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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.




dateiconOctober 31, 2011



Bus Terminal Temporarily Closed



Bangkok's Southern Bus Terminal was closed tonight due to temporary flooding in the vicinity. The water prevents the bus services to function normally. A temporary "bus station" has been established at Holland Beer Hall on Rama 2 Road. We'll keep our fingers crossed that the "original" terminal will open again soon! Newsstop


Breaking News

Latest News on the Floods (part 14)



• The water in Ayutthaya is sinking away slowly and it will probably be totally gone within a month. The province has been particularly badly affected and many people have had major damage to their homes and property. Some have also lost relatives.

• Prime minister Yingluck Shinawatra today said that the situation in Bangkok is now more stable than last week and that the threat of a flooded capital seems to have decreased significantly. She also said that it will take at least three months to build up the affected areas again.

• The famous tourist street Khao San Road has escaped the floods, although the Chao Phraya River is situated nearby.

• Bangkok's deputy governor Thirachon Manomaipibul today said today that 22 districts in Thailand seems to be able to escape the floods. They opened the floodgates in some canals and this dramatically improved the situation in the city. It is said that they have managed to drain ten million cubic meters of water to Bang Pakong river. Newsstop




dateiconOctober 30, 2011



Bangkok Flooding - Year 1942



There has been substantial flooding in the capital of Thailand before, but would you not agree that it somehow seemed "nicer" then than now?! Newsstop



BANGKOK FLOODS - ALMOST 70 YEARS AGO




dateiconOctober 29, 2011



Breaking News

Latest News on the Floods (part 13)



• For once, we are happy to be able to bring you some good news in these hard times. - The water levels in the Chao Phraya River is now slightly lower than yesterday. Thousands of people have contributed to it. A tribute to everyone involved! We are also thinking of all the victims who are forced to leave their flooded homes and are now living in collection centers under very primitive conditions.

• Many supermarkets and hypermarkets in Thailand have a shortage of food and water, due to lack of delivery. This is basically affecting the whole country. Shops and supermarkets are trying to find alternative distributors and delivery options. We will monitor the situation and update with more information, later on.

• 279 gas stations in Thailand are kept closed due to flooding. Most of them are found in Pathum Thani (84 stations) and Ayutthaya (66 stations). These two provinces have been hit particularly hard by the water. According to authorities, there is currently no acute shortage of oil or gasoline in the country.

• The Southern Railway Line (from Bangkok) is reported to operate again. This "southern route" operates Hua Hin and Surat Thani (among other places). The situation can change very quickly, so if you are going by train, we urge you to contact Hualampong (Bangkok's Railway station) or a Thai travel agent to verify that everything is ok.

More information will be added tomorrow. Newsstop




dateiconOctober 28, 2011



Breaking News

Latest News on the Floods (part 12)



• Laos donates 192,000 bottles of water to Thailand. Two of the companies behind this noble and generous action are Beer Lao Co Ltd and Dao Ruang Co. Ltd. Thank you!

• Bangkok's central areas and business districts are not flooded by now. However, they might be this weekend or the week ahead, so we advise you NOT to visit Bangkok unless absolutely necessary. Suvarnabhumi Airport is still not affected by the floods.

• Many Bangkok citizens are escaping the floods and this has made the traffic situation more or less chaotic in and around the city. A total of 15 roads have been closed north and west of Bangkok. Military trucks have been deployed to rescue people in distress.

• The State Railway of Thailand (SRT) have announced that the Southern Route (from Bangkok) temporarily is down. The reason is that parts of the tracks are under water just south of Bangkok. Rail traffic to the north is currently not affected. We will keep you updated when the situation changes.

We will update this news blog with more information this weekend. Newsstop




dateiconOctober 26, 2011



Breaking News

Latest News on the Floods (part 11)



• Close to 10,000 factories and industries have been damaged by the floods in Thailand. You don't have to be an economist to understand the enormous costs of this situation.

• According to reports, The Chatuchak Market will be closed this weekend. Bangkok's governor will hold a press conference on the situation in the capital, at 8 pm tonight.

• Many Bangkok citizens are (temporarily) fleeing the city. A five-day public holiday has been declared and many domestic flights (for certain destinations) are fully booked right now.

• The water levels on the streets outside the Grand Palace in Bangkok, is at the time of writing, 5-10 cm high. Grand Palace is located relatively close to the Chao Phraya River that winds through Bangkok.

I will update with more information soon. Newsstop


Breaking News

The Situation in Thailand's Capital



It is now more or less clear that some key parts of the capital city will be flooded. There is simply too much water coming from the north. If you can, you should probably try to avoid Bangkok this weekend. However, Suvarnabhumi Airport is fully operational and it is functioning as normal.

A few hours ago, the prime minister Yingluck Shinawatra said that in case of a worst case scenario situation, the central business districts of Bangkok will be affected by water levels from 10 cm up to 1.5 meters, depending on the area. She also said that the most important factor is the ability of the barriers to keep the water away from downtown Bangkok. Hundreds of thousands of cubic meters of water are putting the pressure on the barriers. Newsstop

Make a donation to those affected




dateiconOctober 24, 2011



Spare a Thought for Those Affected



For those of us not directly affected by the floods, it is obviously very difficult to imagine how the affected families feel. In the province of Ayutthaya, the situation is catastrophic for many residents. Many houses and cars are completely filled with water and the rice harvest has been ruined. Our thoughts are with all those affected, especially those who are underprivileged and poor. Newsstop

Make a donation to those affected




dateiconOctober 23, 2011



Breaking News

Latest News on the Floods (part 10)



• The water in Bangkok's outskirts is expected to rise around 4 pm today. People close to the barriers in the 27 areas that we mentioned earlier, have been warned.

• It is rumored that a very large number of crocodiles is to be found in some flooded areas of the country, as three crocodile farms have been flooded. Some source have mentioned 300,000 crocodiles, while others have dismissed it as excessive.

• The road to Bangkok airport (Suvarnabhumi) is still dry as usual. There are no flooding in this area at the moment.

• The Flood Relief Operation Center - FROC, has been criticized because some people think their warnings to the public have not been sufficiently clear and that they might have risked causing panic instead of offering necessary and constructive advices.

I will continue to update regularly. Newsstop




dateiconOctober 22, 2011



Breaking News

Latest News on the Floods (part 9)



• Some areas in Bangkok are now getting affected by the flooding. The water level in the Chao Phraya river (which winds through the capital) has increased dramatically and at the time of writing, it's only about 10 cm left before the water reaches the edge of the barriers. Bangkok's mayor Sukhumbhand Paribatra has urged residents of 27 communities along the river to evacuate. However, the center of Bangkok is NOT affected for now.

• Some residents have hoarded water and food despite authorities' call not to. It's a little ironic that those who followed these requests are those who risk being without this, at least for the moment. The authorities have promised to provide the residents with more food and water in the near future. Businessmen in the capital are stacking sandbags outside their stores, silicon is no longer available at HomePro and motorists are trying to find safe places for their vehicles. A mild sense of panic is setting in in the capital.

• The EU has decided to donate ten million Euros to Thailand because of the flooding. Thank you!

• 356 people have died so far as a result of the floods and two people are missing. 28 provinces (out of 76) are affected, but the provinces in the south are NOT affected.

Further information will be published soon. Newsstop




dateiconOctober 21, 2011



Breaking News

Latest News on the Floods (part 8)



• This morning, Yingluck Shinawatra called on the residents in Bangkok to move their belongings to higher ground as a precaution. This is because the authorities will try to ease the pressure and let the water flow more freely in the capital's canals and giant drainage systems.

• UN criticizes the Thai government and the involved authorities' inability to cooperate. Noeleen Heyzer, from UN ESCAP, points out that the main weakness is the abundance of organizations dealing with water management in Thailand. She also pointed out that the eight authorities involved need to cooperate.

• Prime minister Yingluck Shinawatra seems fully aware of the international criticism and calls on all concerned authorities to unite and jointly combat the huge problem.

• Sport stadiums in 28 provinces have been damaged by the water. Some are completely full of water and might be seriously damaged.

Due to the deteriorating situation, we will keep you informed if something important occurs. I understand if you're getting bored of just reading about the flooding. However, I will just focus on it as long as the situation is considered to be critical. Newsstop




dateiconOctober 20, 2011



Breaking News

Latest News on the Floods (part 7)



• Yingluck Shinawatra now call on the authorities in Bangkok to open all the dams in order to help to lead the water masses to the ocean. This is of course a very risky decision, because the central parts of the city could be flooded. Among other things, four or more canals are to be used. We'll keep our fingers crossed!

• The water in particular Ayutthaya starts to smell worse and every day the risk of disease transmission increases. So-called banana boats have been sent there to help the local population, but the the taxi boat owners are upset and believe that they are losing revenue because of this. A total of 16 districts in the province are affected by the water masses.

• Japanese investors and businesses wants Thailand to speed up work to mitigate the effects of the floods. Several Japanese-owned factories in Thailand have been forced to temporarily cease production and the water has also caused substantial property damage.

• I'm getting repetitive, but I would again point out that the tourist destinations in the south are NOT affected.

Due to the deteriorating situation, we will update with more information within 12 hours. Newsstop


Breaking News

Latest News on the Floods (part 6)



• The situation is unfortunately worse now in many of Bangkok's suburbs. In the surrounding provinces of Pathum Thani, Samut Prakan, Nonthaburi and Nakhon Pathom the water level is now 50 centimeters on the streets. Many residential areas and industrial areas have been badly affected and hundreds of cars are submerged in water. So far, 320 people have died as a result of the rain and floods.

• The Expressway Authority of Thailand have offered car owners to park their cars at nine locations in the capital. The cost of damaged and destroyed vehicles will be huge.

• Prime Yingluck Shinawatra now says that parts of Bangkok can not be saved from the water. She says that they will have have to lead the water through some suburbs to the Gulf of Siam. Governor Sukumpan Boripat says he remains convinced that the water can be controlled so the central parts of the city will not be affected.

• Residents of Bangkok are urged to NOT stock up groceries, but only buy what they need, short-term.

Due to the deteriorating situation, we will get back with more details during the day. Newsstop




dateiconOctober 18, 2011



Latest News on the Floods (part 5)



• Deputy Prime Minister Chalerm Yoobumrung has ordered the police to protect vulnerable areas to prevent looting and other criminal activities. Some residents in the evacuation areas have refused to leave their homes because they are afraid of burglary and looting.

• Hospitals in Bangkok have been asked to reserve at least five percent of their beds for people affected by the floods.

• The Airports of Thailand (AoT), which is responsible for some of the largest airports in the country, says that Suvarnabhumi Airport will NOT be affected by the floods. The airport is surrounded by a 3.5 meter high wall that protects the airport from the water.

• Lots of garbage and waste are floating around in the water in Navanakorn and other cities and villages affected by the floods. This increases the risk of disease transmission in these areas. Newsstop




dateiconOctober 17, 2011



Latest News on the Floods (part 4)



• Bangkok's mayor Sukhumbhand Paribatra says that the capital cannot yet be considered as completely safe. So far, only 81 people have been evacuated in the capital, but the situation remains critical in some suburbs. However, the center of city is considered as secured and safe. Again, we need to inform you that NONE of the popular tourist destinations in the south (including Phuket, Koh Samui, Krabi, Pattaya, Koh Chang, Koh Samet, Koh Phangan, etc.) have been affected by the floods.

• Nearly 2,000 Thai temples have been affected or damaged by the water. Unfortunately, many of these are historic and important temples, such as in Ayutthaya. Estimates suggest that it will cost many hundreds of millions of baht to restore them. About 20,000 monks are also affected.

• Health officials says that nearly 100,000 people suffer from stress or even mental problems caused by the water chaos in the country. More than a thousand need urgent care. The Department of Mental Health will collect data from the affected provinces and districts, in order to be able to offer adequate help to those in need.

• There is a shortage of chicken in many grocery stores and markets in the country due to the floods. Also the price of chicken has risen significantly in many places. Many chicken farmers have been hit hard and many birds have died. Newsstop




dateiconOctober 14, 2011



Latest News on the Floods (part 3)



• Thailand's economy is expected to grow by 3.1 to 3.5% this year. This is according to market analysts Frost & Sullivan who previously predicted an economic growth of 4%. The deterioration in growth is largely a direct result of the flooding in the country.

• Thailand's finance minister says that he believes that the costs of the floods may be higher than the previous estimate of 60-90 billion baht.

• Authorities say they don't believe that Bangkok will be flooded, but this weekend will be crucial. It has been raining a lot in the capital, but so far the water is no real problem. However, the water levels are high in many canals in Bangkok.

• Germany donates 1.7 million baht to help those affected by floods in Thailand. Newsstop




dateiconOctober 13, 2011



Latest News on the Floods (part 2)



• The authorities are now warning the citizens in northern Bangkok for high water (up to one meter in some places) because of the floods. This applies to the areas of Saimai, Rangsit, Klong Luang, and Lamlukka. Those who live in one-storey buildings should consider to move temporarily. The warning does not apply to the center of the capital.

• Residents in Pathum Thani are urged to move to higher land after a dam burst.The province (and city) of Pathum Thani is situated just north of Bangkok.

• According to the latest weather forecasts, it may rain a lot the coming week in Isaan (northeastern Thailand) and in the central parts of the country. This might further aggravate the flood crises.

• Also animals are affected by the floods. Many dogs, cats and cattle have died and are floating around in the water, which obviously increases the risk of diseases. Many animal lovers have organized rescue operations to save stranded animals. Newsstop




dateiconOctober 11, 2011



Latest News on the Floods



• About one hundred crocodiles have escaped from a crocodile farm in central Thailand. Fortunately, they are considered to be less aggressive than wild crocodiles and also more scared of humans.

• The Thai Cabinet has granted two billion baht in order to evacuate people affected by the water.

• Many villagers in the province of Ayutthaya are completely isolated and are reported to need immediate help.

• Generous Thais have donated record amounts to their countrymen affected by the floods, through various fundraisers. Newsstop




dateiconOctober 10, 2011



30 Provinces Affected by the Water



30 provinces, predominantly in northern Thailand, have been hit hard by the floods. So far, 269 people have been confirmed as dead and four are missing. Evacuation centers have been established in strategic locations.

Also the material damage is great in many places. A single example is the car plant in Ayutthaya where hundreds of newly built Honda cars are buried in water.

Weather forecasts suggest that Bangkok might be affected by floods next week. We will update you regularly.

NOTE: At present the tourist destinations in the south are unaffected (Phuket, Krabi, Koh Samui, Hua Hin, Pattaya, Koh Phangan, Koh Tao, Koh Samet, Koh Chang, Koh Lipe, etc.) Newsstop




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dateiconOctober 8, 2011



Initially Sentenced to 146 Years



A 26-year-old Thai woman posted ads on the net where she proclaimed that she had wildly popular Blythe Dolls dolls at a very reasonable price. However, the doll collectors paid, but no Blythe Dolls showed up in their mailboxes. It was simply a case of fraud.

The woman was arrested and initially sentenced to 146 years in prison. However, the sentence was converted to 20 years but she also will have to pay back more than 20 million baht to the people she cheated! The business idea was not so brilliant after all. Newsstop

SOURCE: THE NATION


Blythe doll
A BLYTHE DOLL - Photo by: Asian Designers




dateiconOctober 7, 2011



Our Hotel Tip: Mid Budget in Samui



Promtsuk Buri is one of my favorite resorts in Koh Samui. I live in a house and not in a hotel, but I have several friends who have stayed there during their holiday and I often pass through the area. This small hotel is situated north of Lamai next to a small but cozy beach called Ao Tongtakian (or "Silver Beach").

The reasons that I (and many of my friends) like this place are:

1. The Location - In the middle of Ao Tong Takian
2. The Bungalows - Well built and "the right size"
3. The Area - Taken care of admirably well
4. The Rates - Relatively affordable

Promtsuk Buri has also got very good reviews from visitors in our hotel reservation service. However, there is an obvious disadvantage, the resort has no pool at the present time. Newsstop

Read more or book Promtsuk Buri here


Silver Beach
AO TONG TAKIAN JUST BEFORE DUSK - Photo by: Jens W, Yenit.com


252 Dead by the the Recent Floods



As a result of the recent flooding in Thailand, the death toll has now risen to 252. In addition, three people are missing. The Ministry of Defense will now send an additional 8000 soldiers to the affected areas. Newsstop

A map showing the extent of the flooding:







dateiconOctober 4, 2011



Facebook Prevented Suicide?



A 35-year-old woman in Pattaya wrote on her Facebook page that she intended to take her own life. A friend (and obvious a hero) called the police, who managed to get into the woman's apartment on Naklua Road. She had consumed a large dose of Valium, but was taken to hospital. Neighbors say that she often quarreled with her foreign husband, but that he had left Thailand three days earlier. Newsstop

SOURCE: PATTAYA ONE




dateiconOctober 3, 2011



Thai Economy Expected to Weaken



According to a poll conducted by The Bangkok University Poll, leading economic experts believe that the Thai economy will weaken in the near future. It is primarily the private sector (including the tourism industry) that are expected to experience a decline. Newsstop

SOURCE: NATIONAL NEWS BUREAU OF THAILAND


Yingluck Cancels Twitter Account



PM Yingluck Shinawatra has decided to stop updating her Twitter micro-blog for now. Her account is temporarily down and the authorities are looking for the person who managed to hack the account.

Yingluck described the attack as a "violation of people's personal rights". Newsstop


Yingliuck's Twitter account hacked




dateiconOctober 2, 2011



Yingluck's Twitter Account Hacked



Many of those who follow Prime Yingluck Shinawatra's twittering were probably surprised or even shocked this morning. The latest posts (written in Thai) were in fact really "self-critical" and questioned her own competence. The final tweet (loosely translated): "If you can not protect your own Twitter, how can you protect this country?".

During the late evening, the account was still in the wrong hands, but it was closed at 11pm was closed, at least temporarily. Newsstop




dateiconOctober 1, 2011



More than 24.000 Receive Higher Pay



24.419 Thai workers will get a salary increase, starting today, because of the promised increase in the minimum wage to 300 baht per day. This represents a total of 23.9 million baht per day. Newsstop

SOURCE: THE NATION




dateiconSeptember 30, 2011



IKEA Opening Soon - Catalog Out



Yesterday I passed IKEA Bangna, or what will soon be IKEA's first store in Thailand, as the construction workers still are working. The future furniture store is scheduled to open on November 3 this year and it is located only six kilometers from Suvarnabhumi Airport, next to Bangna-Trad Road.

The department store will be enormous (as usual), or 40.000 square meters. IKEA catalogs were handed out at Siam Square in Bangkok.

Our thoughts: "The marketing war" has begun. It will be interesting to see how other furniture store chains in Thailand such as Index, Winner, SB etc will do to meet the new competition in Bangkok from the Swedish giant. Personally, I think IKEA will be a success even in Thailand, not least among the urban middle class, partly because it's growing rapidly in Bangkok and the surrounding areas. Newsstop

IKEA's Thai website (in English)


A video of the area before the construction started:



THE LOCATION OF IKEA, BEFORE THE CONSTRUCTION STARTED




dateiconSeptember 29, 2011



Kohsamui.org - 6 Million Visits



Our most popular website, Kohsamui.org, had its sixth millionth visit yesterday. The site was started as a hobby project in 1998, but is today one of the most visited sites on a single destination in Thailand. 250,000 hotel nights so far have been booked through the site since the hotel reservation service was introduced, almost ten years ago. Newsstop

Visit Kohsamui.org




dateiconSeptember 27, 2011



Water Shortages on Thai Islands



On many thai islands water shortages can be significant during dry periods. The problem is in fact so serious that many households periodically might be without running water.

Golf courses and hotels with many or large pools requires millions of liters of water each year and the more golf courses and luxury hotels that are built, the more serious the problem might be.

You can personally do a lot of water saving during your Thailand Holiday:

• Use towels and linen for an extra day
• Use the shower instead of the bathtub
• Close the tap while brushing your teeth
• Support environmentally friendly businesses


Your contribution is important, but also local entrepreneurs, politicians and hotel owners have a great responsibility to conserve the vital fluid of H2O, which we unfortunately tend to take for granted. Newsstop



dateiconSeptember 23, 2011



At least 136 Dead in Floods



At least 136 people have died in floods in Thailand that started in late July. A total of 23 provinces and more than 400,000 households have been affected. Newsstop




dateiconSeptember 19, 2011



Six Pack Instead of Beer Belly



Traditional Muay Thai (Thaiboxing in Thai) smells of lineaments, old boxing gloves and sweat. The training tempo is high and if you want to become a professional fighter, complete devotion is required. This means no more late nights at the clubs and your eating habits may be changed if you happen to be overweight.

In most camps (Thai boxing clubs) the boxers train twice a day, but some devoted fighters are doing three sessions. However, "hobby performers" and some beginners usually do just a few workouts a week.

Usually the training session begins with running a few miles on the highway. Then the boxers do rope skipping and shadow boxing, followed by the important target mitt training. This means that the coach holds the hard "pillows" that the student strikes, knees, elbows and kicks on for a number of rounds. Quite often rounded with lots of fast round kick to improve the student's speed, strength and endurance. Sparring, sit ups and pushups usually end the workout, and those who are not tired after that either has a condition of a world-class marathon runner, either the coach has been too "nice".

Most camps accept foreign students nowadays. Prices vary greatly but 2000-3000 baht a month is not unusual in tourist destinations. The number of camps are enormous and the tourist usually have no problem to find somewhere to train with some expert coaching.

Do you prefer a six-pack instead of a beer belly after your long vacation? Give Thaiboxing a try! You do not have to be in top shape when you start. Also entirely untrained people can become good boxers if they give it a real try. You'll get friends as well, perhaps for life. Newsstop




dateiconSeptember 18, 2011



Our Hotel Tip: Mid Budget in Bangkok



In my twenties, I stayed on the cheap backpacker places in the Banglamphu area when I visited the Thai capital. However, ten years ago, I started searching for accommodation in the Silom and lower Sukhumvit areas.

For about five years ago "discovered" the small hotel Aspen Suites, located on Sukhumvit Soi 2, and I really liked it. The rooms are relatively large and admirably clean, equipped with free internet access and large modern television sets and a small kitchen with full size refrigerators. The breakfast is maybe not a great culinary sensation, but more than ok for a hotel in this price range.

I like to exercise and the hotel gym is small, but it's enough for my needs when I want to sweat. The hotel's location is ideal for me. A quiet area, but only a few hundred meters from the intensity of Sukhumvit Road. The hotel staff is usually very helpful and courteous.

Are there any drawbacks? Well, of course. The pool is minimal and the sun beds are few. Moreover, the pool area is often shaded because the facade obscures the sun's rays. But overall, In my opinion, Aspen Suites is one of the most affordable mid-range hotels in Bangkok. Newsstop

Read more or book Aspen Suites here




dateiconSeptember 5, 2011



30 Million Tourists in 2015?



Thailand's Tourism and Sports Minister Chumpol Silpa-Archa has stated the goal of 30 million tourists in Thailand by 2015. This would double the current number! 2011-2012 goes by the slogan "Miracle Thailand" and the Tourism Authority of Thailand (TAT) has applied for eight billion baht for a campaign to further promote tourism.

Our thoughts: It's ok to have ambitious goals, but to double it in four years? Well, we'll see... Newsstop




dateiconSeptember 4, 2011



UK Killer Extradited to Thailand?



The British citizen Lee Aldhouse is expected to be extradited to Thailand on suspicion of murder of an American marine soldier in Phuket last year. After the murder Lee fled to the UK via Cambodia, but was arrested at Heathrow Airport.

Thailand has confirmed that the death penalty will not be imposed, which was a requirement for Britain to agree to the extradition. 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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