Roundup of Thailand news with AJW

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BKK Weather 31C; Hot, cloudy, rain; Euro:US 1.2563, Euro:Baht 39.37, SET Index: 1228



BKK Weather 31C; Hot, cloudy, rain; Euro:US 1.2563, Euro:Baht 39.37, SET Index: 1228


Nakhon Sawan villagers want dam, conservationists oppose them. Tablet computer batteries failing after three hours, students complain.


China begins leadership shuffle. NATO halts training Afghan police for fear of being killed. Korean Unification Church Moonie founder Rev Moon dies.


– AEC2015: The Commerce Ministry said serious attention should be given to four service sectors – tourism, information technology, construction, and logistics – as they are priorities for liberalization this year.

Thailand last year committed to allowing other Asean member states to hold a majority share of 51 percent in businesses in these four segments. However, the cap remains 49 percent because of technical problems in the liberalization process.

Ajva Taulananda, Honorary President of the Board of Trade and the Thai Chamber of Commerce, said private Thai service enterprises should urgently bring their operations up to an international standard, while focusing on foreign-language education for their personnel. Enterprises should study the culture of each country in Asean to increase business opportunities on trading and investing in the region.

– TOP 10 RICH THAI: The top 10 richest in Thailand are:

1) Dhanin Chearavanont; US$9 billion

2) Chirathivat family; US$6.9 billion

3) Charoen Sirivadhanabhakdi; US$6.2 billion

4) Yoovidya family; US$5.4 billion

5) Krit Ratanarak; US$3.1 billion

6) Chamnong Bhirombhakdi & family; US$2.4 billion

7) Vichai Maleenont & family; US$1.8 billion

8) Aloke Lohia; US$1.6 billion

9) Prasert Prasarttong-Osoth; US$1.2 billion

10) Vanich Chaiyawan; US$1.16 billion

– TOP 101 HOTEL RESTAURANTS: Here’s one for the foodies among you – The Daily Meal has compiled its first-ever list of the “101 Best Hotel Restaurants Around the World.”

It used to be that a hotel was the last place any serious eater would venture to dine. That started changing about two decades ago when hotels began recognizing that their in-house restaurants could be an asset, crafted into destinations in their own right. And it’s not just a matter of adding to the hotel’s draw for travelers. While guests may come and go with the seasons, hotels that have invested in their restaurants have seen they can keep their tables booked year-round with locals or folks like us who might actually even visit a hotel specifically for the food.

The list was carefully curated by consulting the Michelin Guide and other trusted sources and through recommendations from The Daily Meal’s editors, who have traveled and dined extensively around the world.

With hundreds of innovative restaurants to choose from, it was a culinary challenge to whittle the list down to a select 101. To be in contention, a hotel had to have at least 15 rooms (so quaint auberges, family-run bed and breakfasts, and famed restaurants that happen to have a few rooms for the convenience of guests were immediately eliminated). Likewise, notable restaurants that lie just steps from hotels, even if they are under the same ownership, were also excluded.

101 Best Hotel Restaurants Around the World

– Acquapazza at the Four Seasons Resort Mauritius at Anahita (Mauritius)
– Adour at The St. Regis Hotel (New York City)
– Al Mahara at Burj Al Arab (Dubai)
– Alain Ducasse au Plaza Athénée at Plaza Athénée Hotel (Paris)
– Altitude at Shangri-La Hotel (Sydney)
– Anne-Sophie Pic at Beau-Rivage Palace (Lausanne, Switzerland)
– Baraabaru at Four Seasons Maldives at Kuda Huraa (North Malé Atoll, Maldives)
– The Bazaar by José Andrés at SLS Hotel (Los Angeles)
– Bei at The Opposite House (Beijing)
– Blue by Eric Ripert at The Ritz-Carlton (Grand Cayman, Cayman Islands)
– Blue Duck Tavern at Park Hyatt (Washington, D.C.)
– Caesar’s Restaurant at Hotel Caesar’s (Tijuana, Mexico)
– Café Boulud at The Brazilian Court Hotel & Beach Club (Palm Beach, Fla.)
– Camões Portuguese Restaurant at Legendale Hotel (Beijing)
– Capitol Grille at The Hermitage Hotel (Nashville, Tenn.)
– Celadon at The Sukhothai (Bangkok)
– CityZen at Mandarin Oriental (Washington, D.C.)
– Clio at Elliott Hotel (Boston)
dine by Peter Gordon at SkyCity Hotel (Auckland)
– Duhau Restaurante & Vinoteca at Palacio Duhau Park Hyatt (Buenos Aires)
– é by José Andrés at The Cosmopolitan (Las Vegas)
– El Motel Restaurant at Hotel Empordà (Figueres, Spain)
– Emiliano Restaurant at Emiliano (São Paolo)
– Epicure at Le Bristol (Paris)
– Felix at The Peninsula Hotel (Hong Kong)
– Fontaine at Hayma Island Resort (Great Barrier Reef, Australia)
– Garden Court Restaurant at Sofitel Hotel Sydney Wentworth (Sydney)
– gaZette at Le Westin (Montréal)
– GB Roof Garden Restaurant & Bar at Hotel Grande Bretagne (Athens)
– The Great House at Nisbet Plantation Beach Club (Nevis, West Indies)
– Hakkasan at Fontainebleau Miami Beach (Miami Beach, Fla.)
– Hawksworth Restaurant at Rosewood Hotel Georgia (Vancouver)
– Huang Ting at The Peninsula Hotel (Beijing)
– Inverlochy Restaurant at Inverlochy Castle Hotel (Torlundy, Scotland)
– Jaan at Swissôtel The Stamford (Singapore)
– Jade Cuisine at Jade Mountain (Anse Chastanet, St. Lucia)
– Jade on 36 at Pudong Shangri-La Hotel (Shanghai)
– Jean Georges at Trump International Hotel & Tower (New York City)
– Joël Robuchon Restaurant at MGM Grand (Las Vegas)
– La Marea Restaurant at Viceroy Riviera Maya (Playa del Carmen, Mexico)
– La Marocain at La Mamounia (Marrakech, Morocco)
– La Pergola at Rome Cavalieri (Rome)
– Le Beaulieu at Sofitel Metropole Hotel (Hanoi)
– Le Cinq at the Four Seasons Hotel George V (Paris)
– Le Comptoir at Hôtel Relais Saint Germain (Paris)
– Le Louis XV at Hôtel de Paris (Monte Carlo)
– Le Manoir aux Quat’Saisons Restaurant at Le Manoir aux Quat’Saisons (Great Milton, U.K.)
– Restaurant Le Meurice at Le Meurice Hotel (Paris)
– Le Réservé at La Samanna (St. Martin, West Indies)
– Le Verger at Le Franschhoek Hotel & Spa (Franschhoek, South Africa)
– Level 3 at Aleenta Resort & Spa (Phuket, Thailand)
– Lichfield Café, Restaurant & Bar at Augustine Hotel (Prague) – — Livingstone Room at Victoria Falls Hotel (Victoria Falls, Zimbabwe)
– Li Yen at The Ritz-Carlton (Kuala Lumpur)
– Loggia Restaurant at Villa San Michele (Florence, Italy)
– Lung King Heen at the Four Seasons (Hong Kong)
– Maialino at Gramercy Park Hotel (New York City)
– Man Wah at Mandarin Oriental (Hong Kong)
– MASA’s at Executive Hotel Vintage Court (San Francisco)
– Matsalen at Grand Hôtel (Stockholm)
– Mesh Restaurant at Crown Promenade Hotel (Melbourne, Australia)
– MICHAEL MINA at Bellagio (Las Vegas)
– The Mohgul Room at Mena House Oberoi (Giza, Egypt)
– Moo Restaurant at Hotel Omm (Barcelona)
– Morio J-Cuisine at Hotel G (Beijing)
– Morjana at Mazagan Beach Resort (Casablanca, Morocco)
– Mount Burgess Dining Room at Emerald Lake Lodge (British Columbia)
– NoMad at The NoMad (New York City)
– NoMI at Park Hyatt (Chicago)
– Norman’s at The Ritz-Carlton (Orlando)
– The Northall at The Corinthia (London)
– Noso at W Santiago (Santiago, Chile)
number one at The Balmoral Hotel (Edinburgh, Scotland)
– ONE Restaurant at The Hazelton Hotel (Toronto)
– Orient Express at Taj Palace Hotel (New Delhi)
– Panorama at Gellért Hotel (Budapest)
– Pavillon at Baur au Lac (Zurich)
– Restaurant at Ponta Dos Ganchos (Governador Celso Ramos, Santa Catarina, Brazil)
– Proof on Main at 21C Museum Hotel (Louisville, Ky.)
– Relish at The Westin Grand (Berlin)
– Restaurant Guy Savoy at Caesar’s Palace (Las Vegas)
– Restaurant Le Gaïac at Hôtel Le Toiny (St. Barts)
– Restaurant Patrick Guilbaud at Merrion Hotel (Dublin)
– Restaurant Terrazza Danieli at Hotel Danieli (Venice, Italy)
– Restaurante Zafferano at Mantra Resort Spa & Casino (Punta del Este, Uruguay)
– The Rib Room at Jumeirah Emirates Towers (Dubai)
– Sabaya at Cairo Semiramis (Cairo)
– Saffron at Banyan Tree (Seychelles)
– Santceloni at Hotel Hesperia (Madrid)
– Scala at The David Citadel Hotel (Jerusalem)
– Signal Restaurant at Cape Grace (Cape Town, South Africa)
– Signature at Mandarin Oriental (Tokyo)
– Sir Elly’s Restaurant, Bar, and Terrace at The Peninsula (Shanghai)
– Square One at Park Hyatt Saigon (Ho Chi Minh City)
– Stella at The Leela Kempinski (Mumbai)
– The Tamarind Tree at Curtin Bluff (Antigua, West Indies)
– Tatu Restaurant at The Fairmont Norfolk (Nairobi, Kenya)
– Terrace at Parrot Cay by COMO (Turks and Caicos)
– Tiara at Queen’s Landing (Ontario)
– Tradewinds at Peter Island Resort & Spa (British Virgin Islands)
– The Vineyard Restaurant at Stockcross (West Berkshire, U.K.)

– AUSSIES FUME: The Australian travel industry is bracing for airport delays for inbound tourists and residents after new limits on the number of duty-free cigarettes that can be imported took force over the weekend.

Travelers can now bring in just 50 cigarettes or 50 grams of tobacco. Previously, they could bring in a carton of cigarettes (250 cigarettes) or 250 grams of tobacco.

– PATTAYA SCAMS: City officials have announced new rules aimed at controlling Pattaya jet-ski operators who rip off tourists. Under the new rules, penalties for violations can range from arrests and fines to termination of the rental operation. Several foreign embassies now warn their countrymen not to rent jet-skis in Pattaya.

– THAI-INDIA: “There is scope for business cooperation with India and Thailand in the areas of seafood products, machine parts, chemicals, gems and jewelry, education, tourism, food and edible items, and logistics,” said Nitipoom Navaratna, Vice President of the Thailand-India Parliamentarians Friendship Group.

“India and Thailand have enjoyed a close and mutually enriching relationship for over a millennium, and the friendship is growing even today.”

“A total of 250,000 Indians live in Thailand contributing to the growth of the Thai economy. It is heartening to learn that India and Thailand would work together to double the bilateral trade to around $14 billion by 2014,” he added.

– PHUKET NEW AIRPORT TERMINAL: Work has finally started on the new airport terminal at a cost of Bt 5.7 billion baht by Sino-Thai Engineering.

The new international terminal will be built first, which should take one year, after which the building housing the Phuket airport’s administration will go up, followed by a car park for 1,500 vehicles.

The completed airport in February 2015 will be capable of handling 5 million international arrivals and departures plus 7.5 million domestic arrivals and departures.

Phuket is rapidly growing busier with an average of 75 flights per day in 2012 compared to 54 per day a year ago. In 2011, Phuket airport averaged 506 flights per week and handled 8.4 million passengers coming and going.

That increase of 11 percent is likely to continue this year, with officials expecting Phuket to handle a total of 9.32 million passengers.

– KEN HOM: At 64, Ken Hom, OBE, who resides in France and in Thailand, travels tirelessly all over the world, appearing regularly as a celebrity chef, launching new books and keeping a high profile in the industry with his involvement with restaurants around the globe. Widely regarded as one the world’s greatest authorities on oriental cuisine, he was awarded an honorary OBE for services to the culinary arts. Ken was also awarded an honorary doctorate from Oxford Brookes University for his outstanding success within the international food world and to recognize him as one of the world’s most notable chefs with a highly successful career in the media, as an entrepreneur, and as a supporter of charity and education. In addition, he is involved in developing a number of food and drink concepts in Thailand with the Bandara Hotel Group. His first restaurant, Maison Chin in Bangkok’s Bandara Hotel, opened only 4 years ago, has already been called the best new modern Asian cuisine and has been awarded by Thailand Tatler as one of Thailand’s Best Restaurants.

– SONGWRITER: US songwriter, Hal David, who wrote dozens of hits with collaborator Burt Bacharach, has died at the age of 91. The pairs’ hits included “They Long to Be – Close to You,” “Say a Little Prayer,” “Walk On By,” “What’s New Pussycat?” and “Magic Moments.”

– PRINCESS: Diana, Princess of Wales, has been remembered on the 15th anniversary of her death as a woman “with two hearts” – one for her and one for the people. Scores of tributes, flowers, posters, and cards were attached to the gates of Kensington Palace, all remembering Diana who died in a car crash in Paris in 1997.

– TAT STRATEGY: “For the past three years, Thailand has had problems; even though such disasters occurred, the number of tourist arrivals did not decrease. This is because most of our customers are repeat guests; 60 percent of our tourists last year were repeat visitors, so our guests know Thailand very well,” said Deputy Governor for International Marketing for the Tourism Authority of Thailand, Juthaporn Rerngronasa, in a recent interview.

“Such results have been achieved by highlighting and promoting four specialized elements including weddings and honeymoon, medical and wellness, golfing, and eco-tourism. This niche strategy has been communicated to business and consumer public alike under the heading ‘customise your experience.’ Through these four areas, high-end travelers are specifically targeted and encouraged to visit Thailand, to enjoy a holiday that suits their requirements.”

“Between January and April, 2012, 1.8 million visitors have already taken advantage of Thailand’s excellent medical facilities and hospitals.

“Thailand is already a very well-known destination for its beaches and culture, and the TAT strategy was developed in order to go beyond the surface to highlight other key selling points of the destination such as cooking, relaxations, and sports.”

– PHI PHI DEATHS POINT TO INSECTICIDE: Canadian sisters Noemi and Audrey Belanger body’s contained insecticide, which was identified by Radio-Canada as DEET.

DEET (diethyl-meta-toluamide) is used as an ingredient to add extra kick to a euphoria-inducing cocktail known locally as 4×100, which contains cough syrup, cola, ground-up kratom leaves, and ice. It is thought that an overdose of DEET was accidentally mixed into the young women’s drinks. Large plastic buckets filled with different drink ingredients are popular with Phi Phi partiers.

– COOL HOTEL APPS: QDelegate – Here’s an app for hoteliers looking to gain a competitive advantage when booking meetings at their properties. QDelegate is a tool that allows hoteliers to communicate more efficiently with meeting attendees/delegates. Hoteliers can do so by uploading and providing content to the app such as schedules, presentations, speaker profiles, attendee lists, maps, and logistics. Once uploaded, all event-related info will be at attendees’ fingertips and updated by the hotel or event organizer as needed. The app even allows for attendee-to-attendee messaging, which could come in handy if attendees need to step out for a second and don’t want to miss pertinent information.

Available in: App Store
Cost: Free

About the author


Editor in chief for eTurboNew is Linda Hohnholz. She is based in the eTN HQ in Honolulu, Hawaii.