CentralWorld Bangkok lights up for the holiday season

CentralWorld Bangkok lights up for the holiday season

CentralWorld Shopping Complex in the heart of Bangkok is putting on its much-anticipated annual light displays for the holiday season, from now until 7 January, 2018.

Highlights for this year are more than 400 Christmas decorations, cartoon characters and art pieces, including the five-metre-tall sculptures of Santa Claus and friends, created by the famous Argentinian illustrator, Javier González Burgos, under the theme of “The Dazzling Celebration.”

From 21 to 26 November, there’re daily light-and-sound shows at 19.00, 20.00 and 21.00 Hrs.

CentralWorld Bangkok lights up for the holiday season

All photos are courtesy of Richard Barrow, a travel blogger based in Thailand.

OmniComm Systems Signs Letter of Intent to Acquire Certain Assets of Algorithm and its Subsidiary Algorics

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Come join Pattaya’s ‘Wonderfruit’ celebration of Thai arts and sustainable living 14 to 17 December

Wonderfruit Festival Pattaya

Bangkok, 21 November, 2017 – Wonderfruit, Thailand’s pioneering celebration of the arts and sustainable living, returns for its fourth year with world-class entertainment plus perspective-shifting workshops and world-class tourism gastronomy from 14 to 17 December at the Siam Country Club in Pattaya.

Wonderfruit is far from your average music festival, and travellers worldwide are invited to return for its fourth iteration. It is Thailand’s pioneering, sustainable, cross-cultural, live celebration of the arts, music, food and ideas – where barefoot luxury meets awe-inspiring social awareness and innovative adventures.

Tourism Authority of Thailand (TAT) Governor Mr. Yuthasak Supasorn said, “TAT is delighted to lend its support to this important event, as part of its “Open to the New Shades of Thailand’ marketing concept. Wonderfruit is already well – established in the international market after only three short years. It captures the imagination of overseas visitors and domestic tourists alike.

“Each zone in this event showcases distinct Thai local experiences and characteristics including gastronomy, music and local culture while addressing important contemporary social issues that impact society as a whole.”

Wonderfruit is produced by Thai-based ‘SCRATCH FIRST’, which seeks to provide a platform for creative cultures to come together and be a catalyst for positive change. The company is a global pioneer in experiential movements, responsible for Asia’s first entry into the transformational lifestyle festival arena. It leads the way with stunning environments, highly curated festival offerings, supported by socially conscious and eco-friendly policies.

In between sets or workshops, Wonderfruit visitors can feast on ‘Farm Fresh Gastronomy’ provided by culinary leaders Morimoto Bangkok, Straight Outta Thonglor, Rocketfruit, Healthy Food Trucks, Thailand Young Farmers, Dean & Deluca, Patom and The FARMacy.

Hotel partners in Pattaya are offering discounts for Wonderfruit guests. Boutique Camping, which sold out in previous years, is available for those looking for luxury and convenience, while ‘RV passes’ are available for caravans.  There is also a general camping area available for all ticket holders to pitch their own tent free of charge.

Ticket pricing begins at US$147 (5,000 Baht) for an adult 4-day pass, which includes general camping. For more information, visit: http://wonderfruitfestival.com/

Fast facts: 

Wonderfruit is built on six pillars: Arts, Music, Family, Farm to Feasts, Talks & Workshops, and Wellness & Adventures:

Arts: Wonderfruit’s artistic marvels set the scene and create an unforgettable landscape. The stunning Solar Stage by Gregg Fleishman gets a makeover for December, while Marvel’s Adam Pollina turns his creative design talents to The Quarry. Installations to look out for include a biomorphic alien creation by Filipino artist-designer Leeroy New and an interactive sculptural representation of Punyisa Silparassamee’s childhood Chinese dragon festival toy, while California-based multi-disciplinary artist, Tigre Bailando creates a sanctuary of discovery and healing.

Music: All-star musical lineup of world-class DJs provide musical entertainment at Wonderfruit includes: Richie Hawtin, Roots Manuva, Khruangbin, Gui Boratto, Khun Narin, Izzy Bizu, Nicola Cruz, Be Svendsen, Craig Richards, Crew Love Takeover, Songhoy Blues, Stoic, Nerve, Bobby Pleasure, Vurro, Wild Beasts, Sarayu, Marmosets, Matt Sassari, Yeasayer, Eduardo Castillo, John Will Sail, Hernandez Brothers, Gapi and the Thai Dub Mafia, Space Telexxx, Singto Numchok and Curtismith.

Family: The kids will be kept well occupied, meanwhile, at dedicated family-friendly venue Camp Wonder, where fun and games include explorations into the insect world with Buglife and storytelling with Anna Manuel of Heads & Tales. Wonderers can look forward to the full complement of interactive, visual and culinary marvels, not to mention unique activities for all ages – to be announced shortly.

Farm to Feasts: To ensure revellers are nourished, an array of clean bites and delights including organic Phat Thai, natural pork sausage and vegan alternatives will be available from Healthy Food Trucks; Dean & Deluca will satisfy Wonderers with their favourite breakfast goodies and coffee, while Patom will have refreshing organic drinks at the ready. At the heart of The Fields Wonderfruit’s farm is undergoing a makeover to become the FARMacy – home to natural, homegrown remedies and medicinal plants, to prove that nature often provides the best cure. Thai street food will be on hand from local vendors including the Clean Food Caravan, and besides manning their pop – up natural food station, Thailand Young Farmers have already begun an exciting overhaul at the heart of the site: The FARMacy will act as a dispensary of natural organic and homegrown remedies, to keep Wonderers happy and healthy.

Talks & Workshops: Scratch Talks returns with a lineup of speakers guaranteed to inspire and galvanise festival goers. Author of best-selling book “Zero Waste Home”, Bea Johnson will share how she and her family produce a mere pint of trash a year. Dr. Singh Intrachooto from Bangkok’s Kasetsart University, who was recently named one of Asia’s Green Game-changers, and the founder of Folkrice – Anukool Saibejra will reveal their eco-friendly initiatives. 

Wellness & Adventures: Wonderers will be able to explore the Sustainability Pavilion, an interactive exhibition space and living proof of Wonderfruit’s progress on its fundamental ethos of sustainability and community, which will feature a range of art installations created using innovative techniques and sustainable materials.

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Discover local Thai experiences at Khlong San – Thonburi Delights@Siam fair

ICONSIAM, in collaboration with Khlong San and Thon Buri District Offices, is organising a week-long “Khlong San – Thonburi Delights@Siam” fair, from 29 November to 5 December, 2017, at Discovery Plaza, Siam Discovery, in the heart of Bangkok.

Throughout seven days, local and international tourists will have the chance to shop for a variety of arts and crafts as well as dishes and snacks indigenous to the local communities of Khlong San and Thonburi districts.

These include Khon masks from Baan Khon Thai shop of Soi Wat Suwan’s community; hand woven cotton products from Auntie Nang’s Pha Fai shop; quartz jewellery from Klong San community; and handmade piggy bank from Paper Mache Pig House shop of Prayurawongsawas Woravihara Temple community.

Khlong San – Thonburi Delights@Siam fairKhon Mask Maker, the premium handicraft product from Baan Khon Thai shop

Khlong San – Thonburi Delights@Siam fairA family of colorful paper mache piggy banks from Paper Mache Pig House shop
Khlong San – Thonburi Delights@Siam fairReady to wear cloths made from hand woven cotton fabrics from Auntie Nang’s Pha Fai shop

Food lovers will be delighted to sample a variety of local dishes and desserts with a Portuguese flair from the Kadeejeen community. These include rare ancient dishes: Sappayak Bun (a traditional Portuguese bun stuffed with minced pork, potatoes and chilli), Latieng (fried prawns and nut wrapped in an egg net), Chor Muang (a purple chewy treat stuffed with savoury filling), Jeeb Nok Thai (bird-shaped Thai dim sum); and Khanom Farang cupcake.

Khlong San – Thonburi Delights@Siam fairSappayak Bun, Latieng, Chor Muang, Jeeb Nok Thai are among rare ancient dishes of Portuguese-born families from Baan Sakul Thong

Khlong San – Thonburi Delights@Siam fairKhanom Farang Kudeejeen, an ancient dessert of a small Portuguese community that settled over the Chao Phraya River on the Thonburi side for more than 200 years ago

Dishes not to miss also include the boiled pork dumpling in Chaozhou style from Uncle Sek, Kao Mun Som Tum (rice cooked in coconut milk and papaya salad) from the Kadeejeen community, and Bua Loi Kai Kem (rice dumpling in sweetened coconut milk with salted egg yolk) from Klong San pier. Last but not least, quench your thirst with the Indian Mulberry Juice in Honey at Grandfather’s Herbal Drink shop.

Khlong San – Thonburi Delights@Siam fairBua Loi Kai Kem, three-color rice dumpling in sweetened coconut milk from Klong San pier

Khlong San – Thonburi Delights@Siam fairChinese Steamed Dumpling, boiled pork dumpling in Chaozhou style from Uncle Sek shop
Khlong San – Thonburi Delights@Siam fairNoni Juice in Honey has impressive benefits for health from Grandfather’s Herbal Drink shop

While at the fair, local and international visitors can also enjoy several interesting activities, including demonstrations of Khon mask making, paper mache piggy bank making, and cotton fabric weaving. They can also learn how to cook the Chor Muang snack.

ASEAN and China underline strategic tourism partnership

Bangkok, 21 November, 2017 – New levels of ASEAN-China tourism cooperation were lauded as a success and an indication of more to come, at the closing ceremony of the ASEAN-China Tourism Cooperation Year 2017, which took place in Kunming, China on 17 November.

Since the official launch of the ASEAN-China Tourism Cooperation Year in Manila in March, the two tourism blocs have grown closer together on tourism matters.

ASEAN-China Tourism Cooperation Year 2017
At the 17 November ceremony: closer coordination between ASEAN and China on many aspects of tourism

Mr. Pongpanu Svetarundra, Thailand’s Permanent Secretary of the Ministry of Tourism and Sports, said that ASEAN and China had established high level cooperation on tourism matters, shared data and tourism statistics at multiple levels, and promoted quality tourism through the enhancement of standards.

The two tourism blocs also encouraged participation at travel trade shows and tourism festivals through the ASEAN-China Centre and boosted links between tourism education institutions. In addition, the cooperation facilitated greater liberalised air connectivity, and created a framework for better cruise and yacht tourism cooperation.

Speaking at the closing ceremony in Kunming on 17 November, Mr. Pongpanu said, “The inaugural ASEAN-CHINA Tourism Cooperation Year has successfully laid the foundations for enhanced two-way tourism cooperation between ASEAN and China. Many mutual tourism benefits have been achieved. ASEAN and China can now look forward to further deepening and broadening their tourism cooperation.”

China is the biggest source of foreign tourists for ASEAN. Tourism growth between the two blocs is already huge.

In 2016 the number of tourist arrivals from China to ASEAN was 19.8 million, an increase of 6.4% over 2015. While the number of ASEAN tourists to China recorded 10.34 million, an increase of 57.8 %.

The ASEAN-China Tourism Cooperation Year was launched in March in the Philippines. Chinese Premier Li Keqiang and Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte fully endorsed the initiative.


BANGKOK, Thailand� Thailand is seeking Malaysia’s cooperation in sending back Uighurs who are believed to have slipped into the neighbouring country, after escaping from an Immigration detention centre in Sadao yesterday.

According to Deputy Prime Minister Gen Prawit Wongsuwan, five of the 20 Uighurs escapees had been recaptured, but he did not furnish details on it, the location of their recapture or which country arrested them.

“Five of them have been recaptured and the rest have crossed the border (into Malaysia). So, now we are contacting our counterparts in Malaysia to send them back to us,” he told the media after attending the weekly cabinet meeting, here, today.

He said there were 100 to 200 Uighurs currently under detention in Thailand.

In the 2 am (local time) incident yesterday, 20 ethnic Uighurs awaiting repatriation to their home country escaped from Sadao’s Immigration detention centre, with officials believing they headed to the nearby jungle at the Malaysia-Thailand border.

The escaping Uighurs, detained at the centre since 2014, had dug a hole in their cell wall and climbed down the building using blankets.

Eight of the centre’s Immigration officers have been transferred out as the authorities began an investigation into the breakout.

Meanwhile, the deputy prime minister said the Uighurs currently detained in Thailand could be sent back to their original country, birth country or a third country.

“For example, we deported some of them back to China as the evidence proved that they were born in China and had committed offences there, so we deported them to China.

Some Uighur women and children have been deported to third countries as they do not have a criminal record, said Prawit, adding that the authorities planned to bring the 20 Uighurs to Bangkok before they escaped.

Meanwhile, in Songkhla, southern Thailand, Immigration police chief, Lt Gen Suthipong Wongping who toured the detention centre today said they had already informed their Malaysian counterpart on the Uighurs’ escape.

The authorities, according to him, had managed to retrace the escape routes taken by the Uighurs and believed all of them had slipped out of Thailand.

He said the Immigration police had also set up a committee to investigate the incident.