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Found 120 results

  1. steveluv

    Makan in Thailand

    I know this is a Singapore forum but as I live in Thailand I am wondering if it is appropriate to post about food in Thailand here. It could be Thai food, international food, my home cooking food in Thailand etc. I wish to also welcome anyone here to contribute your experience of Thai food in Singapore or anywhere. If anyone think its not appropriate do let me know. For a start here's one of my favourite Thai food khanom-jeen, had this last week near my office Khanom-Jeen is the white soft rice noodle in Thailand made from fermented rice so it has to be eaten fresh after its made if not will turn sour quickly and spoil. Khanom-jeen is usually take with Thai curry and most commonly with Thai green curry known as gaeng-keow-wan literally translated word by word curry-green-sweet or for our easy understanding sweet green curry, and in this case for chicken green curry we call it gaeng-keow-wan-gai, gai as in chicken. This is rural area so the simple and rural setup https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zOhpd-7LR2g&t=3s Besides making khanon-jeen-gaeng-keow-wan in very traditional taste the seller is also very sweet and cute so my favourite stall I can down 2 of her khanom-jeen any time Each is only 40 baht
  2. Very Godzilla-like. A monitor lizard, estimated to be about 1.8m to 2m in length, entered a 7-Eleven convenience store in Thailand and proceeded to cause a major inconvenience to customers and staff. Climbed up shelves This was after the monitor lizard casually crawled to the back of the shop and climbed up nine shelves to get up close to the ceiling. While it did so, it ended up knocking over multiple packets of milk onto the floor, an April 6 Facebook video of the incident showed. Screaming and laughing in video The peculiar reptilian antics left customers and staff bewildered, as they shrieked and laughed in both fear and excitement -- all at the same time. A woman could be heard screaming in the video: “Cute. Is he hungry? Does he want to eat?” Another person, believed to be an employee, screamed off-camera: “The shelves are ruined! Oh my god.” The video was shot by Jejene Narumpa, a woman in Thailand. Her Instagram story of the monitor lizard tagged Soi Ban Tang Sin as the location, which is in the west metro Bangkok’s Nakhon Pathom province. Monitor lizard trying to cool off? Some of the responses to the video by online commenters guessed that the monitor lizard was probably just trying to get closer to the air-conditioner to get some respite from the heat outside. Another video shot by another passer-by showed what appeared to be the same monitor lizard outside of the 7-Eleven store. The reptile could be seen trying make a forced entry into the store, but eventually gave up. One short scene even showed the monitor lizard being shooed away with a broom.
  3. Ysc3

    cooking rice

    i have bought Thai, Vietnamese and Cambodian white rice … and verdict is only thai rice comes out non-sticky. anyone else tried Vietnamese or Cambodian white rice and results were as good as Thai white rice ? do you have any special practice for cooking Vietnamese or Cambodian white rice ?
  4. BANGKOK — The resort hotel in Thailand got its public apology. The unhappy American guest who spent two nights in jail for criticising the hotel online got his criminal charges dropped. But it was Tripadvisor, the giant online travel review platform, that got the last word.Mr Wesley Barnes, the American traveller who was arrested after being charged with criminal defamation for posting critical reviews of the Sea View resort on the island of Koh Chang, quietly left Thailand this week. With Mr Barnes safely out of the country, Tripadvisor took punitive action Wednesday (Nov 11) against the resort, posting a one-of-a-kind notice on the Sea View’s page warning travellers that the hotel was behind the jailing of a guest for his harsh reviews. “This hotel or individuals associated with this hotel filed criminal charges against a Tripadvisor user in relation to the traveller writing and posting online reviews,” the warning reads. “The reviewer spent time in jail as a result.” The dispute between the resort and its guest began over a US$15 (S$20) corkage fee, but turned into a clash between American principles of free speech and Thailand’s far-reaching laws that limit expression and are used to stifle criticism of businesses, the Thai government and the monarchy. Tripadvisor’s business model is based on the idea that everyone has “the right to write,” said Mr Bradford Young, vice president and associate general counsel. “This is the first case we are aware of where a Tripadvisor member spent time in jail as a result of a review they posted to our website.” After the warning notice was posted, the hotel said it was “deeply disappointed” and asserted that “the warning message from Tripadvisor is extremely misleading and lacks complete information.” While Thailand is seen as one of the world’s most tourist-friendly places, its anti-speech arsenal includes laws against criminal defamation, improper online content, sedition, contempt of court and insulting the monarchy.That law, known as lèse-majesté, can bring a 15-year prison sentence. “Thailand’s use of criminal defamation is really off the charts,” said Mr Phil Robertson, the deputy Asia director for Human Rights Watch. “It seems like the Asian notion of ‘saving face’ has really been taken to heart by Thais who don’t hesitate to head to court over the smallest perceived slight or insult. If Thailand would simply decriminalise defamation, making it a purely civil law matter, this would create a major change in Thai society overnight.” In recent weeks, thousands of protesters have defied restrictions on free speech and street protests to stage huge demonstrations in Bangkok, Thailand’s capital, demanding the resignation of the Prime Minister, Mr Prayuth Chan-ocha, the dissolution of parliament and changes to the constitution. In a rare challenge to the monarchy, they have also called for Thailand's King Maha Vajiralongkorn to come under the constitution’s authority and return control of the crown assets, worth tens of billions of dollars.Many protest leaders have been arrested, several of them more than once. In the case of Mr Barnes, he began writing wide-ranging, critical reviews of the hotel in June after the corkage fee dispute. The Sea View, located in the Gulf of Thailand, an hour’s flight from Bangkok, said it tried unsuccessfully to persuade him to delete his posts and had no choice but to file a police complaint.Mr Barnes was arrested in September and spent two nights in jail as he tried to make bail. He faced two years in prison. Tripadvisor began paying his legal fees and helped bring the parties together to negotiate. Eventually, the Sea View agreed to drop its complaint if Mr Barnes made a “sincere apology” for his reviews, which they said included “xenophobic comments against hotel staff.” Mr Barnes accepted the offer, and in a statement that resembled a forced confession, he apologised and thanked the hotel for forgiving him.The fine print of the settlement also required Mr Barnes to obtain an agreement from Tripadvisor, and he asked the company for a commitment that it would not post a “red badge” warning — Tripadvisor’s most dreaded notice — on the hotel’s page. Tripadvisor posts various warnings to alert travellers to safety issues, and such notices can result in a significant drop in business. Agreeing to the hotel’s demand meant going against the company’s own practice of informing travellers.“That was problematic for us,” Mr Young said. “The settlement agreement basically required Mr Barnes to convince Tripadvisor to stop acting like Tripadvisor.” The company has been criticised in the past for not doing enough to warn travellers of specific dangers, especially cases of rape.In the end, Tripadvisor gave Mr Barnes a letter that he hand-delivered to the hotel, promising the company would not post a “red badge” on the hotel’s page. With that, the charges were dismissed last week and the police returned his passport and bail money. In the meantime, Tripadvisor began drafting a new type of warning that it posted Wednesday, after Mr Barnes had reached his destination outside Thailand. The warning comes with a penalty: a substantial drop in the hotel’s ranking on the website.In its statement, the Sea View accused Tripadvisor of reneging on its commitment by posting the new notice. “We fail to understand how Tripadvisor going back on their word, and not being impartial, is helpful to any of the parties involved in this case,” the hotel said. Tripadvisor countered that the company was not a party to the settlement and that its commitment was to Mr Barnes to keep him out of prison. “We have no agreement with the hotel,” Mr Young said. “We sent a letter to Mr Barnes taking steps to ensure his safety. We told the hotel the letter was accurate when they asked. We also have not violated any terms of the letter.” Mr Barnes did not respond to a request for comment. A Massachusetts-based company, Tripadvisor has operated for 20 years and has posted 878 million reviews from countries around the world. It usually has 50 to 100 lawsuits pending in various countries, most commonly about free speech, Mr Young said.“Every traveller,” he said, “has a fundamental right to share their experiences and opinions with other travellers.” That said, everyone should take reviews with a pinch of salt. I do read reviews before I book from Agoda, Tripadvisor but it is also good practice to manage expectations so you dont end up being overly disappointed. If youre paying extremely cheap for a hotel or resort then dont expect the best cleanliness or service or floor space. There will always be trade offs. If it turns out to be a good deal then good for you. Same for food reviews. Key is to manage expectations. disclaimer:I must also comment that I did not read what the american posted abt the hotel to result in a defamation case. If theres one thing that covid19 has exposed, it is that americans and their freedom of speech (and freedom to not wear mask) is whats causing their cases to notdrop
  5. https://asia.nikkei.com/Spotlight/The-Big-Story/Thai-protests-build-as-pandemic-fuels-unrest-across-Southeast-Asia?del_type=1&pub_date=20201021190000&seq_num=2 Thai protests build as pandemic fuels unrest across Southeast Asia How COVID aggravated inequality and triggered political reckoning across the region GWEN ROBINSON, Nikkei Asia editor-at-large, MARWAAN MACAN-MARKAR, Asia regional correspondent and SHAUN TURTON, contributing writerOctober 21, 2020 05:13 JST BANGKOK/PHNOM PENH -- Something changed in the tone of the protests sweeping Thailand when police on Friday turned water cannons on youthful activists in central Bangkok. The confrontation was at a rain-soaked intersection, only meters away from the spot where, a decade earlier, security forces had shot and killed scores of anti-government protesters. The crowd on this stormy Oct. 16 night represented a new generation of activists taking on the ultimate taboo subject: the immense power and wealth of the Thai monarchy. They are led by students, many of them of high-school age, and tonight they were determined to stand their ground. Ploy, a 19-year-old university student, and her two friends braced themselves as jets of blue-tinged liquid hit the crowd. "It stung. We knew then that they'd gone too far, that we cannot let them get away with this," she said. The protesters, unfazed, formed umbrella chains and flashed three-finger salutes, a symbol of defiance drawn from "The Hunger Games" film series. Some supporters on the overpass above dropped umbrellas to the crowd. The young activists had gathered despite a new emergency decree banning gatherings of five or more people, determined to press their demands for reform and to voice anger at the arrest of more than 20 protest leaders, mostly students, earlier that week. The demonstrations -- calling for the resignation of the prime minister, a new constitution and reform of the monarchy -- have steadily intensified, even as the country remains closed to international tourism amid concerns about COVID-19. The latest rallies have drawn tens of thousands of people to locations around the country, as a wave of sympathy grows for the young protesters along with anger at government tactics. Protests have intensified in Bangkok and elsewhere around the country. "The Thai government has created its own human rights crisis," said Human Rights Watch. © Getty Images Immediately after the water cannon attack, three of the top 10 hashtags trending worldwide on social media were about Thailand's turmoil, many prompted by protesters' complaints that the water fired from the cannons was laced with stinging chemicals. Swift denials by police failed to stem condemnation from domestic and international critics, including human rights groups and student bodies. "The Thai government has created its own human rights crisis," said Human Rights Watch. "Criminalizing peaceful protests and calls for political reform is a hallmark of authoritarian rule." An outpouring of international support and sympathy has further energized the young protesters. "Whatever happens next, we've already won. We've forced the government to take us seriously, we've broken the taboo of discussing the monarchy," said Ploy. "This can't go away, it can't go backwards." Fresh moves by the government to censor Thai media in recent days have also backfired, fueling further criticism and a growing backlash against the country's unpopular monarch, King Maha Vajiralongkorn, and Prime Minister Prayuth Chan-ocha. Street graffiti has recently appeared proclaiming the "Republic of Thailand" -- unthinkable even six months ago. But today, the authorities seem powerless to counter the anti-monarchy tide. Thailand has emerged as a "COVID-19 star" in holding down case numbers -- but its tourism-reliant economy has also suffered among the worst. (Photo by Lauren DeCicca) Standing amid the roaring, densely packed protest crowds, it is hard to imagine that just half a year ago, Bangkok's major thoroughfares were silent and empty amid a deep lockdown, the population more fearful of the COVID-19 pandemic than political repression. COVID-19 and economic hardships have barely figured in the fiery speeches and social media posts of the Thai protest movement. The main issues are political change, democratization and burning anger at the actions of the politicians and military, and displays of royal wealth that now saturate an emboldened local media. Yet, the catalyst has undoubtedly been the long period of lockdown and antivirus measures, resulting in deepening economic gloom, soaring poverty and a growing sense of hopelessness among the 520,000 students who will graduate from Thai universities in coming weeks. A recent survey showed that as many as 80% of them have no clear idea of the jobs they might land after graduation. Ironically, the swelling street demonstrations are also the result of one of the government's signature successes: The young protesters are not afraid of COVID-19. They know that the government has earned international praise for its management of the pandemic. Thailand has been described as one of the world's "COVID-19 stars," with less than 60 deaths and barely 3,700 cases as of Oct. 20. But with its tourism-reliant economy collapsing and economic contraction of more than 10% forecast this year, it has also emerged as one of Asia's biggest economic losers. Thailand is a "victim of its own success" in warding off the coronavirus, said the U.S. ambassador to Thailand, Michael DeSombre. Summing up the government's dilemma, he said the country must find a balance between addressing urgent economic needs and virus prevention. The economic fallout has highlighted Thailand's ranking as one of the most unequal countries in the world. According to Credit Suisse's 2018 "Global Wealth Report," the richest 1% in Thailand controlled almost 67% of the country's wealth. Since 2017, the wealthiest person in Thailand has been the king, who transferred crown property assets into his name following the death of his father King Rama IX a year earlier. Estimates for the vast portfolio of property and shareholdings range from $40 billion to $70 billion. That fact has not been lost on the protesters who are defiantly breaking harsh laws against criticism of the royal family. As politics, economics and social dislocation converge in the escalating protests, Thailand stands as a cautionary tale for the region despite its outstanding public health record. Just as the country is struggling to restore investor confidence, reopen to tourism, rescue failing businesses and support its swelling population of the poor, doubts are being cast on its stability and security. Low cases, high cost Southeast Asian governments have become painfully aware of the trade-offs between fighting the pandemic and shoring up their flailing economies. Since the outbreak of COVID-19 they have experimented with mixed success in re-opening their economies in the absence of an effective vaccine. In Thailand, the closure of borders helped ward off the virus even as it now ravages neighboring Myanmar and prompts fresh lockdowns in the Philippines and Indonesia. But Thailand has paid a high price for its public health success. Within Southeast Asia, the World Bank's growth forecasts for individual countries contain some grim "low case" estimates. Thailand is the worst hit economy with an estimated 10.4% contraction, followed by the Philippines (-9.9%) and Malaysia (-6.1%). Unlike its main trading partners, China, the U.S. and the EU, Southeast Asia's reliance on external markets has made it more vulnerable to the "triple shock" of COVID-19: the pandemic itself, the economic impact of containment measures and reverberations from the global recession. Royal Thai Army soldiers move through Bangkok to sanitize the city in March, passing a portrait of the king. (Photo by Akira Kodaka) The good news for Southeast Asia is that the region has escaped the horrific scale of fatalities and contagion that have befallen the U.S. and parts of Europe, Latin America and South Asia. Within the 10-member Association of Southeast Asian Nations, COVID-19 has caused about 19,000 deaths among the 650 million population, although Indonesia, the Philippines and Myanmar are all experiencing spiraling "second wave" cases. The bad news is that the devastation to people's livelihoods is just beginning, while rising dissatisfaction at the lack of government relief support is evident throughout the region. The regional lockdowns fueled a surge in social media usage, particularly among the young, according to market research hub GlobalWebIndex. The growing activism of youth reflects the "Hong Kong effect," seen in the widespread admiration for the young activists leading the charge against China's tightening grip. Emulating tactics seen in the Hong Kong protests, Thai activists are practicing last-minute "flash mob" demonstrations, rapid dispersals and clever use of social media. Adding local flavor, they have resorted to creativity and satirical humor, such as staging Harry Potter-themed demonstrations and displays of protest art, fashion and music. Whether on the streets or via social media, dissent is growing over social and political fissures exacerbated by COVID-19. Among key issues, critics are targeting worker rights in Indonesia, government and monarchy in Thailand, along with human rights abuses in Cambodia and the Philippines. The issues are diverse but appear to have a common theme, characterized by Thomas Carrothers and Andrew O'Donohue, authors of a report from the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace, as a new wave of pandemic-induced "democratic erosion" in South and Southeast Asia. They see social polarization, amplified by the pandemic, as "a serious political disease ... that can tear democracies apart." Equally stark is a warning by the International Monetary Fund of the potentially destabilizing effects of widening inequality. "Specific measures may trigger protests, but rising tensions quickly transform social unrest into a broader critique of government policies," it said in its April Fiscal Monitor report. "People take to the streets because of long-standing grievances and perceptions of mistreatment. High or rising levels of poverty and inequality, particularly in countries with weak social safety nets, can contribute to unrest." In Indonesia, public indignation over lockdown deprivations and lack of official assistance erupted in riots over the government's hamfisted efforts to ease labor regulations and natural resources laws in order to lure investors. With the highest COVID-19 death toll in Southeast Asia, at more than 358,000 cases and nearly 13,000 deaths, the country's 270 million people are facing their first recession since the 1997-98 Asian financial crisis, with the World Bank forecasting a contraction of 2%. Protesters accuse the government of President Joko Widodo of putting the economy ahead of public health concerns. Adding to fierce criticism by the country's largest trade unions of the proposed changes in labor law, one of the biggest Islamic organizations said the changes would benefit "only capitalists, investors and conglomerates," and "trample" on ordinary people. https://www.ft.com/__origami/service/image/v2/images/raw/https%3A%2F%2Fs3-ap-northeast-1.amazonaws.com%2Fpsh-ex-ftnikkei-3937bb4%2Fimages%2F_aliases%2Farticleimage%2F3%2F2%2F2%2F1%2F30081223-1-eng-GB%2FAP_20273127725480.jpg?source=nar-cms [/img] The Philippines is one of Southeast Asia's coronavirus hotspots -- and has also committed one of its least generous stimulus packages. © AP In the Philippines, also facing its first recession in decades due to COVID-19, criticism has focused on a sharp rise in poverty due to lockdowns and draconian measures, including "shoot to kill" orders issued by President Rodrigo Duterte to enforce quarantine measures. Efforts to quell growing unrest recently saw the violent dispersal of protesters in Manila who were demanding government relief support. A new emergency stimulus package of $3.4 billion ranks at the low end of government relief efforts in Asia, and has failed to stem complaints. According to polling organization Social Weather Stations, the incidence of involuntary hunger has doubled to 16.7% since December and unemployment is soaring. Despite harsh containment measures, the Philippines is just behind Indonesia in COVID-19 cases, with 345,000 as of mid-October, although its 106 million population is less than half the size. In Malaysia, government and opposition leaders have been fighting for power as public criticism has focused on lax public health management, particularly during recent state elections in Sabah. The government has also cracked down on the media, including arrests and raids on organizations for reporting on harsh treatment of migrant workers. "As the country navigates a political crisis and a pandemic-stricken economy, young people in Malaysia have become increasingly impatient and frustrated with the state of their country's leadership," noted commentator Crystal Teoh writing for The Diplomat. "Although Malaysia has yet to see a youth-led movement as large and widespread as ... in neighboring Thailand, it bears careful observation as Malaysia moves in the direction of a possible snap election" in the near future, she said. In Myanmar, critics among the country's 22 million social media users are protesting the impact of renewed lockdowns on the poor ahead of Nov. 8 elections. As campaigning has moved online, Facebook accounts have shown "an increase in hate speech and disinformation about parties and candidates," warned the U.S.-based Carter Center, which is monitoring the poll. The prospect of a deeply flawed election, according to author and historian Thant Myint-U, "won't help Myanmar address any of its big challenges: violent conflict, climate change, inequality and underdevelopment." A resident of a semi-locked down alley looks on in Mandalay, Myanmar. © AP In Cambodia, which has recorded barely 300 cases of COVID-19 and no deaths among its 16.25 million population, international human rights groups have accused the government of using the pandemic as a pretext to intensify repression of human rights and environmental activists. The government arrested more than 30 Cambodians from January to April for allegedly posting fake news and has jailed 19 activists and artists since July. Human rights groups said the moves were an attempt to curb dissent over the administration's handling of the pandemic and its economic impact. Sweeping new cybercrime laws have dampened but failed to silence growing complaints on social media. In much of Southeast Asia, the protests have been dominated by the middle class, whether young or old. The irony is that the region's most vulnerable people -- slum dwellers, migrant workers, the rural poor and sex workers -- remain voiceless. "You are not really seeing the extreme poor speaking out on social media or on podiums at protests," said a Southeast Asian diplomat. "With a few exceptions, much of the dissent is ideological. ... t's about freedoms, politics, censorship, you can see it on social media. In cases like Thailand, the people protesting are largely those who can afford to protest; but sooner or later economic hardships will become a key issue, on the podium and on the streets." Degrees of debt The deepest dilemma for many under-resourced governments in Asia lies in growing pressure for stimulus spending to shore up the economy and help the most vulnerable sectors. The average spend by Asian governments on pandemic-related welfare programs has barely reached about 1% of GDP -- against Europe's 16%-plus. In Southeast Asia, with its threadbare social safety nets, the biggest question is about raising debt levels and increasing budget deficits. In Thailand, where emergency stimulus spending equals nearly 15% of GDP, government debt has risen from 41% to 57% of GDP. Indonesia has also seen its government debt rise from 30% to 37% of GDP. The region's governments have taken a mixed approach to emergency relief. Some, such as Cambodia and Myanmar, have offered little, while Malaysia and Thailand have earned wide praise for their efforts. Overall, the East Asia region spends a tiny amount on social protection measures compared to many others, highlighting what the World Bank's chief economist for East Asia and the Pacific, Aaditya Mattoo, sees as a gaping shortfall, even post-pandemic. "We are reminded yet again that the rich can telecommute, the poor cannot; the rich can self-isolate, the poor live in slums; children of the rich can do online classes, the poor cannot; the rich have savings, the poor do not," he said. Even with increased relief spending, World Bank figures showed that by August, government assistance across the East Asia and Pacific region had reached less than one-quarter of households whose incomes fell and only 10% to 20% of companies that requested assistance since the pandemic began. In its latest economic report on East Asia and the Pacific region, issued in early October, the World Bank forecast that 38 million more people in the region will fall below the poverty line this year as a result of COVID-19 including 33 million who would otherwise have escaped poverty and 5 million who will fall back below the line. Some economists believe the figure could be more than double that. But even the lower estimate swells the ranks of those living on less than $5.50 per day to 517 million -- a reversal of the steady improvement in recent decades. The numerous victims also include those suffering from what the World Bank calls the "third shock" after the pandemic itself and the resulting global trade slowdown. At the frontline of that shock are the young, particularly women. In Southeast Asia, they are bearing the brunt of the harsh impact on Asia's job market, according to the International Labor Organization. Nearly 85% of youth employment in the Asia-Pacific is provided by the informal economy, the sector most exposed to the pandemic-related downturn, according to the ILO. As regional labor markets dry up, "the catalyst for change will likely begin with Southeast Asia's disenfranchised youth -- younger populations that are now unemployed and tired of the region's endemically ineffective governance," writes Daniel P. Grant, a Southeast Asia specialist, in The Diplomat. Regardless of age, there is also a new, barely visible category of vulnerable people, mainly in the lower middle-class. They belong to what could be termed the "new COVID poor," said Mattoo. "They are not part of the usual poverty registry, they are not captured," he said. They include small and midsize enterprise owners as well as midlevel managers, the self-employed and tens of millions of people who rely on the informal economy. "Essentially, across the spectrum, people are getting poorer. ... All the while, new inequalities are emerging as old ones are being sharpened as a result of COVID-19 and containment measures," he added. Across the region, decades of hard-earned economic development gains have been wiped out - in some cases turning the clock back to the days of the Asian financial crisis of 1997-98. Even in countries providing pandemic-related assistance, many of these "new poor" will not qualify for social welfare handouts or emergency schemes. While Southeast Asia's middle class was one of the signature success stories of the global economy in the 21st century, their lifestyle is now threatened by rising debts. Some may have to sell a house or car, close a company, pay off employees, move their children from private schools to state education or other measures. Their problems are reflected in the sharp drop in household incomes since the pandemic began, averaging 50% to 60% across the region, and surging household debt, which in Thailand alone is now approaching 90% of GDP, from 80% in March. Even in Vietnam, among the few Asian countries expected to grow this year, a wave of bankruptcies prompted the recent headline: "With new COVID-19 battle, Vietnam's middle-class dream deferred." In a stark example of the problems facing small businesses, a survey by a group of Thailand-based tourism and hospitality companies in May found that its 85-plus members had retained only 2% of staff on full salaries, with 67% on negotiated reduced salaries, 17% furloughed and 14% laid off. Many cited the urgent need for financial assistance, and said special soft loans from commercial banks were "difficult to impossible to access." More than two dozen interviews by Nikkei Asia with mid-level managers and small business owners across Southeast Asia found that those still employed had to accept forced pay cuts, with no reduction in working hours, while the self-employed and business owners feared potentially permanent closures. Ty Champa, a manager at a boutique hotel in the Cambodian tourist town of Siem Reap, said she had been suspended from work since April, leaving her with no means to support her extended family. "I've never experienced something like this in my career. Everything's going downhill. I don't know how long I can last with this situation, or how to repay my bank loan," she said. Saichon Siva-urai, who owns a traditional Thai massage shop in Bangkok's Sathorn district, said he suspended his entire staff after the government imposed a shutdown of massage parlors, and struggled to meet expenses such as monthly rent of 50,000 baht ($1,603). "I had no cash in hand, so when the business stopped my income dried up," he said. Although the ban has been lifted, he doubts his business will survive much longer. An emptied-out Soi Cowboy in Bangkok, a normally lively red-light district. (Photo by Lauren DeCicca) "You try and you try. We came out of severe lockdown, but business didn't recover -- I had to pay rent and staff. You reach a point where you just give up," said Somboon Chaiwath, who recently closed his Bangkok restaurant. "The trouble is in rebuilding -- I went back to my hometown, I don't have the resources or heart to go back to Bangkok and try again." From 40 million international visitors last year, tourist arrivals to Thailand have plunged to virtually zero this year. The forecast for next year, assuming that borders reopen, barely exceeds 6 million arrivals. Revenues from both domestic and international tourism have also collapsed, from about 2 trillion baht to barely 350 billion this year, as many hotels face closure, indicating that domestic tourists cannot make up the shortfall. In recent interviews, workers in the informal and formal economy in the region revealed the scope of the "invisible" crisis that has affected migrant workers -- many left stranded and jobless amid evaporating promises of compensation. Many said they were unable to access or qualify for social welfare schemes; most had returned to provincial home towns if they could. Governments are facing "difficult trade-offs," said the World Bank's Mattoo, warning that "significant expenditure on relief or a consumption-supporting stimulus may leave an indebted government less equipped to invest in infrastructure and hence growth." How governments distribute the burden of public debt across individuals and over time -- through indirect taxes, income and profit taxes, inflation or financial repression -- will matter for economic growth and distribution, and for future generations, Mattoo noted. More important, as regional leaders are keenly aware, how they deal with a restless population, emboldened by events in Thailand, Hong Kong and elsewhere, reeling from economic hardships and increasingly critical of their governments, will determine the future -- not just of economic recovery but of regional stability and social cohesion. In the absence of fresh ideas, unintentionally prescient advice for those leaders could well lie in the words of embattled Thai Prime Minister Prayuth, who said in an August address: "The future belongs to the young. Let the young lead the way ..." Additional reporting by Nikkei Asia staff writers Yuichi Nitta in Yangon and Erwida Maulia in Jakarta.
  6. https://www.bangkokpost.com/thailand/general/1979391/prison-inmate-infected-with-covid-19 Prison inmate infected with Covid-19 PUBLISHED : 3 SEP 2020 AT 18:55 UPDATED: 4 SEP 2020 AT 12:33 A male inmate has tested positive for the coronavirus and has been moved from the prison to a hospital run by the Corrections Department. Heath officials announced on Thursday evening that the infected man had until recently worked in Bangkok as a pub DJ and at First Cafe on Khao San Road. People who had been close to him were being monitored, but no other infections had been detected to date. People who had no direct contact with the man were not in the "high risk" group. Health officials were confident the situation was under control. Taweesilp Visanuyothin, spokesman for the Centre for Covid-19 Situation Administration, said earlier on Thursday the prisoner's first test for the Covid-19 virus returned positive. The inmate, a 37-year-old man, was imprisoned at the Central Special Correctional Institution on drug charges on Aug 26 with 34 other prisoners and officials, according to the Disease Control Department. The first test conducted by Mahidol University on Wednesday found he was infected with the virus and he was immediately transferred to the hospital that night. The tests on the 34 others returned negative. The Disease Control Department collected a sample from the patient on Thursday for a second test, to be done by the Department of Medical Science, for confirmation. The new case ends the run of 100 days when Thailand had no local infections. Walairat Chaifoo, the director of the Epidemiology Bureau, said the man showed symptoms on Tuesday but it was not clear whether it was Covid-19 until the test on Thursday. Before being imprisoned, he lived at Ban Suan Thon condominium in Bang Mod area of Thung Kru district with five other family members. All have been quarantined. "They are a risk group," she said. Dr Walailak said the man worked as a DJ at the 3 Days 2 Nights pub and restaurant on Rama III and Rama V branches. A press statement issued by the Disease Control Department said he also worked at a coffee shop on Khao San Road. Dr Walailak said pubgoers who had no direct contact with the patient were not in the high risk group. Officials are monitoring the conditions of about 20 people who were at the court with him, including his lawyer. Department of Disease Control director-general Suwannachai Wattanayingcharoenchai said the new local infection was not the start of the second wave, and he was confident the situation could be kept under control. "If we keep the situation under control, there will be no new outbreak," he said. Dr Suwannachai called for calm and urged people not to lower their guard against the disease.
  7. Aaron_soh80

    Thai King

    Hi all.. I believe Altis , vois , camry , city... are make in thailand..So they are consider thailand car and not japan car rite ? if so why dun have thailand talk here?
  8. PSP415

    Food of the Future?

    https://www.channelnewsasia.com/news/asia/thailand-insect-farming-food-protein-source-11786032 I assure u. If it comes to this stage, i may be going vegetarian. Came across lots of these at Golden Mile Complex Supermarket on Level 2. Will usually detour. The large quantities of these can makes me nauseous. To actually eat them, i pass...out. Any bravehearts tried? On one hand i dun want to know, on the other hand i am curious. Haiz Safe ride Cheers
  9. Deucedude

    Road Trip To Thailand

    I will be doing a road trip with my group of friends to Thailand. I have not done this before and will appreciate any suggestions from forumers here. BTW, there is 9 of us going in 2 cars , most probably an SUV and a Sedan. What to look out and prepare for in terms of the car conditions to minimise it having problems along the trip If I need essential stuffs for the car along the way, is it safe or avaliable to replenish them in malaysia My friends are ambitious and would like to drive all the way to Bangkok, How many days does that take (to and fro) What are some of the stops recommended for overnight stays Any other things that I should take note of Thanks guys
  10. Developing story... A Thai soldier has shot dead "many people" in and around city of Korat, north-east of Bangkok, reports say. Posts on social media appear to show the scene of a shooting near a shopping centre in the city, which is also known as Nakhon Ratchasima. This breaking news story is being updated and more details will be published shortly. Please refresh the page for the fullest version. https://bbc.in/31DVMU0 Pictures are being shared all over Social Media now. RIP.
  11. CCTV video showing the incident: Watch at your own risk. https://www.facebook.com/nirvanastupa888/posts/1550973295051665 A masked gunman walked into a shopping mall in central Thailand and opened fire, killing three people including a two-year-old, robbed a gold shop then escaped, police said on Friday (Jan 10). Closed-circuit television footage from the Robinson mall in Lopburi province, about 145km north of Bangkok, shows the gunman walking to a counter at around 8pm on Thursday and shooting a seller and another victim before jumping on the counter and grabbing gold products. The regional police commander, Lieutenant General Ampol Buaruppon, told reporters the man came into the mall alone and opened fire at a security guard who he came across and then started a shooting spree that killed three people and wounded another four. "The robber was merciless. We are looking for him in every place. Please trust us, we will definitely get this man and bring him to justice," he said. The parents of the two-year-old who died in the shooting posted a message on their Facebook page, saying: "We love you very much. We are so sorry that we cannot protect you. Rest in peace our angel."
  12. Up to 600 Thai vendors when Bangkok's Chatuchak market comes to Bukit Timah If you’re a frequent visitor to Bangkok who can’t get enough of its famous markets, especially Chatuchak, you’ll be happy to know that we’ll be getting a version of it in Singapore next year – albeit for a limited period. Chatuchak Night Market Singapore will take place from Feb 4 to May 3, 2020, at The Grandstand on Turf Club Road in Bukit Timah. The market will open Tuesdays to Sundays from 4pm to 10.30pm. The 40,000 sq ft space can hold up to 272 stalls that will provide F&B; retail such as handicrafts, fashion, home décor and antiques; as well as services from a mix of Thai and local vendors. According to Imran Mohamad, who is part of the organising team, 30 to 50 Thai vendors will be brought in every week on rotation to make up the 600 from the country that will be selling their wares throughout the duration of the market. One such vendor is Rooftop Barbers Studio, a certified master barber who will be providing artisan gentlemen haircuts. There will also be several hundred seats for visitors who want to enjoy the street food and drinks on the premises. Visitors will enjoy free parking and free shuttle services from locations in Clementi, Toa Payoh and Sixth Avenue to the market. This is the first time that Chatuchak market’s brand will appear outside of Thailand. The local version is the brainchild of Keith Tay, founder and director Chatuchak SG, who used to run a boat noodle business in Singapore. Another famous Thai market export has already hit our shores; Artbox recently held its third iteration in Singapore in mid-November with over 300 regional and local curated entertainment acts, retailers and artworks by visual and expressive artists.
  13. Happened in Thailand few weeks ago. You can never go wrong with buying a Toyota. Toyota 1 Concrete 0.
  14. looking at the many recent launches for Thailand property. https://www.icompareloan.com/resources/things-need-know-buying-thailand-property/ With so many coup and disruptions from external factors. Is it reasonable to expect that it can only go up from here onwards? I notice the condo sizes is clearly smaller that our shoebox apt. Except that it does not have a bomb shelter. And that sort of remove the dead space. There is no property taxes as well and it comes with a guaranteed yield of 6% per annum for 3 years. Seems quite good IF the thai baht rises after the 3 years of guarantee yield. http://www.homenayoo.com/the-excel-hideaway-sukhumvit-50/ interested in this with a view of the longkang
  15. Someone has managed to get a tuk tuk from Thailand onto the Nurburgring before proceeding to time its lap. Of course, the iconic three-wheeler won't be beating any lap records set by a production car but since there isn't any such record yet, this is the first recognised timing set by one. In its press release, the team behind the lap record revealed they have been preparing it for the record three years ago. It then proceeded to attempt the record a year ago but it suffered a breakdown on the track. To make sure it didn't do so again, specially-made engine components, including forged pistons, were manufactured and fitted by a company which works with Koenigsegg. Employing the help of an “anonymous racing driver dressed in white” and two passengers in the rear, the tuk-tuk set a best time of 31 minutes and 49.46 seconds on 23th of May. According to one of the passengers, “the little three-wheeler was flimsy and very unstable. Some corners were made on two wheels! We never, ever, want to do this again. It was horrible!”. For those who are wondering, there was no info on how much the tuk tuk made but a typical tuk tuk from Thailand uses a 550cc or 660cc 3-cylinder engine that makes around 35bhp to 50bhp
  16. StreetFight3r

    200 shops damaged at Chatuchak Market

    A fire broke out at Thailand's famous Chatuchak weekend market on Sunday (June 2) night, resulting in two injuries and damage to 200 shops. The fire, which started near Gate 1 of the market, was reported at around 9.15pm, and the blaze was brought under control by firefighters around one hour later, according to the Bangkok Post. About 20 fire trucks were deployed to the scene in Chatuchak district, The Nation reported. Witnesses said they saw flames and heard sporadic explosions. According to the market's website, Gate No. 1 is located near sections of the market that sell mostly books and collectibles, as well as food shops and cafes.
  17. Looking for tips, plan to drive all the way to Bangkok or Chiangmai Anything in particular to take note?
  18. now got Cathay Pacific Promotion Deals: Smartsaver Economy Class Fares $230 to bangkok, wu hua boh ??? Source: http://www.../cathay-pacific-promotion-deals-smartsaver-economy-class-fares/
  19. after US ...now Malaysia … The leaders of Thailand and Malaysia agreed on Friday to boost security cooperation and consider building a border wall to combat transnational crime and smuggling, an idea that appears to be gaining popularity elsewhere in the world. People-trafficking and the smuggling of contraband, including drugs and petrol, have flourished along the Thai-Malay border for years until a crackdown by Thai officials on human traffickers caused some of the routes to shut down last year. Analysts say separatist insurgents operating in Thailand’s deep south use Malaysia as a base to launch and plan their attacks. Malaysian Prime Minister Najib Razak told reporters that security remained “a very important matter” for both countries and there was an agreement to step up intelligence gathering and sharing to rein in cross-border terrorism. “We both face security issues including the fight against terrorism, human trafficking and illegal smuggling, that is why we need to address these issues seriously,” said Thai Prime Minister Prayuth Chan-ocha. Najib said both sides had discussed the construction and extension of a border wall but details remained to be worked out.
  20. Breaking news on Yahoo today... Thailand declares martial law this morning http://news.yahoo.com/thailands-army-declares-martial-law-224020589.html "Quote" BANGKOK (AP) — Thailand's army declared martial law in a surprise announcement in Bangkok before dawn on Tuesday, intensifying the turbulent nation's deepening political crisis. It was not immediately clear whether a coup d'etat was underway. The move came after six months of anti-government demonstrations aimed at ousting the government and one day after the Southeast Asian country's caretaker prime minister refused to step down. The army said in a statement that it had taken the action to "keep peace and order" and soldiers entered several private television stations that are sympathetic to protesters. A ticker on Chanel 5, an army station, however, denied the military was taking over, saying "the invocation of martial law is not a coup." Thailand's army has staged at 11 successful coups since the end of absolute monarchy in 1932. "Unquote"
  21. French teacher from MOE Language Centre arrested in Bangkok for sex with minors SINGAPORE - A Frenchman whom the Ministry of Education (MOE) has confirmed teaches at its Language Centre in Singapore has been arrested in Bangkok for allegedly having sex with children. French-language teacher Jean-Christophe Quenot, 51, was arrested by police in a hotel room in the Thai capital on Monday (Feb 4), according to reports in the Thai media. A check of the MOE Language Centre's website on Thursday showed Quenot listed as a staff member in the French department, but his name was removed later in the day. Metropolitan Police deputy divisional commander Colonel Nakarin Sukhonthawit on Wednesday was also quoted as saying at a press conference in Bangkok that Quenot told the police he had taught French in Singapore. In response to queries from ST, MOE said yesterday: "Jean-Christophe Quenot is a teacher in the French department at MOE Language Centre. We are doing internal checks, and note that this matter is being investigated by the Thai authorities. "MOE takes a serious view of misconduct by our staff and will not hesitate to take disciplinary action against those who do not adhere to our standards of conduct and discipline. In serious cases, their service may be terminated." At Wednesday's press conference, the commander of the Metropolitan Police, Major General Senit Samrarnsamruajkit, alleged that Quenot would meet boys aged 13 to 15 at the Huay Kwang Stadium in Bangkok, and offer to teach them English and coach them football. This started a year ago. He allegedly then invited some boys to his hotel room for sex, in exchange for cash. When police arrested him on Monday, officers found a camera tripod in the hotel room and a video of Quenot having sex with a teenage boy, Thai reports said. They also found a computer with pornographic films, and 36 condoms. On Thursday, The Straits Times spoke with one of Quenot's former students Aaron Pereira, who said he recognised Quenot from his mugshot carried in Thai media and was "completely shocked and in disbelief" over the arrest. The 27-year-old, who works in the aviation sector, studied French as an A-level subject at MOE Language Centre's Bishan campus from 2008 to 2009. The centre, which also has a campus in Newton, is where students pursue a Third Language, such as French, German and Japanese. another one bites the dust with this open policy...dayummm
  22. BANGKOK: Thailand's first tropical storm in three decades, packing winds of up to 80kph, is expected to make landfall on Friday evening, sending thousands of people flocking to shelter inland and shutting down two major airports. The winds accompanying tropical storm Pabuk churned up high waves and gusts in the Gulf of Thailand, ahead of its arrival in the southern province of Nakhon Si Thammarat. Weather officials warned of torrential downpours and strong winds in 15 provinces in the Thai south, home to one of the world's largest natural rubber plantations and several islands thronged by tourists. "The strong winds are forecast with waves up to 3 to 5 meters high in the Gulf and 2 to 3 meters high in the Andaman Sea. All ships (should) keep ashore," the Thai Meteorological Department said in a statement early on Friday. The conditions would persist into Saturday, it added. Over the past few days, 6,176 people have been evacuated to shelters from Nakhon Si Thammarat as well as the provinces of Pattani, Songkhla and Yala, the Department of Disaster Prevention and Mitigation has said. The Nakhon Si Thammarat airport announced it had closed, and low-cost Nok Airlines Pcl said it had cancelled all eight flights to and from the province. The Surat Thani airport will also close from Friday afternoon to Saturday, cancelling flights by Nok Airlines, Lion Air, and Thai Smile, a subsidiary of national carrier Thai Airways. Earlier, Bangkok Airways Pcl also announced it had cancelled all flights to and from the holiday destination of Koh Samui, where ferry services have also been suspended. National energy company PTT Exploration and Production Pcl said it had suspended operations at Bongkot and Erawan, two of the country's biggest gas fields in the Gulf of Thailand. Read more at https://www.channelnewsasia.com/news/asia/thais-shelter-storm-pabuk-landfall-11086010
  23. Man in Thailand has 4 wives who don’t mind sharing A Thai man has four wives who don’t mind sharing him with each other. His first wife says she's proud of him.Happily ever afterAccording to Malaysian Chinese news site, the husband initially went viral on the Internet for having three wives. Perhaps not content with a crowd, the man recently gained a new wife. Polygamy, which is having more than one husband or wife, has been banned in Thailand since 1935. That particular ruling means only his first wife, Waraphon Pruksawan, is legally married to him. Despite this, all the children born to him and his other ‘wives’ take his surname. First wife proud of him Pruksawan said it is better for her husband to be open about his relationships with women, rather than having an affair behind her back. She also asked netizens to not worry about her. She added that before Pruksawan takes on a new wife, he has to get her permission first. Saying that she married him not for money, but because they have been through a lot together, Pruksawan said “the entire family loves one another”.
  24. Updated Feb 14 2011 - Now with driving information to Southern Thailand (need some confirmation on prices) (Topic F2) - Updated with experiences on break downs on the NSH (Topic K) - How not to get robbed. (Topic L) - Behaving in Msia (Topic M) - Parking in KL (Topic N) - What to do when police pull you over when you are not speeding. (Topic O) - Updated with Pictures ! (bottom) - Now with Bold fonts ! -------- Hi, I've been driving up to Msia the past few years, I would like to share some tips and driving experience with anyone who might be interested. Anyone wishing to add more tips, please add on. A. Preparation I think the most important things will be making sure your engine oil is topped up, lights completely working, tyres free from any foreign objects and of course, fully gassed up. Other things that I usually bring is spare ringgits, (1 50 and a few 10s). At the toll booth, if u dun have ringgit, the operator will offer to change SGD with MYR, but exchange rate is 1 is to 1. So pls bring Ringgit. Other things I usually put in my car include torch, warning triangle, wet wipes, water, first aid kit, spare clothes, toilet paper lining, tissue paper etc etc. As I go up every week, I tend to be abit more kiasu. So far I am lucky, I don't need to stop for any emergency. But who knows. B. Toll Booths You may choose to purchase a touch and go card at all 'PLUS' highway offices or tollbooths. If you see "TAMBAH NILAI" that means you can buy/top up your touch and go at these places. If you wanna buy the smart tag, visit the office and buy the smart tag machine. Last time I bought was about 80rm I think. *Touch n Go cards are a must from October 09 onwards ! I lost mine and managed to purchase at the first toll I saw after SG customs. Find out more here http://www.touchngo.com.my C. Speed/Time The speed limit is 110 most of the way, sometimes dropping to 90 (on windy roads but not on NS highway). There are speed cameras deployed here and there. Out of my 100 trips up and down per year, I get on average 3 - 5 speeding tickets at RM300 each (camera kind). I am not condoning speeding but it is up to each individual how fast they wish to finish the journey. I have completed the SG > KL journey at 90km before, at 110km and at speeds way above the limit. 90KM took me about 4 hours plus to complete as my lights failed, and I was following behind this station wagon the entire nite. 110 took about 3 & 1/2 hours. I shall not discuss my record here yes ? haha. If you happen to be caught my cops for speeding (even when ure not speeding). Pass him ur passport and smile at him. Call him encik and show your shoulders if u are female (or male with sexy shoulders). At this junction, you can either 1. Accept the ticket he will offer you 2. Talk kok with him till he gets bored and leaves you alone with no ticket or 3. Negotiate another option which again I shall not be so explicit about. But what I would like to mention is that 50 ringgit that you have prepared should come in handy somewhere about now. D. Weather vs Time vs Traffic Best times to leave SG or KL 4 - 6am Best time If you leave at 5am, ur car will get cold air and it'll feel much more smoother, youcan even switch off the aircon I hardly feel sleepy at this time. 10 - 11am Sun is slowly rising, not that hot, but you will get the cops around these times. 2pm - 3pm Depature sg is ok only, but trust me, you will get sleepy. Not much cops around cause they are sleeping, traffic is so-so. Try to avoid hitting sg or kl anytime above 6(KL) or 7(SG). Cause all hell breaks loose and everyone comes out to play. D1. Day driving Usually, day driving esp afternoon, you will get abit sleepy. The roads are quite straight and boring. Wat I do to keep awake is to slap myself in the face really hard, or stop the car and wash my face. I remember one incident where my passenger was sleeping next to me, i also fell asleep for awhile. In my dream I realised i was driving and when i suddenly woke up, i was thankful my car was still going straight or else abes. Remember the wet wipes i ask u to prepare ? not for cleaning up your spunk but for wiping your face. Remember to switch on your headlights If you are driving fast, you can also switch on ur high beam. Cars from afar will see you and you dun even need to signal right. It is not irritating to them at all, so dun worry. I tested before. Day driving got more buses than trucks. Also expect army trucks and super slow cars on the right lane. D2. Night Driving Night driving will be more fun. You tend to be more alert but of course is more dangerous. Those cars that change to white light, sorry brothers, it wont' work very well in night/rainy/foggy weathers. So please take extra care. The torchlight u bring come in handy now, can shine at them and shine out if your light can't reach. Hahaha There was one incident where i slowed down near some construction area, i saw one slab of concrete in front of me. I was very lucky to have seen it and managed to swerve in time. If i was driving my usual speed, i would most probably be using my mouth to type out this post. So conclusion is slow your ass down near work sites (quite alot), u wun know what the hell will pop out. Night driving you will encounter more trucks vs buses. Some of these trucks no light so please bring some eye drops or clean the crap from ur eyes. Two pairs of eyes will be best, and I am not refering to spectacles. Ask your passenger dun be lazy and help keep a watch out. Cars tend to turn out for no rhyme or reason without signalling. Cars that have all kinds of weird lights all over the car, finally you have a good and valid reason to use it. Its better to be safe and sorry, make sure the lorries and kancils see your batmobile when you overtake them. D3. Wet Weather Expect rain to happen anytime of the day. When that happens, Pray your tyres have enough grip on the road. For cars with tyres width >225, hold your steering wheel tight because aquaplanning will happen. FYI Aquaplanning is not planning activities with transvestites for a day out. It happens when too much water forms an extra layer onthe road and not enough water can be flushed out by the tyre grooves. You will loose control but counter steer slightly and continue driving on. If you plan to slow down to 80 -90, please for goodness sake move to the left lane. Don't be a hogger. Sometimes, the rain comes down so bad that it's better to pull at a rest stop before continuing on journey. I keep a pair of yellow sunglasses that helps me see during rainy/foggy weather. Yellow spectrum penetrates rain/fog much better. E. Driving Etiquette There are some unwritten rules about driving on the north south highways. Most msian cars simply hate singaporen cars, nothing we can do about that because we complain about their cars when they come in. I'm not exactly an angel, but I try my best to adhere to the below rules (when i can) E1. Signalling Signal right if you wish to overtake. If bugger refuses to move, overtake from left. No point being upset. Some of these cars have no side view mirrors, dirty rear view mirrors. They may have no idea you are even there. You may horn but dun over horn. Slight tap will be good. First course of action is signal right. High beam (if at nite), then horn is last. E2. Flashing Keep it to a minimum as the opposite traffic really gets blinded by your highbeam. Don't do a long irritating high beam. Do 2 quick ones like how you use your mouse to double left click. Those who wish to flash their body can do so at their own discretion. E3. Horning Seriously, on such long highways and speeds, your horn wun really matter much unless you're directly behind them, horning a poor kelisa that decided to overtake you. So keep that to a minimum unless its an emergency. E4. Cursing Cursing is very much accepted in msia, so long you do it in your own car. At the end fo the day, is there a point slowing down to the offending car and letting off profanities ? After so many years of driving up and down, i just tap my horn to show my displeasure or give a sexy stare. E4i. When all else fails, and the receiver of your cursing doesn't understand what you are trying to bring across, use the universal sign of bad faith. To do a good finger, wind down window, extend arm and twist wrist. Slowly unleash the bird and jerk it once to show you mean it. Once point has been brought across (make sure he/she sees it) then bring arm back into the car. Use this only when cursing under breath has failed, or the receiver is 100% wrong (who are we to judge *shrugs). But use it sparingly, we are only allowed to use it 7 times in our lifetime before it's no longer cool. Do take note, by doing the above, you may be getting yourself into more trouble than you probably wish for. It's sometimes best just to walk away unscathed. E5. Racing If you tend to drive at high speeds, or you are driving any car that looks fast (or faster that it actually is), expect to get raced by all kinds of cars. I have had Porsche GT2s, F430s, Wajas, civics (funniest one was a bike) try and race (play punk) with me because simply I was driving fast. Just ignore and continue at ur own pace. If they come up fast behind you, just move over to the left and let them pass. Slow down if you have to. It's not worth it. Once they leave, you may chooose to do E4i. E6. Hogging If you drive anywhere from 0 - 250km/h on the right lane, and insist on keeping on the right lane even when someone comes up behind you, you are a hogger. Hoggers are drivers who have brains the size of my left testicle, who most probably can't score a screw with a hooker, who probably jerks off to the picture of elmo. In Msia, or even SG, just activate your signal, signal left then move left swiftly. Avoid straddling lanes as cars will just prepare to pass you as you are moving left. That may cause an accident so dun straddle ! E7. Tailgating If someone is tailgating you, and you are in the first lane. Hit yourself in the balls. That means you're hogging ! Same thing, Signal left, then move left swiftly. If you're in the slow lane, and someone is tailgating you with no rhyme or reason, you may chooose to do E4i. E8 Roads/Obstacles/Animals Through out your journey, if you are travelling at high speed, expect to see various forms of insects, bugs and slightly smaller animals stuck in your intercooler. For those turbo charged cars, you may wish to install some kind of additional filter. I have had cats, dead dogs, legs, arms, blood, stones, ROCKS !!, tyres, bugs, insects, HUGE insects hit my car. During your petrol stop, you can spend the time while waiting for your refuel by trying to identify the names of the insects, bugs or what not that have collided with your windscreen, intercooler, bumper, side view mirrors. If you have kids or children in the car, bring them out and have a nice family activity at the petrol station ! Obstacles are far too many on the NS highway. Avoid hitting carcasses (dead animals)as they stick to the undercarriage and cause a stink when cooked. Wash it off quickly when that happens unless you want to smell like bbq at your destination. It's good to bring some bug spray or some water to get rid of the insects that hit your car. Wash it off quick because they become stubborn when left out too long. You may meet various forms of wildlife on your trip up north. It's not exactly meeting them, but rather your bumper will have a bonding session with them. These include but are not limited to monitor lizards (abt 2m long), snakes, dogs, cats, monkeys, squirrels, birds, wild boar etc etc. Slow down and horn to chase them away, if you are driving at speeds above 100, just hit them and drive straight through. If you hit the brakes and swirve, you will get into an accident. Remember to say a small prayer for them when you pass. Yesterday, I came across a cat lying in the middle of the road at a petrol station licking itself (Such a cool cat). It just totally ignored me as a I neared. I had to stop my car, horn and rev my engine before it even looked up. Finally, a petrol attendant ran over and took him out of the way. Watch out for exploded tyres from lorries, and lorries that just stop in the middle of the road. I happened to hit an exploded tyre doing about 160 and my right bumper just disintegrated, luckily my car didnt change direction or i would have crashed. Thanks to Yew Lip, my car is back to its pristine condition. I just heard from my friend that her aunt died when their car hit a stationery lorry that just broke down on the road without any lights. Even while driving at the speed limit the driver died, so just keep that in mind. F. Driving further up to Ipoh/Kuantan/Penang/Terrengganu For those driving up to KL, you may stop here. Your drives are comfortable and the roads are well made. You have nothing to fear and it is rather safe. To East Coast For those venturing further, to the east coast of KL, good luck. You need it. Big highways become single lane trunk roads. You will spend alot of time overtaking in fear and anticipation that another car doesnt suddenly come face to face with you. Or you will spend alot of time waiting behind a lorry. Try and avoid doing this trip at nite. To penang/Ipoh From KL to Ipoh/Penang, the roads become winding and there are lots of slight turns. These turns can accomodate speeds at up to 180 - 190 and remember not to brake or panic when you enter these turns. Just let your car turn in slowly. The views here become wonderful. Ask your passenger to prepare a camera as some of the views are just breathtaking, esp before ipoh. When you are heading to Penang, remember to stop n have the wonderful ipoh hor fun. I cant describe how wonderful it is. Ipoh Hor Fun turns me on and gives me wet dreams. F2. Driving up to Thailand I have gone up to Southern Thailand till Hat Yai from Penang, and it is a pretty much easy to commute trip. From Penang to the Thai border, it is a straight road all the way up, bypassing Alor Star (stop by and have a meal there !) and should take you approximately 2 hours+. 1 Hr + for faster cars. Funnily I have not gotten caught for speeding before from penang onwards. Before you near the customs, there will be many insurance outlets around the area before the customs side. Keep an eye out and stop at the first ones. There, you can buy your insurance for very little money and they will prepare all the forms and everything for you. Ensure you bring your log card. Once that is done, head on up to the Msia customs (as per normal like sg into msia) and drive to the thai/msia side. You will bypass a duty free shopping center where you can buy all your alcohol and other stuffs. It's quite cheap so dun forget to buy em there. After that, head on towards the thai customs but do not drive through. You have to park at the left side of the customs (big outdoor carpark) but take note don't park anywhere with signs saying "NO PARKING" or you will have a handcuff cuffed to your door and may have to pay the fine. (Yes, we kena) After parking, go queue at the customs booth and pay RM1 for your passport to be chopped. Drivers must go to another side to get their cars validated. Once everything is done, drive the car through that same counter and get a piece of paper from the officer who will be holding it. If you are lazy and don't wish to do any of the above, you will realise that you can actually drive through without doing any of the above. But of course, you are illegally entering thailand. It is a risk that some do take and you can opt to do it too, but do remember your butthole can only get poked so many times in jail before it runs out of warranty. So once you are done, welcome to the town of danok, thailand. This town is perfect for guys as they have various bars where men can test drive different boobs. Now, this is a different story all together and I am not claiming I have test driven any boobs. It was told to me by a friend of a friend, of a friend. I continued driving to Hat Yai, a more palatable and bigger town in my opinion where you can grab amazing food and get the most wonderful foot massages at a reasonable price. Going back is exactly the opposite. If you are lost as to what I mean, proceed to read from this paragraph backwards to the first paragraph. You will find yourself back in malaysia. Take note - You can't take any alcohol back into malaysia and don't try it. (yes, we got caught). Once you get back to the msia side, you will find yourself at an M'sian Army Roadblock. Put on your best ugly smile and call the nice officer encik, and he will wave you on. They are checking for drug addicts, and suspicious people. There are some great photo journals of many forum members into Thailand that I have read up on. Please do a search and refer to those for photos and a more accurate dollar and cents read through. G. East Coast Driving For those who are slightly more adventurous, you can choose to drive from SG to Mersing to Kuantan to Terrengganu. This will take you approximately 10 hours (I finished in about 8 - 9 hours from Tggu to SG). From Kuantan to SG, the coastal roads are beautiful. The trees are green (and red) and the roads are almost completely empty. You can choose to take photos near Cherating area and Mersing town area especially for those with modern looking cars (on a backdrop of a fishing village.) Do remember the drive (after 4 hours) becomes slightly tedious because the roads are very windy and there are cows that wander onto the roads. H. Special tools When I hit the tyre, my bumper came lose and it was hanging on one side. Thanks to the bandages on my first aid kit, i managed to tie it up onto my fender and it wasnt too bad. It was flapping around when I did over 150 so i added more bandages. It was quite funny. But the tools that come in handy would be 1. 1 - 2 Screwdrivers, small and big 2. Pliers 3. Cutters 4. Some simple wires and strings. 5. Torch 6. Tape These would be the most basic things that anyone have in the car, it will help no matter what the problems are, unless of course ur car flip upside down. I. Checking your car. I cant emphasize how important it is to check your tyres, please do that. If you don't know your tyre pressure, go ask your tyre shop guy, write it down somewhere. In the meantime, check your thread depths to see whether it is too bald, if its bald, go change your tyres, you don't want to be caught in the cross winds + heavy rain + poor visibility. Other things that I try (i do try when i remember) to check is my oil, you don't want to suddenly have a shortage of oil while driving as ur engine will be damaged. Keep a small 1litre bottle in the boot at all times. J. Petrol Stations Toll Booth Amounts (Touch n Go Payable only) From SG > KL Customs > SGD4.80 First Toll - Rm 10.80 Second Toll - Rm 3.10 Third Toll (at KL) - Rm 36.70 For Petrol Kiosk Locations SG to KL (on E2 highway) 33km, 75km, 146km, 205km, 225km, 271km, 308km KL to SG 274km, 210km, 136km, 74km K. Breaking Down on the North South Highway I have broken down a few times in Malaysia. With a bmw, landrover and a proton, both in the middle of the night and during the day. Oddly, it was the breaking down during the day which was slightly abit more scary than the night. Here are a few things that I think everyone should take note. 1. Try and get to the shoulder as fast as possible, or if you feel the car is gonna break down, get off to the rest stop, take note of the KM number on the center divider or on the left. 2. Once you have stopped on the shoulder, avoid putting up your bonnet or your trunk as that will signal to people that you have broken down. Try to pretend you are parked at your will and you can move off anytime. When I broke down, there were many guys that stopped and asked if I needed a workshop, some of them actually turned aggressive when I told them I was just waiting for a friend or when I didn't need their help. Just do not converse with them if possible and wave them off and not look at them. They may just hang around but do not start any form of conversation no matter what. 3. Call the Plus Toll line @ 1800 88 0000. The plus toll hotline will send a pickup truck that will help with the below: - Battery, Tyre puncture, overheating, loss of oil/fuel and other simple things. - Other matters, they will probably give you the number for a tow truck to call. Different sections of the highway is taken care of different companies. If you call a JB firm, they may charge you much more for their trip up, and also you have to wait for them to go all the way up to reach you. So ask the TollPlus guys the nearest tow truck company number. If you are driving a FWD car, it should be easier as the normal tow truck can pick you up. 4WD & RWD cars may require a tow truck with a bed that puts your entire car on their truck. They may also charge you additional if you wanna hitch a ride. I have paid from RM250 (for short distance) to RM600 for 100km + distance to the nearest town with lompang. Bargain on the phone and don't sound too desperate, say you'll call others as there really are alot of companies. If you are alone (lady or a wuss), you can give some money to the tollplus guys to hang around so no other people will bug you. If you are a guy, just act tough, smoke a ciggy or if u haf tattoos just show it so those annoying 'workshop middlemen' wont really try and do anything. 4. If there are no body around, I will recommend you leaving your car and sitting behind it a few meters away. Traffic is heavy and anything might happen with people banging into your car from the back. Sitting in front of the car may prove dangerous. If you notice someone stopping, go back to the car and sit inside till he leaves. 5. Nighttime breakdowns are slightly more intimidating, but really, nobody stops to bug you and all the bad guys are sleeping. There are alot of trucks though. Switch on all your lights and hazard lights and sit way back. Enjoy the jungle and the cool breeze and quickly call the toll plus guys. I will recommend before setting off any journey, try and find some tow truck company numbers near JB, Malacca and Kuala Lumpur to keep with in case of any emergency. For BMW or other premium car drivers, you can call ur emergency service and they will send down a tow truck. Near JB/SG Call Mr Yeoh from Faster Transport & Crane Services Sdn Bhd, +6017 351 8816 / +6012 780 8913 For tyre/wheel problems in KL. Call Mr Wong, From Heap Wo Tyre & Battery Services, Open on Sundays ! +603 6257 5492 / +603 6257 1902 L. How not to get robbed. 1. While driving in KL, i have experience first hand people around me getting robbed. I have been lucky not to have gotten robbed because I follow the following rules. a. Do not place your valuables on your seat, backseat, center console or anywhere else, while driving and not driving. b. Do not leave your GPS holder stuck on your windscreen. This basically tells the person you have a GPS in your car c. Take out your cashcard, and leave the little cover open, so ppl can see it's empty. d. Cover with a piece of cloth if you have any thing that is stuck on your dashboard. Position it such that you are using to protect your dashboard. e. Going to a shop ? Try and get parking as close to it as possible, and keep an eye out. Look out for any lingering people that are looking at you or your car. Look out for sudden accelerating motorcyles. Leave a buddy near the car if possible. f. Have a flashy car ? Pick and choose the place you shop, eat or visit. Most of KL is safe, just be more attentive. g. Most parking at the major shopping malls or tourist areas are very safe, if you are more worried, park at the valet. It's not that expensive. Generally, Malaysia (JB northwards) is pretty safe. I have visited the most ulu places and I just park my car anywhere. Just avoid break ins. If the person really wanna steal your car, you don't have much a choice. But you can prevent break-ins. I can't say the same for JB though, it's a cesspool of crime so avoid it at all cost. M. Behaving in Msia Remember one thing my fellow singaporeans. You may not like Malaysians or may look down on them for one reason or another. But they are like us, just people with families and stuff. If you treat them with respect, they will do so with you. Act like a typical singaporean, and trust me, you will get the brunt of their anger. We are visitors in their country, follow and respect their rules as best as you can. Like wise, if you visit your friend's home, you don't just decide to s--t on their couch if you know what I mean. I have some Malaysian friends, and their only gripe with us is when we visit their country and we act like we are better than them. Just a dose of reality check guys, how would you feel when foreigners come to our country and they think they are better than us. Msians are cool, smart (they speak 4 languages minimum) and generally friendlier (try saying hello on the streets to a fellow singaporean) than us. So let's keep that in mind when we head over. N. Parking in KL Some parking areas in melaka, penang, ipoh and kl have 'parking helpers' that help you with lots. They don't really do much but they just point out empty lots for you and maybe help those who are bad in parking park properly. Give them RM1 and don't be a stinge with them. Some of them will help take care of your car for you and keep the robbers away so help them out as well. Some other places have lot parkings. Just remember to park as close as possible to populated areas and not at the far end where there is shade. Avoid parking at the side of major roads as these places have heavy traffic. I have seen cars getting scratched by motorcycles so just park at the designated areas. As I said, most places in KL, Ipoh, PG & Malacca, Tggu, Kuantan are pretty safe. O. What to do when pulled over by the cops (in the city) Singapore plate cars take note. Sometimes you will get pulled over for no reason (esp at night). They say they are doing a routine check but sometimes they just wanna disturb you. When they switch on their blinkers, you don't need to stop immediately, put on your hazard light and try and drive until you see a good populated area or a petrol kiosk. With witnesses around, they wouldn't dare do anything. do not at any cost stop at the side of the road alone. Remember, the cops can do anything to you. Do not try and outsmart them by talking too much (in KL itself). Be polite and call them encik. Don't be a smart aleck by probing their intentions, they are not stupid. Don't offer outright any money, as you are just insulting them. Wait for them to start any conversation. -------------- I'll update this post as I gather more adventures. I would like to offer all my forum members my email - skinky@gmail.com Please feel free to drop me an email if you need any help in KL (i stay near mt kiara, and I visit malaysia once every 2 weeks). If you need someone to bring you up, I will be more than happy to, if our timing coincides. Or if you need any advise, I will be happy to as well. I'm waiting for my new car to arrive, I have sold my old one so i will be flying up for the time being. But once i get it, I may start driving up again. Till then, safe driving ! The pictures don't seem to load. Please right click and open image in new window :(
  25. not a good summer in Thailand and Thai divers were kept busy