An upbeat governor of Surat Thani province in the south of Thailand said that three of his islands would be ready to take part in the “sandbox” experiment. This involves foreign tourists starting in Phuket for 14 days and then moving onto Koh Samui, Koh Phangan and Koh Tao (all in Surat Thani) after a flight on Bangkok Airways from Phuket. It’s called the Samui Sealed Route Model and begins on 15th July. Wichawut Jinto said that infections in his province were down to nine and 109,956 people had received a first dose of vaccine and 40,857 had been jabbed twice. In many areas of the province there is no infection at all and the governor has been urging everyone to keep with the mask wearing and not to drop their guard, reported TNN. The Phuket Sandbox begins next Thursday with five direct flights expected according to previous reports. Book your sandbox hotel in Phuket here
Thai media reported from Koh Tao in Surat Thani in the south of Thailand where 180 local tourism reps, officials and members of the public met at a temple to discuss returning to allowing foreign tourists. It was decided that the two islands of Koh Phangan and Koh Tao would form their own “sandbox” known hereafter as the “Phangan – Tao Sandbox”. It would begin on August 8th, seven days after Koh Samui begin theirs on August 1st. Samui in turn is basing their reopening strategy on what happens in Phuket in two weeks’ time. This involves sealed routes and receiving only foreigners who have been vaccinated twice and who must take two tests while they are on the islands. Ramleuk Aswachin of the Koh Tao tourist business association said that foreigners would once again be able to enjoy yoga, spas and fitness activities – Phangan’s signature attractions – then travel to Koh Tao to enjoy their famed undersea beauty that simply “shouldn’t be missed”.
Daily News reported that “Big Police” descended on the area of the pool at the five star resort in Koh Tao yesterday where two Thai/Indian billionaires died on Friday. And now it has emerged that the couple and their son decided to change hotels because one they had previously booked had a swimming pool that was too small. In addition the husband was found first and only some time later was the wife discovered under the water in a different location. Rakeswar, 59, and Anshoo Sachathamakul, 55, were found dead at the pool on Friday. They had earlier arrived with their 34 year old son Ratich for a holiday. Yesterday, Region 8 chief Lt-Gen Kitrat Phanpetch and his entourage carried out investigations and reenactments at the scene of what staff found. Daily News Daily News had pictures of a man apparently playing the part of Rakeswar in the pool while in another top cops and local police looked in the pool while media observed. Daily News said that originally the parents and their son had arrived at room P3 in another resort. But they decided to change after finding that the pool was too small unlike what had been advertised on the website and there was construction work going on. The son contacted the resort where the incident occurred by phone to change their plans and driver Pheerathorn Janthao went to pick them all up at 11 am. They were now given what the media called a “pool villa” to stay in. At
The speedy rollout of the COVID-19 vaccine to people on Koh Samui means the island should be able to reopen to tourists from July 1, a leading tourism industry figure has said. Currently some 57,000 people, approximately 50 percent of the island’s population, have been vaccinated against the virus. A further 36,000 people need to be vaccinated in order to achieve herd immunity, Ratchaporn Phoonsawas, president of Koh Samui Tourism Promotion Association, has said. If the vaccination targets are met, the island is hoping to open from July 1 under the ‘Samui Sealed Route’ model, which would allow tourists who have tested negative for COVID-19 to stay on the island for seven days. After seven days tourists will be required to take another COVID-19 test, which if negative, would allow tourists to travel to Koh Tao and Koh Phangan. Mr Ratchaporn said the Tourism Authority of Thailand (TAT) will present the plans to the Center for COVID-19 Situation Administration (CCSA), which are also expected to approve increased flights to Koh Samui.
The governor of Surat Thani province issued a letter yesterday regarding visitors to Koh Samui, the famed holiday island in his province. Wichawut Jinto noted that the pandemic situation on the island had eased significantly and along with many people being vaccinated there already, a change in the rules was in order. From yesterday onwards, reported Siam Rath, people who have evidence of a negative PCR test within 72 hours or anyone who has had two doses of vaccine is free to visit without the need to quarantine for 14 days. Quarantine remains in force for anyone who does not fit into these categories. The governor’s letter also said that officials may test people who have symptoms of fever before allowing them to enter. He also warned of severe fines and prison sentences for anyone breaking the rules.
Thai police brought in to assist with the investigation into the death of a billionaire Thai/Indian couple in Koh Tao on Friday have said that everything will be done to ensure that the investigation is complete and removes all doubt. Royal Thai Police chief Gen Suwat Chaengyodsuk could even make a visit to the island in Surat Thani, southern Thailand. Meanwhile initial reports coming to Daily News from the Police Hospital in Bangkok where an autopsy is being carried out confirmed previously reported suggestions as to the cause of death made by local police on Koh Tao. The couple – Rakeshwar Sachathamakul and his wife Anshoo – died from lack of oxygen. A large amount of water was found in their lungs. Toxicology tests are ongoing with thirty days until the results come through, reported the Thai media. Picture: Daily News In an accompanying story Daily News quoted Pol Col Wirachan Khunchaikaew of the Crime Suppression Division who were brought in by Pol Maj-Gen Jiraphop Phuridech of the Central Investigation Bureau to assist local police. Wirachan said that all angles were being investigated to determine if this was murder or an accident. He said it was important that all doubt needed to be cleared up. Potential witnesses were being sought at the resort and the couple’s timeline and contacts were all being checked. Depths of water at the swimming pool had been checked and the layout of the resort was being investigated for clues. Whether the CCTV at the pool was really broken was
Officials on the holiday island of Koh Phangan – famous for its full moon party raves – have found ganja growing in the hills. It was DOPA who found the dope. Department of Provincial Administration official Sutthipong Thongreuang had received information about the grow in Ban Thong Nai Pan, Ban Tai. He informed district chief Phoonsak Sothonpathumrak and the local station chief Pol Col Panya Niratmanon who investigated. Some 100 plants – close to harvest time – were found intermingled with natural vegetation next to a coconut orchard. Picture: Naew Na The raiding party spied on the area for an hour to see who might come but nobody did so they decided to uproot the plants. A hoe, shovel, spade, hose, insecticide and fertilizer were taken into evidence. Investigations will take place to find who was behind this. One thing is for sure, reported Naew Na; whoever it was was taking advantage of the officials being busy with Covid-19 related matters. And that the ganja when ready would have been supplied to tourists when the island is opened again later in the year.
Thai media Daily News reported that the Thai police have yet to make up their minds about the death of a rich husband and wife on the island of Koh Tao in southern Thailand on Friday. Initially it appeared that the local police were prepared to write it off as an accident with no foul play. Rakeshwar Sachathamakul, 59 and his wife Anshoo, 55, were found dead in the area of the pool at a five star resort. Other print media named the resort as the Jamahkiri Resort and Spa. The couple were the owners of the Novotel on Kamala beach, Phuket, owned an apartment block in Soi 12 of Bangkok, an area known for years as “Little India” due to the prevalance of Thai-Indian owned property. Rakeshwar was also reportedly the managing director of two plastics factories in Prachinburi and Rayong. The couple were Thai baht billionaires. The couple were of Thai/Indian heritage. In an interesting twist Daily News revealed that when the couple arrived on Koh Tao on Friday they were unhappy with a room at a resort they had booked via an application and changed hotels to where they were later found dead by their son Rakesh, 34. Picture: Daily News Meanwhile Pol Maj-Gen Jiraphop Phuridech of the Central Investigation Bureau called in officers from the Crime Suppression Division and they were at the scene on Sunday. Local chief Pol Col Kriangkrai Kraikaew said that no definitive conclusions had yet been drawn. The bodies of the deceased have been taken to
Health authorities are inviting foreigners on Koh Samui to register for a COVID-19 vaccine. All foreigners on the island are eligible to receive the vaccine, according to a post on the COVID Centre Koh Samui Facebook page. Foreigners just need to scan a QR to start the registration process. The registration will then be verified with Surat Thani Immigration before an appointment date is confirmed by SMS. Details on the registration process can be found below:
Police are accelerating the investigation into the deaths of a Thai-Indian couple who were found drowned in a pool on Koh Tao. Officers from Thailand’s Crime Suppression Division (CSD) have now joined the investigation into the deaths of the couple, which local police said were caused by drowning. Rakeshwar Sachathamakul, 59, and wife Anshoo, 55 were found dead in a swimming pool at a resort on Koh Tao on Saturday. The couple had been visiting Koh Tao with their 34 year old son, who found his parent’s bodies in the pool. Picture: Manager There were no witnesses and CSD investigators are examining CCTV footage from the resort. The investigation will also focus on if there was any foul play involved or if the couple had a business conflict with anyone. Manager reported the couple’s family showed no suspicions about the deaths. Mr Rakeshwar was described as a billionaire by Thai media and is understood to own a Novotel Hotel in Kamala beach, Phuket and the Bangkapi Mansion apartments on Sukhumvit Soi 12. He also owned businesses in Rayong and Prachinburi which manufactured parts for the automotive industry.
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