Thailand’s Kra Canal and the Belt and Road Initiative

Have you heard about Thailand’s Kra Canal and the Belt and Road Initiative? After demurring for years, Thai Prime Minister General Prayut Chan-ocha last week ordered national planning and security agencies to look into building a possible canal across the narrow Isthmus of Kra in the kingdom’s southern region. Indeed, the order came a month after China’s ambassador to Thailand confirmed the canal as part of his country’s Belt and Road Initiative (BRI), Beijing’s US$1 trillion… [Read More]

ASEAN in Thailand

ASEAN in Thailand is, finally, a big success! Fifty years after its founding, ASEAN is finally catching in The Land of Smiles. Asean has grown steadily since Indonesia, Malaysia, Philippines, Singapore and Thailand founded it in 1967. Brunei, Vietnam, Laos, Myanmar and Cambodia now round out the ten member states. Today, nearly 80 per cent of Southeast Asians have a positive view of Asian: Combined gross domestic product is US$2.6 trillion–the world’s seventh-largest economy–but growing so… [Read More]

Singapore-Chiang Mai-Kunming Rail Line

All Aboard the Singapore-Chiang Mai-Kunming Rail Line The Thai government has approved a $23 billion infrastructure project including two lines that could revolutionize the region’s freight service, linking ports around Bangkok and in Singapore with Kunming and onward to Berlin. The pan-Asian rail network has been on the drawing board for decades. Some routes were mapped when British and French colonialists wanted to counter Russia’s Trans-Siberian railway. Now China is driving the project. Singapore and Bangkok… [Read More]

Thai Dowries

In Defense of Thai Dowries BY A THAI LADY LIVING IN A TRADITIONAL THAI VILLAGE – Thai dowries are often criticized so here are a few words in their defense: I’ve often sympathized with foreign men when the word “dowry” is brought up. In the modern-day Thai culture, a dowry is still common practice in wedding ceremonies. Thai dowries typically consist of jewelry for the bride to wear on her wedding day and cash for the bride’s… [Read More]

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