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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, 2011

Thailand Invites Election Observers

Thailand's election commission has invited representatives from the EU and ten countries to observe Sunday's elections in Thailand.

The countries are Australia, Bangladesh, Bhutan, India, Japan, Malaysia, Maldives, Nepal, Switzerland and South Korea. Newsstop

Army Chief Rejects Coup Rumors

Thailand's army chief General Prayut Chan-ocha has assured that the army will not stage a military coup after Sunday's election.

His statement comes after a rumor that the army would stage a coup if Pheu Thai would not manage to form a government. Newsstop

dateiconJune 28, 2011

Eight Dead in Road Accident

This morning two trucks collided in Doi Saket district, in Chiang Mai. Eight passengers were killed and three others were injured in the accident.

One of the trucks tried to overtake, but could not return to the lane and collided violently with the other truck. Newsstop

UNESCO asks Thailand to Reconsider

After Thailand indicated that they will leave the World Heritage Convention, UNESCO sent a letter to the Prime Minister of Thailand, Abhisit Vejjajiva.

UNESCO wants Thailand to reconsider the decision to withdraw from the negotiations. UNESCO's Director-General Irina Bokova said that she felt it was important that Thailand participated as an active party. Newsstop

UNESCO logo symbol
DETAIL FROM UNESCO'S FLAG - Graphic by: Unesco

dateiconJune 27, 2011

Withdrawal from UNESCO's WHC

Thailand has announced that it will leave the UNESCO's World Heritage Convention. This is because WHC has been considering to approve Cambodia's plan regarding the 900 year old Hindu temple Preah Vihear.

The dispute over the temple was intensified in July 2008 and has resulted in a number of border disputes between the countries. Newsstop

Preah Vihear
THE LOCATION OF PREAH VIHEAR - Graphics by: World Factbook

dateiconJune 25, 2011

Burned Six Tons of Narcotics

On Friday the Thai authorities burned up 22 million methamphetamine pills, 248 kilograms of heroin, 23 kilograms of crystallized methamphetamine (ice), 8 kilograms of ecstasy, 7 kilograms of cocaine, 72 kilograms of opium, 56 kilograms of codeine and 3418 kilograms of marijuana.

The drugs were burned at very high temperatures (above 850 degrees Celsius) which eliminates the risk of harmful air pollutants. Newsstop

Anti drog-kampanj

dateiconJune 24, 2011

Two Dead after Bomb Attacks

Two civilians were killed and 12 soldiers were injured by three bombs in the province of Narathiwat today. Islamic insurgents are thought to be behind the terror attacks. Newsstop


dateiconJune 22, 2011

Died at Hotel - Probably not E. coli

Public Health Ministry of Thailand has started an investigation because a 66-year-old British man died in a hotel room in the northeastern province of Udon Thani, after suffering from severe diarrhea for two days. The man arrived in Thailand on June 5 and had acute diarrhea for less than two weeks.

Medical staff have taken samples and sent them to Udon Thani Medical Science Centre for laboratory tests for the European strain of E. Coli. The result is expected to be released within two days.

The preliminary results show that the cause of his death was not Escherichia coli O104, which is the deadly European strain. Instead, the authorities think that the man may have fallen ill after eating at a restaurant in Udon Thani. Newsstop


dateiconJune 21, 2011

Less Than Two Weeks to the Election

In twelve days, the Thai people will decide whether the Democrats, with Prime Minister Abhisit at the helm, will continue to have the mandate to govern the country, or if a new government will take over.

Opinion polls suggest that the election could be very close, even if the opposition party Pheu Thai, with Yingluck Shinawatra at the helm, have shown slightly better results. Thailand is very much a politically divided country and this national election is regarded as particularly important and crucial for the country and its future development.

The Democrats have wide support from the middle and upper class as well as in southern Thailand. Pheu Thai, have most of their supporters in the north and northeast. The party has strong support among farmers and other citizens with relatively low incomes. Many of them believe that Thaksin Shinawatra, who now lives in exile, was the first politician who took them seriously. Critics argue that Thaksin is a populist and his former passion for the low income group mostly were intended to get supporters and votes.

Bangkok is very much a politically divided capital, with about as many supporters in both camps mentioned, but also a great support for many of the smaller parties that also run for election.

From today we will report regularly about the election and as usual, mix news with analysis. There is no doubt that Thailand is facing a crucial election. Newsstop

dateiconJune 13, 2011

Funny Thai Commercials

Many Thai commercials are well produced and entertaining. Here are five that I like personally (via YouTube): Newsstop

dateiconJune 10, 2011

Thai Dengue Vaccine Promising

A researcher at Mahidol University confirm that their attempts to develop a dengue vaccine looks promising.

This is considered as the world's first dengue vaccine. After being tested on animals and considered safe, 4000 children were vaccinated. The vaccine appears to be effective on all four serotypes of the disease. Newsstop


E. Coli Bacteria Found in Avocado

Thai health authorities confirm that they have found E. coli bacteria in avocados imported from Spain. They urge consumers to avoid fresh vegetables from countries in the northern hemisphere.

It is still unclear if it is the same strain as the dangerous EHEC bacteria, which hit Germany. Newsstop

dateiconJune 6, 2011

Yingluck Shinawatra more Popular

According to a poll conducted by the Assumption University Research Centre, Yingluck Shinawatra's popularity has risen recently. 2210 people in 17 provinces participated in the survey and it is the third of its kind.

It should, however, be added that Yingluck got rather low approval rating in the first of the three polls, and that Abhisit still has a higher rating. Newsstop

Yingluck Shinawatra

Signatures to Petition His Majesty

One relatively unknown group, "People Army With Hope to Return Mandate to the King", has collected 104,136 signatures. These are in support of the idea that His Majesty The King would have the mandate to govern the country instead of politicians.

A representative of the group, Fahngai Asoke, argued that today's politicians are corrupt and cause suffering to the people. Newsstop


dateiconJune 3, 2011

5-Year Old Girl Sexually Assaulted

A five-year old girl is supposed to have been raped repeatedly by a 22-year-old man in a playroom at a department store in Sriracha.

Her mother used to leave the girl with the staff of the play corner before she went shopping, but the girl began to show strong reluctance to return there and the mother also found blood stains on the young girl's underwear.

The little girl has stated that of the play corner's 22-year-old son molested her. He denies the crime. Newsstop

Counterfeit Goods Seized

The Thai Customs have seized 40.000 items of counterfeit goods, with an estimated value of 25 million baht. The lot contains watches, mobile phone parts and men's underwear.

Other prohibited goods were in also found in the lot. Newsstop


dateiconJune 2, 2011

Tourists with Tattoos ARE Welcome

Culture Minister Niphit Intarasombat today clarified that tourists who already have religious tattoos are welcome in Thailand.

The Minister stated that foreign media have misunderstood his message. Newsstop


dateiconJune 1, 2011

Ban on Religious Tattoos for Farangs?

The Thai Culture Ministry has expressed its dissatisfaction that many tourists tattoo themselves with religious themes and figures in Thailand. For example Lord Buddha, but also symbols and icons from other religions.

Culture Minister Niphit Intharasombat said it is an alarming trend that tourists have religious symbols and figures on their bodies and he does not believe that their tattoos symbolize a genuine belief, but is more of a fashion trend.

As a result, it was decided that an injunction should be sent to the governors of all Thai provinces to prohibit foreigners to tattoo themselves with religious symbols.

The Commissioner for Human Rights, Wasana Panich, do not really agree, but believe it is every individual's right to tattoo themselves with religious symbols. However, he believes that tattoos on the "wrong" places "may be inappropriate because they are perceived as insulting to some believers. An example would be a Buddha tattoo on the ankle, etc. Newsstop

dateiconMay 31, 2011

Some Pre-election Turmoil

The Thai police said that 151 election candidates have sought police protection. These candidates are now guarded by two policemen each, around the clock.

Hundreds of election posters have been defaced and there have been reports of attempts to buy votes in north-eastern Thailand.

General elections will be held in Thailand on Sunday, July 3, 2011. Newsstop

dateiconMay 28, 2011

Many in Bangkok Live Unhealthy Lives

In a survey of more than 1000 Bangkok citizens, 49.2% stated that they do not eat three meals a day. 52.1% said they don't sleep more than seven hours a night. 32.4% said they have never undergone a medical examination and 22.1% stated that they have a chronic illness. Newsstop


Our thoughts: Even the Thai population start to suffer from illnesses such as type 2 diabetes and various types of heart diseases. Sugar addiction, too much starch, alcohol, pollution, smoking, stress, lack of exercise and unhealthy fats are among the reasons, just as in the West. Lifestyle diseases is now rather common also in nations that previously were referred to as developing countries.

I think if people were aware of how their lifestyle actually can destroy their health, we would get very different results in this kind of surveys. Unfortunately, it often requires a lengthy downward trend in a society before the majority realize the existing problem and that it also might affect them as individuals.

Many farang (foreigners) living in Thailand also adopt a rather dangerous lifestyle, with high consumption of alcohol, tobacco dependence and without getting their health checked. Many don't even have a health insurance. The safety awareness is left in their home countries.

dateiconMay 27, 2011

Arrested for Insulting the Monarchy

A 54-year-old U.S. citizen has been arrested in Nakhon Ratchasima, on suspicion of lèse majesté. This means that he is jailed for insulting the Thai Royal Family.

The man has translated articles on his blog, which is considered as offensive to the monarchy and he has also published a link to a book that is banned in Thailand.

He is originally from Thailand and he lived in the country until he was 35, when he moved to the United States. The reason that he is in Thailand again is said to be due to medical reasons. Newsstop

dateiconMay 26, 2011

Canvasser's Home Shot at with M16

A Canvasser for the Democrat Party (Phak Prachathipat) had his home shot at with an assault rifle, probably a M16. The incident took place in the district of Bueng Kum in Bangkok.

Currently, we have no more information about this incident. Newsstop

18% More European Tourists this Year

According to Tourism Authority of Thailand (TAT), 18% more Europeans visited Thailand the first four months of this year, compared with the same period in 2010.

Russian nationals account for the largest increase. Newsstop


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Thailand news blog

dateiconMay 25, 2011

Automated Passport Checks

Bangkok's international airport, Suvarnabhumi Airport, is to be equipped with 16 machines that can automatically check passengers' passports. The goal is to solve the problem of long queues at the immigration counters.

The equipment is estimated to cost over 76 million baht and is assumed to be operational later this year. Newsstop


Vishnu at Suvarnabhumi

dateiconMay 21, 2011

Blog Holiday for Four Days

I will go to Koh Samet for a few days to combine work and vacation. However, I will return to Koh Samui in four days. Newsstop

dateiconMay 20, 2011

Four Militants Killed in Yala Province

Four militant separatists were shot dead in a gun battle with Thai security forces this morning. The men were wanted and the police says that they did not surrender when the government forces arrived. Instead, a fifteen minute firefight followed in which the four men were killed.

Police then found small arms and assault rifles at the site. The shooting took place in the province of Yala, one of the country's southernmost provinces, bordering Malaysia.

Militant Islamists have for a conducted an armed struggle for independence in the area. Terror attacks against government employees, Buddhist monks and government buildings are fairly common. Newsstop

The Yala province in southernmost Thailand

dateiconMay 18, 2011

Thai Army: No Problems with Yingluck

The Thai military says they will have no problem working for Yingluck Shinawatra and the Pheu Thai Party, if they win the election in early July.

The army spokesman, Colonel Sansern Kaewkamnerd, points out that military officers are government officials and therefore prepared to work for the government that is elected by the Thai people. Newsstop


dateiconMay 17, 2011

More than 1000 Policemen at Rally

One of the leaders of UDD (the red shirts), Thida Thavornseth, said today that they will hold a rally at Ratchaprasong (Bangkok) on Thursday. This is to commemorate the 91 people who were killed a year ago at this very spot.

Police said that over a thousand policemen will be deployed to Ratchaprasong to maintain order. Newsstop

dateiconMay 16, 2011

Thaksin's Sister might be New PM

Thaksin's youngest sister, Yingluck Shinawatra, could be Thailand's first female prime minister. She is the main candidate of the opposition party Pheu Thai. The election will be held at July 3rd and it is expected to be a close call.

Our thoughts: Thaksin himself describes his sister as a clone of himself. You might ask yourself whether to be impressed or intimidated. Newsstop

dateiconMay 15, 2011

43 Killers Added to National Blacklist

The police have added 43 people on a list of Thai hit men. A total of 112 suspected professional killers are now listed.

The deputy national police commissioner Panupong Singhara na Ayutthaya said that the update of the list was a preventive measure in the effort to counter possible violence before the upcoming elections.

A reward ranging from 50-100,000 baht will be paid to whoever provides information that results in someone on the list is arrested. Newsstop

My coffee mug
MY GIANT COFFEE MUG - Photo by: Jens W,

dateiconMay 12, 2011

Swiss Nabbed with 4 Kilos of Cocaine

A 47-year-old Swiss national has been arrested at Phuket Airport. He had four kilograms of cocaine in his luggage, originally from Bolivia.

The man has lived in Thailand for about four years and he told the police that he would be compensated with 200,000 baht for taking the bag to Thailand. Instead, he now risks the death penalty, or more likely, to spend virtually the rest of his life behind bars. Newsstop

Cheaper to Travel with Airport Rail Link

It will be cheaper to go with the Airport Rail Link to and from Suvarnabhumi Airport. A single ticket will cost 90 baht instead of 150 baht and a return ticket will go off at 150 baht instead of 300 baht.

The discount will apply from June 1 until December 31st, 2011. Newsstop

dateiconMay 9, 2011

Thai Election is Expected to be Close

General elections will be held in July 3. It is expected to be very evenly between the ruling party Phak Prachathipat (Democrat Party) and the opposition Pheu Thai Party (Phak Thai Phuea).

We will post more on this important election later on. Newsstop

dateiconMay 8, 2011

Did the Guests Die from Chlorpyrifos?

As mentioned earlier, there have been several unexplained deaths at the Downtown Inn hotel in Chiang Mai. Now it seems that the conundrum can be resolved. The pesticide chlorpyrifos has been found in the body of Sarah Carter. Sarah was only 23 years when she died during a holiday in Northern Thailand.

Chlorpyrifos is used for killing bed bugs and other pests. One theory is that too much of the substance has been used during pest control. Newsstop

Sarah Carter
SARAH CARTER DIED AT THE AGE OF 23 - Photo by: Private

dateiconMay 7, 2011

iPad 2 Sold like Hotcakes

Yesterday the sale of the iPad 2 began in Bangkok and the demand was much greater than the supply. The first lot sold out in minutes. Newsstop

HRH Princess Donates 920 Kg of Gold

HRH Princess Chulabhorn gives 920.5 kg of gold to the Thai Central Bank, as a donation to the recently deceased monk Luang Mahabua.

Ajahn Maha Bua, as he was often called, was one of the best known Thai Buddhist monks and he was a resident of the Udonthani province, in northeastern Thailand.

The total amount of gold donated to him is 13,000 kilos! This is equivalent to 19,000,000,000 baht (or 19 billion baht). It is intended that the money will benefit the Thai people in the future. Newsstop

Ajarn Mahabua

Luangta Mahabua

dateiconMay 6, 2011

Abhisit: Parliament to be Dissolved

Prime Minister Abhisit Vejjajiva has announced that Thailand's parliament will be dissolved to make room for the general election. Abhisit has not indicated a date for the elections, but has hinted that it could happen in late June or in early July. Newsstop

dateiconMay 5, 2011

Young Children Watch Soap Opera

The popular Thai soap opera Dok Som See Tong (meaning: "The golden orange flower") the beautiful actress Chompoo Araya, is also popular among very young viewers. It has been shown that as much as 21% of the audience is under 13 years.

Politicians and other adults have questioned this because the programs often show loud family quarrels, and it has also been suggested that the series might encourage promiscuity. Newsstop

The front cover of Cosmopolitan Magazine
CHOMPOO ARAYA IS ON THE COVER - Photo by: Cosmopolitan

dateiconMay 4, 2011

Taekwondo Gold for Thailand

Thai lightweight Rangsiya Nisaisom won the gold medal in the Taekwondo World Championships in South Korea today (arranged by World Taekwondo Federation - WTF). She won convincingly against Marina Sumic, from Croatia, in the final.

Our thoughts: Congratulations for this outstanding achievement! It is the first Thai gold medal ever in a world taekwondo championship. Newsstop

dateiconMay 3, 2011

Thailand Back on Notorious List

Thailand is once again on the Priority Watch List (PWL). This is because the country is considered to not sufficiently has succeeded in stopping the manufacture and sale of pirated goods.

The list is updated by the United States Trade Representative (USTR), a U.S. government agency that was founded in 1962. Newsstop

Damaged Schools to be Repaired

Some schools have been damaged in the provinces of Surin, Si Saket and Burinam and will be repaired. The border conflict between Thailand and Cambodia has subsided, but a total of 26 schools have served as temporary homes for 24.000 people who have fled the conflict. Newsstop


dateiconMay 2, 2011

Tightened Security at U.S. Embassy

Because of the news that U.S. Navy SEALs killed Osama bin Laden yesterday, the security has tightened at many American embassies around the world, and also in Bangkok. This means that the embassy will now be monitored around the clock by police. Newsstop

Bin Laden in Falun, Sweden, 1971

Yoghurt with beans and corn

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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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