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  1. Sports events are discussed on this board from time to time and often it's because of the eye candy. From Pattaya Mail In a gripping match against DP Kanchanaburi FC on Saturday September 23rd, Pattaya United secured a 1-1 draw. The standout performance came from Pakornphat Phasuk, a player who has subsequently been deemed an “MVP” of the match by the Pattaya United team. Starting from the previous game, the Dolphin’s coaches said Pakornphat didn’t disappoint. With a powerful strike, he clinched the team’s first official goal in their iconic sky-blue and white jersey. The match was a great display of Pakornphat’s exceptional speed and sharp shooting skills. His boundless energy on the field made him a pivotal player, the team described on its Facebook official account. Thoroughly impressed, the team dubbed him the man of the match. “Pakornphat Phasuk, a force to be reckoned with, who proved his mettle,” the team said.
  2. From Pattaya Mail By Barry Kenyon Barclays’ decision to shut down as many expat accounts worldwide as they can find is causing distress amongst British retirees and long stayers in Thailand. The bank claims the reason is that Barclays’ home services are for UK residents, but Pattaya expat Mike Gilmore says he has been an expat customer for over thirty years. “The real reason is they are not making enough money from us,” he said, “and don’t want the hassle of dealing with overseas customers as they continue to close branches and cut staff numbers.” The bank is offering an alternative to switch to a global account at its offshore bases in the Isle of Man and the Channel Isles which are technically not part of the UK. The downside is that there is a monthly service charge of 40 pounds unless at least 100,000 pounds are kept on an ongoing basis in the same account. Other problems could include a complex online initial registration to transfer money internationally, renewal difficulties when a credit card expires and threats to close the account if the balance is too small. Zero interest is paid on most current and savings account. The Barclays move is not unexpected as many expats, including Brits based in Thailand, had already been ordered to move their UK-based accounts when the bank discovered that they were using a UK post-restante address – often a relative’s – as their regular contact address. In 2021 Lloyds Banking Group, which includes Halifax and the Bank of Scotland, had ordered the closure of thousands of British expat accounts, mostly in Europe. Another Pattaya Brit, Ken Taylor, said he had been told to close his Barclays account by mid November 2023. “I live on modest pensions in UK which I need to be transferred every month.” He said he was contacting the providers to see if they would transfer directly to his Thai bank account but had been warned that some pension companies charged extra, or used poorer exchange rates, or even insisted on sending a cheque which was impossible to cash here. Ken Taylor added, “Although the Barclays news won’t affect most British expats in Thailand as they have already made other banking arrangements, it does illustrate how living overseas brings its own problems. We also have to worry about the rumors of changes in the Thai taxation system, a flat refusal by the British government to upgrade frozen state pensions and what the immigration bureau may or may not be planning.”
  3. From The Nation Prime Minister Srettha Thavisin’s visit to New York to attend the 78th session of the United Nations General Assembly was successful in fostering relationships and increasing trade and investment with other countries, Prime Minister's Office spokesperson Chai Watcharong said. Srettha met with several foreign leaders, made five speeches and met with leaders of major corporations, including Tesla, Google, Microsoft, Citibank, JP Morgan, and Estee Lauder. These companies showed interest in investing more in Thailand, Chai said. Srettha expressed confidence that several foreign investors will invest at least US$5 billion each in Thailand and that he hopes Thai companies will register on the New York Stock Exchange next year. Talks were also held with FIFA executives about the possibility of Thailand hosting the FIFA World Cup in 2032. Additionally, support for football was increased significantly, with sponsorship raised from the previous 250,000 baht per year to 2 million baht per year.
  4. From The Nation Unesco listing sparks surge of tourists to Sri Thep Tourists have been racing to Sri Thep since the ancient city in Phetchabun province was designated a Unesco World Heritage Site, but local residents have been caught off guard by the influx and services for visitors remain minimal. "It's truly unfortunate that the local community couldn't catch up in time, resulting in no facilities or services to benefit from the significant influx of tourists,” Phetchabun Governor Wison Kositanont wrote on Facebook. Wison was one of the key figures who pushed for Sri Thep’s addition to the heritage site list. Visitors are flocking to Sri Thep for holidays, and it is likely that this trend will continue, he said, adding: "This is one of the reasons why Phetchabun province urgently needs to establish a community-driven tourist service centre.” Si Thep is the fourth site in Thailand to be listed as a Unesco World Heritage Site. The first was the Ban Chiang Archaeological Site in Udon Thani, which was added to the list in 1992. Si Thep was added to the list in the cultural category.
  5. Don't think you'll find any accurate map because of a few recent changes and additions. The good news is that the area is so compact that you really don't need one. Gay venues when entering from Surawong: LEFT SIDE: Screwboy Freshboy Red Dragon beer bar (pool table) Hot Male beer bar (also upstairs beer bar) Hot Male Go-Go RIGHT SIDE: SOL Go-Go Dreamboy Go-Go NOTE: Although not exclusively gay (or you may not know it at 2a.m.), Foodland on your left
  6. Most of my experience is with massage shops and I've generally found that the boys try to perform well in hopes of increasing their tip beyond any stated minimums. But I can understand that in go-go's, the tip is often decided in advance and that may be a factor.
  7. From CNBC Long waits to receive new passports haven’t yet eased from earlier this year, as the U.S. Department of State works through a backlog of applications amid high demand for international travel. While the State Department expects delays to shorten through the rest of 2023, travelers should continue to plan well ahead, a Department spokesperson said. The Department’s message to U.S. citizens: Apply at least six months in advance of your planned travel or passport expiration date, the spokesperson said.
  8. And he did it without casting couch. Maybe he'll soon pop up at Moonlight. 😘
  9. From the Thaiger A handsome Thai pancake seller who helps his mother at her market stall in Rangsit has become an Internet sensation. The young man has caught the attention of netizens after a TikTok user, @niwat_kj, shared a video of him following a visit to the market stall at Si Mum Mueang Market. In the TikTok post, the user wrote, “The pancakes are truly delicious. They’re the best at Si Mum Mueang…I would buy the entire store. The seller is extremely cute. Everyone at Si Mum Mueang is adorable. I love him.” The video shows a customer asking the good-looking seller if he was helping his mother, to which he shyly nodded. The customer then asked the mother about their usual selling hours, to which she responded around 8pm. Upon the video’s circulation, netizens flooded the comments section with various remarks. Some teased the TikTok user while others complimented the seller’s good looks. A few users even noted that he bore a resemblance to two popular Thai actors, Jakrapatr Voravatsin and Chonkan Ampornsutinun, reports Sanook. Continues with video https://thethaiger.com/news/national/handsome-thai-pancake-seller-goes-viral-adds-charm-to-local-markets
  10. From AFP / Thai PBS World For millions of Chinese tourists, Thailand used to be a happy land of water fights, lantern festivals and delicious food. But thanks to social media rumours and a blockbuster movie, the kingdom’s image among many Chinese people is now one of dangerous illegality and seedy scam border compounds — leaving visitor numbers plummeting. Thailand is hugely reliant on tourism, particularly from China. The country welcomed more than 10 million Chinese visitors each year before the Covid-19 pandemic — numbers Bangkok is desperate to see return. But its struggling holiday industry has been hit by viral social media rumours claiming that tourists might be kidnapped and sent across the border to work in brutal scamming compounds in Myanmar or Cambodia. Chinese tourist Jia Xueqiong spent a week in Thailand with her husband and daughter, despite her parents’ disapproval. “They felt it was not safe here, and tried to persuade us not to come,” the 44-year-old nurse told AFP outside Bangkok’s unusually quiet Grand Palace. “All my friends said ‘You go first to explore, if it’s ok we will follow’,” she said. Her family and friends’ concerns were stoked by “No More Bets”, a high-octane thriller claiming to be based on “real events”, about a computer programmer who ends up in a violent scamming compound in Southeast Asia after being trafficked through an unnamed country remarkably similar to Thailand. The movie has some basis in reality. Extensive reporting by AFP and other media has documented thousands of Chinese people lured to centres in Southeast Asia, mainly in Myanmar and Cambodia, to operate online scams fleecing victims for large sums. But most of those involved are tricked into it with fake offers of lucrative work — not dragged off the streets while on holiday — and so far, no such scam compounds have been found in Thailand. Despite only being released in August, “No More Bets” has become the third-most-popular film in China this year, raking in 3.8 billion yuan ($521 million) and super-charging online discussion about the dangers of visiting Thailand. Beijing student Leanna Qian, 22, told AFP that while she knew some of the stories were “exaggerated”, she was still concerned about travelling to the kingdom. “I’m worried that we’ll be taken to other places, such as Cambodia or Myanmar,” she said.
  11. From Thai PBS World Chaithawat voted new Move Forward leader Move Forward party secretary-general Chaithawat Tulathon was elected new Move Forward party leader today (Saturday), succeeding Pita Limjaroenrat who stepped down. Chaithawat received 330 votes in favour, against five dissenting, at the extraordinary general meeting of the party this morning at the party’s head office. A native of Songkhla province, 45-year-old Chaithawat graduated with a BA in Environmental Engineering from Chulalongkorn University. He was the leader of the Student Federation of Thailand in 1998/9 and a founder and editor of the Fah Diew Kan political magazine. He was a committee member of the Asian Public Intellectuals Fellowship Program, the Nippon Foundation and the Institute of Asian Studies at Chulalongkorn University and an advisor to Thai Lawyers for Human Rights from 2014 to 2018. The meeting will also elect a new executive committee, as the previous one was automatically disbanded after Pita’s resignation. For the time being, Pita is been banned from performing his duties as an MP in parliament by the Constitutional Court, after it agreed to consider a complaint that Pita owned shares in a media firm when he applied for his May 14th general election candidacy. The court’s ban has also prevented Pita from assuming his role as leader of the opposition which, according to the law, is reserved for the leader of the largest opposition party. The election of Chaithawat does pave the way for him to become leader of the opposition, but it remains to be seen whether he will take the post. If he does, however, it would mean that the party’s MP, Padipat Suntiphada, will lose his post as the deputy House speaker, in accordance with Section 106 of the Constitution, which stipulates that a member of the opposition party, of which the leader of the opposition is also a member, cannot be a minister, House speaker or deputy House speaker. If the Move Forward party wants to keep Padipat as the deputy House speaker, but under the banner of another opposition party, it will have to expel him, so he can join a new one within 30 days (to retain his parliamentary membership).
  12. For future reference, BTS should take you less than half-hour, regardless of time of day, between Sala Daeng and Saphan Kwai. Kudos for K-Man but can also recommend One Spa (about a 15-miute walk from station) on nearby Sutthisan Winitchai Road. Further down same road you'll find KK Massage which is associated with K-Man.
  13. From Pattaya Mail By Barry Kenyon In a surprise move, The Thai prime minister revealed in an interview in New York that smoking pot for leisure needs to be outlawed once again. Srettha Thavisin told Bloomberg Television that the law needs to be rewritten to regulate ganja for medical use only. “There can’t be a middle ground for recreational use,” he concluded. Following the declassification of marijuana as a narcotic last year, around 6,000 “dispensaries” have opened nationwide with most of them not bothering to hide their sales to the smoke-for-leisure Thai and foreign population. The retail outlets are supposed to restrict to 0.2 percent the amount of tetrahydrocannabinol which is what gives inhalers the “high” sensation. But the whole ganja industry in Thailand has a great deal of latitude as there is no comprehensive law in place describing what is legal and what is not. However, many commentators are skeptical that pot leisure smoking will again attract criminal penalties. “Off” Boonchert, who owns several retail outlets in Pattaya, said, “There isn’t a sharp dividing line between medical use and leisure. A man with cancer might also enjoy the puff. One solution might be for customers to sign a paper prior to purchase indicating what illness they have.” He added that the police would not want a return to the bad old days when the weed was sold underground which made it hard to control. Another ambiguity is whether all the groups in the current eleven party coalition will agree on a common policy. The declassification last year was the achievement of health minister Anutin Charnvirakul whose Bhumjaithai party is still in the new government. Anutin has spoken favourably about new rules governing cannabis, but is also on record stating he disagrees the drug could become a narcotic once again. The popularity of Bhumjaithai in last May’s general election was partly due to a pro-weed stance. It will likely take up to a year for a new law to appear in the statute book. The expected clauses will emphasize protection of children and will likely detail new rules for Thai farmers growing cannabis for sale after registration. There will likely too be a ban on smoking cafes and promotional slogans such as “Have a high time here” or “Come to the stars with us”. But it is still far from clear that the selling, purchase and use of cannabis by the public at large will once again automatically attract a prison sentence.
  14. From The Thaiger Financial experts are predicting a further depreciation of the baht throughout this month and next, due to the increased volatility in the global money and capital markets. This follows the US Federal Reserve’s recent suggestion of a potential increase in its benchmark interest rate. Poon Panitchpibun, a strategist at Krungthai Global Market, a research centre of Krungthai Bank, noted that the baht opened yesterday, September 21, at 36.25 against the US dollar, a depreciation from the previous day’s close of 36.07. The baht had shown a gradual strengthening, fluctuating between 35.86 to 36.23 per dollar on Wednesday night, before it slipped as the dollar and US 10-year bond yields rose, following the Federal Reserve’s hint at an additional interest rate hike this year and fewer cuts next year. The research unit at Krungthai Bank believes the baht depreciation may be more than expected and stay weaker for longer, due to the Federal Reserve’s commitment to maintaining high interest rates over a prolonged period. The baht could also face pressure from foreign investors selling Thai assets as financial markets continue to exhibit a “risk-off” state, with a short-term rebound unlikely. Previously, the depreciation of the baht almost reached resistance levels, suggesting a possible weakening to a range of 36.50 to 37 against the dollar – a level considered undervalued by analysts. However, the baht could fluctuate sideways or even strengthen if influencing factors change, according to Krungthai Global Markets, which predicts the baht may appreciate to 35.80 to 36 against the dollar. Due to escalating uncertainties both internally and externally, Krungsri has adjusted its baht forecast for the end of this year to 35 baht to the dollar, a weakening from the earlier prediction of 34 baht. --------------------------- Today's cross rates USD 35.99 EUR 38.29 GBP 44.08
  15. From The Nation Ministry readies Thai airports for visa-free influx The Transport Ministry is taking steps to ensure that international airports throughout the country are ready for an expected influx of foreign tourists due to the government’s free visa policy that takes effect on Monday. Visitors from China and Kazakhstan will be allowed to enter Thailand without a visa for five months – until February 29 – under the pilot project. Transport Minister Suriya Juangroongruangkit on Friday presided over a meeting with executives of Airports of Thailand (AOT) to discuss measures to facilitate foreign arrivals in the coming weeks, which coincide with China’s National Day holidays on October 1. The ministry estimated that during the free-visa period, average incoming flights from China will increase from 72 to 96 per day, and average Chinese arrivals will increase from 9,680 to 18,656 persons per day. Suriya ordered the AOT and related agencies to prepare personnel and equipment at three key international airports – Suvarnabhumi, Don Mueang and Phuket – to enhance facilitation of tourists through the immigration process. He also ordered that a single command centre be established at each airport to monitor operations and coordinate with related agencies and airport services. AOT president Kerati Kijmanawat told the meeting that he had ordered the Immigration Bureau to assign officials to all 138 passport checking booths of Suvarnabhumi Airport during rush hours, as well as make sure that all 16 automatic check-in booths are operational. These should enable the airport to process up to 7,140 arrivals per hour, with an average time of passport processing of one minute for each passenger, he said. The AOT has also asked airlines to assign staff to all 302 check-in booths, and will use public announcements to urge passengers to use the automatic systems to speed up the process. As for the outgoing booths, all 69 of them will also be manned by immigration officials during rush hours on top of the 16 automatic channels.
  16. From Thai PBS World Red Line train fare to be reduced to Bt20 by New Year The State Railways of Thailand (SRT) board agreed yesterday (Thursday) to cut the fare on the Taling Chan-Bang Sue-Rangsit Red Line train service to 20 baht, from a maximum of Bt42, tentatively by the New Year. SRT Governor Nirut Maneephan said today that the fare reduction will cost the SRT about 80 million baht in lost revenue annually, which means that the SRT will have to seek compensation from the government. Currently, about 20,000 commuters are using this suburban train service each day, which is 25% of the 80,000 commuters originally estimated, said the governor, adding that he expects the number of commuters using the service will pick up by up to 20% each year. The SRT will submit the board’s decision to the Transport Ministry, to be forwarded to the cabinet for approval, said the governor, adding that he expects the new train fare to become effective around the New Year. Transport Minister Suriya Juangroongruangkit has previously said that the government will cut the train fares on the Red and Purple lines to 20 baht as a pilot project, as the government will have to negotiate with the operators of the other mass transit systems to cut the fare prices to 20 baht.
  17. So sorry to hear this. I was already planning to make Coffee Grinder my first stop when I return. Bangkok very much needs a place like the one you guys provide. Do you have any plans to try again at different location?
  18. Wine Connection on lower level of Silom Complex (on your left as you enter). Quite acceptable bottle in 500-600 baht range.
  19. From Thai PBS World Transport ministry will press ahead with the land bridge project, to link a deep-sea port in Ranong on the west coast with a deep-sea port in Chumphon on the east coast by rail and motorway systems, to facilitate goods shipments to destinations beyond Thailand without going through the Straits of Malacca. Transport Minister Suriya Juangroongruangkit said it is estimated that the massive project will cost about one trillion baht. Each seaport will be capable of handling 20 million cargo containers, or TEU (twenty-foot equivalent unit), per year. Suriya said that the project is now being studied by the Office of Transport and Traffic Policy and Planning, adding that the Prayut administration had decided that the project will be entirely private sector funded, while the government will provide land for the two deep-sea ports and for the road and rail routes. The transport minister said potential investors from China and France did show interest in the project when it was initiated some years ago, but the ministry has not heard from them since.
  20. You're a lot better at reading Thai language maps than most of us. Can you tell if the new Pink Line will expedite reaching this shop?
  21. At one time or another during the past 21 years, I've stayed in every upscale hotel and many mid-range locations in Silom and never once encountered a single issue of this type. In the early days, I had a few young men who were very apprehensive about entering (one saying, "I can never go"). I calmed them by making conversation as we passed through the lobby--even if they couldn't understand me. I realized that the most important factor was that if I feel comfortable, it will extend to the staff and my guest as well.
  22. PM sees role for Thaksin in new government From The Thaiger Former Thailand Prime Minister Thaksin Shinawatra is expected to be granted parole as early as the latter part of February next year, following a reduction of his original eight-year prison term to a single year. This update was provided by a high-ranking official from the Department of Corrections. The 74 year old former prime minister made his way back to Thailand last month, marking an end to 15 years of self-imposed exile. This period of exile followed his ousting from power back in 2006. While he was overseas, Thaksin was declared guilty, in his absence, on three counts relating to the abuse of power, conflict of interest, and malfeasance. Immediately upon his return to Thailand, Thaksin was admitted to a police hospital. He was suffering from high blood pressure and chest pains. He is presently receiving treatment in the same hospital. Sitthi Sutivong, the Deputy Director General of the Corrections Department, provided some insight into the situation. “After serving six months of his sentence, Thaksin will be eligible for parole. This is applicable for prisoners older than 70 or those who are ill.” Sitthi also clarified the process involved in these cases. He stated that each case is assessed individually by the Corrections Department. Furthermore, there is no requirement for a petition to be filed for parole.
  23. Typo: Air Force bid 32 million not 132 but either way they still lost.
  24. From CNN Traveling through one of the world’s best airports is set to get even smoother next year. Starting in 2024, officials say Singapore’s Changi Airport will introduce automated immigration clearance, which will allow passengers to depart the city-state without passports, using only biometric data. “Singapore will be one of the first few countries in the world to introduce automated, passport-free immigration clearance,” Communications Minister Josephine Teo announced during a parliament session on Monday, during which several changes to the country’s Immigration Act were passed. Biometric technology, along with facial recognition software, is already in use to some extent in Changi Airport at automated lanes at immigration checkpoints. But the upcoming changes will “reduce the need for passengers to repeatedly present their travel documents at touch points and allow for more seamless and convenient processing,” Teo said.
  25. Agree. Hell, if Tawan can find room for up to half-a-dozen I'd think Sol could do at least that much. That's a boy drink. If you order a beer will they just bring you a glass?
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