Head inland to enjoy Thailand

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Head inland to enjoy Thailand

Head inland to enjoy Thailand


What comes to mind if you are planning to visit Thailand? Beautiful sea views, island hopping, or Tom Yum soup? Why not leave those ideas behind and try something fresh, such as an inland tour to discover a different Thailand?

In the South Thailand province of Surat Thani, you will experience another side of Thailand. Granted the name from King Rama IV, Surat Thani means “city of the good people”. Most Chinese tourists are fascinated by the province’s islands, such as Koh Samui and Koh Tao.

Few have explored Thailand’s amazing inland, which includes one of the oldest evergreen rainforests in the world – Khao Sok National Park – or the magnificent Buddhist temples in the Khao Na Nai Luang Dharma Park, and boat trips along the rivers

For most travellers who arrive in Surat Thani by plane, the nearest site to explore will be the provincial centre. Located close to the sea, the provincial centre has countless small rivers connecting residences to the east Thailand Bay.

Taking a boat along the river, you can witness fishermen’s lives in the Bang Bai Mai community. Also known as “Nai Bang”, the community still lives in a simple way. In this area, hundreds of small canals flow into the Tapi river, which finally meets the ocean.

On a small wooden boat, you can see the mangrove nipa palm trees and coconut trees lined up on both sides of the canal. For animal lovers, the trip will provide a chance to closely observe local birds and water lizards.

Nipa palm trees are important to us. The leaves can be used for wrapping sweets or making brooms. It can be also processed to make desserts,” a boatman told us.

Every Sunday, the sightseeing boat can also take you to Bang Bai Mai Market – an old floating market in Surat Thani known for a wide selection of local dishes and Thai snacks such as Toddy Palm CakeBlack Coconut Sweet Pudding, and Mango Sticky Rice.

The market is surrounded by greenery and a canal, which makes it stand out from other markets in the city. While the market offers plenty of food stalls, it’s a good choice to try the deep-fried banana blossom and the Thai curry puff, each priced at about 30 Bhat ($0.89).

After exploring the market, visitors can drop by a nearby coffee shop with outdoor seating next to the canal. A local cafe named Korjak sitting at the riverbank is one of the most popular choices with a forestlike atmosphere due to its lush surroundings.

As some travellers may be interested in local coconut products, Suan Lung Song is on the recommended list. It is a knowledge centre where people can learn every aspect of coconut farming. They can also experience making cold-pressed coconut oil and soap.

Tourists kayak up the stream in Ban Nam Rat Watershed Forest where they can explore lagoons and admire the lush jungle. (YANG WANLI / CHINA DAILY)Tourists kayak up the stream in Ban Nam Rat Watershed Forest where they can explore lagoons and admire the lush jungle. (YANG WANLI / CHINA DAILY)

National Park

Surrounded by one of the oldest evergreen rainforests in the world, Khao Sok National Park will impress you with its huge limestone mountains, deep valleys, breathtaking lakes, exciting caves and wild animals.

Together with adjacent wildlife sanctuaries in Khlong SaengKhlong Yan and Khlong Naka, the combined area of the park is more than 3,500 square kilometres, making up an area more than half the size of Bali.

In the park, tourists can choose different ways to explore, such as personal elephant encounters, jungle trekking or canoeing. One of the most interesting areas is the beautiful Cheow Larn Lake in the heart of the national park, complete with floating raft houses and luxury tents.

On a limited budget, visitors have options to live in those small but cosy hotels or family stays at an acceptable price. It is convenient to book a tuk-tuk, the local motorcycle taxi, at the hotel to visit Cheow Larn Lake.

Among the Thai people, Cheow Larn Lake is famous for its landmark: three limestone peaks nicknamed mini Guilin. Guilin refers to the city in South China’s Guangxi Zhuang autonomous region, which is known for its karst landforms and limestone peaks.

For travellers who are willing to explore wildlife, Khao Sok is unmissable.

Thailand boasts some of the most biodiverse regions on Earth, and Khao Sok is one of them. Thanks to it being relatively unchanged over millions of years, Khao Sok has become a haven for a variety of birds, insects, reptiles and mammals.

According to the Khao Sok National Park’s official website, the park is home to 311 species of birds, 48 species of mammals, more than 30 species of bats, countless insects and reptiles, endangered tigers and an estimated 200 wild Asian elephants.

Moreover, there are around 200 species of plants per hectare in Khao Sok, with a combination of ginormous trees, trailing vines and exotic flowers. Some plants are unique to the rainforest. For example, the largest flower on Earth, rafflesia, can grow up to 90 centimetres in width.

The Khao Na Nai Luang Dharma Park consists a total of six pagodas in different shapes and colors from brick red to white and gold. (YANG WANLI / CHINA DAILY)The Khao Na Nai Luang Dharma Park consists a total of six pagodas in different shapes and colors from brick red to white and gold. (YANG WANLI / CHINA DAILY)

Jungle exploration

Nearby the Khao Sok National Park, there are two sites with jungle experiences. About 40 minutes by car from the Cheow Larn Lake, visitors can enjoy a breathtaking view of the Khao Na Nai Luang Dharma Park, especially in the early morning or evening with sunlight passing through the park’s front arch.

The Khao Na Nai Luang Dharma Park consists of a total of six pagodas in different shapes and colours from brick red to white and gold. The most impressive one to me is what local people called the “floating pagoda” with a small pond underneath it.

Both the pond and the pagoda are built on the top of a small mountain. Lotus and small fishes give the pond a sense of Zen. Religious text is written carefully in gold powder on the red bricks. Standing on the pagoda, an overhead view of the forest is an unforgettable moment.

After the soul baptism in the park, Ban Nam Rat Watershed Forest, which only takes 30 minutes by car, is a destination not to be missed. It offers crystal-clear waters of a flooded forest, consisting of a lake, various jungle canals and stunning lagoons.

“In the past, the forest used to be a small freshwater canal that looked like a peat swamp forest. This magical place, referred to as Khlong Rood by the locals, is a hidden gem and a true highlight of the region,” an officer from the forest ticket office said.

Limestone peaks stick out of the water in Cheow Larn Lake, which sits in the heart of Khao Sok National Park. (YANG WANLI / CHINA DAILY)Limestone peaks stick out of the water in Cheow Larn Lake, which sits in the heart of Khao Sok National Park. (YANG WANLI / CHINA DAILY)

The lake itself mirrors the various tree stumps and rocks that stick out of the surface, creating the illusion of no horizon. In the forest, visitors will see many species of plants, including water lilies, orchids and tropical pitcher plants.

You can kayak up the stream and explore breathtaking lagoons, surrounded by lush jungle greenery. You can have a fantastic end to the day by parking your kayak and taking a dip in the crystal-blue waters of the jungle among colourful fish.

China Daily

Asia News Network

Thong Lor gets a new luxury address: MUU Bangkok

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Thong Lor gets a new luxury address: MUU Bangkok

Thong Lor gets a new luxury address: MUU Bangkok


MUU Hotels & Resorts announces the opening of its first property, MUU Bangkok, marking the brand’s debut in the Kingdom.

A play on the Thai word for community and kinship, MUU transforms the luxury hotel experience into something personable, yet constantly evolving around the wants, needs and desires of its guests and the community in which each property exists. A place where suits and pyjamas can share the same space comfortably, each one enjoying moments of happiness, made better through warm, uncompromised service and contemporary design.

Creative dynamism, warmth, thoughtful engagement and unpretentious quality are the pillars of the MUU brand. Each property will stand out in exciting and authentic ways bringing quality to all aspects of service, experience, and design. The central focus is on human interaction and making guests comfortable while taking care of their needs. In essence, making the world a better place for its guests and the community MUU calls home.

“We want to create a sense of community for and with our guests, both through the hotel spaces and through concierge-like recommendations of what’s happening around our property,” says Christian O.H. Zunk, Group General Manager of MUU Hotels, adding that “the idea of constantly innovating and transforming, so that regular guests can always expect to experience something new upon their return, is also key to our brand.”

The 148-room MUU Bangkok, part of the prestigious Small Luxury Hotels of the World community, sits in the middle of Bangkok’s tony neighbourhood of Thong Lor with views of the bustling cityscape. Packed with hip bars, award-winning restaurants, cool cafes and buzzing community hangouts, Thong Lor is where the bold, beautiful, and creative live and thrive.

The adjacent high-end Eight lifestyle mall also adds a sophisticated layer of community spirit to the guest experience. Sitting between Bangkok’s main roads of Sukhumvit and Petchaburi gives guests easy access to the airport and the BTS Skytrain system to explore the city’s other vibrant neighbourhoods.

Thong Lor gets a new luxury address: MUU Bangkok
Thong Lor gets a new luxury address: MUU Bangkok
Thong Lor gets a new luxury address: MUU Bangkok

Accommodation comprises spacious rooms, suites and residences starting at the 37-sqm Deluxe King and going up to the 180-sqm spectacular Thong Lor Suite, which includes a spacious private terrace. With modern amenities and friendly, personalised service, the contemporary lifestyle-oriented residences ranging from the 52-sqm One Bedroom Residence to the 170-sqm Three Bedroom Residence with Terrace are ideal for extended stays. Each self-contained sanctuary has contemporary design cues accessorised with warm timber floorings, a sumptuous king-sized bed, comfortable sofa seating and marble coffee table, and spacious marble bathrooms stocked with eco-friendly amenities.

Also tapping into the communal vibe are two restaurants and two bars, including a speakeasy,

Thong Lor gets a new luxury address: MUU Bangkok
Thong Lor gets a new luxury address: MUU Bangkok
Thong Lor gets a new luxury address: MUU Bangkok
Thong Lor gets a new luxury address: MUU Bangkok

a high-tech gym and a rooftop swimming pool. Otto Italian Restaurant opens onto the expansive pool terrace, serving classic and modern Italian cuisine paired with an extensive wine list. One level below, La Sala di Otto is an art-deco sanctuary with a choice of plush seating and private alcoves, perfect for a gathering of family or friends to enjoy a modern Italian-style grill experience with crafted organic wines.

Thong Lor gets a new luxury address: MUU Bangkok

With comfortable outdoor seating around the double infinity-edged pool, Slow Bar is ideal for an aperitif or a post-dinner drink with its fine selection of crafted cocktails and fine wines and a delicious menu of classic bar bites. Hidden away on the same level, 008 Bar is a cosy speakeasy bar offering rare whiskies and signature cocktails from the Prohibition era modified for today’s palate.

Room rates start from THB 6,000++ per night and include daily breakfast.

Government urged to make Thai stock market more investor friendly, as new trading app launched

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Government urged to make Thai stock market more investor friendly, as new trading app launched

Government urged to make Thai stock market more investor friendly, as new trading app launched


Jarupong Krisanaraj

Thailand’s stock market should be improved to attract more investors, investment gurus said on Thursday.

The remarks were made during a press conference at the launch of “Liberator”, a stock trading application, at The Athenee Hotel in Bangkok.

The application, which does not charge any stock trading fees and offers access to a community for exchange of knowledge, was launched by Liberator Securities.

Nonarit Bisonyabut, a senior research fellow at Thailand Development Research Institute, said the people’s demand for savings had increased amid uncertainty over the ageing society.

The majority of the elderly say they do not have enough savings to be used during their retirement, he said.

He pointed out that more people were turning to gambling in order to make money. He added that around 800,000 people on average were turning to gambling annually.

“On the other side, 2.3 million people had opened their account for investment, but only 400,000 to 600,000 investors were still active,” he said.

Government urged to make Thai stock market more investor friendly, as new trading app launched

Nonarit said the government’s move to levy a financial transaction tax on stock trades from April 1 this year barred investors from speculating for profit.

Instead, he said Thailand’s stock market should be improved to attract more investors. He suggested including the Liberator application in schools in a bid to create awareness among students.

Meanwhile, Thai Value Investor Association chairman Chalermdej Leewongcharoen said zero stock trading fee should have been introduced a long time ago.

He pointed out that the decline in the number of stock investors had happened as some of them were not aware of this investment.

“However, investment in stocks has changed, thanks to several investors sharing their knowledge on the internet,” he said, adding that most of these investors were teenagers.

Echoing Nonarit, Chalermdej slammed the government’s move to levy a financial transaction tax on stock trades. Instead, he advised the government to make the stock market more transparent, especially on regulations related to fees.

He pointed out that Thailand’s stock market was not fair, as large investors paid less in fees than retail investors.

“Levying a financial transaction tax on stock trades will affect market sentiment,” he said.

Government urged to make Thai stock market more investor friendly, as new trading app launched

Both gurus praised Liberator Securities for launching an application that is able to tackle the stock market’s pain points effectively.

According to Liberator Securities, stock investors had to pay 0.08% in commission fee while trading stocks. For instance, investors have to pay 800 baht in fee for trading stocks worth 1 million baht.

Related stories:

Jarupong Krisanaraj

Ganesha statue with Buddhist element brings worshippers and tourists to Udon Thani

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Ganesha statue with Buddhist element brings worshippers and tourists to Udon Thani

Ganesha statue with Buddhist element brings worshippers and tourists to Udon Thani


A unique statue of Ganesha in Udon Thani province is drawing worshippers from all over the country seeking blessings, in addition to tourists.

The Sri Suk Ganesha statue has been installed behind Udon Thani Vocational College in Muang district. Built in 2019 by the famed sculptor Rachan Saengthong, the statue mixes Hindu and Buddhist mythology. The statue portrays the Hindu god of luck with eight hands perched on Naga, the nine-headed king cobra who protected Gautama Buddha from the elements after his enlightenment.

Ganesha statue with Buddhist element brings worshippers and tourists to Udon Thani

Rachan said he had portrayed the Naga based on Udon Thani folklore of Naga King Sri Suttho, who is believed to have protected the city from great floods caused by the Mekong River since ancient times.

Although the statue was installed relatively recently compared to other spiritual attractions in the province, it has quickly become a tourist hotspot. Worshippers of both Ganesha and Naga from around the country are turning up in large numbers daily to light candles, scented incense sticks and offer garlands made of marigolds, Ganesha’s favourite flower.

Ganesha statue with Buddhist element brings worshippers and tourists to Udon Thani

The Sri Suk Ganesha statue is believed to grant blessings for success in business, a long and happy life, and wisdom.

Worshippers are advised to chant the provided mantra to show respect to the statue while offering various kinds of desserts, milk and fruits. According to Hindu belief, meat offerings are prohibited in a place of worship.

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Hop to it: Top Hong Kong’s Luckiest Spots to Visit in the Year of the Rabbit

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Hop to it: Top Hong Kong's Luckiest Spots to Visit in the Year of the Rabbit

Hop to it: Top Hong Kong’s Luckiest Spots to Visit in the Year of the Rabbit


Now that Hong Kong is ready to welcome international visitors again, it’s the perfect opportunity to celebrate Chinese New Year in true Hong Kong style.

After all, nowhere blends time-honoured Chinese New Year traditions with modern energy quite like this buzzing metropolis. In honour of the Year of the Rabbit, here are five of Hong Kong’s most fortuitous experiences to fill your year with good luck, health and prosperity.

1. Take Instagrammable Photos with the ‘Lucky Rabbit’

Brought to you by the Hong Kong Tourism Board, a series of dazzling Chinese New Year checkpoints have transformed the harbourfront. For starters, a giant Lucky Rabbit is making its debut on the roof of the Central Pier. Visitors will also discover more hoppin’ displays – each with mesmerising themes, lights, music, and interactive elements – at Admiralty’s Tamar Park, the Wan Chai Temporary Promenade and Tsim Sha Tsui’s Hong Kong Cultural Centre.

2. Hop On Auspicious Harbour Tours

On the first day of Chinese New Year, it’s customary to usher in luck and prosperity by spending time outdoors. Visitors can embrace the tradition with a scenic Victoria Harbour cruise aboard a historic Star Ferry. Along the way, try to catch the Lucky Rabbit hiding on the ferry! Accrue more good fortune by exploring the Chinese New Year-themed harbourfront checkpoints in different ways, like a sightseeing tour on the antique Duckling junk boat or a pedal-boating adventure at the Wan Chai Water Sports and Recreation Precinct.

Hop to it: Top Hong Kong's Luckiest Spots to Visit in the Year of the Rabbit

3. Experience Unique Hong Kong Chinese New Year Traditions

The Year of the Rabbit marks the return of many authentic Hong Kong Chinese New Year customs for visitors to enjoy! Among the must-try experiences, head to the Chinese New Year flower markets for festive shopping and take in good fortune as blooms signify wealth in Chinese culture.

Besides, stock up on luck at the Chinese New Year Raceday in Sha Tin, where epic horseraces, lion dance performances and holiday décor await. The energised activity can bring you a lucky start to the year with full power!

The Hong Kong Well-Wishing Festival in Lam Tsuen is another age-old Chinese New Year tradition. Simply jot down wishes on a notecard, tie it to a mandarin and toss it into a legendary tree. If the fruit catches a branch, the wishes may come true.

Hop to it: Top Hong Kong's Luckiest Spots to Visit in the Year of the Rabbit

4. Indulge in Classic Dishes with Modern Twists

A time for connection, Chinese New Year brings families together over delicious meals symbolising longevity, fortune and wealth. Year after year, Hong Kong restaurants reinvigorate traditional Chinese New Year dishes with fresh ideas.

This year, Green Common has reinvented poon choi (or “prosperity stew” made with meat, seafood and veggies) using only plant-based meat alongside vegetarian ingredients. Meanwhile, Häagen-Dazs has transformed traditional nin gou (a sticky rice cake representing prosperity) into a Chinese New Year ice cream cake, which also comes with another option of a Chinese candy box (meaning togetherness and perfection).

5. Give Creative Gifts of Good Fortune

Throughout Chinese New Year, Hong Kong people bring gifts to family gatherings to spread goodwill and fortune with loved ones. Putting a spin on tradition, Dang Wen Li by Dominique Ansel has crafted mochi buns in the shape of mandarins – a symbol of good fortune – alongside a gift box brimming with sweet delicacies, which features a centrepiece decoration of a cute rabbit. On the other hand, The Cakery is whipping up adorable rabbit-themed fondant cookies that are perfect for the Chinese New Year.

Thailand a beacon of hope for investors in emerging Asian markets: seminar

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Thailand a beacon of hope for investors in emerging Asian markets: seminar

Thailand a beacon of hope for investors in emerging Asian markets: seminar


Nongluck Ajanapanya

Thailand remains a safe haven for investors looking to capitalise on some profitable opportunities among Asia’s emerging markets this year amid global economic uncertainty, a group of Abrdn experts said.

The United Kingdom-based global investment company hosted a seminar titled “2023 Global Outlook: Embrace the Perfect Storm” in Bangkok on Tuesday.

Darunrat Piyayodilokchai, Abrdn’s head of equities Thailand, explained the Thai equity market’s upbeat outlook to three key positive factors: strong economic recovery momentum; supportive foreign information fund, especially from the tourism industry; and a short-term catalyst, such as the general election in May.

“This year, tourism will be critical to Thailand’s growth. Tourist arrivals in 2023 have been revised from 20-22 million to 25-28 million. Every million people contributes 0.3% to the country’s gross domestic product (GDP). So, tourism will contribute approximately 1-1.75% to GDP this year, helping to offset the export sector, which tends to slow with global recession,” she stated.

Despite the global recession, export slowdown, high costs, earnings decline, political tensions, foreign exchange volatility, and the impending implementation of a local financial transaction tax in May, Darunrat believes Thailand would be able to manage the risk.

Thailand a beacon of hope for investors in emerging Asian markets: seminar

Thailand will be one of two Asian countries with higher growth in 2023 than in 2022, according to Abrdn. The country’s growth rate is expected to increase to 3.6% this year, up from 3.3% last year.

Pongtharin Sapayanon, Abrdn’s head of fixed income and asset allocation Thailand, suggested that of all asset investments (equities, fixed income, bonds, real estate, commodities, and foreign exchange), Asia’s emerging market is preferable due to the region’s positive growth and China’s reopening.

However, investors must be selective and conservative. This means they must carefully consider the fundamentals of each asset, such as corporate profitability, investment grade bonds and credits, commodity demand and supply balance, and a long history of consistent dividends, he explained.

(From left) MC, Jeremy Lawson, Pongtharin Sapayanon, Darunrat Piyayodilokchai and Nicholas Yeo(From left) MC, Jeremy Lawson, Pongtharin Sapayanon, Darunrat Piyayodilokchai and Nicholas Yeo

Aside from Thailand, Abrdn recommends that Thai investors look for opportunities to grow their portfolio in China.

According to Nicholas Yeo, Abrdn’s director and head of equities, the property sector and Covid-19 may be two factors holding China back, but the easing of its policy after its post-Covid reopening, rapid development of its own innovation, and significant revenue growth reliant on the domestic market make Asia’s largest economy promising.

He emphasised that China is investible, but it takes time and expertise.

China is one of the few major economies that does not experience inflation. Flexible government policies can be implemented, he noted.

Meanwhile, there is an opportunity for equity in China because 62% of the country’s household pension allocation is heavily invested in real estate, which is a risky investment. Hence, China is encouraging its people to shift from real estate to the capital markets (equities and fixed income).

Jeremy Lawson, Abrdn’s chief economist and head of research institute, said the global economy is still facing multiple and reinforcing headwinds this year, particularly recession, inflation, and geopolitical tensions.

According to him, inflation will be the most worrying and troubling factor when it becomes more persistent as a result of labour market tightness, wage growth, and higher expectations.

Thailand a beacon of hope for investors in emerging Asian markets: seminar

This scenario will force major central banks, particularly the US Federal Reserve, to keep raising interest rates in order to halt inflation and contain it at the 2% target. The continued hike in interest rates may result in a slowing of business activity and, eventually, cause a recession.

Although the inflation peak has already passed, Lawson warned that core inflation (excluding food and energy prices) is likely to be stickier, forcing central banks to continue to tighten policy in 2023, making the next 12 months globally occupied with recession.

However, there are some opportunities for investors during this global downturn. Lawson suggested gradually increasing exposure to high-paying companies, then take advantage of alternatives that are truly uncorrelated to traditional equity and fixed income markets, and to not overlook China.

Nongluck Ajanapanya

Some 4,000 Chinese business leaders to meet in Bangkok: WCEC 

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Some 4,000 Chinese business leaders to meet in Bangkok: WCEC 

Some 4,000 Chinese business leaders to meet in Bangkok: WCEC 


Around 4,000 Chinese business leaders and entrepreneurs will attend the 16th World Chinese Entrepreneurs Convention (WCEC) in Bangkok from June 24-26 at Queen Sirikit National Convention Centre.

ThailandSingapore and Hong Kong are the founding members of WCEC. The founders take turns in hosting WCEC around the world every 2 years.

Thai-Chinese Chamber of Commerce hosted the 3rd WCEC for the first time in 1995. After 27 years, WCEC has become the forum connecting Chinese entrepreneurs from all over the world in promoting international cooperation.

Narongsak Putthapornmongkol, president of the Thai-Chinese Chamber of Commerce, said that the 16th WCEC meeting will be held in Bangkok for the first time since the Covid-19 pandemic.

WCEC had successful meetings 15 times. This meeting will look into trade opportunities in Thailand while discussing the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP), the Eastern Economic Corridor (EEC), in addition to Belt and Road Initiative (BRI).

Narongsak said that in the past two years, the Covid-19 pandemic created uncertain situations and has impacted the world’s economy as well as the business of the Chinese globally.

He said, “We are ready to push the development of global Chinese entrepreneurs in this digital age, cooperating in various fields and promoting trade between Thai entrepreneurs and the world, linking investments and creating a future with Chinese business owners around the world to restore Thai’s and the world’s economy.”

According to Kasikorn Research Centre, Chinese tourists are expected to reach 5 million or 42% of the total Chinese visitors to Thailand in 2019. 

The increase in tourists will begin in the second quarter and even more, will arrive in the second half of the year because of more flights and increased packaged tours.

Thailand’s economy, tourism and business will be boosted especially if Thailand will be chosen as one of the leading countries in revitalising travelling on large scale.

The Chinese usually travel during the summer school break in July-August and during the Chinese national day of the people’s Republic of China from 1-7 October every year. 

Airbnb and TAT support digital nomad travel rebound with Live and Work guide

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Airbnb and TAT support digital nomad travel rebound with Live and Work guide

Airbnb and TAT support digital nomad travel rebound with Live and Work guide


The rise of remote working is a growing opportunity for countries and regions, and one that Thailand is capitalising on with a unique partnership between Airbnb and the Tourism Authority of Thailand.

Looking to attract more remote workers and long-term travellers to Thailand, both parties today co-launched a dedicated ‘Live and Work in Thailand’ digital information guide that is now live at https://www.airbnb.com/liveandworkanywherethailand.

With Thailand targeting 20 million international arrivals this year and Bangkok currently ranking #5 on top trending travel destinations globally on Airbnb in 2023, tourism and long-term stays  (stays longer than 28 days) remain key to the country’s economic recovery.

Notably, Airbnb data in 2022 showed rapidly growing interested in long-term stays across the country – nights booked for long-term stays in non-urban areas approximately doubled in Thailand in Q2 2022, up from Q2 2019 pre-pandemic.

While BangkokPhuket and Chiang Mai usually rank as the top searched destinations for long-term stays, destinations outside major metropolitan hubs – namely Koh Pha Ngan, Koh Lanta and Krabi – were also popular for long-term stays in Q2 last year.

Airbnb and the TAT’s new ‘Live and Work Anywhere‘ guide aims to provide key information for remote workers, including digital nomads, who are aspiring to live and work in Thailand – including practical information on the country’s economy and infrastructure, affordable living, culture and heritage, and tips on travel and leisure.

The guide also includes resources for long-term visas, tax information and language. It highlights the variety of long-term stay options available including on Airbnb, and showcases cities currently popular with remote workers as well as lesser-known but equally compelling options, making the guide an essential one-stop resource for anyone interested in remote working from Thailand.

Airbnb and TAT support digital nomad travel rebound with Live and Work guide

Yuthasak SupasornGovernor of the Tourism Authority of Thailand, said, “The Tourism Authority of Thailand (TAT) is delighted to partner with Airbnb on this global initiative to publicise Thailand as a premier destination for digital nomads and remote workers. Many Thai destinations, including Bangkok and Koh Pha Ngan in Surat Thani province, have already ranked worldwide as top hotspots for digital nomads, and we are committing to promoting this priority as part of our ‘Visit Thailand Year 2023: Amazing New Chapters‘ campaign. Together, we will continue working to drive Thailand towards a more Sustainable and Responsible Tourism“.

Airbnb and TAT support digital nomad travel rebound with Live and Work guide

Mich Goh, Airbnb’s Head of Public Policy for Southeast AsiaIndiaHong Kong and Taiwan, said, “Thailand is one of the top choices for remote workers and digital nomads across the globe, who are looking for more flexibility in where they live and work. In partnership with the Tourism Authority of Thailand, we support the growth of long-term travellers keen to live and work in Thailand, while driving tourism and economic benefits to more destinations and local communities across the country.”

Airbnb and TAT support digital nomad travel rebound with Live and Work guide

Airbnb recently launched a Host Guide with tips for Hosts on how to support remote workers. The global company has also published Airbnb’s Guide to Live and Work Anywhere: How Communities Can Benefit from Remote Workers, a guide for governments and destinations outlining recommendations for how communities can benefit economically from the rise in remote workers. The guide is based on Airbnb’s insights, data and experiences in partnering with 20 destinations worldwide, including Thailand, that are embracing the potential of remote work, as well as a review of global remote worker programs.

SET unveils strategies to further develop capital market

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SET unveils strategies to further develop capital market

SET unveils strategies to further develop capital market


The Stock Exchange of Thailand (SET) will sustainably boost the country’s capital market competitiveness in the next three years (2023-25) to ensure benefits for all sectors.

The SET also aims to promote all groups of entrepreneurs and investors, attract new industries and promote fundraising by issuing digital tokens, SET president Pakorn Peetathawatchai said on Tuesday.

He expects Thailand’s capital market to face volatility amid uncertainty in the global economy, high inflation and geopolitical risks.

Pakorn said the SET has implemented four strategies to develop Thailand’s capital market in the next three years through:

▪︎ Simplifying the process to enable small, medium and large business enterprises to raise funds in the market.

▪︎ Improve capital market standards and boost the efficiency of the investment system and cybersecurity, as well as modernise trade regulations to meet market conditions.

▪︎ Create opportunities by applying data analysis function to further develop the capital market.

▪︎ Adhere to sustainable development by training capital market personnel and creating awareness on financial literacy among retirees and low-income people.

SET unveils strategies to further develop capital market

“The SET expects that the four strategies would help boost Thailand’s capital market growth, such as expanding opportunities in fundraising and investment among entrepreneurs and investors,” Pakorn added.

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Asean poised for starring role in global economy this year: UOB

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Asean poised for starring role in global economy this year: UOB

Asean poised for starring role in global economy this year: UOB


Nongluck Ajanapanya

Key Asean economies will be among the few globally to show impressive growth this year, as the world economy slips into slower growth or a recession, according to a recently published report by one of the largest banks in Southeast Asia – Singapore-headquartered United Overseas Bank (UOB).

“Fundamental factors are supportive of [key] Asean economies to defend against the uncertain environment ahead in 2023, as risks loom for economic recessions in the US, UK and Europe, tightening financial conditions, further straining of US-China relations and Russia-Ukraine conflict,” the report says.

The key Asean economies it refers to are its six most developed: Thailand, Singapore, Vietnam, Indonesia, Malaysia and the Philippines.

Enrico Tanuwidjaja – lead author of the UOB report, and its senior vice president for global economics and markets research at its Indonesia unit – told Nation Thailand that 10 “fundamentals” would help the six key Asean countries weather global turmoil and withstand volatility.

Tanuwdidjaja said they are:

1. Strong momentum from the post-pandemic recovery

2. Output rising above pre-pandemic levels

3. Robust trade

4. Tourism recovery

5. Benign inflation

6. Supply chain shifts

7. Healthy investment inflows

8. Ample foreign reserves

9. Ability to pay imports

10. Low level of short-term debt

Asean rebounded strongly in the second half of last year as Covid-19 restrictions were lifted, Tanuwidjaja said. Surging exports, along with increased domestic consumption, drove economic growth, he said.

At the same time, inflation in Asean – and most of Asia – has been, in general, lower than in most developed markets because consumer prices are partially cushioned by administrative measures, Tanuwidjaja said.

Some Asean economies also benefitted from access to domestic supplies of energy, minerals, and agricultural products in 2022, the economist said.

“This means that regional central banks’ policy tightening [has been] less aggressive than the [US] Fed’s, giving the economy more room to expand,” he explained.

Tourism will be the mainstay of some Asean economies this year because China has relaxed its zero-COVID policy and is reopening its borders, he added.

“It will provide a further boost to tourism-related sectors, such as retail, food and beverage, transportation, and lodging throughout Asean. Thailand, Malaysia, Singapore, and Vietnam typically benefit the most [from Chinese tourism],” Tanuwidjaja told Nation Thailand.

Southeast Asia is also benefitting from a shift of supply chains from China to the region that is accelerating due to rising tensions between Washington and Beijing, he said.

These structural shifts will be driven by US efforts to counter China, and will include drawing supply chains back to the US and “friendshoring,” which refers to shifts of supply chains to countries with friendly ties to Washington. The structural shift to the world economy caused by de-globalisation and regionalisation of supply chains will benefit Asean by increasing manufacturing in the region and boosting exports, Tanuwidjaja said.

Supply chain shifts are also accompanied by investment inflows, resulting in an increase in foreign direct investment (FDI) to the region as businesses establish manufacturing plants, warehouse facilities, distribution networks, and other facilities, the economist added.

FDI into Asean increased by 44% in 2021 to a record US$ 175.3 billion, according to the UOB report. Asean is the world’s third largest destination for FDI, trailing only the United States and China, the report notes.

It says that despite a depletion in foreign reserves over the past year due to the strengthening US dollar, the amount of reserves held by central banks is far higher than in 1997 – when the region experienced a financial crisis. These reserves will continue to act as a cushion against large capital outflows, Tanuwidjaja explained.

The ability to pay for imports is another indicator of confidence in Asean’s key economies, he said.

“Most Asean countries have more than enough reserves to cover three months of imports, which is considered an international ‘rule of thumb’,” he said.

They also have relatively small amounts of short-term external debt relative to reserves, except Indonesia and Malaysia, Tanuwidjaja said.

This puts Asean countries in a good position to withstand pressure from a strengthening US dollar and rising global interest rates, he explained.

UOB concluded that global GDP growth rates would be lower in 2023 than last year. Full-year declines are expected in developed markets such as the United States, Europe, and the United Kingdom, while ASEAN’s key economies are only expected to slow to less than 5% in 2023, down from more than 6% in 2022.

Clouds over Thai economy

Although Thailand is one of the few countries with high potential for economic growth in a year of global uncertainty, its challenges outnumber its advantages in 2023, Tanuwidjaja said.

Tourism will help Thailand meet or even exceed its growth targets in 2023, but its exports will lag those of its neighbours, while national output has yet to return to pre-COVID levels, he said.

His forecast was supported by Somprawin Manpraser, chief economist of the Economic Intelligence Center (EIC), Siam Commercial Bank, and Amonthep Chawla, chief economist of CIMB Thai.

Somprawin compared Thailand’s economy to a cloudy day.

Tourism will contribute significantly to recovery, but inflation, the global recession, and political uncertainty inside and outside the country can easily stifle growth, he said.

“So, Thai businesses and people must be aware of and prepared for unexpected situations. We need a backup plan. We must also use this recovery period to identify new economic boosters and to upgrade our human workforce,” Somprawin said.

Amonthep warned of currency speculation and prolonged inflation that would force western central banks, led by the US Federal Reserve, to keep raising interest rates.

He said this would reduce the number of tourists visiting Thailand and curb international spending.

He urged the government to address labour shortages in the service industry, which impede growth.

“Tourism will spur Thailand’s growth this year, but not enough to sustain it in the long run. We must develop a new business model,” he said.

Amonthep added that training Thai people in digital literacy and soft skills to nurture high-value emerging sectors and the green economy – sometimes referred to as the “S-curve economy” in Thailand – would undoubtedly help the country grow sustainably.

Nongluck Ajanapanya