Tuesday, December 18, 2018
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Krung Ching, part of Khao Luang National Park in Nakhon Sri Thammarat, is fast becoming Southern Thailand’s premier birding destination. It is home to a huge array of forest birds and has three great areas for birding. Two of the most difficult birds are readily available here: the Malaysian Rail-babbler and the very shy Great Argus!

The main trail to Krung Ching waterfall provides great sightings at every turn. For the first kilometre the trail gently leads you up the mountain from the headquarters area. Here trogons are often heard and seen, it’s not unusual to see three or four species in a day. In an open area near the top of the climb look out for the Ferruginous Flycatcher which winters here. A Wallace’s Hawk-Eagle nest overlooks the area. The next two or three kilometres of the trail are level and pass along streams and gullies. This stretch is great for Babblers, Woodpeckers, forest Kingfishers, Forktails and Hornbills. Along here we can usually call out a Malaysian Rail-Babbler, one of the few birds in the world that taxonomically merits it’s own family.

If you fancy a break, why not head down to the impressive waterfall for a rest or even a swim.

The other trail provides forest edge birding and runs for a few kilometres under a ridge. All three of Thailand’s Ioras can be seen here along with Dark-throated Orioles, Red-bearded Bee-eaters and Yellow-rumped Flycatchers.

The headquarter area is also fantastic. Fruiting trees are full of Bulbuls, Barbets and Green Pigeons. At dusk, Wreathed Hornbills, White-Crowned Hornbills, Great Hornbills and sometimes Black Hornbills can be seen flying to their roosts. It doesn’t even stop after dark. Buffy Fish-Owls, Brown wood-Owls and Blyth’s Frogmouths are frequently seen around the campsite in the evening.

To take full advantage of this park we recommend at least three day’s birding. Basic accommodation can be found ten minutes from the park but if you like a hot shower and an air-conditioned bedroom we can stay in the sea-side town of Tha Sala, about an hour’s drive from the park.

Govt action likely if baht hits 28 to US$

Posted by Rattana_S On April - 30 - 2013 ADD COMMENTS

BOT asked to suggest possible moves

Thailand may take action to tame capital inflows if the baht advances to 28 per US dollar, but they would not be any different from steps implemented by other countries, which have also attracted huge inflows after the monetary easing in developed economies, Areepong Bhoocha-oom, permanent secretary of the Finance Ministry, said yesterday.

The baht closed at 29.29 per US dollar, up from 28.58 earlier this month, which was the highest level since 1997.

Somchai Sajjapong, director-general of the Fiscal Policy Office, said the ministry had asked the Bank of Thailand to submit measures capable of holding down the baht if it chooses not to cut the policy rate. The policy rate has stayed at 2.75 per cent since October 2012.

Today, the Monetary Policy Committee will hold a special meeting ahead of the regular one scheduled for May 29. Most MPC members have insisted that a lower rate will be ineffective in diverting capital inflows.

As a comfort to the Bank of Thailand, the baht yesterday was traded above 29 per dollar for the first time in weeks. At 29.25 in the morning, it weakened 0.41 per cent from Friday, limiting this month’s gain to only 0.14 per cent.

It also depreciated against the Japanese yen by 0.53 per cent from Friday, which narrowed this month’s gain to 4.06 per cent from more than 8 per cent last week.

Finance Minister Kittiratt Na-Ranong, BOT Governor Prasarn Trairatvorakul and other officials discussed the baht on Friday.

“We don’t know which measures the BOT will propose [to slow the pace of the baht]. But a tax imposed on foreign capital inflows is too tough,” Somchai said.

The International Monetary Fund yesterday also urged Asian policy-makers to stand ready to respond – early and decisively – to overheating risks in their economies stemming from rapid credit growth and rising asset prices.

Growth is set to pick up gradually during the year and inflation is expected to stay within central banks’ comfort zones. Greater exchange-rate flexibility in the region would play a “useful role” in curbing overheating pressures and coping with speculative capital inflows, it said.

The baht, which has recently appreciated, has started to drag down the economy, particularly exports. March exports expanded 4.3 per cent year on year, but shrank 4.5 per cent from the previous quarter.

The FPO expects this quarter to produce clear and sharp evidence of the baht’s potential to hamstring the economy. Businesses have started revising their operating plans, given their missed estimate of the baht at 30-31 per dollar.

For the whole year, Somchai projects consistent economic growth, however, there were signs of a slowdown in manufacturing, consumption and investment. The FPO’s growth forecast is 5.3 per cent in 2013, with estimated export growth of 10 per cent per quarter for the rest of this year.

First-quarter value-added tax collections increased 6.9 per cent year on year, compared with an 18-per-cent rise in the prior quarter.

Machinery imports for construction expanded 2.6 per cent on year and contracted 5.6 per cent on quarter. Tax collected on property transactions surged 32.5 per cent on year but dipped 5.4 per cent on quarter.

In manufacturing, the production index rose 2.9 per cent on year but fell 2.8 per cent on quarter.

Somchai said the global economic recovery, higher liquidity from the quantitative easing of other countries and the baht’s movements also needed close monitoring.

Philippines to tighten watch

Posted by Rattana_S On April - 30 - 2013 ADD COMMENTS

With the continued rise of liquidity in the economy, which had pushed the Philippine Stock Exchange Index above 7,000 points, the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP or central bank) may impose stricter underwriting standards and higher capital requirements to cover risky assets held by banks.

Although developments indicating that the capital markets will remain vibrant are welcome, the BSP said it was mindful of the need to temper asset price inflation to ensure that the country’s favourable economic performance is not disrupted.

BSP Governor Amando Tetangco Jr. said the central bank wanted the banking system to help channel more funds to job-generating and long-term investments, rather than short-term income opportunities. “Our goal is to create a lasting behavioural change in the market, encourage a longer-term perspective among market participants.”

Slight rise in BTS fares in June

Posted by Rattana_S On April - 30 - 2013 ADD COMMENTS

New fares will take effect on the original network of the Skytrain from June 1. The maximum fare rise will be from Bt40 to Bt42 per trip. The original network covers a combined 23.5 kilometres.

There are two lines – one stretches from On Nut to Mo

Chit, the other from the National Stadium to Saphan Taksin, with Siam as the interchange station between the two lines.

Current fares on the original network are from Bt15 to Bt40 per trip. Service fees for extended routes will be determined by the Bangkok Metropolitan Administration, which is now offering free rides from Saphan Taksin to Talat Phlu.

Keeree Kanjanapas, BTS Group Holdings chairman and chief executive officer, said earlier that the fare hike, the first in eight years, was to cope with higher operating costs. Under the concession, the maximum fare can be raised up to Bt56.