Graffiti artists turn abandoned building into work of art
More than 120 graffiti artists from Thailand, China, Vietnam, Hong Kong,
Cambodia, Philippines, Australia, Ukraine, Poland, Switzerland, France,
Italy, Spain, the US, and UK showed off their craft legally during the
“Meeting of Styles” competition at the abandoned Batman disco in Pattaya.
Graffiti artists showed off their craft legally at the “Meeting of
Styles” competition at the abandoned Batman disco in Pattaya.
The March 26-27 “Unconditional Freedom Pattaya” event aimed to find space
for graffiti artists to meet while bringing new artists into the scene.
Kittipong Kamsart ‘Em-Buddha
Bless’ and friends encourage more people to engage in this form of art.
More than 120 artists from Thailand, China, Vietnam, Hong
Kong, Cambodia, Philippines, Australia, Ukraine, Poland, Switzerland,
France, Italy, Spain, the US, and UK joined in the event.
Kittipong “Em-Buddha Bless” Kamsart also took part, revealing that he would
like to encourage people to be interested in wall art as it is accepted
across the world. He hoped that annual events like this, the third held in
Thailand, would dispel the negative attitudes about graffiti.
Organizers set up booths, put on deejay shows and other exhibitions around
the old building, which has been vacant for a decade. It was seen as an
event that will continue to generate positive tourism for the city.
Meeting of Styles is a non-profit network of graffiti artists and people
admiring street arts. It aims to create spaces to exchange ideas, works,
skills, and promote cultural exchange.
City and Marine Department
prepare for Songkran sea rescues
Tens of thousands of tourists
are expected to be using the Bali Hai pier during the Songkran period.
The annual Songkran festival, which heralds the
traditional beginning of the Thai New Year, begins next week throughout the
country. The 5-day holiday begins Wednesday, April 13 and runs through
Sunday, April 17, when local celebrations take over, with Wan Lai on April
18 in Naklua and April 19 in Pattaya. From April 13 - 15, nationwide most
banks and government offices will be closed. Many currency exchange booths,
however, will remain open.
Songkran is less than a week away and although Thailand
is suffering its worst drought in 20 years, the city will be drenched in
water and the streets and beaches filled with tourists.
The city and the Marine Department met March 29 to plan sea rescue scenarios
and preparation. Patrol boats will be deployed and first aid and security
stations set up during April 18-19, the ‘Wan Lai’ or Songkran days for
Naklua, Jomtien Beach and Pattaya City.
Marine officials also began inspecting boats to be sure they had signs
showing the maximum number of passengers allowed and that all boats had
adequate numbers of life vests.
Boat captains were warned to avoid any drugs or alcohol and keep abreast of
reports from the Meteorological Department regarding storms and high seas.
Officers also will patrol piers and beaches to prevent unrest and security
cameras will be monitored in real time.
Lower motorcycle taxi fares go into effect, likely ignored again by Pattaya drivers
Motorcycle taxi drivers on
Thepprasit Road show willingness to charge legal fares.
For nearly two years, Pattaya area officials have pledged to
reorganize the city’s motorcycle taxis and force them to charge legal rates.
With zero enforcement of such announcements, the pledge on rates has been
only hot air.
With publication of new, nationwide motorcycle taxi rates in the Royal
Gazette March 24, Pattaya officials are claiming they again will try to
bring down motorcycle taxi fares in Pattaya, which run at least twice the
price of Bangkok, where the majority of service providers charge legal
According to the Transport Ministry, a fare is 5 baht per kilometer for the
first five kilometers. That would put a taxi ride from one end of Beach Road
to the other at 15-20 baht.
Pattaya drivers, however, refuse to go anywhere for less than 40 baht and
would demand a fare of 60 baht from the Dusit Thani Hotel to Walking Street.
Legally, the fares after the first five kilometers are capped at 10 baht for
kilometer. Only after 15 kilometers does a fare become negotiable.
One driver in the Thepprasit Road area claims he has been negatively
impacted by the new rates. He said he normally earned 300-500 baht per day.
He complained about the cost of gasoline – which is lower than it has been
in years – and other cost of living expenses and argued that tourists and
locals should be aware of his hardship and consider that when paying his
380 naval cadets become monks
Soldiers receive their saffron robes from the revered abbot before being
ordained as monks.
Nearly 400 navy cadets were temporarily ordained as monks
in order to pay respect to Their Majesties the King and Queen.
Somdej Phutthachinnawong, abbot of Wat Phitchayatikaram Temple and the
central region chief monk, led the ceremony to ordain 380 Naval Rating
School cadets now in their second year at the Chumphon Royal Naval Academy
Their monkhood lasted through April 2. During that time, they resided at the
dharma practice center in Nakhon Ratchasima.
Navy officials said the cadets graduating their courses and about to serve
in the navy should have education in the morals, ethics and loyalty of
Such training would help them in maintaining loyalty toward the nation,
religion and monarchy, they said.
Chonburi governor tells big
Pattaya businesses to share wealth
Governor Komsan Eakchai urges
big business sectors to join and support private sectors.
Chonburi Gov. Khomsan Ekachai urged Pattaya business leaders to
collaborate with street vendors to boost the economy.
“If all sectors collaborate and help one another generate income, the
community will eventually be a better place to live for all,” Khomsan told
the Pattaya Business & Tourism Association at its March 30 meeting at the
Green Park Hotel.
“Pattaya is a well-known city and has the biggest port in the country
nearby. It is also recognized as an all-around tourism destination that has
attracted millions of tourists on a yearly basis. The majority of tourists
should be redirected to cultural attractions.
“The main point is to look after the residents as well, in terms of their
well-being and making sure that they are occupied, and generating some
income from tourists in accordance to their strength and marketing. The less
fortunate will then be able to raise their family and live a better life as
The governor’s comments come following complaints from street vendors and
individual merchants that they were missing out on revenue from large
Chinese tour groups, who book with major agents that have made hotels and
big restaurants and malls the only ones to benefit from the tourism boom.
TAT pushes bike route,
Thai visitors in 2016 tourism plan
TAT Pattaya Director Suladda
Sarutilavan (2nd left) asserts that a bike route would be good for Pattaya
Keng Na Songkhla
The Designated Areas for Sustainable Tourism Administration pushed for its
40-kilometere bike route from Pattaya to Big Buddha Hill to be included in
this year’s tourism marketing plan for the city.
At a March 30 meeting held at Green Park Resort, Tourism Authority of
Thailand Pattaya office Director Suladda Sarutilavan said the Siricharoenwat
Forest Project is a selling point for international tourists, but the agency
will be focusing a lot of its marketing for Pattaya on the Thai domestic
DASTA officials, who are directing a sustainable-tourism drive for Pattaya
and all its surrounding sub-districts, showed off its project, saying the
area was beautiful and has been popular among eco-tourists and exercise
Suladda said the domestic section of the 2016 marketing plan will target
Thai tourists from Issan and the North, hyping Pattaya as a family getaway.
The agency also will push Meetings, Incentives, Conventions and Exhibitions
venues with businesses in Udon Thani, Khon Kaen, Chiang Mai and Chiang Rai.
She noted the international market remains important and said TAT will
exhibit at the ITB travel show in Germany and stump all around the Southeast
Asian region and India.
Officials again promising upgrade of Pattaya Youth Sports Center
Praiwan Arromchuen, President
of Sports and Recreation commission, Pattaya City Council, chaired the
meeting with the relevant sectors.
As seems to happen every several years, Pattaya officials are again
promising to repair and upgrade the city’s long-neglected Youth Sports
Center after another round of complaints about dilapidated facilities,
broken equipment and flooding.
Chairing an April 1 Sports and Recreation Committee meeting, Councilman
Praiwan Arromchuen said fellow council members and engineers would survey
the situation at the 12-rai complex off Thepprasit Soi 4 to validate the
complaints for themselves.
At the meeting, city engineering staffers said that the center is located in
a low-lying area and the construction of high rise condominiums around it
have added to flooding problems, as all the buildings had their foundations
Now storm runoff flows into the youth center’s fields and pools there,
rending the facility useless for days.
Built in 2006, the center was heralded as a valuable resource for area
youths, but was quickly neglected. In July 2010, city council officials
toured the site to find a football field covered in dead grass, a
track-and-field area that had collapsed and broken showers at the swimming
pool. The politicians pledged to submit a report and budget request so
repairs can be made quickly.
In January 2013, Praiwan said the field was still often used for
non-sporting events, leaving it in need of restoration. Furthermore, he
called for construction of a hostel to house athletes staying in Pattaya for
youth-sports events and for various areas within the center to be brought up
to an acceptable standard.
None of that has happened.
But on April 5 he and other officials were scheduled to be back there again,
surveying the decay and promising yet another budget request to make the now
10-year-old center more than that “dilapidated embarrassment” Praiwan called
it in 2010.
Nongprue officials briefed
on junta’s ‘clean and orderly’ law
Tripob Booncheuy speaks to
Nongprue officials on preserving order in our communities.
About 80 Nongprue area officials, regulatory officers and community
leaders learned the specifics of the junta’s Maintaining Cleanliness and
Good Order law to educate them on keep streets clean and sidewalks clear.
Tripob Booncheuy, a regulatory enforcement officer from Bangkok’s Huai
Khwang District, spoke to managers, law enforcement and community
representatives at the sub-district municipal hall March 29.
The 62-section law enacted after the military regime took power in 2014
covers all things related to building exteriors, garbage, sidewalks and
streets. It has been used widely by the Bangkok Metropolitan Administration
to evict street vendors in the Sukhumvit and Silom areas and close down ad
hoc markets across the city to “preserve order” and the beauty of the areas.
Nongprue locals were told that, among other things, the law makes building
owners responsible for footpaths outside their property and they must keep
walkways clear and free of advertising.
It outlaws washing property in public areas or waterways, defacing walls
connected to public roads, requires clean up after loading trucks of
building materials, fuel or animals, and sets penalties, such as vehicle
Cleanup of Ban Sukhawadee underway
Deputy Mayor Verawat Khakhay
(right) inspects the ‘temporary fix’ landfill.
Keng Na Songkhla
The cleanup of Saha Farm’s Baan Sukhawadee mansion is proceeding well, but a
long-term fix for recent wastewater discharges still has yet to be
implemented, Pattaya officials say.
Deputy Mayor Verawat Khakhay said March 31 that the tourist attraction
operator brought in crews to lay 20 dump trucks of soil down over 2-3 rai of
land contaminated by the sewage runoff from a faulty drainage system.
Verawat and Sanitation Department workers visited the site March 14, finding
behind the ornate building an overflow of wastewater sending strong odors
throughout the area. Sewage was flowing out of the tourist attraction and
through Kratinglai Park into the ocean.
Now the contaminated soil has been buried – although nothing was said about
preventing the now-hidden pollution from seeping into the water table.
The deputy mayor called the work only a temporary fix since there are still
problems with the drainage tunnels that need to be attended to. This will
enable the place to open up and celebrate Songkran without any issues.
The property owner and authorities are currently trying to find ways to deal
with the tunnels concerned.
Also, the property near the wall of Chonglom Temple was attended to as well.
Excavators were used to open up a path for the wastewater to flow in a
different direction before they buried it with more soil.
Another issue to be attended is the outlet of the tunnels towards the sea,
with Pattaya authorities already having blocked the outlet, preventing the
wastewater from flowing into the ocean until the tunnels are dug up and
Navy boosts security for
Sai Kaew Beach and Sattahip facilities
The Royal Thai Navy has stepped up security on Koh Samet’s Saikaew Beach and
at installations under the supervision of the Naval Education Department in
Naval Intelligence Division Rear Adm. Wisan Puntavangoon visited the
Chumphol Royal Naval Academy May 29 for an overview on the new procedures
from Commandant Capt. Wirat Somjit.
Wirat said the school was responding to a directive to provide better
security for VIPs, commanders, facilities, tourist attractions, and
accommodations in military areas, as well as the safety of Thai and foreign
tourists visiting Saikaew Beach in particular.
The fear, he said, was that transnational criminals could camouflage
themselves among tour groups, which could affect national security.
Wisan gave good marks to the new procedures. He suggested they could be
split into different levels of strictness, however, to reduce delays for
tourists visiting the Koh Samet beach.
2 after-hours karaoke joints busted
Police crackdown on karaoke
bars open after legal hours.
The calendar ticked over to April, but the crackdown by Banglamung District
officials on after-hours clubs in Pattaya continued with the shutdown of
South Road karaoke bars.
Top district officials and police were out again early April 1 looking for
clubs open after legal hours, underage patrons, shisha, bootleg alcohol and
Manager Weerapong Moonda of the Fast Pub was arrested after authorities
found the bar open long after it should have been and serving a customer who
failed a drug test.
B-Bird Karaoke had blacked out its windows, but fooled no one as officers
raided it next, finding the bar serving booze after hours and pumping out
loud music. Manager Arun Singkong was arrested.
Shisha, underage customers found in South Pattaya bar raids
Police inspect a row of
shishas at one of the bars they raided.
Banglamung District officials raided several bars in South Pattaya selling
shisha after legal opening hours.
District Chief Chakorn Kanjawattana led local officials and police to Soi 16
around 2:30 a.m. March 30, hitting six beer bars, Thai pubs and restaurants
in the middleeast tourists-dominated area, looking for the outlawed tobacco.
The bars – reported as Twin Oasis, Lebanese, Mao Mai, Ball & Bright,
Keptawan and Chor Ching Tee Dung – were found to be selling shisha, alcohol
and allowing youths under age 20 on the premises. Twenty liters of herbal
alcohol also were confiscated.
The offenses were enough to allow authorities to shut any of the
establishments for five years. The decision on such an order will come
Chor Ching Tee Dung Manager Wannaporn Silapacheevin, 46, was arrested for
being open at 5 a.m., allowing five teens on site and two without ID cards.
Navy seizes Vietnamese
fishing boat, arrests 18
Soldiers hold up dolphin fins
found in the hold of the foreign fishing boat.
A Royal Thai Navy patrol seized a Vietnamese fishing boat found illegally
trawling Thai waters.
18 crewmen were arrested when the boat, registered only as CM91711TS, was
impounded April 1, 130 nautical miles off Koh Chuang. Two other Vietnamese
In the hold of the seized boat was a dolphin on ice, fueling fears the
Vietnamese were fishing for protected dolphins.
2 sought for attempted bank truck hijacking
The thieves failed to pry
open the reinforced door of the cash-laden money truck
Police are hunting for two men who attempted to hijack a Kasikornbank pickup
truck filled with cash in Naklua.
Driver Pairatch Ditduangplong, driver of the unarmored Isuzu D-Max pickup,
reported the attempted robbery on Sukhumvit Road in Naklua April 1. The
truck was operated by Progress Security Ltd. and was loaded with
While not an armored car, the truck was reinforced, frustrating efforts by
the thieves to break into it.
Pairatch said that the truck was parked on the side of the road near the
bank and he was on duty to drop the cash in various locations before he
found out that something was wrong. There were trails of some metal object
that somebody used to try and break into the truck so he reported it to the
Police estimated that there were at least two people in the hijack crew, but
they obviously failed and fled the scene.
1 killed in pickup-big
rig crash in Huay Yai
The rescue squad pry open the wrecked pickup truck to pull out the victims.
One person was killed when a pickup truck collided with an 18-wheeler in
Santat Buaprom, a 30-year-old passenger in the Toyota Vigo, was crushed when
the pickup slid underneath the tractor trailer shortly after midnight March
28 on Highway 36.
Driver Pornsak Chintaisong, 32, sustained a head wound and was transferred
to a local hospital.
Khamchan Siriruang, the driver of the 18-wheeler, said he was hauling 30
tons of steel from a Maptaput industrial park in Rayong to Laem Chabang when
he heard and felt a collision with his trailer. The Vigo had lost control,
hit the side of the trailer and slid underneath.
3 Nigerians arrested
for hotel burglaries
Police arrest the three Nigerian burglars in Samut Prakarn.
Three Nigerian men have been arrested for allegedly stealing about
450,000 baht from Pattaya hotel guests over the past eight months.
Jaho Jaho Nonso, 30, Ugochukwu Ejimadu, 33, and Osas Samuel, 30, were
captured in Samut Prakan Province March 27 following an extensive manhunt.
Since August, more than 10 hotel general managers filed police reports
saying the accused gang members had burglarized guest rooms, targeting cash
The three were charged with eight burglaries and residing in Thailand
without a valid visa. Total losses were estimated at 454,800 baht.
Police in March had discovered the trio staying at a hotel in South Pattaya,
but they escaped and made their way to near Bangkok where they managed to
hide out for several days.
Police said the gang’s modus operandi was to check into various hotels in
Pattaya, then act as “ninjas” to quietly break into other rooms during quiet
Pattaya Business & Tourism Association President Sinchai Wattanasartsathorn
and hotel operators on March 29 called on the Tourist Police Division to
thank them for apprehending the suspects.
Sinchai said both tourist and Pattaya City police worked hard to find the
accused burglars, whose crimes have smeared the reputation of Pattaya for