Archive for the ‘Thai culture’ Category

Thailand Wants To Celebrate Reopening In Style

October 16, 2021

Thailand is planning on throwing a massive extravaganza to celebrate the country’s reopening. The Tourism and Sports Ministry is planning on hosting concerts in Bangkok and Phuket, with a budget of 500-600 million baht. The concerts will feature famed Italian tenor Andrea Bocelli, and Thai K-pop singer Lisa Monaban. Tourism and Sports Minister Phiphat Ratchakitprakarn says bringing the 2 artists to the country is beyond economic value.
“Particularly Lalisa ‘Lisa’ Monaban, the young Thai K-pop singer, who is a huge inspiration for the youth of the country.
He also confirmed that Lalisa Monaban will be singing in Phuket at the Sarasin Bridge, while Andrea Bocelli will be performing in Bangkok at the Sanam Luang public square. The government and private sector are co-sponsoring the event by spending 200 million baht. The rest of the funding is from private sponsors. The Tourism Authority of Thailand has requested for the artists to perform as part of a New Year’s celebration, and is waiting to hear back from the artists’ agents. But Piphat says Covid-19 protocols must also be taken into account.
“We also need to discuss with the Public Health Ministry the number of audience members allowed and other health and safety protocols for such big events when we are still battling an outbreak.”
The CCSA has recently announced that vaccinated visitors from certain countries could enter the country without undergoing a quarantine, starting November 1. These visitors will also be allowed to travel wherever they want, instead of being restricted to certain parts of the country. Additionally, Bangkok has approved a plan to allow business events with 500 participants or fewer.
The president of the Thai Spa Association and head of the Hua Hin Recharge programme, Krod Rojanastien has high hopes for the reopening plan. He says that opening up Hua Hin to international travelers will double the city’s occupancy rates, from 20% to 40%.
Krod says that official timelines should be published to make it easier to plan for both tourists and tourism operators alike. He also said that guests are waiting for these official announcements to be made before making plans to come.

Thai Crime: Thai Man Pretends To Be Police Officer

October 10, 2021

A 28-year-old Lampang man impersonating a Crime Suppression Division (CSD) police officer has been arrested on charges of duping people into investing 1.6 million baht in a restaurant business that never materialized.
Phonlakorn Siriwan, 22, was arrested on Friday at his apartment on Thepprasit Road in the Bang Lamung district of Chon Buri. Thon Buri Criminal Court issued an arrest warrant for a man who posed as a Crime Suppression Division (CSD) police officer and duped investors into investing 1.6 million baht in a restaurant business that never materialized.
On Friday, the CSD police apprehended Phonlakorn Siriwan at an apartment on Thepprasit Road in the Bang Lamung district of Chon Buri. The Thon Buri Criminal Court had issued an arrest warrant for him on charges of fraud, impersonating an officer, and inputting false information into a computer system
According to Pol Col Pornsak Raorujilarai, deputy chief of the CSD, the suspect, who claimed to be a CSD officer and graduate of the 64th class of the academy, had lured people into investing in a restaurant business last year.
Phonlakorn also claimed to be a close associate of Police Lieutenant General Jirabhop in order to gain the trust of his victims. Phonlakorn promised them a high return on their investment.
Pol Col Pornsak says the suspect raised a total of 1.6 million baht, but when people asked for the promised payments, the suspect kept delaying them.
Upon being unable to contact the suspect, the victims filed a complaint with the CSD.
Phonlakorn admitted to the charges when questioned. In his statement, he said he posed as a police officer because he loved the profession. He failed the test to enter a non-commissioned officer school.
Pol Lt Gen Jirabhop was known and had a good reputation, so he claimed to be close to him.
Pol Maj Gen Montri Thetkhan, the CSD commander, said a criminal check revealed that the suspect was also wanted on two other arrest warrants for fraud.

Thai Crime: Thai Soldiers KIll Imsuregents in the Deep South

October 7, 2021

In the “Deep South” province Narathiwat, four suspected insurgents were killed in a gunfire exchange with soldiers on Sunday and an army officer was killed in another clash with insurgents the night before, according to the Bangkok Post. Reports say the insurgents killed in the incident were all wanted on court warrants, most of them facing charges for deadly attacks.
Soldiers reportedly first started their operation last Tuesday and a military unit surrounded a village in the Bacho district where the men were suspected to be hiding. On Saturday night, the insurgents reportedly tried to escape, leading to a clash with soldiers where a 35-year-old lieutenant was killed. There was another clash on Sunday where the four fugitives were killed.
One of the men was wanted on two warrants for shooting and killing a defense volunteer in the Bacho district in March and attacking a local police outpost in February. Another was wanted for a 2005 bomb explosion where three marines were killed. Another man was warranted for allegedly attempting to murder government officials in 2010 and 2013. The fourth man was wanted on charges relating to a clash with a government force back in 2014.

TAT Wants To Collect 500-baht From Tourists in 2022

October 4, 2021

The Tourism and Sports Ministry is poised to start collecting a 500-baht tourism fee for a “tourism transformation fund” next year, and the budget will use a co-payment model.
The Centre for Economic Situation Administration approved the creation of the fund last week. The fund will support high-value and sustainable tourism projects in order to transform the tourism industry.
Yuthasak Supasorn, governor of the Tourism Authority of Thailand (TAT), told reporters that it will begin collecting 500 baht per person next year with the goal of collecting 5 billion baht in the first year, assuming 10 million foreign arrivals by 2022.
Early this year, the National Tourism Policy Committee approved the establishment of the fund, with a proposed fee of 300 baht per person.
This additional $200 million will be used to fund projects initiated by the private sector, community enterprises, and social enterprises that wish to transform their business to meet the fund’s goals; help the country transition away from mass tourism to high-value tourism and a green economic model; and support environmentally responsible tourism.
“The government should use the fund to support projects that can have a significant economic impact. The proportion of public-private funding could be 50:50, 60:40 or 70:30, depending on how much we want to make the projects a success,” he said.
According to Yuthasak, it is also intended to fund insurance and development projects for foreign visitors that require government rather than private sector initiatives, such as those requiring matching grants from local governments.
Upon approval of the concept, the Tourism and Sports Ministry and TAT are required to hold discussions with relevant authorities about setting up the fund committee and funding mechanisms, such as how to collect fees from tourists, he said.
To determine which projects are eligible for financial support, the committee must develop criteria.
“The additional cost will not affect tourists as we want to focus on the quality market,” Yuthasak said.
This fund will contribute to a national tourism makeover that creates a more safe and clean environment.
In his words, the fund’s objective is not to deal with the financial impact of the pandemic, but rather to promote long-term economic growth within the region.

Thai Bits: Thais Are No. 1 in Online Shopping, Thailand Government Agency Passes Rules To Attract Hi-Tech Companies

July 9, 2021

Thais are No. 1 In Online Shopping

Wunderman Thompson, a global marketing communications agency, reports that Thais are the top online shoppers. A global survey of 28000 respondents was conducted in 17 markets, including Thailand. 94 percent of Thai consumers said online shopping saved them in 2020. The global average was 72 percent. Ninety percent said they would continue to shop through digital channels. Online shopping channels topped the list, followed by retailer websites and social media bios that offer new enhanced privileges and newly arranged categories

ThAI BOI PaSSES Incentives To Attract Hi-Tech Companies

The Board of Investment (BOI) approved last week new packages and enhanced incentives for research and development (R&D) and human resource development to attract semiconductor manufacturing, digital activities, and smart packaging companies. Investments or expenditures of at least 200 million baht or 1 percent of their total sales over the first three years will qualify for longer tax breaks (up to 13 years) without a corporate income tax exemption ceiling. Tax benefits can also be obtained by companies that offer training programs and apprenticeships or invest in advanced technology training.
In addition, the BOI reorganized the category of “Development of Software, Digital Services Platform or Digital Content”. Companies that apply under this category are eligible for eight-year tax holidays, with the ceiling reflecting the additional costs of hiring Thai IT personnel, training expenses, and international standard certifications. The government also offers enhanced benefits to companies that use eco-friendly packaging and recycled materials.
An application for BOI investment privileges can be complicated, but if successful it can provide a number of benefits, including tax benefits, work permits for foreign employees, and the ability to purchase property for use in the business.

Thai Bits: All Expats Can Register For COVID-19 Vaccine On June 14, A Vaccine Passport For Thais and Expats, Are Provinces in Lockdown or Not?

June 12, 2021

All Expats Can Register On June 14 for Vaccine

The website previously only accepted registrations from foreigners in Thailand over 60 and those with underlying health conditions.

From June 14, all foreigners will be able to register.

“Those interested in receiving Sinovac or AstraZeneca can begin receiving them from June 14, 2021 (sic).

Registration will be open from 14:00 to 18:00 each day, according to the website.

In addition, the number of hospitals where vaccinations will be administered will be increased nationwide.

Before, the website only listed hospitals in Bangkok and Chonburi.

Foreigners are advised to register for vaccinations two weeks before the intended vaccination date.

Walk-in registration will not be available.

Several provinces in Thailand will also launch their own vaccine registration platforms for foreigners in the coming weeks, in addition to Intervac.

A New Thai Vaccine Passport Book

Passport for vaccines.

Parts of passports titled “International Certificate of Vaccination or Prophylaxis” are in English for international travel.

Thais who have been vaccinated will receive one.

On his Facebook page, Thai Health Minister Anutin promoted Thai hashtags translating to # Thais must be safe and # together we can recover the country.

The minister stated that the opening of Thailand was “coming soon” and that all would be “relatively normal” for Thais soon.

Quarantine Only For Expats From High-Risk Areas

The Thai government requires visitors from so-called ‘high-risk’ areas to undergo a 14-day quarantine.

According to erroneous reports on social media, no province is currently in lockdown. In fact, government officials have repeatedly said there are no plans for a provincial or national lockdown (this is correct at the time of posting).

People traveling from Bangkok, Pathum Thani, Nonthaburi, Samut Prakan, and Nakhon Pathom may be required to undergo some form of quarantine or to take a rapid COVID-19 test.

Some provinces, however, are only requiring quarantine for travelers who visited high-risk venues, such as The Krystal Club, Ekkamai Beer Bar, The Cassette Music Bar, or other places where clusters have been confirmed.

It is recommended that you seek the latest information regarding your destination province before you set off on your journey if you plan to still travel.

You should get up-to-date information before your departure since the situation is fluid and ever-changing.

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Happy Anniversary! It has been 7 years Since The Last Thai Military Coup

May 24, 2021

May 22nd, 2021 marked the 7th anniversary of the coup in which Gen. Prayut Chan-o-cha, then chief of the Thai Army, took control of Thailand. Differing opinions persist as regards progress for Thailand in the last 7 years and also the failings of the Thai ‘government’ since the coup.
Many believe the PM has worn out his welcome after beginning to lose the confidence of conservative groups that had previously supported him. They cite Covid-19 policy, which was once a shining example for the world but has failed in recent months to prevent Thailand’s third wave of outbreaks. A successful vaccination campaign over the next two months may warm up those cooling attitudes.
Many who hoped that the coup would bring transparency to the Thai government are disappointed as the regime tightens its hold on power rather than presenting an outward appearance of a modern government. In recent years, young people have mounted powerful opposition to the previously unshakable power of the government and the Royal Family. Currently, the discussion about the Thai monarchy is restricted by draconian laws that quash dissent and quiet dissenting voices.
Many questions whether Thailand has been able to reform since the coup, saying that tangible results are few and far between and democratic liberties have been curtailed. Last year, the Thai public came out in protest to protest long-term social injustice, evidence of a country racked by political conflict. The majority assumes that the public is not considered or involved in electing the people in politics who enact flawed amendments to the constitution whose main objective is to hold onto power rather than to progress the nation.
COPID-19 has brought up some of the government’s weaknesses, not only in dealing with the current third wave outbreak but also in dealing with corruption, illegal gambling, illegal immigration, human trafficking, and a lot of alleged “greased palms” in Bangkok’s entertainment venues that ignored Covid-19 restrictions leading to the current outbreak.
The Prime Minister Operation Centre released a list of 15 areas where reform has taken place since the coup in Thailand, including road, rail, transportation, and digital infrastructure. As a result, they assert that quality of life has improved due to assistance for low-income earners and welfare recipients, pension reform, and improvements in universal healthcare as well as reforms in education.
The PM’s office also claims success in agriculture, water resource management, and handling the Covid-19 pandemic. Bangkok has enacted new laws governing landowners, as well as addressing flooding, pollution, traffic, and traffic congestion.
Opponents of PM Prayut’s ruling party say the coup did not achieve its objectives. In Thailand, political unrest, social unrest, and political conflict have grown and become more polarized, despite attempts at reform by holding hearings and passing laws. In the areas of economic improvement, civil service reform, and education reform, no significant progress has been made. The opposition claims that the government that arose after the coup created more problems than it solved. In response to the assessment, a government spokesperson claimed that the present government had been working toward solutions to political conflicts and avoided getting involved in squabbles.
In response to the assessment, a government spokesperson claimed that the present government had been working toward solutions to political conflicts and avoided getting involved in squabbles. With the enactment of new bills soon, they say there will be substantial progress on revising the laws and opening the way for reform. According to the spokesman, parliamentary procedures have slowed progress on reforms and constitutional amendments.

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Happy Anniversary! It has been 7 years Since The Last Thai Military Coup

May 24, 2021

May 22nd, 2021 marked the 7th anniversary of the coup in which Gen. Prayut Chan-o-cha, then chief of the Thai Army, took control of Thailand. Differing opinions persist as regards progress for Thailand in the last 7 years and also the failings of the Thai ‘government’ since the coup.
Many believe the PM has worn out his welcome after beginning to lose the confidence of conservative groups that had previously supported him. They cite Covid-19 policy, which was once a shining example for the world but has failed in recent months to prevent Thailand’s third wave of outbreaks. A successful vaccination campaign over the next two months may warm up those cooling attitudes.
Many who hoped that the coup would bring transparency to the Thai government are disappointed as the regime tightens its hold on power rather than presenting an outward appearance of a modern government. In recent years, young people have mounted powerful opposition to the previously unshakable power of the government and the Royal Family. Currently, the discussion about the Thai monarchy is restricted by draconian laws that quash dissent and quiet dissenting voices.
Many questions whether Thailand has been able to reform since the coup, saying that tangible results are few and far between and democratic liberties have been curtailed. Last year, the Thai public came out in protest to protest long-term social injustice, evidence of a country racked by political conflict. The majority assumes that the public is not considered or involved in electing the people in politics who enact flawed amendments to the constitution whose main objective is to hold onto power rather than to progress the nation.
COPID-19 has brought up some of the government’s weaknesses, not only in dealing with the current third wave outbreak but also in dealing with corruption, illegal gambling, illegal immigration, human trafficking, and a lot of alleged “greased palms” in Bangkok’s entertainment venues that ignored Covid-19 restrictions leading to the current outbreak.
The Prime Minister Operation Centre released a list of 15 areas where reform has taken place since the coup in Thailand, including road, rail, transportation, and digital infrastructure. As a result, they assert that quality of life has improved due to assistance for low-income earners and welfare recipients, pension reform, and improvements in universal healthcare as well as reforms in education.
The PM’s office also claims success in agriculture, water resource management, and handling the Covid-19 pandemic. Bangkok has enacted new laws governing landowners, as well as addressing flooding, pollution, traffic, and traffic congestion.
Opponents of PM Prayut’s ruling party say the coup did not achieve its objectives. In Thailand, political unrest, social unrest, and political conflict have grown and become more polarized, despite attempts at reform by holding hearings and passing laws. In the areas of economic improvement, civil service reform, and education reform, no significant progress has been made. The opposition claims that the government that arose after the coup created more problems than it solved. In response to the assessment, a government spokesperson claimed that the present government had been working toward solutions to political conflicts and avoided getting involved in squabbles.
In response to the assessment, a government spokesperson claimed that the present government had been working toward solutions to political conflicts and avoided getting involved in squabbles. With the enactment of new bills soon, they say there will be substantial progress on revising the laws and opening the way for reform. According to the spokesman, parliamentary procedures have slowed progress on reforms and constitutional amendments.

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Thai Bits: Thai Vaccine Plan, Foreign Ownership Quota Debated

May 23, 2021

Believe It or Not, There is Thai Government Vaccine Plan

Thailand plans to procure 100 million doses of vaccine and inoculate 50 million people by the end of the year.
So far, six million SinoVac vaccines and 117,000 AstraZeneca vaccines have been procured.
Among Thailand’s 69 million people, 1.65 million have received a vaccine shot and 892,245 have received two doses.
Over 7.4 million people have registered to be vaccinated through the government.
It is unclear whether Siam Bioscience, the local manufacturer of AstraZeneca vaccines, will meet its target of producing six million doses by June. However, the media understands there has been a problem scaling production, so the target will not be met.
The Ministry of Public Health said recently that other vaccines are incoming. Here is the plan:
Pfizer – A delivery of 5-10 million doses is expected for the second half of 2021
Moderna – Expected to arrive in the fourth quarter of 2021
Johnson and Johnson – Expected to arrive in the fourth quarter of 2021
Sputnik V – Still at the initial stage of negotiation


Foreign Ownership Quotas Should Be Raised

The acting director-general of the Real Estate Information Center is urging the government to raise the foreign ownership quota to 70 percent or higher in certain areas, and for condos exceeding 5 million baht, as that is the price range of most Thai buyers.
Thai owners in those buildings could be protected by limiting foreigners’ voting rights in juristic persons, he said. Foreigners could also be allowed to buy low-rise houses priced at 15 million baht or higher, he said.
In 2018 – 2020, foreigners accounted for 30.3 percent of condo purchases in Chon Buri, followed by Chiang Mai at 18.5 percent, Phuket at 17 percent, Bangkok at 7.8 percent, and Samut Prakan at 6.3 percent. The government has floated the idea of increasing foreign ownership quotas, though it hasn’t yet developed any policies for it.

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Walk-ins COVID-19 Vaccinations in Thailand Will Not Be Done Until June

May 14, 2021

Authorities say Covid-19 vaccinations will be available for walk-ins only starting next month.
Recentlly, the government announced walk-in services would be available to anyone who wanted them free of charge in any province.
Many people contacted hospitals to schedule their shots on May 13th,2021, and even walked into vaccination sites to request them. However, they were disappointed to learn there were no vaccines available on a walk-in basis.
The services will be ready by June 2021, said Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha. “I told the BMA and the ministry to clarify so all misunderstandings can be averted,” he said.
PM Thaksin said he had told the Public Health Ministry and the Bangkok Metropolitan Administration (BMA) to clarify things.
After inspecting Chulalongkorn University’s vaccination service, Gen Prayut confirmed the government plans to offer walk-in services if there are enough vaccine doses.
Each day, we will have vaccine doses in reserve. Rest assured that everyone will receive vaccine shots, the Thai PM said.
Gen Prayut said the government attached great importance to the industrial sector as it creates jobs and exports goods, key sources of income for the country.
Therefore, surveillance against transmissions in factories must be stepped up.
Additionally, he said that he was worried about every eatery and the service sector in general, which has been hit hard by the pandemic.
The PM promised that the government would take care of factory workers, public bus drivers, taxi motorcycle riders, taxi drivers, and delivery servicemen.
Thailand’s prime minister insisted that AstraZeneca’s vaccine would arrive next month as planned.
Anutin Charnvirakul, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Public Health confirmed there would be no delay, the PM said.
AstraZeneca’s Anutin assured that the vaccines would be delivered to the patient as promised on Thursday.
The country has also stockpiled Sinovac vaccines from China, he said.
The companies have told us that the vaccines are now in containers and awaiting shipment, Antin said.
Beginning next month, we will be able to vaccinate millions of people.
On June 7, 2021, the country planned to begin mass vaccinations, with 50 million people, or approximately 70% of the population, receiving vaccinations.
As only 10% of the 16 million targeted people – the elderly and those with seven chronic diseases – had registered for their shots, the government adjusted its plan by offering walk-in services instead.
According to Anutin, he proposed a walk-in service for those who wanted Covid-19 vaccinations after hearing the number of people registering for jabs was lower than expected.
Nevertheless, he said only 20% of vaccine doses had been set aside for walk-ins, so people should understand if they were not offered one.
Medical teams across the country are preparing walk-in services, said the minister, but he couldn’t speak for Bangkok because the capital isn’t the ministry’s responsibility

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