Phuketia - MPLP #Ph50 (2018)

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.

Phuketia - MPLP #Ph50 (2018)
Phuketia – MPLP #Ph50 (2018)

Phuket (ภูเก็ต in Thai, pronounced /boo-get/, also known as Talang or Tanjung Salang in Malay), is connected to Thailand’s Phang Nga province to the north by the Sarasin Bridge. The island is 31 miles (50 kilometers) long and 12 miles (20 km) wide with a total land area of 210 square miles (543 km²). Seventy percent of Phuket’s area is covered by a mountain range that stretches from the north to the south forming the southern end of the Phuket mountain range, which ranges for 270 miles (440 km) from the Kra Isthmus. The highest elevation of the island is usually regarded as Khao Mai Thao Sip Song (Twelve Canes Mountain), at 1,736 feet (529 meters) above sea level. However it has been reported by barometric pressure readings that there is an even higher elevation (with no apparent name), of 542 meters. in the Kamala hills behind Kathu waterfall. The remaining 30 percent are plains in the central and eastern parts of the island. Phuket island has a total of nine brooks and creeks, but does not have any major rivers.

Forest, rubber, and palm oil plantations cover 60 percent of the island. The west coast has several sandy beaches. The east coast beaches are more often muddy. Near the southernmost point is Laem Phromthep (แหลมพรหมเทพ, meaning “Brahma’s Cape”), a popular viewpoint. In the mountainous north of the island is the Khao Phra Thaeo No-Hunting Area, protecting more than 20 km² of rainforest. The Sirinat National Park on the northwest coast was established in 1981 to protect an area of 35 square miles (90 km²), including Nai Yang Beach where sea turtles lay their eggs.

Background image of the Republica Phuketia souvenir sheet (MPLP #Ph50), released on December 21, 2018. The photograph was taken by Mark Joseph Jochim on October 13, 2008.
Background image of the Republica Phuketia souvenir sheet (MPLP #Ph50), released on December 21, 2018. The photograph was taken by Mark Joseph Jochim on October 13, 2008.

Under the Köppen climate classification, Phuket features a tropical monsoon climate (Am). Due to its proximity to the equator, in the course of the year, there is little variation in temperatures. The main settlement in the southeast portion of the island (where Republica Phuketia is situated) has an average annual high of 90°F (32°C) and an annual low of 77°F (25°C). Phuket has a dry season that runs from December to March and a wet season that covers the other eight months but also sees some precipitation during its dry season. The island averages roughly 87 inches (2,200 millimeters) of rain per year.

Some 600,000 people reside on Phuket currently, among them migrants, international expats, Thais registered in other provinces, and locals. The registered population includes only Thais who are registered in a tabien baan or house registration book, which most are not, and the end of 2012 was 360,905 persons. At the present, Republica Phuketia has one resident.

An extremely limited number of first day covers were prepared for this, the final 2018 release by Republica Phuketia. The full souvenir sheet of four is issue number MPLP Ph#50 (counting from the first Muang Phuket Local Post issues of October 2013). It has a total face value of 2 eth (4x 50-farang denominated stamps), with the individual stamps numbered from upper left to lower right: MPLP #Ph50a, #Ph50b, #Ph50c, and #Ph50d.

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