Phuket palming off inferior imports at scenery's expense
Pradoo, the province's official tree, can no longer be found on the island's roads, the victim of an unfathomable decision to uproot them in favour of costlier species less well suited to local conditions
Phuket is a famous destination for foreign tourists who go there for its sun, sea and sand, or for a fine diving experience. Never a good swimmer, I am now scared of the deep sea after I nearly drowned some years ago. But being just an ordinary visitor from Bangkok, I saw far more than just the sun, sea and sand during a sojourn to Phuket recently.
SEPARATION ANXIETY: Many palm trees have difficulty recovering from the ordeal of being transplanted.
I saw, for example, some absurdities on this beautiful island. You see one as soon as you pass the bridge separating the island province from the rest of Thailand. A local politician built a multi-million baht building to house a permanent exhibition on the island's tourist destinations. The trouble is that most foreign tourists go to Phuket by plane and do not get to see it, those who go by road take tour buses that do not stop there, and local tourists who go by private car are only too eager to reach their destination and do not stop there, either. No one in his right mind would make a 100km trip to look at photos when one is already in Phuket Town or on one of the island's many beaches. The building is, therefore, a sheer waste of public funds.
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