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28th April

  Dangerous Thailand...

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The whole world watches whilst Thai thugs beat up elderly British woman in Hua Hin
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thai thugs beat up a british family in hua hin0.52 video A British couple with their grown up son were violently beaten up by Thai thugs in a crowded street in Hua Hin.

The footage was captured on video and has gone viral around the world. In the UK the Daily Mail went to town with extensive coverage of the disgraceful incident. The Daily Mail described the attack:

CCTV footage captured the extremely violent attack in the popular tourist resort of Hua Hin, where the elderly couple and their middle-aged son were celebrating Thai New Year.

The row appears to escalate from nowhere, as the woman is punched to the ground while the men are being overwhelmed by punches and kicks in the background. As she tries to sit back up, one of the gang kicks her violently in the jaw and knocks her out.

The three holidaymakers were left knocked out cold and lying in the street as their attackers disappear into the crowds of passersby during the Songkran festivities. The victims were hospitalised but the long term injuries were limited to the need for cosmetic dental work.

The police have made arrests but it is not yet clear whether these will result in prosecutions. The incident also made Thai TV news so hopefully there will be some pressure on police to bring the thugs to justice.

There is a long list of news stories building up of British tourists being killed, raped, murdered and beaten up whilst holidaying in Thailand.

 

19th April

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Thailand to ask expats for banking, social media and vehicle details
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thai immigration facebook Foreign nationals residing in Thailand are being asked to disclose personal information to the government, including their bank details and where they hang out online and offline.

In recent days, a number of people have reported on Twitter and online forums frequented by expats that they have received the new forms at the Immigration Division 1 office and One-Stop Service Center at Chamchuri Square. Both are in Bangkok.

Apart from the basic information, the form requires details about what social media they use, details of vehicles they use including license plate numbers, and places or premises visited often by the foreigner ? such as club, restaurant, shop, hospital and other places. The form also asks for their bank account numbers.

Chatchawan Wachirapaneekhun, deputy commissioner of the Immigration Bureau's crime suppression unit, claimed providing the information was not mandatory, and added ominously:

We won't bother with their social media -- if they aren't doing anything wrong.

Chatchawan said in the past, immigration lacked sufficient information about foreign nationals living in Thailand. He said the new information was being sought to help track down foreigners when problems arose.

 

14th April

  British man fined for being topless...

Miserable Thai police put a dampener on Songkran
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topless farang prosecuted A British man has fallen victim to the Thai police and has been prosecuted for no more than enjoying Songkran water festivities whilst not wearing a shirt. He was fined 100 Baht for waht police claim to be indecent dress.

In fact there has been a general police action against girls wearing t-shirts that may be a little revealing when soaked with water. People locally have been responding to the police threats and have been covering up with traditional flowery patterned shirts. However in Pattaya things are a little freer perhaps because there is safety in numbers.

The police have also been banning pick up trucks with water tubs on board. Police road blocks and a few example arrests have been enough to get general compliance, albeit less so in Pattaya.

There's still plenty of water flying around though, and plenty of people enjoying the fun.

 

13th April

  It's a little warm for the time of year...

Thailand sees temperatures near the highest ever recorded
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The Day Earth Caught Fire Sukhothai, Thailand's former capital, has registered a temperature of 44 degrees Celsius, the highest the province has ever registered in April, and nearing the highest ever recorded in the country of 44.5 degrees in Uttaradit.

Weather forecasters have warned people against staying in the sun too long given the risk of potentially fatal heat stroke.

Because of a low-pressure zone covering the upper part of Thailand, many provinces have witnessed record-breaking temperatures this month. Lampang's Thoen has seen 43.2 degrees, Kanchanaburi 43.5, and Nakhon Ratchasima at 43.2.

 

11th April

  Just a dribble of fun...

The British press picks up on new miserable rules for Songkran
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Large Water Pistols Guns Pack The Thai military authorities have announced a miserable crackdown on key ingredients in the modern celebration of Songkran.

Public celebrations have over the years turned into several days of dance parties and alcohol-fuelled water fights where locals and tourists soak each other with buckets and pump-action water guns.

Thailand however is currently beset by its worst drought in decades and is ruled by a junta keen to break the country's reputation for sybaritic excess.

There were initial calls for voluntary restraint and suggestions that celebrants should simply sprinkle drops of water on others or use mister-spray bottles. The authorities have now announced a series of measures and bans in an attempt to curb the fun.

In Bangkok, the celebrations in the backpacker haunt of Khao San Road will be cut back from four days to two, while in the business centre of Silom, one day is being lopped off. They are also supposed to end at 9pm rather than run past midnight. The city government will no longer run or allow free water distribution centres and public consumption of alcohol is also supposed to be banned.

The country's military rulers are also determined to curtail the sybaritic excess that has become associated with the celebrations as skimpily-clad party-goers throng streets or dance on top of parade vehicles to booming techno music. The main Silom celebration will now feature a cultural parade rather than a dance party.

Gen Prayuth Chan-o-cha, the junta leader aid that displays of sexuality by Thais would give foreigners the wrong message by encouraging them to behave in similar fashion.

Don't do anything that make farangs [foreigners] think they can do anything. They come here for Thainess. Please don't do anything that shames the country and please do conserve water.

In Chiang Mai, the governor has announced a ban on X-ray pants which turn translucent when soaked. He also said his officials would prevent displays of sexy dance moves and sexy muscles .

Also banned by the junta this year are red plastic water bowls bearing a Songran message from Thaksin Shinawatra, the deposed prime minister. The message reads:

The situation may be hot, but brothers and sisters may gain coolness from the water inside this bucket.

 

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