Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Who's Been Sleeping in Thaksin's Bed?

FBF wondered the other day if Cambodian PM Hun Sen would be taking advantage of former PM Thaksin Shinawatra's Cha Am - Hua Hin retreat during the ASEAN Summit after offering Thaksin a home in Cambodia.

Now, The Nation (no, not Not The Nation, the real one) quotes Pheu Thai MP Surapong Towijakchaikul as saying yesterday that Hassanal Bolkiah, the Sultan of Brunei, chose to be a guest at Thaksin's seaside home, close to the summit venue, during the meeting. Bolkiah did not attend the opening ceremonies on Friday either.

The government has had no comment.

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posted by Falang Bo Fai @ 10:01 AM   0 Comments Links to this post

Monday, October 26, 2009

English-speaking Rotary Club in Hua Hin

English-speaking Rotary Club in Hua Hin

The world’s first civic service organization, Rotary International, is expanding in Hua Hin with the formation of an English-speaking Rotary Club – “The Rotary Club of Royal Hua Hin”.  The new Club is being jointly sponsored by the Rotary Club of Hua Hin and the English-speaking Rotary Club of Bangkok South (RCBS).  So far, more than 30 people have indicated their intention to join the new Club. 

The prospective member group meets weekly for lunch (12:00 – 13:00) at the Hua Hin Grand Hotel on Petchkasem Rd., immediately south of San Palo Hospital.  If you or someone you know might be interested in becoming a Charter member of the new Club, please pass the word and plan to join them at the next lunch meeting. 

There will be a meeting of the formative Rotary Club of Royal Hua Hin on 30 October 2009 at  12:00, Grand Hotel -- follow the lobby signs, for they may not be in the same room as last time.

There will be voting to accept the Rotary International Club Constitution as well as the Club Bylaws. Please review the documents emailed last week and either bring questions with you or email them to this e-dress by close of business, Thursday, 29 October.

Meanwhile if you have any questions, please email to To learn more: Rotary International.


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posted by Falang Bo Fai @ 6:10 PM   0 Comments Links to this post

Saturday, October 24, 2009

Saturday: ASEAN Summit in Hua Hin Traffic Report

Didn't fancy fighting the Summit's first day of traffic so stayed at the house.

This morning did a little drive and it was pretty much smooth sailing. It looks like most folks that would have come from Bangkok have stayed home, which is probably what the authorities wanted.

Was going to try going down the Klong road to Chomsin and come back up Petchkasem but traffic was really backed up, as it usually is so turned around and took the road from the Klong Rd. to Hua Hin Tansamai and headed north on Petchkasem.

The road between the Klong Rd and Petchkasem is now one way heading west--you can't turn off Petchkasem onto Soi 56 so that very narrow road was unusually clear of traffic.

Once we got on Petchkasem, it was like a ghost town. Very little traffic in any of the lanes and the No Parking is strictly enforced. Any shops without parking are suffering.

As we headed north noticed the usual crowds at the Rust Stop so either the ASEAN folks are there or some folks from Bangkok did make it down.

Noticed lots of places to make U-turns along Petchkasem so it seems they've loosened up a bit on that.

Decided to keep heading north just to see how it was and noticed lots of troops and police. Many, many troops on the airport runway, around and above the tunnel.

Cars parked everywhere at the Dusit, even the Polo field.

Few customers at the Essan places near Saep Eli.

Got almost to the Regent/Holiday Inn and decided we'd seen enough police and troops so headed back to Hua Hin.

Never saw a check point and no one gave our vehicle a second look.

Very quiet so expect just the opposite next week.

It will take some time to remove all the traffic cones however, as they are ALL nailed to the road. If they merely rip the cones off the nails and don't either drive down the nail or remove them, there will be many punctures.

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posted by Falang Bo Fai @ 3:54 PM   0 Comments Links to this post

Thursday, October 22, 2009

Me Casa Su Casa

The local main stream press is making much of Gen Chavalit Yongchaiyudh's claim that Cambodian Prime Minister Hun Sen informed him during Chavalit's recent trip to Cambodia that Hua Sen had presented former Thai Prime Minister (and, not forgetting, current fugitive) Thaksin Shinawatra with a beautiful home if Thaksin decided he wanted to stay in Cambodia.

Both the Post and Nation have had several stories on this issue and now report that Prime Minister Abhisit Vejjajiva has said Thailand would seek Thaksin's extradition under a treaty between the two countries should the former prime minister take Hun Sen up on his offer.

With all this huff and puff over the purported gift, it makes one wonder if Thaksin has responded in kind and offered Hun Sen the use of his Cha Am - Hua Hin summer home during the current ASEAN Summit. The fugitive's former prime minister's not-so-humble summer retreat is conveniently adjacent to the Dusit Polo Club and just a few hundred meters south of the Sheraton, the venue of the ASEAN Summit.

Perhaps this has something to do with the fact that Hun Sen will not be attending the opening of the Asean summit on Friday as he will be enjoying the privacy not possible at either the Dusit or Sheraton...

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posted by Falang Bo Fai @ 6:23 PM   0 Comments Links to this post

UPDATE On ASEAN Traffic in Hua Hin

An UPDATE for this Update:

Was just out at 1600 and at the hospital and a couple of selected intersections north of the hospital, U-turns are now allowed with men in brown watching the ASEAN lane in case it needs to be kept clear. This will make things better.

Reports from around Market Village say that traffic is light and U-turns are still very limited. The placement of the cones, nailed down as they are all the way to the Sheraton, makes 2 lanes very difficult, especially with all the heavy equipment for the construction going on.

More and more locals using the klong road.

First off, folks in Hua Hin aren't getting out much these days. Just too much trouble but FBF sees that there are an increasing number of hits from folks in Bangkok and abroad looking for everything from traffic reports to the status of the Pranburi bypass.

So, FBF has his ASEAN sticker for the car but hasn't seen a check point. The check points must be way out of town,  either north of Cha Am or between Cha Am and the Sheraton.

Once you're inside the check points, it seems you're safe from further stops.

The Pranburi bypass should be clear. One thinks the powers that be would prefer everyone go that route rather than through town. There's probably a check point on the Pa La-u Rd between the bypass and town but can see no reason for any on the bypass itself.

Crossing Petchkasem is allowed at Palm Hills but not again until the hospital. One can now cross Petchkasem to enter the Hua Hin Hospital and to make a U-turn. Not planning on venturing south of there to see where the next crossing is allowed.

Was out Wednesday evening and early Thursday morning and the ASEAN lane is being well used but didn't see any processions. Saw lots of individual limos and hotel shuttle buses but no Range Rovers.

The ambulances and cherry pickers w/water canons are still parked at Bo Fai School and am told that tanks are at Wat Bo Fai but upon clarification it seems the tanks don't have large bore barrels so sound more like APCs than tanks.

If anyone has more detailed news than this, please leave a comment so sent a note and we'll put it up.

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posted by Falang Bo Fai @ 4:43 PM   0 Comments Links to this post

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

No U-Turns In Hua HIn

Now it's getting interesting.  The ASEAN lane is in full force and that means no U-turns.

Should one happen to be at the driving range just north of Soi 10 and wants to go to the Hua Hin Hospital, just a few hundred meters to the south, one needs to drive north to Palm Hills before a U-turn can be made. Once heading south, one cannot turn right across the ASEAN lane in to the hospital but needs to go further south to Soi 35 and negotiate the left turn to the school, a U-turn, and then a right turn at the light at Soi 35 before one can continue back north to the hospital.

There are several men in brown with radios at every intersection but rather than facilitate or assist those trying to save driving several extra kilometers, are strictly enforcing the ASEAN lane and waving people away who try to cross the closed center lanes.

FBF has no idea what it's like south of town and doesn't plan on venturing that way for several days.

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posted by Falang Bo Fai @ 9:08 AM   0 Comments Links to this post

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Hats Off To The People of Hua Hin

It's well known how the people of Thailand are able to tolerate irritations and brush things off with a smile and a Mai Ben Rai. The residents of Hua Hin are taking this to a new level.

It's coming down to the stretch before the ASEAN Summiteers arrive. The traffic cones are in place, the streets swept and Men in Green already in attendance, posted every 50-100 meters along ASEAN Rd.

The No Parking signs are still being ignored but it's pretty much a single lane each way through town but traffic was slow but steady on Tuesday morning. It wasn't even stop and go, just go, though slow. It actually took less time to get from Soi 6 to Soi 88 and back than it does on an average weekend day. The authorities have taken down the ASEAN lanes between the two traffic lights and that helps folks making their last minute purchases at the market.

Bo Fai is doing its part by hosting a Disaster Prevention and Mitigation - Plan Exercise at Bo Fai School with dozens of fire trucks, ambulances and cherry pickers parked in the football field. It appears they will be there for the duration.

Life continues on and even Plearnwan still has its crowds of the lost from Bangkok.

Let's hope that the ASEANs and the powers that be in Bangkok appreciate what Hua Hin has done for them.

Now if they can just figure out how to turn all those orange traffic cones into hand clappers...

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posted by Falang Bo Fai @ 12:35 PM   0 Comments Links to this post

Sunday, October 18, 2009

ASEAN Summit in Hua Hin Traffic Report

Your intrepid reporter braved the rain storms, Bangkok traffic returning home, and the ASEAN lane this evening just to see how bad it was, or is going to be.

Actually he was delivering Khao Soi to the needy south of Bo Fai but that's another story.

The ASEAN lane now runs south from at least Narasuan Fort, about halfway between Cha Am and Hua Hin all the way through to Khao Takiap. The ASEAN lane is the inside lane, and while the No Parking signs are up for parking on the shoulder, they don't go into effect until the 21st so are ignored, as they probably will be to a certain extent after the 21st.

On the highway, it's not that big a deal--3 lanes are reduced to 2 but making right turns can prove interesting as then one is intruding in the ASEAN lane.

Once in Hua Hin town, 3 at-the-VERY-best lanes are turned into 1 and it really gets interesting at places like Hua Hin Tansamai.

Going north, the ASEAN lane doesn't start (as of Sunday evening) until just north of the Chomsin Rd (Soi 70/55) intersection so it's pretty much good sailing past the market.

This is just Sunday and the festivities don't get started for a few more days.

FBF witnessed at least 60 identical ASEAN vehicles backed up at the PTT station at Soi 6 on Friday evening. The queue extended south past the Honda dealership. This is the last PTT station leaving Hua Hin so if you need gas, smokes or munchies, this is the station to avoid as it's the closest gas station to the meeting site.

FBF makes a TESCO/Villa run tomorrow and will hunker down with his Khao Soi for the duration. Bullshit, we all know he's a keen observer so expect further posts but if you're heading this way, think again and again.

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posted by Falang Bo Fai @ 8:31 PM   0 Comments Links to this post

Thursday, October 15, 2009

SNAFU: Vehicle Stickers for ASEAN Summit Redux

For those who've already given their vehicle information for the sticker used during the ASEAN Summit, there's been a slight change.

Much of the information given last week was either recorded incorrectly or was misplaced so those who do not yet have their sticker are instructed to take your housing and vehicle information to Hua Hin Vitthayalai School AKA Salesian School, just north of the Market Village Mall. Or, in the case of Bo Fai, there are officials at Klai Kangwon Temple.

This can be done through 16 October and you will get your sticker immediately.

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posted by Falang Bo Fai @ 8:36 AM   0 Comments Links to this post

Monday, October 12, 2009

Vehicle Stickers for ASEAN Summit

For those living in Hua Hin, your local sub-district has begun passing out the vehicle stickers to be used during the ASEAN Summit though many will not be completed before Thursday, the 15th.

The stickers may be picked up at the same place you supplied your vehicle registration and residence information.

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posted by Falang Bo Fai @ 3:27 PM   0 Comments Links to this post

Broadband for ASEANs In Hua Hin In October

When the ASEAN Summit was held in Hua Hin last spring, FBF's Internet went down for a week and no one could be spared to do anything about it as they were all busy making sure the ASEANs had a good connection.

This time it's a little different. Either the recent storms and power outages have reset something that was set incorrectly or they've really opened the pipe for the big boys, but FBF is actually getting the throughput he's been paying for. Very nice.

A shout out to the power of influential people.

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posted by Falang Bo Fai @ 8:32 AM   0 Comments Links to this post

Sunday, October 11, 2009

"Thailand Has Returned To Normal" For Hua Hin ASEAN summit in October

We've got 10,000, do we hear 20,000? A 20,000 bid from the Internal Security Operations Command (ISOC) in Bangkok. But wait, it was only 10,000 troops last week and this week we're already at 20,000 security personnel. No telling how many there will be by the time the 23rd arrives.

The Earthtimes writes:
Thailand has assigned 18,298 security personnel to keep the peace at this month's summit of the Association of South-East Asian Nations (ASEAN), news reports said Saturday. The decision to deploy the army and police personnel was made Friday at a meeting of the Internal Security Operations Command (ISOC), chaired by Prime Minister Abhisit Vejjajiva, the state-run Thai News Agency said.

Thailand is to host the 15th ASEAN summit October 23-25 in Prachuab Khiri Khan province, 130 kilometres south-west of Bangkok.
Most sources tell us that Hua Hin has a population of around 50,000 inhabitants though during a long weekend it may seem like three or four times that. While that may not be the coastal village described on The Hua Hin Pages, FBF isn't sure how the addition of 20,000 troops security personnel is going to prove Thailand has returned to normal.
Much of the province, including its two main beach resorts of Hua Hin and Cha-am, is to be placed under the Internal Security Act October 12-27, which allows authorities to crack down on any protests or any signs of violent intent with impunity.

"The prime minister reiterated that the upcoming summit would prove to other nations that the situation in Thailand has returned to normal," government spokesman Panitan Watanayagorn told the agency.
Dr Panitan, deputy secretary-general to the prime minister, goes on to tell the Mass Communications Organization of Thailand (MCOT) here:
the meeting approved the "Cha-am-Hua Hin 521" operational plan and the establishment of a joint security operations centre for the 15th ASEAN Summit under the supervision by Defence Minister.

(and) that combined forces of 18,298 security personnel, including 4,000 police and 5,000 military, will be deployed to maintain order during the ASEAN Summit and related meetings.

The ISOC meeting has evaluated that there will likely be movement from three groups; political activists in Phetchaburi and Prachuab Khiri Khan provinces, environmental activists and academic groups as well as some groups from other provinces, " said Dr Panitan.

We have already coodinated with them to gather in specific areas designated for demonstration, said Dr Panitan.

The acting government spokesman however affirmed that intelligence agencies have so far not found any suspicious movements linked to international terrorist groups, but it would continue keeping a close watch  saying that the Royal Thai Navy will also monitor the sea area of 12 nautical miles adjacent to the three nautical miles (5.6 kilometre) zone declared off-limits, while security personnel will monitor important spots in the Thai capital.
Xinhua adds this tidbit:
The cabinet also approved a budget of about 296 million baht (8.85 million U.S. dollars) to finance security measures to ensure security at the Summit's venues, Thai language news agency INN reported.
Perhaps it's time to visit the folks or take another long tour of Esan. At least school's out.

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posted by Falang Bo Fai @ 5:04 PM   0 Comments Links to this post

Thursday, October 8, 2009

Spiffy Rides For The ASEANs At The Summit

The Bangkok Post writes here that:
The government has bought 20 bullet-proof vehicles at a cost of eight million baht each to ensure the safety of government leaders attending the Asean Summit to be held late this month at Hua Hin, in Prachuap Khiri Khan province, and nearby Cha-am, in Phetchaburi, a Government House source said.

Deputy Prime Minister Suthep Thaugsuban, who is in charge of security affairs, travelled in one of the Range Rovers in a test run to Government House on Tuesday morning.
Not sure if they're talking about the Vogue pictured above but while the price of each is more than the value of 99% of the homes in Hua Hin, an off-the-rack pladonggo-proof Vogue lists for about four million in the UK (w/o rear seat DVD and cruise control) and there are folks much more knowledgeable on these matters than FBF who say that it costs a bit more than another four million to bring a luxury SUV up to European B6 ballistic protection standard. Who cares knows?

Hua Hin's authorized Rover dealer is in India this week for a sales conference so we'll ask for specifics when he returns...

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posted by Falang Bo Fai @ 11:15 AM   0 Comments Links to this post

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

October Odds & Ends

Plearnwan is now open again and it looks like the back 40 is complete. Haven't been in so don't know if any of the new shops have occupants but now the folks from Bangkok have a new place to bump into each other again.

Just talked to Fred and it looks like the Baja TacoMobile is a go for the first week in November. He wants to wait until the ASEAN Summit mobs have gone and Hua Hin is back to normal before powering up. He promised to call and give us an update as the time approaches.

BKS, the transport people, are the folks with the new minivans between Victory Monument in Bangkok and Hua Hin. They've also started the same service for Pranburi. The stop in Pranburi is just outside the entrance to Tesco Lotus and they have trips in each direction at least once an hour from O Dark 30 until late evening. With this new service, folks wanting to go direct from Bangkok to Pranburi will not have to pass through Hua Hin and the length of the trip should be about the same as the minivans take the bypass rather than the coastal road.

FBF has also noticed that the BKS minivans coming to Hua Hin drop off passengers well south of their office downtown so apparently one can go almost as far as Khao Takiab in one of their vans.

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posted by Falang Bo Fai @ 2:44 PM   0 Comments Links to this post

Monday, October 5, 2009

Hua Hin Goes Green for ASEAN Summit in October

The Bernama News Agency posts here that some ten thousand military and police will be deployed to ensure there is no disruption in Hua Hin during the summit.

They go on to quote Anupong:
Meanwhile, Army Chief Gen Anupong Paochinda said the Internal Security Act will be enforced between October 12 and 27 in nine sub-districts of Phetchaburi's Cha-am district and four sub-districts of Prachuab Khiri Khan's Hua Hin district.

The army chief however says he is confident there will be no untoward incident during the regional pact meeting.
In addition:
Deputy Prime Minister Suthep Thaugsuban affirmed enforcing the ISA will not disrupt the daily life of local residents.

Regarding traffic during the ASEAN meetings, Suthep said that local residents can travel normally, but a special "ASEAN lane" will be preserved for motorcades of country leaders, senior delegations, as well as media, as they have to travel from their hotels to the meeting venues.
That sounds like a couple of exciting weeks. Ten thousand troops and a few thousand delegates, hangers-on, and press and one less lane for traffic.

Another lane will obviously have to be reserved to check that the local residents have the proper sticker attached to their vehicle, proving that they are indeed local residents.

Stock up on provisions early as this could be as bad as Songkran.  NO reference intended to the activities in Bangkok during the last Songkran.

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posted by Falang Bo Fai @ 1:41 PM   0 Comments Links to this post

Train Derailed in Hua Hin

As posted here and increasingly more sites, a passenger train heading north to Bangkok from Trang derailed in at the Khao Tao station in southern Hua Hin district at approximately 0445 Monday morning 5 October 2009.  The Nation is now reporting 7 dead with many injured and many still trapped in the overturned carriages.

Injured are still being taken to area hospitals including Hua Hin and the provincial hospital in Prachuapkirikhan. The Bangkok Post has yet to pick up the story.

FBF has no intention of going to the site or the hospital but passed by the Hua Hin hospital at 0900 and rescue vehicles were still arriving and the parking lot was quite busy.

If I hear anything more that I don't see posted on the mass media, I'll add to this post later.


The death toll has reached 10 and trains southbound from Bangkok have been cancelled for at least 24 hours.

As of 1130 there were several ambulances parked on Petchkasem Rd., just north of the Hua Hin Hospital, apparently waiting to take stabilized injured on to Bangkok.

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posted by Falang Bo Fai @ 12:33 PM   0 Comments Links to this post

Thursday, October 1, 2009

Hua Hin Rock Festival, 19 December 2009

When FBF first saw this, he thought it was just another Honda thing but then he looked a little closer. There are some real Rock 'n' Rollers here. Someone once compared Ad Carabao to Willie Nelson.  If that's permissible, then what many more have said, that Laem Morrison is the Thai version of Jimi Hendrix, is probably actually true.

While Jimi was playing at Woodstock in 1969, Laem was leading the house band at the VIP Hotel* on the banks of the Mekong in Nakhon Phanom. His hot licks were very popular with the GIs and when not playing at the VIP, he toured the American bases throughout Essan in the late '60's and early '70's.

Laem later toured in Germany and other European countries where he became known as The Guitar King. He has also toured in the US and Australia and for the past several years has called The Blues Factory in Pattaya his home.

Another regular from The Blues Factory, Olarn and The Olarn Project, are also on the bill. Olarn is quite well known as a guitarist and songwriter.

Bong Hin Lek Fai is also listed and, with a name like that, has got to be a local boy made good.

With bands like this already on the card, FBF wouldn't be surprised if Ad or Sek Loso and others don't also make the scene.

It should be a good night but traffic will suck big time. No idea where in Khao Takiab it will be held but just follow the cars until you hear the noise and then pray for a parking place.

These guys are very popular with the Jesters MC also so if you see some big Harleys, just go where they go.

* The VIP Hotel still exists in NKP but the heady nights when Laem and the VIP Band were there are just fond memories. If you're ever in NKP, stop by and have a cold on the (now cracking) patio for the one of the best views of Laos by far. FBF spent many an evening there in the early '80's when the owner's son played him some tapes of Laem and the band.

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posted by Falang Bo Fai @ 8:30 PM   2 Comments Links to this post