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Game fever sweeps across Thailand

Aug 10. 2016
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By The Nation

EVEN AS THE clock ticks past midnight, crowds of people are out on streets across Thailand trying to catch virtual “monsters” from Pokemon Go.

As soon as the mega-hit game was launched in the country on August 6, Pokemon Go fever swept across the country from the capital to provinces such as Chiang Mai, Nakhon Ratchasima and Chon Buri.

At 2am yesterday, a number of Pokemon Go players still roamed the plaza around the Statues of the Three Kings in Chiang Mai’s Muang district.

The plaza is a Pokestop, like many other key sites of Thailand. When someone pays money to activate a Lure Module at a certain location, a number of Pokemons will pop up.

The goal of players is to catch as many Pokemons as possible to boost their monster collection to increase their level, and advance.

“Since the launch of Pokemon Go the whole area is becoming much more vibrant,” Kaffee 151 owner Yuttaphum Noppadontiyangkoon said.

He said crowds in the area have become bigger since the Pokemon Go fever spread.

“I think my coffee shop’s sales must have jumped by 10 per cent, even though my place closes at 7pm,” he said.

He said street vendors had also enjoyed brisker trade thanks to players of the augmented reality game.

Pim Jitsamut, who runs a bar in the area, said she used items to lure Pokemon and her customers have enjoyed catching various virtual monsters at her place.

In Nakhon Ratchasima, a huge number of people have gathered around the Thao Suranaree Statue at night since the game came to Thailand. Before the game’s introduction, the area was very quiet after nightfall.

In Chon Buri’s Sriracha district, office workers and students in pursuit of a Pokemon congregate at a public park that normally hosted just joggers in the evening.

A source said even Democrat Party leader Abhisit Vejjajiva is caught up in the game. “During his commute, he has been trying to catch Pokemons for the past couple of days,” the source said.


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