Tourist arrivals from the Middle East to Thailand are expected to dramatically increase following the launch of the daily A380 Emirates service to Suvarnabhumi Airport.
Typically, super-jumbos are reserved for long-haul flights only, and the Dubai-Bangkok flight, with a duration of six hours, is considered short-haul.
Emirates' A380 aircraft is configured to carry 489 passengers and features luxurious facilities including lounges, flat beds, shower spas and massage-equipped suites in the first class cabin.
Emirates A380 comprises of a three-class configuration with flat-bed massage-equipped private suites and an onboard lounge in First Class, new generation intelligent seating in Business Class and an award-winning entertainment system in Economy Class.
Emirates is offering special fares for Bangkok travellers on its brand new A380 planes set to launch at the start of June.
Until 20 June 2009, return fares from Bangkok to Dubai on the A380 will cost 11,155 Baht in Economy Class or 27,645 Baht in Business Class.
There are also early bird offers for travelers connecting from Dubai to destinations in the USA (New York, Houston, San Francisco, Los Angeles) with Economy Class from 36,830 Baht, Business Class from 111,500 Baht and First Class from 194,000 Baht.
The promotion is valid for travel by June 30. The special fares are available only to online booking at www.emirates.com/th
Female Panda Lin Hui gave birth to a healthy cub on Wednesday morning at the Chiang Mai Zoo, Thailand.
(Photo credits: Reuters)
Chiang Mai zoo director Thanaphat Pongphamon said Lin Hui delivered a cub at 10:10 am. Prasertsak Boontrakulpoonthawee, head of the Panda section, said Lin Hui delivered her baby at 10:39 am. He also said he saw that Lin Hui shook, pushed and delivered the cub.
The sex and weight of the cub were still unknown as Lin Hui would not allow zoo officials near the baby, Mr Thanaphat said. Lin Hui had carried the baby for 93 days and the birth was without complications.
This is considered a big success for Chiang Mai zoo. Despite the best care and encouragement, Lin Hui's partner Xuang Xuang had failed to impregnate her. All efforts to arouse Xuang Xuang's interest in mating had failed, even after showing videos of other pandas mating. He just couldn't nail it - even after all the Panda porn he watched. The pandas' keepers finally resorted to artificial insemination.
The two animals arrived from China over five years ago as part of a panda research program. The loan agreement will see the two pandas and their offspring returned to China after 10 years.
Update: Manny "Pac-Man" Pacquiao shakes hands with PM Abhisit Vejjajiva in Bangkok on Monday May 25, 2009.
Filipino boxing legend Manny Pacquiao visits Thailand today as a presenter for a Filipino beer brand San Miguel and would host a press conference at the Four Seasons Hotel in Bangkok at 10.00 a.m.
Superstar Pacquiao, nicknamed the "Pac-Man", is making a one-day trip from his home country the Philippines. Pacquiao is scheduled to meet the Thai Prime Minister Mr. Abhisit Vejjajiva at the Government House at 16:00.
Pacquiao recently beat British boxer Ricky Hatton by a knockout in Las Vegas, adding the IBO light welterweight belt to his impressive collection of world titles. Upon returning home on May 8, the Filipino superstar was greeted to a heroes welcome with a grand celebration and warm welcome from Filipino President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo.
According to the earlier reports, Pacquiao was scheduled to travel to Thailand for a one-day trip on May 21, but San Miguel, however, recently announced that the Filipino boxer would not come to Thailand on the planned date due to a schedule conflict with an event at home and "certain domestic issues".
Sorawee Nattee (Thai: สรวีย์ นัดทีิ์ แจส) is the winner of the 12th Miss Tiffany's Universe 2009, Thailand's most popular transsexual beauty pageant. She was named Thailand's most beautiful katoey (ladyboy or woman-of-the-2nd-category) late Friday night in a glamorous event that was telecast live on Thai TV Channel 7 from Tiffany's Show Theater in Pattaya, Thailand's most popular tourist destination.
Below is a photo of Sorawee Nattee
Sorrawee (Nong Jazz) contestant No. 26 is a 20 year old student from Ratchabhat Suan Sunauta University. She receives a Honda Jazz car, 100,000 Baht in cash, a crown, a trophy & sash, and gift sets from sponsors. She also received a 20,000 Baht prize for winning the Most Beautiful Costume category.
This year almost all the winners were students. The first runner up was Wirithorn Norapatpimol (Nong Bell), a 20 year old a student from North Chiang Mai University. She won 80,000 Baht, a sash and a trophy. She also won the title of Miss Unlimited Sexy Star, sponsored by Central Festival Pattaya Beach, and received 10,000 Baht for having the best looking swim suit.
The second runner up was Napusawan Chonakorn (Nong Nut), 21, who received 50,000 Baht, a sash and a trophy and 20,000 Baht for winning the Most Beautiful Complexion title - beautiful skin.
The mass media popular vote went to contestant no. 16, Lerluk Lertworapong (Nong Nat), an 18 year old student from Thaimitr Wittayalai. She received 10,000 Baht. Miss Cordiality went to Preerada Maneeket (Nong Aui).
Bangkok Skytrain (BTS) yesterday launched its first run over Chao Phraya river with free rides for passengers.
The BTS extension from Saphan Taksin station to Wong Wian Yai is the first Skytrain route to venture across the river to Thon Buri.
For years, Bangkok commuters have faced a rush hour nightmare on the way to work or school each morning. That nightmare lasts longest in Sathorn, the capital's central business district - and its most congested.
It should help ease the traffic jams along the Sathorn Road at the King Taksin Bridge route, the most gridlocked road in Bangkok.
Around 2,000 vehicles are expected per hour during rush hour after the BTS extension opens, compared to almost 15,000 vehicles currently.
Prime Minister Abhisit Vejjajiva was at the launch ceremony to wave off the first train. The BTS extension is expected to boost the estimated 400,000 Skytrain journeys made every day by around 30,000 to 50,000.
A campaign is being launched to encourage parents who usually drive their children to schools in Sathorn area to use the Skytrain instead. Parking space has been increased near the newly opened stations and shuttle buses will ferry passengers to stations
The extension is a huge boost for Thon Buri commuters who have to cross the Chao Phya River to get to work.
The Skytrain link to the rest of the city means that Thon Buri has become Bangkok's new hot property, and condominiums have mushroomed close to the extension's two stations to meet demand.
About 200 Patpong vendors on Wednesday night attacked 50 Commerce Ministry officials who raided sellers' booths and arrested them for selling pirated goods.
Farangs at Patpong better be prepared with an escpae plan as the next raid is going to take place today! The Lonely Planet Guidebooks won't be of any help as they wouldn't have an escape route map, do they?
Next possible targets: Pantip Plaza, MBK shopping centre, Sukhumvit Road, Klong Thom.
Vendors attacked the officials with wooden sticks, glass bottles (probably empty Chang beer bottles) and stones. Reports said guns were also fired to scare off the officials, but the first to jump for cover were happy, innocent tourists.
About 10 officials were injured in the melee, and one is in a serious condition.
Officials arrested some vendors, and loaded four vans with confiscated pirated goods, mostly counterfeit copies of bags and clothes. Many vendors claim that the officials did not check if the goods were really pirated, but just dumped all goods from the stalls into their bags.
Vendors said officials seized all products from their outlets, although some of their products were not pirated. The officials simply did not discriminate between pirated goods and goods which they sold legally, which totally angered the vendors.
As the police headed for Bang Rak police station, the vendors blocked the road and stormed one van after another three vans broke through the crowd.
Vendors in Patpong Road complained that the counter-piracy officials were too harsh.
The government, however, says its anti-piracy drive will continue, and Patpong vendors can expect raids every two days.
Prime Minister Abhisit Vejjajiva said the vendors attacked the officials after they tried to seize their pirated goods.
Mr Abhisit said he would ask Deputy Commerce Minister Alongkorn Ponlaboot, who oversees the government's anti-piracy campaign, how to avoid future clashes.
"The government must continue to carry out its policies to suppress pirated goods and to confront unlawful influence," he said. "Countering goods piracy is a policy of this government."
Trading in pirated goods cost the country more than 200 billion baht every year, he said. Most pirated products were imported. The influx of pirated goods undermined the competitiveness of Thai products.
The Commerce Ministry declared it would crack down on intellectual property piracy after the United States Trade Representative (USTR) put Thailand on its special watch list of nations that fail to crack down on copyright and patent violations at the end of April.
The USTR also listed China, Russia, Algeria, Argentina, Canada, Chile, India, Indonesia, Israel, Pakistan and Venezuela as the world's worst offenders. Under US policies, listed countries could be subject to penalties, trade barriers and embargoes.
In Bangkok, the USTR identified five popular areas as the world's most "notorious markets" for pirated goods: Pantip Plaza, MBK shopping centre, Klong Thom, Sukhumvit Road and Patpong Road.
The government will press ahead with its crackdown.
The brave men from counter-piracy division better wear extra paddings next time. The Patpong vendors will be ready next time. Two days is a lot of time to collect enough empty Chang beer bottles (missiles)!