completion set for mid-March
The final phase of the Chonburi-Pattaya Motorway will be complete by
mid-March, marking completion of a four-year project to relieve traffic
congestion and create a convenient link between Pattaya and Bangkok
Keowkam, the civil engineer in charge of the third and fourth phase of
Highway 7 construction.
Atit Keowkam, an engineer with Naowaratpattanakarn, the firm leading
construction of Highway 7, said the last phase of the 2 billion baht project
will open to traffic March 14.
“The fourth phase is 90 percent complete,” he said. “About 400 meters of
road surface, installation of signs and lights will be done soon.”
Highway 7 was authorized by the Department of Highways as an urgent measure
to relieve traffic that was crippling development of the Eastern Seaboard.
It was also aimed at capitalizing on the opening of the Suvarnabhumi
airport, which is located much closer to Pattaya than the old Don Muang
Construction got off to a bad start when work had to be halted for a year to
work out conflicts with locals who were against the government seizing their
property to make way for the new motorway. The problems were eventually
resolved and the first two phases of the project were completed last year.
“I believe that Highway 7 will make transportation to Pattaya more
convenient for the residents as well as tourists,” Atit said. “I don’t have
information about tolls, but I think the residents and tourists coming to
Pattaya and nearby areas will get to enjoy the convenience of the new road
Highway 7, from Chonburi to
Pattaya, is 90% complete
and is expected to be open to traffic in March this year.
Pattaya businesses donate bulletproof vests to border-patrol agents
Akarawit Tepasit, deputy
director of the Tourism Authority of Thailand’s Pattaya office and manager
of the Piyapat Project, along with friends hand over the bullet proof vests
to female deep south border-patrol agents.
Ten female deep south border-patrol agents now have new bulletproof
vests thanks to a combination of music and merit-making by Pattaya-based
Volunteers from the Piyapat Project (doing good deeds to pay homage and make
merit to honor HM the King) and the Pattaya Friends group presented the
Thai-made “King Taksin” brand vests to the agents Dec. 15 at Hotel J in
North Pattaya to honor HM the King for his 82nd birthday Dec. 5.
Akarawit Tepasit, deputy director of the Tourism Authority of Thailand’s
Pattaya office and manager of the Piyapat Project, said Pattaya area
businesses also wanted to pay respect to the border-patrol agents who risk
their lives in Thailand’s troubled Sakha and Yala provinces. The businesses
- including the Heineken Beer Garden, Sophon Cable TV, Central Festival
Pattaya Beach, Pattaya Graphic Arts, Hotel J and JP Villa - joined forces to
create the Pattaya Friends group to create such good works.
The fund-raising project was run from October 23 through December 5, with
the majority of the 50,000 baht for the 10 vests being raised through a
charity concert by Thai music act Ben Chalatit on October 23, which kicked
off the project.
Akarawit said the vests, created by a police lieutenant colonel, cost a
tenth of imported Kevlar vests but are just as effective. He said they’re
composed of polymers treated with X-rays.
Japanese entertainer breaks his funny bone
A Japanese comedian took the entertainment axiom “break a leg”
literally during a television shoot in Pattaya where he broke his ankle
after being shot out of a cannon.
workers tend to the broken comedian as the production crew anxiously looks
Tetsuoh Dekawa, 45, was taken to Bangkok Hospital Pattaya after a Dec. 22
mishap during filming of the “TV Champion” game show. Typical of wacky
Japanese television programs, Dekawa was being used as cannon fodder in a
“scientific demonstration” of pressure and velocity by riding inside a
capsule shot into the air by a high-pressure gun.
The producers turned out to be more successful in measuring the distance
Dekawa could fly at the Tropicana Hotel on Beach Road than Dekawa was in
landing. The incident ended the show’s two days of shooting on location in
Pattaya. Doctors said the funny man will require at least a month to
Pattaya supporting effort to eradicate polio
While polio has been eradicated in much of the world, it remains a
threat in Thailand and Pattaya authorities have joined the international
effort to conquer the debilitating viral disease.
City Council President Tavich Chaiswangwong administers anti polio vaccine
to one of the many youngsters who were brought to the opening of the city’s
Anti-Polio Campaign at the Health Service Center on Soi Buakhao.
Pattaya City Council President Tavich Chaiswangwong presided over the Dec.
23 opening of the city’s Anti-Polio Campaign at the Health Service Center on
Soi Buakhao. The city also sponsored a healthy kids contest for youngsters
less than 5 years old.
The campaign is part of the nationwide “Health Policy for No Polio” that
calls for at least 90 percent of Thai infants to receive three polio
vaccinations in their first year of life, aggressive monitoring of Acute
Flaccid Paralysis cases, investigation and control of active disease cases
and promotion of anti-polio measures in the general public.
Pattaya, as one of the country’s busiest crossroads of international
visitors, is a weak point in the country’s defenses, as it hosts many
visitors from the developing world where polio remains a problem, Tavich
“It is therefore urgently needed to ensure that the areas throughout Pattaya
are ready to prevent infectious diseases that might filter into the area,”
he said. This month’s activity is aimed at protecting against polio as well
as evaluating the health of young children through a contest that judges
their motor skills and other health indicators, he said.
Thailand’s anti-polio efforts are being carried out in conjunction with the
World Health Organization, UNICEF and the Rotary Foundation, which launched
a global polio-eradication effort in 1988. Since then diagnosed cases of
polio have decreased by 99 percent from more than 350,000 cases a year to
just 1,310 cases worldwide in 2007.
The Americas, Europe, China, Australia and 35 other western Pacific
countries have already been declared polio-free. But it still can be found
in Asia and North Africa. The disease also remains endemic in India, which
accounted for the largest segment of Pattaya’s tourists this year, as well
as Pakistan, Afghanistan and Nigeria.
The Pattaya Public Health and Environment Department is working with other
agencies to offer vaccinations in 33 communities. Many children were
vaccinated for the first time at the Dec. 23 event and need to get their
second injections by Jan. 27, he said.
For more information please contact the Contagious Disease Protection and
Control Center at 038-420-562 ext. 104 or105.
Police plan vigilant security as New Year’s revelers given
OK to party until sunrise
New Year’s revelers will be able to celebrate until 6 a.m. Jan. 1 after
the Ministry of Defense approved extending normal 2 a.m. bar closing
times whilst increasing security.
Pattaya and Banglamung police will be out in force before and after
midnight New Year’s Eve to keep tourists safe, be it on the water,
inside clubs or on the street.
Administration and Peace Committee Chairman Sanit Boonmachai.
Security plans were finalized Christmas Eve during a Pattaya
Administration and Peace Committee meeting. Deputy Pattaya Police
Superintendent Lt. Col. Sutham Chaosrithong explained that officers have
been tasked with preventing past accidents, such as this month’s fatal
speedboat crash and last year’s Santika nightclub fire in Bangkok, from
Committee Chairman Sanit Boonmachai said marine patrols will be based at
Bali Hai pier and be staffed by police and Sawang Boriboon medics.
Checkpoints will be set up around Pattaya Bay to ensure that boats are
not overloaded or operating without valid licenses and have enough life
jackets on board. The two boats involved in the Dec. 2 accident that
left two Chinese tourists dead were guilty of all three offenses.
Ironically, the same day as Sanit outlined how the city planned to
prevent such mishaps, another passenger ferry en route to Koh Larn
capsized and sank, injuring 17 people. The boat involved apparently had
just installed a second deck and when passengers moved onto it, the boat
became too top heavy to stay afloat.
Sanit said any boat operators found in violation of the rules during the
Dec. 25-Jan. 1 patrols would be given a ticket.
On shore, Sanit noted police will also be inspecting bars, restaurants
and nightclubs to prevent fire code violations. On New Year’s Eve a year
ago 66 people died and 222 injured at Santika in Thonglor where an
overcrowded auditorium caught fire when fireworks were set off inside
just after midnight. Bangkok authorities this year have prohibited clubs
from using any kind of pyrotechnics to ring in the New Year, but no
similar prohibitions have been announced in Pattaya.
Mayor sends everyone his best Christmas & New Year wishes
On this very special occasion of Christmas and New Year’s I and everyone
at Pattaya City Hall would like to wish you and your family happiness,
prosperity and good things to come.
If there is anything the city can do to serve you or improve your life,
just tell us. We want to hear any advice you can offer so that we can
work together for the future of our city.
We invite all of you to join us for the special New Year’s festival and
visit Pattaya throughout the year to enjoy the many special events we
I would like to thank you on behalf of Pattaya. We apologize for any
inconveniences you may face, but please let us know how we can improve
Consultants map 70-km rail system; finds strong public support
Consultants hired to study and plan a proposed electric train system
have mocked up two proposed railways networks with more than 70 kilometers
of track each and have determined that more than 70 percent of the area’s
population supports the idea.
monorail system is similar to the one proposed for Pattaya.
Chanwit Atsamit of Chotichinda Mouchel Consultants Ltd. told Mayor Itthiphol
Kunplome and city advisors at a Dec. 18 meeting that survey results showed
75 percent of Pattaya-area Thais and 71 percent of foreign residents and
tourists approve of plans to construct a monorail or other electric-powered
train system connecting the city center with residential neighborhoods and
other rail networks.
Panja Hanjongkol, associate director for the consultancy hired by the city
at the end of September for a six-month study project, has conceived two
models of a train network. One is 71 km long and the second is 73.5 km long.
Neither would be built, however, until a pilot rail system of around 6 km is
At the Pattaya City Hall meeting, Panja also presented information relating
to the ongoing studies into station locations, environmental impact and
Much work still remains to be done, however. Chotichinda was hired to study
Pattaya’s traffic problems, map out the pilot project, perform basic
engineering for the pilot project, study the rail network’s environmental
impact, perform an economic and financial study, create a video of the
proposed railway, and draft a study on the integration of the rail network
with other modes of transportation.
Final results will be presented in March.
Naklua residents angry over beachfront garbage problem
It’s a daily chore trying to
keep Naklua Beach clean of trash.
Residents near the Naklua Soi 12 beachfront want the city to take
stronger measures to curb an incessant wave of garbage from a nearby fishing
port that continues to wash up on shore.
Residents complained that the large number of plastic bags, bottles and
other rubbish that covered Naklua Beach Dec. 23 was just the latest of many
instances where garbage from the port has spoiled the shoreline scenery.
Some villagers say they go out to the beach every day to collect the trash
and have complained to Pattaya City Hall about the problem. But when city
inspectors arrived, they said they could not do anything other than
encourage residents to continue their cleanup efforts.
Locals, however, want stronger measures to be taken to curb the problem, as
the beach is important for tourism and area businesses.
Huay Yai police arrest more village
leaders amid pressure to end crackdown
Siriwat Keteepakul (seated)
has been remanded to custody on drugs charges.
Already under pressure from “influential people” to back off their
aggressive crime-busting techniques, Huay Yai police have arrested an
assistant village headsman, who is also the nephew of the Khao Mai Kaew
mayor, on drugs and weapons charges.
Officers received a complaint Dec. 13 that the son of a city elder regularly
deals drugs near the Damrongtharm Center. Armed with search warrants,
officers converged upon a home in Moo 1 of Khao Mai Kaew owned by Siriwat
Keteepakul, 25, an assistant village headsman, son of the Khao Mai Kaew
Searching the home, officers discovered 0.2 grams of ya ice, 12-gauge
shotgun, .22-caliber rifle with long scope, 11mm revolver and ammunition for
all the weapons.
Under interrogation, Siriwat confessed he’d previously been arrested on
drug-possession charges and was currently out on bail.
Siriwat’s gun collection was sent to forensics investigators to determine if
they’d been used in any unsolved crimes.
The arrest came after top Huay Yai police officials earlier this year
ordered a district-wide crackdown drug-related crimes, especially those
perpetrated by relatives of village and government officials.
Gold snatchers learn
not to mess with the French
The two thieves tried to beg forgiveness,
but the French couple were not having anything to do with it.
Two Thai men who thought snatching necklaces from tourists was easy
money learned French tourists don’t take such attacks lightly after two
French nationals chased down the youths and crashed into their fleeing
Wanchana Bunkham, 23, and a 16-year-old accomplice were arrested after
crashing their bikes outside Kavari Village near Jomtien Soi 6. The accident
occurred after the two were rammed by a bike driven by Daniel and Jacqueline
Dhuiege, who told police the pair had stolen a gold necklace from around the
French woman’s neck.
The injured Thai teen was arrested at the scene and Wanchana was taken into
custody minutes later after trying to escape on foot.
Both men confessed to the gold-snatch and said they’d done similarly to
other tourists in the past. They said they used their ill-gotten gains to
buy ya ba and hang out on the beach.
At Najomtien Police Station the two youths tried to apologize to the couple,
but the French were having none of it, with 50-year-old Jacqueline slapping
one suspect before pressing full charges against them.
Police search for second
burglar of model-car shop
Police are searching for the partner of a burglar caught red-handed
trying to rob a Thepprasit Road model-car shop.
contrite and somewhat battered Suriyan is brought in for questioning at the
American Ron Weaver, owner of the three-storey Nano Track Racing on Soi
Thepprasit 6, overpowered 22-year-old Suriyan Porlu as he and a partner were
ransacking a bedroom in his residence above the store. A second burglar,
identified only as “Boy,” escaped.
The 34-year-remote-controlled car enthusiast and his wife Nantapak Jitman
were at home when the burglary occurred the evening of Dec. 7. The thieves
had gained access by breaking a rear window and were discovered when Weaver
entered the room.
The suspect, a Chiang Rai native, said he’d only been released from prison
two months ago where he was serving time for another burglary conviction. He
told police he could not find a job and reverted to a life of crime with the
aid of his friend, whom police are now searching for.
German arrested for withholding wages, ignoring court order
Police have arrested a German businessman for allegedly refusing to
pay his employees or comply with a subpoena to appear before the Central
Frederich Michael Knauer.
Peter Frederich Michael Knauer, 48, was taken into custody Dec. 14 at his
Nongprue home by Chonburi Provincial Police responding to a complaint by
O-wat Panyakawin and other employees of RCSC Co. Ltd, a limousine service
Knauer had been ordered to appear before the Labor Court, which was hearing
the employees’ complaint, Dec. 11 but did not show. The court then issued a
warrant for his arrest. He was initially taken to Pattaya Police Station
before being transferred to the Central Labor Court in Bangkok to stand
during fishing trip
An elderly Frenchman out for a day’s fishing with his family died
when he became seasick and fell overboard.
Police and Sawang Boriboon Foundation rescuers were called to Pattaya
Memorial hospital Dec. 19 on reports that Jean Pierre Ganoucheau, 61, had
died on arrival there.
Ganoucheau had rented a boat to go out fishing off Koh Larn with his family.
Suddenly he became seasick and fell into the sea. His relatives rescued him,
but he died before arriving at the hospital.
The body was fully clothed and showed no signs of violence. He’s been sent
to the Forensics Institute for autopsy.
Iranians pick-pocketed by
ladyboy get $700 returned
Two lucky Iranian tourists recovered more than $700 they’d been
carrying when they were pick-pocketed by a ladyboy on Pattaya Beach.
Iranian victims point to perpetrator Pornkaran Suemrum of Chaiyaphum.
Mohamad Ali Latif and Mahmovd Rezaei, both 44, complained to police they
were walking along the beachfront in central Pattaya after midnight Dec. 14
when they were approached by a transvestite who gave them a big hug and took
a big tug at their pockets. The ladyboy fled with 1,040 baht and $700 in
Investigators quickly went to the scene and interviewed witnesses. About 200
meters away they found and arrested 25-year-old Pornkaran Suemrum of
Chaiyaphum who eventually confessed to stealing the Iranians’ money, saying
he needed it for surgery to complete his transformation into a woman.
Officers went to Pornkaran’s room on Soi Phosarn and recovered all the
Air and Coastal Defense Training Center celebrates 16th anniversary
Royal Thai Navy officials celebrated the 16th anniversary of the Air
and Coastal Defense Command’s Training Center by honoring the dead, blessing
the living and providing scholarships for the next generation.
Bandit Rojanawong, commander of the Air and Coastal Defense Command Training
Center in Sattahip makes merit on the 16th anniversary of the training
Capt. Bandit Rojanawong, commander of the training center in Sattahip, led
the Dec. 9 ceremony that saw 10 Buddhist monks from Yanasangwararam Temple
bless those who gave alms and honored fallen sailors. Rear Adm. Chakchai
Phucharoenyot, commander in chief of Air and Coastal Defense Command, was on
hand to accept congratulations and flower baskets from guests.
Bandit then presented 51 scholarships to children of navy officers. They
were divided into 37 1,000-baht scholarships for kindergarten and primary
school, 10 scholarships worth 1,500 baht each for secondary-school students
and four 2,000-baht scholarships for vocational and university education.
The training center traces its history to 1993 when the Royal Thai Navy
approved a 20.9 million baht budget to construct its current facility. The
foundation was laid Dec. 9, 1993 and construction was completed on Aug. 25,
1994. The opening ceremony was held May 30, 1995.
The training center trains, researches and develops technology for Air and
Coastal Defense Command. The center also operates the Wiwat Polamuang School
for the Royal Thai Navy, which rehabilitates drug addicts.
Pattaya mayor celebrates 36th birthday
Local politicians present
gifts to Mayor Itthiphol Kunplome on his 36th birthday.
Pattaya-area officials and community leaders joined together to wish Pattaya
Mayor Itthiphol Kunplome a happy 36th birthday at a party at the mayoral
Among the many guests at the Dec. 15 celebration at Itthiphol’s Naklua Soi
12 home were his brother Witthaya Kunplome, chief executive of the Chonburi
Provincial Administration Organization, Mongkol Thamakittikhun, Banglamung
district chief, Nongprue Mayor Mai Chaiyanit, mayoral advisor Niran
Wattanasartsathorn, and Poramet Ngampichet, former Chonburi MP.
Itthiphol was born Dec. 15, 1973 in Chonburi. He graduated with a Bachelor’s
Degree in Law from Chulalongkorn University and a Masters Degree in
International Management from Golden Gate University, USA. He is the eighth
mayor of Pattaya and took office on May 4, 2008.