Friday, July 27, 2007

Thai vocabulary lesson: ab-baew

The ''ab'' part of the word is believed to come from the English word ''abnormal,'' and ''baew'' from the Thai word bong baew, which means funny looking. So ab-baew refers to acting and looking cute, especially in a sexy kind of way.


Thursday, July 12, 2007

New Budget air routes coming.

Look for Bangkok to Shenzhen by AirAsia. Bangkok-Kathmandu, Bangkok to Guangzhou by One to Go.

At the moment Air Asia flys to: Chiang Mai, Chiang Rai, Hat Yai, Krabi, Narathiwat, Phuket, Surat Thani, Ubon Ratchathani and Udon Thani.Its international destinations include Phnom Penh, Hanoi, Yangon, Kuala Lumpur, Penang, Langkawi, Singapore, Xiamen, and Macau.

One 2 Go flys to :Chiang Mai, Chiang Rai, Phuket, Hat Yai, Surat Thani, Krabi and Nakhon Si Thammarat. It also flies between Hat Yai and Phuket.


Wednesday, July 11, 2007

Farang Thai marriages up 10%

According to Bangkok Post cross-cultural marriages are rising at 10 percent.

"Out of the total 6,124 married couples registered at the Bangrak office in 2006, about 50 per cent of them were Thai women and Western men. The number of cross-cultural marriages has been rising at around 10 per cent or so every year over the past 25 years," said Putichai Buranaprapa, chief of Bangrak District registration office.

Statistics at the district office also showed that in 2006, out of the 384 registered divorces some 10 per cent were cross-cultural.


Friday, July 06, 2007

Baht at 10 year high, Dollar at 26 year low.

Two years ago, that 4 million Baht studio or one bedroom condo in Bangkok would cost you $96,367 Now, that same condo will cost you $129,209 and that's not the appreciation of real estate. Thats just the exchange rate. From WSJ:

The dollar hit a 10-year low Thursday when it struck 34.03 baht from the Wednesday close of 34.19 baht in Thai trading. The onshore foreign-exchange market is insulated from speculative pressures by controls on many types of capital inflows.


Thursday, July 05, 2007

SET at new high, amid political uncertantity

The country has it's problems, but it seems more an more investors are becoming thick skinned when it comes to political turmoil. Story:
This week, foreigners have helped push Thailand's stock exchange to its highest level since the financial crisis that began here a decade ago, with net foreign buying on Monday and Tuesday of $300 million, according to Keith Neruda, head of Thailand research at UBS Securities in Bangkok.
Yet the country's economic outlook is mixed. Thailand's exports of cars, electronics and agricultural products continue to surge - one reason for the continued appreciation of the baht. But the banking system now has one of the highest levels of non-performing loans in Asia, 8.7 percent, according to Neruda at UBS. By contrast, bad loans account for 2.9 percent of lending in Singapore and 0.6 percent in Hong Kong.

Never mind, Thailand is on a roll:

Thailand's main stock market index, largely driven by foreign buying, has risen about 21 percent since the beginning of the year. Foreign investors have bought $3 billion more than they have sold on the Thai stock exchange since January. Thai investors have been net sellers of the same amount.

Foreign tourists continue to arrive in record numbers despite the New Year bombings in Bangkok that killed three bystanders and the Muslim insurgency in southern Thailand. From January to April, 5 percent more foreign tourists arrived at Bangkok's international airport than in the same period last year. In Phuket, the increase was 21 percent and in Chiang Mai, 9 percent. Overall, about 14 million tourists visited Thailand in 2006.