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Update November, 2020


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Update by Thanaphon Paewsoongnern
 
 
 
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Expats trip to Ratchaburi, 80 km to the west of Bangkok, home to world-famous floating market

World-famous Damnoen Saduak Floating Market where vendors ply canals in wooden boats selling fruit, vegetables and various goods, the trip took the opportunity to showcase some of the province’s other attractions. (TAT file photo)

In line with the government’s policy to develop tours and recreational activities based around Thailand’s many canals and waterways, the Ministry of Tourism and Sports, together with the Tourism Authority of Thailand (TAT) and the Department of Tourism and the Designated Areas for Sustainable Tourism (DASTA), organized a full-day trip to Ratchaburi province on Saturday, 28 November, for expats and members of the media.

Led by H.E. Mr. Phiphat Ratchakitprakarn, Minister of Tourism and Sports, the ‘Withi Khlong Withi Thai Following the King’s Footsteps to Damnoen Saduak Canal’ tour was the third in a series of such tours aimed at encouraging the long-stay foreign community to travel more within Thailand. The tours promote the inclusion of local communities.

Minister Phiphat said, “The Ministry of Tourism and Sports in cooperation with the tourism-related government organizations are working closely to help stimulate domestic travel among the expat community. One of our key focusses are the unique aspects of Thailand’s waterway-based lifestyle. Ratchaburi is a prime example of this, and something we believe has much to offer our long-stay foreigners.”

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The trip to Ratchaburi – 80 km to the west of Bangkok and bordering Myanmar – focused on waterway-based touring opportunities and how tourists can experience the local way of life of the Thai people and their connection to water. Home to the already world-famous Damnoen Saduak Floating Market where vendors ply canals in wooden boats selling fruit, vegetables and various goods, the trip took the opportunity to showcase some of the province’s other attractions.

The customized itinerary offered a fascinating glimpse of Khlong Damnoen Saduak and over 200 small canals, which were created during the reign of King Rama IV the Great, the local agricultural lifestyle and intriguing historic sites like the over 145-year-old Wat Choti Thayakaram. King Rama V the Great and His Majesty King Bhumibol Adulyadej The Great both visited the temple, and the tour followed in these royal footsteps.

From the temple, participants travelled by solar-powered long-tail boat to Ban Mahat Lek Chek Huat, also visited by King Rama V the Great. They then continued on to Lao Tak Lak Market, the first traditional floating market in Thailand where ancient Thai-Chinese wooden row architecture can still be seen, and there is a floating market museum and exhibition on electric boats for environmental conservation and the ‘white tourism’ project.

Other inclusions on the ‘Withi Khlong Withi Thai Following the King’s Footsteps to Damnoen Saduak Canal’ tour were visits to Mae Thongyib Farm and Mae Thongyip Agricultural Garden where activities include weaving, making Thai desserts, and garden cruising. Other stops included the Bang Le Sugar Park and Ladies Golf Pier.

The afternoon activities presented participants with their choice of either a taste of adventure with Sup Board rowing or a glimpse into the local culture through art and pottery painting.   

Travel between the various attractions was by long-tail boat, giving participants an exhilarating taste of getting around local-style and a chance to partake in scavenger hunt-style route checks along the way.

While in Ratchaburi, Minister Phiphat took the opportunity to present the Amazing Thailand Safety and Health Administration (SHA) Certification to representatives from four local communities; namely, Wat Choti Thayakaram Community, Ban MahatLek  Chek Huat Community, the Old Damnoen Saduak Floating Market Community Enterprise, and Mae Thongyib Farm Tourism Community Enterprise.

Established in May 2020, under collaboration between TAT and numerous public and private sector partners, the SHA certification is a recognition that an establishment meets the standards of hygiene and health safety for their products and services in accordance with the nationwide measures to prevent the spread of the Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19).

 

 H.E. Mr. Phiphat Ratchakitprakarn, Minister of Tourism and Sports.

 

 Minister Phiphat took the opportunity to present the Amazing Thailand Safety and Health Administration (SHA) Certification to representatives from four local communities.

 

 SHA certification is a recognition that an establishment meets the standards of hygiene and health safety for their products and services in accordance with the nationwide measures to prevent the spread of the Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19).

 

 Full-day excursion from Bangkok - part of the efforts to have the foreign community travel more within Thailand.


Bangkok and Chiang Mai major hit for national Co-Pay subsidy program

The top five provinces for use of the program are Bangkok, Songkla, Nakhon Si Thammarat, Surat Thani and Chiang Mai. (Rod Fai Market, Bangkok)

After launching on October 23rd this year, the government’s co-pay program has proven very popular.

Over 717,000 stores have joined the program alongside 8.773 million users. Spending in the program has reached 18.797 billion baht divided into 9,581 billion baht paid by citizens and 9.216 billion baht paid by the state. Average spending per purchase has been calculated at 200 baht.

The top five provinces for use of the program are Bangkok, Songkla, Nakhon Si Thammarat, Surat Thani and Chiang Mai.

Overall, the campaign has proven popular among members of the public and it has translated into increased sales for vendors. Wanida Suthornwati of Roti Bang Bao in Yala said today that the store has seen a clear uptick in the number of customers registered for co-pay, including many new faces. The owner is hopeful the program will continue.

Users have similarly lauded the project with most using it to buy appliances and food. Some have asked that the daily limit of 300 baht be increased.

Similar fervor for the program was seen in Uthai Thani at its riverside market with shops such as Moo Ping Jae Kiew and Kao Niew Mul Mae Sri Nual both reporting increased sales. Buyers all agreed the program should continue. (NNT)

Chatuchak or JJ Weekend Market, Bangkok.


Thailand robust public health system and hospitality suits medical tourists’ first choice

Thailand will become the destination of choice among medical tourism visitors after the pandemic, Anutin said.

The Minister of Public Health is optimistic Thailand will be the first choice of medical tourists after the COVID-19 pandemic ends, thanks to the country’s robust public health system and hospitality.

Speaking at the opening ceremony of a spine center at Nakornthon Hospital in Bangkok, the Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Public Health Anutin Charnvirakul stressed the country’s readiness to generate revenue from the healthcare sector, and to improve healthcare services to members of the public.

He said the opening of the spine center shows Thailand’s ability in terms of technologies and services to serve patients, while the Ministry of Public Health is willing to facilitate requests for the necessary permits and licenses from hospitals.

Mr Anutin said Thailand will become the destination of choice among medical tourism visitors after the COVID-19 pandemic, as the country has a robust public health system, an advanced level of medical service, highly skilled healthcare workers, and impressive hospitality.

He said this will help the country generate income, while the Ministry of Public Health will be positioning Thailand as the world’s medical superpower.

Nakornthon Hospital’s spine center has been opened in cooperation with Bumrungrad Hospital’s Health Network. After presiding at the opening ceremony, the Minister of Public Health then travelled to Nakhon Phanom to open a kidney center and meet with some 4,000 village health volunteers. (NNT)

Minister of Public Health Anutin Charnvirakul stressed the country’s readiness to generate revenue from the healthcare sector, and to improve healthcare services to members of the public.


Thai protesters and royalists clashes, tear gas and gunshots injured at least 55 at Bangkok's parliament

According to the center, 32 people were affected by tear gas and six people being shot. Four people were sick and 13 others suffered from other injuries.

 The Erawan Emergency Centre of the Bangkok Metropolitan Administration (BMA) reported that 55 people were injured in the clashes at Kiakkai yesterday.

According to the center, 32 people were affected by tear gas and six people being shot. Four people were sick and 13 others suffered from other injuries.

They were sent to nine hospitals. As of 10.50 am. Wednesday, four people remain in hospital.

Deputy Metropolitan Police Bureau chief Pol Maj Gen Piya Tawichai denied that the police had used live ammunition or rubber bullets.

Riot police used water cannon to fire tear gas solution at anti- government demonstrators after they tried to cut razor wire, placed to block the way to Parliament.

They finally advanced through police’s barricades and staged their protest in front of parliament and ended the activities at 9 p.m.

The opposing group, the yellow-shirted royalists gathered nearby. Skirmish broke out between two rival groups, hurling objects to each other.

Further clashes between groups of people were reported at Kiakkai intersection around 8 p.m. Sounds like gunshots were heard. Many injured were seen being carried to ambulances.

Lawmakers on Tuesday started the debate on a constitution amendment and are expected to vote today whether to accept any of the proposed charter change drafts for deliberation.

One of the seven drafts, submitted by civil group Internet Law Reform Dialogue (iLaw) is supported by the demonstrators.

The demonstrators vowed to continue the protest at Ratchaprasong intersection today. (TNA)

Further clashes between groups of people were reported at Kiakkai intersection around 8 p.m. Sounds like gunshots were heard. Many injured were seen being carried to ambulances.


Thailand extends ‘Emergency Decree’ spanning New Year festival to curb spread

The extension of the emergency decree covers another 45 days, spanning the New Year festival to curb the spread of Covid-19.

The Centre for Covid-19 Situation Administration (CCSA) agreed to extend the emergency decree for another 45 days, spanning the New Year festival to curb the spread of Covid-19.

The CCSA spokesman, Taweesin Visanuyothin said the CCSA meeting on Wednesday, chaired by Prime Minister and Defense Minister Gen. Prayut Chan-ocha decided to extend the emergency decrees from Dec 1 to Jan 15 for continuity of the measures during the festivities.

Thailand will also host international badminton tournaments in January when foreign athletes and staff will arrive here for the sporting events, he said.

The proposal to reduce the quarantine period was discussed but the meeting agreed that it should be studied more in details. The issue will be put on the table at the CCSA meeting in 2-4 weeks.

Thailand on Wednesday reported two new cases of Covid-19 in state quarantine, bringing the total cases to 3,880.

The new cases are one Thai and a Belgian national, who arrived from the UAE and Belgium respectively.  They tested negative for the virus while being in alternative state quarantine. (TNA)

The CCSA spokesman, Taweesin Visanuyothin.


Bangkok and popular upcoming events during ‘Thai winter’ Nov-Feb fantastic time to travel

In Bangkok, Christmas and the New Year are celebrated in a brightly lit and festive manner with streets decorated in dazzling night-time illuminations and displays, shops and department stores offering various promotions and special deals, and hotels serving festive fare.

Join Thailand in the upcoming events in its cool season that is bringing a drop in temperature to much of the country and lower humidity levels – thus making the months from November to February the best time to travel for tourists, as they can enjoy a respite from the usual tropical heat.

During the cool season or ‘Thai winter’, Bangkok typically sees temperatures of between 18 and 32 degrees Celsius while in the North and Northeast the mercury can drop significantly to around 10 degrees Celsius in the morning and at night to the point of being particularly chilly. At high altitudes, the temperature can drop below freezing. That’s right, freezing in Thailand.

For Thais, the cool season is a time to visit the mountain tops of Central, Northern and Northeastern Thailand to experience the early morning mists and ‘seas of fog’ that winter brings.

While mist and fog are probably not so much of a novelty for foreigners, there are other wonderful experiences and activities to enjoy during the cool season. It’s from December to February that various species of flowers are in full bloom, especially in the North. In the mountainous province of Mae Hong Son bordering Myanmar, the renowned Bua Tong (wild sunflower) field at Doi Mae U Kho bursts into a sprawling carpet of bright yellow during November and December. In Chiang Mai and Chiang Rai, around the same time, beautiful pink cherry blossoms are in bloom, while in Udon Thani in the Northeast, millions of red lotuses turn Nong Han freshwater lake into a mass of deep pink-red petals. Closer to Bangkok, the sunflower field at Phattana Nikhom in Lop Buri is a scene of dazzling yellow from November to January.

The cooler months are also a good time for hiking and camping in Northern Thailand with the lower temperature and humidity providing a more comfortable climate for such activities during the day.

Visiting the world-renowned beaches and resort islands of Southern Thailand is another appealing ‘winter’ option, with the region neither overly hot nor humid during December to February. Popular destinations like Phuket, Krabi and the Phi Phi Islands on the west coast of the Thai peninsula are best visited from November through April, and great underwater visibility makes December a great time for diving and snorkeling. On the eastern side of the peninsula, spots like Samui and Phangan Islands in the Gulf of Thailand are best visited from December through June.

In Bangkok, Christmas and the New Year are celebrated in a brightly lit and festive manner with the areas around Siam, Ratchaprasong and Sukhumvit decorated in dazzling night-time illuminations and displays, shops and department stores offering various promotions and special deals, and hotels serving festive fare.

Also, a number of Thailand’s annual festivals and other events take place during this time of the year. Among these are the ‘Glorious of Ayutthaya Fair 2020’ set for 11-20 December, 2020, at the Ayutthaya Historical Park, which celebrates the historical significance of this ancient Thai capital that flourished from the mid-14th-18th centuries and has been recognized today as a UNESCO World Heritage Site, and the ‘River Kwai Bridge Week’ scheduled for 27 November-6 December, 2020, in Kanchanaburi, which honours the Allied POWs and Asian laborers forced by the Japanese army to build the infamous Death Railway during World War II.

Both of these events feature a light and sound show along with other entertainment like cultural performances, exhibitions, food, music and locally-made products on sale, and are held in conjunction with a Red Cross Fair.

The weekend of 28-29 November, 2020, also sees Lop Buri hold its renowned Monkey Buffet Festival, an annual feast the locals put on for the hundreds of resident, free-roaming monkeys for which the town has become famous.

From 5-7 February, 2021, the Chiang Mai Flower Festival will feature floral floats, horticultural contests, botanical displays, music and other entertainment, and an abundance of blooming flora.Chinese New Year – which in 2021 is on 12 February marking the start of the Year of the Ox – is always a fascinating time to be in Thailand, where it is one of the biggest festivals of the year. Celebrations are held around the country of which those in Bangkok and Phuket are the biggest and most well-known.

Popular destinations like Phuket, Krabi and the Phi Phi Islands on the west coast of the Thai peninsula are best visited from November through April.

In the mountainous province of Mae Hong Son bordering Myanmar, the renowned Bua Tong (wild sunflower) field at Doi Mae U Kho bursts into a sprawling carpet of bright yellow Nov-Dec.

In Udon Thani in the Northeast, millions of red lotuses turn Nong Han freshwater lake into a mass of deep pink-red petals.

The Tourism Authority of Thailand (TAT) is inviting travelers to experience a wonderful ‘Thai winter’ amid the lower temperatures and less humidity.

For Thais, the cool season is a time to visit the mountain tops of Central, Northern and Northeastern Thailand to experience the early morning mists and ‘seas of fog’ that winter brings.


Bangkok organizes ‘Amazing Thailand Countdown 2021’ at Chao Phraya River Park

Mega event on the banks of the Chao Phraya River poised to ring in New Year 2021 in style.

The Tourism Authority of Thailand (TAT) and ICONSIAM, together with the public and private communities and entrepreneurs, are organizing a mega ‘Amazing Thailand Countdown 2021’ event on 31 December at River Park of ICONSIAM on the banks of the Chao Phraya River.

The “Amazing Thailand Countdown 2021” is one of the biggest events marking the end of the year, which TAT organizes annually across the country to boost tourism, the economy, and generate income for local communities while also preserving unique Thai traditions. 

Mr. Yuthasak Supasorn, TAT Governor, said , ” TAT is delighted to work with ICONSIAM and our partners from every sector to organise the ‘Amazing Thailand Countdown 2021’ on 31 December at River Park, ICONSIAM in celebrating the New Year’s Eve countdown and the start of 2021 in style. Thailand has been praised for efficiently coping with the COVID-19 pandemic that broke out early this year and has eventually earned the confidence of international and domestic tourists.” 

This year, TAT is also organizing the year-end celebration across five emerging provinces comprising Krabi, Sukhothai, RoiEt, Ratchaburi and Phetchabun, as well as several primary attractions in Bangkok. 

Mr. Supoj Chaiwatsirikul, Managing Director of ICONSIAM Company Limited, said, “In addition to multiple entertainment acts throughout New Year’s Eve by top artists, the highlight is a dazzling showcase of over 20,000 fireworks made from Thai sticky rice – an eco-friendly innovation from Japan. These will light up the sky along the majestic Chao Phraya River and are expected to be seen by more than three million viewers within a five-kilometre radius of the venue.” 

Another popular activity on offer that evening will be a photo contest entitled ‘Amazing Thailand Countdown 2021’ with the theme of ‘Magic upon the River’ aimed at capturing the imagination of viewers taking in the fantastic fireworks display on New Year’s Eve. The contest is divided into two categories – still image and video – with the competition open to the public with the chance to win prizes valued at 500,000 Baht.

 

The eco-friendly fireworks display that will illuminate the river during the New Year’s celebration comprises seven acts under the concept ‘The Wonders of Happiness upon the River’. Collectively, they are meant to represent hope, faith, prosperity, and happiness plus show the support of Thailand to people all over the world as everyone works together to overcome the COVID-19 crisis and start New Year 2021 with strength and courage. 

The countdown celebration will be broadcast live on Thai Rath TV 32 HD Channel plus online platforms via the Facebook pages of ICONSIAM, Thai Rath online, Khaosod and TrueID. ICONSIAM is easily accessible via private cars, public trains, or commuter boats. The launch of Bangkok’s Gold Line train route this December should also ease any public congestion on the big night.

The ‘Amazing Thailand Countdown 2020’ is possible thanks to the support of primary official sponsors including ICONSIAM Residence Corporation Limited, ICONSIAM Superlux Residence Corporation Limited, True Corporation Public Company Limited, Kasikorn Bank Public Company Limited, along with other government and public sector partners; such as, the Bangkok Metropolitan Administration, the Marine Department, the Association of Chao Phraya River Commerce and Business, and Prachakom Yan Kadeejeen-Khlongsan Foundation.

Mr. Yuthasak Supasorn, TAT Governor.

This year, TAT is also organizing the year-end celebration across five emerging provinces comprising Krabi, Sukhothai, Roi Et, Ratchaburi and Phetchabun, as well as several primary attractions in Bangkok. 


600,000 Baht raised in ‘Thailand Reduce Waste’ campaign to Friends of Asian Elephant

Popular Thai star and entertainer Mr. Palitchoke Ayanaputra (Peck Palitchoke) as a presenter.

The Tourism Authority of Thailand (TAT) is pleased to announce that it is donating over 600,000 Baht in funds raised through the “Thailand Reduce Waste” campaign to Friends of the Asian Elephant and the Seub Nakhasathien Foundation.

The amount of 333,516.25 Baht was presented to Friends of the Asian Elephant in Lampang province on Friday, 13 November, 2020, and 303,516.25 Baht to the Seub Nakhasathien Foundation on Tuesday, 17 November, 2020.

Friends of the Asian Elephant is an elephant hospital where over 5,000 sick and injured elephants have been treated since 1993, while the Seub Nakhasathien Foundation is dedicated to forest conservation.

Featuring popular Thai star and entertainer Mr. Palitchoke Ayanaputra (Peck Palitchoke) as a presenter, the Thailand Reduce Waste campaign is aimed at creating awareness among domestic tourists of the role they can play in waste management and environmental preservation.

The campaign comes under the TAT’s strategy to strengthen the focus on sustainability at tourism destinations nationwide and ensure the upkeep of Thai tourism products. It also forms part of the plan to help reduce tourism-related waste by up to 50 per cent within 2020.

The funds to be donated by TAT have come from the sale of colorful daily-use bags made from upcycled material which are available through the Facebook page https://www.facebook.com/TATCGANDCSR/. These are available in bold blue or pink designs that feature ‘Bua Ban’ the elephant who lives at the Elephant Study Centre in Surin province.

TAT Governor, Mr. Yuthasak Supasorn, said, “Working with all stakeholders towards sustainable tourism development, TAT is committed to encouraging tourists to travel responsibly by leaving only footprints and taking only good memories.

“The donation of these funds through the “Thailand Reduce Waste” campaign is a prime example of how we can cut down on waste and in doing so, at the same time, create vital funding for the wonderful work being done in the name of animal and environmental preservation.”

 

The amount of 333,516.25 Baht was presented to Friends of the Asian Elephant in Lampang province on Friday, 13 November, 2020, and 303,516.25 Baht to the Seub Nakhasathien Foundation on Tuesday, 17 November, 2020.

 Funds were raised under the ongoing ‘Thailand Reduce Waste’ campaign through the sale of handy daily-use bags created from upcycled waste material.


Typhoon Vamco downgraded to tropical storm, isolated rain over North and Northeast of Thailand

Isolated light to moderate rains will be likely over the Northeast and the North on Nov 16.

The Category 5 Typhoon Vamco made landfall over Dong Hoi, Vietnam and declined to a category 4 tropical storm. At 4.00 p.m. on Nov 15, it was centered over Dong Hoi at latitude 17.9 degrees north, longitude 106.2 degrees east with the maximum sustained winds of 90 km/hr. Moving west-northwest about 20 km/hr, the storm is forecast to be downgraded gradually to a tropical storm, a tropical depression and a low-pressure cell. Isolated light to moderate rains will be likely over the Northeast and the North of Thailand on Nov 16.

The storm is forecast to be downgraded gradually to a tropical storm, a tropical depression and a low-pressure cell.

On Nov 15, it was centered over Dong Hoi at latitude 17.9 degrees north, longitude 106.2 degrees east with the maximum sustained winds of 90 km/hr.


Isolated light to moderate rain over Northeast and North of Thailand

It is expected to make landfall over Vietnam by 15 November 2020 and then downgrade, respectively.

Weather Warning - Category 5 Typhoon VAMCO
No. 10 Time Issued: November 14, 2020

At 04.00 p.m. on 14 November, the Category 5 Typhoon “VAMCO” over the middle South China Sea was centered about 170 kilometers the east of Da Nang city, Vietnam or at latitude 16.0 degrees north, longitude 109.8 degrees east with the maximum sustained winds about 160 km/hr. It is moving west about 20 km/hr.

It is expected to make landfall over Vietnam by 15 November 2020 and then downgrade, respectively. Isolated light to moderate rain is likely over the Northeast and the North of Thailand, during Nov 15-16.

The Category 5 Typhoon “VAMCO” over the middle South China Sea was centered about 170 kilometers the east of Da Nang city, Vietnam.


Thais and expats advised to take good care of their health during winter season

Thailand’s Ministry of Public Health advises the general public to keep an eye on their health in winter.

The Ministry of Public Health has advised the general public to keep an eye on their health in winter, especially for flu-like symptoms which could be from COVID-19. The ministry has also warned the public to be cautious of handling virus contaminated parcels. The concerns are conveyed to all Thais and foreigners residing in Thailand.

The Department of Disease Control’s (DDC) Director of the Division of Communicable Diseases, Dr Sopon Iamsirithaworn has issued a warning regarding the increase in the number of common cold and flu cases during the winter season, which has posed concerns on the possible spread of COVID-19 due to the nature of symptoms these diseases share.

Members of the general public are encouraged to monitor their own health and that of others near them. Persons experiencing fever, coughs, a sore throat, respiratory symptoms, and loss of taste or smell after visiting a community or crowded area should immediately wear a face covering, and seek medical attention.

The Ministry of Public Health is concerned with reports in foreign countries of COVID-19 contracted from viruses on parcels. The ministry is encouraging the public to wash their hands after receiving any parcels, and clean the packaging with alcohol whenever possible. They should also be wearing a face covering when receiving a delivery from a courier. (NNT)

Persons experiencing fever, coughs, a sore throat, respiratory symptoms, and loss of taste or smell after visiting a community or crowded area should immediately wear a face covering, and seek medical attention.

Warnings regarding the increase in the number of common cold and flu cases during the winter season have been issued.


New Jurassic lungfish fossil found in Kalasin, northeastern Thailand

The new Jurassic lungfish species, found at the Phu Noi fossil site in Kalasin, where fossils of prehistoric creatures dating as far back as 417 million years have been identified.

A fossil of an ancient lungfish has been found in Kalasin province. Paleontologists say this is the discovery of an unknown lungfish species from 150 million years ago, signifying the biodiversity of the fossil site.

The Department of Mineral Resources announced the discovery of the new Jurassic lungfish species, found at the Phu Noi fossil site in Kalasin, where fossils of prehistoric creatures dating as far back as 417 million years have been identified.

The fossil of this unknown lungfish species has been studied by fossil experts from The Geneva Museum of Natural History, together with Maha Sarakham University’s Paleontological Research and Education Center, and the Department of Mineral Resources’ Sirindhorn Museum.

The creature was classified as a member of the Ferganoceratodus genus from its skull and teeth. Due to unique characteristics that differ from other species in the same genus, it has been formally named Ferganoceratodus annekempae.

The fossil is considered to be about 150 million years old, indicating the existence of this species in the Devonian age. It is regarded as a rare fossil find, especially the skull part.

Lungfish is an animal with special characteristics, with both gills and lungs available for respiratory purposes. The Ferganoceratodus genus has only ever been found in China, Russia, and Thailand.

The Department of Mineral Resources’ Director General Sommai Techwan, said the discovery of this fossil shows the biodiversity of Phu Noi fossil site, where fossils of species from the late Jurassic period can be found.

The area is also home to fossils of six new vertebrate species, namely a species of freshwater shark, a species of bony fish, a species of lung fish, a species of turtle, and a species of crocodile. Some 5,000 pieces of fossils have been discovered in this area so far. (NNT)

The Department of Mineral Resources said the discovery of this fossil shows the biodiversity of Phu Noi fossil site, where fossils of species from the late Jurassic period can be found.

The fossil is considered to be about 150 million years old, indicating the existence of this species in the Devonian age.

Some 5,000 pieces of fossils have been discovered in this area so far.


Pattaya to reap benefits as vaccine trial on volunteers show good signs

Much of the hope are on the improvement in the tourism scale in which more international tourists can be allowed back to Thailand. (File photo – a beer bar in Soi Yamoto, Pattaya City)

Hopes have been raised by the United States pharmaceutical company Pfizer’s announcement this week that its vaccine was 90 percent effective in preventing COVID-19 among trial volunteers. Much of that are on the improvement in the tourism scale in which more international tourists can be allowed back to Thailand. Pattaya, Phuket, Samui Island are among the numerous destinations that are suffering from a sharp drop of foreign tourists’ number since April this year. The positive results also show signs of improvement in traveling businesses around the world such as airlines, hotels, and package tours.

The Director of the National Vaccine Institute (NVI), Dr. Nakorn Premsri, said that there is hope that the vaccine will soon be available. The same type of messenger ribonucleic acid (mRNA) is being tested and developed by the Faculty of Medicine, Chulalongkorn University. The results from human trials can be compared. The first phase of human trials will take place in January and February next year, and the second phase will start after six or seven months.

Although Thailand and Pfizer have not worked together recently, the country will ask for production data from the company by the end of this month. The mRNA-based vaccine is safe, and the duration of immunity will determine its effectiveness.

The positive results also show good signs of improvement in traveling businesses around the world such as airlines, hotels, and package tours.(File photo –Pattaya beach on a sunny weekend)

Thailand is planning to administer the vaccine against COVID-19 to 50 percent of the population. The first group is medical personnel who are looking after COVID-19 patients. Morbidity and fatality rates and other factors will be taken into consideration for other groups. The issue is expected to be finalized this year, and it will be proposed to the National Vaccine Committee for consideration. (NNT)


Thailand-Cambodia border alert; entertainment venues, pubs and bars closed

Cambodian Prime Minister Hun Sen announced the closure of entertainment venues, movie theaters and museums throughout the country on Nov 9 to contain the coronavirus disease 2019. (File Photo: Temple Pub - Siem Reap)

Officials intensified disease control operations at the Aranyaprathet border checkpoint as three high-level officials in Cambodia contracted the novel coronavirus.

The movement followed the Cambodian government’s order to close nationwide entertainment venues, movie theaters and museums in the wake of the three new cases.

Strict disease control became joint efforts of immigration and local police, paramilitary rangers and disease control officials in Aranyaprathet district.

They carefully checked the health of Cambodian vendors who crossed the border to the Rong Kluea market in Aranyaprathet. The visitors had their body temperatures checked and gave their information to local officials.

Immigration police of the adjacent Cambodian town of Poipet told Aranyaprathet officials that Cambodian Prime Minister Hun Sen announced the closure of entertainment places, movie theaters and museums throughout the country on Nov 9 to contain the coronavirus disease 2019.

The announcement responded to the report of the three new COVID-19 cases in Cambodia comprising Cambodian People’s Party Member of Parliament Sous Yara, 47, Agriculture Ministry deputy secretary-general Sar Chetra, 47, and an official of the Hungarian embassies in Cambodia and Vietnam. The three cases were admitted to Khmer-Soviet Friendship Hospital in Phnom Penh and Cambodian officials were reaching people in close contact with them to try to contain the disease and prevent its second wave there.

Pol Col Arthit Yakaeo, Sa Kaeo immigration chief, said that given the newly confirmed cases in Cambodia, officials in Aranyaprathet had to carefully screen visitors and returnees from the neighboring country. (TNA) 

Pub Street in Siem Reap (File Photo)

Angkor What? Bar in Siem Reap (File Photo)


Reopening Thailand to foreign tourists continues with the 14-day quarantine period

The 14-day quarantine period remains in place even though it will affect the reopening plan for foreign tourists as the infections were still found among incomers, and safety of the people is the top priority, said Anutin. (Photo – a weekend in November on the beautiful beach of Pattaya City)

Thailand’s mandatory quarantine period remains at 14 days, affirmed Deputy Prime Minister and Public Health Minister Anutin Charnvirakul.

Speaking about the case of the Hungarian foreign minister, who tested positive for Covid-19 on arrival in Bangkok, Anutin said it is expectable and the ministry has effective screening system. It is likely that he had contracted the disease in the origin country.

Even though passengers are required to undergo Covid19 testing and travel with Fit to Fly certificates, many test positive for the virus during the quarantine.

The ministry will maintain the quarantine period at 14 days to allay concerns among the public, he added.

The authorities earlier discussed reduction of quarantine period to 10 days for businesspeople and tourists from low-risk countries.

Asked if the 14-day quarantine period will affect the reopening plan for foreign tourists, the minister said it is necessary to maintain it as the infections were found among foreign arrivals.

The safety of the people is the top priority, he added. (TNA)

Public Health Minister Anutin Charnvirakul.


DAILY UPDATE

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HEADLINES [click on headline to view story]

Expats trip to Ratchaburi, 80 km to the west of Bangkok, home to world-famous floating market

Bangkok and Chiang Mai major hit for national Co-Pay subsidy program

Thailand robust public health system and hospitality suits medical tourists’ first choice


Thai protesters and royalists clashes, tear gas and gunshots injured at least 55 at Bangkok's parliament

Thailand extends ‘Emergency Decree’ spanning New Year festival to curb spread

Bangkok and popular upcoming events during ‘Thai winter’ Nov-Feb fantastic time to travel

Bangkok organizes ‘Amazing Thailand Countdown 2021’ at Chao Phraya River Park

600,000 Baht raised in ‘Thailand Reduce Waste’ campaign to Friends of Asian Elephant


Typhoon Vamco downgraded to tropical storm, isolated rain over North and Northeast of Thailand

Isolated light to moderate rain over Northeast and North of Thailand

Thais and expats advised to take good care of their health during winter season

New Jurassic lungfish fossil found in Kalasin, northeastern Thailand


Pattaya to reap benefits as vaccine trial on volunteers show good signs

Thailand-Cambodia border alert; entertainment venues, pubs and bars closed

Reopening Thailand to foreign tourists continues with the 14-day quarantine period