As I write this on January 1st, the first of Thailand’s stamp issues for 2015 is scheduled for release. It is a public holiday and the local post office is closed so I will attempt to purchase my copies of the stamp and first day cover tomorrow. This first issue, 1058 in Thailand Post’s numbering scheme, is the annual Chinese zodiac issue for the Year of the Goat in a completely new design as the previous twelve releases in this series. One of the things I love about collecting Thai new issues is the low face value – most stamps are either three or five baht so an entire sheet of ten or twenty can be purchased for less than US $2.00. A full set of single stamps and first day covers for the entire year will run less than $50, judging on what has been announced so far.
I always find myself working on my stamp collections more during the last part of the year than at any other time. 2014 has continued that trend. I don’t know if it’s because I look forward to seeing new Christmas stamps (one of my thematic collecting interests) or if it’s because I always feel relieved once I pay for my annual visa extension and work permit renewal and want to buy something special for myself. Whatever it is, my mind has been philatelicly filled to such a degree recently that I feel the time is right to launch a new blog series summarizing my current collecting activities. Welcome to the first installment of “Philatelic Pursuits.”
Despite it’s long history and importance to the Thai economy as a popular tourism destination, Phuket has been the direct subject of only five stamps in the 130 years that Thailand has had a postal system. None of them are particularly rare or expensive and can form the core of a nice topical collection.
Remarkably, none of Phuket’s famous beaches has ever been pictured on a Thai postage stamp although several nearby islands and coastlines have. However, those all belong to the provinces of Krabi and Phang Nga.
Continue reading “The Stamps of Phuket”
It’s been a while since I’ve walked through Phuket’s Old Town area during the daytime while having my camera along. It’s even rarer for me to go into “tourist mode” and shoot photos of things I see almost every day. But I was in the mood to do so this morning while on my way to catch a bus in the fresh market area on Ranong Road.
I’ve taken so many photos along Thalang Road over the years that it can be a challenge to find something “new”. My biggest problem, I think, is that I am rather shy and very conscious of blocking traffic or other pedestrians while I try to focus a shot. That’s why so many of my pictures tend to look like snapshots rather than carefully-composed works of art. I often don’t get close enough to the subjects and many turn out blurry. As a result, I’m usually not satisfied with the majority of my photos. I have so much to work on!