Internet in Phuket: “Yes sir, would like a cigar with that, and maybe some vitamin pills?”

By John Nixon 19/11/2010 1


Just arrived in Phuket (Patong Beach) for the Asia-Pacific FTTH Council General Meeting.

Wandering around the colourful and noisy beach-front last night, I saw this amusing sign for internet services.

Pharmacy

Then I thought “well why not?” A Pharmacy with some Internet terminals, selling Havana cigars? They probably do a great business!

The Fibre to the Home Council Board, elected office-bearers and committee members are meeting at the Holiday Inn Resort, which at first glance is probably the biggest hotel property here, with multiple pools and gardens, several restaurants and (as everywhere in Thailand) extremely polite, happy and attentive staff.

The meetings will cover progress made with the various projects underway, and delegates will arrive from all over the Asia-Pacific zone.

We usually complete the program with a visit to a local fibre or FTTH project, although I’m not too sure what the organisers have tracked down in the way of FTTH here in Phuket.

As I reported from Seoul some months back, most of Asia seems to stick all their power and communications cables on poles, and usually ALL on the one set of poles.

This is a shot taken at random, not even on the main drag of Patong. You have the LOT running down the street: high tension, mains, cable, phone, you name it!

Cables

I remember well Vector’s very laudable presentation on “hiding” fibre runs amongst existing aerial power cables, fearing perhaps a public backlash.

My friends at Vector, WEL etc must have a chuckle when they visit these places.

More on FTTH once the meetings get underway, but I must get a quick plug in here for the amazing “FantaSea” show I went to see in Phuket last night.

This is a kind of elephant-themed Disneyland only a short bus ride North of Patong. You can buy tickets just about anywhere. If you come to Phuket, don’t miss it. It’s as good or better than anything I’ve seen at Las Vegas (been there too many times)… You can either just take in the show which starts at 9pm, or as I did, opt for the show and the incredible buffet in a 4.000 seat superb restaurant. Everything is so well organised, there is no pushing or shoving, your table, show seats etc are all perfectly managed.

The show goes for a good hour and a half, not a moment of boredom. It’s a circus, a great magic show, pyrotechnics, and the SO intelligent elephants of all ages.

Be warned though, you absolutely cannot take a camera of any kind into the show. There is a very well managed camera cloak room, and they search all bags and put you through metal detectors, serious stuff! When you see the show, you will understand why. Hundreds of flashes going off could create havoc on stage with these very (at times) risky acts.

I’ve travelled around the world all my adult life, but I don’t think I have ever seen anything that impressed me as much as this! Tell your friends…


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