Thailand is ruled by fear, governed by corruption and a bullet here and there

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Andrew Drummond leaving Thailand

Sawadee Khrap & welcome back to Koh Phangan Island News – The one and only news magazine reporting the awful truth ;-)

British journalist Andrew Drummond has quit Thailand after 25 years covering Southeast Asia from the Thai capital Bangkok.

That was the headline I received yesterday via various social network channels and to actually be honest, it wasn’t that big of a surprise to me.

I have been following the work of Andrew some time now, especially since he also covered my story of the Original Koh Phangan Gunshot Attack back in March 2009.

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Koh Phangan Full Moon Party may attract up to 40.000 party goers in January 2015

Koh Phangan Full Moon Party in January 2015 may attract up to 40.000 party goers

Koh Phangan Full Moon Party in January 2015 may attract up to 40.000 party goers

Many foreign tourists have extended their stay on Koh Phangan island in Surat Thani to join the popular Full Moon party, which is expected to draw about 40,000 party-goers on Sunday, a senior tourism officer said on Saturday.

The atmosphere on Hat Rin beach in tambon Ban Tai in Koh Phangan district was lively on Saturday, with tourists, particularly foreigners, sunbathing on the white beach and swimming.

Most foreign visitors opted to extend their stay on the island to participate in the monthly all-night Full Moon party, a dance music festival on the beach, while local New Year revellers started to return to Bangkok and their home provinces.

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Ibogaine drug treatment of Australian man ends in death on Koh Phangan Island

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An Australian man died after traveling to Koh Phangan for a controversial treatment for drug addiction.

An Australian man died after traveling to Koh Phangan for a controversial treatment for drug addiction.

Australian Brodie Smith was convinced a radical treatment using an African shrub would cure his craving for illegal drugs and turn his life around, even though it is banned in some countries.

Brodie Smith, 33, reportedly died in late October 2014 after traveling to Koh Phangan Island with his girlfriend, Kara Spark, to take Ibogaine, an African hallucinogenic drug believed by some to be a radical cure for chronic addiction, according to a newspaper report in The Sydney Morning Herald.

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How much is the shrimp paste on Koh Phangan Island?

How much is the shrimp paste on Koh Phangan Island?

How much is the shrimp paste on Koh Phangan Island?

Ministry to upgrade Koh Phangan – The Tourism and Sports Ministry plans to zone tourism on Koh Phangan and upgrade the island’s image from that of the notorious full moon party destination.

Sugree Sithivanich, deputy governor for marketing communication of the Tourism Authority of Thailand (TAT), said the ministry has talked to local tourism operators to help change the island’s reputation. Koh Phangan should be promoted as a green island and serve as a role model to develop Koh Lanta and Koh Lee Pae.

After a survey, Tourism Minister Kobkarn Wattanavrangkul sees much potential for the island. The TAT will be a key player promoting a new image for Koh Phangan.
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Perhaps time to sober up, Koh Phangan Paradise Island?

Koh Phangan Full Moon Party

Time to sober up?

The full moon parties draw hundreds of thousands to Thailand each year, but dangers are growing for locals and visitors alike.

Today brings the full moon of the 12th month in the traditional Thai lunar calendar, celebrated around the country as Loy Krathong. As Thais mark the occasion by releasing krathong (floats) on water and kom loy (candlelit lanterns) into the air, thousands of tourists from around the world will tonight gather on Koh Pha-ngan in the Gulf of Thailand for a “full-moon party“.

The world-famous dance festival has been held on Haad Rin Beach every month at full moon for more than three decades. The parties attract hundreds of thousands of revellers each year and have spawned gatherings at other locations on Koh Pha-ngan throughout the month.

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Surat Thani governor orders beach parties ban on Koh Phangan Island

Koh Phangan Half Moon Festival

Banned? Koh Phangan Half Moon Festival

Surat Thani’s governor has imposed a ban on beach parties in the province for security reasons, five weeks after the murder of two British tourists on Koh Tao.

However, the famous Full Moon Party held on Haad Rin beach of Koh Phangan each month will stay in place.

Governor Chatpong Chatphuti wrote to Thaweesak Inthaphrom, chief of the Koh Phangan district office, ordering him to prohibit any beach parties on islands throughout the province.

Koh Phangan’s Full Moon Party is the only exception to the rule due to its enduring popularity among tourists, many of whom visit the country specifically to visit the event.
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Koh Phangan police will propose scrapping the Half-Moon Festival and Black-Moon Party due to safety concerns!

Ban urged on some Phangan parties

Ban urged on some Phangan parties

Ban urged on some Phangan parties!

Koh Phangan police will propose scrapping the half-moon festival and black-moon party – closed gatherings that sprang from the full-moon parties – due to safety concerns.

Police had tried to push for a ban on the two gatherings earlier but the organisers lobbied soldiers to be allowed to continue them, said Pol Col Prachum Ruangthong, the Koh Phangan police chief.

Tickets are sold for the two parties, which are held in closed private spaces in secluded areas, so there is little police could do to protect party-goers, he said.

Police did not have the manpower to look after people going to the two parties.

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Box Jellyfish warning on Koh Phangan Island – 5 year old boy from France killed by venom of box jellyfish

Box Jellyfish warning on Koh Phangan Island

Box Jellyfish warning on Koh Phangan Island

Phangan acting district chief Kasitdet Thongchu on Monday asked local administrative authorities and beach side hotels to post warning signs of poisonous jellyfish and prepared first aid in case they are stung by them.

The measures followed the death of the five-year-old boy from France.

Yongyos Thammawut of the provincial public health office in Surat Thani said the boy went into shock from stings from the poisonous tentacles of a box jellyfish while with his parents on Had Khuad beach Saturday. He died as his parents and a guide were taking him to Koh Phangan hospital for treatment, Dr Yongyos added.

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Koh Phangan commercial air service is expected to begin this year

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Construction of Koh Phangan airport’s runway is in full swing!

A direct commercial air service to Koh Phangan, home of the famous full moon parties, is expected to begin this year.

It will follow completion of a greenfield airport on Thailand’s fifth-largest island and the inauguration of flights by commuter carrier Kan Air.

Somphong Sooksanguan, the airport’s investor and Kan Air founder, confirmed the first flight would take place by year-end.

Construction of the airport is 70% complete. The blueprint of the passenger terminal is under way with a conceptual design that blends with the natural tropical environment overlooking the sea.

Construction has already cost 500 million baht, while the outlay could reach 1 billion.

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Full Moon Party Koh Phangan – The worst party in Asia!

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Koh Phangan Full Moon Party – The worst party in Asia!

Thailand’s Full Moon Party is debauched, depraved, and increasingly deadly. If only it were fun.

“HELLOOO, FULL MOON PARTY!” the touts holler.

Welcome to Koh Phangan… I guess. The host of tuk-tuk drivers and solicitors who await the tourist ferry-load arriving every hour make no mention of the actual island. It’s all about the party. Or rather, parties. Every night.

The next greeting is a giant billboard that warns, “MARIJUANA AND MAGIC MUSHROOMS ARE ILLEGAL IN THAILAND.” Bottom-right is a photograph intended to terrify anyone fresh off the boat: a white-haired foreigner, eyes blacked out, seated before a bunch of cops. Oddly, one policeman flashes a sinister grin.

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