Public-spirited singer-actor Pakin “Tono” Kumwilaisak has raised more than 40 million baht from his charity swim across the Mekong River in Nakhon Phanom province in Thailand to Laos today, October 22nd.
After finishing a religious ceremony, Tono kicked off his journey from Thailand’s shore at 10:09 AM. He swam along the current of the Mekong River and reached his first checkpoint at the Wat Klang Pier to catch a breath and greet his fans and spectators for 15 minutes. The first trip stretched about 800 meters.
Then the 36-year-old superstar swam off the Wat Klang Pier to arrive at the second checkpoint at the Sala Saeng Singkaew Pier, which spanned about 200 meters from the first checkpoint, and then took off again for the last checkpoint on the Laos side.
Defying a wave of criticism and concern for his safety, Tono finally made it across the Mekong River and took his first step on the Laos side at Wat Phra That Si Kottaboon at 12:10 PM. He was greeted by medical personnel from Khammoune Hospital and large crowds of Laotian people who came to cheer him up. He then took a trip to a hotel to rest before he would continue his arduous journey back to the Thai side today.
Tono has so far raised more than 40 million baht, far exceeding his goal of 16 million baht, according to Taejai.com. All the funds raised from this swim will be donated to Nakhon Phanom Hospital in Thailand and Khammoune Hospital in Laos. The two public hospitals are currently cash-strapped, and they are very thankful to him.