Click here to read our March 2008 News.
On April 10 Songkran startet at the Korat.
Happy New Year to Nakhon Ratchasima!
Remember: Your Mobile phones aren't waterproof.
News Flash April Fool:
Click here if you missed our April 1st publication!
We got the ideas from NightWalker's girlfriend. At least we in Switzerland had a lot of fun.
Ocean 10 reopened
The nightclub on Walking Street closed on March 29 2008 and reopend with a new look on April 23 2008.
Pattaya Beer House
The Pattaya Beer House on Thaiwat City Walk, a few meters from Royal Garden Plaza, opened its door. If you like the Beerhouses in good old Germany, you will feel at home, even without 'german music'.
During the last few days the police didn't make any attempts closing the bars at 2am.
The bars are allowed to stay open if playing music at low levels and closing outside lights.
During the last week of March a few Thai bar owners already told my girlfriend, that the police will stop its crackdown on April 1st.
A few times ago, when the government introduced the 01:00 closure time, the bar owners simply reduced their monthly tea money payments to clear up the unhealhty situation.
Pattaya City Hall said that a petition would be lodged with the Interior Ministry. Further, a meeting would be called of Pattaya City Council and a resolution called for to extend the opening hours. With the resolution passed, a meeting would be arranged between the chief of Banglamung District, the governor of Chonburi, and the Minister of Interior to put the case forward.
City Hall said that Pattaya's entertainment outlets are regarded as being an important factor for tourism and that Pattaya brings a large income into the country annually.
Pattaya's entertainment operators want to extend their operating hours until 04:00.
The business owners told City Hall that foreign tourists came to Pattaya because of its vibrant nightlife and not because of its temples and (dirty) beaches.
133-year-old telegram service obsolete
CAT Telecom will cease Thailand's telegram service on May 1 2008.
It is a victim of newer communications technologies such as cellphones and email services, a spokesman from CAT Telecom said.
Tuk Tuk Shop
Thai Tuk Tuk Motor Co. Ltd. South Pattaya Road, about 500 meters from Sukumvit Road.
Thai Police slap heavy fines on women who have a condom in their handbags.
Visitor arrivals in 2007
Total visitors: 14'464'228
up 4.65% from 13'821'802 in 2006.
Women visitors -10%
Male visitors: +14.8%
Eastern Europe: +37%
40% of all visitors came from Malaysia, China, Japan, Korea, Taiwan and Hong Kong.
Pattaya posted 6.1 million (TAT Region3 office claims 6.62 million) visitors last year.
Chiang Mai: 5.5 million
Phuket: 4.7 million
Hua Hin: 2.32 million
Japanese and Chinese refuse to go to Phuket for cultural reasons (tsunami)
Nevertheless TAT is advertising Phuket as the country's most popular tourist destination...
Hotel operators in Pattaya say that the number of visitors has decreased, but TAT insists that the number of new hotels opening, especially large hotels, is spreading the business more thinly...
TAT says that Songkran has added at least 500 million Baht to Pattaya's economy, with some 500'000 visitors arriving in the city. The number of tourists is based on hotel reservations.
Pattaya says that it will fine tune its image...
Thailand's overall travel and tourism economy employed an estimated 4'110'000 people in 2007 or one in every 8.9 jobs.
Thailand is to reinforce the 'Amazing Thailand' slogan that proved so successful in 1998-99.
City Hall decided that it will install 10 CCTV cameras on different locations on Walking Street. In addition, more than 200 regular police officers, tourist police officers and volunteer officers will be deployed to patrol the area and to crack down on touts, hustlers and transvestites.
Honda, Mitsubishi, Nissan, Suzuki, Tata & Toyota will produce eco-cars in Thailand.
Volkswagen also submitted a proposal to produce eco-cars in Thailand but was not included among the approvals granted by Thailand's BoI (Board of Investment).
Thailand's definition for eco-cars:
Engine size of no more than 1'300 to 1'400 cc (!).
Using no more than 5 litres of fuel per 100 kilometres.
Must comply with Euro 4 emission standards.
Thailand is the world's second-largest market for pickups after the United States and has become a leading exporter of the vehicle over the past decade.
A survey of Chonburi Province for 2006 had found 1'389 new cases of HIV in youngsters between the ages of 15 and 24 years.
Korat dries up
The Disaster Prevention and Mitigation Centre distributes 4.8 million cubic litres of water supplies used for irrigation and for drinking to locals in 265 villages in Nakhon Ratchasima province as relief aid.
Repair work is now being done on groundwater reserves in the province.
Military clothing taboo
Maj-Gen Peerapong said wearing clothes which resemble a full or partial Thai military uniform is illegal. He will ask the police to cooperate.
The punishment under the Military Uniforms Act of 1934 is a jail term of between three months and five years.
If the military is so worried about its image, it should work harder to create trust and credibility among the public instead of prohibiting people from wearing copies of its uniforms.
Pattaya News Flash April 2008
Pattaya Beer Garden
Pattaya's new meeting point for freelancers: Pattaya Beer Garden
Located on the the back of the Pier Bar Complex (also known as Siren Bar Complex) on Beach Road, a few meters only from the entrance to Walking Street. A hassle free place to eat and drink and to make new friends. No bar girls, no lady drinks, no bar fines and no Katoeys. A place to meet freelancers.
Check its Website!
Police raids Child Brothel in Naklua
On April 21 2008 Bangkok Police raided the Naklua based Chao Praya Karaoke and Restaurant
After residents reported suspicious comings and goings to the children's and women's division of the Royal Thai Police over 50 Bangkok based police officers raided a suspected child brothel on Soi Photisarn (Naklua).
At the Chao Praya Karaoke and Restaurant the police found three Laotian girls working without ID-cards and work permissions. Furthermore, on the rear of the venue nine Thai girls, some under 18 and even under 15 years, were waiting for customers.
The now closed venue had mainly Thai men as customers.
Once again - parking fee on Beach Road!
The lovely people from Pattaya City Hall announced that motorists and motorcycle riders parking their vehicles along Beach Road will have to use designated areas. Furthermore City Hall will charge a parking fee. The fee for the first hour for vehicles will be 10 baht, rising to 20 baht for each extra hour. For motorcycles the fee will be 10 baht for the first hour and 10 baht for each additional hour. All drivers of motorcycles and cars - including baht buses (!) and taxis - using the designated parking areas have to pay the parking fee.
Nightwalker published about the same message 2003 in his February Pattaya News... Perhaps City Hall will release a similar regulation 2013 again. Who knows? Pattaya is entertainment - nothing else. And City Hall is part of it.
Pattaya City Council backs 04:00 closing time!
Pattaya City Council decided unanimously to extend the closing hours for entertainment venues in Pattaya from 02:00 to 04:00.
The resolution now has to go to the Interior Ministry for consideration.
City Hall said that Pattaya is a modern tourism city that has a high international reputation (!?) that generates more than 60 billion Baht each year. According to City Hall, the entertainment industry generates most of Pattaya's income.
Now you got the proof: Almost anything in Pattaya is entertainment, including the recent raids from Pattaya Police and Tourist Police...
In other words: Wasted time and wasted money.
Now you can dance at BadaBing on Soi 8!
Improve your fitness on Soi 8. Pick up a girl at a bar or at the dancing and shake your legs. Your doctor will agree, it's healthy for your circulation.
The Culture Ministry rolled out a guideline on the 'correct' way to dress during the Thai New Year holiday.
Thailands Culture Ministry recommends to wear modest clothing that covers the girls bodies well during the water-splashing festival. The girls should wear black outfits that help conceal their bodies even when their clothing was soaked.
A spokesman of the Minitry said the idea was to encourage traditional Thai culture and good manners, instead of the aggressive and violent behaviour that has become synonymous with Songkran.
The ministry is concerned that spaghetti-strap tops, miniskirts and hot pants, which are popular with Thai teens, may be too sexually provocative when soaked with water and is declaring a war against tank tops, hot pants and seductive costumes during the water festival.
Deputy director-general of Thailand's Disease Control Department said those who light up cigarettes at public transportation stations and other non-smoking areas will be fined on the spot.
The traditional spirit of Songkran:
Extended families get together and express their respects to elders and each other by pouring scented water onto the hands of parents, grandparents, other kinfolk and friends near and far. It is a family affair and the most noble and public-spirited one in Thailand's calendar.
Low Season starts
Thailand's regulation to prevent alcoholism:
Addicts already know it, one bottle of beer only isn't healthy...
No Fun on Walking Street
Nevertheless, Walking Street is full of tourists
Many of them are from China or Japan. They have to walk in groups through Walking Street, from South Pattaya Road to Bali Hai Pier. At the Pier a boat brings them to the Oriental Star where they get a 'snack' or something else.
On the way back they have to fellow a show at the Dollhouse, the Happy A Go-Go or 'enjoy' a Muay Thai boxing spectacle at Marine. I walked a few times with them. I never could see a single smile. Before or after the Walking Street torture they get a 'collective' massage at North Road or on Soi 1. Again no smiles. Pattaya doesn't seem to be a funny town - at least not for Chinese and Japanese tourists. But perhaps some will come back - alone... and will spend more than an hour or so on our otherwise funny street.
Overestimated Demand - Overestimated Buying Power?
A lot of new shophouses and shops are waiting for investors.
During the last two years Pattaya had seen a boom of new shophouses and shopping centers. Many of the new buildings have been finished but are still looking out for tenants - even at prime sites. But investing in Pattaya is chancy.
A lot of Farangs as well as Thais already lost a lot of money during the last few month. It has been a dream of Pattaya's officials and many investors that Thailand's new Suvarnabhumi Airport will bring in a bunch of new wealthy, generous and open-handed tourists. Pattaya now is hopping that executive and employees from Laem Chabang, Chonburi's large deep sea port, will settle down in Pattaya and will spend their money in the city. But Laem Chabang itself already has a lot of empty (and cheaper) apartments and shophouses.
The Boulevard Cafés at Thavat City Walk: At night a popular meeting point.
The Lengkee Empire.
It is said that Mister Lengkee started as a motorcycle taxi driver in Pattaya. A few years later he opened the now well-known Lengkee Restaurant on Central Road. Then he entered the real estate market with shophouses, upper class appartment houses and villas. In sharp contrast to some of his competitors, most - if not all - of his projects are in strong demand.
He even runs his own crew of construction workers and keeps them happy. People like to work for him. Perhaps this is the secret of his success in Pattaya.
Lengkee's success started with the Lengkee Restaurant on Central Road.
Some people will never learn
If I could turn back the clock, I would stage the coup like before. The situation forced me to do it.
Former chairman of the Council for National Security Sonthi Boonyaratkalin insists he would not change his mind about staging the Sept 19, 2006 coup to oust then prime minister Thaksin Shinawatra if he could turn back the clock.
Gen Sonthi defended the necessity of the coup, which he said not only prevented violent clashes between supporters and opponents of Mr Thaksin but also protected the monarchy.
He says only he himself and Gen Anupong Paojinda, then commander of the First Army Region and now army chief, plotted the coup d'etat. But during a radio interview last year he told the audience 'There were only three people plotting last years military coup. That's me and two assistants'.
Gen Sonthi insists Privy Council president Prem Tinsulanonda was not involved in the coup. But he admitted he met Gen Prem at least once a week to brief him about the political situation before staging the coup.
He also insists that Mr Thaksin had not appointed him as army chief. Perhaps this was the situation that forced him to stage the coup. Who knows...?
Gen Sonthi also said, he felt disappointed with the performance of the coup-appointed premier Surayud Chulanont.
During the coup, the military replaced the programs of the local TV stations with its own production and shutdown CNN and FOX TV.
In some statements the coup leader misinformed and cheated whole the nation.
Gen Sonthi had his moment to achieve greatness. He flubbed it.
He should close his mouth now - and forever.
Fun in Pattaya
Happy on Soi Happy
Nobody can resist to take a photo from the entry to Gulliver's new Sport Café on Walking Street.
As a Buddhist country, Thailand should be known for its honesty - not for being the second most corrupt society in Asia.
Breakthrough in Bird Flu detection.
Europe's top semiconductor maker, STMicroelectronics, has developed a portable chip to detect influenza viruses including bird flu in humans. The chip can differentiate human strains of the Influenza A and B viruses, drug-resistant strains and mutated variants, including the Avian Flu or H5N1 strain.
There have been 236 human deaths globally from the H5N1 strain, according to the World Health Organisation.
The big Lie
Hollywood as well as medias display a wrong picture.
A newly published poll shows that 94% of young US people respect monogamy and 88% support the constitution. Less than 25% think that celebrities are exemplary.
Thai politics is far more entertaining than cable TV.
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