Phuket is 'in serious trouble'

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Thailand’s premier island destination took a slating from National Geographic recently. National Geographic called on 522 so-called experts to assess the world's top island destinations in terms of the affect that tourism is having on the islands. As you can imagine, Phuket did not come off too favorably.

Each destination was given a score out of 100. Phuket's score was a lowly 46, which means the island is “in serious trouble”.

The National Geographic experts commented as follows:

"Chaotic development. The Thai people do not realize what a beautiful island we have. They continue to over-exploit all the island's resources. Old buildings from the pioneer settlement era still can be found downtown. However, many are not taken care of. No building code harmonizing construction with the natural settings, especially on Pathong beach (ugly high-rise building). We missed the window of opportunity after the 2004 tsunami to clean out illegal coastal development. Very sad."

"Phuket's original charm as an astonishingly beautiful, unspoiled, and culturally rich destination has been completely lost."

"Given the tsunami, it's wonderful to see what has been achieved to rebuild people's lives in two and a half years. What I experienced is a credit to small and micro businesses that kept faith in the tourism future of the island. Like all destinations, there are various ecological, social, and economic challenges."

"A planning disaster! Reputation for bars and illicit activities overwhelm the natural charm of the Thai people. Prostitution and urban sprawl rampant."

"Too much tourism development without a plan. Pathong is a classical sex-tourism destination, probably worse than Bangkok. Some nice resorts and beaches. The water 'looks' fine, but is polluted."

It sounds to me as if the National Geographic team only visited Patong. What I dislike about this report is the implication by one of the panelists that it is entirely the fault of Thai people that Phuket is the way it is. Furthermore, people often seem to forget that there is more to Phuket than Patong.

However, on an island as large as Phuket, finding desirable areas shouldn't be a case of visiting secret spots. The entire Andaman region is in danger of falling behind the rest of the world as eco-tourism looks to be the thing of the future. This includes Krabi and Phang Nga.

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72 thoughts on “Phuket is 'in serious trouble'

  1. Just wondering if any of the Hershey squirts meant to smear Keith have emanated from a crater known as Zerzania. Could they be a Patrittack?

  2. This thread is getting more and more nutty, redundant and weird
    …..bunch of crazies who have no life and spend alll their time on the web.

    I've also noticed that a lot of the messaages are very similar butt use different names….like i said earlier, CRAZIES!

  3. Sorry James I did not expect you back from the mirror so soon

    "nutty, redundant and weird… crazie who have no life and spend all time on the web.butt use different names … But that’s the expat world for you. Hehehe."

    No need to judge you again, you did it perfectly, well done James (suspected PHUKET GAZETTE reporter) and bravo to the webmaster for allowing the odd FLAME throwing troll like James even if he does try and trash this absolutely fascinating blog run by a real journalist about all sorts of interesting troubles on Phuket.

    Matt, I love you darling, the way you get all those boys to reveal their thoughts for us all is indeed yet another one of your many talents. Phuket on rare occasions be difficult to understand and I appreciate what you are doing as I know many others do too :) XXX

  4. That James may be a Gazetteer, but who's Magee? The owner of the paper, right? I heard he tells people he's the publisher, but I can't find his name in the Gazette. Can foreigners own newspapers in Thailand? If he's the owner, why is he hiding? Is he ashamed of his publication? His actions? Both?
    How many people are suing him now?
    Every time I mention his name on this island, people wince. That's the least of it.
    What he did to the man he recruited from Korea is despicable.

  5. Never heard of Magee, the only thing I could find on the web was:

    A missionary in China, John Magee was the minister at an Episcopal mission in Nanking from 1912 to 1940. He managed to film abuses of Chinese civilians by Japanese soldiers during the Nanking Massacre in December 1937. Magee's films were smuggled out and copies were shown to members of the United States government in an unsuccessful attempt to persuade them to institute sanctions against the Japanese government.

    While in China, Magee married another missionary, Faith Emmeline Backhouse. They had four sons: John, Hugh, David and Christopher. Their first son was named after his father: John Gillespie Magee, Jr., who went on to write the famous poem, "High Flight."

    ………..the plot thickens ;}

  6. Yes, there was a John Magee who was actually a decent human being. What an irony. I saw that documentary called "Nanking" and read Iris Chang's bestseller, "The Rape of Nanking." She blew her brains out in Los Gatos, California in 2004. At least she didn't get lured to work for the Phuket Gazette.

  7. Oh mother of Jesus! I searched Iris Chang, she worshipped a good Magee and as a reporter she died a terrible death, my fortune teller says that this Keith avenger is also from California and he now carries the soul of Iris in his body. I understand that this is one reason why this Keith is so determined and how another Magee comes onto the stage ; this time like the evil publisher, the evil publisher that caused Iris' death.

    The fortune teller said that the soul of Iris Chang will continue until Magee is punished and then Keith will be liberated and the soul of Iris Chang will then occupy another reporter's body for the next mission to rid the world of evil publishers.

    Magee is now except desperate enough to seek attention even when there's no chance of monetary gain as the end of his reign gets closer and closer. The man is old and has sinned all over the island.

    If you have heard about the Gazette gobblers then you know what I mean, if not then watch "The Golden Compass"

    This Kimchi Keith makes me excited!

  8. I heard the story and made some checks and it seems to me like the woman behind this mess is some witch called Parichart Utintu whoever she is.

    I cannot find any reference to this Maggie guy only that he is a Rotarian in Fortune Magazine.

    What is so exciting about this kimchi Keith as you call him?

  9. After reading the comments above any idiot can tell that the posers "Keith Fitzgerald," "Keith," "Judith Hay," "Michelle," "Alice," and likely others, are ALL THE SAME PERSON, WHICH IS KEITH FRANCIS FITZGERALD.

    As I've always maintained, I am 100% neutral and do not side with Keith Francis Fitzgerald or management.

    However, "Michelle" had posted an insulting comment to me which I responded to in a post on March 27th, 2009 at 8:51 am. See above.

    But now I know that "Michelle" is really Keith Francis Fitzgerald, which means that it was Keith Francis Fitzgerald who insulted me.

    Super stupid move Keith Francis Fitzgerald!

    Insulting a neutral person on this board is not going to help you get supporters to your side.

    Stupid. Stupid.

    Keith Francis Fitzgerald, your so damn soooooo stupid.

  10. Judith is in Thailand.
    Michelle is in Thailand.
    Alice is in Thailand.
    All different IP addresses.

    "Keith" and "Keith Fitzgerald" are obviously the same person because they because they're both talking as the same person.

    I do find it odd that someone would namedrop Parichart Utintu and then call her a witch. I'm not saying that's Keith, but it was an odd comment.

    Anyway, speculation will get us nowhere.

  11. Until I saw this thread today, April 18, I never heard the name Parichart Utintu. I have no idea who this person is. And I don't believe in witches, ghosts, gods, a conspiracy to kill JFK, or the healing power of talc.
    I also am bewildered by this reference to me as "kimchi" Keith.
    Anyway, whoever this James character is, it's obvious that he's carrying water for the Phuket Gazette. Big buckets of it. Day after day. His endless protestations that he's "100% neutral" are belied by the fact that he has consistently sided with the owner of the Gazette, and has done so in a way which suggests that he has a very personal stake in this.
    His claims to being fair and balanced are as credible as the same line spouted by the FOX "News' reactionaries.
    "James" is as cocksure as a cocky cretin can be, but his notion that I am "Michelle" or anyone other than Keith is as harebrained as his spelling of the contraction "you're," which is, for him, in all his benighted bullyragging, "your."

  12. Different IP addresses don't mean squat. All one has to do is use different computers. As easy as going to different internet cafes. Piece of cake. Different IP addresses mean nothing. If they are from locations far away from eachother, then OK, but if not, don't mean anything.

  13. James, spot on!

    I too noticed that so many of the entries were so samiliar in their writing style that it had to be the same person.

    Keith, read your multi-ID posts here. Saw your Youtube video as well.

    Honestly, your just a freak.

    There is obviously some thing you an't telling us. Why would the newspaper go through all the trouble of reviewing your application, interviewing you, and offer you a job, only to take that offer away at the last minute? There is something you are not telling us….

  14. Damn, Keith probably got fired from his last job for plagiarism and lied on his resume to the Phuket Gazette.

    One's got to be suspicious of anyone who leaves the national/big city paper of the Korea Herald — largest English daily in Korea — for the Phuket Gazette, a tiny English daily for the tiny foreigner community of Phuket.

    Major step down!

    No one but an idiot would make that move unless they were retiring or had to leave the Korea Herald.

    My theory is that Keith got fired or the Korea Herald didn't renew his contract.

    It's like working at the New York Times and leaving leaving that to work at the Smallville
    Gazette of Smalltown, Iowa.

  15. All i can say is that national geographic have hit the nail on the head, phuket is a dump, under generated, unfriendly people , and so much for there buddist culture and ethics, what a joke,Haveing just come from the country of thailand from a 3 week vacation, my oh my what a dump, same shops selling same junk, and all they care about is lineing there pockets, i was shown zero compassion in that awful countrey, and yes as above i agree the thai people play a massive pasrt in how there country is perceived to the traveller

  16. Amazing Thailand, Amazing Phuket, the Phuket Gazette has a lot of gossip here, sounds like this John Magee is a real cool honest chap being attacked by those that do not hack it.

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