News from Thailand - Our News Blog
News Directly from Thailand
We are based in Thailand and want to offer a neutral news blog that describes current events in the country. We will be careful not to focus on personal opinions but instead provide factual news directly from Thailand, together with comments. The goal is to be fast, simple and accurate.
May 23, 2013
The Prime Minister of India to Thailand
BANGKOK - Indian Prime Minister Dr. Manmohan Singh will be on a official visit to Thailand next week. The aim is to strengthen the friendship between the countries and promote economic exchange. Thai Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra and Prime Minister Singh will evaluate the existing relations between the two countries, in order to find new forms of cooperation.
This is Dr. Singh's first state visit to Thailand.
THE INDIAN PRIME MINISTER - Photo by: World Economic Forum
May 16, 2013
Most Attractive for Hotel Investments
BANGKOK - Thailand has been voted as the most attractive nation in Southeast Asia regarding investments in the hotel industry. This conclusion can be drawn after a vote at the Asia Pacific Hotel Investment Conference. Burma came in second place, followed by Indonesia, Cambodia, Philippines and Vietnam.
About 200 hotel owners and executives in the hotel industry participated in the vote.
SOURCE: THE NATION
May 14, 2013
Suvarnabhumi - Only on 38th Position
BANGKOK - Suvarnabhumi has fallen on Skytrax's list of the world's best airports. In 2012 Suvarnabhumi got a 25th place, but has now fallen to the 38th position.
The new airport director, Rawewan Netrakavesna, says she immediately will work to realize various improvements. The goal is to once again be in position 25 (or better) in 2014.
Our Hotel Tip - 4,5 Stars On Phi-Phi
KOH PHI PHI - Outrigger Phi Phi Island Resort and Spa is probably the resort with the very best guest reviews on Phi-Phi Island. Comments such as as "paradise" and "stunning" are very common among visitors! The 4.5-star resort has an area of 300,000 square meters (!) and a beautiful and large-sized pool next to the beach, two tennis courts, fitness room with "tropical decor", three restaurants, several bars and even a private pub!
Why settle for less? If you're going to Koh Phi Phi, Outrigger is our suggestion! The fact that we can offer special rates hardly make things worse.
Read more or book Outrigger Phi Phi Island Resort
May 11, 2013
Tried to Stop Interview with Abhisit?
BANGKOK - Chavanond Intarakomalyasut, a Democratic Party spokesman today claimed that he had evidence that the Prime Minister's aide Suranand Vejjajiva, has tried to stop the USA Today newspaper from interviewing the Thai opposition leader, Abhisit Vejjajiva.
Chavanond argued that the evidence came in the form of e-mails exchanged between USA Today and the opposition leader.
THE PRIME MINISTER - Photo by: United States Embassy, Bangkok
THE OPPOSITION LEADER - Photo by: Government of Thailand
May 8, 2013
Our Hotel Tip - 4 Stars in Phuket
PHUKET - Avista Resort & Spa is a four star resort overlooking Kata Beach in Phuket. It has a large and inviting swimming pool, jacuzzi, a restaurant, wine bar and a small fitness center. Moreover, they have an exceptionally beautiful spa. The beach is located just a few minutes walk from the hotel.
As usual, we only suggest hotels that have unusually good guest reviews and Avista Resort & Spa is no exception from this rule.
Read more or book Avista Resort & Spa
May 6, 2013
Tried to Rob ATM with Blowtorch
PHUKET - On Saturday, thieves tried to rob an ATM (Automatic Teller Machine) at the Deep Sea Port in Phuket. They had brought a blowtorch, which was used against the back of the machine. However, the thieves got no money at all. The attempt was discovered at 11 am, when the machine should be cleaned.
The police have secured fingerprints and are investigating the matter further.
3 Tourists Killed in Bus Accident
RAYONG - Early this morning a passenger bus collided with a truck in Rayong province. Three tourists were killed and fourteen were wounded.
April 26, 2013
Formula 1 i Thailand in Two Years?
BANGKOK - Thailand seems to make progress on their plans to stage a Formula 1 race in two years. The local authorities have approved the layout for the proposed course in Bangkok and The Sports Authority of Thailand met on Thursday to discuss the plans. They confirmed that a six-kilometer race track is in the planning stage.
If the plan becomes reality, the drivers will run past several legendary buildings in the capital, including The Grand Palace and the Victory Monument. Any decision regarding the final approval of the race, is now in the hands of the Government.
A LOTUS IN A PIT STOP DURING THE BRAZIL GP - Photo by: Dell Inc
April 22, 2013
Body Found Under Villa in Koh Samui
KOH SAMUI - This weekend the Thai police dug up the skeleton of a man hidden under a luxury villa on the island of Koh Samui. They suppose it may be the remnants of the Hungarian multi-millionaire Laszlo Csepai, who disappeared two years ago. Police began the digging after an incoming tips.
The suspect, Moshe David, is a Hungarian-Israeli man who is already in prison in Phuket. He is also a suspect in the murder of another Hungarian businessman, Peter Reisz. Reisz was found on November 30 last year and he had been stabbed, rolled in plastic and then dumped in the woods.
April 20, 2013
Cocaine Clothes in the Mail
NAKHON PANOM - A man from Ghana and his Thai girlfriend were arrested yesterday in a post office in Nakhon Panom. The arrest took place when they received a parcel of clothes from Argentina, but this was not the offense. The clothes had been dipped in a cocaine solution and when they had dried, the fabrics contained large quantities of the drug, but invisible to the eye.
The police had been alerted about the package in advance.
April 19, 2013
Farang Found Murdered in Chainat
CHAINAT - A dead man has been found in a dry canal in the district of Manorom in Chainat. The macabre discovery was made when a dog was observed carrying a human body part. The police was called in and they found two bags with body parts. The victim's clothes were also found in the bags, but the head was missing.
It is believed that the dead man is non-Thai and about 25-30 years old. Police also believe that the body was cut in a different location than where they discovered the body. They are investigating the case further.
April 18, 2013
321 Died in Traffic this Songkran
According to official figures, 321 people died in traffic accidents this Songkran (the traditional Thai New Year). 3040 people were injured in 2828 accidents, totally.
This means that one more person was killed this year, compared with 2012, when 320 people died in traffic accidents. However, the tragic numbers have slightly decreased compared to 2007, 2008, 2009 and 2010.
16 April, 2013
Our hotel tips - In central Koh Lanta
KOH LANTA - Lanta Castaway Resort is an excellent budget / middle range resort situated at the Phra Ae village, next to beautiful Long Beach. The resort have great guest reviews (in Tripadvisor etc.) It's also a really great value alternative.
If you want to stay near the beach at an exceptionally good price and have direct access to a beach and massage, Lanta Castaway Resort is our absolute recommendation!
Read more or book Lanta Castaway Resort
15 April, 2013
218 Killed in Traffic in Four Days
During the first four days of Songkran celebrations 218 people were killed on the roads in Thailand. 2020 people have been reported injured during the same period.
Our thoughts: Drunk driving is probably the dominant cause of the annual horror statistics every Songkran.
April 11, 2013
Thailand Wants to be Omitted from List
BANGKOK - As Thailand ended up on the "gray list" of countries with substantial problems with money laundering, the country will take action to be removed from it.
Justice Minister Pracha Promnok said today that the government will actively focus even more on anti-money laundering and terrorist financing. Additionally they intend to publish the names of those who are giving financial support to terrorists.
In June, the Financial Action Task Force (FATF) will determine if Thailand shall be removed from the list, or not.
April 4, 2013
Father Allowed 13-year-old to Buy Sex
KOH SAMUI - An Australian 45-year-old man and his 13 year old son visited the island of Koh Samui in September last year. The father allowed his son to have sex with a prostitute during their stay.
This was later revealed and yesterday he was set on trial in a Brisbane Court. If convicted, he could face up to twenty years in prison.
Our thoughts: Our source (The Courier Mail) do not state how this bizarre story emerged, but it clearly understood that the father has at least one screw loose.
SOURCE: THE COURIER-MAIL
April 3, 2013
Photographer on Koh Samui? Oh, yes!
KOH SAMUI - Today I unabashedly will do some advertising for its own services - Photography on Koh Samui.
I photograph weddings, honeymoon holidays and families etc. Please note that all photography is done outdoors, in the location of your choise. Furthermore, we offer an unusually low price until the end of this year. Only 4,900 baht for up to four hours of photography including all transportation and delivery of images in digital format to your hotel (or equivalent) within three days.
For information, samples from my portfolio and booking, please send an email to: firstname.lastname@example.org. Thanks in advance!
A COUPLE AT HINTA HINYAI - Photo by: Jens W, Yenit.com
HAPPY TOGETHER ON THE BEACH - Photo by: Jens W, Yenit.com
SONGKRAN IN KOH SAMUI, 2012 - Photo by: Jens W, Yenit.com
March 25, 2013
Englishmen Killed in Traffic Accident
KOH SAMUI - Two English tourists, 68 and 69 years old, were killed on Saturday when a truck went off the road and hit them both when they walked. They were killed instantly when the accident occurred.
Strong Baht May Hit Auto Industry
BANGKOK - A strong baht combined with labor shortages could cause serious problems for Thailand's automotive industry. Some companies are even beginning to consider moving their production to Indonesia, according to the Thai industrialist Surapong Paisitpattanapong, spokesman for the Federation of Thai Industries (FTI). He believes that the strengthened Thai currency already has affected the car makers' profits.
This year's total vehicle production is expected to fall to 2.7 to 2.8 million units, but the volume may be reduced due to the strong baht.
March 24, 2013
Twelve Soldiers Wounded in Bombings
PATTANI - Seven soldiers were wounded today by a bomb when they were heading towards their military base. The attack took place in the district of Sai Buri.
NARATHIWAT - Five soldiers were injured by a bomb today when they were out patrolling. This occurred in the district of Waeng in Narathiwat.
Since 2004, 3,500 people have been killed in southern Thailand (Songkhla, Yala, Narathiwat and Pattani) due to ongoing separatist insurgency and violence in its wake. Most of the victims are civilians, soldiers and policemen.
March 20, 2013
Phuket Airport Buses Delayed
PHUKET - The Phuket Airport Bus Express in Phuket will not start with their services this month, as previously intended.
The reason for the delay is that local transportation committee wants to discuss the matter with the local taxi and tuk-tuk drivers in Phuket. They are also worried about the bus drivers' safety, due to the competition.
The buses are supposed to operate the most popular beaches on the island, Patong, Karon and Kata. One thing is for sure, this is a sensitive issue in Phuket and it will be discussed for a long time to come.
SOURCE: PHUKET GAZETTE
March 19, 2013
2 Trillion on Speed Trains etc in Thailand
BANGKOK - Thailand's Cabinet today agreed on a proposal to invest two trillion baht (!) on a new rail system and other giant investment in transport. This immense sum is equivalent to about 450 billion dollars. The project is supposed to take seven years and just like now, Bangkok will be the hub for rail traffic, with branches to the north, east and south.
These mega-projects is are intended to primarily be funded through loans and this has heated up a political debate in the country.
Campaign Against Squat Toilets
BANGKOK - The Thai Ministry of Health has launched a campaign against so-called squat toilets (those where you stand crouched on the toilet edges). The primarily reason is to prevent knee problems, which actually may be the result after long-term use. Another reason is that you want to adapt the country for the large number of tourists visiting the country. Tourism accounts for about seven percent of the GDP.
Still, the number squat toilets are much larger than the number of "conventional ones" in Thailand. Most squat toilets are found in the rural areas.
SOURCE: NATIONAL NEWS BUREAU OF THAILAND
March 15, 2013
Improved Electricity in Samui
KOH SAMUI - A new power plant was inaugurated today on the island of Koh Samui. This is connected to the mainland via an underwater cable connected to a larger plant in the Kanom district. The newly opened plant will supply electricity to both Koh Samui and sister island Koh Phangan.
Koh Samui experienced major problems with electricity supply during a week in December last year. Many households had no electricity for five days. For an island that is so dependent on including tourism, incidents like this are, of course, very expensive.
TAT Estimates 5-6% More European Visitors
BANGKOK - The Tourism Authority of Thailand (TAT) predicts an increase in the number of European tourists to Thailand this year. The predicted increase include visitors from Russia, Germany and Switzerland, partly because of strong economic conditions in these countries. As an example, 1.3 million Russians visited Thailand in 2012.
However, about 6% fewer Scandinavians arrived to the country in 2012, compared with the previous year.
SOURCE: NATIONAL NEWS BUREAU OF THAILAND
March 14, 2013
Land Prices Doubled in Phuket
PHUKET - The president of The Housing Business Association, Issara Boonyoung, argue that land prices in Phuket have doubled since 2010! The average price for a rai (equivalent to 1600 square meters) was two million baht in 2010, but is now four million baht.
Also the land prices in Hat Yai must have experienced a similar increase.
Teenage Gang Suspected of Sixty Robberies
BANGKOK - Bangkok police have arrested seven members of a youth gang, suspected of having robbed people of their belongings, including motorcycles and mobile phones. Many of the victims are students at Chulalongkorn University.
The youth gang were riding stolen bikes when they were arrested. They are between sixteen and eighteen years old.
SOURCE: THE NATION
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A Few Words about me
My name is Jens and I was born in the early seventies in Södertälje, Sweden. I traveled for the first time to Thailand in 1989-1990 and already then started to have strong (positive) feelings for the country and it's people. During subsequent trips, it was mainly beach-life and Muay Thai training on the agenda but as time has gone by a strong interest regarding Thailand's history, community and culture has emerged within me. In early 2004, I moved here permanently.
My wife Rawadee is indirectly involved in the writing and contributes with knowledge, facts and inspiration. We try to alternate daily news from the country with our own reflections. The news and blog are illustrated with some photos, both my own and others. I hope you'll find the reading somewhat useful and I am of course open to your comments, suggestions and criticisms.
We are full-time geeks. Jens is working with web development, search engine optimization, graphic design and photography. Rawadee had a computer shop before, but is now also working with web development.
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