living in the ‘Land of Smiles’

Chiang Mai, Thailand

Breaking News – Thailand – China to bypass Malacca Strait by Kra Isthmus Canal

Via: China Daily Mail


The following article was translated from Chinese media:

The trade route to the Indian Ocean through the Malacca Strait has the problems of pirates, shipwrecks, haze, sediment and shoals.

Its rate of accidents is twice as high as the Suez Canal and four times higher than the Panama Canal.

An alternative shorter route is to build a canal at Kra Isthmus, Thailand. It will save shipment costs and time as the route is shortened by 1,000 km.

Due to close trade relations between China and ASEAN for years, their bilateral trade rose from $54.8 billion in 2002 to $443.6 billion in 2013. In the same period, mutual investment grew four times to an accumulated total of $100 billion.

The close relations and accumulated wealth due to economic and trade growth make people believe that the construction of Kra Isthmus is affordable now.

China’s huge state-owned LiuGong Machinery Co. Ltd and XCMG, and private Sany Heavy Industry Co Ltd have taken the lead to set up a preparations group for the construction of Kra Isthmus Canal.

The 100 km artificial link to the Indian Ocean will benefit not only China and ASEAN, but also Japan and other countries’ world trade.


Personal Thought:

Maybe with any kind of luck, the Chinese will stop coming to Chiang Mai, and will instead visit their canal at Kra Isthmus?

Naw, probably not.




April 18, 2014 Posted by | Uncategorized | , , , , , | Leave a comment

Bangkok – Suvarnabhumi Airport eyes No. 1 spot

Via: The Nation


Pongsak Semson, a vice chairman of Airports of Thailand – the operator of the Bangkok’s airport, said on Friday that works must be stepped up to increase the airport’s competitiveness. He foresees fiercer competition when the ASEAN Economic Community takes shape in 2015.

The airport celebrated the 6th anniversary today.

“Six years after the second phase is completed, we’ll be fully ready to complete and there’s a chance that we become the No.1 because of the competitive edge in terms of tourist destinations,” he said.


“In the REGION, Suvarnabhumi is INFERIOR to Changi Airport in Singapore in terms of language skills of personnel, congestion and convenience“, he said.

And I said, “No shit, Sherlock!”


September 28, 2013 Posted by | Uncategorized | , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

(3 of 3) Brave girl learning to walk again with ‘new legs’

Via: The Nation

Five months after losing both legs in a serious accident in Singapore 14-year-old Nitcharee Pen-eakchanasak is now learning to walk again.

“It hurts when my flesh rubs against the prosthetic legs. Yet, I am so glad I am able to walk around now”, the Thai girl said.

While a student in Singapore, Nitcharee fell from a platform of the underground rail system and was hit by an incoming train on April 3, losing both legs.

Nitcharee received help from HRH Princess Maha Chakri Sirindhorn, who instructed the Department of Medical Sciences (DMS) to fit her with C-leg prostheses. Each C-leg costs Bt1.2 million ($40,000).

“She is now able to walk safely for a distance of a few hundred metres,” DMS chief Dr Rewat Wisarutwet said yesterday.

Nitcharee has undergone physical rehabilitation at the Sirindhorn National Medical Rehabilitation Centre every day. The sessions are designed to ensure she will be able to use the prosthetic legs safely.

“I think she’ll be able to walk almost normally and with greater confidence within six months,” Dr Pansak Tansakul said, in his capacity as doctor in charge of Nitcharee.

The girl’s father Kitthanet Pen-eakchanasak drives her to the school where she has found happiness amid caring relationships with teachers and classmates.


Her father is suing the rail operator in Singapore, seeking $3.4 million in compensation. But he has faced a counter-suit and it was reported that the island-state’s rail operator may sue Nitcharee.

Kitthanet said Nitcharee would need to get new prosthetic legs every five years, which would require a lot of money.


(1 of 3) ‘The Very Brave and inspiring Nitcharee Penekchanasak’ – April 14,2011


(2 of 3) ‘High spirited Nong Than ready to move on’ – June 17, 2011

September 13, 2011 Posted by | Uncategorized | , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

(2 of 3) High-spirited Nong Than ready to move on

Via: The Nation

Not many teenagers would be happy to spend their 15th birthday in a hospital and without legs. Nonetheless, Nitcharee Peneakchanasak, or “Nong Than” as she is known to the public, is in characteristic good spirits.

“Smile and accept reality, don’t try and avoid the truth,” Nong Than said.

On April 3, while on a language course in Singapore, Nong Than had an accident on the Singapore mass transit system, the SMRT.

While on her way to meet friends at Singapore East Coast Park, she fell onto the tracks and was hit by a train at Ang Mo Kio station.

One of her legs was severed and the other had to be amputated. She is still recuperating at the Sirindhorn National Medical Rehabilitation Centre.

She has become a minor celebrity, though, because of her happy demeanour, lack of selfpity and a charming interview on Thai TV.

Yesterday she celebrated her 15th birthday surrounded by friends and family at the Tawandang German Brewery Ramintra.

“I want to have a party, to have a lot of people come and tell me ‘happy birthday’ and to eat cake,”

Anxiety tinges the occasion, though, as her father Kittanesh talks about her future.

“My daughter is strong, so I’m not worried about her psychologically, but the SMRT has refused to take any responsibility,” he said.

The SMRT has offered to pay 5,000 Singaporean dollars (Bt123,000 @ 30Bt = $4,100USD), but that price will hardly pay for the medical costs of Nong Than.

Her father estimates the accident has cost the family about (Bt1.5 million @ 30Bt = $50,000USD) . While donations have helped, his real concern is for the future.

“Her prosthetic legs will cost around (Bt5 million @30Bt = $167,000USD) and will need to be replaced every three to five years,” he said, “If she lives until she’s 75, that’ll cost Bt60 million @ 30BT = $2,000,000USD), not including the expenses inherent in changing her lifestyle.”

The SMRT has a history of accidents. While the government has worked on installing platform walls at all stations, a project expected to finish next year, there have been 24 deaths on the rail system.

Kittanesh filed a lawsuit against the SMRT last week in the hope of receiving help with medical costs.

Still, Nong Than seems hopeful. Her father predicts that in a few weeks she’ll get her prosthetic legs and start the arduous process of learning how to walk again.

She’s also looking forward to continuing her studies in Singapore, hoping to get into a Singaporean school in six months’ time.

Nong Than credits her longterm dream of becoming a psychiatrist with her ability to adjust so well and so quickly to her new situation.

To all others in situations like hers, she says: “Don’t get too caught up on what you don’t have now, but instead look to what you have in the future.

There was an air of happiness around Nong Than, as throughout the day people – strangers and friends alike – brought her presents and good wishes.


June 17, 2011 Posted by | Uncategorized | , , , , | 1 Comment