Friday, March 23, 2018
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Chinese tourists visiting Thailand in the thousands are making a lesser-known attraction far more popular – boiling eggs in a northern hot spring.

Scores more travellers from China were buying eggs from vendors at the steamy site in Chiang Rai’s Wieng Pa Pao district on Tuesday morning.

Chillier temperatures also encourage tourists to dip their feet in the warm water.

The egg suppliers of Tambon Mae Chedi Yai couldn’t be happier. Business has never been so brisk.

One vendor said she’s lately been selling 300 to 500 eggs a day to tourists, most of them Chinese.

The usual price is Bt20 for a woven basket holding three eggs.

Tourists suspend the baskets in the hot spring for a minute or two if they want their eggs soft-boiled and three minutes for hard-boiled.


Asean takes calm tack on South China Sea

Posted by pakin On November - 14 - 2017 ADD COMMENTS

Parties agree to work towards new code of conduct governing disputes.

ASEAN PUSHED for early negotiations on the Code of Conduct (CoC) in the South China Sea during the 31st Asean Summit and 20th Asean-China Summit yesterday.

In a continued effort since the CoC framework was adopted during the Asean Foreign Ministers’ Meeting (AMM) in August, both sides agreed to kick off negotiations by early next year, a source said.

The CoC, while not itself an instrument to manage territorial disputes, takes the sides a step closer to realising a legally binding tool regarding territories contested by China and four Asean countries.

Host country Philippines, one of the contestants, had appeared to preserve its original stance on the long-contested sea, before releasing it in a document seen by The Nation.

Two paragraphs mentioning the South China Sea were softer than those in earlier joint communiques released after the AMM.

The Philippines, which chairs Asean this year, has taken a soft stance over territorial disputes with China since the current administration under President Rodrigo Duterte came to power.

Members of Asean, including the Philippines and Vietnam, have been at loggerheads with China over territorial disputes in the contentious sea for decades. The issue always raises temperatures at Asean meetings, but received a relatively calm reception this year as conflicting parties sought to compromise.

Vietnam and China agreed yesterday to back away from conflicts in the South China Sea, in a move aimed at easing tensions over Beijing’s claims to most of the waterway, according to an AFP report from Hanoi.

Hanoi and Beijing agreed to maintain peace in the seas, the countries said in a joint statement during a state visit to Hanoi by Chinese President Xi Jinping.

They agreed to “well manage disputes at sea, make no moves that may complicate or expand disputes, [and] maintain peace and stability on the East Sea”, the Vietnamese version of the statement said, using Hanoi’s term for the sea.

During a meeting at the Asean-China summit in Manila, leaders of both sides said they had agreed to officially commence negotiations with China on the CoC. “[We] trust that we will continue this positive momentum and work towards a substantive and effective CoC,” a statement said.

They also called the situation “calmer”, a rare official note on the conflicting sea, adding that the detente “cannot [be taken] for granted and needs further cooperation”.

Under Duterte, the Philippines has shifted its approach from collectively calling on Asean to cope with China to a more “friendly” approach to negotiations.

That stance was reiterated yesterday by Philippine presidential spokesperson Harry Roque, who also recalled Duterte’s bilateral meeting with President Xi during the Apec Summit last week in Vietnam.

“[Duterte] opted for friendly relations with China and also reinstates warmer [relations] with Vietnam, Indonesia and Malaysia,” Roque said, referring to all countries contesting the “West Philippine Sea”, as the Philippines refers to the body.

“It is not in the interest of either China or the Philippines to resort to military forces. China is also pursuing with bilateral [talks] with every claimant.”

“It is a hope of all Asean countries that the CoC will be concluded as soon as possible,” he added


Thailand is staging the “Digital Thailand Big Bang 2017” exhibition under the concept of Digital Transformation Thailand.

The government says now marks the beginning of the implementation part of its efforts to reform economy and society into Thailand 4.0.

The exhibition feature the latest technological innovations, and brings together more than 120 companies engaged in digital technology that are sharing their insights.

The event continues until September 24 at Challenger Hall 1-2 at Impact in Muang Thong Thani.

Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha said: “Digital Thailand Big Bang 2017 is the milestone event which propels the whole nation into the digital era.

“It is organised by the Ministry of Digital Economy and Society (MDES), Digital Economy Promotion Agency (DEPA) and co-organised by the National Broadcasting and Telecommunications Commission (NBTC).

The event will display the processes to transform the country to Thailand 4.0, a new engine of growth that will drive the economy forward through high-tech industries and innovations.

In 2017, the government has maximised the use of digital technology in three aspects;

  1. To create new opportunities for economic growth and improve the delivery of government services for its people: the Pracha Rat Internet, to bridge a digital gap by providing high speed Internet accessibility to 74,700 communities in Thailand within a year.

The government is aiming to create innovations through the application of technology, such as e-commerce to enhance the capabilities so that the people can run their businesses online; e-health to enable swift exchange of information between experts and individual units located across the nation; e-education to offer numerous possibilities for distance learning to people, including children, senior citizens and underprivileged; e-agriculture to change the country’s traditional farming to smart farming and to help Thai farmers to become entrepreneurs and e-service to serve as a central information center to facilitate people in obtaining public services.

  1. Ranges of digital innovations: Digital Park Thailand spanning over 600 rai will be built in Sri Racha, Chon Buri as the centre of the Eastern Economic Corridor (EEC); support for the Internet of Things (IoT) to local tech start-ups; and smart city initiatives. Digital Park and the development of smart cities will help improve quality of life and the local environment while enabling the country to use resources more efficiently.
  2. Global Connectivity: This is to facilitate international collaboration through digital platforms. The government is in the process of setting up a one-stop service for permits relating to setting up a business. To improve the ease of doing business, cooperation with global partners will be made to support Thai startups to form their businesses and create a cybersecurity.

Celebrities caught using drugs face uncertain fate

Posted by pakin On September - 21 - 2017 ADD COMMENTS

FORMER MISS TEEN THAILAND and now-disgraced actress Amelia Jacobs, who was arrested on drug-related charges early on Tuesday morning, is not the first – and will not be the last – Thai star who has seen a bright future threatened by involvement with illegal drugs.

Indeed, the police blotter is littered with examples of celebrities being caught with narcotics, ending in lengthy jail sentences and hefty fines, although in some cases, canny public relations and efforts to rehabilitate have saved careers that seemed beyond repair.

Just this last March, the Supreme Court upheld a verdict against Chatchaya Ramos, or “Yuyee”, formerly a popular model, sentencing her to 15 years and three months in jail for smuggling cocaine into the country in November 2012.

During a search at Don Mueang International Airport, authorities found 251 milligrams of cocaine concealed in her suitcase. In addition to the jail sentence, she was also fined Bt1.5 million.

However, the trail of careers in peril reaches back years. In 2013, the young actress Sutatta “Punpun” Udomsilp saw all of her contracts suspended after photos of her using meth were leaked to the public and her family admitted that she used drugs.

However, the young celebrity stopped using drugs before returning to act in movies again and regaining her popularity as a teen idol.

In another particularly high-profile case in December 2011, renowned rockstar Seksan “Sek Loso” Sukpimai came out to admit that he used “ice” after his estranged wife at the time, Wiphakorn Sookpimay, posted on Facebook photos of him consuming drugs.

He too was able to restore his image after spending months in rehabilitation and then returning to the music arena where he has founded and managed many related businesses. He also divorced Wiphakorn.

In March the previous year, the once-rising star Athip Nana, or “Ball”, was arrested after police found him in possession of marijuana and cocaine.

He was sentenced to one year and three months in jail, fined Bt12,000 and ordered to enter rehab. However, his sentence was suspended for two years.

In the same year, a female comedian known as Nok Choenyim was arrested for trying to smuggle 560 milligrams of “ice”, 580 milligrams of marijuana and drug paraphernalia from Cambodia to Thailand. It was the second time she was charged for such an offence.

Going all the way back to 2004, the popular young singer Joyce Triumph Kingdoms and her boyfriend were arrested and charged with possession of 4,000 “yaba” amphetamine tablets with intent to sell.