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Thailand News Today | Big Feast For Monkeys At Lopburi Festival

Bank of Thailand to raise interest rates on Wednesday

Bank of Thailand (BOT) Governor today announced interest rates will be raised on
Wednesday to deal with potential inflation increases.
He is expected to raise interest rates by a modest quarter-point to take the benchmark
rate to 1.25%, underscoring ongoing worries about growth in Southeast Asia’s
second-largest economy.
Thailand’s economy lagged its Southeast Asia contemporaries and is not expected to
return to pre-pandemic levels until early next year when the kingdom’s tourism sector
makes a full recovery.
The governor offered some reassuring words before the modest interest rate hike.
“It is not necessary to aggressively increase rates to manage inflation like in other
countries.”
United Overseas Bank economist says he expects a relatively more modest recovery
of the Thai economy and a less aggressive BOT compared to the rest of the major and
regional central banks on the back of easing inflation which may result in a rather
persistent weakness in the Thai baht.
The US Federal Reserve increased rates by 375 basis points so far in this cycle, with
75 basis point moves at the last four meetings and another 50 due in December.
The baht has been one of the top performers in emerging market currencies,
depreciating only about 7% so far this year, despite the wide interest rate gap.
Australia and New Zealand (ANZ) Banking Group Limited economist noted that the
external pressure on the BOT to be more assertive with rate hikes has also eased after
the recent retreat in the dollar.
A weak currency is generally considered positive for the tourism-dependent Thai
economy.
Before the Covid-19 pandemic hit Thailand almost three years ago approximately 40
million tourists visited the country. The Thai government believes tourism in 2023
will hit 80% of its pre-pandemic levels, even if global growth slows. Thailand news

Big Feast For Monkeys At Lopburi Festival Thailand news

With Covid control measures having been relaxed, the 34th Lopburi Monkey festival
took place on Sunday with thousands of macaques in this city treated to a Chinese
banquet while both local and foreign tourists looked on.
The concept is “Monkeys treat Monkeys” with 30 statues of monkeys dressed in Thai
costume holding trays laden with delicious food at the event site.
Served were a variety of dishes including fried rice and a variety of fresh vegetables
and fruits that monkeys love including durian costing 700 baht a kg and blueberries.
As soon as the first dishes were served thousands of monkeys rushed in and
chaotically scrambled for the food while tourists and the media took photos.
However, there were some monkeys who could not get close to the food and tourists
bought crackers for them to eat.
Mr. Yongyut Kitwattananuson, or Sia Yi, head of Lopburi’s Chinese Monkey Banquet
association, said this year over 100,000 baht had been spent on purchasing two tons of
fresh fruits and vegetables for the monkeys including their favorites, such as durian,
cherries and blueberries.
Those who want to feed Lopburi monkeys were advised to purchase more costly food
as they like expensive treats.
That monkey statues were made to serve food to the macaques this year is to prevent
people from getting too close to them as part of Public Health Ministry’s Covid
prevention measures. Thailand news

Pattaya International Fireworks Festival meets goal of over 100,000 spectators Thailand news

The Pattaya International Fireworks Festival 2022 has come to a close, and
officials say the festival was a success. Pattaya Mayor said the festival met its goal
of bringing back tourists to boost Pattaya’s economy. As expected, the festival
drew over 100,000 spectators.
Although there were some major traffic delays, there were no reports of other
issues during the festival. The Mayor said the festival is expected to come back
even greater next year.
The festival was held from November 25-26, Friday to Saturday. The fireworks
illuminated the skyline of Central Pattaya Beach, and could also be seen from other
points including Bali Hai Pier, and Phra Tamnak Mountain Viewpoint near Bali
Nai Pier.
The festival featured stunning fireworks displays from Canada, the Philippines,
Belgium, and Malaysia.
Photos showed a massive crowd of people packed onto Pattaya Beach, sitting on
their towels as they eagerly awaited the start of the fireworks.
Pattaya’s fireworks festival has garnered international recognition. Back in March,
the International Festival and Event Association of Asia named the festival one of
three “major marine tourism festivals in Asia”.
The festival is held every year in Pattaya, usually later in the year. It lasts for two
days. The Tourism Authority of Thailand describes it as one of Pattaya’s “most
spectacular and exciting events”. In November last year, the festival happened
under strict Covid-19 measures.
The festival has even drawn the attention of some filmmakers. Last week, it was
reported that the festival would be the backdrop of a new film titled “All Men are
Brothers.” Thailand news

After fears of rare cancer risk, macro-textured breast implants have been banned in Thailand.

The new declaration was originally signed on October 20 by Deputy Public Health
Minister Satit Pitutecha. But on Friday the plan was officially legalised after being
published in the Royal Gazette, the final step in Thailand to enact a law.
The breast augmentation prohibition then went into effect immediately, blocking
the sale, manufacturing, and importing of all macro-textured implants. The ban
was enacted after evidence that they could cause a rare form of cancer, implant-
related anaplastic large cell lymphoma.
Concern for the cancer risk began last year after 800 cases of breast cancer
worldwide were linked to macro-textured silicone implants. Thailand’s Board of
Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery, along with the Thai Food and Drug
Administration issued a recall on the macro-textured silicone.
Now the total ban has been implemented in Thailand to cover all macro-textured
silicone implants with an average surface roughness 50 microns or more.
The banned option is a popular style because its placement is more stable than
other styles. The textured surface of the implant allows it to adhere more
thoroughly to the tissue inside someone’s breast. The irregular surface shape
makes the silicone stay put after a surgeon implants it. Thailand news

Thai gold necklace thief escapes arrest by swimming to Myanmar Thailand news

A thief stole a gold necklace worth about 150,000 baht from a shop near a police
station in Chiang Rai and then escaped arrest by embarking on a death-defying
swim across a snake-infested river to Myanmar. Thailand news
Khaosod reported that the theft happened on Saturday, November 26, at a gold
shop named Seri Phan in the Mae Sai district of Chiang Rai, which is located only
200 metres far from the Mae Sai Police Station.
The shop’s manager informed the police that a male customer entered the shop and
asked to see a 45.6-gram gold necklace, worth about 100,000 baht. The man said it
was too expensive but added that he would ask his wife’s opinion and come back
later.
The thief came back to the shop in disguise and said…
“My wife wants a 75.8-gram gold necklace.”
The necklace was worth about 148,750 baht, nearly 50,000 baht more expensive
than the first one.
The manager agreed to the sale and let him check the goods but the thief
immediately snatched the necklace and dashed off on his motorcycle.
Police checked CCTV cameras at the shop, the nearby area, and along the road
until they found the thief’s motorcycle parked near the Ruak River at the Thai-
Burmese border. A camera near the river showed that the thief parked his
motorcycle and swam about 100 metres through snake-infested, polluted water, to
Myanmar’s side.
The police are now contacting the Office of Thailand-Myanmar Border
Cooperation to ask for help from Myanmar’s authorities to track the gold necklace
thief. Thailand news

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