Pattaya Today 23 PATTAYA TODAY PROPERTY 1/23
Vol. 8 No. 21 16 - 31 July 2009
Baan Talay Pattaya
The True Beachfront Living Baan Talay Pattaya is superbly located directly on one of the most beautiful, private and peaceful beaches of Pattaya. Baan Talay is situated on the Sukhumvit Road and transverses down to the beach, giving stunning sea views to all the houses. The location is surrounded by gloriously rich vegetation, creating a wonderful atmosphere; it is built on a 52 rai land area, with only 68 houses being offered, plus clubhouse with full amenities.
Project Size Situated on a substantially spacious area of 52 rai, however, with only 68 houses, plus 1 clubhouse, it gives the homeowners a feeling of privacy. The width of the beachfront area is approximately 140 metres. The houses are of a tropical style with the emphasis on a well ventilated atmosphere with a combination of modern contemporary design. Facilities The Club house occupies an area of almost 2,000 square metres. It includes a
35 metre swimming pool, a spacious fitness room with modern equipment, steam room, sauna room, conference room and a beachfront BBQ area, providing the residents comfortable and convenient facilities. The project boasts a public park, gardens and canal. Beautiful trees and professional landscaping were an integral part of the design, providing stunning green scenery. For your safety and security, CCTV systems are provided
throughout the premises together with 24 hour security in and around the project. Public Utility System The project’s main road was built 20 metres wide for convenient and safe driving while secondary roads are 16, 12 and 8 metres wide. Water supply is provided by The Provincial Waterworks Authority of Pattaya. Underground electric system is distributed by the Sattahip Welfare Power Plant. While the waste water treatment and separated bio-trash
receptacles are used as land fillers. The water drainage and rain gutting system are separately built on the house premises down to the project’s pond, before being released into the public drainage pipes. Location The location is very accessible, only 163 kilometres from Bangkok and very close to entertainment centres, shopping malls, sports activities and several tourist attractions, including,
Mini Siam, Crocodile Farm, Elephant Village, Nongnooch Tropical Gardens, Silverlake, Pattaya Floating Market, etc. Also, the project is a short drive to public and private hospitals, schools and universities and even public markets. There are 3 types of houses available First, is a tropical type D+ house, 590 square metres living space, 2 floors, with private swimming pool, 3 bedrooms, 6 bathrooms, 1 multi- purpose room, 1 living room, 1 dinning room,
1 fully fitted kitchen, maid’s room and a roof terrace. It is delicately designed with spacious cosy areas, surrounded by beautiful tropical garden where you can enjoy peaceful vacations with your family and friends, an intimate and classy dinner or a private pool party. Second, is the Type E house, 379 square metres living space with private swimming pool, 2 floors with 2 bedrooms, 4 bathrooms, 1 living room, 1 kitchen, 1
dinning room, a maid’s room and a wide balcony. Type E houses are spacious to provide privacy for a medium size family. Lastly, is the Type F house, with 495 square metres living space, 2 floors, with a private swimming pool and a roof terrace, 2 bedrooms, 4 bathrooms, 1 multi-purpose room, 1 living room, 1 dinning room, 1 kitchen and 1 maid’s room. Its C shaped design emphasises the real tropical exclusive paradise with an open and airy space, created to perfectly merge
the natural surrounding with the sea, giving you a feeling that you have your own tropical island paradise from every corner of your new home. Come and visit Baan Talay Pattaya on Sukhumvit Road, nearly opposite Nongnooch Tropical Botanical Gardens. Surely, you will be pleased to discover everything you need
in your dream house. Now, 8 houses available, ready to move in! 2 storey houses with private swimming pools, 2 bedrooms, 4 bathrooms, fully furnished with interiors and landscaped gardens. Price starts at 18.7 million baht. For more information and viewing appointments, call 038 238 660, 038 238 600 or 089 136 5427.
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Vol. 8 No. 21 16 - 31 July 2009 help us live longer. They were taken from two organisms separated by 1.5billion years of evolution. Boffins believe at least 15 are likely to have similar versions in humans. A team from the University of Washington in Seattle thinks affecting their activity could provide a way to slow down ageing and treat age-related conditions.
England will become the most crowded nation in Europe? ENGLAND looks certain to become the most crowded major nation in Europe as a result of a massive influx of migrants. We now lie in third place in the table, behind squashed Malta and packed Holland. But soaring immigration means England could soon rise up the table. The 2005 figures revealed show that there were 387 people per square kilometre in England, but this figure rose last year to 390, and the Office of National Statistics expects it to soar to 464 by 2031. Almost 70% of England’s population boom is a result of immigration. A large share of the rest comes from high birth rates among immigrants. Whitehall experts have previously admitted that Britain’s population could rise from 60m to more than 100m in just over 60 years. BRITISH cities are losing their identity because of the flood of migrants, the Government has admitted. Immigration Minister, Liam Byrne, was speaking at a House of Lords Inquiry into the impact the growing numbers are having. He said “The pace of change has been deeply unsettling. There are deep concerns about lack of integration in some cities”. Security for the Royal Train Security has been stepped up on the Royal train amid fears that it may be an Al Quaeda target. It has been fitted with technology used by British troops in Iraq to detect and jam explosives and will be guarded 365 days a year. Additional cameras and fences have been installed at the railway siding near Milton Keynes where the carriages are stored, A source said “The equipment fitted would disable any attempt to remotely trigger an explosive device.” It is thought the Queen and Prince Charles used the locomotive 15 times in 2008. A Buckingham Palace spokesman said. “The train has been running on 100 per cent bio fuel since last September, and as a result, Prince Charles is going to use it more this year.” British children grow up by age 11 BRITISH youngsters are growing up faster than ever with their childhood ending at the age of 11. More than half of the parents of children allow their offspring to dye their hair or wear make-up by the time they are aged 14. And mums and dads told the survey, carried out by Random House Children’s Books, children became ‘young adults’ at the age of 11. Author Jaqueline Wilson 62 said “Children act like adults at an alarmingly early age”. Hard lessons THE high cost of living is putting teenagers off going to university. One in five parents said their child thought twice about carrying on their education because of the expense. Mark Sismey-Durrant of Icesave, who did research, said. “Levels of student debt are higher than ever.” He said many parents were encouraging their children to fund university courses through loans, while putting cash aside for them for emergencies. Work until you’re 80! PEOPLE may have to go on working into their 80s as a combination of lack of savings, rising living costs and the demise of final salary pension schemes takes its toll. Pension’s provider Friends Provident says many people face poverty stricken retirement. If people want to enjoy old age they have to act quickly, otherwise they will have
to retire five, ten or even fifteen years later than today’s pensioners, if they can afford to retire at all, said Chris Bellers , Pensions Technical Manager at Friends. Over 10 million people in the private sector save nothing into a pension. Basic state pensions in Britain are among the worst in Europe The very rich just got richer by 4% THE VERY rich have got even richer under Labour, according to a think tank. The Institute for Fiscal Studies said the income of the wealthiest people in Britain, about one person in 1000, rose by four per cent in eight years. In the same period growth for those on middle incomes was two per cent. People who saw their wealth increase the most have incomes over £350,000 and are nine times more likely to be men than women. They are aged between 45 and 54, live in London and are likely to be bankers, lawyers and accountants. The news comes despite Gordon Brown’s redistributive drive funded by tax rises for the rich. More than one in seven people think they will become millionaires by 2018. About 15 per cent of people expect to make seven figures within a decade and one per cent said they had already hit their milestone, according to a poll of 1,484 people for mobile phone group Orange. However, 75 per cent said they would need more than £1 million to sustain a millionaire’s lifestyle. The new robot is in the news AN ARMY of robots which will work on their own like ants is being developed by scientists. The ‘swarm’ robots could be sent to explore the planet Mars, they could also be used for search and rescue missions in disaster zones. Each will form different shapes with others and become powerful machines. They are being developed as part of a £7 million European project involving 40 scientists. West of England University’s Prof. Alan Winfield said “This is right at the edge of state-of-art robot technology.” Computer a turn off OFFICE workers swear at their computer at least four times a day, making them the most stressful thing to deal with at work. Staff hate them even more than rude colleagues, deadlines or mounting workloads says Cartridge Monkey.com. Four pubs a day call last orders NEARLY four British pubs closed down EVERY DAY last year as punters shunned the local to booze at home. New figures reveal closures soared to a staggering 1,409 in 2008, up from 216 in 2007 and 102 in 2006. The British Beer and Pub Association said pubs in town and city centres had been worst affected by spiralling costs, sinking sales, fragile consumer confidence and the smoking ban. A vital part of the British economy and social life is under the most severe strain in decades, said Mr. Rob Hayward Chief of the BBPA Association. Stem cells’ big break SCIENTISTS are developing a way to mend bones and cartilage using a patient’s stem cells. They hope to start clinical trials within two years. Dr. Brendon Noble of Edinburgh University said, “We hope to be able to kick-start the body’s natural healing processes, enabling cells to grow and carry out repairs.” It could help treat conditions such as osteoarthritis and people with badly broken bones. SCIENTISTS have found 25 genes which they say can
Tb cure ‘is close’ BRITISH SCIENTISTS are ‘five to ten years away’, from a tuberculosis cure. In a key breakthrough, University of Leicester experts have isolated the molecules that allow the disease to thrive in blood cells. They say this means a drug to cure the illness can be developed. TB kills two million people every year. It has seen a resurgent in recent years in the West as well as the Third World. Dr. Mark Carr, who has led the ten year research costing £4 million, said “It’s a significant step.” London taxi drivers are the best LONDON taxi drivers have been voted the best in the world. A poll of 3,300 travellers found they provided the best value for money, local knowledge and manners. Bob Oddy, General Secretary of the London Taxi Drivers Association, said, “Our members are trained to the highest standards. Their skill, knowledge and expertise are second to none.” Shanghai has the worst taxis according to the Hotel. com survey. However, London has been voted the dirtiest and most expensive European city; it edged Paris for both titles in poll results. But it was best for nightlife and parks and second only to Paris for shops. Brussels was voted most boring town by the Trip Advisor poll. The cost of a wedding THE AVERAGE cost of a wedding has risen by 12% over the last three years to £19,400. Food and drink is the highest cost at £4,900, followed by the honeymoon at £3,200 and venue hire at £2,200. Couples also expert to spend £1,900 on rings and £1,200 on the wedding dress. The survey by website, confetti.co.uk also included the cost of the hen and stag nights, estimated at £630. GAY marriages have dropped by 50 per cent in a year. More than 16.000 couples formed a civil partnership in 2007 but in the first half of last year just 4,060 did so, official figures show. Drinking Champagne BRITS were the biggest champagne drinker’s, outside France last year, sinking 39 million bottles. We helped champagne producers in their small corner of north-east France to export a record 150m bottles to 190 countries, up 7.3% on 2008. But we have got a long way to go to catch the French, who downed 188m bottles themselves. The only Champagne market to shrink in 2008 was the USA. Sex before marriage? MORE than two-thirds of Brits say there is nothing wrong with sex before marriage. More than a quarter believe married couples make better parents and only 17% claim it is the man’s job to earn money, British Social Attitudes Survey chief Alison Park said, “Views are becoming more liberal, in 1984 half of people said sex before marriage was wrong.” Tourism revenue ‘will rise by half’ TOURISM revenue in Britain is tipped to soar by more than half over the next decade. It will go up from an estimated £200 billion this year to £330 billion in 2018. The World Travel and Tourism Council say. By then, Britain will be fifth highest, behind the US, China, Japan and Germany. A warning to motorists DRIVING for just 80 minutes without a break can make motorists a danger on the roads Scientists have found that drivers who do not take frequent rest stops have slower reaction times than those who break up long journey, At motorway speeds, the slower reactions of a tired driver could add about 25ft to their stopping distance, New Scientist magazine reported. The research supports campaigns urging drivers to take regular short breaks on long motorway journeys.
Vol. 8 No. 21 16 - 31 July 2009
PATTAYA STYLISH LIVING
A touch of economic realism needed
Cautious realism seems to have been discarded in favour of rampant optimism, with some Thai sources in danger of over confidently forecasting rapid recovery from the economic depression, worldwide. While Thailand, in tandem with other Asian nations, may pull ahead, beginning to pick up within the next six to seven months; quicker economically than most Western economies, especially the US, which is expected to take a year, at least, Thailand is still firmly tied to foreign tourism and the export market. Exports, which account for over 60% of Thailand’s total economic activity, had a dismal showing in May, displaying a record fall, dropping by 26.6% compared with 2008, to Bt409.5 billion. This trend is likely to continue in the short term, due to less demand and intensifying competition, according to the government. “It is less likely there will be a strong rebound in Thai exports in the near future as demand for imports of raw materials has not picked up yet,” maintained Suara Wilaipich of Standard Chartered Bank. Economic pundit’s opinions on the global scenario are mixed, however; whilst there is encouragement in the fact that the pace of decline of the world’s major economies is slowing, according to the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development, with China and India showing parallel signs of easing to the US and Europe, the US Federal Reserve Governor, Kevin Warsh, is still advising caution. He warns that one should not take recent gains across a range of asset prices as proof that the U.S. economy is on the brink of a strong recovery.” The panic’s hasty retreat should not be confused with robust recovery,” he said. A view shared
by Somchai Jitsuchon, Head of the Thailand Development Research Institute’s overall economic development and income distribution activities, who considers it will take the global economy at least two to three years to show improvement. As for the domestic economy, it is unlikely to return to normal until the end of next year, according to Kanit Saengsuphan, Director of the Fiscal Policy Research Institute, and this is largely dependent on how the government’s stimulus package helps the circulation of money in the economic system. The Thailand Development Research Institute (TDRI), however, is confident that the government’s planned injection of Bt1.43 trillion in its second economic stimulus programme will definitely help begin the domestic economy’s recovery later this year, rather than next. Tourism will receive a substantial proportion of the new stimulus package, about Bt71.5 million, as PM Abhisit Vejajjiva has designated tourism as a national priority. The Tourism Authority of Thailand’s (TAT) estimated 12 million tourist arrivals, this year, however, is seen to be wildly optimistic, especially considering the now rampaging Swine Flu epidemic, rising on average at 100 per day. In June, according to Tosaporn Thepbutr, Deputy -Chairman of the Committee on Tourism and Sports, the number of tourist arrivals dropped from 165,000 in the same period of 2008, to 27,000 in 2009; these diehards coming largely from the Middle East, India, Iran and Hong Kong. For its part, TAT is now re-evaluating its marketing strategy according to how individual countries are perceived to view Thailand. The world is now divided into four
categories: “Ready to Travel” - India, Russia, Indonesia, the Persian Gulf and Scandinavia, who are not sensitive to the Kingdom’s political situation and are solvent; “Potentially Returning Visitors” - most of Europe and the US, who show concern about the political situation and are becoming value-conscious; “Concerned Travellers” - China, Hong Kong, Singapore, Vietnam and Australia, who are very anxious about Thailand’s political situation and are currently affected by the economic slowdown. “Highly Sensitive Travellers” - Japan, Korea and Taiwan, who are extremely sensitive to Thailand’s political instability and suffering from extreme recession. Juttaporn Rerngronasa, Deputy Governor for Marketing Communication, said TAT would work on the less sensitive category markets, focusing on PR, media activities or targeting niche markets, like young people or golfers. “We look also to intensify online marketing for all markets around the world, especially to promote our good value for money through ‘Amazing Thailand, Amazing Value’
Campaign, she said. She continued “We are still perceived as a very welcoming country offering excellent value for money and with a population keen to welcome all visitors. Thailand continues to be on top of the world’s preferred destinations in
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numerous surveys”. Pattaya, where average hotel occupancy has declined sharply from 45-65% last June to only 20%, now, is playing its part, too; adopting a staunch ‘never say die’ approach. TAT and tourism-related operators in the city plan special
travel packages offering discounts of up to 70% and five tourism operators have launched the ‘Pattaya Hi5 Attraction Card’ to draw tourists to the Thai Alangkarn Theatre, Ripley’s Believe It or Not, Sri Racha Tiger Zoo, Tiffany’s and the Tuxedo Magic shows.
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Government Faces Criticism Over Its Handling Of Swine Flu Apart from trying to minimise the impact of the Swine flu epidemic, currently sweeping Thailand, with 100 new cases daily, the Government is coming in for fierce criticism over its general handling of the medical crisis. Research from Mexico has contradicted the contention that already chronically ill people are most at risk, saying perfectly healthy individuals have succumbed. It now appears the young are most at risk, followed by the elderly and pregnant women. Thais Really Taken By New Panda Cub. The six-week-old, female panda cub is drawing huge numbers of eager, curious visitors to its newly announced public debut. Keepers at Chiang Mai Zoo were taken by surprise by its actually being born, after they had almost given up hope, despite desperate efforts, including showing its parents a panda sex video. Thais are fascinated by the cub, so much so that half a million entered the competition to name it. Street Elephants to Be Returned To Jungle Street elephants, exploited by their often criminal owners who use them for begging, are to be given a new lease of life by being returned to the wild, instead of risking life and limb in Bangkok’s manic traffic. A foundation, with royal links, is prepared to pay Bt68,000, each, to return them to their native jungle habitats and maverick owners will face fines of Bt35,000 if they attempt to bring elephants into the capital. Adopt a Jumbo In a similar jumbo tale, it seems, private foundations aren’t the only ones who want to relocate elephants, this time to reserves in the countryside. Under an innovative scheme, backed by Bangkok Governor, Sukhumphan Boriphat, you can now adopt an elephant for a mere Bt500,000 and have it shipped off to the forest. Half of Bangkok’s elephant population of 200, have already been relocated. Once in their new homes, the elephants can be trained to search the forest for food. Karen Refugees Find Cold Comfort Across Border Desperate ethnic Karen refugees are streaming across the border at Mae Sot, over 4,000 in the last month, fleeing the intensifying conflict between Karen National Union fighters and the Burmese Army, as well as landmines a nd atrocities, to further burden the Thai authorities with the headache of accommodating them. Places are unavailable in Thai camps, however, and malaria-prone shanty-villages are springing up along the border, where refuge can’t be sought in temples or schools. Abhisit’s Ring Of Steel Abhisit is determined not to allow a repetition of the Pattaya fiasco and will decisively nip any potential protests in the bud at the forthcoming ASEAN triple in Phuket (the 42nd ASEAN Ministerial Meeting, Post Ministerial Conferences (PMC) and the 16th ASEAN Regional Forum), by establishing a five-kilometre wide cordon sanitaire around the island from July 10-24. The stringent security will be enforced under the Internal Security Act if the cabinet approves it.
Vol. 8 No. 21 16 - 31 July 2009
Thailand To Get 1st VIP Airport Terminal Airports of Thailand, overlords of Thailand’s 6 international airports, will allow the ASA Group to establish Thailand’s first world-class fixed base operation (FBO) at Phuket International Airport, providing much needed VIP facilities, including a business centre, tailored solutions for high-end, diplomatic and large aircraft operations, security, aircraft charter, concierge services, over-flight and landing clearances, customs and immigration and limousine transfers and hotel accommodation. The FBO aims to be operational by the end of the summer. Southern Insurgency’s Legacy of Sorrow The five-year Muslim insurgency in Thailand’s three southernmost provinces of Yala, Pattani, Narathiwas, and parts of Songkla Province, especially since the escalation in violence in the area in the last 30 months, has created a bitter harvest, a deep and lasting legacy of heartbreak and despondency, in the form of nearly 3,000 orphans and numerous widows. Pattani has 542 widows, Yala 502, Narathiwat 439 and Songkhla 69. Thailand And Cambodia Up The Ante Over Wat Preah Vihear While Thai Defense Minister Prawit Wongsuwan is keen to play down any talk of war over the build up of Thai trops near the disputed temple of Preah Vihear, Cambodian Foreign Minister Hor Namhong is adopting a tough stance, maintaining Cambodian troops are ready to cope with any belligerent situation. Both countries have recently increased their troop numbers in the area, with Thailand’s Second Army Area commander having rotated his troops in readiness for any contingency. Security Forces In South Wounded By Roadside Bomb An eleven-strong foot patrol of soldiers and government-trained defence volunteers patrolling near railway lines in Narathiwat Province were taken by surprise by an insurgents’ booby trap, recently, in the form of small homemade bomb. The bomb exploded at the roadside, blowing the left leg off one of the volunteers and wounding several others. In June, 36 people were killed, including 10 at a Narathiwat mosque, and over 100 injured in other incidents. Joint Venture To Mine Manganese Though relatively rich in natural resources, Thailand sometimes lacks the know-how or capital to fully exploit what it possesses and welcomes the input of foreigners. A case in point is manganese, a recent announcement proclaimed the setting up of a joint venture company, to be called IMC Thailand Manganese Co., by the Indochina Mining Corporation (IMC), and a Thai company, Enter Blessing Co. Ltd., to exploit the manganese deposits in Thailand. US Schools Superintendent Organised Sex Tours In Thailand And Mexico An American suspected paedophile, Albert Rogers, an ex-schools superintendent arrested for organising child sex tours to Mexico, confessed that he was involved in similar antics in Thailand. He purported to be a bona fide travel agent arranging legal adult night tours, visiting cabarets, etc., but was in fact organizing tours that procured children for sex with adults. 200 child-pornography videos were found on his home computer and sexual paraphernalia in his house. GM SE Asia - All Right Jack Although General Motors back home are in dire straits, General Motors’ SE Asia will apparently benefit from the new GM company, largely owned by the U.S. government, and possessing all the former GM’s good assets. GM Rayong, last year produced 104,461 vehicles, though falling demand mean this year only 45, 000
will be produced. It intends investing Bt15 billion in a diesel-engine and one-ton pickup project, producing 100,000 units annually. Nok Fever ‘Infects’ Thailand Everyone it seems is eager to leap on the ‘Nok’ (bird), Noppawan Lertcheewakarn bandwagon. World number one junior tennis ace, Nok, 17, from Chiang Mai, recently won the girls’ singles and doubles titles at Wimbledon and now the Tourism and Sports Ministry is likely to give her a diplomatic passport, as ‘Thai ambassador’ to sports, and government financial support. TV programmes are also clamouring to have her on in their shows. Red Shirts Want A Royal Pardon For Thaksin The Red Shirts would like to collect one million signatures within a month on a petition to His Majesty the King in a bid to gain a pardon for their idol, ex-premier Thaksin Shinawatra. However, one of the red-shirt leaders, Veera Musigapong, said they’d likely drop the plan if it didn’t reach its target. The man himself, meanwhile, escaped arrest in Kuala Lumpur, by the skin of his teeth, recently; escaping to Fiji. David Carradine Most Likely Asphyxiated Famed Kung Fu movie star David Carradine, who was found dead in his Bangkok hotel closet under mysterious circumstances on June 4, almost certainly died from asphyxiation the latest findings of Thai authorities aver; a verdict that was backed by pathologist, Dr. Michael Baden, though said he cannot yet determine whether Carradine’s death was accidental or a homicide. Baden said autoerotic asphyxiation remains a possible cause of death, though he reserves final judgement till all the facts are in. Asia Rather Than Africa The Birthplace Of Primates In a conference in Bangkok, Chris Beard, a paleontologist at the Carnegie Museum of Natural History in Pittsburgh and a member of the team that found the 38 millionyear-old fossilized primate-like jawbones and teeth in Myanmar said it was likely a common ancestor of humans, monkeys and apes, which had evolved in Asia, rather than Africa. A contention that is likely to upset conventional opinion about evolution (but at the end of the day, that’s all it is, an ‘opinion’). Tourism Down 14.7% On Last Year Tourism figures for the first 4 months of 2009, were down 14.7% on those from the same period last year. This was attributed to political instability and street demos, as well as the global economic downturn, as consumers became more circumspect about spending on leisure and business travel. No mention was made of the Red Shirt riots or the airport closures, however, which obviously had an adverse effect. From an earlier over-optimistic target for 2009, tourist expectations have now been revised to 13.3 million and 14 million for 2010. Thai-Vietnamese Ties Remain Strong Good news for Sattahip Naval Base, Vietnamese Prime Minister Nguyen Tan Dung has urged Thailand to bolster military co-operation for the mutual benefit of both countries. PM Nguyen endorsed continuing joint sea patrols, information exchanges, officer training and co-operation in crime prevention and control. He was also encouraged by the two countries’ inter-cooperation in the economic sphere, trade, investment, culture, education and training and security. He also looks forward to welcoming PM Abhisit to Vietnam, soon. Allegedly The Best Attraction In Thailand Fancy spending a day soaring through the rainforest canopy, leaping Tarzan-like from platforms to treehouses to sky bridges, sliding down zip-lines and cables? Apparently, this was the prerogative of scientists, before, but now anyone can try it. When you’ve finished the acrobatics, you can eat lunch and then go on a 1-hour river or waterfall trek. This eco-friendly pastime is available in Chiang Mai, Samui and soon apparently near here!
Vol. 8 No. 21 16 - 31 July 2009
B U S I N E S S M AT T E R S
Pattaya Today 27 PATTAYA TODAY PROPERTY 5/27
Get ready for inflation and higher interest rates The unprecedented expansion of the money supply could make the ‘70s look benign
by Simon Philbrook Rahm Emanuel was only giving voice to widespread political wisdom when he said that a crisis should never be “wasted.” Crises enable vastly accelerated political agendas and initiatives scarcely conceivable under calmer circumstances. So it goes now. Here we stand more than a year into a grave economic crisis with a projected US budget deficit of 13% of GDP. That’s more than twice the size of the next largest deficit since World War II. And this projected deficit is the culmination of a year when the federal government, at taxpayers’ expense, acquired enormous stakes in the banking, auto, mortgage, health-care and insurance industries. With the crisis, the ill-conceived government reactions, and the ensuing economic downturn, the unfunded liabilities of federal programs -- such as Social Security, civil-service and military pensions, the Pension Benefit Guarantee Corporation, Medicare and Medicaid -- are over the $100 trillion mark. With U.S. GDP and federal tax receipts at about $14 trillion and $2.4 trillion respectively, such a debt all but guarantees higher interest rates, massive tax increases, and partial default on government promises. But as bad as the fiscal picture is, panic-driven monetary policies portend to have even more dire consequences. We can expect rapidly rising prices and much, much
higher interest rates over the next four or five years, and a concomitant deleterious impact on output and employment not unlike the late 1970s. About eight months ago, starting in early September 2008, the Bernanke Fed did an abrupt about-face and radically increased the monetary base -- which is comprised of currency in circulation, member bank reserves held at the Fed, and vault cash -- by a little less than $1 trillion. The Fed controls the monetary base 100% and does so by purchasing and selling assets in the open market. By such a radical move, the Fed signaled a 180-degree shift in its focus from an anti-inflation position to an anti-deflation position.
bank reserves have increased almost 20-fold. Now the cu rencyin-circulation component of the monetary base is a smidgen less than 50% of the monetary base. Yikes! Bank reserves are crucially important because they are the foundation upon which banks are able to expand their liabilities and thereby increase the quantity of money. Banks are required to hold a certain fraction of their liabilities -demand deposits and other checkable deposits -- in reserves held at the Fed or in vault cash. Prior to the huge increase in bank reserves, banks had been constrained from expanding loans by their rserve positions. They weren’t able to inject
The percentage increase in the monetary base is the largest increase in the past 50 years by a factor of 10 (see chart). It is so far outside the realm of our prior experiential base that historical comparisons are rendered difficult if not meaningless. The currency in-circulation component of the monetary base -- which prior to the expansion had comprised 95% of the monetary base -- has risen by a little less than 10%, while
liquidity into the economy, which had been so desperately needed in response to the liquidity crisis that began in 2007 and continued into 2008. But since last September, all of that has changed. Banks now have huge amounts of excess reserves, enabling them to make lots of net new loans. The way a bank or the banking system makes new loans is conceptually pretty simple. Banks
A lot bigger than Wyoming
by Mr Pobaan
My lovely wife, Mrs Pobaan and I have recently returned from a five-day trip to Mae Hong Son. For those of you that consider driving to Rayong a perilous adventure, I can tell you that Mae Hong Son, tucked away as it is right up there in a corner of northern Thailand, is a hell of a lot further from Soi Khao Talo than Rayong. It is all Mrs Pobaan’s idea. ‘Let’s go away for a few days,’ she suggests innocently. ‘Good idea. Where?’ I provide a few maps and the Rough Guide to Thailand and recommend some extensive research into possible holiday destinations over the next few days. Ten minutes elapse. ‘Mae Hong Son. It’s in northern Thailand.’ ‘OK. How far is it?’ We have a map book that has one of those
tables that tell you the distances between places, but Mae Hong Son isn’t one of the places. Mrs Pobaan looks puzzled, tips it on its side and then puts it down. ‘Only about this far,’ she says, holding up her thumb and forefinger about four centimetres apart. ‘Shouldn’t take more than a few minutes, then,’ I respond sarcastically. It’s not an attractive form of humour, but one has to find laughs where one can. Two days of solid driving later, after an overnight stop in Kamphaeng Phet (the birthplace of my beloved: a moment’s reverent silence, please), and having driven over a couple of mountain ranges, occasionally without the benefit of road, we roll into Mae Hong Son. It is the rainy season, not the tourist season. Plus there’s a global recession on. At the
biggest hotel we can find we discover only two other rooms are occupied. They’re a bit reluctant to make us breakfast, since there are so few takers, but they manage to find some fruit, coffee and the sort of toast that’s so lightly toasted that it’s little more than hot bread. Next day we tour the area, visiting villages established by a whole variety of peoples – Karen, Hmong, Lisu and Kuomintang, the latter being a bunch of refugees from the Chinese revolution who now grow tea on the coolish slopes thereabouts. The views are fantastic. The villages are medieval. Everyone we meet is openly friendly and welcoming. They speak English, presumably hoping that things will pick up soon, touristwise. I have many fond memories of the journey, but one of the great stars of the trip for me is the
find an entity that they believe to be credit-worthy that also wants a loan, and in exchange for the new company’s IOU (i.e., loan) the bank opens up a checking account for the customer. For the bank’s sake, the hope is that the interest paid by the borrower more than makes up for the cost and risk of the loan. The recently ball hooed “stress tests” on banks are nothing more than checking how well a bank can weather differing levels of default risk. What’s important for the overall economy, however, is how fast these loans are made and how rapidly the quantity of money increases. For our purposes, money is the sum total of all currency in circulation, bank demand deposits, other checkable deposits, and travellers cheques (economists call this M1). When reserve constraints on banks are removed, it does take the banks time to make new loans. But given sufficient time, they will make enough new loans until they are once again reserve constrained. The expansion of money, given an increase in the monetary base, is inevitable, and will ultimately result in higher inflation and interest rates. In shorter time frames, the expansion of money can also result in higher stock prices, a weaker currency, and increases in commodity prices such as oil and gold. At present, banks are doing just what we would expect them to do. They are making new loans and increasing overall bank liabilities (i.e., money). The 12-month growth rate of M1 is now in the 15% range, and close to its highest level in the past half century. With an increased trust in the overall banking system, the panic demand for money has begun to
and should continue to recede. The dramatic drop in output and employment in the U.S. economy will also reduce the demand for money. Reduced demand for money combined with rapid growth in money is a surefire recipe for inflation and higher interest rates. The higher interest rates themselves will also further reduce the demand for money, thereby exacerbating inflationary pressures. It’s a catch-22. It’s difficult to estimate the magnitude of the inflationary and interest-rate consequences of the Fed’s actions because, frankly, we haven’t ever seen anything like this in the U.S. To date what’s happened is potentially far more inflationary than were the monetary policies of the 1970s, when the prime interest rate peaked at 21.5% and inflation peaked in the low double digits. Gold prices went from $35 per ounce to $850 per ounce, and the dollar collapsed on the foreign exchanges. It wasn’t a pretty picture. Now the Fed can, and I believe should, do what it must to mitigate the inevitable consequences of its unwarranted increase in the monetary base. It should contract the monetary base back to where it otherwise would have been, plus a slight increase geared toward economic expansion. Absent this major contraction in the monetary base, the Fed should increase reserve requirements on member banks to absorb the excess reserves. Given that banks are now paid interest on their reserves and short-term rates are very low, raising reserve requirements should not exact too much of a penalty on the banking system, and the long-term gains of the lessened inflation would many times over warrant whatever short-term costs there might be.
Alas, I doubt very much that the Fed will do what is necessary to guard against future inflation and higher interest rates. If the Fed were to reduce the monetary base by $1 trillion, it would need to sell a net $1 trillion in bonds. This would put the Fed in direct competition with Treasury’s planned issuance of about $2 trillion worth of bonds over the coming 12 months. Failed auctions would become the norm and bond prices would tumble, reflecting a massive oversupply of government bonds. In addition, a rapid contraction of the monetary base as I propose would cause a contraction in bank lending, or at best limited expansion. This is exactly what happened in 2000 and 2001 when the Fed contracted the monetary base the last time. The economy quickly dipped into recession. While the short-term pain of a deepened recession is quite sharp, the longterm consequences of double-digit inflation are devastating. For Fed Chairman Ben Bernanke it’s a Hobson’s choice. For me the issue is how to protect assets for my nieces and nephews. For those wanting more information on this or other financial topics then please contact Simon on firstname.lastname@example.org The above data and research was compiled from sources believed to be reliable, however, neither Hamptons International Mortgages (Thailand) Ltd nor its officers can accept any liability for an errors or omissions in the above article nor bear responsibility for any losses achieved as a result of any actions taken or not taken as a consequence of reading the above article.
jungle. You have to go through a hell of a lot of forest between here and the north – every inch of the steep mountains is covered with teak, palm, fern, bamboo and banana and, higher up and further north, pine trees. In the folds of the mountains you can experience nature at her most bountiful. It’s like being in Jurassic Park. As the kilometres tick by in their thousands, you are also reminded of the vastness of Thailand. At least that is the thought that I have in my head today as I browse the World Fact Book on the internet. For those unfamiliar with this extraordinary source of information, the World Fact Book is brought to us by those frightfully nice spooks at the CIA. As they say in their introduction, intelligence is made from information, without which a superpower might as well give up and go home. They also helpfully explain that, in the Second World War, following that unfortunate business at Pearl Harbour, the Americans found themselves waging war in some pretty pokey little Pacific islands on which they hadn’t done their
geography homework and about which they consequently knew diddly-squat. The brave marines went ashore, not knowing behind which coconut tree the enemy might be lurking nor from behind which rock a mortar might be lobbed. Memo for being superpower in the future: must swot up on all countries in case we have to invade them. Hence the World Fact Book, which contains every bit of information about every country you can think of that you’d need if you wanted to invade it with the minimum of bodybags. Plus countries you’ve never heard of but, cunningly, the CIA has. And being modern, progressive spooks, those nice chaps at Langley, Virginia have been sharing their information publicly (though, you notice, not their intelligence) since 1975, most recently on the internet. Anyway, with my bum still sore from all that driving to get us home from Mae Hong Son before I got old, I am still musing about how big Thailand is. How can I bring its size to life? What can I compare our country with that will help me understand just how big it is? I turn to the World Fact Book for assistance, and I am not disappointed. Thailand, according to the WFB, is ‘slightly more than twice the size of Wyoming’. Oh, wow! That is big! Not only is Thailand double the size of
Wyoming, it’s actually a little bit bigger even than that, but only a little. Sorry, I’m being sarcastic again. I don’t know about you, but although this might mean something to Yogi Bear and the other half-million or so Wyomingites, comparing our luscious, jungled nation with a whole lot of prairie peopled by an occasional cowboy riding past a big cactus doesn’t really help anyone else. I should have thought it would be much more instructive for visitors to Wyoming (state reptile: the horned toad) to discover that the state is ‘slightly less than half the size of Thailand.’ I recommend to the state governor that such an informative comparison be included in all Wyoming tourist literature henceforth. Kuhn Pobaan’s by-the-way After suffering continued abuse from my beautiful teerak about the amount of space in the fridge dedicated to beer and whisky, I selfsacrificingly venture out to buy another fridge exclusively for the purpose of keeping drinks cold. Today, I open the door of this cool bar and find myself face-to-face with a pig. My wife is performing a religious ceremony that requires a pig’s head as a prop. Email your marital disgruntlements to email@example.com.
28 Pattaya Today PATTAYA TODAY PROPERTY 6/28
Vol. 8 No. 21 16 - 31 July 2009
Are you in business and enjoy a beer?
Well you will be pleased to know the two do mix... by Dan Cheeseman
It must be tiresome to have the same conversation every week in respect of a flagging local economy resulting in slow business. You will get the ever optomistic pointing out that the sterling is strengthening against the baht ‘which surely marks the start of a growth in tourism’, to the stark pessimist suggesting Pattaya is doomed. Well rest
assured this article will stop here in respects of a fast becoming tired subject. There is always a cycle for business and the economy, it just so happens we are at a particulary low point at present. The point is if you are in business in Pattaya you need to be finding ways of doing business - what ever the state of the economy - and that is only achieved by connecting with your customers. Fact. Don’t
look for excuse or over complicate the issue any further than that. At this point I would like to introduce the Lighthouse Club, a local charity and networking forum held each month, it would also be appropriate to give relevance to the headline of ‘Business and Beer’ because that is where the club finds its point of difference to other advertising channels. Do not mistake the club for a stuffy and artifical group, there is often a stigma attached to the word networking: For a low entry fee (cheaper still if a member at 200 baht) you get free beer, wine and buffet whilst stocks last and a chance to meet key business within real estate and construction. Held on the fourth friday of each month with forthcoming events
confirmed via Mark Thompson on 084 778 3304.
Get your business in front of an influential group in Pattaya! Business such as the Nova group, Town & Country, Northen Thai and Paradise City Property have all seen a real benefit in sponsoring an event. At 15,000 baht you get exceptional value, just look at other advertising vehicles for comparison. For this you get a chance to connect with all these members as sole sponsor; maybe you are a developer or sell something connected with property (such as furniture) - because these are the group you should be influencing and building relations with. You also get media coverage across
the board to get your business into the wider community. Contact Mark for details of available dates to sponsor. As a charity the club donates to Sanuk whom help local orphans: 41,000 baht was raised at the last event which is ever needed for these unfortunate kids. If you have any items you would like to donate to our raffle then please contact Mark - we have had nights donated by hotels, maybe you could offer a set amount of
drinks if you are a bar, endless opportunity for things to donate, so put your thinking cap on and offer something to our next raffle! When you arrive in Thailand you are asked your reason for entrance: Business or Pleasure, well in the Lighthouse Clubs case the answer is both - and both come in abundance. Do come and enjoy a beer at the next event, it could be the best thing to happen to YOUR business in months!
Pattaya Today7/29 29 PATTAYA TODAY PROPERTY
Vol. 8 No. 21 16 - 31 July 2009
Looking for a solution to problems in or around your house? Email questions to: firstname.lastname@example.org Quick Tip Cut your utility bill by adjusting your air conditioner. Setting ACs to the highest comfortable temperature can reduce your energy use 2 to 3 percent for each degree higher. Silicone Poser Andy, can you please tell me what solvent I can use to remove clear silicone off a glass window? I have scraped off as much as I can, and I have tried soap and water, fingernail polish remover and rubbing alcohol. No luck. Love your advice. Keep on writing. Kevin There is no commercial product on the local market that will do the trick, Kevin. Some chemical companies have developed highly-toxic solvents for industrial use, but their availability is limited and they must be used by qualified professionals only. Two US manufacturers offer gels designed to break down silicone for easy removal. One is McKanica (www.mckanica.com), which makes Silicone Caulk Removal Gel; the other
is DAP Products (www. dap.com), manufacturer of Silicone-Be-Gone. I have queried both companies on your behalf but have yet to receive a reply. In the meantime, your best bet may be to continue scraping. Make certain that you use a new, single-edge razor and be prepared to use lots of elbow grease. If it’s silicone caulk that you have been attempting to remove, try using a hairdryer or some other heat-producing device. Heat causes the silicone to become brittle and weaken. Alternately apply heat and gradually cut away the silicone using a razor. Once there is minimal residue left, dampen a corner of a clean rag with mineral spirits and rub directly on the remaining silicone to help remove any residue. Finish with a light overall cleaning of the glass: first sponge with a lightly sudsy solution of mild, liquid dish detergent and water, and then wipe the area with crumpled newspaper dampened with rubbing alcohol. This will help give the glass a great shine, as well as remove the mineral spirits.
Sound of Music Our once-quiet condo has been blessed with a new neighbor: a very loud bar. The music wails into the wee hours (isn’t there a mandatory curfew on bar operations in Pattaya?) and we can’t get to sleep before 3 or 4 a.m. My complaints to the bar owner and the police have fallen on deaf ears. My only option is to soundproof my condo, or at least our bedroom. Any tips for how to do that inexpensively or easily? Adele It is difficult to actually ‘sound proof’ (as in stop all sound), Adele, but you can reduce the amount of sound. Any sound absorbing material installed in your condo will helpover windows, on the floor, on the walls, etc. Think drapes, carpeting, textured wallpaper. Also consider weather stripping the doors and windows to air seal them to limit how much sound enters. As to your bedroom, add something like acoustical tile material (as used in drop ceilings) on the bedroom door. It doesn’t have to be glued in place;
in fact, loose is better. You could hang it from straps that go up, over, and all the way around each door. Absorbent material on both sides would increase to attenuation of sound energy. Sun Strokes I want to do some exterior painting around my house, Andy, and daytime is preferable for my schedule. But you have often recommended against painting in direct sunlight. Can you tell me why? Just Al Go ahead and paint during the day, Al, but again not in direct sunlight. Wait until late afternoon, early evening or a day when the sky is overcast (but not threatening rain). The reason is because paint needs to be liquid for a period of time for proper penetration and adhesion after application. Intense heat from the sun can cause the outer layer of the paint film to dry prematurely, which can cause blisters to form. Screw Loose The screws in my front door are loose and sometimes even fall out. I’ve replaced them, but I guess the weight of the door or constant use causes them to loosen again. Is there anything I can do? Stan This
happens with door hinges and latches, Stan. To resolve it, try using longer screws that will reach sound wood. If the problem is at a latch/ strike plate on the door jam, use 5 cm – 7 cm (2”-3”) screws to anchor it to the studs behind the jamb. If a longer screw won’t do it, and the situation permits, try using a screw that’s a little larger in diameter. The most common fix for simply replacing a stripped screw is to put white glue in the hole and then fill it with toothpicks. Stick a toothpick in the hole, then push the tip to one side to break it off in the hole. Keep adding pieces until the hole is full. Then tap a toothpick’s pointed end into the middle to wedge the pieces tightly. Wipe off any excess glue. When the glue is dry, trim off the protruding ends of the toothpicks with a razor. Drill a pilot hole in the toothpicks and insert the screw. As an alternative to toothpicks, use a wooden golf tee. Note: Don’t overtighten long screws that go into the framing behind the jamb or you might impair the alignment of the door frame. Wood Eye? We are renovating the entire lobby area of our condotel block and are in danger of exceeding our budget. We have two sound grey-metal desks used by security personnel which we
planned to replace. However in India I have seen metal furniture given a new lease of life by having a wood-effect varnish applied (if this varnish is light to medium, to my eyes, it looks cheap and nasty; a very dark varnish does not). Do you know if there is a varnish available in Thailand which can be applied to metal and then given the appearance of wood? I have looked in a large DIY shop in Pattaya Tai, but they had a very poor selection which all seemed for wood only. Many thanks for all your help over the years. Trevor Sorry to say, Trevor, I know of no quick and easy way to transform metal into wood. It can be done, but it takes time and skill. Basically a ground coat, then several glaze coats, and a protective coat at the end. Making metal look like wood--realistically, no less--is an art. If you are willing to put in the time, there are several books that can help teach you how. Here’s a link that might help: Amazon.com: Parry’s Graining & Marbling: B. Rhodes: Books. Then visit paint supply stores or major home stores in search of faux finish products and tools. Such products do exist, but I admit I have not looked for them in Pattaya.
So you want to build a house (Part 3 of 3)
See Pattaya Today’s June 16th issue for Part 1 which covers location, finding a builder, financing, construction loans and closing costs and the July 1st issue which covers contracts, planning, designing and allowances.
10. Physical things surrounding a property can have a huge impact on your life. Don’t just shop for a location on sunny days. Get out during downpours and see whether the area is flooded and if neighboring property drains onto the land where you want to build. How heavy is the traffic, both on neighborhood streets plus the route that accesses major roads? 11. Decide on the orientation of your house so you don’t end up with a picture window providing a view of something unsightly or facing west so the hot afternoon sun heats up your house. Weigh the benefits of a view with whether the orientation to get that view will create more problem than it is worth. Consider shading for balconies and
the patio so they are usable. 12. Does the builder include landscaping? You won’t want to move into a home in the center of a dirt pile. If you need the builder to include landscaping so the cost is in the mortgage it will be more expensive than paying a landscaper out of pocket. If you can afford paying for the landscaping direct, leave it out of the contract. Another option: have the builder include an allowance for landscaping so the money is available, and then you arrange the landscaping yourself. Ascertain cost of landscaping BEFORE you sign the contract to build. Landscaping can be very expensive if you want more than grass and a few bushes. At a minimum the builder should include a final rough grade where the ground is ready for a landscaper. Be sure to ask the landscaper to select plants, bushes, trees, etc. that are not only beautiful but require minimal maintenance. 13. When you build in a in a village or planned
sub-division, you absolutely MUST ask for a copy of any covenants and homeowner’s association requirements and dues or reoccurring common costs. Covenants are legal requirements on the title and can specify just about anything from a home’s minimum square feet to what type of mailbox or what color or material the roof is. Homeowners associations can have all kinds of rules and reoccurring dues or maintenance costs. Check it out. 14. Does the contractor include termite treatment by a reputable pest control company who provides you with a certificate or does he do it himself, or not at all? There are termites in Thailand. Even though your home’s superstructure may be concrete there will still be termite food in your house including woodwork, your furniture and books. 15. Although they may be very helpful to you, most real estate companies work for the builder. Some
builders have their own real estate company while others are represented by an independent real estate company, but it is not necessary to negotiate through a real estate company if a builder will work directly with you. Although the construction contract should be in layman’s language without a lot of fine print, it is still good business to have a real estate lawyer look at it. Builders may have a real estate lawyer to help with contracts however it is advisable that you obtain your own lawyer to look out for your interests when signing ANY contract. 16. Unless you have deep pockets it is advisable not to sign a cost-plus contract. A cost-plus contract is a contract where the builder gives you an “estimate” of what the house will cost, then as the house is being built he presents bills to you and you pay him the cost plus a percentage on top of each bill. Rich people may prefer a cost-plus contract so they have total flexibility
in making changes and picking out decorative items without having to make change orders, but this is VERY dangerous for most people’s wallet. Cost-plus is open-ended and can get out of hand resulting in the house exceeding the estimate by thousands of dollars. Get a firm price contract, but keep in mind that you can still go over that price if you make changes, additions or exceed your allowances. 17. As beautiful as they are, unless you can afford a cabana boy think twice before including a swimming pool. They require constant maintenance which translates to time and money. Of course, if you are an avid swimmer, love to lounge around your home all day or host lots of parties, a pool may enhance your lifestyle greatly. When building every decision is an opportunity to create a home that makes your life more enjoyable and hassle free. 18. Once construction starts, don’t pester the builder by nitpicking or being over demanding.
When you select a builder you should have already done your homework and feel confident the home will be built with quality and integrity. If not, you shouldn’t be contracting with that builder. 19. Want to handle the construction yourself? When sub-contractors work for an individual who wants to build their own home they generally added on an extra 10% or more over their usual price because they know they will have to put up with a lot of questions and nitpicking. All things considered, most people eliminate a lot of work and worry and are money ahead when they hire a professional builder. 20. In conclusion, take your time making the land selection, builder selection and in the planning and design stages BEFORE the building process. It will save you considerable money and headaches during construction and the end result will be a home you are proud of and will enjoy living in.
30 Pattaya Today PATTAYA TODAY PROPERTY 8/30
Vol. 8 No. 21 16 - 31 July 2009
Pattaya Today Property Section for 16th July 2009