With just five days remaining until the start of the Twenties, I find myself inundated with non-philatelic pursuits. I live in a country that is over 90 percent Buddhist with most of the remaining population being Muslim or Hindu. Christians make up an extremely small portion of the residents. And yet, Christmas is extremely popular. While the majority of schools throughout the Kingdom remain open … Continue reading Exhausting Holidays
With the corornation of His Majesty King Vajiralongkorn (วชิราลงกรณ) — reigning title Phrabat Somdet Phra Vajira Klao Chao Yu Hua (พระบาทสมเด็จพระวชิรเกล้าเจ้าอยู่หัว) or King Rama X — on May 4, 2019, the Kingdom of Thailand also gained a new queen, Her Majesty Suthida Bajrasudhabimalalakshana ( สุทิดา พัชรสุธาพิมลลักษณ). She was born Suthida Tidjai (สุทิดา ติดใจ) on June 3, 1978, in Hat Yai, Songkla, Thailand. A Thai of … Continue reading Happy Birthday to Queen Suthida
Unfortunately, I didn’t have much of a philatelic week last week as most of my time was spent working on school-related tasks. The end of the long school year is upon us and next week is comprised solely of final exams — tests in English and Chinese subjects Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday with the Thai language exams occurring on Thursday and Friday. My M3-level students (roughly equivalent to the Sophomore level of high school in the United States) will take entrance exams for different schools on Monday before starting their holidays next Tuesday). The 2019-2020 school year will begin in early May, probably the Tuesday following the Royal Coronation of HM King Maha Vajiralongkhorn (Rama X). There should be plenty of Thailand Post philatelic items surrounding that long-awaited event.
Happy Valentine’s Day or as it is known in Thailand, Wan Rak (“Day of Love”).
It was a busy week for me so I couldn’t devote as much time to philatelic pursuits I would have liked. I did maintain my daily posts to A Stamp A Day (and topped 100,000 words for this month with Saturday’s blog) ans have been working on my new issues spreadsheet mentioned in last week’s “Phila-Bytes”. I had planned to compile the latter into a … Continue reading Weekly Phila-Bytes #2019-04
It gives me great pleasure to announce the issuance of the first souvenir sheet to be released by Republica Phuketia. The sheet contains a block of four se-tenant 50-farang stamps which together form a outline map of Phuket Island which lies in the Andaman Sea off the west coast of southern Thailand. The Republica Phuketia seal is featured at the center of the stamp design so only a portion of it appears on each stamp. The stamps are also the first to be inscribed with the full name of the local post-operating micronation, REPUBLICA PHUKETIA. The background design of the souvenir sheet is a photograph taken by myself on October 13, 2008, at Kata Yai Beach on the west coast of Phuket Island. It portrays a rain squall approaching the beach; a long-tail boat in visible in the center background. The sheets were printed by Yoursetamps in Berlin, Germany, using high-resolution laser printing technology, comb perforated 13½ x 13.
Before I give details about the latest Phuketia local post stamp release, I am pleased to announce that the Republica Phuketia government is no longer “in-exile”. After nearly a month in the wilds of Phang Nga Province, I was allowed to return to the much more civilized (we have a mall!) and familiar surroundings of Phuket. As a result, there are no provisional postal markings noting the temporary location — meaning that I never had a chance to get to the post office while in Phang Nga. Thus, the Phuketian definitive set was not released until November 30 when the first day covers were delivered to the post office in Phuket (and have yet to complete the vast 2-kilometer distance back to Posta Phuketia headquarters).
With the definitive first day covers still in transit, another set is prepared and ready for the December 12, 2018, release of three commemorates marking the 200th anniversary of Thai-U.S. Friendship. Observant readers will notice that this is a change from the previously-announced date of December 10. This is due to the fact that the Thailand Post facilities will remain closed on that date (tomorrow) for the Constitution Day holiday. Yes, the kingdom still observes this as a government and banking holiday although they still haven’t adopted a new Constitution since the latest military coup back in May 2014. However, they did announce this week (as they do every year) that elections to vote on a new Constitution will be held in the near future (February 2019, according to the latest announcement). I suspect that, as they do every year, they will find some excuse to again delay these elections.
Since November 5 and continuing until early March 2019, the Republica Phuketia government (that’s me) has been in exile, residing in the neighboring province’s Thai Chang subdistrict of Amphoe Muang Phang Nga. Of course, that includes Posta Phuketia which will become a cross-provincial service with the release this weekend of ten definitive stamps, rather than merely a local post. We may have to annex a small piece of territory (namely the Foreign Teachers’ Room at Ban Thai Chang Municipality School) and initiate overprints to denote the longer reach.
However, I still must return to Phuket (a two-hour drive from Phang Nag) each Friday in order to teach a two-hour class on Saturday mornings and, thus, the first Phuketian definitives will be released today, November 24, at Posta Phuketia Headquarters. These consist of ten denominations:
- 4-farang tan tuk-tuk (MPLP #Ph37)
Long-time readers of this blog and Asian Meanderings may recall that, from time to time, I have dabbled with creating “fantasy stamps” for my own local post. The Muang Phuket Local Post had its first releases in October 2013 and had a total of 26 designs through early August 2015. The stamps were printed on sticker paper (imperforate!) and affixed to the lower left of any correspondence I sent. I mailed first day covers to myself from a postbox near my work and these usually took between ten and 14 days to travel the two miles or so to my home (I think most of them went via Bangkok, 525 miles away!).