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Thailand News - Our News Blog




We Deliver 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.




dateiconJune 30, 2010



More Thais have high blood pressure



Some diseases that previously mainly affected people in "the West" are now becoming increasingly common even in Thailand. The number of Thais who have been hospitalized for high blood pressure has increased fivefold since 1998!

Health authorities now urge people to eat less salt and fat, more vegetables and to exercise more. Obesity and lack of physical activity are two known factors that can result in high blood pressure. Newsstop


Football on the beach
BEST MEDICINE FOR HYPERTENSION - Photo by: Jens W, Yenit.com




dateiconJune 29, 2010



Entrepreneur in Thailand?



Today I made a checklist of ten points which hopefully can provide answers whether entrepreneurship in Thailand is your thing. Newsstop

  Go to the checklist and test


Yenit's office in Koh Samui
OUR OFFICE IN KOH SAMUI - Photo by: Jens W, Yenit.com


1000 Arrested for World Cup Gambling



So far, 1028 people in Thailand have been arrested for illegal gambling during the World Cup in South Africa. Lists of gambling worth 3.25 million Baht have also been seized by police.

Gambling and casinos are illegal in Thailand, while it is legal in several neighboring countries. Newsstop

SOURCE: NATIONAL NEWS BUREAU OF THAILAND




dateiconJune 28, 2010



Two New Airport Link Stations



Two New Airport Link stations will be opened on Thursday. Airport Link will, when finished, carry passengers from Suvarnabhumi Airport to inner city Bangkok.

These stations are Ratchaprarop and Thub Chang. A total of seven stations will be opened to public from Thursday. The other five stations was inaugurated June 1 this year.

Our thoughts: I remember when I was a teenager and in Bangkok for the first time. That is now more than twenty years ago and I remember that I felt a horrified delight. I got a little homesick, at the same time as I loved the city, which to me seemed almost like a surreal chaos and simultaneously very exotic.

At that time there were no skytrain or subway. Instead, it was diesel buses, light motorcycles and pickup trucks that made the collar of his shirt was gray after just an hour's walk. The elaboration of infrastructure can only be described as unprecedented since. Catalysts and public transport have made miracles, and now you can breathe in the city. But a certain degree of chaos remains. Perhaps this is some of the city's charm?! Newsstop




dateiconJune 27, 2010



Several injured as boats collide



This night, two speedboats collided when they were on the way with passengers from Koh Samui to Koh Phangan and its popular Full Moon Party. Many tourists and Thais were thrown into the water by the collision and about forty people were injured and / or shocked. Fortunately, almost all the passengers wore life jackets.

The media have also reported on the two missing passengers and we will be back with more details if we have this confirmed, or denied. Newsstop




dateiconJune 26, 2010



A Furry Creature



Our thoughts: We have a living fur ball. That was never the intention. I thought I rather would buy a "real dog" like a Boxer or even a Rottweiler, but it ended up with a Shih-Poo (a cross between a Shih Tzu and a Poodle) "by mistake". She is a small floor-mop-look-a-like thing who hate when we leave her in the morning, but give five-minute long declaration of love when we come back after work. If she is really excited, she tends to howl out of happiness. It is simply hard to dislike such a creature.

She is quite inexpensive to take care of because she only weighs about six kilograms. Dry food, chicken liver, some dog treats and a couple of tennis balls seem to be enough to fill the happiness quota. A couple of times a week she may also go with mom to work in the computer shop where she gets really naughty barking out all the poor customers. At nighttime she sleeps between us and the air conditioning is certainly a blessing when you're a black little fur ball in Thailand. Newsstop


Pandi - The Shih-poo
PANDI, A SHIH POO IN THAILAND - Photo by: Jens W, Yenit.com


Thailand to Join Military Exercise



Thailand is to join a major US-led military exercise in the Pacific Ocean, for the first time. About 20,000 troops are training how to coordinate forces in a crisis. Altogether there are about 150 aircraft, 34 ships and five submarines participating in the exercise, according to the U.S. military. Newsstop

SOURCE: AFP


Us and Thai Army exercise together
MILITARY EXERCISE - Photo by: United States Federal Government




dateiconJune 25, 2010



Positive Growth in the Thai Economy



The Thai economy is expected to grow by 6.1% this year. Primarily this is due to a sharp increase in exports. The forecast is made by The World Bank. Newsstop


Young girl selling grilled chicken
GRILLED CHICKEN FOR SALE - Photo by: Jens W, Yenit.com


Narcotics worth 8,1 Billion will Burn



2460 kg of narcotics (including 20 million yaba tablets and more than 213 kilograms of heroin), worth 8.1 billion baht, will be burned up tomorrow as it is the International Day against Drug Abuse and Illicit Trafficking. The Thai Ministry of Health administers the drug giant bonfire. Newsstop

SOURCE: NATIONAL NEWS BUREAU OF THAILAND




dateiconJune 24, 2010



Ford Plans New Plant in Rayong



The car manufacturer Ford plans to invest 450 million U.S. dollars in a new plant in Rayong province, southeast of Bangkok. The investment is supposed to strengthen the car giant's position in Asia and production is scheduled to start in 2012. The plant will employ up to 2,200 new jobs. Newsstop


A Private Insurance Coverage



Whether you are a tourist in Thailand or even live in the country, it is equally important that you have a private insurance coverage. It may otherwise be very expensive if you become ill or if an accident should occur. It might also be useless to seek financial help at your embassy in Bangkok, or the authorities in general, as most of these will NOT except to pay uninsured people's hospital bills.

I myself have a couple of friends and acquaintances who has received huge hospital bills and then had to pay by taking from their own savings, or ask relatives for help. The hospital will keep the passport until the bill is fully paid.

If you call your own insurance company, they can probably give you information about what conditions that are applicable to you. Bring a travel insurance to Thailand. Always! Newsstop




dateiconJune 23, 2010



Men Caught with 1,2 Million Yaba Pills



Three men were arrested on Monday in Chiang Mai, with 1.2 million yaba pills in their car. The seizure is worth approximately 200 million Baht on the street and is one of the largest of its kind in the country. The Thai Police also expect to be able to arrest the alleged leader of the gang shortly.

Ya ba is the same as methamphetamine. The drug is often imported to Thailand from Burma (Myanmar), Laos and Cambodia. Newsstop




dateiconJune 17, 2010



The Blog and I will Rest for a Few Days!



I work rather much (60-hour weeks) and must "force" myself to go on occasional vacations. During these mini-holidays, I usually "refuse" to do anything related to computers and the Internet. Also at this time.

This time I am going to Malaysia and I will relax and eat some good Indian food. It will probably be mostly chicken dishes and and I usually vary the most classic (cowardly?) variants of: tikka masala, tandoori and vindaloo. However, I like it really spicy. I'm probably chili-dependent. Seriously.

Maybe I'll do a couple of workouts on the hotel gym, take a walk to see the surroundings and read a book in the evening. But No promises, no demands.

I hope that you want to keep reading the blog when I'm back in less than a week. Take care and have a good weekend! Newsstop


Georgetown, Penang, Malaysia
OLD MAN IN GEORGETOWN, MALAYSIA - Photo by: Jens W, Yenit.com


Abhisit: Corruption is increasing



Prime Minister Abhisit Vejjajiva said yesterday that corruption among politicians in Thailand is increasing rather than decreasing. He suggested that nowadays many politicians seems to benefiting their own interests rather than working for the country. Newsstop

SOURCE: THE NATION




dateiconJune 16, 2010



Red-shirts hiding in Cambodia?



Rumors claim that two of the leaders of the so-called red-shirts, Suporn Attawong and Arisman Pongruangrong are hiding in a luxury hotel in the town of Poipet, near the Thai border. The Foreign Ministry in Thailand did not comment on rumors but said that if they were true it would mean that they had crossed the border illegally. Newsstop




dateiconJune 14, 2010



Photos from the Kingdom



If you feel a sudden urge to see photos from virtually all parts of Thailand, you'll find my own pictures (and other photographers' pictures) here. Newsstop


A Dry Thailand



Thailand is currently experiencing a dry season that begins to have consequences for parts of the population. Continuing drought will mean that the national economy will suffer when the rice harvest is under threat. Thailand is currently the world's largest exporter of rice.

Some of the dams in Thailand are also starting to dry up. Currently, 68 million cubic meters of water is consumed per day while the daily flows in the dams are at only 46 million cubic meters of water.

Festivals is being held in the country to encourage precipitation. If these events has a beneficial effect remains to be seen. Anyway, the next rainy season in the country is very welcomed by the Thais. Newsstop


Sunset - Koh Samui
A LOT OF SUNSHINE IN 2009 AND 2010 - Photo by: Jens W, Yenit.com




dateiconJune 13, 2010



Gang Members Arrested in Chonburi



Five members of a gang have been arrested in Chonburi province after it emerged that they have specialized in burglaries and robberies of farang people (foreigners in Thailand). The gang operated in Pattaya, Bang Lamung and Sattahip. When they were arrested, the police confiscated nearly 1,000 stolen objects, one M16 rifle and three pistols.

SOURCE: THE NATION

Our thoughts: Fortunately, Thailand is a country where relatively few foreigners become victims of serious crimes. This can be demonstrated statistically in comparison with many other popular tourist destinations. However, this fact should not make people careless. Foreigners who live here a long time (or even permanently) need to adopt a common sense approach to their own security.

Many workers (also migrant workers) have received pay cuts been dismissed from employment in tourist areas due to a temporary drop in tourism. A very small minority of these start to engage in theft.

If you live in a house it might be smart to make sure to have proper locks on windows and doors. Try to not keep large amounts of cash and expensive jewelry at home, as it is cheap to get a safety deposit box in a bank here. Learn to know your neighbors so you can keep an eye on the neighborhood together. Newsstop




dateiconJune 12, 2010



I previously wrote a few words about Lord Buddha and his life and published it here, but the article is now found here


Amnesty for Red-Shirts?



The Department of Special Investigations (DSI) has decided to establish a committee after they received a request from the Center for the Resolution of Emergency Situation (CRES). This committee will investigate if amnesty is possible for the red-shirts who were imprisoned after riots in Bangkok recently. Newsstop




dateiconJune 8, 2010



Two UDD-Leaders Free on Bail



Two of the leaders in the UDD ("the red-shirts") and Pheu Thai Party, Jatuporn Prompan and Karun Hosakul, were released today on a bail of one million baht each.

Our thoughts: It may seem a little odd that they are freed on bail after just a few weeks. The question is if that the court now believes that the allegations are exaggerated or if famous politicians and people are privileged? Maybe it's a tactical move of any kind. Hopefully we know more soon. Newsstop


The Tourism Industry Offered Loans



The Thai Government is offering loans to small and medium-sized tourism related businesses affected by the political unrest in April and May. Small and Medium Enterprise Development Bank of Thailand (SME Bank) will offer loans with a 23% interest rate. However, companies will not have to pay off the principal amount during the first two years.

The maximum loan amount is set at five million baht per company, over a maximum period of eight years. Prime Minister Abhisit has also pledged efforts to help larger companies in the near future. Newsstop


A power nap on the floor
AN SLUMBERING TOURISM SECTOR - Photo by: Jens W, Yenit.com




dateiconJune 6, 2010



Road Construction Halted



Thai prime minister Abhisit has temporarily halted an already started project that aims to advance the Thanarat Road which runs through the Khao Yai National Park. This after environmentalists and local residents protested against the project. They believe that the unique environment will be damaged in the park, which is part of an area inscribed as an UNESCO World Heritage Site.

On Friday evening, activists from Greenpeace, The Foundation for Protection of Khaoyai National Park and other environmental organizations held a press conference and delivered a formal statement. The statement called on authorities to immediately stop the project.

The prime minister then ordered a temporary halt to the project. He said that the project would proceed only after the Ministry of Environment has confirmed it would not damage the environment seriously. He also said that it needed to be examined whether large trees really needed to be sacrificed.

Our thoughts: It's great that both local and international environmental groups note the widening of this road, which passes through a scenic and important national park. It is not unusual that market forces and the authorities make decisions at the expense of the environment. But at the same time, traffic safety and convenience of people are also important factors for the decision makers.

An improved infrastructure always has to be balanced against environmental issues. Newsstop




dateiconJune 4, 2010



Several Ministers Exchanged



The Democratic Party's executive board has now voted for a change on several ministerial posts in the Thai Government. Thailand will have a new Minister of Culture, a new Minister of Labour, a new Science Minister and a new Minister of the Prime Minister's Office. Newsstop


The Thai Baht is still Strong



The Thai currency remains strong compared to many other currencies. The US dollar is an exception as the rates is kept rather steady. Below, I have published the present currency exchange rates, compared with the rates six months ago. Note that figures below do not include bank and exchange offices-imposed fees.

• June 4, 2010: One Euro = 40.02390 Baht
• Dec 4, 2009: One Euro = 50.08940 Baht

• June 4, 2010: One Dollar = 32.69870 Baht
• Dec 4, 2009: One Dollar = 33.19090 Baht

• June 4, 2010: One SEK = 4.19850 Baht
• Dec 4, 2009: One SEK = 4.8610 Baht

• June 4, 2010: One GB Pound = 47.93410 Baht
• Dec 4, 2009: One GB Pound = 55.22370 Baht Newsstop

SOURCE: OANDA.COM




dateiconJune 3, 2010



Koh Samui Declared "A Green Island"



The Thailand Environment Institute (TEI) has declared the island of Koh Samui as a "green island". First, the quantity of garbage should be reduced by limiting the use of plastic bags. Both locals and tourists will be informed about the campaign. Newsstop

SOURCE: NATIONAL NEWS BUREAU OF THAILAND


Koh Samui - Twenty years ago



My pale feet touched Koh Samui land for the first time when I was still a rather naive teenager. There are now more than twenty years ago and already the first day I knew I wanted to stay on this island. Fourteen years later I moved permanently to the gem of the Gulf of Thailand, perhaps for good. But how was it here twenty years ago?

Prices were significantly lower. I remember that you could order a Khao Pad Gai (fried rice with chicken) for 15-20 baht at beach resort, and the same meal nowadays costs 3-4 times more in the same resort. There were also simple fan bungalows for 100 baht a day. They were often equipped with a mosquito net above the bed. A restaurant owner sold tequila-shots for 15 baht, but the restaurant was demolished just after New Year's Eve 1992-93. Perhaps the tequila business were not lucrative enough, or maybe the owner just wanted to build something new.

The roads along the beach was not yet paved and during the rainy season the road could be so flooded that you hade to wade on the roads, sometimes with water above knee height. There were no taxis but the characteristic songtaew (red pickups taxis) drove you from beach to beach. Most of the houses in Samui was still mainly made of wood and bamboo.

Power cuts were so common that it barely took note of them, fifty per day was not rare. Fortunately, they were usually short, sometimes just a few seconds. The number of cars were also very limited and 90% of the existing ones were pickup trucks.

Commerce was not as intense back then, but consisted mostly of local merchants who sold simple t-shirts (often with "magic mushroom prints"(!), shorts and coconut oil as sun protection. There were no 7-Eleven stores and no Tesco Lotus or other supermarkets.

For those tourists who wanted to contact their loved ones, the alternatives were: "over-sea-calls", postcards or fax. Mobile phones were still rare and there were no internet cafes at all on the island.

Despite the lack of comfort and modern infrastructure, I remember the early nineties on the island as a wonderful time. A time when the word "paradise" actually seemed relevant. Newsstop

The picture shows how Lamai looked like back then:


Lamai before
LAMAI BEACH, TWENTY YEARS AGO - Photo by: Jens W, Yenit.com




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dateiconJune 2, 2010



Travel Advisory Lifted by Sweden



Swedish Foreign Ministry has now lifted its advice against travel to Bangkok as they believe that the security situation in the capital has been normalized. Newsstop


Young women on lunch
BANGKOK BACK TO BUSINESS - Photo by: Jens W, Yenit.com


The Government Passed the Vote



Prime minister Abhisit and five of his ministers passed this morning's vote of no-confidence with a relatively large margin. Abhisit himself got 246 votes to 186 (in his favor), with 11 abstentions. Newsstop




dateiconJune 1, 2010



PM Defended Government's Actions



During Tuesday's censure debate (day two of two) Prime Minister Abhisit defended his and government's actions during the disturbances in Bangkok in April and May. He showed pictures and video clips that he said proved that there were militant red-shirts (also known as black-shirts) armed with pistols and also a picture taken at the Lumpini, where one protester seems to be carrying an M16. Abhisit also denied that the military should have shot protesters at Wat Pathum Wanaram from the nearby skytrain track.

Our thoughts: The final word is probably not said yet. It is obvious that the violence in Bangkok was not unilateral. Anyway, it is a slight consolation for the families who lost loved ones and those who had their small businesses burned down. The spiral of violence must be broken if the Thais is to be reconciled. This process is not simple but it requires that both sides show a willingness to compromise. Unfortunately, it is always easier said than done. Newsstop


Young couple at the beach
YOUNG THAI COUPLE - Photo by: Jens W, Yenit.com




dateiconMay 30, 2010



No New Election at this time



Thai Prime Minister Abhisit Vejjajiva said at a press conference that he currently has no plans for a new election in the country, but that he did not rule it out in the future. He was referring to the political situation after the unrest in Bangkok and northern Thailand. There were many foreign reporters and embassy staff at the press conference which raised questions about the future of Thailand to Abhisit directly.

The Prime Minister is born in Newcastle and educated at Eton College, so he is fluent in English which is a great advantage when meeting with foreign press. Newsstop


PM Abhisit and President Obama
ABHISIT AND OBAMA IN USA - Photo by: U.S. Department of State




dateiconMay 29, 2010



Thailand Attracts more Asian Tourists



Our thoughts: It has been primarily Europeans and Australians who has topped the statistics charts regarding tourism in Thailand, but nowadays The Kingdom also attracts Chinese, Taiwanese, Singaporeans, Malaysians and Japanese tourists.

To generalize a little, Asians tend to spend quite a lot of money on their holidays, live in relatively expensive hotels and spend much time on the hotel or the resort. They are therefore important visitors for Thailand (as a tourist country) and popular among local business owners. Newsstop


Young Taiwanese woman
ON VACATION IN THAILAND - Photo by: Jens W, Yenit.com


Young couple spending honeymoon in Thailand
ASIAN COUPLE ON THAILAND HOLIDAY - Photo by: Jens W, Yenit.com


88 million for Siam Square-building



The government has granted 88 million baht to construct a building at Siam Square. It is built for the benefit of those who had their shops destroyed last Wednesday when militants of the red-shirts caused extensive material damage in the area. Tenants will also be offered free rent for six months. Newsstop

SOURCE: THE NATION




dateiconMay 28, 2010



Visakha Bucha Day today



Today is the Visakha Bucha Day (or Vesak) in Thailand. It is one of the most important Buddhist festivals in the country and is celebrated in commemoration of Buddha's birth and awakening (Nirvana). Visakha Bucha do not occur at a specified calendar date, but at the full moon day of the sixth lunar month, which varies from year to year. Many Thais start the day with to offer food to the monks of the local temple. Some also abstain eating meat during the day. Many people do also visit the temples again during the afternoon (or evening) to show their respect to Lord Buddha and His teachings. Newsstop


Thai monks i Khao Lak
BUDDHIST MONKS IN KHAO LAK - Photo by: Jens W, Yenit.com




dateiconMay 27, 2010



80 people Arrested for City Hall fires



Eighty people have been arrested in the north-eastern provinces of Ubon Ratchathani, Mukdahan, Khon Kaen and Udonthani accused of partly burning down four city halls in Isaan (northeastern Thailand) last week. 40 of the 80 were arrested in Ubon Ratchathani Province (which borders with both Laos and Cambodia). Newsstop

SOURCE: NATIONAL NEWS BUREAU OF THAILAND


Hard to get Thaksin extradited?



Our thoughts: Thailand's government has accused Thaksin (in collaboration with the leaders of the UDD - "the red-shirts") of funding the protesters in Bangkok. These protests later escalated into violent riots (with lots of deaths and hundreds of injured as a result), and extensive vandalism.

Thaksin has been living in exile since 2006 and has a warrant issued against him. It might be tricky to get him extradited to Thailand as he probably will be very selective about his travel habits from now on. He also recently become a citizen of Montenegro and they have a policy of not extraditing its own citizens. In addition, it is also possible that Interpol considers that the arrest warrant is politically motivated and not because of serious crimes. However, it has probably reduced Thaksin's mobility.

It will be interesting to monitor Thaksin's future moves and actions. It has flourished rumors that he has cancer and some have even speculated that he is dying. The latter reputations should probably be taken with a grain of salt as he appears rather healthy for being sixty years old. Newsstop




dateiconMay 26, 2010



Tourism industry hit hard last 2 years



Our thoughts: A majority of the tourists in Thailand usually go to any of the famous tourist destinations and islands south of Bangkok. All of these sites have experienced a marked decrease in the number of tourists since mid-2006. The most important factor for this decline is the global economic crisis. Other factors are the A(H1N1) flu, the occupation of Suvarnabhumi Airport, the unrest in Bangkok and the eruption of the volcano at the Eyjafjallajökull glacier in Iceland.

Many investors and resort owners are experiencing problems paying their bank debt and staff. Some projects have been canceled during the construction process and remains today as ugly concrete skeleton in tropical surroundings. A parallel can be drawn with Spain a few decades ago when the tourism sector experienced a tremendous expansion, and then left behind empty hotels and a bleeding tourism industry.

But there is still hope. Personally, I believe in a conservative revival of tourism to Thailand starting in mid-2010. This is, of course, unless the political unrest in Thailand don't get worse, or that the global and European economic situation deteriorate further. It remains to be seen.

Phuket, in particular, has already experienced an increase in tourists compared to May, last year. Newsstop


Strolling on a beach in Koh Phangan
STROLLING ON AO CHALOK LAM - Photo by: Jens W, Yenit.com




dateiconMay 25, 2010



Thaksin Accused of Terrorism



A Thai court has issued an arrest warrant against former Prime Minister Thaksin Shinawatra on charges of terrorism. He was accused of being the originator and leader behind the red-shirt protest in Bangkok, which resulted in violent riots in which a total of 88 people lost their lives. Thaksin has also been accused of being a corrupt populist who grossly abused his power.

However, he is still popular in much of Thailand, especially among the farmers in the north-east of the country. His former party, Thai Rak Thai, offered them micro-loans and some other benefits during their time in power.

Thaksin has been in exile since 2006. Newsstop


Nighttime Curfew Extended



Thailand’s Center for the Resolution of the Emergency Situation (CRES) has agreed to extend the nighttime curfew until May 31. This means that in 24 of Thailand's 75 provinces (76 including Bangkok) you are not allowed to be outside between midnight and 4am. However, it doesn't involve any of the islands and tourist destinations in the south.

Our thoughts: This is undeniably sad for partygoers and night owls in the capital and some other provinces. Maybe a short vacation in Pattaya, Hua Hin, Koh Samet or Koh Samui is suitable as an alternative if you ain't "satisfied" with just sleeping or reading books. Newsstop


Still the Land of Smiles



Our thoughts: Thailand is often described as the "Land of Smiles" and many who are enjoying their first vacation here tend to be pleasantly surprised how well they are treated by the hotel staff and locals. However, after the riots and unrest in Bangkok, this phrase and slogan has been questioned on blogs and in the media. "Now look, the Thais were not at all so friendly as we thought" someone said.

But you shouldn't forget that Thais are not robots. They do not smile on command or around the clock. However, the smiling habit in Thailand (and in neighboring countries) is probably more frequent than in the "West" for example, and this is primarily due to cultural sensitivities. If we are allowed to generalize a bit, it's probably just as many different smiles in Thailand as Eskimos have words for snow.


Smiling Thais
WE ARE STILL SMILING - Photo by: Jens W, Yenit.com


Some Thais can even smile when they are angry and do not see it as a sign of weakness. The smile helps him or her to avoid losing their face even when he or she feels wronged, etc. Please do not be worried now. Thais are almost always friendly and some mutual consideration and respect, almost always do the trick.

Thailand is still the Land of Smiles, but there are some smiles which do not originate in pleasure. Newsstop




dateiconMay 24, 2010



Thai Economic Growth



According to The Wall Street Journal, Thailand's GDP has increased by 12% compared to same period previous year. This is the fastest pace in 15 years, according to Ampon Kittiampon, secretary general of the National Economic and Social Development Board in Thailand.

SOURCE: THE WALL STREET JOURNAL

Our thoughts: Presumably, the positive economic development might be slowed down somewhat because of unrest in Bangkok last week. Especially if it would flare up again. The country is in a serious political situation, with a very politically divided population. The positive economic growth is largely a result of successful exports. For the country's best (not just financially), we hope for political peace and reconciliation. Newsstop


Bangkok Clean-up



A couple of thousand Bangkok citizens and volunteers collected trash and cleaned the capital yesterday. The cleaning was done in a number of locations around the area of Rachaprasong where intensive riots took place nearly a week ago. Burned tires were removed and streets were mopped with water and detergent. Many foreigners also participated honorably in the cleaning process. Newsstop


Thai Movie Wins Top Honor in Cannes



Apichatpong Weerasethakul
APICHATPONG WEERASETHAKUL - Photo by: Frédéric Lemaréchal


The movie Lung Boonmee Raluek Chat was yesterday rewarded with one of the film world's most prestigious awards - the Palme d'Or, in Cannes. The director, Apichatpong Weerasethakul says he is very happy and took the opportunity to thank the Thai ghosts and spirits which plays a central role in his surreal drama. This is the first film from Southeast Asia to win this prize so the Thais can feel really proud. Newsstop


Farang Arrested for Threats



Jeff Savage, 48, from London was arrested for his statements he made before the Central World department store in Bangkok was looted and set on fire on Wednesday. Jeff was filmed and the film posted on YouTube the same day. His excuse was that "he was tired, emotional and full of steroids". You can view the clip here. NOTE: It contains language that may be perceived as offensive by some.

It remains to be seen if he is prosecuted and if so, what penalty he will face. Newsstop




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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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