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  1. The politicization of the court IMO constitutes the biggest threat to US democracy. It has the potential to bring about civil unrest and increased acts of political violence on the part of individuals and groups. The Trump era wrought inestimable damage to the nation.
  2. Asiatique, the riverfront mall on the Chao Phraya, Is open. Took the free ferry from Saphan Thaksin pier Monday night and arrived in about 12 minutes. The giant Ferris wheel is operating and several of the larger restaurants closest to river were open. Many visitors appeared to be ASEAN tourists. Estimate that only about 10-15% of small shops are open but enjoyed a few hours wandering about and taking in the views from ferry trip.
  3. From Coconuts Bangkok “Please do not lean on the poles in the train,” the BTS Skytrain admonished riders this morning, with a whole lotta booty. In what could have been a gentle reminder for “the betterment of society,” the Bangkok Mass Transit System included in the now-viral post a bizarre graphic art of an uncomfortable female university student looking at a grinning shadowy figure, whose thicc glutes can be seen clenching the pole of the train. “The main purpose of the poles in trains is for commuters to get a grip to provide safe travels for everyone,” the post read in a tone far more measured than the sophomoric art unleashed on unprepared eyeballs. “Please be kind to your companions and provide space for others to hold the pole. Do not lean against the pole or lean on the hands of other passengers who are holding the pole first.” The post also went on to promote good hygiene, noting that all travelers should use alcohol gels to wash their hands before and after gripping the steel butt-rester. Naturally, many people focused on the wack art rather than the helpful lecture. “Please do not twerk on the skytrain BTS,” Supakit Nupuak suggested. “Does it have to be that tight?” another asked.
  4. I’d imagine there are more than a few members who’d consider going his bail. From the Thaiger The Royal Thai Police finally arrested a serial mobile phone thief known as “Mr. Underpants.” Mr. Underpants broke into 9 BANANA mobile phone shops in locations all over Thailand, stealing thousands of mobile phones in total. Every time, he wore only his pants. Mr. Underpants broke into BANANA branches in Yala, Hat Yai, Patthalung, Nakhon Nayok, Nakhon Si Thammarat, Nong Bua Lamphu, Ubon Ratchatani, Hua Hin and Sai Mai in Bangkok. He stole hundreds of phones every time, sometimes until there were almost none left in the store. Wanted on 4 arrest warrants for more than 6 months, police finally apprehended 23 year old Jeh Issamaeh Hama from Narathiwat province, also known as “Carmus” (and now Mr. Underpants), at a condominium in the Bang Kapi district of Bangkok today. Police seized hundreds of mobile phones. Mr. Underpants has already pleaded guilty to his crimes, which are caught on CCTV in all cases. He told police… “I only steal from BANANA stores because I like bananas and I like the colour yellow. I like to take my clothes off and I like to only wear underpants. It gives me a feeling of confidence and I feel like myself. In 2021, media in Yala province called me a psychotic thief. I didn’t like that, so I stole a camera too.” Mr. Underpants said he sells some of the phones and gives the rest to homeless people, who he sympathises with because he used to be homeless. He said that the reason he steals mobile phones, in particular, is because when he was a child, all his friends had mobile phones but he didn’t.
  5. From The Thaiger and The Nation While government figures report around 2,000 new cases of Covid-19 per day, a respiratory disease specialist says that the actual number is hugely underreported. In a Facebook post, Dr Nithiphat Chiarakun, head of the department of respiratory diseases and tuberculosis of Mahidol University’s Siriraj Faculty of Medicine estimated that there could be as many as 50,000 new Covid-19 infections every day in Thailand. The associate professor says that the information he’s receiving put the daily new infection rate at about 25 times the official reported numbers from the Ministry of Public Health. He says that the situation is quite troublesome, and asks people to be vigilant in the safety measures against Covid-19 despite the fatigue of more than 2 years of what looked to be a waning pandemic. “If we don’t join forces to slow down and control new infections, we may see people with severe conditions left in communities and the number of fatalities may rise. It’s about time now that the government must tell the truth and warn people to get ready to cope with a bad situation.” The doctor fears the underreported spike in new cases could lead to shortages of medical personnel as well as hospital beds like we saw at the peak of the Covid-19 pandemic, and urged that the public must fight to prevent a rapid spread. As has often been the case, most of the people who have been admitted to the hospital with Covid-19 now also suffer from other illnesses are diseases, but the number of hospital admissions is rising. The main hospitals in Bangkok and around Thailand are already quietly looking the more hospital beds in case the spike continues, and workers assigned to Covid-19 patients are doubling their efforts. The doctor said beds that had previously been reserved for Covid-19 patients for already occupied by people with other diseases. ================ From Khaosod English and Rural Doctors Society health ministry warns medical workers of new Covid-19 wave in a secret document The Permanent Secretary of the Thai Public Health Ministry, Kiattiphum Wongarajit, has launched an urgent report to warn the provincial public health officers of the “new wave” of Covid-19 in Thailand. The official Facebook page of the Rural Doctor Society reported on their “urgent and secret document” to the public yesterday. The page said… “The warning sign to get ready for the new Covid-19 wave. The permanent secretary launched the document to the provincial public health officers in each province. The date of the document is June 30.” “The document urges each healthcare service centre to get ready due to the increasing numbers of new Covid-19 cases in various areas. Get the hospital beds ready, and prepare the system to transfer patients with severe symptoms. Please don’t be careless people.” In the document, the MOPH urges provincial public health officers in every province to prepare according to 8 guidelines… First, inform every medical worker about the increasing numbers of Covic-19 patients and protect themselves according to the universal precautions. Second, prepare medicines and Covid-19 prevention equipment. Third, prepare hospital beds for patients, especially those with critical symptoms. Forth, practice transferring processes in case patients need a specific treatment from other hospitals. Fifth, urge medical workers to get a booster dose of a Covid-19 vaccine Sixth, inform residents on how to protect themselves from Covid-19 and prevent the spread of the coronavirus. Seventh, collaborate with relevant departments to create a plan for controlling and preventing the spread of Covid-19. Eighth, gather and update all data related to Covid-19 . Yesterday, a doctor from the Internal Medicine Department of Faculty of Medicine Siriraj Hospital, Mahidol University, Nitiphat Chierakul, posted on his personal Facebook saying the Covid-19 situation in Thailand is currently becoming more serious. The doctor urged the government to reveal the truth to the public.
  6. A computer rendering of the proposed ‘Green Bridge Photo: Urban Design and Development Center From Bangkok Post and Coconuts Bangkok Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha has instructed relevant agencies to expedite the further development of Benjakitti Forest Park ahead of Her Majesty Queen Sirikit the Queen Mother's birthday celebrations on Aug 12. He issued the instruction at a meeting to discuss the renovation of the "green" bridge which connects Benjakitti and Lumpini parks, which was attended by Bangkok governor Chadchart Sittipunt, as well as officials from the Mass Rapid Transit Authority (MRTA) and Bangkok Mass Transit System (BTSC). The meeting discussed a number of issues, including improvements to public transport connections, pavements along the route, as well as parking spaces for visitors. Once finished, the 1.6-kilometre link will feature an elevated park, dedicated bike lanes and rest stops for visitors, according to its blueprint. The bridge is slated to reopen in September. The same team behind the elevated greenway mini park that opened last year above the Chao Phraya River have unveiled plans for the “Bangkok Green Bridge,” an upgraded version of a raised path used by walkers, joggers and young footballers that was built two decades ago. When finished, the Green Bridge will have added lighting and security cameras to improve safety, according to the Urban Design and Development Center. The 1.3-kilometer pedestrian bridge links Lumphini Park at Sarasin Intersection to Benjakitti Park in the Khlong Toei district. Three spots will be beautified along the walkway – at Sarasin Intersection and the walkways spanning the Chalerm Maha Nakhon Expressway and Ratchadapisek Road. Deputy Bangkok Gov. Sakchai Boonma described the existing bridge as little-used and crime-prone at night, though on a regular day it can be quite crowded.
  7. Never been charged for any utilities. Never had an issue with bringing back guests.
  8. If you are a long-term (4 weeks or more) visitor, Airbnb can be economical and convenient. Monthly rates are substantially lower than for shorter stays. The washer I find is a great convenience. You have to launder towels and bedding to meet your needs. Food is not included.
  9. Moved to Airbnb post in same forum by poster.
  10. From Bangkok Post Lack of flights, rising fuel costs mar revival Insufficient inbound international flights and surging airfares are challenging the recovery arc for the Thai tourism industry as the country pins its hopes on the upcoming high season in its quest to welcome 10 million tourists this year, according to the Tourism Authority of Thailand (TAT). TAT governor Yuthasak Supasorn said the number of international flights stands at only 30% of the pre-pandemic level. He said to help revive the whole industry, the country should have at least 55% of the airline seat capacity recorded prior to the pandemic, which could happen during the fourth quarter as Korean Air and Air Canada have confirmed their schedules for non-stop services. Air Canada plans to commence its first direct route from Vancouver to Bangkok with four flights a week using Boeing 787 jets from Dec 1, 2022 until April 17, 2023. Korean Air made a commitment to the TAT during its recent visit to Seoul that it would resume flights to Thailand in the fourth quarter. However, many airlines are reluctant to expand their routes or increase frequencies as several global uncertainties threaten profit prospects, including hefty operational costs caused by soaring fuel prices as well as the longer flying time required to avoid the skies above the Russian-Ukraine combat zone. “Tourists face higher travel costs, particularly from inflation and airfares, which have increased by 20-40%. The TAT is working with airlines, both scheduled and chartered services, to roll out joint promotions to help offset those costs. However, for Europe's summer season in August, it might be too late to prepare any stimulus packages," said Mr Yuthasak. Hotel operators indicated the average occupancy rate should reach 55% to benefit the whole supply chain, but the current flow of tourists is not strong enough to persuade more hotels to reopen and bring back their employees. According to the Tourism Council of Thailand (TCT), the average occupancy rate in Thailand stands at 34%, while 80% of properties have revenue of less than 50% of the level recorded before the pandemic. Chamnan Srisawat, president of the TCT, said a labour shortage could be a major hindrance during the upcoming high season if arrivals do reach government targets He said hotels that need to recruit more workers will find hiring difficult if offering similar wages as before, given inflation, the likelihood of a higher minimum wage this year, and the insecurity of hospitality jobs. Mr Chamnan said companies and the TAT are joining to offer a "Booster Shot" project along with the Centre for Economic Situation Administration, aiming to create a million jobs in the tourism sector this year by offering airline seats and room nights in smaller hotels with discount prices.
  11. Was looking at that building today while waiting for train at Saphan Taskin. It’s now an advertising billboard. It’s been exposed to the elements for so long now it cannot be used. The only alternative is to raze it. But the cost of doing so probably outweighs the original price of erecting it. i imagine it’s mired in legal limbo for foreseeable future.
  12. Freshboys for sure if you haven’t been there yet
  13. It may have been “no big deal” to PM safe and sound in Bangkok but different on the ground in Karen village. From Bangkok Post Two killed as Myanmar forces bomb border village At least two people were killed and three others wounded when a bomb dropped by a Myanmar fighter jet missed its target and landed in a Karen village just 400 metres from the Thai border late Friday night. The incident came just a day after a MiG-29 fighter jet strayed into Thai airspace over Pop Phra district of Tak province. The military government of Myanmar apologised and Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha said the incident was “no big deal”.
  14. I don’t believe any harm done. He’s a warm and friendly young man and you’re cultural comments are well taken. As visitors, we need ro be aware of differences. It does, however, serve as a reminder that when we’re out in public we’re always being observed. Or in Vinapu’s case, even when he was in private room, we need to check that any devices are not active:
  15. From Bangkok Post Twenty-five years ago this month marked the beginning of economic, political and financial market turmoil that would become known as the Asian Financial Crisis. Currencies and stock markets tumbled. Governments were overthrown. Poverty rates soared. The crisis raised serious doubts about the Asian miracle, a period of rapid growth that saw the Tiger economies become the envy of the world. The firestorm was triggered by Thailand’s decision to devalue the baht on July 2, a shockwave that soon reverberated across the region’s emerging markets and beyond as the fallout stretched into 1998. A quarter of a century later, Asia’s economies have been transformed. China is the world’s second-largest economy, and the region is a major source of global growth even as it recovers from the pandemic. Here, in the words of some of the key players during the crisis, is the story of what happened, how the region recovered and what the prospects are for economies facing a new economic crisis. Interviews have been edited for clarity and brevity. Continues at https://www.bangkokpost.com/business/2338403/crisis-to-crisis-what-asia-learned-from-the-financial-chaos-of-1997
  16. “Shortee checked his phone again and produced a picture of another gentleman, who looks handsome but kinda stern. I met Paul so I'm sure it wasn't him. "But this guy comes here a lot too," Shortee said.” ============== Handsome? Definitely not me.
  17. NOTE — Judging from the photo, the top of balcony appears well below the waist of the young man. This is not unusual in older buildings. Current codes require railing to be above center of gravity of most people, making it far less likely that some could topple forward. From Perth Now A young Australian tourist has plunged to his death in horrific circumstances at a hotel resort in Thailand. According to the Bangkok Post Joshua James Connell, 19, from Canberra, was walking along a wall near a hotel swimming pool in Phuket before falling six storeys to his death. There is CCTV which captured the incident, according to local reports. A local policeman told the Post the teenager was wearing only a pair of shorts when he slipped and fell, before landing on the kitchen roof of a nearby restaurant. He said Mr Connell and a friend had only checked in at the hotel the day prior. Staff at the restaurant were reportedly getting ready for evening dinner service when they were startled by a loud noise on the roof above the kitchen. The local policeman said some of the roof tiles were broken by the impact of the fall.
  18. From Channel News Asia BANGKOK: Thailand scrambled fighter jets near its border with Myanmar on Thursday (Jun 30) and ordered its defense attache to issue a warning to the military government, its air force said, over what it called an airspace violation during a combat operation. Two F-16 fighter jets were deployed when a radar detected a plane in Thai airspace close to the Myanmar border late morning Thursday, air force spokesperson Air Vice Marshal Prapat Sonjaidee said. An aircraft from an unknown side violated the border over Phop Phra district in Tak province while attacking an ethnic armed group along the border," Prapat said in a statement. A spokesperson for Myanmar's junta could not immediately be reached for comment. Myanmar's military has stepped up operations against ethnic minority armies since a coup last year and is encountering resistance on multiple fronts, from old enemies to newly formed milita groups allied with the ousted government. Activists and aid groups have condemned the junta's use of artillery and air strikes in civilian areas. The United Nations humanitarian agency this week estimated nearly 760,000 people have been displaced by conflict across Myanmar since the coup. A witness in Thailand told Reuters a fighter jet was seen over two villages about 5km from the border, triggering panic among residents, with one school sending its students to a bomb shelter.
  19. ANA has service (currently with sales in all classes) out of Chicago, Houston and Vancouver with Tokyo connections to BKK. Having flown both multiple times, I consider ANA and Singapore the best Asian carriers for quality and reliability.
  20. Singapore also has an A380 out of JFK that stops in Frankfurt before continuing on to Singapore.
  21. From Bangkok Post State-run Government Housing Bank (GH Bank) is letting LGBTQ+ couples jointly take out a mortgage loan, said bank president Chatchai Sirilai. It is the first time the bank has introduced such a policy, with the aim of giving LGBTQ+ couples easier access to mortgage loans as part of its aim to help Thais own their own home. GH Bank previously limited co-borrowing to couples or persons with kinship relationships. Under the new policy, LGBTQ+ partners who live together can now jointly take out a mortgage loan. The bank has also launched a new mortgage package dubbed My Pride, offering the minimum retail rate minus 2.40% per year in the first three years. The maximum instalment period is 40 years. Customers can apply for the loan from now until Dec 30 this year.
  22. reader

    The 13

    From Collider.com Ron Howard on 'Thirteen Lives' and Recreating the Harrowing Thailand Rescue 'Thirteen Lives' is a biographical thriller about the harrowing rescue mission in Thailand to save the lives of the boys trapped in underground caves. From director Ron Howard, the biographical dramatic thriller Thirteen Lives, due out in theaters and streaming at Prime Video later this year, tells the real-life story of the rescue mission in Thailand to get a group of young boys and their soccer coach out of the underground caves they were trapped in. The 2018 event that went on for 18 days demonstrated a remarkable strength of spirit and showed that you can sometimes accomplish the seemingly impossible, against all odds. During a global press conference to discuss the upcoming release, Howard talked about why he wanted to tell this story, what was most important to him in achieving the necessary authenticity, exploring all the themes, the deep emotion in this real-life event, what he learned from his research, recreating the caves and the dive sequences, and what he hopes audiences take away from seeing the film. Read the interview here: https://collider.com/ron-howard-thirteen-lives-interview-thailand-cave-rescue/
  23. I think we’re all in awe of your resilience and energy reserve. Thanks for sharing your adventures and friendship during this your longest trip.
  24. Walking through Patpong 1 Monday, couldn’t help noticing how the road—nearly completely in the dark a few months ago—has burst into life with the reopening of many many bars along with emergence of a few new comers. There was even a minor traffic jam as taxis lined up to drop off and pick up patrons of one of the more popular venues. Some venture over to Patpong 2 to take in the sights and a few mixed couples find their way to the bars there, I’ve noticed of late.
  25. From Bangkok Post Former deputy prime minister Somkid Jatusripitak says young Thais want a democracy involving public participation, not one that follows representatives from just a few elite families. Mr Somkid, who has reportedly accepted becoming a prime ministerial candidate of the Sang Anakhot Thai Party, made the comment during a keynote speech marking the 88th anniversary of Thammasat University on Monday. He said he was engaged in social and political issues during his four years at Thammasat University, which inspired him to pursue public service. He said events during the 1973-1976 student pro-democracy protests influenced Thammasat students very much and that he believed that in the current climate the public are willing and ready to hear what students have to say. “The university was established within the context of fighting for democracy. These days many people can't believe the strange versions of democracy we follow like feeding bananas to monkeys or where 1% of the population has more wealth than 80% of the population combined. "Did we want this in our fight for democracy? I've asked young people. They told me they want a democracy where a majority of people participate in finding solutions without conflict. A true democracy that is not controlled by certain groups or families," he said.
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