Seeing beauty in black and white

Seeing beauty in black and white

PHUKET: In today’s fast-paced digital world, where anyone can take thousands of photos with a smartphone, there are still those who see the value of spending time in a darkroom and processing photographs using a technique known as ‘gelatin silver printing’. It may be unheard of in Phuket, but a group of 12 photographers, together with the Phuket Darkroom Club (PDC), are doing just that. They are holding an exhibition of darkroom photographs in Phuket Town from April 1-30. The line-up of artists is Rachot Visalarnkul; Sitt Polcharoen; Ittipon pathanapichai; Mongkol Apichitchaichot; Suvit Ratana-apiromyakij; Ratchadaporn

Yesterday, 11:30AM

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Gardening: Not all snakes are deadly

Gardening: Not all snakes are deadly

PHUKET: A friend discovered a snake on his balcony the other day and asked me what it was. With alternate broad bands of yellow and black and a triangular-shaped body, it could only have been a banded krait. Fortunately, he stood well back and allowed the creature to slither away into the garden. I say fortunately because all kraits are extremely venomous. Snakes like to live near water, but the recent downpour may have left this one seeking higher ground. But let’s not get too alarmist. I’m sure that all you readers out there have had encounters of the serpentine kind, but remember that snakes normally only attack when

Thursday, March 23, 2017 | 12:00 PM

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Law, life and Society: Reassessing the Thai education system

Law, life and Society: Reassessing the Thai education system

PHUKET: The Thai education system was recently featured in the Economist. The article, titled ‘Poor schools are at the heart of Thailand’s political malaise’, was published on January 19, 2017 and discussed Thailand’s international education rankings in the recently released ‘Program for International Student Assessment’ (PISA). Thailand’s scores have plunged to an overall ranking of 54 out of 70 assessed countries. PISA has found that one-third of Thailand’s 15-year-olds are “functionally illiterate”. I decided to talk to my friend, Eric Guzman, who teaches at a school in Rayong, about what he believes

Saturday, March 11, 2017 | 03:00 PM

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Gardening: Marvelous benefits of the neem tree

Gardening: Marvelous benefits of the neem tree

PHUKET: I have written in these columns before about the sadao tree, or azadiracha indica, which we gardeners in Thailand know as neem. But my interest was re-kindled by a reader from Hua Hin who wrote to say he was “looking for a supplier of neem from the sadao tree”. I presume he wants to use it as an organic pesticide or maybe a specific against mosquitoes. Neem has long been used by Thais, even though in 2009 there was a totally misguided attempt by authorities to ban its use as one of thirteen so-called hazardous plants. Since it was a traditional and cheap alternative to synthetic and often toxic chemica

Wednesday, March 8, 2017 | 11:00 AM

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Profile: Not your average tuk-tuk driver

Profile: Not your average tuk-tuk driver

PHUKET: Sophon Pol Kaew In, or Pol, as he is better known to his friends and customers, is currently a taxi and tuk-tuk driver in Phuket and somewhat of a favorite with foreigners. Originally from Krabi, he moved to Phuket at the age of 18, more than 25 years ago. “I came to Phuket as a young, carefree boy. I didn’t know many people at the time and there weren’t many foreigners here either. My first job was at Savoy Seafood restaurant near Bangla Road, which was the top-ranked seafood place in Patong. I started working as a server and stayed there for three years, before moving to the Patong Merlin hotel,” says Mr Pol

Tuesday, March 7, 2017 | 11:00 AM

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On Deck: Unprecedented boom in ocean waste

On Deck: Unprecedented boom in ocean waste

PHUKET: I’ve written on the topic of ocean waste before. In fact, I first wrote on the topic more than 18 months ago, but it appears that little has changed. Ocean waste is everyone’s responsibility – not just divers, sailors, or swimmers, but everyone who in some way makes a living from the island of Phuket. Phuket’s lifeblood is tourism, its key assets the beaches and the Andaman Sea. When they are threatened, people should sit up and take note, and more importantly, take action. Readers have no doubt heard of the floating waste pile heading through the Gulf of Thailand. At 10km long, it’s a monster and hard to igno

Saturday, March 4, 2017 | 03:00 PM

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