navy drug suppression center
Pharmacists from 10 countries have been taken on an educational visit to the
First Naval Area Command at the Royal Thai fleet to learn about the measures
being taken against smuggling of narcotics by sea.
and foreign naval officers meet to discuss ways to prevent drugs smuggling.
Narcotics control officer Wanchat Srisuwan was the Thai representative who
led 35 pharmacists from Brunei, Cambodia, India, Indonesia, Malaysia, Laos,
Myanmar, the Philippines and Singapore who were on the fourth training
course to be held for ASEAN narcotics law enforcement officers.
The group visited the Narcotics Protection and Prevention Center at First
Naval Area Command, where deputy chief of operations Captain Taksin
Rueksangket introduced them to the center and Captain Prasartporn Sartsawat
gave a talk on the measures taken against smuggling of drugs by sea.
Geographical responsibilities for the center cover the coastal provinces
from Chumporn to Trat.
The duties of the visiting pharmacists cover the verifying of narcotic
substances seized from smugglers, and the educational visit was to show them
how the Royal Thai Navy operates and how narcotics shipments are detected
and intercepted, and how drugs are disguised and hidden.
Ceremony held at Wat Chong Lom for departed monks
Buddhists give offerings of
saffron robes to the monks as part of the religious ceremonies.
Wat Chong Lom held its annual ceremonies to pay tribute to former monks on
July 9, with 27 monks throughout the four regions of Thailand who have been
in the priesthood for more than 10 years attending the temple in Naklua.
Abbot Wimonthammasit led the ceremony in which robes and food were laid out
as offerings to the monks, and eminent monks who included Phra
Dhamathorasurung of Wat Tepsirin in Bangkok and Phra Pisanwinaiwat of Wat
Bowornniwet Wihara, also in Bangkok, conducted the chanting.
Many leaders of the community attended the ceremony, including Mayor Niran
Wattanasartsathorn, superintendent of Banglamung Police Station Pol Col
Sarayuth Sa-Nguanpokai, head of the Banglamung Cultural Assembly Surat
Mekavarakul, and Banglamung District chief Pratheep Chongsoubtham.
Wat Chong Lom holds this ceremony paying respects to the spirits of departed
senior monks each year, as a time of merit making for the community.
No dog’s life for pig in clover
A wild boar has been living in domesticated bliss with a family and their
dog ever since they adopted it on Songkran Day.
When a Pattaya Mail team visited the home of Somporn and Warin Prachongchad
in Bangsarae Sub-district on July 12, they found the young boar was being
treated like one of the family. Somporn picked little Bunmak up and kissed
it like a child, adding that they feed it cake and bread, and play with it
as if it were any other domestic pet. Even the family dog plays with the
and Warin look after their special babies.
Somporn said that Bunmak is four months old. It is the son of Bunlua and
Bunkong. On April 13 this year, when Bunkong was three years old, she
delivered a litter of 10 piglets. Unfortunately the mother died just after
giving birth, and the other piglets also died one after the other. There was
only one male that survived, and he was named Bunmak. (Lots of luck and
The family believed that he was lucky, and they took him into the house.
Soon, he was like a member of the family.
Somporn said that Bunmak is so tame that he waits at the door whenever Warin
goes out, and welcomes her home with a lick on the cheek. However, as Bunmak
is growing up, he has started to become a little unruly, chewing up power
cables and clothing. He now lives outside, remaining on good terms with the
Warin appears to be a little shy about sharing her home with a wild boar,
and hid somewhere outside the house when Pattaya Mail paid them a visit, not
wanting to be photographed with the family’s unconventional pet. But we did
sneak a few photos of the odd couple.
124 candles cast at Wat Chaimongkol for Buddhist Lent
Paisan Bunditayanond takes
part in casting the candles in honour of HM the King.
A traditional candle making ceremony for Buddhist Lent was performed at Wat
Chaimongkol on July 8, led by Suan Panomwattanakul, president of the
Chonburi Cultural Assembly.
perform Thai Classical dances in the competition.
Attended by representatives of government departments and private
organizations, the event was held in cooperation with the Cultural Assembly
of Banglamung District.
Participants cast 124 candles that will be used on Buddhist Lent Day, July
30. There was also a children’s classical dance competition, which was
divided into two categories, one for the four to eight-year-olds and the
other for the eight to twelve’s.