BANGKOK, 2 January 2015 -- Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha has expressed confidence that the project to develop bicycle routes in the historic area of Bangkok will help promote happiness among residents.

In his weekly address to the public on television, Gen Prayut spoke of the government’s newly-launched project on the development of bike routes throughout Rattanakosin Island as a New Year present for the people.

He said its objective is to encourage more Thais to turn to riding bicycles instead of driving, which would help alleviate traffic and pollution problems as well as promote tourism in the ancient quarter of the capital.

Initially, the Bangkok Metropolitan Administration has made improvements to 12 existing bike routes totaling 8 kilometers. In the second phase, the works will be carried out within this year on another five routes with a combined distance of 10 kilometers.

At present, there are 31 official bicycle courses within Bangkok. The government has a plan to open new ones on the Thon Buri side of the Chao Phraya River as well as many other areas across the city.

Nonetheless, Prime Minister Prayut admitted that the construction and landscaping works could cause troubles to some people. He said he would like to ask them to be patient and think of the public interest, assuring that this project will change the community for the better and bring happiness to the residents.

PRACHINBURI, 2 January 2015 -- A pickup truck driven by a a tourist on a visit to Khao Yai National Park in Prachinburi came under attack by a wild elephant on Thursday after the driver honked his horn at the jumbo.

The incident occurred on Thursday afternoon near the entrance of Heo Narok ( เหวนรก) Waterfall, at the 20th kilometer marker from the Noen Hom entrance of the national park. Eyewitnesses reported that a male elephant was crossing the road when it was honked at by the driver of a pickup truck. The honking frustrated the elephant, which then charged at the truck and tried to gore the vehicle with its tusks. The elephant also stomped on the hood of the truck and smashed the vehicle with its trunk.

Only one vehicle was targeted in the attack, which delayed the trips of several tourists who were sitting in the other cars that were trailing the pickup truck.

Khanrachit Sinopphawan, chief of Khao Yai National Park, said the elephant was still in the vicinity of the site of the attack. He added that visitors should pay attention to the guidelines of the park, which are found on signs erected along the park's roads. When dealing with wild elephants, drivers must not flash their high beams or honk their horns.

Friday, 02 January 2015 16:32

Northern region will be colder

BANGKOK, 2 January 2015 -- Temperatures are forecast to drop by 2 - 4C further in the northern region of Thailand from 1 - 3 January due to a strong high pressure system from China. An average temperature in the northern and northeastern regions will be below 15C.

The Meteorological Department said there would be fog in the morning and strong winds in the northern region. The lowest temperatures will be around 12 - 15C in the upper part of the region. The lower part will be slightly warmer and frost will be found on some mountain tops.

A northeastern monsoon at the southern region and the Gulf of Thailand will continue to be strong until 3 January 2015, causing strong winds and high waves in the lower part of the Gulf of Thailand or from Nakhon Si Thammarat province downward.

Temperatures in Bangkok and the vicinity will drop by 1 - 2C with strong winds. The lowest temperatures will stand between 18 - 19C and the highest between 29 – 30C with a northeast wind of 15 - 35 km/hr.

Tuesday, 30 December 2014 18:11

King takes a little tour outside hospital ward

BANGKOK, 30 December 2014 (NNT)

His Majesty the King yesterday left Siriraj Hospital for a private visit to a royal grocery in a nearby building and had a change of scenery by the Chao Phraya.

His Majesty the King left Chalerm Prakiat Building, Siriraj Hospital, on Monday afternoon at 4.19 p.m. to visit a Golden Place outlet on the ground floor of the nearby Siriraj Piyamaharajkarun Hospital. The monarch appeared before the public with a happy face, sitting on a wheelchair and passing well-wishers who lined the way at Siriraj to catch a glimpse of him. They all chanted “Long Live the King” as he passed.

Golden Place is a retailing chain operated by Suvarnachad Company under the Royal Patronage of His Majesty the King. At the shop, His Majesty observed its operation and bought some milk, ice cream and fruits which were products of the royal Suan Chitralada Farm.

His Majesty later visited the Thailand Institute of Applied Medicine on the 7th floor of Siriraj Piyamaharajkarun Hospital, where he spent some time drinking tea and looking at scenic view of the Chao Phraya River before returning to Siriraj Hospital at 5 p.m.

BANGKOK, 30 December 2014 (NNT) - Bangchak will not raise gas prices as part of its attempt to make commuters happier during the New Year celebrations.

Mr Wichien Ussanachote, CEO of Bangchak Petroleum says Bangchak has also increased all of its fuel stockpiles to cater to the rising demand during the holiday period.

The gas company will not only peg its fuel prices but will also decrease them if the value of crude oil declines.

Gasohol 95 is currently sold at 30 baht per liter, Gasohol 91 at 28.28 baht, Gasohol E20 at 26.68 baht, Gasohol E85 at 22.48 baht and Diesel at 26.89 baht per liter.

Coffee shops and convenience stores at more than 300 Bangchak’s chain gas stations nationwide will extend their opening hours to 06.00 hrs. – 20.00 hrs.

AYUTTHAYA, 28 December 2014 - Ayutthaya Province today launched a bicycle tourism project which promotes at the same time culture and Buddhist values of its people.

The “Home-Temple-School, leading Thai Ways of Life” project was opened by Mr. Suebsak Eiamvijarn, Deputy Governor of Ayutthaya, in a ceremony attended by hundreds of participants including chiefs of governmental units, local officials, community leaders, members of Ayutthaya Cycling Club as well as youths and children.

Ms. Atchara Onchan, Director of the Culture Office of Ayutthaya, said that the project is created by her office in cooperation with the provincial administration. It invites bicyclists to ride to nine temples in the province covering a distance of 30 kilometers. The nine temples are Wat Tha Sutthawat, Wat Nok Krachap, Wat Phai Lom, Wat Sao Thong, Wat Boon Kan Na Wart, Wat Prasat Thong, Wat Bot, Wat Kao Hong and Wat Sainoi.

According to Ms. Atchara, bikers will be able to learn the importance of Buddhist teachings and enjoy the long history of ancient remains, local traditions and ways of life. At each temple, they can pay homage to Buddha images and pray for themselves and their families.

During the trip, they can also learn the philosophy of sufficiency economy adopted by each community.

Monday, 29 December 2014 16:08

PM vows to help disaster-hit people in SEA

BANGKOK, 28 December 2014 - Prime Minister Prayuth Chan-o-cha has expressed concern over the current natural disasters in Malaysia, Philippines and southern provinces of Thailand. The PM said the Thai government was ready to do the utmost in helping them. 

SONGKLA, 29 Dec 2014,  Songkla Officials have reported a large influx of holidaymakers visiting Chalathat Beach in Leam Samila.

According to the report, the majority of the tourists are Malaysian and Singaporean from various tour groups, who have been seen enjoying themselves at the beach, sparking a lively and robust business scene in the area.

Activities popular among the tourists visiting Chalathat Beach include taking photos with the golden mermaid statue, the symbol of Songkla Province, and shopping for souvenirs such as key chains and postcards.

Tourists have already begun visiting the beach even though the New Year period is still a week away, said one of the vendors, adding that the number will definitely surge when the festive season actually arrives.

YALA, 29 Dec 2014,  The Yala Chamber of Commerce has handed out food and drinking water to the flood victims in Satengnok Sub-district.

President of the Yala Chamber of Commerce Dr. Noppong Theerawon yesterday delivered 1,000 food and drinking water survival kits to the floods affected residents of Satengnok Sub-district in Muang District of Yala Province. The event was joined by Yala Govorner Samart Waradisai and the head of the Muang Satengnok Municipal.

According to Dr. Noppong, the donation drive was part of the Chamber's efforts to help the locals of Satengnok Sub-district get back on their feet, after the floods which has recently receded severely damaged the areas.

The area is still at risk of another round of inundation, as the Meteorological Department has predicted more heavy rains over the New Year holidays.

The donation would give the locals moral support, enabling them to better prepare themselves for the floods, Dr. Noppong said.

BANGKOK, 29 December 2014  A vice president of the National Legislative Assembly believes the details of the new Constitution should be shared and voted in order for it to be a complete charter.

NLA’s 2nd Vice President Peerasak Porjit said that public referendum is essential for the drafting of the new Constitution.

For the proposed direct election of the prime minister, Mr. Peerasak said that no conclusion has been reached on this proposal as it has to go through a process in which the National Reform Council will voice their opinions first.

He also turned down the suggestion that the new charter is an attempt to pass on certain power from one council to another, adding that the ongoing reform process is actually an attempt to prevent such a scenario.

When asked about the power of the Senate under the new charter, Mr. Peerasak said that the issue is up to the Constitutional Drafting Committee although he personally believes senators should be elected and appointed in order to enable the public to take part in the selection of people who will represent them in the Parliament.

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