How the world’s beaches are readying for a summer of social distancing #ศาสตร์เกษตรดินปุ๋ย

#ศาสตร์เกษตรดินปุ๋ย : ขอบคุณแหล่งข้อมูล : หนังสือพิมพ์ The Nation.

How the world’s beaches are readying for a summer of social distancing

Thailand

Jun 28. 2020La Grande-Motte set up the first organized static beach in France. MUST CREDIT: Photo for The Washington Post by Sandra MehlLa Grande-Motte set up the first organized static beach in France. MUST CREDIT: Photo for The Washington Post by Sandra Mehl

By The Washington Post · Miriam Berger · WORLD, ASIA-PACIFIC, EUROPE, MIDDLE-EAST 
Sunscreen? Check. Towel? Check. Mask? Disinfectant? At least six feet of space? Depends on where and what beach. As tourists and travelers start to return to many of the world’s seasides, government health officials and scientists are turning their attention to every inch of sand to assess the risk of the coronavirus’s spread.

But while the novel coronavirus may dislike direct sun and open air, it loves a crowd and shared spaces. That’s why officials in southern England were so shocked last week by what they classed as a “major incident” amid a heat wave: thousands of people packing beaches, all in violation of social distancing measures. In Brazil, beachgoers have similarly flocked to sandy shores while flouting face mask recommendations.

From “beach bubbles” to drones to censors and cellphone tracking, here’s how some countries are readying their beaches for a summer of social distancing.

– Greece

Greece’s picturesque sandy seasides have long been an alluring summer destination. But this year, the Mediterranean country has a new attraction: a low coronavirus count and, as a of mid-June, borders open to some foreign tourists.

Greece also wants to keep it that way, despite the risk of a resurgence posed by letting in travelers. So the government has devised a plan for mandating disinfectants and maintaining physical distances since it began to reopen beaches in mid-May, with updates since. Under current regulations, only up to 40 people will be permitted per every 1,000 square meters of beach, or about a quarter acre. A maximum of two chairs can be under each umbrella, which must be placed at least 13 feet from another. (An exemption is made for families, who are allowed to be in proximity to one other as a group.)

Beachgoers are supposed to place a towel on their chair, which staff are required to sanitize after every use. To further discourage crowds, beach-based restaurants were initially allowed to serve only takeaway meals, and no alcohol, to people waiting at least five feet apart while in line.

Beachgoers who violate these rules can face a fine from the police of up to $1,120, according to the BBC.

– Belgium 

Cellphone tracking and censors will be deployed to keep Belgium’s seaside resorts and beaches less crowded this summer, Reuters reported.

Beaches are allowed to open as of Saturday, and the government has devised a tracking system aimed at rerouting residents and tourists to less-populated areas. Using cellphone data and 130 censors stationed around towns, authorities will be updating a public website sharing in real-time that areas are more or less crowded. Dark green will indicate an area is calm, while orange will denote high density, according to the Reuters news agency.

Some local governments have devised their own designs. In the town of Knokke-Heist, tourism council member Anthony Wittesaele came up with “beach bubbles” – or markings in the sand to indicate 32-square-foot boxes, or about the size of a medium-size carpet.

“We have implemented what we call ‘beach bubbles,’ where one family or friends can be together in a safe way and to visualize the distance that they should be from one another,” he told Reuters.

– Dubai 

The financial center of the United Arab Emirates is beginning to reopen, months after its upscale malls and lavish hotels shut down. During scorching summer days, much of life in the Emirates happens in the air-conditioned indoors, which now poses a problem for coronavirus infection-control.

But in public, the politically restrictive city-state is trying to enforce its new beach protocol. Dubai has made mask-wearing at the beach mandatory and banned groups of more than five. Masks while in the water, though, are not required. (Masks in general are required in public, except in some instances like strenuous exercise.)

Between May 29, when beaches reopened, and June 7 the government reported that 316 people were penalized for violating the rules, according to the Abu Dhabi-based the National newspaper. On just one Friday in early June, police cited 221 offenders. The fine for violating face mask-wearing and social-distancing rules is more than $800.

Police told the National they have also made use of drones to zone in on rule breakers.

– Thailand 

Thailand still remains closed to international travelers, so its beloved beaches have fewer crowds and possible pitfalls to worry about.

In the meantime, mask-clad workers at the entrance of beachside venues screen and count everyone entering to keep a low capacity. In the coastal city of Pattaya, beachgoers are required to stay around three feet apart. Residents told the South China Morning Post that they had never seen the water so clean or sand so empty.

Like many Southeast Asian countries, Thailand’s confirmed coronavirus count remains comparatively low to other European or Latin American countries. But it has still taken the virus seriously. Some beaches reopened only on June 1. And after kick-starting local tourism, the government is considering travel corridors with China and Japan, among others, Bloomberg News reported.

– Spain 

Drones are also buzzing above the carefully monitored beaches of Lloret de Mar, a resort town in northeastern Spain.

Spain is readying for the return of foreign travelers after curbing its initial coronavirus outbreak, which killed more than 28,300 people. “The way we go to the beach this year has changed but that doesn’t mean we can’t enjoy it,” urged a promotional video for one resort very popular with British tourists, AFP reported.

At Lloret de Mar, sensors are also in place to alert the municipality when an area’s capacity has been reached. Visitors can then access this information via a designated app, according to AFP.

So far, crowding hasn’t been an issue. But Lloret de Mar is prepared for all kinds of beach conditions. The local government has additionally devised plans for cordoning off sections based on age, such as designating special areas for the elderly, families with children, and groups without kids.

– France 

In May, France initially reopened its beaches to short-term exercising but banned most other activities. That prompted one resort to experiment with social-distancing compliant sunbathing, The Washington Post reported. The resort town of La Grande Motte near Montpelier roped off 75 squares to keep people separated. The municipality’s website then offered beachgoers the chance to reserve a three-hour spot up to two days in advance. Openings quickly filled up.

As of June, restrictions at beaches are more loose, though people are still recommended to keep wearing face masks, wash hands and stay at a distance from others.

Hua Hin’s iconic Railway Hotel to reopen doors on July 1 #ศาสตร์เกษตรดินปุ๋ย

#ศาสตร์เกษตรดินปุ๋ย : ขอบคุณแหล่งข้อมูล : หนังสือพิมพ์ The Nation.

Hua Hin’s iconic Railway Hotel to reopen doors on July 1

Jun 25. 2020

By The Nation

Guests will return to Hua Hin’s oldest and grandest beachside hotel next week as the Centara Grand emerges from three months of lockdown. Also known as the Railway Hotel, the century-old wooden edifice in opulent gardens will reopen its doors on July 1, with a safety guarantee provided by the Tourist Authority of Thailand’s “Amazing Thailand Safety and Health” certificate.

The hotel has reinforced that guarantee with its own Centara Complete Care scheme, developed in collaboration with water and hygiene tech leader Ecolab, and SGS, the world’s leading inspection, verification, testing and certification company.

The iconic beach resort will reopen under a12-point action plan covering social distancing, health, hygiene, and enhanced sanitisation across the entire guest journey, as well as extensive training, and accreditation & monitoring. Among the rigorous changes is the elimination of self-service buffets at its restaurants, with live stations screened off from guest touch access, social distancing of 1.5 metres between tables, chairs, fitness equipment, function space and sun loungers (which are sanitised after each usage), and increased frequency of sanitisation of all public areas such as lifts and kids’ clubs. There will be no in-room delivery of luggage or meals with all items instead left at the guestroom door.

Spa and wellness facilities will allow single treatments only with no use of steam, saunas or Hammams for the time being. All treatment rooms will be sanitised in between guest usage. Sanitising gel and disposable face masks will be placed in guest rooms Other key changes include free health check-ups from on-site medical staff, a dedicated system of contactless measures for check-in and payment, as well as upgrading of teleconferencing capabilities for the meeting sector as businesses get back to work. Staff, all of whom have undergone special training, will wear accredited face masks at all times, while temperature readings and hand sanitisation will be mandatory for all guests and employees.

Having first opening its doors in the early 1920s, Hua Hin’s Centara Grand is regarded as one of the grandest hotels of the East, with expansive of gardens overlooking the sea.

TAT offers free boat rides as part of campaign to bring tourists back to Damnoen Saduak #ศาสตร์เกษตรดินปุ๋ย

#ศาสตร์เกษตรดินปุ๋ย : ขอบคุณแหล่งข้อมูล : หนังสือพิมพ์ The Nation.

TAT offers free boat rides as part of campaign to bring tourists back to Damnoen Saduak

Thailand

Jun 24. 2020Photo Credit: TAT Ratchaburi OfficePhoto Credit: TAT Ratchaburi Office

By The Nation
In a move to bring back tourists to Thailand’s world-famous Damnoen Saduak floating market, the Tourism Authority of Thailand (TAT) Ratchaburi Office has launched a special campaign, which runs from July 1 to September 15.

“Since the Covid-19 outbreak has been curbed and people are being allowed to travel across the nation, we have decided to organise an activity to stimulate tourism and generate income for the province,” Sareeya Boonmak, director of TAT Ratchaburi Office, said.

“Tourists can use receipts from hotels, restaurants, souvenir shops or tickets of tourist attractions in Ratchaburi worth a total of Bt900 or more to redeem for an hour’s boat ride. The receipts can be redeemed at piers in Damnoen Saduak and Lak Ha floating markets, or at the TAT Ratchaburi Office,” she added.

One boat can accommodate up to four people in line with social-distancing measures, she said, adding that there are about three such trips daily. The boats offer people a close-up view of the market as well as communities near the river.

“Tourists can pay an extra Bt600 to visit the Mae Thong Yip farm to taste young coconuts, stop off at Wat Chotitayakaram, the Low Hourd Seng old house and the Lao Tuk Luk floating market,” she said.

Also, she said, visitors must not miss out on tasting the delicacies that the floating market is so famous for, like hot coconut-rice cakes, satay and boat noodles.

Call (032) 919 176-8, visit the TAT Ratchaburi Office Facebook page or the official Line account @TATratchaburi for more information.

Pattaya’s Nong Nooch Garden offers free admission to visitors from six provinces #ศาสตร์เกษตรดินปุ๋ย

#ศาสตร์เกษตรดินปุ๋ย : ขอบคุณแหล่งข้อมูล : หนังสือพิมพ์ The Nation.

Pattaya’s Nong Nooch Garden offers free admission to visitors from six provinces

Thailand

Jun 24. 2020

By THE NATION

Nong Nooch Tropical Garden & Cultural Village, the largest floral garden in Southeast Asia located near Pattaya, in Chonburi will offer free admission to people from six provinces and 10 districts of Bangkok in July.

The 10 Bangkok districts are: Bangkhen, Saimai, Don Muang, Lak Si, Chatuchak, Buengkum, Bangkapi, Lat Phrao, Wangthonglang and Huai Khwang, while the five provinces are Ayutthaya, Sing Buri, Ang Thong, Chai Nat, Samut Prakarn and Chachoengsao.

People residing in these areas need to produce only an ID card for unlimited free admission throughout the month of July.

Director Kampol Tansajja said the free admission campaign has been launched to “create happiness for Thais” and in response to the government’s policy to boost domestic tourism after the Covid-19 lockdown measures have been lifted.

Nong Nooch Tropical Garden offers a variety of attractions and activities such as dinosaur exhibition, cactus garden, palm forest, cultural dance and elephant show twice a day during weekends and holidays.

Si Sa Ket offers up delicious lava durian to woo tourists #ศาสตร์เกษตรดินปุ๋ย

#ศาสตร์เกษตรดินปุ๋ย : ขอบคุณแหล่งข้อมูล : หนังสือพิมพ์ The Nation.

Si Sa Ket offers up delicious lava durian to woo tourists

Thailand

Jun 23. 2020

By The Nation

The Tourism Authority of Thailand (TAT) is encouraging people to visit Si Sa Ket province to indulge in the bounty of nature and tuck into delicacies like the famous lava durian.

Si Sa Ket governor Wattana Phutthachat said the lava durian has a unique taste, because it is grown in volcanic soil that is not found anywhere else.

“The lava durian comes in three varieties, namely Monthong, Chanee and Kanyao,” he said. “The volcanic soil in Si Sa Ket is full of minerals, which make it perfect for growing fruit such as lava durian, langsat, rambutan, longan, plums and beans.”

Sawang Kalaphat, a local farmer, said six districts specialise in lava durian, though the ones grown in Kantharalak, Khun Han and Si Rattana districts are the best.

“Approximately 8,552 rai has been devoted to lava durian, and 3,095 rai has yielded a harvest this year,” he said. “The farms should produce about 4,203 tonnes of durian, which can be sold for Bt150 to Bt180 per kilogram.”

Sarid Nakwarin, chairperson of the Si Sa Ket Chamber of Commerce, said provincial authorities are cooperating with related agencies to sell lava durian in both retail and wholesale quantities.

“We have teamed up with Kerry Express Thailand to deliver the fruit, which can be ordered via www.lavadurian.com until the end of August,” he said.

Meanwhile, Thamonwan Charoenwongphisit, director of TAT Surin Office, suggested that people wanting to taste the best lava durian can visit Ban Sam Tarom and Ban Maharat in Khantharalak district and Ban Sam Khilek in Khun Han district.

“TAT also wants to introduce Si Sa Ket’s other attractions like the Khao Phra Wihan National Park, the Phrai Phattana temple, the Phaya Kopri viewpoint, the Samrong Kiat waterfall as well as Pa Si Mongkhon Rattanaram, Maha Phuttharam and Sra Kamphaeng Yai temples.”

Call (044) 514 447-8 or visit the TAT Surin Facebook page for more information.

Phatthalung’s Banthat mountain bustles with tourists as scenic viewpoints are reopened #ศาสตร์เกษตรดินปุ๋ย

#ศาสตร์เกษตรดินปุ๋ย : ขอบคุณแหล่งข้อมูล : หนังสือพิมพ์ The Nation.

Phatthalung’s Banthat mountain bustles with tourists as scenic viewpoints are reopened

Thailand

Jun 23. 2020

By The Nation

Tourists are flocking to revel in the natural beauty of Phatthalung’s Banthat mountain and catch a glimpse of the sea of mist from three scenic viewpoints after provincial officials reopened the range.

With Phatthalung reopening its attractions and abiding by the Public Health Ministry’s measures to keep Covid-19 from spreading, the number of tourists has suddenly jumped, especially to the Banthat mountain range that comprises the Kuan Nok Ten, Phu Rung Chaeng and Kuan Sawan Ta Kaew viewpoints from which visitors can see the sea of mist.

Most of the tourists so far hail from the three southern border provinces. Many choose to stay at accommodations and campsites near Kuan Nok Ten and Phu Rung Chaeng so they can get to the viewpoints before sunrise.

Phatthalung has not seen any new Covid-19 case for a straight 73 days, but the province is still implementing measures to guard against the dreaded virus.

Famed ecologist hails Pattaya’s recovery after break from tourism #ศาสตร์เกษตรดินปุ๋ย

#ศาสตร์เกษตรดินปุ๋ย : ขอบคุณแหล่งข้อมูล : หนังสือพิมพ์ The Nation.

Famed ecologist hails Pattaya’s recovery after break from tourism

Thailand

Jun 23. 2020

By The Nation

Pattaya beach is cleaner than it has been for the past two decades after recovering from the heavy impacts of tourism, said prominent marine scientist Thon Thamrongnawasawat.

The water is clear and pristine while trash has almost completely disappeared from the sand, said Asst Prof Thon, who has over 100 books and several marine conservation projects to his name. Pattaya beach was now as beautiful as he remembered it 15 to 20 years ago before the latest boom in tourism, he added.

With local hotels offering big discounts on accommodation, Thon recommended that people grab the chance to visit the seaside city while it was at its prettiest.

Along with the beaches, the city’s markets are also free of crowds and more organised, he said, adding that visitors could help local businesses recover from the impacts of Covid-19.

Speaking as a former adviser to Pattaya authorities, he said the return of tourism should be carefully controlled so that the city and its marine environment remained clean and beautiful.

Brewing happiness in Songkhla’s Saba Yoi district #ศาสตร์เกษตรดินปุ๋ย

#ศาสตร์เกษตรดินปุ๋ย : ขอบคุณแหล่งข้อมูล : หนังสือพิมพ์ The Nation.

Brewing happiness in Songkhla’s Saba Yoi district

Thailand

Jun 22. 2020

By The Nation

Songkhla province is extending an invitation to travellers, encouraging them to come visit and enjoy the friendly surroundings of its Saba Yoi district.

Local resident Jeerawat Noonsri has turned from a civil servant to coffee farmer, growing Robusta beans near the Tam Khok cave.His farm has now turned into a community enterprise, with locals shifting from growing rubber to coffee.Though Tam Khok coffee is cheaper than other types of coffee in the market, the locals appear to have found their source of happiness.

Phetchaburi, the birdwatching capital, beckons #ศาสตร์เกษตรดินปุ๋ย

#ศาสตร์เกษตรดินปุ๋ย : ขอบคุณแหล่งข้อมูล : หนังสือพิมพ์ The Nation.

Phetchaburi, the birdwatching capital, beckons

Thailand

Jun 22. 2020Green Bee-eaterGreen Bee-eater

By By Kaset Sudecha
Photos: Kaset Sudecha, Wirot Wonganan

Phetchaburi is one of the top tourist attractions in the country, being just 123 kilometres from Bangkok. In 2019, nine million tourists visited the province, generating at least Bt32 billion in income for local people.

Kaeng Krachan National Park

Kaeng Krachan National Park

One of the outstanding activities in this province is, of course, birdwatching, an activity which can be conducted any time of the year. The Tourism Authority of Thailand, together with Kaeng Krachan National Park, the Bird Conservation Society of Thailand and local birdwatching groups have held a campaign called “Phetchaburi, the capital of birdwatching”, to promote the province.

Common green magpie

Common green magpie

Birdwatching is a well-known activity for both domestic and foreign tourists. Foreign birdwatchers have been estimated to visit the province for 1-3 days and spend at least Bt20,000 a day.

There are more than 600 species of birds to spot, with over half of them being rare.

Asian golden weaver

Asian golden weaver

Kaeng Krachan National Park, the highlight for birdwatching, is located in an area of Tenasserim and Phuket Hills, stretching from southern Thailand to Myanmar. Birds seen in the national park are not just from Thailand but also wing in from India, Myanmar and Malaysia.

Wreathed hornbill

Wreathed hornbill

The Bird Conservation Society of Thailand and BirdLife International have therefore listed the park as an “important area”. Kaeng Krachan has also being proposed as a new World Heritage Site in Thailand.

Black-and-yellow broadbill

Black-and-yellow broadbill

Some of the beautiful birds that can be seen in the park are the black-and-red broadbill, the wreathed hornbill, the orange-breasted trogon and the ratchet-tailed treepie, the latter limited only to Thailand.

Steppe eagle

Steppe eagle

In addition to the national park, watchers can scout for birds that immigrate temporarily to the seaside in Ban Laem district. More than 50 bird species normally arrive in this Thai district from October to May. The area has proven safe for these sea birds as no big factory or hotel is located there to pollute the natural resources.

Phetchaburi has also been listed as a Flyway site by the East Asian-Australasian Flyway Partnership. Spoon-billed sandpipers are the highlight of the seaside district as they number fewer than 400.

Spoon-billed sandpiper

Spoon-billed sandpiper

In accordance with a “new normal” sustainable economy, natural resources and the local people’s way of life need to be preserved for long-term benefit and happiness.

Seagulls

Seagulls

A taste of the past #ศาสตร์เกษตรดินปุ๋ย

#ศาสตร์เกษตรดินปุ๋ย : ขอบคุณแหล่งข้อมูล : หนังสือพิมพ์ The Nation.

A taste of the past

Thailand

Jun 21. 2020Photo by Tanachai PramarnpanichPhoto by Tanachai Pramarnpanich

By The Nation

A village in Kanchanaburi province is inviting people to experience Siamese lifestyle during the reign of King Chulalongkorn (1873-1910).

The period marked the start of western influence on Thailand and the integration of cultures.Mallika RE 124 Village was built to pass on ancient Thai knowledge to the younger generation.Visitors can pick Siamese style garments during the tour and they can appreciate not only the tradition but also the memories of Thai ancestors that have been lost in time.The village has reopened after being closed during the Covid-19 lockdown.Visitors must fully adhere to precautionary practices during the new normal.