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  1. From Khaosod English BANGKOK — A decade ago, when Kindle was on the rise, Kaweewut Wuttiwibhu thought e-reading would spell the end of physical bookshops like his own. But Dasa Book Café still thrives as an established hub of Bangkok book lovers, especially those seeking English reading. “Thais, particularly the younger generations, are reading more English-language books,” co-owner Kaweewut, 45, said Tuesday. “It may be a trend for things analogue.” The charm of Dasa, meaning slave or servant in Sanskrit, is that you can resell the books that you buy. Customers are spoilt for choice by a selection of some 15,000 volumes. Kaweewut believes the demand for English-language books in Bangkok is growing as more Thais learn English from social media. Whatever’s behind the trend, Kaweewut and his business partner, Donald Gilliland, welcome it – it’s good for the shop, which has been open since 2004. Buyers can sell back purchased books at 50 percent of the paid price if they use the money to buy more books at the shop, or at 40 percent of the paid price if they want to keep the cash. Guidebooks can’t be resold. Books can only be resold within six months after the date of purchase, a period that was shortened from a previous rule of one year. Kaweewut explained that some customers handled books mercilessly, and he had to refuse beaten books and books that had clearly been plunged into the sea or a swimming pool. Dasa also carries some titles in French, German, Scandinavian, and Finnish. Prices range from 50 to 3,000 baht, although most books are priced around 200 baht. Used books are usually priced at half the price of new books, Kaweewut explained. Dasa Book Café is open everyday from 10am to 8pm. It is located between Sukhumvit Soi 26 and 28 Continues with photos http://www.khaosodenglish.com/life/2019/08/21/dasa-book-cafe-serving-bangkoks-english-language-bookworms/
  2. reader

    sending money

    May everyone's delivery be happy ones
  3. reader

    sending money

    I think the gogo boy was much wiser to do his shopping with a friend at the brick and mortar outlet than the Jupiter boy who relied solely on the internet.
  4. From The Hanoi Times Runways of Vietnam's two busiest airports degraded, risk closure due to overload The runways of Tan Son Nhat Airport in Ho Chi Minh City and Noi Bai International Airport in Hanoi, the two largest airports in Vietnam, are facing risk of closure due to cracks on their surface and signs of deterioration caused by excessive operations of aircraft, Tuoi Tre News reported. According to ACV Chairman Lai Xuan Thanh, the deteriorated runways of the two airports need recarpetting to ensure the safety of the airplanes, however, due to some entanglements regarding current regulations stipulating the infrastructures are the state properties and the corporation has no competence to conduct the repair. http://www.hanoitimes.vn/investment/2019/08/81E0DAFF/runways-of-vietnam-s-two-busiest-airports-degraded-risk-closure-due-to-overload/
  5. reader

    sending money

    Not to worry. Staffed by farang volunteers, a special window dedicated to undeliverable mail is now available at the Bangkok central post. In the event you are unaware of your actual street address (as is so often the case), the volunteers will ask you for the name of the nearest massage shop and then conduct a Google Earth search. Tips are not accepted but names of particularly good masseurs are appreciated. Please note that this service is only available to foreigners. Locals have already figured this out for themselves.
  6. reader

    sending money

    Agree. You would be doing the people of Thailand a great service if you send your suggestion to the office of the Bangkok City Administration (sorry I don't have the address). Changes in procedures to make the country run more efficiently are welcomed warmly and acted upon quickly, especially if they originate with a farang.
  7. reader

    sending money

    I am not trying to be argumentative. However, the boys that we--me, anyway--meet are aware of the physical location of where they live but they don't acquire possessions on line. I've accompanied my regular guy to two locations when he's shopping for things to send home. The most popular place is, hands down, the Big C. It is extremely popular with Chinese and Vietnamese patrons who stock up on a wide range of products that are (1) cheaper and (2) better quality than they can purchase in their home countries. If they're looking for tools or hardware, it's Home Pro. Guys who live in Thailand (unless your talking middle class or hi-so) probably do the same.
  8. reader

    Follow the money

    Excerpted from Bloomberg Financial Asia’s 20 Richest Families Control $450 Billion The region’s 20 wealthiest clans are now worth more than $450 billion combined, underscoring how the world’s economic growth engine is minting fortunes on an unprecedented scale. Not surprisingly, some of the places spawning these riches are facing widening inequality. Hong Kong, which gave rise to six of the biggest family fortunes, has one of the widest wealth gaps. The street protests that have engulfed the city for months were sparked by fears of eroding freedoms under China but fueled by the divide between the rich and those who struggle to afford housing. Bloomberg’s categorization of family wealth excludes first-generation fortunes such as that of Alibaba Group Holding Ltd.’s Jack Ma, as well as those in the hands of a single heir. That means no families from mainland China make the list, reflecting the country’s relatively recent surge in affluence. President Xi Jinping’s campaign against extravagance has brought down some of the super-rich who were rising a few years ago. Still, many of Asia’s wealthiest clans have Chinese roots, from the Chearavanonts of Thailand to the Hartonos of Indonesia. Asia’s wealthiest also embody the proverb “Rich is the man with no debts.” For the most part, they avoided the credit squeezes of the past few years that ensnared some of their peers, especially in India and China, where tycoons liberally pledge shares in exchange for loans. Bloomberg’s family ranking accounts for such liabilities. Hong Kong, India and Singapore—the setting for the unapologetic blockbuster “Crazy Rich Asians”—have all abolished taxes on wealth or inheritance in recent years. “Asia’s lack of a debate on taxing wealth is as strange as it is harmful,” said Donald Low, a professor at Hong Kong University of Science & Technology, one of the region’s rare wealth-tax advocates. Of course, the mood could change if the budding backlash against Hong Kong’s tycoon-dominated economy intensifies. But for now, Asia’s richest families are riding high. Continues with the list and photos https://www.bloomberg.com/features/richest-families-in-asia
  9. From Bangkok Post Airports of Thailand Plc (AoT) has renewed a long-standing dispute with Central Pattana Plc (CPN) over its new luxury shopping complex by demanding a halt to construction just days before its scheduled launch on Aug 31. AoT president Nitinai Sirismatthakan said on Friday that the agency had ordered work at the Central Village site near Suvarnabhumi airport to stop as the project could pose problems for the airport. The airport operator claimed the 184-rai project could cause traffic congestion on roads to Suvarnabhumi, and lighting in the area could confuse pilots guiding planes to land at the airport. Central Village has been built on a plot rented from the Treasury Department. AoT said it was acting on behalf of the department as an authorised supervisor of the land. https://www.bangkokpost.com/business/1735627/aot-challenges-central-village-project-again
  10. From Nationmultimedia US market a boon for Thai exporters as trade war bites Thailand’s exports to the US rose by double digits in the first seven months of the year, partly due to the ongoing US-China trade war, which is making importers turn to Thailand. Exports to the US accounted for 12.8 per cent of Thailand’s total exports, followed by 11.3 per cent to China from January to July this year, the Commerce Ministry said. Last year, exports to the US accounted for 11.1 per cent of total exports, compared to 12 per cent to China. “The growth of Thai exports to the US in the first seven months is high, partly due to the ongoing trade war and also because Thailand offers diversified products that can meet market demands there,” Pimchanok Vonkorpon, director-general of the Trade Policy and Strategy Office, said. Thailand exports many different kinds of products to the US, such as rubber products, autos and auto parts, steel products, electrical home appliances, frozen food and home decorations, she said, adding that the prospect of the US market looks good overall. The National Economic and Social Development Council also said on August 19 that some foreign investors have started relocating factories from China to Thailand in order to avoid high US tariffs. https://www.nationthailand.com/business/30375162
  11. From Channel News Asia ...from Elvin Ng, Romeo Tan, Desmond Tan and Zoe Tay Elvin Ng and Romeo Tan each spent about four months filming in Taiwan for the drama All Is Well. (Photo: Instagram/Romeotan) What do you do when you’re stationed in Taipei for a couple of months? You eat your way through it, of course. That’s exactly what Singapore actors including Desmond Tan, Romeo Tan and Elvin Ng did when they were filming for the Taiwan-Singapore co-production All Is Well, a new Mandarin drama premiering on Monday (Aug 26). They were there for up to four months at a time, working and, of course, working out their appetites. “I can give you all my bookmarked lists – there are lots!” enthused Romeo, who had the perfect excuse to eat like there was no tomorrow – he was told to put on 10kg for the role. “If I have friends going to Taiwan, I’ll tell them, ‘You need to go to this place for breakfast, then move on for this place for brunch, then go for high tea over here, then go for steamboat at night. If you want more, you can go to the night market late at night. And if you want even more, there’s steamboat until 4am or 5am.’ So, basically, you can eat from morning all the way to the middle of the night.” Sounds like it's time to plan our own trip there, too. Now that these actors know Taipei like the back of their hands, what exactly are all of their must-eat foods in the city? Here are their insider’s recommendations. Continues with recommendations and photos https://cnalifestyle.channelnewsasia.com/travel/best-food-taipei-celebrity-recommendations-11824282
  12. From the Bangkok Post A tale of two cities Old Customs House There is no room for nostalgia in modern Thailand. At least, that's what the prevailing attitude in the capital appears to have been in recent decades, as its rapid development has continued apace. Grand old buildings, temples, villages and other heritage structures have been knocked down to make way for roads, urban rail, high-rises, condominiums and glitzy shopping malls. This has spread far beyond the capital, with towns and cities up and down the country embracing the trappings of modernity. Dazzled by all these new projects, many have forgotten how to appreciate the beauty of traditional forms of architecture. In an attempt to recapture the magic of old Bangkok and to raise awareness of the rich heritage of its old buildings and structures, British photographer and writer Ben Davies is releasing a book titled Vanishing Bangkok: The Changing Face Of The City. Vanishing Bangkok is a collection of black and white photographs shot over the past five years in a large format Linhof film camera. The book's publication will be followed by a photo exhibition, scheduled to take place at River City Bangkok Gallery during March and April of next year. "It's a fairly natural progression on what I've done before, which was looking at the old, changing traditions and ways of life. And it was really brought on by the speed at which Bangkok is changing," said Davies, who has lived in Thailand for almost 20 years. "We're just seeing this incredible transformation with shopping malls and condominiums. [But] rather than photograph that side, I went out and strolled the city looking for the old bits of Bangkok, the 236-year-old building in the city that people think has no history. I wanted to document what was left of this old side of the city." Vanishing Bangkok reveals the classic beauty and rich history of the city. From the photographs of old buildings along the banks of the Chao Phraya River to the teeming alleyways of Chinatown, narrow side streets of Talat Noi, sleepy canals and dilapidated buildings shrouded in antiquity, the book reveals the hidden charm, extraordinary history and diversity of this great city. Inspired by the stunning old architecture in cities like Hanoi, Yangon or Luang Prabang, Davies was driven to see what he could find in Bangkok. He explored the city on foot and by motorbike looking for curiosities in every corner. What he discovered is that, thankfully, there is still an extraordinary amount of the old city left, although much of it is hidden away in small pockets rather than in big areas. Davies believes it is well worth preserving. Bangkok continues to change rapidly. A decade from now, much of the city will be virtually unrecognisable. Many of the old buildings and neighbourhoods featured in the book may, sadly, be consigned to history. Indeed, Davies said that maybe 10 to 15% of the sites he documented have already gone. The Old Customs House, located along the Chao Phraya River between the Mandarin Oriental Hotel and the Royal Orchid Sheraton Hotel, will soon share the same fate. Built in the 1880s, it's one of the city's oldest properties. Continues with many photos https://www.bangkokpost.com/life/social-and-lifestyle/1734079/a-tale-of-two-cities
  13. From Coconuts Bangkok A proposal to extend closing time from midnight to 4am in some areas must be studied before it can go any further, the prime minister said today. Word that the tourism ministry had proposed pushing hours back to early morning to generate revenue created a buzz today, but Prime Minister Prayuth Chan-ocha quickly put the brakes on things. Prayuth said the idea needs to be examined and relevant agencies such as the police or Interior Ministry consulted. He said he was concerned about the safety and well-being of party-goers. Tourist Minister Pipat Ratchakitprakan said the idea was to stimulate the sputtering economy. He believes at least 25% more could be earned by keeping clubs and bars open another four more hours. Pipat’s proposal would it would only apply in certain zoned areas. Patpong, RCA and a portion of Ratchada are the only three parts of Bangkok officially zoned as nightlife districts. He also mentioned Patong Beach on Phuket and Ao Nang in Krabi. Pipat said he had not discussed the proposal directly with the prime minister. Closing times were moved up to the current midnight and 1am, depending on the type of establishment, during the administration of Thaksin Shinawatra to please social conservatives in his governing coalition. Continues at https://coconuts.co/bangkok/news/clubs-and-bars-open-till-4am-proposal-must-be-studied-pm-says/
  14. From the NY Times Inequality in Life, and Death When things go wrong, those in power often promise to make it right. But do they? In this series, The Times investigates to see if those promises were kept. BANGKOK — The Thai woman was riding on a motorcycle on her way to work when a pickup truck sideswiped her on a rural stretch of asphalt in northeastern Thailand. The truck’s driver was an off-duty police officer. He was drunk. Orathai Chanhom, the motorcyclist, was catapulted off her bike and killed almost instantly in the crash. The officer who struck her still has his police job. His driver’s license was not taken away. A court declined to sentence him to prison. In Thailand, one of the world’s most unequal societies, even roads have a rigid hierarchy, with the poor far more likely to be killed in accidents than the well-off and well-connected. And there are many deaths: Thailand had the world’s second-highest rate of road fatalities per capita, surpassed only by war-afflicted, lawless Libya, according to a 2015 report from the World Health Organization. When it comes to per-capita motorcycle deaths, the country is No. 1. “I never thought about road deaths until this happened to my mother,” said Chularat Chanhom, Ms. Orathai’s adult daughter. “I had no idea it was such a big problem in Thailand.” The government vowed at a United Nations forum in 2015 to halve the number of road traffic deaths by 2020. With less than one year to go before the deadline, however, Thailand is a long way from fulfilling that promise, its roads still ranking among the world’s 10 most dangerous, with more than 20,000 preventable fatalities a year. The country has seen a small dip in road deaths since 2015, and Thailand has in place many of the necessary laws to make its roads safer. But what the government has not addressed is the country’s vast gap in wealth, which is the core issue that not only makes its roads so deadly, but has also split the country into two bitterly divided political camps: Thailand’s haves and have-nots. Thailand, named the most unequal country of the 40 major economies surveyed last year by Credit Suisse, has what might be the world’s most toxic combination for traffic safety. Unlike poorer countries, its roads are well paved and made for speed, and the cars driven by the rich and its growing middle class tend to be new and fast. But many Thai families can afford only a single scooter or motorcycle, and high-quality helmets are a luxury for many, whatever the law says about their being mandatory to wear. In accidents on the country’s crowded roads, it’s a devastating mismatch when an air-conditioned SUV collides with a two-wheeler, scattering the detritus of death across the asphalt. And the aftermath of such accidents are a common, macabre sight on Thai thoroughfares: a shredded tire, a mangled frame of steel, a bloody plastic flip-flop. Continues with photos https://www.nytimes.com/2019/08/19/world/asia/thailand-inequality-road-fatalities.html
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