Tuesday, July 13, 2010

New offices on Ko Samui

District office
While googeling to check if there are any new districts in the planning currently, the search term "อำเภอใหม่" (new district) did return me one article at the nathoncity website talking about the opening ceremony of the new district office for Ko Samui with deputy prime minister Suthep Thaugsuban (สุเทพ เทือกสุบรรณ) leading the ceremony. I knew the district office is rather small and located in middle of Nathon town, so it would be feasible that a completely new building was constructed, so to keep my maps up to date I asked the blogger Camille on Samui to check it out for details.

He could directly deny that there is a new district office, the old one only had received a major reconstruction. Though I had been on Samui once several years ago, I did not take photos of the administrative offices at that time, so I asked him to do so when he has time and is in the area. Faster than expected, he did the tour and wrote about it in his blog.

As you can notice in his posting, it turned out that the municipality Ko Samui had built a new office recently, located close to the old municipal office building. Actually a bit hidden, as Camille only noticed it this time despite driving past many times. As in most cases, within the municipal compound there's also the fire station, and the base station for the garbage collection trucks.

Not mentioned in his posting is the district office, about which he said it received some renovations, and also now has more parking space. If you take a close look at his photo placed in top of the posting, you'd notice that the sign actually says "Koh Samui District" - not following the RTGS transcription system usually used in the government offices. The recommended transcription in Ko Samui, but the spelling Koh for the Thai word "island" (เกาะ) is so widespread it seems the Royal Institute cannot eradicate it - same as Pattaya should actually be transcribed as Phatthaya.

And in fact there is even a third newly built administrative office, as the provincial court Ko Samui (ศาลจังหวัดเกาะสมุย)in the south of the island was opened only few years ago. I marked all three buildings in the map below, but note that the municipal building is hardly visible because it is located directly at the boundary between hires and just recently added medium resolution imagery, thus a bit blurred. And since the hires data is from 2003, there's obviously no trace of the new building in there.

View Samui administrative offices in a larger map

So, many thanks to Camille for providing me with the information as well as allowing me to use his photos for display here. Now whenever the special administrative area of Ko Samui gets closer to be set up I have at least a photo of the municipal office to decorate the posting.


john francis lee said...

'...the opening ceremony of the new district office for Ko Samui with deputy prime minister Suthep Thaugsuban (สุเทพ เทือกสุบรรณ) leading the ceremony...'

I wonder where the new district office lies in relation to Suthep's son's disputed land claim?

Jatuporn takes flak over land claim

...KhaoPhaeng on Koh Samui in Surat Thani where the opposition says Deputy Prime Minister Suthep Thaugsuban holds about 62 rai on the mountain through his son, Tan Thaugsuban...

PT petitions DSI against Suthep
In the petition, Puea Thai alleged Mr Suthep and his son, Tan, to have illegally obtained ownership of public land on Khao Phaeng mountain on Samui island of Surat Thani province. Mr Tan is on record as the land owner.

Suthep: My son possesses land on Koh Samui legally
Countering the opposition Puea Thai Party’s recent accusation, Mr Suthep firmly stated that his son, Mr Tan Thaugsuban, legitimately possessed the piece of land on Khao Phaeng Mountain on Koh Samui...

Pheu Thai challenges Niphon on Koh Samui
"We will show him that since the land title deeds are not lawful, he cannot possess the land... Pheu Thai spokesman Prompong Nopparit said.

Title deeds for two more plots missing
The land office chief... presented the committee's initial probe results dated June 22. The result showed that the documents for the issuance of the "Nor Sor 3 Kor" land-title deed number 3285 for plot number 28109, deeds for plot numbers 36178 and 36179, and deed number 1895 for plot 28027 were missing. The committee will later investigate to see why these documents had disappeared.

As for the missing "Sor Khor 1" land-right paper for plot number 28109, Chamlong said it wasn't found yet.

' If you take a close look at his photo placed in top of the posting, you'd notice that the sign actually says "Koh Samui District" - not following the RTGS transcription system usually used in the government offices...'

I wonder if you are familiar with วิโรจน์ อรุณมานะกุล aka Wirote Aroonmanakun, and his Thai Romanization program?

Typing อำเภอเกาะสมุย into A.Wirote's Thai Romanization yields Amphoe Ko Samui. I got the program because I wanted to transliterate lists of Thai names to the Roman alphabet. It made a mess of many of them. There was no way that the output could ever give rise to the correct pronunciation. Of course many "Thai" given names are Sanskrit, perhaps the seat of the problem.

Ajarn Wirote is at Chulalongkorn and "The program uses the principle of romanization by transcription method as proposed by the Royal Institute" so although it is closed source, typical of programs written for microsoft windows, and thus not possible to examine it, I imagine that it faithfully follows the RTGS.

Andy said...

The district office is right in the center of Nathon as marked on the map, whereas your quotes state that the disputed land is on the mountain - so I see no connection between the two. I guess the main reason Suthep did lead the ceremony is simply because he is from Surat Thani province, and thus needs to show presence there to make sure his voters don't forget him in the next election.

Of course I know that transcription software - in fact he even added the transcription of a text file because I asked for it. But it has a few flaws, mostly due to cases where an algorithm cannot decide between two possible ways to read a Thai word and one has to use a dictionary to see that only one is a valid way to read it. If I recall correctly, one word it had problems was จระเข้, which becomes Charakhe instead of Chorakhe.

Camille said...

The mountain land is near Bang Rak, in the North east of the island.

As Andy points out, the reason for Thaugsaban to visit was merely a political one than likely having to do with the land case, although one never knows ;-)

Camille said...

Hi Andy,

The municipality office and district office are directly next to each other, at the new municipality location, just outside of Nathon!

Camille Lemmens said...

Hallo Andy,

Vergesse bitte den post wo ich die zwei offices nebeneineder lege!

Habe das falsch verstanden!


Andy said...

Now you got me confused shortly, as I always thought the district office is the center of Nathon, opposite the pier, like I marked in the map. Good it was just a misunderstanding on your side, so I don't need to change any of my data...

I only hope there will be better hires data for Samui in Google Earth soon, then one could mark all of the important buildings in WikiMapia much easier.