Somewhat delayed, the inaugural Christmas release by Muang Phuket Local Post will be issued on Christmas Day itself. This will consist of six individual designs, printed in sheets of fifteen stamps with two different layouts). In addition, there is a special first day of issue handstamp and three seasonal variations of the regular MPLP postmark. We’ve also added a “Santa Mail’ service to the ‘Tuk-Tuk Express’ and ‘Carried by Elephant’ modes.
The first two stamps feature photographs taken by MPLP postmaster and Asian Meanderings blogger Mark Jochim (that’s me!). The 25-satang value depicts the Christmas tree on the south side of Central Festival, a popular shopping mall in Phuket. It is mere steps away from where your’s truly does the lion’s share of his teaching duties (not to mention the location of the MPLP printing presses). The 50-satang stamp shows Phuket Town Catholic Church during last year’s Christmas Eve mass (conducted largely in the Thai language).
The next four designs were derived from local Christmas cards, featuring whimsical portrayals of Christmas in Thailand. All are denominated at 25 satang. We have Santa lounging on a beach in Phuket, Santa bringing gifts via a cart drawn by two water buffalo (common in Thailand, these are considered a lowly animal and it is a great insult to call somebody by the Thai word for them, namely kwai), Santa bearing gifts on an elephant (highly respected in Thailand, and Santa visiting a traditional Thai stilt-house, once common in Phuket but rapidly disappearing.
First day covers for the Christmas In Thailand have been hastily prepared and will be dispatched to the main Phuket Town post office via Santa Mail on 25 December 2013.
I hope all of you have a very Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year. See you in 2014!