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TRIPS BY TRAIN IN THAILAND

TRIPS BY TRAIN IN THAILAND

HAROLDHUA HIN, KANCHANABURI, STATE RAILWAY OF THAILAND, TRAIN

It’s not fast, but it’s fun. Traveling by train in Thailand. The State Railway of Thailand (SRT) offers some fun train tours at very affordable prices.

The train is not exactly the fastest means of transport in Thailand. The cheapest airline tickets are hardly more expensive than the train on long distances and buses and minibuses are also considerably faster. But there is something nostalgic about trains. Gaze out the window and watch the landscape pass by.


Hua Hin and Suan Son Pradiphat

Hua Hin is a favorite destination for many Bangkokians. The picturesque train station of the Royal seaside resort alone is worth a visit. It dates from 1920 and contains a beautiful architecture. The train departs from Hua Lamphong in Bangkok at 6:30 AM and stops in Nakhon Pathom at around 7:40 AM. Travelers can visit Phra Pathhorn Chedi here, Thailand’s largest pagoda.

Trips by train in ThailandAfter forty minutes, the train leaves again, arriving in Hua Hin at 10:30 am. You can also choose to stay on board. In that case, the train continues to Suan Son Pradiphat, a base of the Royal Thai Army with a beach, hotel, golf course, seafood restaurants and even massage shops.

You can make this trip on Saturday, Sunday and during public holidays. The price varies whether you want a place in the air-conditioned train or not. Meals are not included in the price.

Suan Nongnooch in Pattaya

Fancy a day of viewing tropical gardens? That is also possible with the trips by train in Thailand of the SRT. The train to Pattaya leaves early from Hua Lamphong in Bangkok and stops in between in Makkasan, Klongton, Hua Mak, Hua Takae and Chachoensao before arriving in Pattaya. From the station in this seaside resort you will be taken to Nongnooch.

Here you will find botanical gardens and a landscaped waterfall. You can also sit down for the buffet during lunch in the Fuang Fa restaurant. In the afternoon you go to the Pattaya Floating Market for some shopping. The train leaves Pattaya at noon and arrives back in Bangkok early in the evening. This trip can be made on Saturday, Sunday and public holidays.
Erawan waterfall and Srinakarin dam

Another trip for the early birds. The train from Hua Lamphong and stops in Nakhon Pathor for forty minutes. Finally, you will arrive at the famous River Kwai bridge in Kanchanaburi. After looking around here for twenty minutes, you will continue on a bus to the falls. One is manpower constructed, the other is natural.

At the Srinakarin dam you will receive an explanation about how this structure was constructed. The Erawan waterfall is beautiful and you can even swim here. So make sure you have your swimsuit with you. Please note that as a foreigner you pay extra for access to the waterfall. You will be back in Bangkok around half past nine in the evening.

Trips by train in ThailandAmphawa Floating Market

A visit to Thailand is of course not complete without a floating market. Every Saturday, Sunday and public holiday you can take a day trip to Amphawa. The train leaves Wongwian Yai station early in the morning. The first stop is in Mahachai, famous for its large market. You take the ferry to Ban Laem, from where you take the train to Mae Klong.

This is the place with the famous train market. From the train you can see how the train drives right through the market and then arrives at Mae Klong station. From there you will go to the floating market.
Around dinner you will be transferred by minibus back to Bangkok, where you will arrive around 8:00 PM.

Philippines to the polls: Ferdinand ‘Bongbong’ Marcos big favorite

Ferdinand ‘Bongbong’ Marcos Junior en Sara Duterte-Carpio

Mustafa Marghadi
correspondent Southeast Asia


In a flawless pink dress, Imelda Marcos takes a seat on a gold-decorated sofa, surrounded by precious works of art. “I always have to put on makeup and make myself more beautiful, because the poor are always looking for a star in the dark of the night,” says the 92-year-old former first lady of the Philippines in the documentary The Kingmaker from 2019.

The film is so named because Imelda no longer wants to draw attention to herself. It is her son Ferdinand ‘Bongbong’ Marcos who should conquer the highest office tomorrow. And if we are to believe the polls, Bongbong, so named after a childhood nickname, will actually become the new president of the Philippines.

Under the Philippine constitution, presidents can only serve one term, and that of Rodrigo Duterte (in power since 2016) is coming to an end this year.

It’s been a long road to get back to the top for the Marcos family. And Imelda has been instrumental in that comeback.

Authoritarian rule
The low point for the family was in 1986, when Imelda and her husband Ferdinand (senior) were expelled from the Philippines after a popular uprising. President Marcos had maintained an authoritarian regime that left thousands dead. He is also said to have looted about $10 billion from the state treasury. Imelda immersed herself in all that wealth. She was known for her collection of 3000 pairs of extravagant shoes.

Dictator Marcos died in exile in Hawaii. Imelda and her children were allowed to return in 1991. Since then, Imelda has done everything possible to return to the presidential palace. The spearhead of that rehabilitation is Ferdinand Marcos junior, nicknamed Bong Bong.

Documentary ‘The Kingmaker’ about Imelda Marcos
There was enough money to pay for his campaigns. Much of the fortune that the Marcos family had plundered together was never recovered. Son Bongbong became a member of parliament in 1992, then governor and senator in 2010. In 2016, he ran for vice president; in the Philippines, he is elected independently of the president.

Imelda formed an alliance with then-presidential candidate Duterte in the hopes that Bongbong would become vice president in the slipstream of his popularity. Duterte won his race, but Bongbong surprisingly lost to human rights activist Leni Robredo.

That was no reason for the Marcos family to give up. The focus was on the presidential election of 2022. And an online network was set up to rewrite the bloody history of dictator Marcos via social media.

According to media platform The Rappler of Nobel laureate Maria Ressa, videos or Facebook and posts on Twitter are used to better portray that time by “denying the kleptocracy and human rights violations, exaggerating Marcos’s achievements and defaming the media, rivals and critics.”

Ties to Duterte
Ties to the Duterte family have been kept intact. Because when Bongbong ran for president, Sarah Duterte became his running mate for the vice presidency. A winning combination, because just like her father, Sarah Duterte is extremely popular in the Philippines.

With her by his side, Bongbong seems unbeatable. They are often supported by young Filipinos who have never experienced the dictatorship. Marcos would get 56 percent of the vote according to the latest polls, ahead of his closest rival by tens of percentage points.

If Ferdinand Marcos junior does indeed become president, it could have major consequences for the processing of traumas that the Philippines has suffered in recent decades. Bongbong can coach lawsuits over abuses and stolen funds during his father’s presidency. He can also stop investigations into the deadly drug war of the current president and father of his running mate.

Imelda watches from a distance. Because of corona, she stays away from crowds at the age of 92. But she still manages in the background. “She’s still very, very involved in everything we do,” Bongbong said in an interview with CNN Philippines. The comeback she directed seems to be coming, by making history more beautiful than it was. Because, says Imelda in The Kingmaker, “Perception is real. And the truth is not.”

Same dictator families will run Philippines. again next period , kids of the dictators wil now be ‘elected’ , 92 year old before first lady is in charge . @annoz

Election in Hong Kong has yet to start, but the result is already certain . . .

La démocratie est une sorte de blague en Chine, tout est pré-arrangé et ceux qui ne votent pas ou votent blanc ou invalide peuvent parfois être suivis, c’est le système. Alors vous choisissez ceux qu’ils ont déjà choisis pour vous 🙂

The polling stations in Hong Kong have yet to open, but the results have already been determined. With only one candidate, the leadership election has become a mere formality. A victory can no longer escape John Lee, if the 1500 elected electors are allowed to cast their votes in a small committee tomorrow.

There is not much to choose from in the first election since Beijing introduced sweeping reforms to the Hong Kong electoral system. It was decided that Hong Kong should only be run by ‘patriots’, in what turned out to be the death knell for the pro-democracy camp.

There is also not much to see in the streets of Hong Kong. There are hardly any campaign banners. The only campaign rally, which opened with the singing of the Chinese national anthem, took place behind closed doors yesterday. Debates are not necessary at all this time, with only one candidate.

Other candidates
In one of the television shows that still sparked lively discussions between the candidates in earlier years, Lee had the realm to himself. “It’s not easy,” he said, nevertheless. “With my team, I put a lot of energy into the campaign.”

Initially, there were still other candidates. Checkley Sin for example. The kung fu film maker was the first to run as a candidate in Hong Kong’s leadership elections early this year. “Several people had encouraged me to do it several times, but I wasn’t particularly interested in a political career at first,” Sin says now, who stirs up what he sees as “criticism and suggestions” on YouTube and in his own publications. towards the government.

He mainly focuses on uncontroversial themes, such as the housing market. “In the end I decided to apply, to really do something myself.”

‘He is the right candidate’
Many of the Democrats who were active in Hong Kong politics until a few years ago are in prison. The vision of universal suffrage has been firmly brushed aside by Beijing. Sin, who calls himself an independent but widely regarded as a Beijing loyalist, claimed to have garnered enough nominations to enter the race.

Still, he decided to withdraw when John Lee turned himself in a few weeks ago. “No, no one asked me to,” Sin says. “I have always said that if he stood up, I would withdraw. He is the right candidate.”

More than half of the electoral votes in the election committee have already rallied behind Lee in recent weeks, so that he is already assured of victory before the finish.

Behind bars
Lee made a career in the police force and later headed the Hong Kong Ministry of Public Security. In recent years, he was the second man on the Hong Kong board, behind Carrie Lam.

During his career, especially around the pro-democracy protests of 2019, he was in close contact with the Chinese authorities. Under his leadership, protesters and journalists were put behind bars and political opponents were eliminated. A charter of ability, in the eyes of Beijing: he is seen as reliable and loyal to the communist party.

‘Lessons from Xinjiang’
After visiting Xinjiang several years ago, the region where China sent more than a million Uyghurs and other Muslim minorities to re-education camps, Lee said the region offered lessons for Hong Kong. “Xinjiang is the place where several terrorist attacks took place. The situation has improved greatly in recent years. The experiences there are an example for Hong Kong.”

The first lessons of this already seem to be being put into practice. So far, at least 250 Hong Kong protesters have received ‘deradicalisation therapy’, local authorities recently said.

“A lot of people worry because of his policing background that he will tighten the thumbscrews in Hong Kong,” Sin said of the only remaining candidate. “But I don’t think so,” he continues, as his campaign staff roll out their whiteboards and the temporary campaign office is vacated.

“Obviously, now that I’m out of the running, there’s only one candidate left,” he says of the election, where the 1461 electoral committee members determine the future of the 7.5 million people. A fake election? “I don’t agree with you,” Sin says. “No election method is perfect, but it’s about getting the right person elected for the people.”

NOS media

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Democracy is a kind of a joke in China, everything is pre-arranged and those who do not vote or vote blank or invalid can sometimes be followed, that is the system. So you choose those who chose they side for you. 🙂 AZ

Today’s temperatures were among the lowest in May I can remember

by: Rene Pitayataratorn , Vice President at Metronet Asia Co., Ltd

Today’s temperatures were among the lowest in May I can remember. A cold spell with spray rain like this and temperatures of around 21°C at midday is very unusual for what is normally one of the hottest months here in Khon Kaen.

NE winds brought in this cooler airmass from a high pressure system over China. Events like this are still poorly forecast by current models (which will usually predict thunderstorms and slightly higher temperatures) but as the measurement station networks becomes denser, this will eventually improve.

Khon Kaen’s newest 14 weatherstations and 20 environmental measurement stations logged the event. At present – with La Nina still present and likely to persist into the autumn – above average precipitation in the coming raining season is highly likely. If the current trend persists we could be in for a highly active typhoon season and see a return of last year’s flooding. That said – at this point it’s a bit too early to raise the alarm.

 By : Rene Pitayataratorn , Vice President at Metronet Asia Co., Ltd.

Attempt to increase the rare wildlife population in Thailand

A newborn, endangered Eld's deer fawn stands with its surrogate mother at Khao Kheow open zoo in Chonburi province, east of Bangkok, Thailand. Thai veterinarians have successfully bred the world's first test tube Burmese Eld's deer in an attempt to increase the rare wildlife population in Thailand

A newborn, endangered Eld’s deer fawn stands with its surrogate mother at Khao Kheow open zoo in Chonburi province, east of Bangkok, Thailand. Thai veterinarians have successfully bred the world’s first test tube Burmese Eld’s deer in an attempt to increase the rare wildlife population in Thailand

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Angkor Temples (Cambodia)

Superb book from my French friend Michel Petrotchenko (lives in Bangkok)

“”You are preparing your first trip to Angkor and want to make the most of it. Because it offers a unique approach to the subjectFocusing on the Angkor Temples: The Guidebook is the indispensable travel companion that will turn your visit into a memorable experience.

You have already visited Angkor. You will re-discover the temples, exploring sections you may have missed, identifying carvings that may have escaped your attention during your first visit.

384 pages, 1100 illustrations including 700 colour pictures and 150 annotated temple floor plans, to really guide you around more than 80 temples. A unique visual journey through Khmer history, religion and architecture.””

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