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Since 1999, 2Bangkok has featured background and perspective on local news with summaries of the Thai-language press. These stories are often quite different than ones that appear in English. 2B also has the latest on politics, mass transit, infrastructure, Thai history (such as the Bangkok trams), and updates on gem scam store locations. More...
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The 60th anniversary of the King's accession to the throne

Daily news and views archives 1999-2007

Other notable/popular stories on 2B

Made-to-order lobbying group - USA for Innovation

PTV protests

Public opinion polls 2006-2007

Unlocking the Thai world: Thai-language newspaper headlines and editorials - War and Peace at the Southern Border - Survey of Fah Diaw Kan - Poojadkuan columns - The end of a dayweekly - Thaksin dictionary - Editorial cartoon from the southern separatists - Kao Lao cartoons

The best of 2Bangkok in 2007

The best of 2Bangkok in 2006

The best of 2Bangkok in 2005 & top stories of 2005

The best of 2Bangkok in 2004

The best of 2Bangkok in 2003

'A tale of two newspapers' archives - 'A tale of two newspapers' compares how news sources report the same stories.

Mass Transit

Bangkok Subway

Bangkok Skytrain and the Skytrain extensions

Post-coup mass transit news

Bangkok Transport Master Plans - 1979-2005

Chiang Mai mass transit

For help with Thai acronyms, check the glossary

Bangkok Busways (Bus Rapid Transit - BRT) and buses

Ferry and connecting bus routes

Thai expressways


Anti-Thai campaigns in 2007

Notes on

Thaksin post-coup interviews

Thaksin's reality show

Shin Corp sale

High tension in Thailand

The Samak-Dusit Show (2005-2006)

The Frobisher controversy

Royal Power controversy

Troubles in the South and Nationalism and Right-wing Politics

Chuwit Kamolvisit news

The 2004 Bangkok Governor election

Thai Labour Museum reopens

Negative news

Website censorship in Thailand

Burning of the Thai Embassy in Cambodia


Mega Bridge construction

Mukdahan Bridge

Pakkret Bridge

Laem Phak Bia Project - the 50 kilometer bridge over the Gulf of Thailand

Rama VIII Bridge

Chulachomklao Bridge

Various Chao Phraya bridge plans

Other bridge news

Thai Railways

Thai Railways - SRT

Chatuchak Weekend Market leasing controversy

Makkasan Depot

Thonburi locomotive shed

Timeline of Thai railways

Thai railway tunnels

Airport rail link

Obscure and defunct railways in Thailand

Maeklong railway line news

Walking the old Songkhla rail line and Songkhla to Hat Yai railroad and station and Songkhla Station and Rail pier: Songkhla Also: The missing fort of Songkhla Province

Change of plans for Thonburi Station - Update on Thonburi Station

Thai Railway Hall of Fame

Historical Projects

Kra Isthmus Canal

Hopewell Project

Bangkok Trams (1894-1968) and tramway accounts from famous Thai writers

The Lopburi Trams

Lavalin Skytrain

Bangkok Land Skytrain

Bus-only lanes in 1996

Klong Tramway

Klong Station List

Sun Estate's Mor Chit development

2B Fact Files

* Notable terrorist incidents in Thailand - 1970-present
* Bangkok's tallest buildings over the years
* What's the population of Bangkok?
* U.S. Presidential visits to Thailand


Lek Viriyaphan's Sanctuary of Truth

Last look at NASA Spaceadrome

A visit to the old Erawan Hotel

Trocadero Hotel still open

Bang Pa-in Station Pavilion

Customs House renovation

Old Russian Embassy and visits the old Russian Embassy

Elevated signal house

The King Rama 8 Monument

Ratchadamneon--then and now

Almost the end for Magicland

Train station at the Royal Pavilion at Chitrlada

Kurusapa Printing House/Wat Sangwech Typing School

Suvanabhumi Airport

Siam Intercontinental Hotel

Sofitel Riverside

New World Department Store

Ghost buildings - Who is responsible in case of disaster?

Central Pattana news

World's highest outdoor restaurant: Sirocco Restaurant on top of State Tower and On top of RCK Tower

World's second highest outdoor restaurant: Vertigo Restaurant on top of Thai Wah II Tower

Phra Ya Sombat Phaisan Building: once our tallest building

Thai casinos in Cambodia

Bangkok's Art Museum

Gigantic Erawan Shrine
Other Infrastructure

Lad Phrao Elevated Way/Monorail

Klong Prapa Elevated Road project

Building Bangkok's Sewers

Road to Angkor Wat

Indochina Highway

Ring road/ring rail projects

Thai Expressways links

The Soi Leunrit community - Soi Leunrit saved?

The Mahakan Fort community

A walk through Pak Klong Talad

Saphan Kwai in 1968

Last glimpse of Saphan Kwai Market

Prasumen Fort and Santichaiprakarn Park

Giant Swing news and 2005: Renovating the Giant Swing - before and after and Historical photos of the swing

Victory Monument

Community radio stations

Nangloeng Market - Shophouses lining Nakhonsawan Road - The new market - Nangloeng Cinema - Development plans for Nangloeng Market

Google Thai Maps

Narathiwat Road bike path

Phan Phiphop Lila Bridge over the years

Suan Lum and Siam Tribute

Suthisarn Road 1963/2004

Bangkok's Crucible of Construction

Rattanakosin Island reclamation

Siam Square in 1992 and 2004

New City at Ban Nah

Phi Phi Island - Visit Phi Phi the 2Bangkok way

Proposal for Bangkok's New Central Park

MPG-CAPS scam comes to Thailand

The Gem Scam and maps to the scam stores

Nigerian Scam Letter in Thailand

Ozone Generators

Unauthorized use - Examples of content stolen from


Wally Higgins Thailand photos from 1959-1961

S.S. Ryndam university cruise, 1926

Old newspapers

New Road in the past - here and here

Groovy Bangkok 1969

Bangkok Weekly 1953

Bangkok Bulletin 1966

Black May 1992 and a new story of Black May 1992

The lost forts of Rattanakosin

'Strategic Siam changes its name to Thai'

The crown of Ayutthaya

Exclusive photos of the ancient Bo Bae barge

The turning of the cannons - Final positioning of the cannons

French tourists bash Bangkok in 1892

Bangkok streets in 1959

Silom Road in the 1920s

Thai pavilions at world fairs

Flooding in October, 2002

Hat Yai Flood of 2000

The Great Flood of 1942

1993: Restoring Prasat Muang Tam

Old films of the city

Old ads: 'Thailand's Coolest Store'

Ploughing Day

Songkran - the Thai new year and water-throwing festival

Loy Krathong photos 2003 - 2004 - 2005 - 2007

Chulalongkorn Day

2004 - HM The King's birthday and 2004 - HM The King's annual address and 2005 - HM The King's Birthday and 2006 - Honoring the King

New Year's Eve 2005
New Year's Eve in Bangkok 2004 and New Year's cartoons 2004 - "Say goodbye to the cruel monkey year!"

Rocket Festival (Bun Bang Fai)


Hammonds Atlas map of Bangkok in 1958

1917 Bangkok map

Thai email forwards

The 'secret prison'

Nightlife-themed Heineken ads

Radio Thailand and FTA ads

An evening in Bangkok

Amata Art Award Exhibition 2005

Complete set of cigarette warning labels

Student projects - Architect 2004 Part 1 - Architect 2004 Part 2 - Architect 2005

2B newsfeed (December 26, 2004-January 3. 2005): Indonesian quake and tsunamis in Thailand


V-1 Immunitor

Bung Fai Phaya Naga - Fireballs of the Mekong

Some photos of Suan Thip Restaurant

Bangkok storms and sunsets

Thai Island News

2003 APEC page

Japanese propaganda booklet from World War II
News from Our Neighbors

Shanghai in 2020: Shanghai Urban Planning Museum

Shenzhen Western Corridor photos

Laos - Nam Theun 2 project

Malaysia - Petronas Towers in KL

Taiwan - Chinese-styled skyscrapers in Kaoshuing
Taipei 101 - The world's tallest building

Cambodia - Details: Banteay Srei

Myanmar photos are here

Japanese propaganda booklet from World War II

Pop Culture in Thailand

Thai TV commercials

McDonalds in Thailand - Pork Prosperity

The Simpsons in Thailand

Star Wars in Thailand

The Lord of the Rings in Thailand

The Simpsons translated into Thai

Thai references in The Simpsons
2Bangkok YouTube channel

Thai Election 2007

Stephff's Burma cartoons

New Small children - Kurngtepturakit, February 5, 2008
On the backpack: Dek Chai Apisit [Dek chai = is a male child. Apisit is the youthful head of the Democrat Party] On the hat: Head of the room.
On the bus: Small children vehicle
The person leaning out the window is Prachai. He holds a bag that reads: Dek chai Prachai He says: Stop, stop. Pick up one more of my friends.
We are not sure of the meaning here, other than to link youthful Apisit, who lost out in the last election, with former Machimathipathai leader Prachai Liewpairat who also ended up out of the government and who has been called the baby politician.

Thursday, February 14, 2008

New Thai antiquities, resting uneasily - New York Times, February 17, 2008
...He also cited a precedent established by a 2003 federal appellate court decision against the antiquities Frederick Schultz, which puts a burden on the foreign government to show that it enforces its own property statute.
Imagine “you have this vast body of archaeological material over which another government has waved its wand and said it’s ours,” Mr. Urice said, “but they have not done anything more than that to protect it. Under those circumstances, there is an open question as to whether the U.S. would treat it as stolen.”
As for the next steps in the federal investigation, Mr. Urice is not placing any bets.
“The whole thing could be dropped altogether because of insufficient evidence or because they are feeling weak about their legal theories,” he said, “or this could move forward into an important, precedent-setting case.”

New The worst building in the history of mankind - Esquire, January 28, 2008, 6:57 AM
[Thanks to Don for pointing this out.]
It's the Ryugyong Hotel in North Korea, where the world's 22nd largest skyscraper has been vacant for two decades and is likely to stay that way ... forever...

New Thailand's tallest tower gets go-ahead - EARTHtimes, February 12, 2008
...The beach-front residential condominium, is to be 91 storeys and 327 metres high, making it taller than Thailand's current tallest building, Bangkok's Baiyoke Tower II, which stands at 304 metres...

New Conservation group says its survey finds tiger skins, bones sold openly in Indonesia - Sin Chew Jit Poh, February 12, 2008

New No sex on Valentine's, Thai police warn teens - Reuters, February 13, 2008
...Thailand's moral guardians are taking action after an Assumption University poll showed 27 percent of 2,400 Bangkok teenagers surveyed said they might have sex on Wednesday.
Despite Bangkok's reputation as one of the world's sex industry centres, predominately Buddhist Thailand is generally a conservative country...

New Chirmsak stops hosting radio talk following threat - The Nation, February 14, 2008
Former Bangkok senator Chirmsak Pinthong Wednesday gave up hosting in his daily radio talk show after he criticised Prime Minister Samak Sundaravej for allegedly covering up the Thammasat University massacre of October 6, 1976.
PM's Office Minister Jakrapob Penkair, who supervises the Public Relations Department, telephoned production house Fatima Co to give notice that he might not extend its airtime contract, a company source said.
The explanation given was that the show's content had to be adjusted to match the new programming schedule, the source said.
The company asked Chirmsak about Jakrapob's reason. He understood the situation by withdrawing as a radio host, the source said.
"Chirmsak's Views" was broadcast from 89pm on FM105, which is under the PRD.

New "1975: And the changes to come" - February, 2008
Scans from a 1962 book about what life will be like in 1975.

New Does the Mayan calendar predict the end of the world in 2012? - The Straight Dope, February 12, 2008

New "Who wrote gastronomy in Asia?" - February 14, 2008
An odd blue banner is draped on a rooftop and is visible just north of where the expressway crosses Sukhumvit Road. It reads: "Who wrote gastronomy in Asia?" Anyone know what this refers to?


New Senate election - February 14, 2008
It reads: Bangkok Metropolitan Administration invites you to cast your vote in Senate Election on March 2, 2008 from 08:00 am to 03:00 pm. Buying and selling votes is illegal. Cast your vote to select a good senator.

Wednesday, February 13, 2008

Covers of weekly news mags - February 13, 2008

Left: Nation Weekend - Overlook "Ugly" [a reference to the ugly cabinet, so-called because of the unqualified proxies in top posts]
Peddle to ask the favor of "God" [Not sure, but possibly a reference to the need of cabinet members to receive their instructions from Thaksin(?)]

Right: Matichon Weekly - Who R U? Santi Prompat
Santi Prompat, new head of one of the most "valuable" Thai ministries--Transport--apparently has no other qualification that he has managed a construction company. His real qualification is that he was an advisor to the transport minister in the last Thai Rak Thai government, Pongsak Raktapongpaisal. This likely indicates that Pongsak is really running the transport ministry policy. It is thought that the Santi appointment was one of the "ugly" nominations initially opposed by PM Samak who wanted one of his own allies in the post.
This situation is similar to the nurse appointed as Deputy Finance Minister

Carfree Times - February, 2008
Sungnyemun Gate - February, 2008
"Curve of 100 corpses" claims more victims in Thailand - Monsters and Critics, February, 2008

From the family of Leo Del Pinto - gunned down by police in Thailand -, February 12, 2008

Thai liquor tycoon may take large chunk of Shin Corp. - Forbes, February, 2008
...Singapore’s Business Times on Monday illustrated the frenzied attempts by Temasek to unload part of its Shin stake, citing an investment banking source as saying that it had approached even Thaksin, who is living in exile in London since being ousted by a military coup, for a possible sale, in addition to Charoen and other Thai tycoons such as agrobusiness magnate Dhanin.
...Charoen listed Thai Beverages on the Singapore exchange in May in 2006, months before Thaksin lost his premiership, prompted by a political campaign at home to thwart his listing an alcohol-producing business in a Buddhist country like Thailand. He was seen as a potential threat to Thaksin’s rule at the time.
Buying a strategic stake from Temasek in Shin would serve as fitting payback for the troubles Charoen encountered at home two years ago.

Police say 'ponytail bandit,' husband, have fled to Thailand - Austin American-Statesman, February, 2008
Police said that the woman known as the "ponytail bandit" and her husband have fled to Thailand after committing a series of bank robberies...

Heroes never die.... They just download - The Irrawaddy, February, 2008
Thousands of illegal copies of the banned Hollywood movie Rambo are circulating Rangoon...

The Nation XPRESS - February 12, 2008
First look at the website and design for the new free newspaper from The Nation. The page seems to be a test from January 18, 2008 and contains sections such as "The Fun," "Expat," "Good Morning, Bangkok," and "The Provinces."
Tuesday, February 12, 2008

Overseas & Oversexed - Financial Post, February 9, 2008
[Thanks to the dozens who quickly pointed this out.]
..."Then there are the guys who are old, fat and bald, without any prospects of attracting the attention of a smart, young, attractive Western woman, but discover that they can be attractive because of their affluence or visa status to a whole range of [Asian] women, and strike up a relationship with one of them, not realizing that in the eyes of their friends and other Asians, they look at best [like] fools and at worst predators," he adds...

Agencies told to adjust Bkk subway plans - Bangkok Post, February 10, 2008

MP flown to Thailand by the taxpayer - Telegraph, February 10, 2008

Gem scam lives on - Bangkok Post, February 10, 2008

More Thai goods on Carrefour shelves - Bangkok Post, February 11, 2008
...Thailand has lost its market share on food products sent to Carrefour's global network in the past 2-3 years to the Philippines, Vietnam and Indonesia, due mainly to higher prices...

"It is too late for..." - Matichon, Kaoloaruammitr, February 3, 2008
It is too late for...
- Prachai to admit he is a kindergarten kid.
- The Democrat Party to say it lost in the general election because it sticks to the party’s ideals.
- Surayud to say that he regrets being a prime minister after a year and five months have passed. [In the background Surayud marches towards his house, "
Khao Yai Tieng" at Khaoyai.]
- Sonthi to accept Thaksin as his brother.
- Us to warn the girl selling her own eggs at B30,000 each that she might have problems in having a child. [I don’t understand this one.]
- Border patrol police commander to apologize the public for having bad subordinates.
Earlier: Kao Lao cartoons

Britain kow tows to China as athletes are forced to sign no criticism contracts - Daily Mail, February 10, 2008
...The BOA took the decision even though other countries – including the United States, Canada, Finland, and Australia – have pledged that their athletes would be free to speak about any issue concerning China.
To date, only New Zealand and Belgium have banned their athletes from giving political opinions while competing at the Games...


Disney bus - February 10, 2008
It reads: I’m younger, so I should go first.

Weekend edition, Saturday-Sunday, February 9-10, 2008

Lust in the library - February 4, 2008

Interesting example of sensational "moral" front page news exposing the wantonness of modern youth.

Thai Rath (right): A clear shot - Two university students are seen making out on the second floor of Nakhon Si Thammarat public library. Previously, a lot of couples are seen making out there.

Daily News (below): Making out - A news reporter snapped a shot of two university students making out at Nakhon Si Thammarat public library. However, the head librarian said she has seen some couples hugging each other there, but never seen them making out as reported.

7 Unusual Public Transit Wonders You Should Try In Your Lifetime - ecoworldly, February 7, 2008
Thai referee gets a beating by entire soccer team - Reuters, February 8, 2008
[Thanks to Morten for pointing this out.]

Law Society warns Chalerm not to use summary executions in war on drug - The Nation, February 9, 2008

New Interior Minister apologizes for tainted past, swears to work justly - The Nation, February 8, 2008
...Police Captain Chalerm said that his opportunity to assume the position of interior minister was a blessing that he would work to deserve...

Thailand junta admits failure, ends its role - Gulf Times, February 7, 2008
Thailand’s military junta that staged a 2006 coup officially ended its role yesterday, admitting that it had failed in its political objectives and promising to avoid further coups...

Thailand will not interfere in Myanmar - AP, February 7, 2008
Thailand's newly elected government will maintain a policy of noninterference in military-ruled Myanmar, the foreign minister said Thursday, adding that democracy and human rights are "domestic issues..."

Wikipedia Islam Entry Is Criticized - NYT, February 5, 2008
An article about the Prophet Muhammad in the English-language Wikipedia has become the subject of an online protest in the last few weeks because of its representations of Muhammad, taken from medieval manuscripts...

Tortured Arguments - Prachatai, February 8, 2008
[Could it be that Prachatai does not realize this article is a joke in the style of NottheNation?]
...A spokesperson from the Department of Labour pointed out that torture is an integral component of police and national security work and as such is exclusively reserved for Thais. "Foreigners can't expect to come to Thailand and just torture people,' said a Department spokesperson, "especially without a work permit. If they want people tortured, they should ask the relevant Thai authorities to do it for them.'
When Prachatai took up the issue with the Special Interrogations Division of the National Police Office, an officer, requesting anonymity since he was not authorized to make official statements, said that there was no need for the CIA to conduct torture on Thai territory. "We have fully developed torture facilities in Thailand and can guarantee a first-class service.' He noted that waterboarding has long been part of the Thai security services' repertoire. "In fact, we could probably teach the CIA a thing or two,' he added...

On the forum: Cambodian rice
HIV Film Wins Burma’s Oscar - The Irrawaddy, February, 2008

Rose Apple guy - Matichon Weekly, February 2, 2008

The headline reads: Amazing Samak 

On the bottom left of the cover, a cartoon character holds a sign that reads (right): Who says miracles do not happen? 
Broken hearted in a Thai retreat - Times Online, February, 2008
Thai embassy responds - Jakarta Post, February 10, 2008
...The article's attempt to juxtapose Thaksin with the King is not only simply ludicrous but more importantly, highly insensitive to Thai people's feelings...


Senate election billboard - February 10, 2008

It reads: Senate election to be held on March 2, 2008 - Choose only one senator.

Pedal vehicle for traversing abandoned monorailway - BoingBoing, February 6, 2008


"When the sky has changed its color..." - Matichon, Kaoloaruammitr, January 27, 2008
When the sky has changed its color,
1. A bird (AEC) is flying alone
2. Samak and Banharn are seen kissing each other
3. 2- and 3-digit lottery case is dismissed.
4. The Revenue Department dismisses plan to charge a retroactive tax worth 500 million baht
5. Suriya is seen at AOT. [Not sure the meaning of this...]
6. The cat supporting Samak wins the dog

Earlier: Kao Lao cartoons

Don’t overestimate yourself! - translated and summarized from Matichon, February 1, 2008
The recent meeting of military leaders, during a time when politicians were busily trying to form a new government, can only be interpreted as indicating that the Council for National Security is still essentially against the incoming Samak administration. Some people, however, are trying to project this issue in a more optimistic light. There is a groundswell of opinion that military leaders are only human in their desire to let the new Samak Government know their concerns over a power-shift away from them.
The military and the government have different roles in this nation, and it will require a person who possesses considerable skill to manage the shifting relationship between the two. Both sides must be aware of their mortal status in Thai society, and learn to exercise their powers in a careful and responsible manner. It should be borne in mind, however, that the downturn in the fortunes of ousted premier Thaksin Shinawatra began at a time when he became interested in removing some of the powers of Gen. Sonthi Boonyaratglin and other leading military generals.
The new government will need to make a clear decision over who will assume the post of Defense Minister, if it wishes to promote a more positive relationship between itself and the military. This new government needs to act quickly to demonstrate its own moral integrity, and to show that it does not intend to take advantage of those who have opposed it in the past. 

Say goodbye to the ‘Old Ginger’ government - translated and summarized from Matichon, February 2, 2008
The Surayud Chulanont Government has already passed over the reins of power to a new administration. The newly-appointed Prime Minister is Samak Sundaravej, the leader of the People Power Party. Some members of the Surayud Government, however, may not be relishing the relinquishment of their posts - while others will feel relieved at the removal of a burden from their shoulders.
If we were to review the military-appointed Surayud administration in an entirely positive and rather uncritical light, we would mention that his sixteen-month government worked hard to explain the reasons for the military coup to the rest of the world. We would also say that his administration tried hard to ease such major problems as the downturn in the economy, the southern unrest and the increasing disunity among Thais.
Considered in a more critical light, however, the Surayud Government failed to pass the exam. During its sixteen-month tenure, it was hardly able to initiate any truly proactive approaches in managing the country’s affairs. Indeed, several ministers were driven to resign their posts through their perception of the inefficiency of the ‘Old Ginger’ administration.

Finance Ministers - Poojadkuan, February 5, 2008

Mak [Samak] proclaims that the Thai economy is in a coma. So he has to set a doctor and nurse to work in the Finance Ministry. [At left is Ranongrak Suwanchawee, a nurse appointed as Deputy Finance Minister. At right is Finance Minister Surapong Suebwonglee.]

Earlier Poojadkuan columns

Cartoon from Stephff: Chinese new year
Earlier cartoons from Stephff

Friday, February 8, 2008

On the forum: Two versions of the new mass transit projects

Call for strict monitoring of 'love nests' for youngsters - Bangkok Post, February 7, 2008
[Don't miss this article...]
...'Authorities should strictly monitor and prevent premature sex in these locations throughout the year,'' she said. ''The sale of condoms at grocery stores also encourages sex among youngsters.''
Media hype surrounding Valentine's Day had encouraged teens to skip classes to engage in sexual activity, she said.

"23+2 Prime Minister" - Nation Weekly, February, 2008

The headline reads "The 23+2 Prime Minister"

The figure, holding a cooking implement to represent PM Samak, wears a Chinese-style Thaksin mask.
Thaksin was the 23rd Prime Minster and Samak is the 25th Prime Minister. Since Thaksin is thought to be the read power behind the new government and the new PM, the headline dubs the new PM to be the 23 + 2 PM.

Chronic failure in Thai police: HRW - The Nation, February 7, 2008
...Police brutality and abuses have characterized government efforts to suppress drugs in Thailand in recent years. HRW documented extrajudicial killings and other serious human rights violations in the context of former Prime Minister Thaksin Shinawatra's notorious "war on drugs" (see the report at
Despite the killing of more than 2,000 people, to date there have been no criminal prosecutions of the perpetrators, many of whom are believed to include police officers...

Doing business with Myanmar - The Nelson Mail, February, 2008
...Now, it is back in focus, in a very small way - at least in this country - after revelations that a state-owned business has enterprisingly landed a deal helping to build cellphone towers. Government broadcast and telecommunications business Kordia has almost completed an $80,000 deal with the pariah state's military rulers.
National's foreign affairs spokesman Murray McCully suggests inconsistencies, given the Government's "tantrum" over Air New Zealand planes being chartered by Australia to carry Iraq-bound troops, and its imposing of some sanctions on Fiji after the latest military crackdown there...

On the forum: More on food shortages

Insurgents say they received 100 baht to bomb soldiers - translated and summarized from Thai Rath, February 3, 2008
Pattani Provincial Police Station held a press conference at 11:00 am yesterday to announce their arrest of a suspected insurgent named as Ma-ae Kuli (32) - who already had an arrest warrant issued against him. Ma-ae was charged with bomb-attacking a group of soldiers in front of the Mosque in Yarang District’s Momawi Commune on January 18. The blast claimed a life of one soldier, and wounded two officers. The arrested insurgent admitted that he had carried out the attack in conjunction with five other insurgents: Isma-ae Pa-ohmani, Yako Ali, Abas Ali, Chugifli Vadeng and Isma-ae Kutae.
Ma-ae named the person who detonated the bomb as Yako Ali - who died [of unspecified causes] on January 23. Isma-ae added that Yako had coerced him into carrying out insurgent activities with a promise that he would eventually receive a large sum of money for his activities. After they had carried out their bombing mission, Yako paid the six men only 100 baht each. Isma-ae also made a statement advised the four remaining bombers to report themselves to the police at the earliest opportunity.

Thursday, February 7, 2008


Above: It reads: Everything is possible for anyone. Just give them a chance.

Disabled angry over sterilisation - Sin Chew Jit Poh, February 5, 2008
Many physically disabled women have lost their chance to become mothers as, without their knowledge or even permission, they were subjected to sterilisation...

On the forum: Books on the assassination of King Anadamahidol

Malaysian arrested for cheating Thai businessman - Malaysian National News Agency, February 6, 2008

TAT to update Wiki content on Thailand - Bangkok Post, February 5, 2008
...The Wiki Mission for Thailand will attempt to involve travellers in improving and editing all of the information about Thailand on and TAT also aims to help members of the local travel and tourism industry by allowing them to post details of their travel products, deals and related information online...

Baby politician - February 7, 2008

This cartoon from Nation Weekly shows former Machimathipathai leader Prachai Liewpairat, who was labeled "juvenile" by Sanoh Thienthong and suffered through a series of emotional scandals in 2007.

Thai coach takes swipe at FIFA over late suspensions - Guardian, February 6, 2008
... "They have no accumulated yellow cards. Do you think it's fair? We submitted the list of players a month ago. Is this football or politics?"...

Thai boy to receive surgery in Canberra - ABC Online, February 6, 2008
Top court rules Ultraman is not Thai - AFP, February 5, 2008
...The judges found Sompote did not contribute any creativity to the Ultraman character when it was first created more than four decades ago, the official said...

The 2Bangkok cam is online
Other webcams: Sukhumvit Soi 6 - South Pattaya

13 mile long dragon - Wired Blog, February, 2008
Ruptures call safety of Internet cables into question - IHT, February 4, 2008
Four undersea communication cables have been cut in the past week, raising questions about the safety of the oceanic network that handles the bulk of the world's Internet and telephone traffic...

Kuwait plans $85 billion 'City of Silk' - The Age, February 6, 2008
[Danny notes: Note the reference to a 1001 meter tower!]

Nurse as Deputy Finance Minister - Na Ban Bangkae by Buncha/ Kamin, Manager, February 5, 2008
Left: Samak says: I can't stand how we have a nurse to be the Deputy Finance Minister.
Right: Why? How about a cooking teacher being the PM?
This cartoon pokes fun at the nominee nature of the government with unsuitable figures holding positions only because they are standing in for banned TRT politicians.
In the left panel, Samak complains about Ranongrak Suwanchawee, whose experience is in the nursing profession, being appointed as Deputy Finance Minister. Suwanchawee was no doubt appointed because she is the wife of banned Thai Rak Thai executive Pairote Suwanchawee.
In the right panel it is pointed out that Samak, who has his own cooking show, is now PM.

Wednesday, February 6, 2008

Samak mightn’t have an easy path, possibly lose power during May-September - translated and summarized from Thai Insider, January 29, 2008
According to Bunlert Pairin, a well-known fortune teller, the new prime minister Samak Sundaravej is expected to have ill fortune during May 7-September 16, 2008. He might lose his post during the period. The premier recently visited Phrakrun Palad Sopit Chotikul, a senior monk of Wat Arun Rajavararam. The monk wished him good luck with a blow on the new premier’s head. The monk said Samak is sincere and is kind to people, no matter they are rich or poor.

When Defense is under Samak’s control, peace will be kept safe and sound in drawer - translated and summarized from Komchadluek, February 1, 2008
It is very likely that the new Prime Minister Samak Sundaravej will be appointed Defense Minister. A peaceful relationship between the old power clique and the armed forces is expected to stumble if the premier takes the helm of the Ministry of Defense. His harsh personality will do no good to the relationship. The columnist is confident that the appointment follows an order of a certain person staying abroad. Defense Minister General Boonrawd Samatas worries that the new defense minister will not understand the military forces and intervene in the forces. Rumor has it that General Sonthi Boonyaratglin will be named Defense Minister in the next three months.

"Frightening!" - Matichon by Son, February 4, 2008
Government leaders race off a cliff in a pickup truck (the truck makes the sounds "bruen!"). Above it reads "Frightening!"

Laos: Poultry imports from Thailand banned - Sin Chew Jit Poh, February 4, 2008
Authorities announced a ban on all poultry products from Thailand last week, in the wake of the most recent outbreak of avian influenza in several countries in the region...

Faceless bank robber in Bangkok - Pink Tentacle, February, 2008
As a commenter wrote: "Daft Punk?
New owner takes wheel of Micro Bus - Bangkok Post, February 5, 2008

Samak's plan to divert Mekong water panned - Isan scheme feasible, say experts, but costly - Bangkok Post, February 5, 2008
...Under the plan, water from the Mekong river would be diverted through underground tunnels.
Reservoirs would be built and water pipelines laid down to transport water to farmland.
...Montree Chantarawong, campaign coordinator of the Bangkok-based Towards Ecological Recovery and Regional Alliance (Terra), said the Samak government should learn from the previous Mekong-Chi-Mun water diversion project which aimed to divert water from the Mekong to the Chi and Mun rivers.
The project was shelved as it caused widespread soil salination.
The region has a vast area of salt deposits which would wreak havoc upon farmland in those areas near waterways or reservoirs...

On the forum: All about the new mass transit routes and the SRT
Philippines phasing out incandescent bulbs to cut greenhouse gas emissions - ADB, February 5, 2008

Early work of new government will soon establish its longer-term popularity - translated and summarized from Krungtep Turakit, January 31, 2008
The price of cooking oil has now reached the price of one hundred baht for two 1-liter bottles - a price hike that has brought about  a significant increase in the cost-of-living for the average citizen. The Commerce Ministry recently approved  a four baht price rise for soya bean oil to 49.50 baht per 1-liter bottle, with this hike adding to the discomfort already caused by previous recent increases in the price of palm oil.
The price of liquefied petroleum gas (LPG) will also soon increase, by three to four baht for a 15 Kg. gas bottle.
These skyrocketing cost-of-living increases are not balanced by any commensurate increases in people’s basic incomes. Such increases should be an indicator to the new government - led by Prime Minister Samak Sundaravej - that it urgently needs to solve the nation’s current economic problems. This will be an early challenge to the new administration - through which it will have an opportunity to demonstrate its mettle. The private sector is waiting to see what this new government intends to do to stimulate the economy, boost consumer spending and restore investor confidence.

Tuesday, February 5, 2008

Autocratic States Stage Elections, Claim Legitimacy - Epoch Times, February, 2008
...In 2007, countries like Bahrain, Jordan, Nigeria, Russia, and Thailand, are passing themselves off as "democratic" by merely holding a vote, while engaged in election fraud, severe repression, intimidation and violence against persons of opposition parties, and threats and harassment towards the press...

History's Greatest Gadgets - February, 2008
[Nothing to do with Thailand, but interesting.]

Thailand vs A Sensational Foreign Media - Thai Blogs, February, 2008
[This is the full version of the article that appeared in The Nation over the weekend.]
Yesterday: Is Thailand really so dangerous for foreigners? - The Statesman, February, 2008

New Thai PM to take defense minister's job to deter military coup - Sin Chew Jit Poh, February 3, 2008
Thailand's new prime minister said Sunday (3 Feb) that he will also become the defense minister in a soon-to-be unveiled Cabinet to deter the military from staging a coup against his government...

Thailand and Laos working on cross border service - translated and summarized by Wisarut from Post Today, February 2, 2008
Governor of Nong Khai and SRT are making a discussion with Lao Railways Authority about the cross border railway services between Nong Khai and Tha Nalaeng (3.5 km). Now, SRT has sent the equipment for railway traffic as well as the level crossing equipment. They hope that cross border traffic will be open by May 1, 2008.
The cross border service will be the extension of Express 69 which reaches Nong Khai at about 9:00 AM and it will depart from Nong Khai at 9:10 AM and it will reach Tha Nalaeng at 10:10. It will depart as Express 70 from Tha Nalaeng back to Nong Khai at 11:10 AM and may wait for 7 hours to depart from Nong Khai to Bangkok. Immigration Process will be done within 20 minutes.
The draft of the cross border treaty will be done in the next two weeks using the cross border treaty between SRT and KTMB as a model for the cross border treaty between SRT and LRA (Lao Railways Authority).

Ruling on email gets a panning - The Nation, February 4, 2008
...He said the Office of the Public Sector Development Commission had conducted a study last year and found that four out of every 10 government officials were using Gmail, Hotmail and Yahoo in communicating official matters...

Good articles from The Irrawaddy
Burma’s censors are now also code-breakers
Calls to reform exiled government grow
Mon culture group replaced by junta thugs
Junta censors news about free funeral services society

PM Samak has two choices: to be a good leader or a mere puppet - translated and summarized from Krungtep Turakit, January 28, 2008
Samak Sundaravej is expected to win a parliamentary voting session on January 28 to select the country’s new prime minister. Samak’s political career has spanned more than three decades. He was a Democrat MP of Bangkok, an interior minister, a party leader, a prime minister, and a Bangkok governor. Samak missed the chance to be Senate chief in 2006 as the military junta staged a coup in September that year. He was later persuaded to lead the People Power Party by the previous prime minister Thaksin Shinawatra. The columnist said it is a good opportunity for Samak to be an incorruptible prime minister and devote himself for the Kingdom. Otherwise, he would be a mere puppet for the previous premier. Actually, Samak himself once said that he was a “nominee” for Thaksin. If he chooses to be just a “nominee” and focus on personal benefits, he will surely be cursed by the whole country.  

New govt to extend mass-transit routes - The Nation, February 3, 2008
[Not much about the routes to be extended, but just a sign that mass transit will hopefully come back as a major subject in the new future.]

Monday, February 4, 2008

Censored gag - February 2, 2008
Things censored on Thai TV include cigarette smoking, bare bottoms (even in cartoons), drug references, and weapons being held to a person's head.
Occasionally the censors remove other things for obscure reasons.
For the airing of the American Dad episode Black Mystery Month, True Visions cable TV completely removed the opening title newspaper gag for some reason.
The uncensored version (left), reads "Iran changes flag to middle finger."
The gag was completely edited out on Thai TV.

It's snow joke for Thailand In Tokyo -, February 2, 2008
The SE Asian nation arrived in Tokyo on Saturday night in conditions that couldn’t be further from the steamy heat of Bangkok.
“There was a blizzard. There's snow on the ground so we're training indoors," team manager Kittirat Na Ranong told Reuters...

Stacy alive in Thailand? - The Herald News, February 2, 2008
Joel Brodsky, Drew Peterson's lawyer, says he has three new photographs that show Stacy Peterson eating in the food court of a shopping mall in Thailand. Tom Dellaca, a retired police officer from Australia, took them, Brodsky said...

Thank you - February 3, 2008
This hard-to-photograph billboard on the expressway entering Bangkok from Bang Na Trat features Democrat leader Aphisit and reads "Thank you all Thai people"--apparently for the Democrats' election victory in Bangkok.


Welcome to WAG-on-Sea! - Daily Mail, February 1, 2008
There are fish leaping out of the water in front of David and Victoria Beckham's tinted French windows.
Nearby, the freshly raked sand on Michael Owen's private beach has not had a single footprint on it all morning, let alone a game of football...

Samak allows PTV to broadcast Govt's policy announcement - The Nation, February 2, 2008
Prime Minister Samak Sundaravej Saturday gave tacit support to pro-Thaksin unlicensed satellite station, PTV, by allowing it to broadcast the House session when the government announces its policy statement...
Earlier: PTV protests

What's for lunch? Roast rat - In the countryside, large rodents have become a cash crop - Bangkok Post, February 2, 2008
...Sompote Srikosamat, of Mahidol University's faculty of sciences, said the population of pig rats, or bandicoots in scientific jargon, in Suphan Buri had sharply increased due to the rapid expansion of paddy fields, which is an ideal food source for the rats...
[So are these animals rodents or marsupial bandicoots?]

Living under house arrest in Beijing - Guardian, February 1, 2008
Chinese state security police have arrested one of the country’s most prominent civil rights activists, Hu Jia. In a video diary, he recorded life under house arrest – and round-the-clock surveillance – with his wife, Zeng Jinyan...

Minister - Made in Hong Kong - Krungtepturakit, January 27, 2008

Weekend edition, Saturday-Sunday, February 2-3, 2008

Thailand: Good riddance - Economist, January 24, 2008
[Thanks to Don for pointing this out.]
The blundering soldiers who deposed Thailand's prime minister, Thaksin Shinawatra, in 2006 seem at last to have got something right. This week saw the restoration of an elected government following last month's election. Barring further mishap, the country seems back on the road to liberal multiparty democracy...

Welcome home - Matichon Weekly, January 25-31, 2008

Bangkok Dangerous skyline - January 24, 2008
Wise Kwai notes: Maybe other 2Bangkok readers can discern any Bangkok buildings on the new Bangkok Dangerous poster. I sure can't.


Mornings across from the Chinese Embassy in Bangkok - February 2, 2008
Better know to Westerners as Falun Gong.


Ethnic anger on the rise in Malaysia - IHT, January 30, 2008
[Thanks to Danny for pointing this out.]

Burmese women in Thai 'human zoo' - BBC, January 31, 2008
...The United Nations refugee agency (UNHCR) says that for the past two years, the Thai authorities have refused to allow a group of 20 Kayan to leave the country, despite firm offers to resettle them in Finland and New Zealand.
The suspicion is that the women are being kept in Thailand because of the central role they play in the local tourism industry...

Thaksin’s eel curry Nation Weekend, January 25, 2007

Friday, February 1, 2008

Thailand's inflation probably rose to the highest in 17 months - Bloomberg, January 31, 2008
Bangkok's old style bicycle shop - TNA, January 31, 2008
Cabinet line-up looks dismal - The Nation, February 1, 2008
PPP revives Thaksin policies - Bangkok Post, January 31, 2008
..."We have completed drafting the new government's policies and up to 90 per cent are those that were scrapped after Mr Thaksin's forced departure," said Mr Noppadon. "Some of these include the Small Medium Large village fund scheme (SML), the government (two- and three-digit) lottery and the CEO governor scheme..."

"People Republic of Thailand" virus - Dream Infection, December 5, 2007


Thanks from the People Power Party - January 24, 2008
It reads: People Power Party thanks all the votes for Sutha Chansang, Mana Kongwuttipanya, Sawang Ruekjaran, and the Party.


"Day 117: One Night in Bangkok" - January 15, 2008 hosted the Alex Boylan reality show
Around the World for Free for two nights. Here is a look at some of what happened.
Also: Alex and Zsolt are headed to Cambodia and Vietnam soon. If anyone would like to put them up for a night, please contact them via the Around the World for Free website.

Cartoon from Stephff: Cloverfield monster - January, 2008

Other recent stories you may have missed
Also: Archives back to 1999

Banharn! - January 21, 2008


With so many Britons murdered in Thailand, why does our Government not warn of the dangers faced there? - Independent, January 12, 2008
...Yet what also emerges from the death of Charnaud and many others is the fact that Thailand, despite its popularity with the British, is among the most dangerous places in the world for UK visitors – a fact that the Foreign & Commonwealth Office (FCO) has been reluctant to publicise...

Al-Qaeda funding behind southern insurgency: Govt spokesman - The Nation, January 18, 2007
PM: Al Qaeda not funding Muslim insurgents in deep South - TNA, January 18, 2007
A thread on this story is here.

The Cyber World fire - January 10, 2008
All the best photos from SkyscraperCity
Rental info for the project
On the forum: Ratchada's Towering Inferno

Q&A: Opening times of the Cambodian embassy in Bangkok on weekends - January 10, 2008
Proof that that no amount of internet technology will improve things if someone is not willing to answer a question.

New town, old idea - Bangkok Post, January 8, 2008
Residents of Nakhon Nayok's tranquil Ban Na district wonder whether Thaksin's plans to build a new city there will ever come to fruition...
Earlier info on the project: New City at Ban Nah

BMA 2 takes shape - January 8, 2008

New year's cartoons 2008
Somsak Raksuwan's Political Monsters - December 29, 2007

"The Art of Corruption" - December 14, 2007
Thai Social Etiquette
Mass transit index page
With various mass transit schemes being revived, the long moribund mass transit sections of are coming to life again. We have made a new index page to start to organize the news that is slowly coming out.

More news from January, 2008 - Daily News and Views Archives - 1999-2008

Things we want to know... Questions from's 8 year anniversary - May 1, 2007

Right: in 1999

How to view the Thailand Outlook Channel (ASTV2)
2B in Lonely Planet - September 8, 2007

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