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NEWS UPDATES Asean Affairs     27 December 2011

Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg in Vietnam
Founder and CEO of social networking website Facebook Mark Zuckerberg and his girlfriend have spent Monday trekking through forests and visiting ethnic villages in Sa Pa, local media reported.
The couple and their seven-person entourage - including bodyguards - arrived at the northern mountain town of Sa Pa in Lao Cai Province yesterday afternoon in two helicopters and are reportedly staying in a resort outside of the town.

To celebrate Christmas eve, Zuckerberg and Priscilla Chan hired a luxury cruise ship on Ha Long Bay, an area twice recognised by UNESCO for its stunning natural beauty and on Sunday visited a number of sites on the bay including Sung Sot Cave.
Director of Quang Ninh Province's Department of Culture, Sports and Tourism Ha Quang Long wished the couple a merry Christmas and presented them with flowers on behalf of the province.
"We are so proud to welcome Facebook's CEO on our cruise," said Nguyen Thanh Hung, director of the Ha Long Phoenix Cruiser.

"He is so friendly and simple and expressed his good impressions of the bay after spending one night here," said Hung after welcoming Zuckerberg the cruise.

"He told me Ha Long Bay was beautiful and the local people were friendly and said that he would come back to visit the bay if possible," said Hung.

Zuckerberg and his group arrived in Ha Noi last Thursday and stayed in the Sofitel Legend Metropole Ha Noi. They toured the capital on Friday and left for Ha Long Bay on Saturday and are expected to leave Sa Pa tomorrow.
The 27-year-old became the second-youngest billionaire and was named Person of the Year by the Time magazine for his achievements founding the social networking website Facebook in 2004 which has reached 800 million active users.

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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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