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Isaan families earn tens of thousands of baht selling dried tokay geckos

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Isaan families earn tens of thousands of baht selling dried tokay geckos | Thaiger
Stock photo via Wikimedia Commons

Hundreds of households in the Isaan province Nakhon Phanom are making tens of thousands of baht by selling dried tokay geckos, which are used in traditional Chinese medicine. It’s dry season in the Northeast region and a good time to catch geckos. While many businesses have been struggling throughout the coronavirus pandemic, the gecko trade seems to be booming.

A reporter from the Bangkok Post spoke with some people in the province’s Ban Tan district. They say more than 300 homes are cashing in on the gecko trade, each earning 50,000 to 100,000 baht by selling live or dried tokay geckos to traders. The geckos are then exported to China and Taiwan.

Some sell live tokay geckos at 40 to 50 baht each while those who kill the geckos and dry the bodies out, stretching the skin on sticks, sell the geckos for 80 to 100 baht each.

SOURCE: Bangkok Post

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15 Comments

15 Comments

  1. Avatar

    BlueT84

    Friday, March 12, 2021 at 3:42 pm

    At the current rate of capture around here. I assume 2-3 years all the lizards will be dead. In my local village. Every tom, dick and harry is out everyday capturing 100% of what they find. This year has been worse for obvious reasons . The locals have hunted for an extra 3 months more then prior years. With a massive increase in hunters.

    Anyone else notice the mass deforestation? From locals and goverment agencies. With all the road expansions to two lanes, the last of he old growth has been destroyed. Plus all the farmers making mass amounts of charcoal.

    I figure my ten year estimate of deforestation is coming faster then i like. Soon the only place you will be able to find any trees other then euca, rubber and such. Will be in a buddha area…

  2. Avatar

    toby andrews

    Friday, March 12, 2021 at 5:26 pm

    Next news will be. Nakhon Phanom suffers from clouds of mosquitos.

  3. Avatar

    James R

    Friday, March 12, 2021 at 7:35 pm

    It seems Thai people in or from Issan will eat anything.

    They eat insects and all sorts of such things, I ask Thais not from Issan would they or have they eaten such things and they normally screw up their faces in disgust and say ‘no way’.

    I suppose it is due to the fact Issan was originally part of Laos, they still have the same Laos language and traditions even after being part of Thailand for a hundred years or more now.

  4. Avatar

    EdwardV

    Friday, March 12, 2021 at 10:43 pm

    I wonder what will happen to the population of all the things those geckos use to eat? Reminds me of the sparrow story from China.

  5. Avatar

    Mr cynic

    Friday, March 12, 2021 at 11:30 pm

    Think the fact that issan is one of the poorest region’s in thailand may also be a factor in the fact that they will eat anything they can find.poor people are generally very resourceful and efficient through necessity.lot of other folks in thailand may soon be on the look out for anything they can eat for free as well.notice a lot of stories about nimby’s in phuket getting uptight about snakes slithering about the place.if hissing sid and friends were to show them self’s in the north east they would be straight in the pot.

  6. Avatar

    David Mann

    Saturday, March 13, 2021 at 4:18 am

    And then we wonder how something like Covid 19 appears out of nowhere. I’m sure civilisations messing around with bats, pangolin and exotics snakes all think it’s “normal”

  7. Avatar

    Ray

    Saturday, March 13, 2021 at 2:32 pm

    And now Winnie the Pooh in China has said that traditional medicine will take a more prominent place in health care. I guess he is fine with that as long as the wild life for the ingredients is not captured within China. Good for gecko and pangolin hunters, bad for the rest of us..

  8. Avatar

    TS

    Saturday, March 13, 2021 at 2:48 pm

    Don’t kid yourself. People used to look down their noses at Issan. True,there are a lot of poor villages in all provinces of Thailand but, having lived up country for sixteen years, I can tell you, it’s not like the old days. Lots of money and plenty of wealthy Thais around-not generated by the tourist biz, or gecko sales. The wealthy Thais up here just aren’t as showy about it. Land values are increasing exponentially

  9. Avatar

    Mike

    Saturday, March 13, 2021 at 11:00 pm

    Just so you know – all Chinese medicine (TCM) is total and utter rubbish. It’s nothing but quackery and that goes for acupuncture, cupping, bone-setting, homeopathy, chiropractic and all the other nonsense which also includes Thai massage

  10. Avatar

    James R

    Sunday, March 14, 2021 at 1:19 am

    TS

    As far as I am told most Thai people still look down on Issan, when asked why they say they would not be as poor if they had less kids, stopped drinking and partying too much and turned their backs on gambling.

    I have never been to Issan but what I have seen is all over Thailand 99% or bars girls are from Issan and they seem to love a good booze up, love to party and most have at least one kid staying with grandparents in Issan.

  11. Avatar

    TS

    Sunday, March 14, 2021 at 1:47 pm

    James R
    You’ve been told? I’ve also heard a good percentage of bargirls are from the NE. So what? But since you’ve never been to Issan and probably never will, don’t take everything you hear about more boozing, partying, gambling as fact. It is a festive country after all. I don’t see any more or less of it here than other places except the deep South. In 45 yrs.,from young backpacker to old man, been to every region of Thailand more than once or twice. Not a chamber of commerce spokesman but you should travel up here sometime and have a week or more to check out some towns. If for nothing else, the scenery. And sincerely friendly people. Don’t know what it is, something in the water?- the number of non bargirl stunners per capita here is off the Scoville scale.

  12. Avatar

    Craig

    Sunday, March 14, 2021 at 7:51 pm

    Trying to use “the millionaire next door” analogy to the Issan area is almost laughable.

  13. Avatar

    James R

    Monday, March 15, 2021 at 12:23 am

    TS

    Yes I have been told by many Thai people they do not like women from Issan because they make the whole of Thailand look bad, if they didn’t tell me what they think then I wouldn’t know would I, it is bit of a silly comment you have made.

    But I have come across many Issan bar girls in Phuket, boozing, smoking and getting really drunk and will go with any guy for a fiver. But not my cup of tea.

    I have driven all around Thailand except Issan on my six moths or one year holidays, Issan is not for me after seeing them in Phuket over many decades.

    But enjoy yourself in Issan, they are the ones who go for old farang guys, the rest of Thai women would not go anywhere near them.

  14. Avatar

    Craig

    Monday, March 15, 2021 at 3:18 am

    Totally agree James. I’m not sure what spin is trying to be put on the Issan area.

  15. Avatar

    Ben

    Monday, March 15, 2021 at 11:15 am

    Demand from China is fueling this demand so the people from the poorest region in Thailand will meet it.

    We are fortunate in the west to be able to “live to eat”. When a fortunate westerner or a rich Thai criticizes those from a poorer country or area for eating insects and the like it shows a lack of compassion and awareness. Many people have to eat anything they have. They “eat to live”. I’m not an insect guy btw.

    Also, rich Thais do look down on poor Thais. This is true even within Isaan. Money in Thailand brings status like nowhere else I’ve seen in the world. I’m not sure why but that’s my observation and supported by many Thais I’ve talked too. When most westerners see/meet other westerners they don’t think about money. When Thai’s see/meet westerners they think the westerner is rich.

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Pattaya prepares for around 2,000 US soldiers to visit for Cobra Gold

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Pattaya prepares for around 2,000 US soldiers to visit for Cobra Gold | Thaiger
Photo via Facebook/Cobra Gold Thailand

Despite Thailand’s record high Covid-19 count, around 1,000 to 2,000 United States soldiers are still expected to travel to Thailand in August for the annual Cobra Gold multinational military exercise, which is co-sponsored by the US. Thai soldiers teach American and other foreign soldiers jungle survival skills, from identifying edible plants to decapitating snakes, drinking the blood, and then cooking up the bodies to eat.

During the Cobra Gold exercise, US troops will be visiting Pattaya for rest and recreation. US forces representatives based in Thailand met with Pattaya officials to discuss the preparations for the event as well as Covid-19 prevention measures and security, particularly at the Bali Hai boat landing in south Pattaya.

Local health officials will work to vaccinate 70% of the population in Bang Lamung district and Pattaya City by June. Foreign soldiers will need to have both doses of the Covid-19 vaccine before arriving in Thailand.

SOURCE: Bangkok Post

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Thailand News Today | Vaccine passports announced, hospital-dodgers to be prosecuted | April 21

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Thailand News Today | Vaccine passports announced, hospital-dodgers to be prosecuted | April 21 | Thaiger

The president of the Thai Hotels Association says many properties are now considering shutting down for the entire low season as a result of the Covid-19 resurgence. They claim that smaller hotels simply don’t necessarily have the resources of the larger chains and are struggling with cash flow and crippled by low tourist demand. They say many are considering shutting up shop between April and October or until demand resumes.

The THA chief says April’s occupancy rates are expected to plummet to single digits, as happened in January during the second wave of the virus. She adds that the level of business in the last 2 weeks of this month will determine whether or not many will close. There are now just 400,000 working in the hotel industry, a huge drop compared to just a few years ago.

They also called for the Thai government to speed up vaccines for people employed in tourism… well, join the queue.

Thailand’s Health Ministry says it may prosecute a number of Covid-19 patients who refused to be treated at field hospitals. It’s understood the 74 patients, most of whom are from so-called “hi so” families in Bangkok, told officials that a stay in a field hospital would be “inconvenient”. The deputy public health minister says these patients demanded to stay at home instead, violating the communicable disease laws.

A spokesperson re-iterated today that every Covid-19 patient must be taken care of by medical personnel at a ministry medical facility, otherwise they violate the law. The ministry is considering taking legal action against those who have refused to follow ministry regulations.

They confirmed that the patients in question are from the Thong Lor cluster of infections linked to nightlife venues in the capital. They say the patients insisted they would only stay in private rooms in hospitals. They pointed to the case of the Thai actor Kom Chuanchen, saying that the celebrity initially only developed mild symptoms after testing positive but is now in intensive care with breathing problems.

The Thai government has confirmed it has adopted a vaccine passport scheme, to provide vaccinated residents with proof of Covid-19 inoculation. The vaccine passport will be an official document which can be used by vaccinated people travelling abroad. Details of the scheme have now been published in the Royal Gazette, making it official.

The Covid passport covers have text in English and Thai, bearing the department’s name and that of the Public Health Ministry. It carries the national emblem of Thailand and the wording, “Covid-19 Certificate of Vaccination”.

The vaccine passport also contains the owner’s name, as well as his or her national ID or passport number. The vaccine passport must be signed by an approved disease control official,… currently there’s only 6 such officials to sign the document around the country.

No details yet about who will issue the passports, if the clinic or hospital will do the paperwork, or even ho much it will cost.

PM Prayut Chan-o-cha announced that he won’t be attending the ASEAN summit regarding Myanmar, but will send his Foreign Minister instead. The summit, to be held in Jakarta this Saturday will address the increasingly dangerous situation in Myanmar where fear is growing that the ongoing protests against the February 1 coup could descend into civil war.

The meeting will be the first of national leaders, minus PM Prayut, as previous discussion of Myanmar has been between foreign ministers. Myanmar’s army chief earlier said he would attend the Myanmar summit but currently appears that he will only be attending virtually online.

Indonesia, stepping into a peacekeeping middleman role Thailand had played in the past, has been pushing to quell the growing crisis. Thailand has not been forthcoming in any criticism of the current Burmese army chiefs instead saying that they hope the situation can be resolved peacefully.

A doctor at Bangkok’s Chulalongkorn University says 7 people developed temporary partial paralysis after receiving a Covid vaccine. The 7 were all inoculated with CoronaVac, the vaccine from Chinese manufacturer, Sinovac Biotech. All were in the east of the country, with 6 in Rayong and 1 in Chon Buri.

The condition of all 7 improved after they were given medication. The side-effects were reported to the Public Health Ministry, saying the adverse effects might have been caused by a particular batch of vaccines, as opposed to the vaccine itself. Those investigations are ongoing.

Meanwhile, another Chulalongkorn doctor warns that this third wave of the virus is proving highly contagious, with an increase in the number of seriously ill patients in intensive care.

Dr Opass Putcharoen says that a growing number of young people who test positive are developing pneumonia and respiratory symptoms. He says that in the first and second wave, patients at risk of serious illness would show those symptoms around 7 days after infection. In the current wave, severe symptoms are developing much faster. He urged the government to fast-track its vaccine rollout.

Police are warning about another bank deposit scam spreading in Thailand. Police are warning people to beware of an SMS message notifying you of a money deposit along with an attached link to see the money. So far plenty of people have fallen for the scam. Victims have filed police reports and shared their info to the media. Most of them received notification of 100,000-200,000 baht deposited into their account requiring, of course, your email and bank usernames. The victims received messages that the personal information was vital to avoid someone removing money from their accounts.

Bottomline, just ignore any SMS messages from your bank and, if you are concerned, go into a bank branch in person to check. Don’t open the link!

Finally, 1,458 new Covid-19 cases and 2 deaths were reported today by the CCSA, stabilising the recent upward spike of new infections since the outbreaks at nightlife venues in Bangkok. Since April 1, 17,780 Covid-19 cases and 16 deaths have been reported.

The 2 additional Covid-related deaths today were a 56 year old Thai woman from Bangkok, who also suffered from diabetes, and a 32 year old Thai man from Nonthaburi who had allergies and lung disease.

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Human Rights Watch calls on Thailand to release activists detained on lèse majesté charges

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Human Rights Watch calls on Thailand to release activists detained on lèse majesté charges | Thaiger
Facebook_เพนกวิน - พริษฐ์ ชิวารักษ์_Parit_Chiwarak

The Human Rights Watch is calling on Thai authorities to release pro-democracy activists who are detained on lèse majesté charges which carry an up to 15 year prison sentence for insulting the Thai Monarchy. HRW says the charges should be dropped because the activists’ rights to freedom of expression and assembly have been violated.

2 of the detained activists, both students at Thammasat University, have been on a hunger strike as a form of protest against their pre-trial detention. Parit Chiwarak has been on a hunger strike for 35 days and Panusaya Sithijirawattanakul has been on the strike for 21 days. HRW says the 2 activists should be released and transferred to a hospital for medical supervision.

HRW Asia director Brad Adams says Thai authorities should immediately drop the cases against Parit, Panusaya as well as others who were “unjustly charged for their peaceful pro-democracy protests, but at a minimum, they should be released on bail.”

“Holding activists in detention prior to trial and conviction, which could be years away, seems aimed to unfairly punish them rather than fulfill a legitimate state interest.”

Back in February, Parit along with 3 other prominent activists Arnon Nampha, Somyot Pruksakasemsuk and Patiwat Saraiyaem, were ordered to pre-trial detention for charges related to their actions in the pro-democracy movement. Last month, Panusaya and 2 other democracy activists, Jatupat Boonpattararaksa, and Panupong Jadnok, were ordered by the Bangkok Criminal Court into pre-trial detention for lèse majesté charges relating to speeches demanding monarchy reform at a September rally.

Under Section 112 of Thailand’s Criminal Code, known as the lèse majesté law, insulting or defaming the Thai Monarchy carries a maximum punishment of 15 years in prison. The activists were also charged with sedition under Section 116 of the Criminal Code, which carries a punishment of up to 7 years in prison.

The activists have been denied bail and the HRW says they could end up being detained for years until their trial is concluded. HRW says holding the activists in pre-trial detention on lèse majesté charges violates their rights under international human rights law.

With the rise of the student-led pro-democracy movement, the number of lèse majesté charges has increased over the past year. For nearly 3 years prior, lèse majesté prosecutions never made it to court. Over the past year, 82 people have faced lèse majesté charges for actions at rallies or on social media related to the pro-democracy movement. Adams calls it a “witch hunt.”

“The Thai government should stop this witch hunt against peaceful dissenters and demonstrate respect for human rights by permitting all viewpoints… The government should engage with United Nations experts and others about amending the lèse majesté law to bring it into compliance with Thailand’s international human rights law obligations.”

SOURCE: Human Rights Watch

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