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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.

dateiconAugust 30, 2010

Robber Escaped with 8 Million Baht

An armed robber escaped with eight million baht after stealing two bags of banknotes outside the UOB Bank in Khon Kaen. He disappeared from the scene on a motorbike. Newsstop

Landslide Victory for The Democrats

The Democrats won a landslide victory in yesterday's district election, although only 42 percent of the electorate is said to have voted. Here are the results:

• Democrat Party: 210 seats

• Pheu Thai Party (PTP): 39 seats

• New Politics Party (NPP): 0 seats

Our thoughts: Should you make a bit sloppy and spontaneous analysis, one can sense that the residents of Bangkok residents generally were tired of BOTH Thaksin Shinawatra and his "rival", Sondhi Limthongkul. Newsstop

Democrat Party logo
DEMOCRAT PARTY LOGO - Copyright: The Democrat Party, Thailand

dateiconAugust 28, 2010

Phuket-killing Suspect Arrested

Aldhouse Lee, who is suspected of the murder of a 23-year-old American in Phuket two weeks ago has been arrested by British police. Lee reportedly fled to a small border post in Trat Province and succeeded in getting into Cambodia. Then he booked a flight to London, but was arrested at Heathrow Airport.

Thai authorities and police are expected to apply to have Lee extradited for trial in Thailand. Newsstop

dateiconAugust 24, 2010

63 Billion for Suvarnabhumi Expansion

Thailand's Cabinet has granted 63 billion baht for the expansion of Suvarnabhumi International Airport, according to Transport Minister Sophon Saram.

The expansion is scheduled for completion in 2016 and the capacity is expected to increase from 45 million passengers a year currently, to 60 million passengers annually in 2016. Newsstop

Dissatisfaction over Autopsy Report

Department of Special Investigation (DSI) has just released its preliminary autopsy report of those killed during the riots in Bangkok in May.

Relatives have expressed dissatisfaction over the report because the lack of details or explanations of the deaths. DSI has announced that the report is only preliminary and that a more complete report will be presented to the public later on. Newsstop


dateiconAugust 23, 2010

Airport Link Kicked Off this Morning

Today at 6:00 am, the first train began to operate the 28 kilometer track between Suvarnabhumi International Airport and Makkasan in central Bangkok. There are two lines. The Express Line runs non-stop between the airport and Makkasan, and the City Line stops at all eight stations on the route.

Until New Year, all passengers are offered a discounted price. The Express Line costs 100 baht per person and the City Line costs only 15 baht, regardless of the distance.

From January 1, 2011, the tickets to the Express Line will increase to 150 Baht and the City Line tickets will cost 15-45 baht, depending on how long the trip is. Newsstop

  Official website

dateiconAugust 22, 2010

To Photograph in Thailand - My Tips

Here are my personal tips for you who are going to shoot pictures in Thailand, Southeast Asia or countries near the equator. The last three paragraphs are general advice on photography:

1. As the sun is strong during the day you'll usually take the best pictures in the morning (before 10am) and in the late afternoon (after 4pm). 20-40 minutes before sunset, the light tends to be particularly beneficial and can result in some really nice photos.

2. A lens hood, ND filter or a polarizing filter is recommended if the sun is shining strongly. If it is still too bright, try to shoot with flash. Preferably an external one, as many cameras are equipped with rather bad built-in flashes.

3. Most often, pictures of local people and their daily life are at least as interesting as beach photos and pictures of your travel companions. Use a zoom lens so you get close to people without "disturbing" them. Close-ups of people are often more interesting than the full view.

4. Take many pictures! With the digital camera breakthrough about ten years ago, you do not require expensive photographic processing or prints nowadays. Therefore, take as many pictures as you can, and delete the ones you are not satisfied with. The more you take, the greater your chances of success and a minor masterpiece.

5. Cameras are generally cheap nowadays. I would recommend you to invest in a pretty good digital SLR if you enjoy photography. Normally you'll learn the basic functions in an hour or two if you read the instruction book.

6. A photo is not better than the photographers ability to compose images in the viewfinder. If you strive to get good pictures, this is as important as mastering the technology. Artistry and harmony is certainly more important than megapixels. There are many good books on the subject and on the internet you will find "courses", tips and forum threads that deal with the issue.

7. In order to get sharp pictures, it is important that the camera is steady. Learn how to keep it steady in a firm grip with bottom elbow close to your body for optimum control. Use a tripod at slow shutter speeds and buy a good tripod that allows some rough treatment. There are a lot of tripod-test found online and in photo magazines. Newsstop

It's possible to live in luxury estates in Thailand

Young guy on a ferry

dateiconAugust 20, 2010

JAS Gripen - Now Also in Thailand

A Swedish produced fighter aircraft, JAS 39 Gripen (Griffin), was delivered to Thailand this week. In the near future, five additional aircrafts will be delivered, as agreed. Newsstop

Australian "Red-Shirt" Released

Australian citizen Conor David Purcell, who took part in the Red Shirts' protests last spring, has now been released after six weeks of imprisonment. He says he is relieved and is now expected to be deported from Thailand back to his homeland. Newsstop

dateiconAugust 19, 2010

Thai Economy Expected to Grow

The Thai economy is expected to grow by up to 7.2% this year, according to Thailand Development Research Institute (TDRI). This despite the uncertain economic situation in many parts of the world. TDRI also predicts that the Thai economy will continue to grow in 2011. The inflation rate is predicted to stay between 2 to 3.6 percent next year. Newsstop


dateiconAugust 17, 2010

Five Red-Shirts Refused Bail by Court

Five Red Shirt leaders, Nutthawut Saikua, Yossawarit Chu-klom, Kwanchai Praipana, Wiputhalaeng Patthanapumthai and Nisit Sinthuprai were refused to be released on bail today. Newsstop

dateiconAugust 16, 2010

Truly Important News

If something very newsworthy happens in Thailand, we will update you with much more information than normally. We are in place in Thailand and are able to write almost around the clock.

Examples of past events in Thailand of this dignity are the military's storming of the red shirt camp 2010 and the 2004 Tsunami, but also general elections, and similar important events.

Since we are only two people and not a news agency, We reserve the right to not write in case of illness or circumstances beyond our control. Newsstop

At Least Two Dead in Building Collapse

At least one construction worker died and at least ten were injured when the ongoing construction of Burapha University, in the province of Chonburi, collapsed last night. This morning the search for survivors continued, with military assistance.

The construction, which has lasted almost a year, collapsed when 500 tonnes of concrete was poured on the second floor, according to reports. Police say five individuals could face charges. Newsstop

dateiconAugust 14, 2010

Young American Murdered in Phuket

A 23-year-old U.S. citizen was stabbed to death this morning near the beach Ya Nui, located in the south of Phuket. The American had earlier in the day got into a fight with an 28-year-old Englishman at a local place named Freedom Bar.

The Englishman followed the American and attacked him with a knife at his apartment. The local police are on a manhunt for the suspect who is known for working out in a local Muay Thai gym and his occasionally violent behavior.

We will publish more details once we know more. Newsstop

TAT Answers Your Questions

The Tourism Authority of Thailand (TAT) has launched a round-the-clock telephone helpline in a number of countries. It is intended to help tourists who have questions concerning their holiday in Thailand.

Sweden +46840838833
UK: +442033550430 or 02033550430
USA: +15166196810 or 5166196810
Japan: +81345209521 or 0345209521
Australia: +61280147129 or 0280147129


Our thoughts: Thumbs up for TAT! Newsstop

Taking in phone in Singapore
AT CHANGI AIRPORT - Photo by: Jens W,

dateiconAugust 13, 2010

American Couple Convicted of Bribery

78-year-old Gerald Green and his 55-year-old wife Patricia have been sentenced to six months in prison plus an additional six months of house arrest. The couple will also have to repay approximately 8 million baht.

The couple is accused of bribing former Governor of the Tourism Authority of Thailand (TAT) Juthamas Siriwan, to be able to continue to organize the annual Bangkok International Film Festival. Newsstop

dateiconAugust 12, 2010

Interviewing Myself

Question: What is your worst quality?
Answer: I am very stubborn.

Question: What is your best quality?
Answer: I am very stubborn.

Question: Why do you live in Thailand? You're farang!
Answer: I just enjoy my life here in many aspects. I feel free, which stimulate creativity.

Question: Wasn't that a pretentious answer?
Answer: Probably, I'm just trying to be honest!

Question: Can you be completely honest to yourself?
Answer: Probably not, which makes this pointless.

Question: So we end this now?
Answer: Yes, please! Newsstop

HM Sirikit's Birthday and Mother's Day

HM Queen Sirikit is celebrating her 78'th birthday today and we would like to wish her a great day and a very long and happy life. We would also would like to wish all mothers a really nice and relaxed Thai Mother's Day. Newsstop

Her Majesty Queen Sirikit's Birthday 2010
HM QUEEN SIRIKIT'S BIRTHDAY 2010 - Graphics by: Jens W,

dateiconAugust 11, 2010

Many Cases of Dengue Fever

There have been many cases of dengue fever in Thailand this year and it is important to be aware about this, especially during the rainy season.

Dengue fever is a viral disease that is spread indirectly from person-to-person, via the Asian tiger mosquito (Aedes albopictus), which is primarily diurnal. Dengue is therefore not transmitted directly between humans, but does require a mosquito carrying the virus.

The disease is divided in four subgroups and the incubation period is about five to ten days (ie the time from the mosquito's bite until the disease breaks out). Some will have a mild illness with fever, while others may have more serious symptoms such as headaches, rashes, bleedings, joint and muscle pain.

To avoid the disease, try to avoid mosquito bites if possible. Use mosquito repellent, long sleeves and long pants in areas where mosquitoes thrive. This may be around wells and ponds, in leafy areas, under restaurant tables, etc. Newsstop

Aedes albopictus
ASIAN TIGER MOSQUITO - Photo by: James Gathany, CDC

Phuket Resort Sold for 2.62 Billion Baht

The luxury resort Dusit Thani Laguna Phuket has been sold for the neat sum of 2.62 billion baht. Buyers are Bangkok-based Dusit Thani Public Company Limited, which owns a total of 19 resorts in Asia. Newsstop


dateiconAugust 10, 2010

Foreigners Busted with Crystal Meth

An Iranian man was recently arrested outside a serviced apartment hotel on Asoke Road in Bangkok. The police then seized nine kilograms of crystallized methamphetamine, also known as ice, in his apartment.

A Spanish woman was arrested yesterday at Suvarnabhumi Airport with three kilograms of the same narcotic substance. She made a stopover in Bangkok and was en route from Ghana to Indonesia.

The drugs from the two seizures is estimated to be worth around 35-40 million Baht on the street.

Our thoughts: Ice is considered one of the most of the most harmful drugs as an addict often suffer severe physical and psychological damage after only a relatively short period of drug abuse.

The penalties for possession and trafficking are very, very harsh in Thailand, but this does not stop some people from trying. Since the doses are small, very high profits are made per gram and desperate (and naive) couriers choose to risk life imprisonment (and indirect killing drug addicts) to improve their own economic situation. That's pure insanity!

If you follow this news blog frequently, you have probably noticed that the police have arrested several people recently and this is only the tip of the iceberg. The situation is rather alarming because the drug is sometimes not only harmful to the user but also to his close relatives and friends, because of violent behavior and mental disorders. Newsstop

dateiconAugust 7, 2010

A Third of Thais are Overweight

40% of Thai women and 28.4% of Thai men over fifteen years are overweight. This according to the Health Systems Research Institute. The problem of obesity is no longer solely a problem of "the West" but also in Asia.


Our thoughts:
The junk food culture and lack of physical activity are the culprit here. Many children and young people are sitting at the computer instead of being out playing. They are using their mobile phones instead of visiting their friends and eat sugary and fatty foods, instead of the traditional healthy Thai food. It is exactly the same phenomenon that hit Western Europe, USA and Australia about 20-25 years ago.

The problem is serious. The risk of cardiovascular and vascular diseases are significantly higher if you are overweight, and health care is expensive, both for the individual and the society.

To be honest, I also gained too much weight after I moved to Thailand 6.5 years ago. In my case, the causes were a sedentary job, relatively large meals with high-calorie foods and perhaps a bit too many after-work beer at times. In addition, metabolism slows down when you're getting older. Until I was thirty I could eat pan pizza every day and still keep myself fairly thin. That is no longer the case. Unfortunately.

Six months ago I almost stopped completely to eat pork and beef (I sometimes "cheat") and I eat much more vegetables than before. I also workout at the gym regularly and take long walks or do shadow-boxing a few hours a week, in total. My personal long-term goal is to lose 5 kilos in total by adding five kilos of lean muscle mass, while losing 10 kilos of fat. At this date, I am halfway there. I'll post a photo to prove it when my goals are achieved.

The fact that you feel better and more energetic may classify as a reward for the effort. Newsstop

Pandi is running in the rain

dateiconAugust 6, 2010

Bueng Karn - New Thai Province

Bueng Karn (also spelled as Bung Kan) becomes Thailand's 77th province. The new province will be separated from Nong Khai in northeastern Thailand, near the border with Laos. Newsstop

Thai boy with lollipop

Dog in Lanta island
KOH LANTA RESORT DOG - Photo by: Jens W,

dateiconAugust 5, 2010

ATM Frauds in Thailand

Criminal gangs have recently cheated Thais by various ATM frauds.

A method has been to call the victim and claim that the account must be reactivated through an ATM. The Impostor then gives instructions meant to transfer money to the impostor's account.

The gangs have also convinced people to open new accounts in Thai banks and they have then paid the legitimate holder between 500-1000 baht for the right to take over the bank account and the associated ATM card.

Over one hundred people have already been arrested, suspected of being involved in the fraud.

Our thoughts: The same types of fraud, which began to flourish in Europe about 15 years ago, now exists in Thailand. Be careful with your money, even if you're here for a holiday in the sun. Newsstop

dateiconAugust 3, 2010

Almost 13% More Visitors to Thailand

The tourist arrivals to Thailand has increased after a few years of economic downturn. In July this year 12,7% more visitors arrived in Thailand than in the corresponding period last year. The information comes from Tourism Authority of Thailand (TAT), which presents statistics on tourism regularly.

Our thoughts: I also experience an increased number of visitors this year. I see both a boom in our hotel reservation service, and it seems to be more foreigners in Koh Samui and on Koh Phangan, compared with 2009. Newsstop

Time to wake up

Rainy season on the island of Lanta
KO LANTA RAINY SEASON, JULY, 2010 - Photo by: Jens W,

Two young women at the pier

dateiconAugust 2, 2010

Increased Inflation Rate in Thailand

Inflation in Thailand rose to 3.4% in July. This is probably mainly due to the expectations of a new interest rate hike by the Thai Central Bank. Newsstop

Energy Minister Defends Drilling

Thailand's Energy Minister Wannarat Channukul has defended Chevron plans to drill for gas and / or oil in the Gulf of Thailand, not far from the islands of Koh Samui, Koh Phangan and Koh Tao.

Channukul argued that the risks of natural disasters were very small because the drilling takes place in relatively shallow water, unlike the case with the explosion at the Deepwater Horizon rig and the oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico.

Our thoughts: It is possible that the energy minister is right about the security, but is it really ethical to allow oil drilling platforms near these truly unique island and also close to a national marine park? Personally I think the politicians who support this project should give it another thought. Newsstop

Samui protest against drilling

Thailand news blog logo
Thailand news blog

dateiconAugust 1, 2010

That Was Close!

It is important to adopt a safety-first mentality while staying in Thailand. Four times, I've almost got seriously injured or even close to being sent to the happy hunting grounds (or simply the grave).

1990 - I fell down a well in Koh Samet as a teenager, but got my arms out. I alerted people in the neighborhood and they quickly came to the rescue and pulled me up.

1997 - A heavy green coconut fell from a high palm tree a few feet behind me, where I just passed. The ground trembled.

2003 - I accidentally walked out in front of a speeding concrete truck in Koh Samui, which, fortunately, managed to stop just in front of me. I felt stupid and relieved at the same time which probably is a fairly normal reaction. Thanks to the driver who I think saved my life!

2005 - I was swimming when a storm blew in. I immediately felt that it was dangerous. I focused and managed to get to the beach. My feet were bleeding from sharp corals, but that was a trifle. Newsstop

dateiconJuly 30, 2010

Protest Tomorrow in Koh Samui

Tomorrow, Saturday, a protest will be held because of the U.S. energy company Chevron plans to drill for oil, and / or gas in the Gulf of Thailand, relatively close to the islands of Koh Samui, Koh Phangan and Koh Tao. The idea is that the Samui residents will hold hands around the island ring road.

The event will take place between 10 am and noon. Everyone (inhabitants as well as tourists) are welcome to attend. Newsstop

dateiconJuly 27, 2010

Security Tightened after Big C Bomb

The security has been tightened after a M67 grenade exploded outside a supermarket in Bangkok on Sunday. This according to the Centre for the Resolution of the Emergency Situation (CRES). The tightened security measures applies primarily in shopping malls, bus stations, skytrain stations and underground stations.

One person was killed and eight injured in the terrorist attack. No one has been arrested at this time. Newsstop

dateiconJuly 26, 2010

Khao Phansa - พรรษา

Tomorrow is the start of Khao Phansa which marks the start of the rainy season and the Buddhist Lent. Many choose to become monks at this time and the already existing monks are restricted to their temple where they study and meditate. Also some "ordinary" Thais refrain from meat, alcohol and tobacco during this time.

In Ubon Ratchathani a Candle Festival is held with giant carved beeswax candles in fantastic shapes appear in parades and are displayed on boats. The candles are often sculpted in the form of religious and traditional Thai symbols and creatures. Newsstop

Thai monk and red umbrella

dateiconJuly 22, 2010

Iranians Nabbed for Drug Trafficking

Four Iranian nationals were arrested at Suvarnabhumi International Airport for smuggling ya ice, or crystal methamphetamine, to Thailand.

The quartet were arrested after a tip-off and X-ray showed that they had 11 small packets of the drug in their stomachs. It came out to be 1 kilogram of ice in total, which is equivalent to a street value of about 3.5 million Baht. Newsstop

dateiconJuly 20, 2010

Apologize Thailand!

A controversial and emotional "TV commercial" (produced by independent media) has been stopped from being shown on Thai television, when it perceived as having the potential to bring new conflicts in the country.

However, the present government issued a statement saying that they are not behind the censorship, but instead Prime Minister Abhisit Vejjajiva said they should consider approving the film for television.

Khothod Prathet Thai - Apologize Thailand Newsstop

dateiconJuly 19, 2010

American Confessed to Murder

The U.S. citizen Ronald Fanelli has confessed to the murder of a 33-year-old Thai woman in Phuket. She was found June 24 in a black plastic bag and she was killed by stabbing. Afterwards, the American broke her arms in order to fit the body in plastic bag.

The perpetrator blamed the attack intoxication, frustration over a recent divorce, but also for the poor internet connection!

Please note: Ronald Fanelli admitted to the murder and the crime is of a very serious nature, so I have chosen to publish his name. Our thoughts are primarily with the dead woman's relatives, but also with the offender's relatives as Ronald probably will have to spend the rest of his life in prison. Even if he is sentenced to death, executions of foreign nationals are very rare in Thailand. Newsstop

dateiconJuly 17, 2010

Water Levels Safe in Bhumibol Dam

As I wrote earlier, it has been very dry in the country in recent months. Now, however, the water in the Bhumibol dam reached a level deemed sufficient for agricultural needs.

Our thoughts: Hurray! Newsstop

Customs finds 117 Elephant Tusks

The Customs at Suvarnabhumi (Thailand's main airport) has seized 117 elephant tusks smuggled from Kenya to Thailand. On the illegal market they are estimated to be worth almost 40 million baht. So far, no arrests have been made.

Our thoughts: It is perhaps not until substantially all the rainforest is gone and there are only few wild animals left that even the majority of humans will understand how we are destroying this planet. Money, greed and power are in control of so many people, even a blind man can see that.

Also, I write about value of the tusks, not about the elephants which has been sacrificed for the greed of unscrupulous people. Newsstop

A Thai elephant

dateiconJuly 16, 2010

5000 arrested in joint operation

Police in China, Singapore, Malaysia and Thailand arrested 5,000 people for illegal betting on the recent World Cup in South Africa. The police raided more than 800 gambling dens, that had handled more than 150 million dollars. Newsstop

dateiconJuly 14, 2010

Swede Arrested for Making 'Ya Ice'

A 29-year-old Swedish citizen living in Rayong has been arrested for having produced and sold crystal meth, known in Thailand as ya ice. He has manufactured the drug in its own laboratory at home. The drugs have since been sold to the U.S. and Europe.

The man is suspected of having earned about three million baht a month from his business. Since the penalties for serious drug offenses are very severe in Thailand, he can probably expect many years in Thai jail.

Ya Ice has become increasingly common in the country and is usually inhaled through a plastic bottle. The drug is highly addictive and has proven to be very harmful to people who use it regularly. Rotting teeth, damaged heart valves, high blood pressure and even heart attack is some of the physical ailments that can affect an user. Newsstop

Crystal meth
CRYSTAL METH - Photo by: Radspunk

The Police Seized 10.000 Handbags

In a raid in Chakrawat area of Bangkok, 10,000 handbags were seized with an estimated value of about 10 million baht. According to the police the bags were either counterfeits, or alternatively, smuggled into the country without being taxed. The shopkeeper was arrested in raid. Newsstop


Ex. Swedish Prisoner on Hunger Strike

Ten years ago, a Swedish citizen, Behnam "Benny" Moafi, was sentenced to 22 years in prison in Thailand. He was accused of extortion and armed robbery. He was, however, released after almost half his sentence, but has always maintained his innocence.

While in prison he studied law and did finally receive a law degree. Still, he demands reparation. Therefore, he began a hunger strike outside the Government building in Bangkok a month ago. He is still dressed in a Thai jail shirt and has chains around the ankles during the demonstration. Newsstop


dateiconJuly 13, 2010

Inappropriately Dressing

Thai female college students should not wear too short skirts or show too much skin. It said Charnwit Thapsuwan, director of the The Office of the Private Education Commission. They have received public complaints about some female students. Newsstop

Note: The woman in the picture below is not directly related to the article.

Thai student in Bangkok

Speed Catamaran to Koh Samui

Lomprayah's speed catamaran will start its operations on the route Donsak (east of Surat Thani) to Koh Samui from the July 24. The travel time is estimated at 45 minutes and can be compared with the car ferries (Raja Ferry and Seatran) which takes about twice the time. Newsstop

A speed catamaran

dateiconJuly 12, 2010

More Passengers at Suvarnabhumi

The number of passengers at Suvarnabhumi International Airport (Bangkok's international airport) increased by 19.5%, the period October 2009-June 2010, compared to the same period last year.

Our thoughts: The airport occupation by PAD (the yellow-shirts) but also the protests by the red-shirts this year has to be taken into consideration when looking at the statistics. However, the increase might be a sign that the Thailand tourism is slowly recovering. Newsstop

Shop Assistant at Bangkok's Airport

dateiconJuly 11, 2010

Water Shortage in Thailand

As I wrote earlier in this blog (June 14), there is severe water shortage in large parts of Thailand and so also on Koh Samui. A few days ago the water was finished at home and we ordered two thousand liters to our private water cistern.

Unfortunately, the tank truck arrived late at night when we were sleeping and I must have forgotten to close the tap (as no water came). In the morning, more than a thousand liters of water had unnecessarily gone down the drain. This is equivalent to seven full bathtubs. Not that clever!

But our water supplier is more than delighted. He earns around 15.000 baht A DAY during this water shortage. That's about fifty times more than a 7-Eleven employee earns in Thailand. Newsstop

dateiconJuly 10, 2010

Hotel Booking Checklist

We have compiled a checklist for you who are about to book a room in Thailand. You'll find this it in the right margin here Newsstop

Amphetamine Dealer Arrested

A 33-year-old local drug dealer has been arrested in Nakhon Si Thammarat, in southeastern Thailand. During the sweep, the police found 4,500 tablets of amphetamines and also a few firearms. The arrested man is suspected of selling the drugs mainly to young people. Newsstop


Our Ratings of Places in Thailand

We have rated some of the most popular tourist destinations in Thailand from our own experience. Different people have different opinions, so the reviews are primarily meant to serve as a small hint for first-time visitor. You'll find the reviews here Newsstop

dateiconJuly 8, 2010

How to Cope with the Heat

For some people, 30-35 degrees Celsius is just too hot to really enjoy. I have just listed some tips about how to manage the heat in Thailand. You'll find these here Newsstop

Briton Jeff Savage released

The British citizen Jeff Savage, 48, is now a free man. He was arrested in May for his comments in an amateur film (which quickly ended up on YouTube) in which he threatened to loot and burn down the giant Central World department store. He was sentenced to three months in prison, but after he pleaded guilty he was released after serving half the time. Newsstop


Free on bail - Left Thailand

The Russian conductor who is accused of molesting a fourteen year old boy was released yesterday on a 300,000 Baht bail. He was also allowed to leave the country and flew out of Thailand to his home country almost right away. He is now required to report back to the court every twelfth day, while awaiting his trial.

Our thoughts: People who steal things of relatively little value can be sentenced to severe prison sentences, while a suspected sex offender (on suspicion of raping a minor) can leave the country after paying bail. It will be interesting to see if he will return to Thailand or are forced to do so.

Personally, I have no clue if he is guilty or not, but due to the serious nature of the offense, I think the handling of the matter is somehow controversial. Perhaps there is an element of international diplomacy involved. Newsstop

dateiconJuly 7, 2010

Conductor Arrested for Sex Crimes

A middle-aged Russian pianist, conductor and composer, was arrested yesterday in Pattaya, accused of sexually abused a fourteen year old Thai boy. The man could face up to twenty years in prison if convicted of the crime.

Please note: Unlike many other websites we often choose not to publish names of persons not convicted in a court. Exceptions can be made if a suspect has confessed to the crime, or if the news can be considered as extremely newsworthy. Newsstop

Koh Phangan - My Personal Gem

Koh Phangan is probably my personal favorite oasis and island in Thailand. It's not that I am considering moving from Koh Samui, (Samui is offering more opportunities in general), but as a scenic, relaxing holiday destination, Koh Phangan is the perfect place.

First, Phangan is located just 30 minutes by boat from where I live on, so if I decide to go there, I am at the hotel or bungalow within a few hours.

Secondly, I like the calm that characterizes Phangan. Or well, if you don't mind the monthly Full Moon Party, which of course is anything but "quiet". The last time I went to the party was in 2000 and to be honest, I liked trance, techno and drum and bass better then. I'm just older.

Third, the island has really stunning beaches. Had Yao, Had Khom, Thong Nai Pan Noi and Had Khuat are my personal favorites along with the small island of Koh Ma on the northwest coast. I've now been to all the island's beaches and actually walked around almost the entire island. I highly recommend it to anyone who is not afraid of steep hills, rolling terrain and blazing sun. You can also rent a bike or kayak. Don't forget to drink plenty of water and watch out for speeding cars and motorbikes. Newsstop

  You'll find further information about Phangan here

Two photos I took yesterday and the day before:

Woman selling ice cream at the pier

Picture taken from Had Khom

dateiconJuly 6, 2010

Protest Against Chevron Drilling

Tomorrow, at 9:30am the last debate will be held about the U.S. oil giant Chevron's plans to drill only 42 kilometers outside the coast of Koh Samui. An anti-drilling demonstration will also be held outside the Tessaban in Nathon (the city hall in Koh Samui) at the same time.

Our thoughts: I will personally attend the rally tomorrow because I think it's crazy to drill in these waters. The risks are obvious, including recent disasters in mind. Chevron and its history is anything but spotless. The company has (with lawsuits) for example made it hard for Toyota to continue to produce efficient electric cars. Newsstop

Safer Sunbathing in Thailand

I've just listed ten tips about sunbathing in Thailand. This is to avoid being sunburned or even suffer from skin diseases if you have fair skin. You'll find the advice in the left margin here Newsstop

dateiconJuly 2, 2010

Five Soldiers Killed in Narathiwat

Five paramilitary soldiers were killed yesterday in Narathiwat province when insurgents detonated a roadside bomb as the soldiers arrived on the scene. Violence in southern Thailand has been going on for many years, and Muslim separatists is believed to be behind the attacks. They demand independence from Thailand.

It's worth mention that these attack has NOT occurred at popular tourist destinations. Those affected by the violence are mostly military personnel, police officers or government employees, but also Buddhist monks and teachers have been subjected to attacks. Newsstop

Getting Tattooed on Your Vacation?

I've just spent an hour writing a about the importance of choosing the right tattoo artist in Thailand and about care instructions for a newly made tattoo. You can find the text in the right margin of this page Newsstop

90-Year-Old Arrested For Sex Crimes

A ninety years of Australian citizens has been arrested for sexual abuse against four underage girls, now between 7-14 years old. The aged man is alleged to have lured children into his house in Doi Saket with candy and money. He's also suspected of having filmed the subsequent assault. Newsstop

dateiconJuly 1, 2010

Cheap and expensive in Thailand?

Today I have written and published a list of what products and services that are cheap, moderate-expensive, and expensive in Thailand, compared to prices in many Western countries.

Of course, I had to generalize and the list is intended to provide a rough picture of the price situation in the country. Newsstop

  Go to the price comparison here

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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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