AGODA

Thursday, April 20, 2017

#Cambodia / #Vietnam stops nine overloaded trucks with illegal lumber

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Authorities in Vietnam’s Gia Lai province have recently stopped at least nine overloaded timber trucks crossing into the country from the Kingdom, despite the Cambodian government ostensibly banning wood exports to its eastern neighbor, according to a Vietnamese news report.
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The report, published earlier this month by Baomoi.com, which is described online as a government-owned news outlet, complains about the danger of the overburdened timber trucks from Cambodia regularly barrelling down Vietnam’s National Road 19, which connects to the border crossing in Ratanakkiri province’s O’Yadav district, and refers to lax enforcement by Vietnamese authorities of the vehicles exceeding their weight limit.
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Chief traffic inspector for Gia Lai province Nguyen Dang Hung told the outlet that his forces had stopped nine trucks carrying twice their legal capacity. In those cases, Vietnamese authorities unloaded excess wood, temporarily seized the trucks and fined the drivers about $28, it stated.
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Not mentioned in the article is the fact that, since an export ban on timber was announced in January last year, no timber trucks from Cambodia should be present. Cambodian officials have repeatedly asserted that the timber trade with Vietnam has stopped following the ban and subsequent crackdown. 
The article presents figures attributed to the Gia Lai People’s Committee from late last year stating that 16 companies in the province had been permitted to import 300,000 cubic metres of timber from Cambodia.
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The Post was unable to reach a representative at the Gia Lai People’s Committee to verify the figure or establish its timeframe.
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Recently released Vietnamese customs data collected by the US-based NGO Forest Trends, however, revealed that last year, Vietnam imported 139,306 cubic metres of uncut logs and just over 171,000 cubic metres of sawn wood from Cambodia.
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Ratanakkiri provincial border police chief Heng Ratana, however, dismissed the report and figures. “Through my border there is no [timber smuggling],” he said, in comments later echoed by O’Yadav district police chief Mao Sann.
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“The report is not right. If there were cases of [wood smuggling] journalists would report about it,” Sann said on the phone. “Each month we have cracked down on many cases. This month we stopped about five or six.”
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However, saying timber flows to Vietnam were increasing, long-time anti-logging activist Marcus Hardtke called on the government to clarify its export ban policy and its legal status. “The trade to Vietnam is alive and well. If anything, it’s getting worse this dry season,” he said.
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Source - PhnomPenhPost

Wednesday, April 19, 2017

#Cambodia - Khmer New Year festival brings in more income

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Angkor Sangkranta, Siem Reap’s largest cultural festival held over Khmer New Year, raked in a total income of $95 million on the back of 1.6 million domestic and international visitors, a 23 percent year-on-year increase, state news agency AKP said yesterday. 
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The report quoted Minister of Tourism Thong Kong who said that total visitors continued to increase steadily while international visitors topped out at 31,800, up almost 8 percent from the year before. 
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The festival, held near Angkor Wat, was the fifth year in a row to be organised by the Union of Youth Federations of Cambodia.
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Tuesday, April 18, 2017

#Bangkok - Food vendors fearful amid BMA move to sweep them away

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THOUSANDS of food vendors are fearful about their future after officials from the Bangkok Metropolitan Administration (BMA) declared their intention to clear them off streets for the sake of cleanliness.

For three decades everyone from police and builders, to street cleaners and partying rich kids have gorged on noodles at Uncle Pan’s street-side stall in Bangkok’s chic-est neighbourhood. 
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But now the 67-year-old food vendor is no longer welcome at his pavement spot, amid a purge of food stalls by the city governor, who says they clutter up the capital’s curbs. With dishes that average Bt35-55 a plate, most of the city’s kerbside cooks don’t make a fortune selling their fare, which ranges from grilled seafood skewers to somtam. 
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But they have won global acclaim as some of the finest fast food chefs in the world, fuelling a booming city besotted by eating.
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The family-run stall is a fixture of a neighbourhood that has exploded with development over the past few decades. But with the deadline to clear off the street expiring this week, Pan must either uproot his restaurant to a new locale or downsize so it doesn’t spill onto the sidewalk.
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“I’ve been selling here since there was nothing,” the genial, apron-wearing uncle told AFP, explaining that the Thong Lor area was a tree-studded backwater when he first set up.
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Today, his customers sit ringside to a central artery of Bangkok’s ritziest neighbourhood, lined with tower blocks, upscale restaurants and nightclubs. That makes for a varied clientele that pulls from all layers of the social fabric. 
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“Office workers, police, soldiers... even if they drive a Mercedes-Benz, they have the same right to eat here,” Pan said, wiping away a bead of sweat as waiters buzzed around him to serve an after-work crush.
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Good business, which sees Pan rake in around Bt30,000 a month, rests on these close ties to the neighbourhood.
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“We all know each other in this street. Everyone, factory workers, company staff, they know me and we are friends... if we move, we won’t have these relationships.”
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Yet city officials insist the footpaths must be “returned to the public” and have laid out a plan to bar tens of thousands of street stalls from main roads, instead squeezing them into side-streets or hawkers’ centres. 
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Wanlop Suwandee, the Bangkok governor’s chief adviser, said local residents wanted to reclaim their pavements, so the BMA had to undertake a tough task to do just that.
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“After the successful mission [to reclaim] several areas such as Siam Square and Pratunam, the BMA will manage the area in Bang Lamphu, as the next target,” Wanlop said.
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“For areas that have already been managed, there will be strict law enforcement to prevent illegal vendors from returning to those areas. And if anyone finds illegal vendors, they can contact BMA officers to deal with |immediately.” 
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He said this operation stemmed from many complaints sent to the BMA from local people, who were inconvenienced by being unable to walk on pavements occupied by street vendors. So, the city’s administrators had to take action and get street vendors to move into markets, where space was provided for them.
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“City Hall used to allow these street vendors to legally sell [food] on the street in the specific areas, but since the city is growing, these areas where street vendors were allowed have to be revoked – to return the space because of the increased urban population,” he said.
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However, workers such as Pan, whose lives look set to be greatly affected, are not sure what the future holds – other than more bowls of soup. 
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“Even though we sometimes face troubles we have to keep selling. We have to fight to survive,” he said.
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Monday, April 17, 2017

BMA bans all street food across #Bangkok this year

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Despite international acclaim, Yaowarat and Khao San Road next targets of cleanup

STREET FOOD vendors will disappear from Bangkok by the end of the year in the interests of cleanliness, safety and order, the Bangkok Metropolitan Administration (BMA) says.
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In the capital, which is internationally recognised for its street food, famous locations such as Chinatown/Yaowarat and Khao San Road would be cleared of vendors in a bid to beautify Bangkok.
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 A month after the city was named the finest street food destination in the world by CNN for the second year, the Bangkok Metropolitan Administration (BMA) continued its operation to reclaim the pavements for pedestrians and announced that vendors would be banned entirely from the capital’s streets.
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 The CNN report said that “it is impossible to avoid street food in Bangkok, where sidewalk vendors in different parts of the city operate on a fixed rotation. It said that some take care of the breakfast crowd with sweet soymilk and bean curd, others dish up fragrant rice and poached chicken for lunch. The late-night crowd offers everything from phad thai noodles to grilled satay”.
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Wanlop Suwandee, chief adviser to Bangkok’s governor, said yesterday that the internationally recognised areas of Yaowarat and Khao San Road would be the next target after they successfully cleared the pavements of food vendors in areas such as Siam Square, Pratunam, and the flea market under Phra Phuttayotfa Bridge.
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“The BMA is now working to get rid of the street vendors from all 50 districts of Bangkok and return the pavements to the pedestrians. Yaowarat and Khao San Road will be our next goal in clearing out illegal vendors,” Wanlop said.
‘No exceptions’
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While Wanlop said he was grateful for CNN’s recognition of Bangkok as the world’s best street food city, he said cleanliness and safety in the streets were the BMA’s priorities.
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“The street vendors have seized the pavement space for too long and we already provide them with space to sell food and other products legally in the market, so there will be no let-up in this operation. Every street vendor will have to move out,” he said.
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Piyabutr Jiuramonaikul, president of the Khao San Business Council, said he did not know about the BMA’s plans to manage the street vendors in Khao San Road and there would have to be further discussions with the city authority.
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“There are more than 200 street food vendors in Khao San Road and they are the uniqueness of our district that attracts many tourists from around the world,” Piyabutr said.
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Bangkok resident Romdheera Phruetchon said that while she agreed with the BMA’s efforts to create clean and tidy pavements, this could coexist with the preservation of city’s world-famous street food.
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“The BMA should set up a zone for the street vendors, so they can keep their jobs and preserve the charm of Bangkok’s street food,” said Romdheera. “The people can benefit from selling goods, while the tourists can enjoy the unique street food of our city.”
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Sunday, April 16, 2017

New Hotel Booking lists

We just start to create a Bangkok, Pattaya, Phuket Hotel Bookings Lists

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#NEW - #BANGKOK HOTELS BOOKING LIST - http://wp.me/P7Lce0-3w
''We want provide you with the best service''
Make your choice

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  #NEW - #PATTAYA HOTEL & RESORT BOOKING LIST - http://wp.me/P7Lce0-3D
We want provide you with the best service
Make your choice

 #NEW - #PHUKET HOTEL & RESORT BOOKING LIST - http://wp.me/P7Lce0-3A 

We want provide you with the best service
Make your choice


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Thursday, April 13, 2017

Thailand bans sexy dance moves, sexy clothes during Songkran holiday

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This Songkran, you may have to take it easy on the dance floor and opt for a turtleneck instead of a skimpy, smelly beer-logo tank top, because police will be out looking to arrest those with sexy dance moves and revealing clothing. 
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Songkran, aka the water festival, is becoming too sexy for the Thai police to handle. No more sexy girls dancing in the back of pickup trucks. No more sexy shirtless dudes in Silom. They will all be arrested. 
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The punishment for people who dance suggestively or wear suggestive clothing is a THB5,000 fine, about US$145. The news has been published all over local media. One of the reasons behind this campaign is simply to protect sexy people from crimes. Deputy Commissioner Pol. Maj. Gen. Sompong Chingduang even warned ladies not to “wear revealing clothes” or “be tempting because it will lead to sex crimes,” Daily News reported.
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So the logic here is, if there were no sexy girls, there would be no sexual assaults. Got it, sir.
It is not reported how police will define sexy dance moves. 
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Bangkok - Songkran: Six main roads closed for water fighting festivities

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Despite official announcements that Songkran is supposed to be less riotous this year due to the mourning period for the late king, six roads will still be closed off for more restrained water-fighting celebrations. 
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The other surprising directive that has been announced for this year’s celebrations is that it has to be less sexy, with both sexy dance moves and sexy clothes being banned although how they are going to define sexiness and enforce a ban on it remains to be seen. 
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Let’s see how toned down the shenanigans are on the roads that have been designated for celebrating: Khaosan, Chakkra Phong, Bowonniwet, Sib Sam Hang, Tanao, and Silom.
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The Royal Gazette announced yesterday that those roads will be closed to all vehicles from noon until midnight on April 13-15. Khaosan, one of the major water fighting destinations for both Thais and foreigners, will also close today from noon until midnight for water fighting.
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The temporary regulations also ban pickup trucks from carrying water tanks and partiers and any vehicle that plays very loud music from April 13-15.
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