16 - 30 November 2013
News Sanctuary of Truth urges positive thinking
Memories of the Dog’s Bollocks It’s reported from England that Chris “Chubby” Henderson has died in UK. He was famous 15 years ago for running a Pattaya bar ingeniously called the Dog’s Bollocks, when Pattaya had the reputation for being a British lager louts’ paradise; the bar was a favourite hangout for what seems, in 2013, to be a distant memory. The bar also attracted football enthusiasts, some of whom were not beyond starting a riot or two of their own. T-shirts and beer mats of the time advertised the bar as The Dog’s Bollocks – Nuff Said! Indeed. Although some people claim the name dates back to practices in the London brewing industry, in fact it simply recalls the fact that dogs do enjoy licking their genitalia. Nuff Said, again! Cafe Royale sold One of Pattaya Boyztown’s oldest established bars, restaurants and hotels, Le Cafe Royale, has been sold to a Thai leisure company. The new owners say it’ll be business as usual in an establishment which first opened its doors in November 1990 and is due to celebrate its 23rd anniversary soon. For all that time it was operated by British owners. Rumours that the new owners will try to promote a non-gay environment are said to be poppycock by staff actually working there. Another bay tragedy The number of people killed in boating accidents in Pattaya bay over the past year is approaching a round dozen. The recent capsizing of an overloaded ferry from Koh Larn occurred when the engines stopped and passengers fled to the upper deck, thinking it was safer. Expect a lot of flack over this tragedy – promises of new regulations, better police technology, more checks at the docks to enforce safety standards, etc. But will any senior heads roll? Don’t bet on it. Zooming wine prices Recent tax changes on Thai and imported wine mean that you can expect to pay up to a 100 baht more for a bottle of spirits or wine depending on its price. But it’s a fact of life that you can save quite a bit of cash by shopping around still. The price variations are still quite remarkable. Many people wonder why wine and spirits are so expensive in Thailand. Maybe it’s to do with the producers of cheap whiskey and beer; they prefer people here drink the cheaper stuff rather than alternatives. Tourist Police website The Foreign Tourist Police Assistants (FTPA) now have a first class website which tells you most of what you need to know if you are interested or want to join. FTPA is still looking for additional recruits, but remember their entry rules are quite strict and training is both extensive and continuous. Most of their work is on Walking Street, but activities are now expanding into motorbike patrols and daytime duties on beaches and elsewhere. Everything they do is under the specific authority of the regular Tourist Police. Go to ftpapattaya. org.
The Sanctuary of Truth in Naklua is encouraging young people to believe in the values of honesty, concentration and meditation as a sensible way of tackling the problems of society, noting that solving problems with a loving heart and patience is a strategy in line with the precepts of Buddhism.
Jongrak named credit manager Jongrak Tepin has been named credit manager of Centara Grand Mirage Beach Resort, Pattaya, according to Robert J. Lohrmann, g e n e r a l m a n a g e r. Jongrak, who earned her master in business from Sukhothai Thammathirat University, has 20 years experience in finance and accounting, with eight years in credit functions while working at Siam Bayview Hotel, Cholchan Pattaya Resort, and Hard Rock Pattaya.
More details emerge on ferry tragedy Transpor t minister Phong Chivanonth has announced that the ferry disaster compensation for each of seven dead people would be 500,000 baht with a maximum of 115,000 for each injured man, woman or child. It was also stated that the doubledecker boat’s captain, who originally admitted taking drugs on the day but later rejected the claim, had had his licence confiscated. The announcement of the compensation
has caused some surprise as in an earlier case, concerning two Chinese nationals who died after an accidental ramming in the bay, received much more after a settlement adjudicated by the new tourist court. In other developments, it has become clear that the boat’s water pumps failed to operate properly which led to a rush of water and the clambering of many passengers on to the upper deck in the mistaken belief they were safer there. In fact,
the sudden movement of so many people on an overcrowded boat led to the capsizing. There was an insufficient number of life jackets carried on board, yet another failure to abide by current safety regulations, whilst some of the stock were torn and unusable in an emergency. Both Pattaya City Hall and the Chonburi governor’s office have demanded a wholesale review of maritime safety regulations in the Pattaya bay area.
World Race comes to Thailand
Everywhere a hole The October storms and downpours have, as usual, left a large number of potholes all over town and beyond. Some of the biggest and most dangerous are on Sukhumvit and Thappraya Road. There are constant reports of motorbike accidents, people falling and injuring themselves, etc. You can’t sue City Hall because, unlike in some countries, there is no public liability for accidents such as these. All you can do is watch your step and hope the local authority sends out the teams real soon. Gambling a no-no A reader asks whether or not gambling is invariably illegal in Thailand. Not quite. It’s allowed at two horserace tracks in Bangkok, and in the national lottery. But if someone tells you it’s okay to bet on football matches as long as you pay by Barclaycard or send the cash abroad, you tell them exactly where to put their bum information. On a similar theme, card playing is not illegal, but gambling or offering prizes most certainly is. Makro’s answer In spite of much publicity, there’s no sign of Pattaya stores reducing their use of plastic bags when customers check out. Even if you are buying only an Oxo cube (assuming you can find one) or a newspaper, the checkout assistant is likely to wrap it in a plastic bag, or at least offer to do so. Presumably the explanation of this non-environmentally friendly gesture is that the use of bags reduces the prospect of store thefts. Well, Makro on Sukhumvit Road has an excellent no-plastic-bags policy, so everyone else can surely follow their lead or come up with a better, non-plastic solution. Police help wanted Love it or hate it, Andrew Drummond’s bold and investigative website is hitting the high spots now with around 300,000 hits a month, although there are doubtless many repeat customers in that total, not to mention enemies constantly checking what’s being said about them. But we notice that the site is now being asked by police forces, especially the British, to help in the hunt for the relatives of deceased or missing persons. Once you are trusted by Interpol, you must be in a very tiny number of internet sites about crime and criminals in Thailand. Especially one specializing in Pattaya.
The editor and management of Pattaya Today don’t necessarily share the views expressed in this column
Asia BackPackers welcomes the World Race to Pattaya as the 60-strong peripatetic group continues its travels through 11 countries in as many months.
The first World Race began in Mexico nearly eight years ago. The event is constantly changing and expanding. For additional information go to www.worldrace.org
Thailand as ‘medical hub’ in question Hospital bosses say that the Kingdom’s current political problems are casting doubt on whether Thailand will achieve supremacy in the race to attract medical tourism. Pongsakorn Chindawatana, senior director at Bangkok Dusit Medical Services, warned that any political violence or seizure of public facilities, including airports, would have a very negative effect on public confidence as Singapore and Malaysia are arch-rivals of Thailand in the competitive industry of attracting rich tourists for medical treatment, both emergency and cosmetic.
He e x p l a i n e d t h a t w h i l s t Thailand is a hub of travel within Asia, it is not without significant competitors. For example Singapore has the attraction of being Chinese speaking, thus making it attractive to the growing medical tourism input from mainland China’s increasingly affluent entrepreneurial class. Malaysia has been in close touch with Arab countries in recent years and is rich in natural resources. Thailand certainly has its natural beauty, Dr Pongsakorn added, and is 10 or 15 percent cheaper than its rivals in
the region, a particularly important consideration for visitors from Europe and the United States. Competition between ASEAN countries for a bigger slice of the medical tourism market is likely to heat up after 2015 when the ASEAN Economic Community begins to come on stream. There is likely to be cross movement of doctors and nurses in each others’ countries at an early stage, particularly amongst those speaking English--the principal language used amongst the 10-nation consortium.