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Thailand News - Our News Blog




We Deliver News Directly from Thailand



We are based in Thailand and want to offer a neutral news blog that describes current events in the country. We will be careful not to focus on personal opinions but instead provide factual news directly from Thailand, together with comments. The goal is to be fast, simple and accurate.




dateiconAugust 29, 2013



Kratom Removed from Narcotics List?



BANGKOK - The Thai Minister of Justice, Chaikasem Nitisiri, has pushed for the legalization of kratom, which currently is on the list of banned narcotics. The Office of the Narcotics Control Board responded positively to the proposed legalization. Thailand is the only country that classifieds the kratom leaves as illegal narcotics.

The Office of the Narcotics Control Board will be meeting with other authorities and the police next week to discuss whether kratom should be taken off from the list.

The Thai authorities banned kratom in 1943. Some people think it's because they couldn't collect tax on kratom, like they did with opium.

The Justice Minister says that kratom was used as a traditional medicine in the past, adding that he didn't intend to promote the use of kratom, but believed it may distract people from using really harmful drugs, such as methamphetamine (known as ya bah") or crystal methamphetamine (known as "ya ice").

"The caffeine in coffee and in energy drinks is also more addictive than kratom," he added. Newsstop

SOURCE: AFP




dateiconAugust 28, 2013



Two Chinese Dead in Boat Accident



PATTAYA - Earlier today, two Chinese men died and three other tourists were injured when their speedboat engine hit the anchor rope of another boat. The lethal accident occurred in the waters outside Pattaya. Newsstop


Aldhouse Pleads Guilty to Murder



PHUKET - British kick boxer, Lee Aldhouse, nicknamed "Pitbull", has apparently changed his mind. He has now pleaded guilty of murdering a former US Marine during a fight in Phuket, three years ago. Aldhouse now admits that it was him who fatally stabbed the 23-year-old American Dashawn Longfellow.

Aldhouse fled to his home country right after the stabbing and was arrested upon arrival at Heathrow Airport. He was detained in England for almost two years before he become the first British citizen to be extradited to Thailand for more than a century.

The prosecutor informed the media and public that the hearing was expected to start on September 2nd, with three witnesses to take the stand. Aldhouse could face life in prison, under Thai law. Newsstop




dateiconAugust 25, 2013



Finance Minister: Economy is Healthy



BANGKOK - Thailand's Finance Minister Kittiratt Na-Ranong argues that Thailand's economy is healthy. This is despite that international news channels (like BBC) have reported on an ongoing recession.

Kittiratt admits that the economic growth in the second quarter was lower than in the first quarter, but that you need to take a number of factors into consideration when analyzing the numbers. One of the reasons mentioned is that the baht was strong against the dollars in April, which negatively affected the country's export figures. Newsstop




dateiconAugust 24, 2013



Expensive Car Registration Plate



BANGKOK - The car registration plate: "ฆอ-9999" was just sold for 3,533,333 baht at an auction.

One might ask what the associated vehicle costs?! Newsstop




dateiconAugust 22, 2013



Authorities to Close 3 Samet Resorts



RAYONG - Three resort on Koh Samet will be closed and demolished by the authorities (The Department of National Parks, Wildlife and Plant Conservation). The three resorts are: Unseen Resort, Muk Samet and Phloi Samet.

The reason why they are closed is that they were built without permits. The owners will have to choose to tear it down themselves, or to pay for a demolition carried out by the authorities. Koh Samet is a part of Khao Laem Ya National Park.

Our thoughts: It is great that the authorities recognize and correct this. Preserving Thailand's unique environment will require support from "highest authorities". Newsstop


Ice cream trolley
ICE CREAM TROLLEY AT HAT SAI KAEW - Photo by: Jens W, Yenit.com


300 Thai Visa Stickers Stolen



BANGKOK - 300 Thai visa stickers have been stolen from the Royal Thai Embassy in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. Nine travelers have been arrested because they were caught with stolen visas in their passports. Seven of them were arrested at Suvarnabhumi Airport and two in the province of Mukdahan. The police is investigating the matter further. Newsstop




dateiconAugust 14, 2013



Locals Thought Google Car were Spies



PHRAE - A car belonging to the search giant Google was stopped yesterday by the locals in the northern province of Phrae. The reason was that the car has a remarkable camera installed on the roof, in order to take photos for Google Maps. Local residents believed that they were government officials who spied on them because of a controversial dam project in the area.

The Thai driver had to swear in front of a Buddha image that he had not used the car camera in the vicinity. Then they let him go. Newsstop

SOURCE: MTHAI




dateiconAugust 13, 2013



500 Baht for Compulsory Insurance?



BANGKOK - As told here before, The Thai Tourism and Sports Ministry plan to introduce a compulsory insurance for tourists in Thailand. Minister Somsak Pureesrisak says that the insurance would cost about 500 baht per person. Newsstop

SOURCE: THE NATION




dateiconAugust 12, 2013



Many Minors Working in Pattaya Bars



PATTAYA - Officials from Banglamung District Office and the police carried out age checks in bars and pubs in Pattaya, in the early Sunday morning. 37 youngsters turned out to be under 18. Twenty-nine boys and eight girls!

It is illegal to work in the bar environment if you are under eighteen. Police also arrested the bar managers who had employed underage staff. Newsstop

SOURCE: PATTAYA ONE




dateiconAugust 9, 2013



Busted with Child Pornography



BANGKOK - A 62-year-old U.S. citizen, was arrested on Wednesday in an apartment on Sukhumvit Road. The police seized several CDs, which were shown to contain child pornography. Newsstop




dateiconAugust 8, 2013



Arrested with 200 Kilos of Heroin



BANGKOK - A gang of three Taiwanese and one Thai was arrested today on suspicion of serious drug offenses. In a car, belonging to the Thai, police found six suitcases containing large amounts of heroin.

The three Taiwanese would have traveled back to Taiwan this morning, but now they instead are in custody on suspicion of one of the most serious crimes described in the Thai law book. Newsstop




dateiconAugust 6, 2013



Full-Time Beach Cleaners in Phuket



PHUKET - Kamala Beach in Phuket has employed two full-time beach cleaners. They will work nine hours a day, six days a week. They will also recycle some of the debris, such as plastic bottles etc.

Our thoughts: Littered beaches tend to be an annoyance factor among tourists and of course it's not good for the environment. One hopes that other places in Thailand will set an equally good example. Newsstop


Video Showing Ao Prao Cleanup



RAYONG - The video below shows the cleanup of Ao Prao Beach on Koh Samet. It is filmed on August 4th: Newsstop



THE AO PRAO CLEANUP, AUGUST 4TH




dateiconAugust 5, 2013



Breaking News

Summary of the Oil Spill - Part 2



RAYONG - Update number two on the oil spill in the province of Rayong:

• The cleanup work at Ao Prao has continued throughout the last week and the beach now look much more inviting than a week ago. This work has now been completed. Please note that most popular beaches on the island are situated on the east coast and these are NOT affected by the oil.

• The oil company PTT have sent divers to the area to investigate the possible influence on the coral reefs in the area. A spokesman from The Department of National Park, Wildlife and Plant Conservation said that after the cleanup work is finished, they will focus on rehabilitation. The spokesman also said that it is the oil company that will be responsible for this rehabilitation.

• On Saturday, August 10, a cleanup day will be will be organized in Koh Samet. Newsstop




dateiconJuly 30, 2013



Breaking News

Summary of the Oil Spill



RAYONG - Information about the oil spill near the popular island of Koh Samet in Rayong province:

• On Saturday, approximately 50 tons of crude oil leaked out in the Gulf of Thailand from a pipeline belonging to PTT Global Chemical Plc.

• The spill occurred about 30 kilometers southwest of the popular tourist island destination Koh Samet.

• The oil has reached the west coast of Koh Samet Island and the beach Ao Prao (Prao Bay). At least 300 people have participated in the cleanup. Reportedly, about ten tons of oil were removed from the immediate area.

• As of this writing, oil has NOT hit the more visited and popular beaches on the east coast of Koh Samet.

• As of this writing, it appears that the crude oil is heading AWAY from Koh Samet but towards the mainland and the beaches of Rayong.

• Thon Thamrongnawasawat, an expert on marine issues, urges the authorities to exercise caution in the use of dispersants.

• Hair is being collected from hairdressers etc. The hair will be placed in stockings and thrown in the ocean to absorb the oil. Hair has the ability to bind large amounts of it.

• It is estimated that 5.5 million tourists will visit Koh Samet this year. People who make their living from tourism are worried at the moment.

• Thai Marine Department has criticized the PTT Global Chemical Plc because of the spill.

• Our website about Koh Samet (generally) is found here

We will provide more information in the coming days. Newsstop




dateiconJuly 25, 2013



Hotel Donates 100,000 for Turtles



PHUKET - JW Marriott Phuket Resort & Spa has donated 100,000 baht to the Phuket Marine Biological Center (PMBC) and their programs aimed at nurturing injured and sick turtles they encounter.

They will focus their work in the Mai Khao area, where the number of turtles has declined sharply in recent years. This is because of factors such as commercial fishing and the turtles caught in plastic waste. Newsstop

SOURCE: THE PHUKET NEWS




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dateiconJuly 23, 2013



Hotel Fire in Koh Chang



KOH CHANG - A hotel room at Sai Kaew Beach, Koh Chang, caught fire yesterday morning. The fire reportedly started at 7 am on the third floor at Gold Beach Resort. The fire department was called and all guests at the hotel were rescued, before they successfully extinguished the fire. The room where the fire started was completely damaged by fire.

At present, it is suspected that the fire was caused by a short circuit, but this will be further investigated. Newsstop




dateiconJuly 22, 2013



190 Million Baht for CCTV Surveillance



BANGKOK - Thailand's tourist police says that they will invest 190 million baht to install security cameras at five popular tourist locations in the country: Phuket, Pattaya, Koh Samui, Hua Hin and Chiang Mai.

The cameras will be used for law enforcement purposes. Currently there are "only" 800 tourist police officers in the country. Newsstop




dateiconJuly 19, 2013



The New Airport Shuttle in Phuket



PHUKET - After a couple of delays, the first shuttle bus departed from Phuket Airport to Patong, today. Other players (including tuk-tuk drivers) have protested against the airport buses, as they are considered to be threat to their own services.

There were only two (!) passengers on the first tour. They are expected to offer nine outgoing daily tours from the airport and nine in the other direction, from Patong.

Below you can see a daily updated report from The Phuket News. Newsstop



THE FIRST TRIP - Copyright: The Phuket News




dateiconJuly 16, 2013



Another Farang Dies after Balcony Fall



CHIANG MAI - Another farang has died after falling from a balcony in Thailand. This time, the accident occurred in Chiang Mai and the victim was a 21-year-old man from Northern Ireland. He was declared dead early Monday morning.

Our thoughts: I've written it before, but it bears repeating frequently: Do NEVER sit on balcony railings in Thailand! It might be the last thing you do. Accidents are far from rare. Newsstop




dateiconJuly 13, 2013



Bullet-proof Glass Saved Official



CHONBURI - A Thai government official, Paiboon Pansanit, recently escaped an assassination attempt because of bulletproof windows in his Ford. At least seven shots were fired at his car in a parking garage in the province of Chonburi. The incident was recorded by a surveillance camera.

The video below is showing the assassination attempt: Newsstop




THE ASSASSINATION ATTEMPT - Photo by: CCTV




dateiconJuly 11, 2013



Thais Fled from Hong Kong Brothel



PHUKET - Two Thai women have escaped from a brothel in Hong Kong, where they were forced to work against their will. Reportedly, they had been promised 90,000 baht per month to work as massage therapists, but were instead forced into prostitution at the brothel. The women were told that they were not allowed to leave the place before "serving" at least 200 customers. Also Chinese and Russian women were working in the brothel, according to the Thai women.

On July 6, the two women managed to escape and they made ​​their way to the Hong Kong Airport. They had no money so they contacted Pavena Foundation that helped them to contact the authorities. Pavena Foundation is a Thai child and women's rights organization founded by former MP Pavena Hongsakula. Newsstop




dateiconJuly 9, 2013



Campaign Against Shark Fin Soup



PHUKET - This weekend, about 30 local hotels joined a campaign against shark fin soup at Outrigger Laguna Phuket Resort. Although the number of participating hotels only represented a small percentage of the total number of resorts on the island, the organizer hope that more hotels and restaurants will be influenced and exclude shark fin soup from their menus.

Many shark species in Thailand are endangered and they only make up twenty percent of the original numbers. The shark fin soup is a status marker in China and each year over 70 million sharks are killed for the purpose. The fins are cut off and the sharks are thrown back into the ocean where they either drown or bleed to death. Newsstop




dateiconJuly 7, 2013



Breaking News

Taxi Driver Kills Passenger with Sword



BANGKOK - Last night, a taxi driver stabbed an American citizen to death with a sword. The tragic and shocking incident occurred at Sukhumvit Road and according to the arrested driver, an argument and a fight started when the American passenger refused to pay. A press conference will be held later today.

According to media reports, the U.S. citizen was residing in Thailand and worked here. Newsstop


A taxi driving killer
THE DRIVER ATTACKS WITH A SWORD - Photo by: Surveillance camera




dateiconJuly 5, 2013



Farangs Without Visas Arrested



PHUKET - In the past week three people, two Britons and one Canadian, been arrested in Phuket. They are suspected to have been living illegally in the country, as they have not extended their visas at the appropriate manner. The immigration authorities have tracked them with their computer system.

Anyone found to be staying illegally in Thailand are liable to be prosecuted and then deported. Newsstop




dateiconJuly 4, 2013



Largest Rise in Income in Isaan



ISAAN - Northeast Thailand, known as Isaan, is the region with the largest rise in average income in the country. Between 2007 and 2011, the average wages increased by a whopping 40%! This is considerably higher than in the other regions of the country. The economy's growth rate in Isaan is currently twice as high as in Bangkok. Newsstop

SOURCE: FORBES ASIA


Isaan map
OVERLOOKING THE ISAAN REGION - Graphics by: Jens W, Yenit.com




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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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