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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.




dateiconApril 26, 2011



0.7% Unemployment in Thailand



According to the National Statistical Office (NSO), the number of unemployed in Thailand is 268,000 people (in February). That is about 0.7% of the working population and this means that 115 000 more Thais have a job now, compared with a year ago.

In Bangkok, about 1.0% of the population is unemployed. This means that the capital is at top of the (slightly negative) statistics. Newsstop


Stylish source of light
A STYLISH LAMP IN A THAI HOTEL - Photo by: Jens W, Yenit.com




dateiconApril 25, 2011



Father Killed his Two Sons



A family tragedy with a very sad end occurred in the province of Rayong, southeast of Bangkok. A 38-year-old father had an outburst when he worked in a rubber tree plantation and began chasing his wife with his machete.

His wife was injured, but managed to escape to a neighboring house. Then the man instead chose to kill his own sons and then he hanged himself. The police said that the man previously had been aggressive when he was under the influence of drugs. Newsstop

SOURCE: TAN NETWORK




dateiconApril 23, 2011



Breaking News

Eight Soldiers Killed during Clashes



Five Thai and at least three Cambodian soldiers have been killed in border clashes during Friday and Saturday. According to reports, the civilians in the area have been evacuated. Newsstop




dateiconApril 22, 2011



Breaking News

Thailand: Cambodia Attacked Us



Today Thailand and Cambodia clashed again close to Temple Take Muean Tom, near the border of the two countries.

According to Thai sources and Prime Minister Abhisit Vejjajiva, it was the Cambodians who first attacked with automatic fire and artillery. The Thai Foreign Ministry has also published such information on its official website. The statement says that the attack was unprovoked.

Eight Thai soldiers were told to have been injured in the attack. We will update you with more information if the unrest continues. Newsstop


25% Fewer Deaths during Songkran



This year, about 25% fewer people died on the roads during the Songkran celebrations, compared with last year. A total of 271 people died in the traffic this year, while 361 were killed in 2010. Newsstop




dateiconApril 21, 2011



Thai Exports Record High



Thai exports increased by 30.9% compared to the same period last year. In March, goods worth 21.3 billion U.S. dollars were sold to foreign countries.

Thailand exports large quantities of rice, jewelry, rubber and plastic etc. Newsstop


The Turmoil Continues in Puea Thai



The turmoil in the opposition party Puea Thai continues. The former General Chavalit Yongchaiyudh, who was Prime Minister of Thailand 1996-1997, chose to leave the party earlier this week. He justified his decision by saying that he felt unhappy that the Thai monarchy was mentioned in the political debate. Rumors claim that Chavalit disliked that some red shirt leaders had involved the monarchy in their political speeches.

Thaksin Shinawatra expressed his wish that the monarchy should not at all be involved in the political debate.

Also General Jiradej Kotcharat is said to have left the party and it is rumored that some other important members intend to do so, although this is specifically denied by the party. Newsstop




dateiconApril 19, 2011



Topless Dancers are Underage



The three girls who danced topless on a truck bed during Songkran (and became a national issue) are only 13 (!), 15 to 16 years, according the to police.

Our thoughts: Just let's hope that the girls have parents or other adults who can look after them in the future. Newsstop




dateiconApril 18, 2011



Songkran Topless Dance Upsets



In recent days, three Thai teenage girls and six so-called ladyboys have been in the media's focus. The three young women celebrated the traditional Thai New Year by dancing topless on a truck bed on Silom Road in Bangkok. The six katoeys stripped when they celebrated Songkran in the province of Phichit. The young girls were filmed and the video was uploaded on the Internet.

In Thailand it is illegal (for women) to be bare chested in public places and many Thais believe that the dancers have behaved in a way that is immoral and that it is damaging Thailand's reputation as the film was published on the internet. The girls and the katoeys risk a fine of 500 baht, while the person that uploaded the video risk imprisonment and / or heavy fines.

Note: A Katoey (กะเทย) is the same as a "ladyboy" or a transgender (male to female). They are commonly described as "the third sex" in Thailand. Newsstop




dateiconApril 16, 2011



Hangover Cure in Thailand



For those of you who drink alcohol during your holiday, I have some tips that both soothes and is healthy for your body if you had a few glasses too many: Newsstop

  Hangover remedies (see right margin)


Songkran 2011: 188 Deaths so far



According to official figures, 188 people have died and 2786 have been injured on the roads during the first five days of the Songkran celebrations. ten of them have died in Ayutthaya. Newsstop


Throwing water at a bike
EXCELLENT DIRECT HIT - Photo by: Jens W, Yenit.com




dateiconApril 15, 2011



100 000 Methamphetamine Pills Seized



The police raided a drug gang in Chaiprakarn district of Chiang Mai and seized 100 000 methamphetamine pills, seven cell phones and six million baht in cash. Newsstop

SOURCE: TAN NETWORK


Court-martial for Soldier over Shooting



Sergeant Wisut Duongkaew, 27, shot dead a fellow citizen and injured four other Thais in a pub in Phuket early yesterday morning. Some witness statements claim that he acted partly in self-defense after he was beaten with a bottle. However, he used his army pistol, which is not allowed outside the army base.

The sergeant will be handed over to military police for court-martial in the home province of Narathiwat. Newsstop


More Readers - I'll write more



The number of people following this news blog has increased by 40-45% over the past two months. I will now spend at least ten hours a week with this page (including the Swedish-language version).

I am very grateful and I hope to eventually be able to deliver even more recent news, and more focused reflections! Newsstop




dateiconApril 14, 2011



A Picture is Worth a Thousand Words



Here are some pictures I took during the Songkran celebrations yesterday (Songkran is the traditional Thai New Year): Newsstop


Songkran 2011
MIXING WATER AND BABY POWDER - Photo by: Jens W, Yenit.com


Young guys on a truck bed
THE YOUNGER GENERATION - Photo by: Jens W, Yenit.com


Henke gets a shower from his brother
NO ONE IS SAFE DURING THIS DAY - Photo by: Jens W, Yenit.com


A short rest from water throwing
SHORT BREAK FROM WATER THROWING - Photo by: Jens W, Yenit.com


Water is everywhere
FORTUNATELY IT'S HOT OUTSIDE - Photo by: Jens W, Yenit.com


Baby powder is also used
BABY POWDER MIXED WITH WATER - Photo by: Jens W, Yenit.com


The best day of the year?!
HAVING A BREAK FROM SCHOOL - Photo by: Jens W, Yenit.com


Everyone gets wet
WHY DID I SHOWER THIS MORNING? - Photo by: Jens W, Yenit.com


Fewer Accidents during this Songkran



This year the number of fatal accidents during Songkran have declined by almost 50% compared to last year. "So far" should be added, as the Songkran celebrations in Chiang Mai, and other northern cities lasts for many days and even weeks.

Our thoughts: Personally, I saw more police officers in Samui yesterday than I usually do during Songkran and I think it is positive. Newsstop




dateiconApril 14, 2011



Thai Airways: 50% Songkran Discount



Thai Airways cuts fares by 50% on its domestic flights TO Bangkok between April 12 to 14. Between April 16 to 18, tickets are 50 percent off on domestic flights FROM Bangkok.

NOTE: Flights to and from Samui Airport are NOT eligible for these discounts. Newsstop




dateiconApril 11, 2011



Paradorn to Enter Thai Politics



The former tennis star Paradorn Srichaphan, 31, says he is interested in engaging in politics. He has a degree in political science and says that he has been interested in Thai politics for some time.

Paradorn was ranked ninth on the ATP Tour in 2003. Newsstop


Paradorn Srichaphan
PARADORN SRICHAPHAN - Photo by: Unknown


About 40,000 Red Shirts Demonstrated



Approximately 40.000 so called red shirts gathered yesterday in Bangkok to commemorate those who died during last year's riots and clashes between protesters and Thai troops. As usual, the former Prime Minister (and terrorist accused) Thaksin Shinawatra spoke via video link. Many of the red shirts live in northern and northeastern Thailand and some of them consider Thaksin a hero.

The protesters have demanded that the military and the current government must take responsibility for the people that lost their lives during the violent clashes last year. Newsstop




dateiconApril 10, 2011



New Logo and Slogan for Thai.nu



I wasn't that fund of the old Thai.nu logo, so I made a new one yesterday, in a clean design with a warm color, and a little retro. "Lovely Thailand" is the site's slogan: Newsstop

New Thai.nu logotype


Lovely Thailand




dateiconApril 8, 2011



Thailand: No Cluster Bombs Used



Thailand's foreign ministry today said that no cluster bombs were used during the border clashes with Cambodia.

They also stated that the earlier "recognition" that cluster bombs were used was a misunderstanding and that the ammunition was in fact the so called "Dual Purpose Improved Conventional Munitions" (DPICM). Newsstop


Songkran Security Zones - No Drinking



The authorities has set up special "safety zones" for the Songkran celebrations (including water throwing), which kicks off at April 13. There will be 60 such zones in 44 of Thailand's provinces. Within these zones, alcohol consumption or sale of alcohol is not permitted.

Every year, about 2,000 people dies during the Songkran celebrations in Thailand. Most of them in traffic accidents. Songkran is the traditional Thai New Year. Newsstop

SOURCE: THE NATION


Songkran celebration in Koh Samui
SONGKRAN CELEBRATION IN KOH SAMUI - Photo by: Jens W, Yenit.com


A Few Hundred Percent More Visitors



The number of unique visitors reading this news blog has so far ranged from about 100-250 per day.

However, I had not expected the several hundred percent increase during the peak of the flooding in southern Thailand. And since I was on a short vacation (without my computer), there was no report at all here until April 3. I will learn a lesson from this and in the future bring my MacBook when I am on vacation. Newsstop


Many more news blog visitorsvisitors
THE NUMBER OF VISITORS INCREASED SHARPLY ON MARCH 29-30




Thailand news blog logo
Thailand news blog


dateiconApril 7, 2011



At Least 56 Dead in Recent Floods



56 people have officially died so far, as a result of the floods in southern Thailand. About 60% of the farmland in the affected areas have been damaged or destroyed. Newsstop


Economy expected to grow by 4.1%



According to The Asian Development Bank (ADB) the Thai economy is expected to grow by 4.1% in 2011. It is 0.4 percentage points lower than their previous forecast.

The reason for the slightly more pessimistic forecast is assumed to be the result of increased oil prices, the floods in southern Thailand and the consequences of the earthquake and tsunami in Japan. Newsstop


Two Gold Shop Robbers Busted



Two young men from Samut Prakan, 19 and 22 years old, have been arrested on suspicion of two robberies of gold shops in Bangkok. The total value of the stolen jewelry is about two million baht. Newsstop




dateiconApril 6, 2011



33.000 Cars Sold at Motor Show



About 33.000 vehicles have been booked during the Bangkok International Motor Show (held 25 March - April 5). The majority of these are Japanese cars. The most popular car brand was Toyota with 8,000 cars sold, followed by Honda and Nissan.

The Auto Show has attracted 1.9 million visitors in eleven days. Newsstop

  The official site for the event




dateiconApril 4, 2011



4.5 Billion Baht to the Flood Victims



The Cabinet of Thailand has granted 4.5 billion baht in aid for the flood-affected provinces in the south. The government plans to donate 5000 baht to each of the affected families.

I filmed the flooding in Surat Thani a few days ago from an army truck bed. It is made with a cell phone camera so the quality is not the best: Newsstop





The Present Situation in Koh Samui



The provinces of Nakhon Si Thammarat and Surat Thani was hit hardest by last week's storm and subsequent flooding. Since Koh Samui is located in Surat Thani, the rainfall was record high on the island as well. It rained 600 millimeters in two days!

Many shops, resorts and homes have been partly damaged, but the island is not nearly as affected as some districts on the mainland, where people still sit near or on their flooded homes, relying on aid workers in helicopters, throwing out supplies and food.

In Koh Samui people are repairing like never before. People are cleaning, painting and building. The situation is already much better than a couple of days ago.

We should be very thankful that the sun now shines again (for the second day in a row) on the island and its inhabitants and visitors. The Ring Road (Road 4169), is mostly dry by now, but a large cliff has fallen down between Lamai and Chaweng (just south of Chaweng Noi) and it forms a bottleneck in the traffic. Tesco Lotus in Lamai, and some convenience stores throughout the island have been closed for a few days, but is expected to open soon.

The bottom line is that it is currently ok to spend your holiday on the island, but if you have made a hotel reservation in advance, call the hotel and request a status report regarding the rooms and swimming pool etc. Most hotels are ok, but there are some exceptions, particularly in northern Chaweng. Newsstop

  Daily Koh Samui weather reports are found here




dateiconApril 3, 2011



In the Centre of the Flooding



A few days ago me and my wife flew to Surat Thani (after a trip to Vietnam and in Isaan) and was hoping we could get through to Koh Samui via bus and ferry, despite the record breaking rain falls and floods in southern Thailand.

When we flew over Surat Thani, we began to realize how serious the flooding actually was. Sure, we had seen the reports in Thai media, but this was worse than we could have imagined. What previously had been rubber tree plantations and palm oil tree plantations now looked more like lakes. Only the tree tops and the palm tops were sticking out of the water.

Once we landed at Surat Thani International Airport, we soon realized that transportation to Donsak was out of the question. It just wasn't possible because of the flooded roads. However, we were told that there might be military vehicles that would take us to the city center.

In the evening, two army trucks arrived and about 120 people (95% Thais) boarded the army truck beds together with a number of young conscripts in the Royal Thai Army. I don't think I even have to mention that it got crowded. On one of the truck beds, all people had to stand up. My wife spoke to an elderly woman whose husband had died, when he was washed away by waters that morning. Suddenly we realized how small our own "problems" were.

The road to Surat were covered with 50-100 cm high water and after about an hour the power of the stream was so strong that the driver was ordered to turn around and go back. It was simply a risk that the truck could tip over. Along the road we saw hundreds of trucks and cars that simply couldn't get anywhere.

The army vehicle and its passengers rode leisurely back to the airport for an overnight stay on the floor. Fortunately, the airport had the cafe open at night so we could buy Mama Noodles and some water. Nok Air's representatives also gave us some snack! Thanks!

The next morning, it was announced that they would make another attempt to get into the city. Politicians from the province had spent half the night to organize the assistance. Without their involvement, we had probably been sitting on the airport today. After a few hours, five new military trucks arrived and this time they did not get nearly as crowded as at yesterday's evacuation efforts. The vehicles rolled out from the airport and after a few miles of travel we once again become aware of how affected the local population was.

Many homes had been filled with water up to the ceiling. Some cars and motorcycles were completely submerged by water. People had built temporary homes of plywood and particle board to sit on. Desperate dogs wandered around trying to find their owners and houses. But despite this, the people waved to us and made V signs. And despite the obvious misery, I saw no sadness or anger. Even in emergencies, the people smile in Thailand.

This time the military vehicles succeeded to get us all the way to the city, although there were a few passages where the driver seemed to hesitate. I have filmed parts of the trip and will post an edited video here in a few days.

Now I'm back on Samui and it's really nice to sit in my comfortable office chair. Sometimes you need to reflect on how easy life is for some of us. I lost 24 hours and had to sleep on a stone floor. Others lost a family member and/or their homes. Newsstop




dateiconMarch 21, 2011



The Chiang Mai Mystery Deaths



After several mysterious deaths at the Downtown Inn hotel in Chiang Mai, relatives have raised concerns whether the deceased have died of natural causes, which were first reported. So far, seven people have died. The toxicology tests are not yet clear.

We will update you with more information as soon as it is available. Newsstop




dateiconMarch 19, 2011



Italian Arrested for Killing Compatriot



Three days ago we wrote about the Italian citizen Luciano Butti, 61 who was shot dead while driving his motorcycle. Now his Italian business partner has been arrested on suspicion of being the one who planned the murder.

Three Thais were also arrested for being involved in the shooting and another three are being hunted by the police. The Italian man is the only one still claiming his innocence. The motive is supposed to be a dispute about 7-8 million baht. Newsstop




dateiconMarch 18, 2011



She Sold Her 14-Year-Old Daughter



A 29-year-old woman has been arrested in Pattaya on suspicion of having sold her 14-year-old daughter to foreign men for sexual purposes.

The young teenage mother stated that the money would be used to build a bigger house in their home province of Sisaket. The daughter has been sent to a Child Protection Center and the mother is being held pending trial. Newsstop

SOURCE: PATTAYA ONE NEWS


Two Men Arrested with 13 kilos of 'ice'



Two Thai nationals have been arrested in Bangkok with 13 kilograms of crystallized methamphetamine, also known as ya ice.

The two arrested men were traveling in a taxi that was stopped at a police check-point. The taxi driver denies that he is involved. The drugs were found in passengers' backpacks and the two face very severe penalties. Newsstop




dateiconMarch 16, 2011



Suthep wants to Halt Nuclear Program



Suthep Thaugsuban (Deputy Prime Minister and the General Secretary of The Democrats) said today that he no longer wish to proceed with plans for a nuclear program in Thailand. He stated that he did not want that Thai people should risk their lives.

Our thoughts: Nuclear power is certainly an extremely efficient energy source, but hardly risk-free in countries that might be affected by natural disasters, etc. Newsstop


Italian Man Shot Dead in Phuket



An Italian man in his forties was shot dead yesterday night in Phuket when he was traveling on his motorcycle. The initial police investigation showed that the man had been hit by four bullets and the police found 22.100 baht in cash in the man's pocket.

Reportedly, the deceased man owned a small bungalow resort on Koh Phi-Phi.

SOURCE: PHUKET GAZETTE

Our thoughts: It is extremely unusual for tourists and foreigners to be exposed to this type of violence in Thailand. We will update with more information about this specific case when we know more. It feels useless (and even disrespectful) to speculate on possible motives, without knowing the underlying facts. Newsstop




dateiconMarch 15, 2011



No Dangerous Radiation in Thailand



According to experts on radiation and nuclear power, the radiation from the nuclear plant accident in Fukushima poses no threat to people in Thailand.

It is approximately 5000 kilometers between Fukushima and the tourist resorts in southern Thailand.

We will update this information immediately, if the conditions would change. Newsstop




dateiconMarch 14, 2011



50,000 Tonnes of Thai Rice to Japan?



Ministry of Commerce of Thailand has made a request to the Cabinet to send 50,000 tonnes of rice to disaster-stricken Japan. The Thai minister of Commerce, Porntiva Nakasai says that the proposal includes 30 000 tonnes of jasmine rice and 20,000 tonnes of sticky rice.

Our thoughts: Great! Thailand is the world's largest exporter of rice and rice is the staple food in Japan. Japan was also one of the first countries to provide assistance after the Tsunami Disaster in 2004, that hit Thailand hard. Now it's Thailand's turn to help! Newsstop


A lilavadee - Plumeria
A THAI LILAVADEE TO JAPAN - Photo by: Jens W, Yenit.com


Two Killed in Jewelry Store Robbery



A jewelry shop owner and a security guard were killed this morning, in the southern province of Narathiwat. The seven robbers disappeared from the scene with an unknown number of gold jewelry items. Newsstop




dateiconMarch 13, 2011



Body Art Festival in Koh Samui



On March 26 and 27, a Body Painting Festival and competition is held on the island of Koh Samui, in Southeast Thailand. The event takes place between 5pm-11pm, in front of Buddy Oriental Samui Beach Resort, at the northern Lamai Beach.

It is completely free to join the festival, so be sure not to miss it if you are in the area! Newsstop


Body painted female
BODY PAINTING - Artist and Copyright: Dnystwn - Danny Setiawan




dateiconMarch 12, 2011



Feeling Sorry for the Japanese!



Although I am back from a week's vacation (on the sister island, Koh Phangan) I choose to not write about events in Thailand today. I just feel a little uninspired after the terrible tsunami and the nuclear accidents in Japan. My thoughts and prayers goes out to everyone in Japan affected by this.

I'll will write more soon though, maybe tomorrow. Newsstop




dateiconMarch 3, 2011



Thai Film Won Three Awards in USA



The Thai film Mindfulness and Murder (Sop Mai Ngeab or ศพไม่เงียบ in Thai), won three prestigious awards at the International Thriller and Spy Film Festival in Washington. The film won in the following categories:

1. Best Lead Actor - Vitthaya Pansringam
2. Best Director Award - Tom Waller
3. Best Cinematography - Wade Muller

The movie revolves around a Buddhist monk in Thailand who use the skills he acquired as a detective to solve the murder of a youngster in a Buddhist monastery. Drug dealing and religious mysticism are two of the "ingredients" in the film.

Here is a trailer for the film: Newsstop







dateiconMarch 1, 2011



Garbage and Debris in Ao Nang



The popular resort of Ao Nang, located in the province of Krabi, is perceived as dirty by many visitors and local residents. In fact, thirty percent of the tourists say they will not return because of the debris and rubbish.

Our thoughts: Do the right thing and do it now. The tourists will disappear if the feeling of an idyllic place disappears. Nobody wants to stay at beaches that are perceived or used as garbage dumps.

Responsibility is a key issue for the authorities, the entrepreneurs as well as private individuals. If the waste disposal and environmental laws don't work, you'll have to reassess and streamline its management, or simply accept a "lost paradise" and therefore fewer tourists.

The problem is only the tip of the iceberg. The negative impacts that mass tourism leads to have to be taken seriously and environmental crimes (also littering in general) must be dealt with more extensively. The authorities and we, who are working within the tourism industry, have a huge responsibility. Newsstop

SOURCE: TOURISM AUTHORITY OF THAILAND - PHUKET




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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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