Monthly Meanderings: June 2015

SAM_6505June just whizzed by and I cannot believe that it’s already July and that this year is more than halfway finished.  In another five months, I will celebrate my fiftieth birthday in grand style (well, at the very least I’ll release one of my increasingly infrequent Muang Phuket Local Post stamps and make a toast to the health of His Majesty the King).  While I did find time for some stamp-related activities, these were mostly done while awaiting students between classes as I went from a very relaxing four days per week schedule to one which I struggled to keep my Sundays work-free.  I didn’t do much else in June…

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A Bit of Tinglish at Central, Phuket


All over Southeast Asia, there are examples of signs badly translated into English.  In my experience, Thailand seems to have a higher percentage of “crazy English” signs than anywhere else in the region.  There’s even a word for it:  Tinglish, which is a combination of “English” and the Thai word, ting tong, meaning “odd” (equivalent to the English “ding dong”).  The reason that the Thais making these signs rarely enlist the aid of the plethora of native English speakers lurking about is that they don’t want to “lose face” by asking a farang (foreigner) for help in any way.

Thus, we get gems such as the above example along a loading dock driveway at Central Festival, Phuket’s oldest Western-style shopping mall (opened in December 2004).  I believe they are trying to restrict motorbikes from parking along a fence that divides the two lanes of the driveway (although there are at least half-a-dozen bikes there at any given time).  “No Parking” would have been better.  The bottom part warns that violators will have a lock fastened on the front wheel of their motorbike, the removal of which will necessitate their paying a fine of 500 baht.  My guess is that this is the result of entering the Thai into Google Translate.

The one below is much, much better.  However, I believe they mean that security will check the trunk (or, “boot” if you prefer).  The only other mistakes are the capital S in “search”, no spacing between the first full stop and “We”, and the misuse of the pronoun “you” with the possessive pronoun “your” is required.  This is about as good as Thai-made signs come.


TH-1073: Marine Creatures (Thailand-Malaysia Joint Issue)


Issue Number: TH-1073
Issue Name:  Thailand-Malaysia Joint Issue
Issue Date: 2015-06-08
Denomination: 3 baht (2 designs)
Designer: Mr. Udorn Niyomthum
Printer: unk.
Printing Process: Lithography Multi-colour
Quantity of Stamps: 400,000 pieces per design
Sheet Composition: 10 stamps per sheet (different design)
Perforation: unk.
Size: 30×40.5mm (Vertical – measured from perforation to perforation)
Details: Adjacent Territorial Sea, Colorful Marine Creatures

This is the first time that Thailand and Malaysia postal administrations jointly issue stamp to strengthen a good collaboration. The theme of this stamp set is “marine creatures”, in which two designs from each country. Thailand presents clown shrimps, the popular coral shrimps that are widely available at Similan Island (Pang-Nga province) and candy crab (coral protector) with beautiful shell, available at Surin Island (Pang-Nga province). Malaysia presents football jelly fish (Rhizostoma pulmo), available in South China Sea, (East coast) and Strait of Malacca (West coast), and sea slug (Phyllidia varicose), kind of Gastropeda without shell.

Date of issue is scheduled on June 8, 2015 (World Oceans Day), in order to promote awareness of people in conserving oceans. Images and information of Thai designs have been provided by Faculty of Fisheries, Kasetsart University.

©2015 Thailand Post

Phuket’s Stamp Museum

20060818-105109Phuket Town is fortunate to have a wide variety of museums and more on the way.  Having been a stamp collector for much of my life, I’m very happy to live a pleasant ten-minute walk from one of Thailand’s eight philatelic museums. The other seven are located in Chiang Mai, Khon Kaen, Nakhon Ratchasima, Ubon Ratchathani, Nakhon Sawan, Hat Yai, and behind the Samsen Nai post office in Bangkok. The postal counter in the Phuket museum is my only source of Thai new issues aside from the occasional order placed online.

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TH-1072: Princess Prem Purachatra


Issue Number: TH-1071
Issue Name:  Princess Prem Purachatra Eminent Personality of the World 100th Birthday Anniversary
Issue Date: 2015-06-07
Denomination: 3 baht
Designer: Ms. Mayurea Narknisorn
Printer: unk.
Printing Process: Lithography multi-colour
Quantity of Stamps: 500,000 pieces
Sheet Composition: 10 stamps
Perforation: unk.
Size: 30x48mm (Vertical – measured from perforation to perforation)
Details: One of Global Outstanding Female Leaders

Spouse of Prince Prem Burachat, Princess Ngamjit Burachat has substantially contributed to the country. She is the only Thai and the second Asian who is nominated President of The International Council of Women. She is renowned for her vision and initiatives of international projects, thus making her the role model of Thai women to enhance personal capabilities, sacrifice for social benefits, deliver international standard, and maintain ethics in lives. The United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) announced the 100 year memorial in 2015 for those who shown outstanding contributions in terms of social support, human resource management, community development, and cultural education. She is the 25th person of Thailand who have ever awarded.

©2015 Thailand Post

Improvements in Old Town


When I first arrived in Phuket, the Old Town area was a much different place.  Very few non-Thais ever ventured there outside of one or two festivals each year.  The throngs of Chinese tour buses were in the distant future, the number of outdoor cafes and interesting restaurants was virtually nil.  The old Portuguese-Sino buildings were often neglected and crumbling as were the sidewalks.  Most of the famous five-foot ways were blocked, usually bricked- and stuccoed-over. Facades were hidden behind a myriad of cables.

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