- The overview start with the 5000 fake Adidas and Nike products that were seized in Hanoi.
- Vietnam slipped three places on the Global Peace Index to 64th while remaining 12th in the Asian-Pacific region. Still higher than Cambodia, Thailand, China, Philippines and Myanmar. The ranking is based on indicators in three categories. Safety and security in society, domestic and international conflict and militarization degree.
- Overview of plane news is that a Vietjet plane skidded of the runway in Saigon. The foreign pilots and cabin crews licenses are suspended. 27 Pakistani pilots are grounded over fake licenses concerns.
- A female passenger on board Vietnam airlines dies after falling from the stairs walking out of the plane.
- In the first five months of the year there were 5500 traffic accidents that killed 2667 people and injured nearly 4000.
- The famous Benh Thanh market in Saigon has vendors struggling to survive. Only 50% of the over 1400 stalls are open. With rents of between $430 – $860 it’s hard to survive. To buy a stall cost between $30.000 – $65.000.
- Each year about 1600 people die of drug overdose and there are some 235000 drug users. Although in this country smoking a joint/weed makes you one of their numbers in statistics.
- Vietnam has the cheapest mobile data prices. 1 GB cost $0.57. The cheapest price for 30 days in Vietnam is only $0.04 for 1 GB.
- Vietnamese tourists prefer selfies over environment. What can be better than thousands of likes on your IG. Now coral reefs are damaged by them in Quang Ngai.
- 5 Chinese were caught for entering the country illegally to gamble.
- Overview of this nation starts with tourism and aviation, which is gravely threatened by the new entry requirements of insurance and $3000 deposit.
- Construction of Norea Island has started. A satellite city of Phnom Penh.
- Cambodia has lifted border restrictions with Vietnam but that doesn’t mean you can easily pass or go on a visa run. The borders with Thailand remain closed for now.
- Angkor park has changed its entry prices once again because of a lack of tourists. Now you can buy a $100 ticket with a month long validity or a $150 ticket (3 months) or $200 (6 months). A meaningless change as the foreigners stuck in Cambodia probably already visited the park before and the few new tourists hardly have money left after paying a $3000 deposit. They get this deposit back after about five days when tested negative but it’s ridiculous that a $30 service fee is charged.
- Surprisingly or not but the govt collected $9 million on deposits of $3000 per person. You won’t get the $30 service fee returned and neither the $200-$300 for covid tests.
- The current state of Pubstreet in Siem Reap is much of a sorry state. Empty of foreign tourists left many souvenir shops, money changers, restaurants to close their doors for good. Tuktuk drivers have no customers and suffer too. 18 hotels and 96 guesthouses have closed permanently while 172 hotels and 99 guesthouses closed temporarily. The town is dead according to reports.
- Overview of Thailand starts with a Bangkok mum making good business with the sales of face shields that feature characters from cartoons and games.
- The world’s first skypark is opened for public. The Chao Phraya skypark runs over the river with the same name. The park has a width of 8.5 meter and length of 280 meter and has cost 123 million baht. The original structure was meant to be a skytrain project that went bankrupt in 1992. Plants, ramps, elevators, viewpoints, rest areas and paths are made on it.
- In Thailand the long distance buses are on the road again but foreigners are banned from it. No matter if they live already 20+ years in Thailand and pay taxes. Where the world is on fire about discrimination Thailand couldn’t care less. The result of a survey under citizens was clear too: 75% answered with keep foreign tourists out.
- Some Thais trust spirits more than social distancing. The spirits or priests wear no face masks and are well off from donations.
- Thailand counts on domestic tourism now. BKK drew last year 40.8 mil domestic people. Nakon Ratchasima 9.8 mil. Kanchanaburi 9.1 mil. Chonburi (Pattaya) 8.6 mil. Phetchaburi (Hua Hin) 8.5 mil. Chang Mai 7.4 mil. Rayong 7.2 mil. and Ayutthaya 6.2 mil.
- Human Rights records keep being an issue in Thailand. Protests are prohibited. People in peaceful gatherings with concerns about Human Rights violations are being arrested threatened and intimidated. A critic of the govt who was in exile in Cambodia has disappeared.
- A young woman who likes to stage fake suicide attempts collects a lot of money from sympathetic people. The police is now on the lookout for her.
- The tourist numbers for this year will be at most 8 million compared to nearly 40 mil. last year.
- Monday July 27 is set as new date for the postponed Songkran (Thai Newyear). The 28th is the King’s birthday and a holiday too. Gives people 4 days for domestic tourism.
- Monkey business is what western retailers say. They banned Thai coconut products after reports of animal rights groups. The monkeys were allegedly caught in the wild and trained under bad conditions to pick a 1000 coconuts a day. Something the government denies. More here https://www.bangkokpost.com/thailand/general/1946820/jurin-denies-industrial-monkey-use
- Thailand goes after the narco million hidden in gold, steel and crypto. An irregular flow in banks of $5.4 billion has been found.
- An Australian man was found dead in Pattaya. As with 90% of foreign deaths this one too was an alleged suicide.
- An ATM in Ranong was spitting out ten times the amount requested to withdraw and not down from accounts. The news spread like wildfire and a flood of people turned out. The CCTV made show some wore masks and hats. Siam bank went after all who took out money and threatens with police. Many people were scared enough and brought the money back.
- The first 50.000 foreigners have entered Thailand. Those people got their visas from embassies and are skilled workers, teachers, students, people with Thai families and medical tourists. All agreed on a 14 days quarantine.
Thai Reporting / tracking
- The TM30 reporting rile is eased. This rule made it mandatory for foreigners to register your address within 24 hours of entering the country at an immigration office. This together with the property owner. The new rule states that no reporting is needed with a re-entry visa, multiple entry visa or temporary leave. Meaning only the first time still within 24 hours to register or face a fine of up to 10.000 baht for tennants.
- At the same time a task force is formed to track tourists. Tracking will be done through a new app and Thai Chana app. There will be highway checkpoints to inspect tourists, measure their temperature and noting of destinations.
- Stranded foreigners have set up a facebook page called Farangs Stranded Abroad Due to Lockdown in Thailand where info about covis and more is shared.
- Nightlife has restarted finally. While people are allowed to be in the overcrowded skytrain with 200 others, in bars they can be max with 5 and need social distancing. All premises are required to use Thai Chana platform. A tracking app created to alert people to any covid outbreak. Now girls dance in bikinis but with mask.
- Overview of Laos starts with authorities clamped down on noise brought by visitors since the lockdown got eased. Most visitors were residents of Vientiane.
- The Vientiane to Vang Vieng expressway is 70% complete. Chinese investors (who else) operate the expressway under a 50 year agreement. The toll will approx. cost $6.5 for a one way trip.
- Laos keeps its borders with Thailand and Cambodia closed for now. In the meantime bids are open for a 5th Lao-Thai friendship bridge project.
- Laos enforces a nationwide Sim Card registration. Before Nov 30 all existing numbers must be registered. During the month of Dec those unregistered will only be able to receive calls and not make calls and no data. From the new year the numbers will be blocked.
In India & Nepal
- The supreme court of India has expressed concerns over handling of coronavirus deaths. They are treated worse than animals.
- Because of a border conflict with China at Tibet the govt has decided to ban WeChat, TikTok, and a dozen more Chinese apps. Out of security reasons.
- India reopens the Taj Mahal. Now only 5000 tourists are allowed on a single day. Split into two groups. Normally there used to be peak levels of 80.000 visitors a day.
- In Nepal over 1200 people committed suicide during 74 days of lockdown. That’s 16.5 a day. Compared to 5785 during the whole of last year.
- The new citizenship bill of Nepal is as discriminatory as the old one. A foreign woman married to a Nepali citizen has to wait 7 years for a naturalized citizenship. A foreign man needs to wait even longer. In any case the foreigner needs to give up the own nationaility.
- Crisis or not in Nepal due to corona. The World Bank has elevated Nepal to a lower middle income economy. Based on gross national income per capita which rose to $1090 per capita.
- Overview of China starts with an Australian sentenced to death for drugs.
- Agents are allowed to sell tourism packages in provincial areas but can’t sell international packages while visas for foreigners have been suspended. A 14 day compulsory quarantine is imposed.
- A famous Chinese football legend has called for the downfall of the communist party.
- Many Zoom accounts have been hacked by the same party.
- Not all is bad news. The outsourcing sector is bouncing back with more companies and jobs as many companies are leaving China.
- NAIA airport in Manila restarted with international flights at terminal 3 of which some Japanese airlines are welcome as well as a couple of others. In the meantime a man has been stuck in the airport for 110 days now.
- The overview of Indonesia starts with their surpassing of Thailand with car exports to Vietnam. 53% of 28.523 imported cars came from Indonesia. Brands are Mitsubishi Xpander, Honda Brio and Toyota Wigo.
- A 10% VAT is imposed on Google, Netflix, Spotify and Amazon.
And as the world goes crazy about racism, Johnson & Johnson stops producing their whitening creams which are immense popular under Asians. Mostly Thai, Vietnamese and Laotians.
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