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  1. Exactly what my Viet friend does when he returns from a border run. I especially value these moments together.
  2. UPDATE: The Vietnamese Embassy in Thailand has confirmed that the dead included five Vietnamese nationals. Friends of the young man (cited in the OP) who work in the Silom area were planning to gather with the family at the Bangkok Police Hospital this morning before his body is transported to Ha Tinh Province in Vietnam for the funeral.
  3. Guess I didn't do a adequate job of explaining why I bumped this thread. But it was assuredly not to compete with or substitute for the other thread about soi Twilight. It was to demonstrate that that well over a year ago that members began speculating on the future of the soi and its many venues. As I read back over the seven pages posts, I was impressed by the scores of members who participated. Even before the first page of entries was filled, Patpong 2 had been identified as suitable alternate location along with Soi 4. It seems that members had a good sense of how the next 12 months or so might actually unfold. They proved pretty sage in their thinking I don't believe that anyone should feel threatened because more than one thread is running about the same topic. And I agree that it sensible to place new posts about Twilight in the other thread going forward. But that should not diminish the contributions members made earlier before the Soi Twilight Rumors thread came on line a year later. And I hardly think that my calling attention to the original thread constitutes a folly, election day or not.
  4. The actual duration of the trip, including layover time in Cambodia and at Thai immigration point, is closer to 14 hours. The vans leave BKK about midnight to 1a.m. and don't get back to Bangkok until mid-afternoon due to heavy return traffic that time of day. It's an exhausting but unavoidable trip.
  5. We could never out bid the Chinese lady anyway.
  6. NOTE -- Many of us know guys from Cambodia, Myanmar, Vietnam and Laos who make regular border runs to get their visa renewed. And most use a van service to take them there and back. One of these green vans was struck broadside by a truck and knocked into a river in Kanchanaburi. Eight bodies were recovered and two remain missing. A friend sent me a video posted on Facebook that shows the brave efforts of rescuers to help save the victims. Although the article reports that all appear to be from Myanmar, apparently there were some Vietnamese among them passengers. He knows one of the victims, a Vietnamese guy who worked in Bangkok and was traveling with his girlfriend who also died. This young man leaves friends who work in Soi Tarntawan. From The Nation (23 Mar.) Eight Myanmar migrants drowned and two others are missing presumed dead after a van they were travelling in was hit by a 10-wheel truck and both vehicles plunged into a canal in Kanchanaburi's Tha Muang district on Saturday. Police said the accident happened at 12.10pm at the Sa Setthi Intersection in Tambon Ban Mai. About 100 rescuers rushed to the scene to try to save the passengers who were trapped inside the van. The rescuers retrieved eight bodies, one of them a pregnant woman. Four were rescued and were sent to a nearby hospital. Officials said two migrants were still missing. Police said the van was taking the migrants back to Myanmar. http://www.nationmultimedia.com/detail/breakingnews/30366370 Facebook video https://www.facebook.com/groups/725742910831493/permalink/2602797739792658
  7. reader

    The 13

    From The Nation (23 Mar.) Wild Boars' help recover equipment from Tham Luang cave Wild Boars coach Aek, and other members from the football squad, helped recover equipment from the Tham Luang cave this week. The Chiang Rai cave, the scene of an international cave rescue last July, remains closed to all visitors to allow Thai Navy SEALs to enter and recover equipment left in the five kilometre cave network after the rescue. The Chiang Rai PR Department reports that navy SEALs and officers from the Department of Disaster Prevention and Mitigation have been recovering equipment and 40 oxygen tanks left inside the cave, since the rescue of the 13 team members last year. Continues with photos http://www.nationmultimedia.com/detail/breakingnews/30366320
  8. From The Nation (23 Mar.) Chiang Mai on Saturday remained the most air-polluted city in the world for the second consecutive day, according to the AirVisual.com website. AirVisual reported at 9.13am that the air quality index (AQI) of Chiang Mai on Saturday stood at 385, much higher than the 100 AQI safety standard. The northern capital has been covered with white smog for almost two weeks, prompting Chiang Mai residents to wear N95 air-filter marks outdoors. The Chiang Mai University, the Rajamangala University of Technology Lanna and Chiang Mai provincial administration confirmed that the air quality in the city remained critical. The three agencies had 86 stations to measure air quality of the northern capital and found that all stations recorded brown and purple zones, meaning the air quality remained hazardous to health. They found the worst air quality was in Mae Taeng district with a PM2.5 level of 443 micrograms per cubic metre (mcg). PM2.5 means airborne particulates 2.5 microns or less in diameter. Doi Saket district was found to have the least PM.5 level or 204mcg, which was still hazardous to health. The website of the Geo-Informatics and Space Technology Development Agency reported Saturday that its VIIRS satellite spotted 586 hotspots from forest burning in the North. It reported that 162 hotspots were detected in Mae Hong Son, 91 in Chiang Rai, 69 in Chiang Mai, 79 in Nan, 55 in Prae, 55 in Phayao, 52 in Lampang, 14 in Tak and 9 in Lamphun. The high level of haze in Chiang Rai reportedly stemmed from the many forest fires, both in the province and from nearby areas. http://www.nationmultimedia.com/detail/national/30366358
  9. You'e not alone in this opinion.
  10. I'm giving this old thread a bump for a few reasons. It was the first to discuss the possible closing of Soi Twilight in detail. Many members contributed opinions about the future of Twilight's venues and some of those prognostications have since come to fruition. You'll find additional discussion of the topic in the following post:
  11. The speed at which the nation's leaders moved to ban assailant weapons stands in stark contrast to the feeble reaction US lawmakers can be counted on to display in the wake of similar tragedies.
  12. I, too, aborted visited a visit on my recent trip by the smoking. If anything, I think smoking in just about all venues has increased over the past several years. Even in the outside bars, non-smokers frequently have to weigh the options of tolerating the air or moving on to a hopefully less--but rarely smoke free--environment. I know of several VN massage guys who congregate at Screwboy when their shifts end about midnight. As is the case in many bars, the scene can change noticeably from night to night so one disappointing visit could be quickly forgotten on a different evening.
  13. reader

    Election

    Although much attention has been focused on the north east provinces and rightfully so, this article raises of the potential impact of voters in the south on Sunday's election. Reuters (22 Mar.) In Thailand's restive deep south, election stirs rare enthusiasm YALA, Thailand (Reuters) - Pateemoh Poh-itaeda-oh, 39, has lost four family members to violence in Thailand's deep south, where a Muslim separatist movement has fought against rule from Bangkok for 15 years. Now, she is running for a parliamentary seat in a general election on Sunday, hoping to have a hand in making government policies for the restive region. Sunday's vote is broadly seen as a battle between allies of the military junta leader seeking to stay in power and supporters of ousted ex-premier Thaksin Shinawatra, a former telecommunication tycoon whose loyalists have won every general election since 2001. But that divide has a different dynamic in the three southern border provinces of Pattani, Yala, and Narathiwat, which are 80 percent Muslim, while the rest of Thailand is overwhelmingly Buddhist. A separatist insurgency has dragged on since 2004, killing more than 6,900 people. In January, two Buddhist monks were shot dead in a suspected insurgent attack. In previous elections, the deep south was not much courted by politicians seeking national power. But the arrival of several new parties on the political scene, along with stalled peace talks, have stirred interest in the campaign in the south - and enthusiasm to participate among newly minted candidates. Pateemoh, a Muslim who is a candidate for the pro-junta Action Coalition for Thailand party (ACT), said she got involved because she felt for the first time there was a chance for the concerns of the south to be heard and - possibly - bring an end to the conflict. "For a long time many Thais have looked at problems in the deep south as a marginal border issue, but this election I have seen changes," she told Reuters at her party headquarters in Yala province. Ending the insurgency is deeply personal to her. Three of her brothers and one sister have been shot dead since 2004 in suspected attacks by insurgents, who often target teachers and local officials for working with central government. "I really want to be a voice in forming policy and solving the conflict issue in the deep south, and people have to remember that women's voices need to matter in this process," she said. SELF-DETERMINATION The three provinces, and a small part of neighbouring Songkhla, were historically part of a Malay Muslim sultanate annexed by Thailand in 1909. Separatist tensions have simmered ever since. A peace process between the Thai government and insurgent groups has made little headway, with violence still occurring even though the military has been directly in charge of security in the region for 15 years. In February, Mara Patani, an umbrella organization representing many insurgent groups, said it has suspended all dialogue with Bangkok until after the election. For decades, the deep south's small tally of seats - 11 out of 350 being contested in this election - were seen as a reliable bloc for the Democrat Party, the country's oldest political party that is officially non-aligned in the campaign but could prove crucial in post-vote coalition-building. But the fresh attention being paid to the region by new parties has stoked pent-up desire for a say among both the pro-government and pro-autonomy camps there, said Samart Thongfhua, a political analyst at Prince of Songkla University in Pattani. "Generally, people in the deep south are enthusiastic from all sides because they will feel that they can gain justice through democracy," he said. RELIGIOUS TENSIONS This is the first election that a Malay Muslim from the deep south, Wan Muhamad Noor Matha, 74, is a prime ministerial candidate. Matha, a former house speaker and the leader of Prachachart Party, is a key ally to Thaksin who could help capture votes for the "democratic front" of anti-junta parties in the deep south. Pro-Thaksin parties have in the past performed badly in the region, where he was widely blamed for exacerbating the conflict with harsh tactics when he was in power from 2001 to 2006. https://news.yahoo.com/thailands-restive-deep-south-election-stirs-rare-enthusiasm-111714047.html
  14. I've posted reports on individual massage experiences during recent trip in other threads but am posting a capsule account here as this is the go-to place for Bangkok massages info. Total massages: 12 In-call: 5 (1 guy x 3 and 2 others both known from previous trips) and all were fine. Nakarat: 4 total (1 x 2 and 2 others). All good. I recommend this place. Decent selection afternoons but more arrive after work. AEN: 1 visit and fine. Recommended. Think it is probably better to go after 5 when availability is better. Indra on Soi Tarntawan: 1 visit and fine. Be sure to get room with en-suite shower shower. Many VN guys with good selection most hours. Art Massage on Soi Tarntawan: 1 visit and fine. Good selection most hours.
  15. From Bangkok Post (21 Mar.) Bang Sue rail hub work on track Construction of Bang Sue Central Station, which will replace Hua Lamphong as the city's rail transport hub when it opens in 2021, is almost 71% complete. A progress report was given to Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha who on Wednesdaypaid a visit to the 264,000-square-metre site. Bang Sue Central Station will not only serve as the country's main rail hub, but will also connect the country's rail system to the rest of Asean. He also said areas surrounding the train depot will become "green spaces" and commercial development projects will be developed nearby. Bang Sue Central Station will have three storeys and a subterranean level, which serves as a parking area accommodating 1,700 vehicles, according to the plans. The first floor is for ticket sales and reservations, along with commercial areas. The second floor is for suburban Red Line trains, with four platforms for short-distance services and eight platforms for long-distance train services. The third floor will have 10 platforms for regional train services and has another two earmarked for high-speed trains and airport rail link services in the future. It will also have a walkway connecting to the Blue Line mass transit system. The Red Line project (Bang Sue-Rangsit, Bang Sue-Taling Chan) will become operational simultaneously with Bang Sue Central Station. Two trains that will be used for the Red Line's test runs will arrive in June. https://www.bangkokpost.com/news/general/1648172/bang-sue-rail-hub-work-on-track-pm-told
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