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Showing posts with label asia. Show all posts
Showing posts with label asia. Show all posts

Sunday, August 30, 2015

Culture - ‘Thainess’ in the 21st century


Considering all the prevailing negative stereotypes about Thailand and Thai people, it is understandable why the Thai government would want to promote a greater understanding about Thainess. But Thainess is nothing new.

Classical Thai dancers, golden-spired temples, floating markets – such Utopian images of Thailand have been greatly exploited in tourism promo campaigns since the 1970s and 1980s, widely portrayed in “Visit Thailand” posters pinned up at tour offices and Thai restaurants around the world.

Those initial impressions we drew from such imagery may still have a place in many of our hearts; at first sight, we were immediately drawn in, awed and intrigued by such cultural color ...

While these iconic elements are indeed uniquely Thai and have been so for centuries, they don’t accurately reflect or portray the identity of modern Thailand and the majority of its people.

Much is the disappointment for many to learn that such images are far from the reality, that the Thai people of the present day, for better or worse, have long-evolved, and made numerous self-preserving identity-sacrifices over the decades and centuries in keeping up with reform and modernization.

Most Thai people today have never even been on an elephant, let alone sat on a wooden canal boat – certainly not for commuting.

Indeed, floating markets and elephant camps are little more than fading tourist attractions to meet the expectations of those still seeking to fulfil expectations of that glorious, idealistic image of century-old Siam.

Many luxury hotels will continue to market and exploit this expectation. And it is at/through such properties where you still may be able to see a classical Thai dance/music performance, or book a trip to the nearest floating market, or to the jungle for an elephant ride.

But beyond the hotel lobby’s tour desk, you’ll eventually have to emerge from that proverbial cave of allegory, coming to the realisation that the majority of the khlongs have long been abandoned or filled in with concrete.

Modern Thai people spend thousands of hours a year in traffic jams, if not on the back of a recklessly speeding motorbike, or squeezed shoulder-to-shoulder in overcrowded public transport ... But such “modernisation” challenges are not unique to Thailand, and ubiquitous across the developing world.

As for embracing “Thainess” in a modern context, we must look below the surface, where there lies a certain prevailing charm and lure; it is just as much about the outlook and hospital nature of the Thai people – that smile that says “I’m curious about you...” – that friendly, optimistic spirit which can be found in abundance across the kingdom. full of millions who will happily welcome complete strangers into their family homes, and feed them into a coma.

An empathetic and intuitive people who you can depend on to lend a hand if it is within their means, and they’ll likely not ask for anything in return.

Sure, there are plenty of exceptions to the Thai people's good-willed nature, but let us not forget that deceit and greed are universal wherever there is ignorance and economic disparity.

So let us try hard not to feed such negative pessimism, and instead embrace the longevity-enabling optimistic outlook for which Thainess is foremost and firmly rooted. Mai Pen Rai na, Yaa Kit Maak ไม่เป็นไรนะ อย่าคิดมาก – It’s alright na, don’t stress it!

Adapted with permission from original article on www.siamerican.com
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Considering all the prevailing negative stereotypes about Thailand and Thai people, it is understandable why the Thai government would want to promote a greater understanding about Thainess. But Thainess is nothing new.
Classical Thai dancers, golden-spired temples, floating markets – such Utopian images of Thailand have been greatly exploited in tourism promo campaigns since the 1970s and 1980s, widely portrayed in “Visit Thailand” posters pinned up at tour offices and Thai restaurants around the world.
Those initial impressions we drew from such imagery may still have a place in many of our hearts; at first sight, we were immediately drawn in, awed and intrigued by such cultural colour ...
While these iconic elements are indeed uniquely Thai and have been so for centuries, they don’t accurately reflect or portray the identity of modern Thailand and the majority of its people.
Much is the disappointment for many to learn that such images are far from the reality, that the Thai people of the present day, for better or worse, have long-evolved, and made numerous self-preserving identity-sacrifices over the decades and centuries in keeping up with reform and modernisation.
Most Thai people today have never even been on an elephant, let alone sat on a wooden canal boat – certainly not for commuting.
Indeed, floating markets and elephant camps are little more than fading tourist attractions to meet the expectations of those still seeking to fulfil expectations of that glorious, idealistic image of century-old Siam.
Many luxury hotels will continue to market and exploit this expectation. And it is at/through such properties where you still may be able to see a classical Thai dance/music performance, or book a trip to the nearest floating market, or to the jungle for an elephant ride.
But beyond the hotel lobby’s tour desk, you’ll eventually have to emerge from that proverbial cave of allegory, coming to the realisation that the majority of the khlongs have long been abandoned or filled in with concrete.
Modern Thai people spend thousands of hours a year in traffic jams, if not on the back of a recklessly speeding motorbike, or squeezed shoulder-to-shoulder in overcrowded public transport ... But such “modernisation” challenges are not unique to Thailand, and ubiquitous across the developing world.
As for embracing “Thainess” in a modern context, we must look below the surface, where there lies a certain prevailing charm and lure; it is just as much about the outlook and hospital nature of the Thai people – that smile that says “I’m curious about you...” – that friendly, optimistic spirit which can be found in abundance across the kingdom. full of millions who will happily welcome complete strangers into their family homes, and feed them into a coma.
An empathetic and intuitive people who you can depend on to lend a hand if it is within their means, and they’ll likely not ask for anything in return.
Sure, there are plenty of exceptions to the Thai people's good-willed nature, but let us not forget that deceit and greed are universal wherever there is ignorance and economic disparity.
So let us try hard not to feed such negative pessimism, and instead embrace the longevity-enabling optimistic outlook for which Thainess is foremost and firmly rooted. Mai Pen Rai na, Yaa Kit Maak ไม่เป็นไรนะ อย่าคิดมาก – It’s alright na, don’t stress it!
Adapted with permission from original article on www.siamerican.com
- See more at: http://www.thephuketnews.com/culture-thainess-in-the-21st-century-53852.php#sthash.fzq3Gsto.dpuf

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Saturday, August 29, 2015

GLOW Pratunam, #Bangkok


In the heart of Bangkok City, GLOW Pratunam Hotel offers rooms with free Wi-Fi. It features an outdoor swimming pool and a restaurant.


 Suvarnabhumi International airport is a 40 minute drive from GLOW Pratunam. Siam Paragon Shopping Center and MBK Shopping Mall can be reached with a 15 minute ride from the property.


 Each room provides an iPod docking station, a flat-screen TV and a sitting area. The rooms also feature a private bathroom with shower facilities.


Guests can utilize the fitness center at the hotel. There is a 24-hour front desk for guests' convenience.
Thai and International cuisines are served at the on-site restaurant.

Pathumwan is a great option for travelers interested in Clothes Shopping, Shopping and Food. This district is also highly rated for Nightlife, Temples and Shopping by guests from Thailand.

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Friday, August 28, 2015

Beach chairs back on #Phuket sands


PHUKET: After months of indecision and false-steps in the creation of new beach rules for Phuket, the governor yesterday announced a final solution to the island’s beach chair drama.

“There will be slight modifications to the 10 per cent zone system that has been in place up to this point,” explained Governor Nisit Jansomwong. “Beachgoers will be allowed to bring their own chairs, umbrellas and mats, while rental operators will only be allowed to provide mats and umbrellas. However, everyone must keep their beach furniture within the marked 10 per cent zones.”

Rental operators cannot stake claims to any part of the beach with unoccupied mats and will not be allowed to rent out chairs to most visitors. Nonetheless, exceptions will be made, such as for the elderly and disabled, confirmed Governor Nisit.

However, such a loophole in the system is open for abuse, as the governor did not address in the meeting who would be available to rent out chairs to the disabled and elderly or who would be in charge of making the judgment call of who is qualified.

Policies for other beach vendors were also laid out during the meeting.

“There will be no food or cigarettes sold on the beach, while non-alcoholic drinks will be allowed,” said Gov Nisit. “Vendors supplying other goods, such as souvenirs, fireworks or Chinese lanterns will not be allowed.”

Masseuses will be allowed to work within a designated area and there will be no change in policy for operators running marine activities, such as jet-skiing and parasailing, confirmed Gov Nisit.

The announced plan was backed by months of research conducted by the Prince of Songkhla University’s Phuket Beach Management Research team.

“Our team, comprising professional, non-biased researchers, spoke with all stakeholders before putting forth our suggestion,” said Pun Thongchumnum, head of the research team.

The research identified six major stakeholders: tourists, 75 per cent of those spoken to were westerners; beach vendors of all types, as well as local tourism authorities; locals, both those inland and in beach communities; high-ranking members of the local governments; honorary consuls; and the online community.

“Based on the interviews we conducted with tourists arriving and departing Phuket, the number one priority was clean beaches. This was followed by ‘pure nature’ and facilities, with beach activities being the lowest priority,” said Dr Pun.

After speaking with interested parties, the research group was able to divide the facilities category into two groups: paid and unpaid.

“Most wanted to be able to use umbrellas and sunbeds, while having access to beverages – all as paid services. The most important unpaid service was security,”

It has yet to be seen if the recently launched Phuket Beach Police units will fulfill this need (story here).

The study also found that many local people and vendors still disagreed with the 10 per cent zoning system. However, researches suggested that they coordinate their efforts to work together under the provincial beach management committee. - See more at: http://www.phuketgazette.net/phuket-news/Beach-chairs-back-Phuket-sands/61832#ad-image-0
#PHUKET: After months of indecision and false-steps in the creation of new beach rules for Phuket, the governor yesterday announced a final solution to the island’s beach chair drama.

“There will be slight modifications to the 10 per cent zone system that has been in place up to this point,” explained Governor Nisit Jansomwong. “Beachgoers will be allowed to bring their own chairs, umbrellas and mats, while rental operators will only be allowed to provide mats and umbrellas. However, everyone must keep their beach furniture within the marked 10 per cent zones.”

Rental operators cannot stake claims to any part of the beach with unoccupied mats and will not be allowed to rent out chairs to most visitors. Nonetheless, exceptions will be made, such as for the elderly and disabled, confirmed Governor Nisit.

However, such a loophole in the system is open for abuse, as the governor did not address in the meeting who would be available to rent out chairs to the disabled and elderly or who would be in charge of making the judgment call of who is qualified.

Policies for other beach vendors were also laid out during the meeting.

“There will be no food or cigarettes sold on the beach, while non-alcoholic drinks will be allowed,” said Gov Nisit. “Vendors supplying other goods, such as souvenirs, fireworks or Chinese lanterns will not be allowed.”

Masseuses will be allowed to work within a designated area and there will be no change in policy for operators running marine activities, such as jet-skiing and parasailing, confirmed Gov Nisit.

The announced plan was backed by months of research conducted by the Prince of Songkhla University’s Phuket Beach Management Research team.

“Our team, comprising professional, non-biased researchers, spoke with all stakeholders before putting forth our suggestion,” said Pun Thongchumnum, head of the research team.

The research identified six major stakeholders: tourists, 75 per cent of those spoken to were westerners; beach vendors of all types, as well as local tourism authorities; locals, both those inland and in beach communities; high-ranking members of the local governments; honorary consuls; and the online community.

“Based on the interviews we conducted with tourists arriving and departing Phuket, the number one priority was clean beaches. This was followed by ‘pure nature’ and facilities, with beach activities being the lowest priority,” said Dr Pun.

After speaking with interested parties, the research group was able to divide the facilities category into two groups: paid and unpaid.

“Most wanted to be able to use umbrellas and sunbeds, while having access to beverages – all as paid services. The most important unpaid service was security,”

It has yet to be seen if the recently launched Phuket Beach Police units will fulfill this need (story here).

The study also found that many local people and vendors still disagreed with the 10 per cent zoning system. However, researches suggested that they coordinate their efforts to work together under the provincial beach management committee.

Source: PhuketGazette
 
 
 
PHUKET: After months of indecision and false-steps in the creation of new beach rules for Phuket, the governor yesterday announced a final solution to the island’s beach chair drama.

“There will be slight modifications to the 10 per cent zone system that has been in place up to this point,” explained Governor Nisit Jansomwong. “Beachgoers will be allowed to bring their own chairs, umbrellas and mats, while rental operators will only be allowed to provide mats and umbrellas. However, everyone must keep their beach furniture within the marked 10 per cent zones.”

Rental operators cannot stake claims to any part of the beach with unoccupied mats and will not be allowed to rent out chairs to most visitors. Nonetheless, exceptions will be made, such as for the elderly and disabled, confirmed Governor Nisit.

However, such a loophole in the system is open for abuse, as the governor did not address in the meeting who would be available to rent out chairs to the disabled and elderly or who would be in charge of making the judgment call of who is qualified.

Policies for other beach vendors were also laid out during the meeting.

“There will be no food or cigarettes sold on the beach, while non-alcoholic drinks will be allowed,” said Gov Nisit. “Vendors supplying other goods, such as souvenirs, fireworks or Chinese lanterns will not be allowed.”

Masseuses will be allowed to work within a designated area and there will be no change in policy for operators running marine activities, such as jet-skiing and parasailing, confirmed Gov Nisit.

The announced plan was backed by months of research conducted by the Prince of Songkhla University’s Phuket Beach Management Research team.

“Our team, comprising professional, non-biased researchers, spoke with all stakeholders before putting forth our suggestion,” said Pun Thongchumnum, head of the research team.

The research identified six major stakeholders: tourists, 75 per cent of those spoken to were westerners; beach vendors of all types, as well as local tourism authorities; locals, both those inland and in beach communities; high-ranking members of the local governments; honorary consuls; and the online community.

“Based on the interviews we conducted with tourists arriving and departing Phuket, the number one priority was clean beaches. This was followed by ‘pure nature’ and facilities, with beach activities being the lowest priority,” said Dr Pun.

After speaking with interested parties, the research group was able to divide the facilities category into two groups: paid and unpaid.

“Most wanted to be able to use umbrellas and sunbeds, while having access to beverages – all as paid services. The most important unpaid service was security,”

It has yet to be seen if the recently launched Phuket Beach Police units will fulfill this need (story here).

The study also found that many local people and vendors still disagreed with the 10 per cent zoning system. However, researches suggested that they coordinate their efforts to work together under the provincial beach management committee. - See more at: http://www.phuketgazette.net/phuket-news/Beach-chairs-back-Phuket-sands/61832#ad-image-0