Category Archives: Thailand

Too sexy for the men in charge

Thai low-cost carrier Nok Air has released a sexy calendar featuring models from Maxim magazine.

But not everyone in Thailand is comfortable seeing the female form displayed in such a fashion.

nokairmaxim

According to Thai media, the Ministry of Culture’s Permanent Secretary, Prisana Pongtatpitakkul, says the calendar demonstrates that some businesses refuse to stop using women’s bodies as a marketing tool.

What do you think?

Coolest hostel i Bangkok

@Hualampong sits right next both Bangkok’s main train station and Chinatown. Its central location is good those looking for good food and easy access to Bangkok’s sights. A cafe and a cool hang-out area with a big screen TV create a social vibe, while the small dorm rooms with ensuite bathrooms will give you a good nights sleep. Breakfast is not included.

cool_hostel_bk

Next time you are in Bangkok be sure to check it out.

Coolest marketplace in the world

Just seconds before the train arrives it is a bustling open-air marketplace like any other with stallholders and shoppers haggling over the price of the produce on sale. Maeklong Market is in Samut Songkhram, Thailand, around one hour outside Bangkok.

No more squat toilets in Thailand

Good news for all, especially for the ladies.

Newcomers to Thailand may soon be able to avoid the painful process of figuring out how to use a squat toilet, which is essentially not much more than a bowl in the floor, without splattering urine onto their calves/feet.

On Tuesday, Thailand’s Health Ministry announced it will replace squat toilets with the sit-down version at all public facilities.

Google Street View in Thailand

Thailand became the 35th country in the world to be featured on Google Street View, a technology that offers panoramic views along streets in the cities of Bangkok, Chiang Mai and Phuket. At present, Google Street View covers approximately 95% of the streets in the three cities.

Google Street View allows users to zoom in on a city’s streets and also by dragging a ‘pegman’ icon onto a map’s location. Using a keyboard or a mouse, the icon can be manipulated to show streets in horizontal or vertical directions and zoom levels can be adjusted. The user can follow a route taken by the camera car, making it feel like he is one of the passengers traveling on a road.

According to Google, the technology will underscore Thailand’s tourism appeal by showing the way of life along the country’s roads. It also helps travelers in planning travel in the cities and extended road trips. Google plans to use tuk tuks (three-wheeled taxis) to capture images in areas inaccessible by cars such as parks and monuments. The Tourism Authority of Thailand (TAT) will conduct a public survey to find the most desirable places in Thailand to be shown on Google Street Map. The plan is to have all 77 provinces featured, but no time frame has been committed for this.

Thailand in your pocket

TAT has launched a special webpage from which visitors can download apps for a wide range of smartphones to help them plan many different kinds of visits to Thailand, from honeymoons to studying martial arts and Thai culinary art.

A total of 19 apps are available for free download here .

The apps are presently available only in English, but a unique “Speak Thai” app offers help with basic translations in traditional and simplified Chinese, French, Japanese, and Russian. Altogether, the apps cover more than 10,000 topics in many areas; for example, medical tourism, Thai cooking classes and the sights and sounds of Chiang Mai and Phuket. One special app highlights just the “Top 50 Amazing Experiences in Thailand.”

Warning of terror attacks in Bangkok

“Foreign terrorists may be currently looking to conduct attacks against tourist areas in Bangkok in the near future. US citizens are urged to exercise caution when visiting public areas where large groups of Western tourists gather in Bangkok,” the US embassy in Bangkok said in an emergency message posted on its website.

A senior Thai intelligence officer also told AFP that the kingdom had been informed before the New Year by Israel of a possible threat. This comes days before Thai immigration arrested a man with ties to Hezbollah militant group trying to cross the border.

Read more here.

Lady Boy airlines take to the sky

Known as “katoeys” or “ladyboys,” transgenders and transsexuals hold mainstream jobs in a variety of fields in Thailand. They are especially common in cosmetics shops or health stores, which almost always have a ladyboy shop assistant.

Working for new charter airline PC Air, transsexual flight attendants made their debut on a flight from Bangkok to the southern city of Surat Thani on Thursday, serving drinks and snacks and carrying out safety demonstrations.

Qualifications for the ladyboy flight attendants were the same as for female flight attendants, with the additional provisos that they be like women in how they walked and talked, and have a feminine voice.

Time to clean up Bangkok

On Saturday the city governor led workers from the Bangkok Metropolitan Administration (BMA) and volunteers from all walks of life to clean up the Lad Phrao 5-way intersection and nearby areas. This is the intersection right in front of Chatuchak Weekend Market and the Central Department Store complex, which includes the Sofitel Centara Grand Bangkok.

Twenty-five water-trucks were deployed for cleaning up the debris and residue left behind by the floods. The clean-up also saw a massive turnout by the Thai public, private sector companies, the army and police.

Thai Airways promotion for Royal Holidays

Thai Airways International is heavily promoting the Royal Flora Ratchaphruek by offering Royal Orchid Holidays at special rates starting from THB 6,135 per person, including a round-trip economy class air ticket (inclusive of airport tax and applicable fees), two night’s accommodation with breakfast, round-trip airport transfer to and from the hotel, admission ticket to the exposition, Giant Flora Wheel ticket, admission ticket to the Chiang Mai Zoo and entrance fee to see the Panda (limited number of tickets are available).

Tourists are leaving Bangkok

While central Bangkok has avoided flooding so far, hotels and office buildings have erected walls of sandbags to protect against waters that have killed more than 500 people nationwide. The threat has deterred tourists, forcing Singapore Airlines and Cathay Pacific Airways to cut flights.


Read more here. 

The flooding situation in Thailand is mainly affecting the central provinces along the Chao Phraya River including Bangkok and Ayutthaya. Other popular tourist destinations in the central region including Pattaya, Hua Hin, Kanchanaburi and Ko Chang have not been affected by the floods. Tourist destinations in the south of Thailand including Phuket, Krabi, Surat Thani, Ko Samui, Hat Yai and Phang-Nga; and in the north including Chiang Mai, Chiang Rai and Sukhothai, also have not been affected by the floods.

Flood waters in Ayutthaya and some other central provinces have begun to subside, although many areas are not yet fully accessible. Tourist attractions in Ayutthaya will reopen once they have been restored.

Areas flooded in the Bangkok Metropolitan Area includes suburbs in the east and west, the west bank of the Chao Phraya River, and districts in the northern part of the city. In central Bangkok, businesses, hotels, shops and tourist attractions remain open as per normal in areas including:

– Khao San Road
– Phetchaburi Road
– Ploenchit/ Chidlom
– Pratunam
– Rama 1 Road
– Ratchaprasong (Central World area)
– Sathorn
– Siam Square/ MBK/ Siam Paragon
– Silom/ Surawongse
– Sukhumvit Road/ The Emporium- Rama 4 Road
– Yaowarat (Chinatown)

The BTS Skytrain and MRT subway are operating normally at this time.

Suvarnabhumi Airport remains open. Transportation to and from the airport into central Bangkok including taxis, buses and the Airport Rail Link have not been affected by the floods.

A “Tourist Assistance Center” is set up on the 3rd floor of Airport Rail Link’s Makkasan Station to facilitate tourists’ transport from hotels in central Bangkok to the airport.

More updates here. 

Severe flooding in Thailand

Update: 2011-10-31:
Tourist areas not affected by flooding.
Update:2011-10-28
Flash floods hit Bangkok City (video)
Tourists advised to leave Bangkok as waters threaten city centre

More information about flooding  from CNN. More info from CNN. More info from BBC.
Relief centers for food and shelter.
The flood in Bangkok might last from 15 days to one month.
Update: 2011-10-26
Flood waters are now reaching Bangkok City.
Update: 2011-10-24
Flood water reaches Bangkok Airport
Update: 2011-10-20
Bangkok on high alert.
Update: 2011-10-13
CNN has more updates here.

Severe flooding occurred during the 2011 monsoon season in Thailand, most severely in the Chao Phraya but also in the Mekong River basin. Beginning in late July and continuing for over two months, as of 11 October there have been 270 reported deaths, over two million people affected, with estimated damages of up to fifty billion baht (1.6 billion USD).

The flooding has inundated about six million hectares of land, of which over 300,000 hectares is farmland, in fifty-eight provinces, from Chiang Mai in the North to Ayutthaya, in the Central plains just north of Bangkok, where water has inundated ancient temples including Wat Chai Watthanaram, part of a World Heritage Site. It has been described as “the worst flooding yet in terms of the amount of water and people affected”.

As of 4 October, twenty-five provinces are still affected, with risk of further flooding, as most dams are near- or over-capacity.

Koh Samui and Koh Tao are cut off from communications.

More updates here. 

More on Thailand here.

Kiwi Collections give you luxury in Thailand

D’Marge and Kiwi Collection have selected a number of upmarket hotels for those who need to rest their “weary heads” on seriously expensive pillows. If you want to join then click here.


Pictures from Kiwi Collections and D’Marge.

Kiwi Collections provide guidance on luxury hotels to book for a range of tastes and budgets—from Ryokans in Japan and tented luxury camps in Africa, to luxurious palaces in Europe and hip urban hotels around the globe. The collection is curated by a team of travel experts around the world, who carefully select properties to ensure the highest standards.

More on Thailand here.

Crocodiles on the loose in flood-striken Thailand

After several of the fearsome beasts were spotted in flood-stricken Ayutthaya, a bounty has been placed on Thailand’s escaped crocodiles.

According to media reports, as many as 100 crocodiles are thought to be on the loose after escaping from flood-hit farms in the area. Authorities say 1.000 baht (32 USD) will be paid for each crocodile caught alive.

Next time you are lying on the beach and a sales guy comes up and wants to sell you a sarong or hammock for a 1.000 baht then remember that this is the price for capturing a living crocodile – you are being ripped off.

More on Thailand here.