Thailand Bulletin For Thursday, June 21, 2010
Round up of Thailand news with AJW
WEATHER: Hot, cloudy and 60 percent chance of a wet day once again in Bangkok.
Euro = 39.99 THB
US = 31.56 THB
UK = 49.54 THB
CHF = 33.29 THB
AUD = 32.15 THB
1,173 (+0.01 percent)
Euro = 39.91 THB
US = 31.50 THB
UK = 49.54 THB
CHF = 33.24 THB
AUD = 32.07 THB
A ROUND UP OF THAILAND'S NEWS
- World: Myanmar eases economy controls. Mubarak on life support. Egypt anti-military rally demands Muslim Brotherhood victory. Wikileaks Assange flees to asylum.
- Bangkok: Airports of Thailand on major campaign to attract flights to Don Mueang. Science minister says Democrats approved Nasa flights in 2010.
- Don Mueang: The Airports of Thailand Plc board has approved massive discounts on airport fees in a move to attract airlines to Don Mueang airport.
AoT Chairman ACM Sumet Photimanee yesterday said the discounts, backed yesterday, would be huge in the first two months and become gradually smaller over three years.
From August 1 to September 30, when runways at the six-year-old Suvarnabhumi airport will be repaired, 95 percent discounts will be available for take-off, landing and hangar fees at Don Mueang.
The AoT cChairman said Don Mueang could handle 36.5 million passengers annually.
Transport Minister Jarupong Ruangsuwan said 14 commercial and chartered airlines had agreed to move to Don Mueang. He had asked the cabinet to adopt the resolution to ensure that the use of Don Mueang would be permanent.
"Today it has been clearly concluded that the single-airport policy has changed to a dual-airport one," Mr. Jarupong said.
He said the relocation incentives target low-cost carriers like Thai AirAsia which operate more than 100 flights per day. Their relocation will greatly relieve congestion at Suvarnabhumi, where an expansion project will take 5 years and 10 months to complete.
Suvarnabhumi is designed to handle 45 million passengers yearly, but its volume has already reached 47 million and is forecast to soar past 51 million.
AoT President Anirut Thanomkulbutra said if all 14 airlines move to Don Mueang, the airport would serve 14 million passengers yearly. This figure would include 3 million passengers of Nok Air, which has been the sole scheduled carrier operating at Don Mueang since the airport resumed operations in March after being shut down in October last year by the disastrous floods. AoT is optimistic it can clinch a deal with Thai AirAsia, Thailand's largest low-cost carrier, within the next few weeks. Thai AirAsia is the main target for relocation due to the magnitude of its traffic, with a projected 8 million passengers this year.
All international airlines operating under the low-fare model, including Airberlin, Jetstar Cebu, Jin Air, Indigo and Orient Thai, will be asked to shift to Don Mueang. If all agree, they would take away about 10 million passengers a year under the current estimate.
- PM Birthday: Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra this morning made merit at her Bangkok residence in Soi Yothin Pattana 3 on the occasion of her 45th birthday.
- Starwood in China: Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide, Inc. announced that it has reached a historic milestone with 103 hotels open and in operation and now another 100 signed hotel deals in the pipeline for Greater China, Starwood's second largest market outside of the United States. The announcement was made as part of celebrations at the Sheraton Shanghai Hongkou Hotel on the heels of Starwood's Asia Pacific Investor Day.
"Our celebration of our more than 100 hotels in operation and 100 hotels in the pipeline marks another significant milestone for Starwood's growth and development in China as we double our footprint in the region," said Vasant Prabhu, Vice Chairman and Chief Financial Officer of Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide, Inc. "Our success in China reflects our first mover advantage, the strength of our brands, and the entrusted partnerships we have fostered with our developers, partners, and guests since our first landmark debut with The Great Wall Sheraton Hotel in Beijing in 1985"
Starwood has already opened 11 hotels in China in 2012 and expects to open another 13 hotels by year's end.
- TG B-747 on Sale: Prices for Boeing 747-400s, the most popular wide-body plane, are tumbling as carriers rush to replace what were once their flagship aircraft with newer and more fuel-efficient models. Thai Airways is in the process of selling 4 747-400s and it will begin phasing out the model next year, said outgoing Chief Executive Officer Piyasvasti Amranand.
- Phi Phi Deaths: Autopsies have been performed on two Canadian sisters who died in mysterious circumstances on the holiday island of Phi Phi last week.
Police investigating the case on Phi Phi found no evidence of murder, but personal items and '"Ibuprofen tablets of 400 grams"' were found.
Officials in Thailand are concerned that failure to determine the cause of death in the case of the Belanger sisters could seriously affect tourism.
Various theories have been put forward about what might have killed the sisters, who appeared to have suffered a violent reaction to some kind of toxic substance.
Doctors have suggested that there is not enough evidence to support any of the theories, and that only the autopsies can provide answers.
- Bare Breasts fine: Channel 3 operator Bangkok Entertainment Company has been fined 500,000 baht by the National Broadcasting and Telecommunication Commission for allowing a female contestant to paint on canvas with her bare breasts on the Sunday episode of its prime-time show "Thailand's Got Talent."
- Football Euro 2012: FIFA President Sepp Blatter has renewed his call for the introduction of goal-line technology after a controversial incident in England's 1-0 win over Ukraine helped eliminate the co-hosts. Marko Devic's shot crossed the line in the game in Donetsk but was not given.
- Food Thursday - Pad Thai: This Pad Thai recipe is how you actually find it in Bangkok and comes from testing hundreds of different variations from all over the city.
Start with soaking the dry noodles in lukewarm or room temperature water while preparing the other ingredients. Getting the noodles just right is the trickiest part of making Pad Thai. By the time you are ready to put the ingredients in the pan, the noodles should be flexible but not mushy.
2-3 Servings, Prep Time: 40 Minutes
4 teaspoons fish sauce
3 cloves minced garlic
1/2 teaspoon ground dried chili pepper
1 minced shallot
2 tablespoon sugar
2 tablespoon tamarind paste
2 tablespoons preserved turnip
1/2 package Thai rice noodles
1/3 cup extra firm tofu
2 tablespoon vegetable oil
1/2-1/4 lb. shrimp, optional
1/2 banana flower, optional
1-1/3 cup bean sprouts, optional
1-1/2 cup Chinese chives, optional
2 tablespoons peanuts, optional
Julienne tofu and cut into 1-inch long matchsticks. When cut, the super firm tofu/pressed tofu should have a mozzarella cheese consistency. You can fry the tofu separately until golden brown and hard, or you can fry with other ingredients below. Cut the Chinese chives into 1-inch long pieces. Set aside a few fresh chives for a garnish. Rinse the bean sprouts and save half for serving fresh. Mince shallot and garlic together.
Use a wok. If you do not have a wok, any big pot will do. Heat it up on high heat and pour oil in the wok. Fry the peanuts until toasted and remove them from the wok. The peanuts can be toasted in the pan without oil as well. Add shallot, preserved turnip, garlic, and tofu and stir them until they start to brown. The noodles should be flexible but not expanded at this point. Drain the noodles and add to the wok. Stir quickly to keep things from sticking. Add tamarind, sugar, fish sauce and chili pepper. Stir. The heat should remain high. If your wok is not hot enough, you will see a lot of juice in the wok at this point. Turn up the heat, if it is the case.
Make room for the egg by pushing all noodles to the side of the wok. Crack the egg onto the wok and scramble it until it is almost all cooked. Fold the egg into the noodles. The noodles should be soft and chewy. Pull a strand out and taste. If the noodles are too hard (not cooked), add a little bit of water. When you get the right taste, add shrimp and stir. Sprinkle white pepper around. Add bean sprouts and chives. Stir a few more times. The noodles should be soft, dry and very tangled.
Pour onto the serving plate and sprinkle with ground pepper and peanuts. Serve hot with the banana flower slice, a wedge of lime on the side, raw Chinese chives ,and raw bean sprouts on top.
As always, in Thailand, condiments such as sugar, chili pepper, vinegar, and fish sauce are available at your table for your personal taste.