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.
December 30, 2011
The Sunshine Makes us Healthier
Media often write about cancer risks associated with sun exposure, but they often "forget" to provide information about the obvious advantages with the UV rays. They are by far the best source to give the body the vital vitamin D, which according to some research reports may protect against a number of diseases.
Sunscreen stops the absorption of the vitamin D almost completely. Therefore, it is recommended to wait about 15 minutes before applying the sunscreen. (children should be protected from the sun all the time).
Research reports claim that lack of vitamin D may increase the risk of suffering from depression, some types of cancer and MS, etc.
The sun is your friend, but moderate sun exposure is preferable, just as it is with many other things in life.
SUNBATHE - BUT DO IT WISELY - Photo by: Jens W, Yenit.com
December 28, 2011
Our Hotel Tip: Mid Budget on Koh Tao
Sensi Paradise Beach Resort is found near Mae Haad Beach at eastern Koh Tao. The rooms are individually designed to maximize the comfort factor. This is one of the most popular mid-range accommodation options on Koh Tao and it consists of more than 40 cozy wooden bungalows in a beautiful surrounding environment.
As you may know, we recommend only hotels that have received very good average of its guests and Sensi Paradise Beach Resort is no exception.
Read more or book Sensi Paradise Beach Resort
Train from Surat Thani Collided with Car
An express train collided with a pickup car this afternoon in Pranburi, south of Hua Hin. The first car in the train derailed and overturned in the accident. The train was en route from Surat Thani to Bangkok.
One person died and 124 were injured, including a number of foreign tourists.
December 26, 2011
We are Back as Normal on Wednesday
I am having a Christmas holiday (as you probably already have noticed), but in two days I'll be back with more Thailand news, tips on accommodation and other odds and ends from the "Empire of Silk and Coconuts".
Please come back in a few days!
Read more or book Lanta Castaway Resort
MMA Fighter Hunted by Police in Phuket
The American 27-year-old mixed martial arts fighter Junie Browning is wanted in Phuket after a very violent bar fight. During the quarrel several people were injured (including Browning himself) so badly that they were taken to hospital.
The argument started at a bar in Karon and reportedly a part of weapons such as bottles, glasses and knives were used. Then the violent fight continued at Phuket Hospital (!)
Browning, wrote this on his Facebook status after the fight:
"Wow what a [expletive] weekend, "" Some [expletive] ******* and about 10 of his friends started a fight with me. I guess just to test a "UFC fighter" on this [expletive] little bar in Patong, Thailand. I got a beer bottle and a glass smashed against my head, then to make it all better, I was stabbed hard by some crazy Thai [expletive]. "Positively enough, I managed to crack some cheek bones, at least one pair of jaws, and I left some unconscious bodies lying on the ground before I had a blackout from blood the loss and obviously must be revived in the ambulance. So, how was your weekend?"
The post was later deleted from his Facebook page.
The police in Phuket is now searching for Browning and the Immigration Police have been contacted in order to avoid that he manages to escape from the island.
Browning was one of the participants in the reality show "The Ultimate Fighter", but has not made a particularly eye-catching career in MMA. He has lost his last four MMA fights, including one against Reza "Mad Dog" Madadi, who defeated him in Sweden.
SOURCE: PHUKET GAZETTE
December 15, 2011
Train Crashed into Cars - Several Injured
At least ten people were been injured, of them six seriously, when a train rammed nine cars in Bangkok yesterday. According to the driver misjudged the distance and braked too late, although he had a red flag.
Our Hotel Tip: Mid Budget in Koh Lanta
Lanta Castaway Resort is located on Phra Ae. This beach is located in the northwestern part of the island and is ideal for those who want a relaxed holiday in a great (but still a mid-range) accommodation. You are also able to book family rooms for up to four people. Not many resorts have this excellent so good guest reviews and ratings as Lanta Castaway Resort.
More information can be found through the link below:
December 8, 2011
Floods will Cost 500 million Euro?
The insurance group Munich Re said on Thursday that the costs for this year's floods in Thailand will be about EUR 500 million (approximately $ 671 million).
However, they were careful to point out that it's still impossible to estimate how much the final bill will. It is still difficult to estimate the cost of the damage in the industrial areas around Bangkok.
2,5 Years in Prison for Lese-majesty
A criminal court today sentenced the American citizen Lerpong Wichai Khammat (aka Joe Gordon) for a Lese-majeste offense to 2.5 years in prison.
He is sentenced for having translated excerpts from a book that is banned in Thailand, and then publishing the content on the Internet.
The First Pardoned Prisoners Released
During The King's birthday, three days ago, it was proclaimed that approximately 26.000 prisoners will be freed from Thai prisons. This is due to a royal pardon.
Today about twelve thousand inmates were released today and a large number of prisoners are to be released at December 18.
December 7, 2011
Bus Crashes in Northern Thailand
A double-decker bus crashed in northern Thailand yesterday, during a trip from Chiang Mai to Bangkok. Eight people were reportedly killed and 49 were injured, including 20 seriously. According to the authorities, no foreigners were among the passengers.
Police say they believe the driver did fall asleep before the bus crashed into the wall at a gas station. Fortunately, it "missed" the petrol pumps, which could have caused a disaster. The driver was also killed in the accident.
December 5, 2011
HM King of Thailand turns 84
Today at lunchtime, HM The King Bhumibol Adulyadej and Queen Sirikit went from the Siriraj Hospital to the Grand Palace (พระบรมมหาราชวัง) in a Volkswagen van. The King is celebrating his 84th birthday today and thousands of people were standing along the roads. The procession included the Crown Prince and other members from the Royal Family.
Thai.nu hope that the King will have a very enjoyable birthday! We also would like to congratulate all dads, as it is Father's Day in Thailand today.
BHUMIBOL ADULYADEJ WITH HIS MOTHER IN 1929 - Photo by: Unknown
December 3, 2011
Thaksin on His Way Back to Thailand?
Many people in Thailand believe that the former Prime Minister Thaksin Shinawatra will return to Thailand in the near future. The Foreign Minister Surapong Tovichakchaikul have indicated that they are preparing a passport to him as a "New Year's gift." Thaksin has lived in exile since the bloodless coup in 2006. He has spent much of the time in Dubai.
November 30, 2011
Thai Companies that I Like
I like these Thai brands / firms and they help me to make my wallet thinner:
Tipco - Produces really delicious fruit and vegetable juices that are available "everywhere". Many flavors and variations. Web site
Mc Jeans - Nice quality jeans and other clothes at affordable prices. They started their production in 1975. I like locally produced stuff. Web site
Bumrungrad - First class medical, health and dental care in central Bangkok. Very good service, but it comes with a price. Web site
Major Cineplex - Great cinemas with excellent seats. A ticket costs (from) about 120 baht (2011). "Honeymoon-seats" are available in the back. Web site
Major Bowl Hit - Affordable Disco Bowling and other entertainment. You are also able to order beer, other drinks and snacks. Web site
Twins - Muay Thai and boxing equipment made with high quality. My latest bag gloves looks new after half a year of frequent use. Web site
Black Canyon - Good coffee, simple food and snacks with affordable prices. When you order coffee, small cakes and a sip of tea are included in the price. Web site
Krungsri - A bank with decent service (subject to local variations), and many ATMs available around the country. Web site
Logo cavalcade below. I have noticed the matching color scheme, except for one of the logos:
November 28, 2011
Fewer Tourists to Thailand this Year
The Tourism Authority of Thailand (TAT) estimates that Thailand can expect 400,000-750,000 fewer tourists than expected this year, due to the recent floods in the country. This would mean 16-19 billion baht in lost revenue.
Domestic tourism is also expected to decline sharply this year.
Our thoughts: I personally believe that the struggling economy in Europe and the U.S. also is a major contributor to the decrease.
November 19, 2011
Foreign Offices Changes Travel Advice
Many foreign ministries do NOT any longer urge their citizens to avoid traveling to Bangkok and the provinces affected by floods in recent months. However, travelers should exercise some caution if they are in areas where there still is water from the flooding. Avoid wading in the flood if possible. And if you do, wash your feet and legs thoroughly with soap afterwards.
PLEASE NOTE! None of Thailand's islands or popular beach resorts have been hit by the floods.
November 17, 2011
Latest News on the Floods (part 20)
• U.S. Secretary of State, Hillary Clinton, this morning said that the crew of the warship USS Lassen will help to assist Thailand. The crew will primarily assist in repairing the second largest airport, Don Muang. Clinton stated that the government will assist the team with up to ten million dollars. The US has several important military-strategic interests in Thailand.
• UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon praises Thailand for its assistance to the economically underprivileged people during the floods in the country. Not least the fact that poor citizens are treated medically without being indebted.
• Central Bangkok (Siam, Sukhumvit, Pratunam, Silom, etc.) have not been affected by the floods. Tourists can sleep well in their hotel rooms.
• Many residents in Pathum Thani are angry because the authorities have raised bag embankments to protect the air force base at Don Muang. Yesterday a large number of local residents removed many of the heavy bags. This meant that the water flowed freely into the air base. Today, about 200 policemen are deployed to guard the area.
November 14, 2011
Latest News on the Floods (part 19)
• The Pollution Control Department (PCD) are exchanging garbage with food, such as egg and rice. A person who has collected 20 plastic bottles can exchange these for two kilograms of uncooked rice. A simply brilliant idea and an important initiative!
• The water levels continues to decline in Bangkok. Many previously flooded areas and roads are more or less dry. One such example is the vicinity of the Jatujak Market.
• The express boats on the Chao Phraya River will not begin operating before November 21. This is because of the high water levels in the river.
• Unfortunately, at least 562 people have lost their lives during the last months floods in the country. Our thoughts are with all the families affected.
November 13, 2011
Regarding Recent Travel Advice
All the flooded provinces are located north of Bangkok and the popular beach resorts and islands in Thailand are located south of Bangkok. None of these "tourist destinations" are affected by the floods. Also the airport (Suvarnabhumi Airport) is operating as normal.
In addition, many of the provinces that had previously been flooded are recovering and the water is declining everywhere. There have been minor food shortages also at some tourist destinations, but now it is almost back to normal. We and our friends around the south of Thailand have no problem to eat the same food that we usually do.
We would like to provide information directly from Thailand, as a contrast to media's spectacular (and sometimes even misleading) headlines.
November 11, 2011
Latest News on the Floods (part 18)
• Swiss experts said yesterday that they don't think the central areas of Bangkok will be flooded. And if it would be, the water levels will be relatively low, maximum 30 centimeters high.
• The water levels are lowering in many of the districts of the capital. Bangkok's governor Sukhumbhand Paribatra yesterday said that the water levels are declining in both the eastern and western parts of the city. He also stated that the water is no longer pressing from the north. This is obviously very good news! However, many canals are still flooded and the number of flooded streets in Bangkok's inner city have probably increased in recent days.
• One phenomenon that has struck has struck many foreign observers and tourists is that so many of the flood-affected Thais are showing a positive mood and even "happy faces", despite the serious situation. Their possessions and homes might be more or less destroyed, but we see mostly calm people, even with a positive attitude. And why not?! The situation hardly improves by tears and anger. I think we have much to learn from the Thai mentality. Perhaps more than they have to learn from us.
• Did you celebrate Loy Krathong yesterday? We hope that you had a great time! We also hope that all those affected by the floods in Thailand had a good evening with their loved ones.
November 9, 2011
What is Currently Closed in Bangkok?
Here you are able to see what is open and what is closed in Bangkok. Click on the symbols to view the status. Blue indicates opened. Red indicates closed.
View Bangkok Flood Map for Tourists in a larger map
Latest News on the Floods (part 17)
• Happily, the situation is now improving quite rapidly in northern, northeastern and central Thailand. But Bangkok and its surrounding areas will be the last to suffer from the floods.
• Unfortunately, the situation in Bangkok is far from stable. The water has now reached Chatuchak and Din Daeng (a district near Lumpini). Din Daeng is situated just north of Ratchathewi District, which is located north of Watthana District, where many of the most popular hotels and department stores are found. In plain language, this means that central Bangkok now is seriously at risk of flooding. However, it is important to point out that the authorities is giving priority to keep the central parts of the city dry. It is unlikely that the flooding will become as widespread and "serious" there, as in some of the city's outskirts. We will keep you updated.
• The closest flooding is currently seven kilometers away from Suvarnabhumi Airport. Yesterday, representatives of the airport assured that it will not be affected by the floods. As we have mentioned earlier, Suvarnabhumi is equipped with highly potent pump system and it is also surrounded by a 3.5 meter high wall. Many leading politicians and representatives of the tourism industry has made it clear that the airport has the highest priority.
• The Bangkok Metropolitan Police have announced that anyone caught looting during the floods, will face twice as harsh sentences, compared to if they had committed the equivalent crime under "normal conditions".
November 7, 2011
Latest News on the Floods (part 16)
• Reports now suggest that Rama II Road (in Bangkok) will be completely flooded in the near future. There is simply too much water coming from the north.
• China offers 225 extra water pumps to help Thailand in these days of crisis. These will replace existing pumps that are working at high pressure, 24/7. The existing pumps each have a capacity to pump about two cubic meters of water per second.
• At least we have some good news today. The water has started to decline in several provinces, such as Uthai Thani and Pathum Thani, both located north of Bangkok. Residents are cleaning up their neighborhoods and some have begun to renovate their water-damaged homes.
• At least 527 people have died as a result of flooding in recent months, including 28 people in the capital. The most common causes of death are drowning followed by landslides. A number of people have also lost their lives due to electrocution.
November 3, 2011
Latest News on the Floods (part 15)
• The subway is still in operation in Bangkok. In fact, all 18 stations are open. Despite the fact that parts of Ratchadapisek Road is flooded.
• One fifth of Bangkok is now flooded and about 700,000 homes have been affected in the city and its suburbs. However, the central areas and Suvarnabhumi Airport are still dry.
• There is some risk that the bus terminal Mochit (at Chatuchak) may be moved temporarily to Suvarnabhumi Airport. This is because of flooded streets in the vicinity.
• The zoo and amusement park Safari World will be closed tomorrow as a result of flooding in the area.
November 1, 2011
Grief Mixed with Hope
Unfortunately, it seems that about 11 million rai (1 rai = 1600 square meters) of agricultural land is (temporarily) destroyed because of the floods. Furthermore, 13 million farm animals are missing.
But there is hope in the darkness:
In particular Nakhon Sawan most of the water has now receded and now the residents moved out en masse to clean up the dirty city.
Thais (and others) have donated many millions to the victims in the north. The money has actually helped many in need to get food and fresh water.
People have risked their own safety when they have saved unknown people and animals. There are probably several thousand cases of heroism that never will be highlighted in the media.
Thousands of unpaid people (including foreign tourists) have worked as volunteers to help the ones in need.
Many local politicians and government officials have worked long hours these weeks and prioritized the floods, to coordinate rescue operations etc.
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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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