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MAGAZINE 2011

Magazine and Directory for Tourism

AYUTTHAYA HERITAGE FROM THE RIVER OF TIME

• NOON & COOL • SHOP AROUND THE CLOCK • PHRA THAEW NATIONAL PARK • PATONG BEACH AND THE INCESSANT INSPIRATION OF MR. SURASAK SOMNAM


Very variety Variety of charms is the vigor attracting people from all over the world to travel to Phuket. Phuket, as the pearl of Andaman Sea, is a paradise for sea and sun lovers. The city can fulfill in every aspect of visitors’ demands; activities such as shopping for world market-standard artisanal Thai products and having savory Thai cuisine in both original Thai and Thai-fusion styles, cooked with seafood freshly from Andaman Sea. At whatever kinds of your desired vacation are, either a relaxing stay at hotel’s Villa with heaven-liked views or a boutique guesthouse with a price of only 10 dollars a night in Sino-Portuguese building, and spending your time with the activities, the variety of Phuket’s charms can always answer all. This Phuket Explorer booklet would take readers to an exploration of spectacular Ayutthaya, an over 700 years old former capital of Thailand and is designated as a World heritage by UNESCO. Ayutthaya is a place ought to visit, and don’t miss to book a tour if you’re staying in Bangkok for at least two days. As for vacations in Phuket, Phuket Explorer has most definitely gathered wide range of information of Phuket attractions responding to diverse lifestyles, and guides to great shopping locations in Sino Boutique area, at the center of the city. As well as escorting you to make an acquaintance of The Kee Complex, where is the new center point of entertainment of Pa Tong beach, and the story of The Kee Complex’s executive. Mr. Surasak Somnam is the managing director of The Kee Complex and so considered the role model of true Phuket’s businessman, who exercises the inspiration from his family as a main motivation in life and business works. We’re hoping that this issue of Phuket Explorer would bring the diversity and entertainment to your trip ideas, as we believe that the meaning of holiday is the time of continuous search for a mixture of fascinations to lifestyles. Have a nice (Holi) day Peerapon Kachacharoen Executive editor


www.phanason.com

Phanason Resort Lamhin Tel: 076-373290-1

The Green Places Condominium Tel: 076-217849

Phanason Private Home Kathu Tel: 076-203355-7

Phanason Parkville2 Kuku Tel: 076-240470

The Green Places Condominiums by Phanason sits on by the natural hill where is in the center of Phuket is town. Only 5 minute from Surakul Stadium or 5 minute from Samkong community. Condos address is Akwanit-Samkong Rd., Rassada sub-district, Muang Phuket district Tel: 076-217849, 217832 Fax: 076-217841


Magazine Contents

6 18 20 24 30

Ayutthaya Heritage from The River of Time Noon & Cool Shop Around The Clock Phra Thaew National park Patong Beach and the Incessant Inspiration of Mr. Surasak Somnam


Very variety Variety of charms is the vigor attracting people from all over the world to travel to Phuket. Phuket, as the pearl of Andaman Sea, is a paradise for sea and sun lovers. The city can fulfill in every aspect of visitors’ demands; activities such as shopping for world market-standard artisanal Thai products and having savory Thai cuisine in both original Thai and Thai-fusion styles, cooked with seafood freshly from Andaman Sea. At whatever kinds of your desired vacation are, either a relaxing stay at hotel’s Villa with heaven-liked views or a boutique guesthouse with a price of only 10 dollars a night in Sino-Portuguese building, and spending your time with the activities, the variety of Phuket’s charms can always answer all. This Phuket Explorer booklet would take readers to an exploration of spectacular Ayutthaya, an over 700 years old former capital of Thailand and is designated as a World heritage by UNESCO. Ayutthaya is a place ought to visit, and don’t miss to book a tour if you’re staying in Bangkok for at least two days. As for vacations in Phuket, Phuket Explorer has most definitely gathered wide range of information of Phuket attractions responding to diverse lifestyles, and guides to great shopping locations in Sino Boutique area, at the center of the city. As well as escorting you to make an acquaintance of The Kee Complex, where is the new center point of entertainment of Pa Tong beach, and the story of The Kee Complex’s executive. Mr. Surasak Somnam is the managing director of The Kee Complex and so considered the role model of true Phuket’s businessman, who exercises the inspiration from his family as a main motivation in life and business works. We’re hoping that this issue of Phuket Explorer would bring the diversity and entertainment to your trip ideas, as we believe that the meaning of holiday is the time of continuous search for a mixture of fascinations to lifestyles. Have a nice (Holi) day Peerapon Kachacharoen Executive editor


www.phanason.com

Phanason Resort Lamhin Tel: 076-373290-1

The Green Places Condominium Tel: 076-217849

Phanason Private Home Kathu Tel: 076-203355-7

Phanason Parkville2 Kuku Tel: 076-240470

The Green Places Condominiums by Phanason sits on by the natural hill where is in the center of Phuket is town. Only 5 minute from Surakul Stadium or 5 minute from Samkong community. Condos address is Akwanit-Samkong Rd., Rassada sub-district, Muang Phuket district Tel: 076-217849, 217832 Fax: 076-217841


Magazine Contents

6 18 20 24 30

Ayutthaya Heritage from The River of Time Noon & Cool Shop Around The Clock Phra Thaew National park Patong Beach and the Incessant Inspiration of Mr. Surasak Somnam


O

ne significant attraction that had always driven tourists to visit Thailand is the extensive, over a thousand year journey of Thai nation history. The journey had built up Thai nation and shaped into precious and time lasting cultural heritage that was not only to Thais but also to the world, reflecting a foundation of civilization

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Ayutthaya or previously known as Ayothaya, was the second capital of Thailand history. Ayutthaya era began from 1350 to 1767 A.D. and for over four centuries of Ayutthaya era, it was of the most important historical period of Thailand. Besides from battle duties to maintain the nation autonomy, the remarkableness of Ayutthaya was arts and cultures that were derived from Thais nature, and Buddhism as a main key of inspiration. During Ayutthaya time, the cultural and local life styles were recognized through artists’ work.

Thai artists had created valuable master pieces in many forms; paintings, sculptures, architecture and especially in contributing to furnish temples or monasteries (“Wat”) which was a central gathering and symbolic belief of Ayutthaya people. Though Ayutthaya era was ended by the flames of war, her legacy continued and carried on the evidences of both present and lost cultural civilizations, which was why the city was nominated as a World heritage by UNESCO in 1991. Ayutthaya has now become a historic site that tourists from all over the world wish to visit. The experiences that tourists will receive from this glorious yet still exquisite place, represent dignity and proud of Thai nation. At the same time, there’re wonders of what hidden treasure underneath these city’s remains is, and the answer is an experience from exploring the city with full sense of sight and mind, with us, Phuket Explorer.

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History of Ayutthaya Thai people started inhabiting along the center and lower regions of Chao Phraya River basin since the 13th century. By late 14th Century when the first capital of Thailand, Sukhothai began to decline, Prachao Uthong designated Ayutthaya to be the next capital and he had become the first king of Ayutthaya. The expansion was accomplished by using two strategies, conquering and forming relatives-like relationship. Ayutthaya kingdom was very thriving that may be considered as the most prosperous kingdom in Suvarnabhumi region. In addition, Ayutthaya was a central for international trading

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and had held business relations with manifold countries, such as China, Vietnam, India, Japan, Persia and including western countries like Portugal, Spain, Holland and France. Ayutthaya’s administered territory was spacious and extended with dominions; from Shan state of Myanmar (Burma), to Lanna realm, Yunnan and Shanxi provinces in China, Lan Chang realm, Khmer realm (Cambodia), and stretched to southern of Malay Peninsula (Tanah Melayu). The cessation of Ayutthaya was due to usurpation. It caused the realm to decline in strength to defend and manage its well-being, and finally resulted to lose independence to Myanmar, one of the intimidated opponents of that time.


Arts of Ayutthaya For 417 years of Ayutthaya era, the arts had expanded into multitudinous departments, their patterns and styles evolved according to the state conditions and could be categorized to 3 periods. Early period arts (1350-1488 A.D.) The arts were influenced from traditions and cultures of nearby kingdoms. Middle period arts (1489-1629 A.D.) The arts created, had started to reconcile to Ayutthaya’s own patterns. Late period arts (1489-1767 A.D.) The arts presented Ayutthaya’s distinctive and spectacular styles that were exemplars for following periods’ arts.

Arts of all three periods were mainly related with Buddhism and Royal institution. Exceptional sculptures of this time were bronze Buddha statues and images, and some other sculptures were produced from wood, stone, stucco or molded lime, earthenware, and gold. Architectures as well associated with Buddhism, Royal institution and the well-being of general public, such as monasteries (wat), pagodas and Buddhist sanctuaries and chapels, palaces, fortress and city walls. Furthermore, Ayutthaya’s decorative fine arts and crafting were also outstood. They could be found on decoration of wooden carves, gilded black lacquer painting (design washed with water), silverware, gold ornaments, nielloware, and pearl-furnished ornaments.

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Sightseeing at Ayutthaya historical park Historic sites in Ayutthaya that were registered as world heritage included Pa Suk River and Chao Phraya River, city at the middle which both rivers ran surround it as island-like city, and the outer area around the city. Many archaeological sites located dispersedly within the city and surrounds, encouraging tourists to drive with private cars for sightseeing or hired local transportation, or rented bicycles to ride around the splendid historic park and scenes. The tourists may take either a One Day Trip for visiting main locations or a couple of days for a full exploration.

To Ang Thong

a Bua

Pa Sak River

Khlong S To Suphan Buri

To Amphoe Wang Noi Chao Phraya River

To Amphoe Bang Pa-in

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Must Visit In Ayutthaya

Wat Phra Sri Sanphet

The monastery situated in the city, at the historical park. It was formerly used for conducting religious ceremonies by kings of Ayutthaya, and also a location of massive pagoda that stored bone ash of several previous kings.

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Vihara Phra Mongkol Bophit (Phra Mongkol Bophit sacred temple)

Phra Mongkol Bophit was a large bronze Buddha statue, lacquered and gilded, in sitting posture of Mara-defeated characteristic. Presumably, the temple was built in early period of Ayutthaya and later was restored to original alike condition.

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Wat Chai Watthanaram

Wat Chai Watthanaram was constructed resembling to Angkor Wat as a memorial of Ayutthaya’s victory over Khmer realm, located at the outer west part of the city. The temple’s construction plan symbolized the universe in Buddhism.

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Wat Phuttha Thai Sawan

The temple situated by the river bank, opposite to the south area of the city. Important historic sites of this area were master corncob-shaped pagoda (Prang Prathan), curved sanctuary, and Somdet Pra Khosa Chan’s parsonage which he was widely respected by people of Ayutthaya.

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Another impressive point was the fine Ayutthaya art’s painting on the parsonage’s walls, revealing the stories of the incarnations of the Buddha and Somdet Pra Khosa Chan travelled to pay respect for the Buddha’s footprint at Lanka continent.


Wat Phra Mahathat

Wat Mahathat is located in front of the Grand Palace to the east, next to Pa Than Bridge. The temple is believed to be one of Ayutthaya’s oldest temples, possibly built by King Boromaraja I (1370-88). There are a lot of ruins showing the beauty and importance of arts such as the Royal Wihara with narrow

rectangular holes instead of windows. The main prang where the relic of the Lord Buddha was kept and found is originally 50 meters high. It fell down once and was restored to be higher than the original. At present only the base can be seen as the top of the main prang was broken down in 1911. 15


Wat Ratchaburana

King Borom Rachathirat II (Chao Sam Phraya) built a temple on the site where his two elder brothers were cremated. His two brothers died in a power struggle to succeed their father, King Nakhon In who died in 1424. A series of bell-shaped chedis surround the main prang and a large oblong-shaped viharn is situated at the front. Wat Ratchaburana has many

interesting parts such as the door entrance in front of the monastery which is the architecture of late Ayutthaya period. In the main prang, two crypts filled with golden royal treasures, such as Buddha images and votive tablets, were found. These treasures are exhibited in the Chao Sam Phya National Museum, Ayutthaya.

Further information and maps of important sites for your best trip are obtainable at Ayutthaya Tourism Centre. Tel. 0-3532-2730-1 Thanks to information resources:

• Information on Ayutthaya history from Wikipedia Thailand • Tourism information of Ayutthaya historical park, from the World Heritage website: www.thaiwhic.go.th • Travelling and routes information is from Ayutthaya province’s website: www.ayutthaya.go.th

**Moreover information on Ayutthaya history could be found from Thai films; Suriyothai and Naresuan, directed by Prince Chatrichalerm Yukol

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Traveling to Ayutthaya By Car

Many routes may be chosen for travelling to Ayutthaya. However, the most recommended route would be from Bangkok via Nonthaburi to Pathumthani on highway 306. When reached Pathumthani bridge junction, turned right to the highway 347, which would pass Bang Sai Arts and Crafts center at Bang Pa-In district, and then entering to Ayutthaya province. On this route, tourists could as well take short visits at Bang Pa-In Palace, and Bang Sai Arts and Crafts center. By Bus

There were numerous bus routes that travel from Bangkok to Ayutthaya, in service daily with multiple times a day. The regular or air-conditioned buses were options, and Mo Chit bus station is on Kamphaeng Phet II road. For more information please call 02-9362852-6 By Train

All train’s directions to northern and north-eastern regions of Thailand passed Ayutthaya province. Once arrived at the train station, bicycle rental is also available. It was a simple and enjoyable option of transportation to use for sightseeing at Ayutthaya historical park. The train service offered reasonable price of one-day-trip pass, provided by State railway of Thailand. For more information, please contact Call Center: State railway of Thailand 1690

Chao Phraya River Cruise to Ayutthaya Cruising along the Chao Phraya River was another recommended activity to sense people’s way of life on two river sides and to trace an ancient path of Ayutthaya trading history. Wide range of river and canals cruising services are available, for instance of the following services. Oriental Queen Cruise

Departure from Oriental Hotel’s dock, Bangrak, daily at 8 am with meals and beverages served. For more details, please call 0-2236-0040 River Sun Cruise

Departure from River City dock to Bang Pa-In Palace and Ayutthaya province. The service is offered daily, with meals and beverages included. For more details, please call 0-2266-931 Mekhala Cruise by the Rivers Hotel

This service provided guided trip and tour in Ayutthaya province for 2 days and 1 night. For further information, please contact 0-2256-7168

In addition to services available above, hired long-tailed boat from locals could be another interesting choice to travel around the island of Ayutthaya city and historical park. The service was accessible with different prices according to the distance and duration of service, at a dock in front of Chanthara Kasem National museum.

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NOON & COOL

The lure of excursion is to find something new or unexpected events. Those make each trips are different and unforgettable impressive. Nothing guarantees that next trip will be the same. Because of this charm, some people record their memory by written a diary but for my pleasure, I took a photograph to keep my impression.


Today, after I took a picture and met with many kindness people. I stood on the road in the middle between Kalim and Kamala Beach. I cast a look to the sea. I fell in love on this scene so much. This route is filled with many magnificent view of Andaman. Nearly noon like this, my stomach started to cry. I saw a small restaurant on the middle of seashore road, Baan Rom Sai (The Banyan’s Umbrage Restaurant). Even if it has simple decoration but there are a lot of cars parked outside, so I assumed immediately that this restaurant isn’t ordinary. I decided to went inside and found this place is a northeastern style or ‘e-san’ style restaurant. Som-Tam or spicy papaya salad is very famous e-san menu. Fried or roasted chicken and sticky rice usually ordered as side dishes with Som-Tam. And yes those were my lunch today.

Harmony with the nature is the most admirable of Rom Sai. There haven’t any big constructions. There aren’t cut down any trees. Everything naturally as it is. There’re only small scullery, dining table tier set on edge of the cliff, a simple roof and Thai’s style friendliness that call “Sabye Sabye” (easy or chill out). Theory of photography said “Sunlight at noon which make 90 degree angle with the object is not suit for photograph”. But, there are exceptions too. Theory is always meaningless to our passionate or emotion. When we found the happiness and impression the shutter can’t wait to do its duty, even sunlight stay in the middle of our head. Som-Tam, roasted chicken and sticky rice are already served, Wow. I must put down a camera for a while and refueled my energy. I can’t talk much now but I can tell you something about this meal, “the view is great and the taste is beyond your imagination”. 19


Shop

Around The Clock

Shopaholic is addicted. When physical needs more desire converge on mind as a driver that needs stuffs, it has affected on your body to lose control and open a purse to buy everything. This symptom easily cures by empty purse, full financial amount or live in distant land that’s far from shopping center. Even if Phuket is a small island overseas of Andaman and it’s so far from a top list shopping center. But you may be wrong, if you choose Phuket for your Shopaholic rehabilitation, don’t look over this small island. We are warning you right now! Wherever you live on the world and in any conditions, you know that shopaholic needs favorite things that are worth to buy all the time. As, Phuket is natural city and live on the world chart, many local designers spend life in here and makes an inspiration their nice stuffs. During the range of afternoon to evening, I begin to walk out from café in fountain traffic circle area at center of Phuket and go straight to Yaowarat road and reiterate myself to make a concentrate for this challenge. This is just 10% of nice shop that I meet in 10 minutes. (I emphasize again “we already warn you”)


Kiddee (Think Positive) Shop

The trend of Maximumlist (the best of enjoyment) is very popular currently such as clothes, making up and hair style also home decorations. Maximumlist is matched with shopaholic very much. Because it’s style of crazy shopper as it’s no space to collect things. If buy it to flash about as full option of arty style. Kiddee (Think Positive) is small shop but a lot of Maximumlist that is full of national items from several countries around Asia such as Thai, Bali India, Nepal, China and others places that will

take you enjoy to buy this souvenir for everyone. Choosing coverall of Bali give naughty girls at office life and give wooden doll that is made from project by Thai designer for aunt next door. To buy clothes of Shanghai give for lover mum. As father will get gold lamb form Nepal and don’t forget a reward for the life that works a job all of years. With a big necklace makes form an extra stone and Sari attire and pink Bollywood shoes for theme of shocking Pink Indian Party and color cincture that I would show just return from Phuket. 21


CHÁCO

Don’t panic! If you have a date unexpectedly with your dreaming lover in a trip that you have to contain only vest, short pants, and canvas shoes in your baggage. It’s because you have CHÁCO! A mini Boutique is full of quality stuffs on center of Phuket. It includes the clothes that are suitable for every date and in every movement. With ordinary style is proper for a romantic dinner, With Sunday Brunch style or The Jet-set style in holiday get along with beautiful bonnet 22

to protect the sunlight before embarking a yacht. Most of clothes at CHÁCO made from silk and satin even if design to wear in tropical country but it’s smart to appeal and can take it to flash about everyone in your life. It’s not serious again when your date go along excellently. Exception, the clothes, it has accessory that designed in each day. CHÁCO has the clothes with make to order style to wear in each celebration. Moreover, a special clothes that wear in your special day such as your married day. WOW!


Phuket Town At the center of Phuket area is full with many shops such as, fashion shop, furniture shop and gallery. In old town, Yaowarat Road, Thalang Road and Deebuk road including a big shopping mall such as Central Festival Phuket, they’re plenty with quality products from all over Thailand that is support for every customer in each day. Patong beach The color of shopping at Jungceylon is full of charm as Phuket style. It can pass the time since morning to afternoon for your favorite brands and many local brand name products form Thai handcrafts artisan. It’s amused with variety show on water screen that is near the fountain that is around a big barque. It can make your first impression forever. The area of Surin beach and Bang Tao beach The area of Surin beach and Bang Tao beach are well-known that places assemble the world class celebrity. So, this area has a lot of luxury and awesome store on both side of the street from Surin beach to Bang Tao beach includes a plaza Surin, a mini plaza contained with many cool shops. 23


Phra Thaew National park

The spectacular Khao Phra Taew Forest Park (22.29 sq kms), is situated four kilometers east of Thalang and serves as one of Phuket’s most important water sources.


The reserve is important, as it preserves the last of Phuket’s primary rainforests. Langurs, barking deer, mouse deer, deer, bear, wild boar, monkeys, gibbons and many species of birds inhabit the forest. An especially rare species of palm, the Governor’s Palm or White Back Palm (pahm lahng kao), is found in the park. There are also two beautiful waterfalls that will take your breath away, with the Ton Sai Waterfall being the prettiest. It is normally at its best from June to December. The trees, watercourses, and pools nearby provide one of Phuket’s loveliest scenes. The Khao Phra Thaew (KPT) area is relatively small (2,333 ha) and completely surrounded by villages, roads and plantations.  Therefore, not all the species of peninsular fauna are represented and those that remain in this forest are not easily observed. Their natural behaviour is to hide in the densest vegetation and their learned fear of man make them even more elusive.   Walkers on the forest trails may well hear the sounds of animals running for cover, but have little chance of seeing them. This may be frustrating for those interested in wildlife, but it is only by this wariness that the animals, up till now fiercely hunted, have managed to survive. Hopefully, in the future, they will have no need to fear the approach of man. But, in any case, in the undergrowth, the view is obstructed by vegetal walls in every direction and on all the various levels superimposed or mixed in luxurious but concealing draperies of tight foliage. 25


Khao Phra Thaew An islet in the island of Phuket  Phuket is, at the same time, an island, a province in Southern Thailand, a district, a city, an administrative center; a name more and more well known, a region in the process of becoming a showcase for the Kingdom. From the economic and touristich point of view, Phuket is destined to improve, increasingly year by year, her shining example.   In her role as regional and national showcase, the island should conserve one of the essential and most threatened landscapes of the tropical world: that of the large dense forest. Along with the developed countryside, in places green and well organised but in others totally devastated by strip mining, it became necessary to safeguard the only complete forest still massive enough to evoke the primeval landscape, the remaining vestige of an ancestral heritage in its full bloom.   As the island expands logistically, economically and touristically, the Reserve of KPT will increase in importance as a wildlife harbour, as a beneficial watershed, as a place of worthwhile leisure, as well as a center of scientific research… as a testament to ecological wisdom joining human development and natural conservation. It was thus that KPT, a mountain range still covered with its original vegetation in the northeast district of Thalang, was chosen and promoted to an official Reserve by decree in 8th July 1980. But, since April 1977, the Provincial Services had demarcated a protected area encompassing all the wooded ranges. Certain advisors from the Forest Administration had in mind the distinctive palm of Phuket which spreads its elegant foliage and which as been designated with the botanical name “kerriodoxa elegans” 

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Fortunately, Phuket does not represent the forest condition of Southern Thailand that is in fact far more wooded with large areas covered by stands of tall, dense and shady vegetation. Is it well known that only the dense forest can withstand the climatic extremes of the Tropics? Long observation shows that a certain percentage of dense forested cover, especially in hilly areas, guaranties a good distribution of water, both enough for dry season as well as providing rainage in rainy season. It also prevents the effects of erosion to the lower soil which is the most suitable location for agriculture and settlements. In addition, it ensures the continued flourishing of these activities and installations, above all if they occupy well-chosen land. Under these climatic conditions, the settlements in hilly regions have the best opportunity of prospering to the extent that they preserve the original vegetation of mountains, steep slopes, natural watersheds, in short the zone which, at the same time, are unsuitable for exploitation and which compose the most vulnerable part of the landscape.   In the entire island, this insufficient forest cover may in part appear to be corrected by the replanting of plantation trees at least on the lower slopes and as far as the steep ones, This insufficiency can only serve to validate the creation of the Reserve of KPT which was not just suitable but in fact has become indispensable, above all considering present development, ever increasing but, at the same time, thoughtfully balanced. 

Situation and Description Thanks to its integrity, which permits a biological balance to remain, KPT offers an excellent example of Malaysian equatorial flora which is found up to the South of Thailand. However, this kind of flora is here approaching its outer limits, to the extent that it can only survive if not disturbed by man, It could advance up the Peninsula only in its initial leap and can only be replaced by the more hearty tropical continental flora.   On the ochre-brown soil, emanating from granite decomposition, receiving abundant and sufficiently distributed rainfalls, an evergreen rainforest has developed. Here, the vegetation remains green all year long. If indeed the trees change their leaves, this happens in only a few days and at very different times, depending on the species, which are numerous and varied. In fact, this type of forest is in perpetual biological activity. One can see, during the shedding of the leaves, spring and fall on the same branch. The species which follow seasonal cycles do not obey the same rhythms, but rather each at their own time.   The wet tendency is displayed by the presence of species that are not found in tropical climates with a long dry season and also by the abundance of certain plants of the undergrowth, usually only encountered in low sheltered sites, but here present, indeed teeming with life, everywhere along the range, Notably, the richness of palms, both in quantity and variety, it is one of the most remarkable features of KPT, which in addition, offers Kerriodoxa elegans its only known refuge. Among the dominant trees, one can find some of stunning dimension in the prime of their development. Since so many of the species, and among the most characteristic, belong to the Southern flora (here equatorial) of the Peninsula, this forest formation is truly representative, for Thailand in general, of a particular regional entity. Furthermore, apart from its botanic composition, the very structure presents itself in various levels (strata) of trees, each composing a distinct biological unity. Thus, for every level there is a corresponding category of trees which includes, evidently but in small number, the immature off-springs of the upper levels. 

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Topography, Soil and Climate  The reserve stretches along a range, in a north-south direction, with its tops slightly emerging. As the only exception, the crest of KPT stands alone on the south, well separated from the others which reach 400 to 450 m, just over the watershed line. But this relatively low range is flanked by abrupt slopes, without any hilly transition from the lowland that is near the sea level. In the interior, an intricate drainage system has deeply embedded itself, Streams and rivulets appear as torrents; they spring forth in a series of stepped waterfalls descending in narrow gullies.   In the stream beds, the granite rocks can be seen as level with the ground, or piled one upon the other, or in flat paving stones that obstruct the water, forcing the flow sharply over or, especially in dry season, to infiltrate the soil and then reappear down the waterfall. Some slopes are dotted with small rocks, but the greater part of the range is made up of deeply decomposed ochre soils that cover all the hills, becoming brown humus near the surface. Crumbly and ever soft at the foot of the slopes, the super ficial soil appears to be compact on some crest, especially in the northern part; but the favorable distribution of rainfall avoids the crusting effect that tooften occurs in climates with severe dry seasons. However, this advantage is closely links with the perpetuation of the protecting forest cover.   At this latitude (about 8°), the temperatures remain remarkably constant and the dry season is indeed less severe than in the North and Central Regions of Thailand. So, the climate resemble subequatorial one: wet tropical with a short dry season. The mean annual temperature is 28°; the average of the maximums is 31° 4, with 33° 2 as the hottest month; the average of the minimum is 23° 8, with 22° 8 as the least month. The constant and high minimums are in fact those of the low latitude, but the precipitation puts the region in a transitional one. The year is divided into 8 humid months, from April to November; 2 dry months, January and February; the remaining 2 months are variable, but generally December can be considered as sub-humid and March as sub-dry (N. Humid month: the amount of rainfall in mm exceeds or is equal to the average temperature in degree. Sub-humid: the amount of rainfall is equal to 3 to 4 times the average temperature. Sub-dry month: the amount of rainfall is equal to 2 to 3 times the average temperature. Dry month: The amounts of rainfall do not reach 2 times the average temperature. Here, min. lower than min.). Thus, Khao Phra Thaew is indeed more humid (and less hot), as the masses vegetation attraction and retains the convection rains which do not benefit the surrounding countryside

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Wildlife Conservation Development and Extension Center

The Wildlife Conservation Development and Extension Centre (WCDEC). Situated at the non-hunting area’s south west side at the foot of the Ton Sai waterfall, it provides education on KPT. This involves giving lectures to students and other visitors on the one hand and the design and distribution of brochures on the other hand. The WCDEC was set up as soon as KPT was designated as a non-hunting area. Although the centre is related to the non-hunting area, it is generally regarded as separate from it. The Wildlife Conservation Development and Extension Centre and non-hunting areas are distinct parts of the same organization level, namely the Wildlife Conservation Division, the Thai National Parks, Wildlife and Plants Conservation Department.   Apart from Ton Sai waterfall, the center’s most important attraction is its spacious and well equipped visitor centre. Groups of 20-50 students from the Phuket region weekly visit the centre. Most of them are from primary and secondary schools; occasionally a group of university students visits Ton Sai. At the visitor centre the students are given lectures on forest conservation in general and on KPT in particular. Next, they are either taken for a short walk in the nature trail close to the centre, or they cross the forest to Bang Pae substation in a couple of hours. The centre further disposes over 6 basic guest rooms which can be booked all through the year, while three small restaurants provide visitors with meals and refreshments

Information from: Mr. Awat Nitikul, Chief of the Khao Phra Theaw Non-hunting Area (National Park, Wildlife and Plant Conservation Department) Khao Phra Theaw Wildlife Park and Forest Reserve, Jean Boulbet and Nophadol Briksavan 29


PATONG BEACH

and the Incessant Inspiration of Mr. Surasak Somnam A

simple sentence that holds a complete determination has been stated through Mr.Surasak Somnam’s hopeful tone. Mr. Surasak Somnam, the managing director of The Kee Complex project who so called the Phuket’s businessman, has improved the land of his beloved mother that is adored and proud of to a new land of happiness and elation for tourists, on Patong Beach.

“I am Phuketian”

“I am a person of Phuket, borned in Phuket at Kathu district. My mother is a Hokkien who has migrated from China to Thailand, similarly to most Chinese people in Phuket. In education aspect, I am an alumnus of Phuket College School, and graduated a master degree from National Institute of Development Administration also known as NIDA. After graduating, I began by working at a commercial bank in Phuket and later marry Ms. Supa Somnam, who is as well Phuket local as I am. Afterward, I started my own business for the first time by renting small bungalows and providing recreation rooms and service to tourists at Patong Beach. Subsequently when the rental contract is due, I decided to continue this business path and proceed the family business, which is the derivation of The Kee Complex as of today.”


“My mother, My inspiration”

The Kee, its name and thumb fingerprint logo of The Kee Resort & Spa is so spectacular and unique that we couldn’t resist to wonder of where such name and logo come from. Mr. Surasak has revealed to Phuket Explorer staff team that, “The name The Kee comes from the suffix of the word ‘Sewkee’, which is my mother’s name and the thumb fingerprint as logo is a copy of actual thumb fingerprint of my mother who is the owner of this estate. My mother’s aspiration is for my siblings and me to watch over this place to remain it as the property to Thai people and our family. Mr. Suwat Somnam and Mr. Montri Somnam, who are my brothers, and I are determined by our mother’s will to manage a successful business on the family estate. Though that our mother is no longer with us, but everyday that I sight at The Kee Complex I believe it is as the magnificent memorial of our mother that my brothers and I have innovated and established. In addition, our descendants also contribute in improving the business of The Kee Complex. For instance, Mr. Tanapong who is my son, has recently graduated from United Kingdom with IT expertise, he has helped to introducing the resort to modern technology and systems. Including my daughter, Ms. Samornpun who is currently studying Hotel Management in Switzerland, and my brother’s daughter as well brings new generation’s perspectives to boost up the modernization of this project in order to reflect people of the new generation’s lifestyle.” 31


Acquainting with The Kee Complex

The Kee Complex is a place filled with plenty of accommodations for tourists, sets on the property of over 16,000 square meters. It is partitioned in three areas; The Kee Resort & Spa, The Kee Plaza, and Sea Dragon Entertainment which these areas are connected between Bang La side street and Thaweewong Road, the road along Patong Beach. The Kee Complex’s distinctive feature is its potential to reply to any life styles of the tourists, in both for a relaxation to absorb in the stunning and lovely scenes of nature of Patong Beach and enjoyment from shopping or from Patong’s nightlife charms. “I intend for The Kee Complex to be the solely choice that will satisfy everyone’s desires and demands. From our location on Thaweewong Road along the beach connecting to Bang La side street, our customers can relax comfortably and admire the beauty of Patong Beach from their rooms at The Kee Resort & Spa, dine in at our best restaurant by number one chef together with shopping in many kinds of famous brand name shops at The Kee Plaza, and finally finish the day by enjoying a nightlife at Sea Dragon Entertainment or chilling from wine zipping that is highlighted by our Wine Cellar, wine collections from all over the world that are gathered and cared by our own wine specialists, along with easy listening music at Rooftop Bar.” Another distinctive feature of The Kee Complex is the modern technologies that intermingle with every working area. Mr. Surasak has kindly explained that the technology and communication systems use in The Kee Resort & Spa IP-telephones, internet and interactivedigital television. In addition at The Kee Resort & Spa, rooms are decorated in Sino Modern style, up to 80 cars of parking space is available, water park styled swimming pool with a mock-up waterfall beautify with LED lights that is guaranteed of its most elegant in Patong district, and illuminating observation elevator that will highlights visitors’ experience to a panorama view of Patong. The Kee Complex continues to emphasize modernization with the largest LED screen in Phuket, being used as an advertising media for news and activities from The Kee Complex, situated in front of The Sea Dragon on Soi Bang La side.

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Patong Beach and the Incessant Inspiration

From the wise words of a mother that taught to be willful, patient, sacrifice and reward back to the society, have been a strong inspiration of Mr. Surasak’s life, These words motivate the innovation of The Kee complex, the new and lively spot of Patong Beach. This may conflict to some tourist’s view that Patong Beach is already crowded and loaded with buildings, and now scarce of space to embrace the beauty of true nature. Despite all that, Mr. Surasak has introduced us with another perception regards travelling at Patong area, as follows. “The Kee Complex will be a solution to those who consider Patong is no longer able to provide space for vacation, recreation rooms or relaxation. At The Kee Complex, visitors will perceive Patong in new and multiple mind-opening angles; options that are chosen as you see fit. Patong will never be overloaded; it is depending on an option that you may select to satisfy your desire because whatever your choice is, this incessant beach will always welcome visitors with smiles and answer to everyone’s desire. 33


Message from the Governor Tourism Authority of Thailand On behalf of the Tourism Authority of Thailand (TAT), I extend my warmest congratulations to the management and editorial staff of Phuket Explorer. A highquality professional publication does not only add to the overall travel experience, but also becomes a valuable sales tool as visitors take copies back to show their families and friends. Phuket, known as the “Pearl of the Andaman”, is now Thailand’s second most important international gateway. The average period of international visitors’ stay is just under five days, but expenditure is nearly 4,000 Baht per person per day. Readers will discover that there is no shortage of things to see and do in Phuket and its surrounding regions with diving, golfing, trekking being just a few things that come to mind. Brand-named hotel chains have been entering Phuket, and one major development is the phenomenal increase in small, exclusive boutique hotels. The island is also attractive to long-stay residents, corporate meetings, incentives, and ecotourism adventurers. Its health and wellness facilities are also becoming legendary. I hope that visitors can make use from all the articles and informative tips about Phuket to become the real island “explorer”, and recommend this magazine to their friends, families, and colleagues.

SURAPHON SVETASRENI Governor


Phuket Explorer Issue 4 Magazine