Sunday, February 17, 2013

Dawei Port megaproject is on delay -
good news for who loves Maungmagan Beach

The plans were very ambitious: The new Dawei oil deep-sea port in the southeast of Myanmar should link India, Africa and Europe with China, Southeast Asia and other East Asian countries via Thailand. A special economic zone in Dawei should house the largest industrial park (250 square kilometres) in South East Asia. A 472-kilometre rail link should connect Dawei and the deep-water port of Laem Chabang on Thailand’s Eastern Seaboard. In November 2010 the Myanmar Port Authority signed a USD $8.6 billion deal with Italian-Thai Development to develop a deep sea port at Dawei. But this big plans are on delay now: Thailands Transport Minister Chadchat Sittipunt admitted that the development of Dawei Port has stalled "because of planning uncertainties and conflicts with potential investors", as Bangkok Post writes. Thailand has difficulty getting Japan on board as a major investor. The minister said, the Japanese government disagreed with Thailand's proposed port locations in Dawei. Japan is calling for industrial and container ports to be separated.
But the Dawei project has got into difficulties already early in 2012: Myanmar’s government blocked proposals by Bangkok construction giant Italian-Thai Development to build a huge 4,000-megawatt coal power plant to fuel the Dawei project with electricity, as The Irrawaddy reported.
This is good news for the fishers and all the travelers, who love popular Maungmagan Beach near Dawei and the coast nearby, which is dotted with islands including the Heinze group, the Maung-Magan group and the Mergui or Mergui Archipelago, more than 800 beautiful and attractive islands. Maungmagan Beach is the planned site for the deap sea port.

Read mor:
Build it and they might come: A planned Thai mega-project in Myanmar runs into difficulty (The Economist)

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Saturday, February 9, 2013

Your Guide to the Treasures of Bangkok

You discover Bangkok through the eyes of people, who have been there. This blog collects their voices from blogs and travel-related forums like or and their pictures from and other sources. Google Maps help you to create your own tour. Links give you background. Welcome to Krung Thep!

Guesthouses, Hotels and Homestays: Fromt not expensive to luxurious beds and some very charming places like Phranakorn Nornlen: Guesthouses, Boutique Hotels, Hotels and Homestays.

Restaurants: Where grandmothers cook the best noodle soup, where you dine on the river and on the top: Mouthwatering Food

Bangkok by Boat: How to use the express boats up and down the river, where you can change for the Skytrain and where you can rent longtail boats for a tour to the Khlongs, Bangkoks canals: Bangkok by Boat

Move by trains and buses: How you get to the city with the new Airport Link, where you find train- and busstations and timetables: Skytrain, Metro, Buses and Railways

Bike tours in Bangkok: There are many tour operators, who lead you through small streets off the big traffic. Or you can rent bikes. Bike in Bangkok

Famous and hidden markets: Looking for food, flowers, clothes, household-goods or animals? Bangkoks districts are full of markets, some are full of tourists, others still to discover - also some floating markets. Bangkoks Markets

Old Bangkok Walking Tours: Discover old shophouses near Wat Pho as well as temples in Rattanakosin: Good Morning Old Bangkok: The neighbourhood of Wat Pho, Good morning Old Bangkok 2: The Rattanakosin Town Trail, Good morning Old Bangkok 3: Artsy Phra Athit Road, Good Morning Old Bangkok 4: Explore the heart of Chinatown and Good Morning Old Bangkok 5: Bangrak Walking Tour

Bangkok Walking Tour: Explore the heart of Chinatown: Goldsmith and herbal medicine shops, temples and markets: Bangkoks Chinatown is pulsating for neraly 24 hours: Walking tour in Chinatown

Treasures along the Khlongs: Discover the life along Bangkoks waterways with beautiful temples, teak houses and markets: Khlong Bangkok Yai, Khlong Bang Khun Thian, Khlong Bangkok Noi, Khlong Om andKhlong Phra Khanong and Prawet Burirom

The green lung of Bangkok: Bang Krachao, a peninsula in Chao Phraya River, surprises you with greenery and pristine mangroves. And you find a floating market on weekends and fireflies: Bang Krachao

Ko Kret - the Mun Island: Small and sleepy villages, palm trees, bananas, temples and pottery: Ko Kret, an island in Chao Phraya River, is a pretty place for a boat and walking trip: Ko Kret

With a hidden railway to Amphawa Floating Market: For this daytrip towards the Gulf of Siam you use two railways, a ferry and a bus and see a lot of the countryside: Amphawa Floating Market

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Monday, February 4, 2013

Good Morning Old Bangkok 6:
Tha Prachan ท่าพระจันทร์ and
Wang Lang Market ตลาดวังหลัง

See the locations on Bangkok Walking Tour: Tha Prachan and Wang Lang Google Map

Picture by iamkeang

The area around Tha Prachan ท่าพระจันทร์ ("Moon pier") comes alive around 4 pm, when students and workers starting to head home and visiting tourists form an eclectic mix of people with the street vendors and owners of decades-old businesses in the shops. Tha Prachan (see picture) is one of Bangkok’s most historical piers. It’s also home to two of Thailand’s leading Universities, Thammasart (see campus map) and Silpakorn. "The food on offer at Tha Prachan is a real treat. Inside the pier’s small complex are a number of great local eateries offering all the favourites like papaya salad and green chicken curry. Outside are various street vendors selling tropical fruits, juices and other delicious snacks", notes Life in Bangkok blog. Have a look at the noodles eaten by Earn K.T. And BK Magazine covered eateries like New Yong Hua Pochana, Nai Dee, Charoen Chai, Ajisen Ramen, Tha Prachan, Roti Mataba Tha Prachan, N+Rich, Aew Tha Prachan and R-Roy. At R-Roy you get butter sugar crackers, for which the people are queuing reports Stranger in Bangkok. And their design is vintage, writes

Picture by Momykaboon
R-Roy crispy bread, with vintage design portrays owners of shops and stalls, between fashionable clothes and accessoires, bookshops and musicshops, fortune tellers and amulets. The area around the pier hosts an extensive Buddhist amulet market, which opens early in the morning and closes around dusk. Thais have been wearing Buddhist amulets for centuries. "This comes from a superstitious belief that an amulet can protect the wearer from evil spirits and bad luck. It's also thought that the various powers linked with an amulet can easily outlive the current owner", writes Youthapong Charoenpan.

Picture by -AX-
Amulet Market

Picture by -AX-

Picture by Nir Nussbaum

Picture by -AX-
Maharat Road

On the corner of Pra Chan and Na Phra That roads you will find Cafe Velo Dome คาเฟ่เวโลโดม. Here you can get a lot of information about Bangkok’s bicycle rentals, bike tours, and city routes for bikers.
Tha Prachan is also a historic site - a site of sadness. Pictures by tuktadevil show, what is known as the 6 October 1976 Thammasat University Massacre เหตุการณ์ 6 ตุลา, when right-wing paramilitary groups killed 46 students and wounded 167 students (the official numbers, probably many more), during a military coup. Thammasat University holds an annual event with eyewitness accounts and historical records. In 1996 a memorial has been built on the campus.

Tha Prachan is just a short walk from Tha Chang Pier, which can easily be reached by a Chao Phraya Express Boat. From Tha Prachan a ferry crosses Chao Phraya River to Tha Wang Lang Pier. And here, beneath Siriraj Hospital, you enter a secondhand shopping paradise: Wang Lang market ตลาดวังหลัง, little sois cramped with shops and stalls. Young Bangkokians know it for good quality and cheap prices for garments, shoes, accessoires as well as delicious foods, loved by locals and students and described by BK. See also this video by ToyJoyKandygirl. The market part with the clothing stalls is called Talad Naew Naew. Nira Chan has nice pictures and one advice: Don't go between 1130 am and 1pm, because the market then is full of hungry students and nurses from the hospital.

Picture by gnarlykitty
Wang Lang shopping paradise

Picture by looktana

Picture by auang

Picture by auang

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