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Asean Affairs    21  October  2011

It’s a beautiful day in Bangkok

 By David Swartzentruber

 AseanAffairs     21  October 2011

It’s a beautiful autumn-like day in Bangkok.

Thanks to a high pressure system in China, there’s a decided drop in humidity and the sky is a beautiful blue shade without the rain clouds that have been so prevalent recently.

It’s a picturesque scene along Khlong Phra Kanong (Phrakanong Canal) as it winds its way between two Buddhist temples. Kids are swimming in the khlong and fishermen are casting their lines in the canal’s deep and clear water using bread as bait I observe.

As I stroll toward my residence, the staffs of the restaurants are preparing this evening’s vegetables.

Will all of this change overnight?

That’s the big question that lurks as a huge amount of flood water makes its way toward the Gulf of Thailand.

On this beautiful day, that fact creates a certain amount of tension but after a rocky start, the Stock Exchange of Thailand rose 7.24 points at closing. This is a good vote of confidence considering the impending deluge on Bangkok’s doorstep.

In 24 hours whatever is going to happen and the world and particularly, Bangkok, will change, hopefully for the better.

The “better” meaning greater emphasis on environmental issues, particularly how to manage Thailand’s yearly monsoon season.

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This year in Thailand-what next?

AseanAffairs   04 January 2011
By David Swartzentruber      

It is commonplace in journalism to write two types of articles at the transition point between the year that has passed and the New Year. As this writer qualifies as an “old hand” in observing Thailand with a track record dating back 14 years, it is time take a shot at what may unfold in Thailand in 2011.

The first issue that can’t be answered is the health of Thailand’s beloved King Bhumibol, who is now 83 years old. He is the world's longest reigning monarch, but elaborate birthday celebrations in December failed to mask concern over his health. More


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