Southeast Asia

  • Economy

    Thai baht and Singapore dollar battle for strongest regional currency

    China is reopening its borders, pushing economists to predict that an influx of Chinese tourists to Thailand will propel the Thai baht into Southeast Asia’s reigning currency in 2023. But the baht has one regional competitor: the trusty Singapore dollar. Thailand’s economy heavily depends on tourism revenue. In 2019, Chinese tourists made up over 40% of the 40 million tourist…

  • Malaysia

    Floods hit Malaysia hard, tens of thousands displaced

    Floods are hitting Malaysia hard leaving tens of thousands of people displaced. As of last night, 45,000 victims had been evacuated to relief centres in five states in Malaysia’s peninsula. The state of Terengganu was hit the hardest, with 29,717 victims from 8,214 families evacuated. The district most impacted in Terengganu was Kemaman, with 8,375 victims from 2,109 families evacuated. There…

  • Tourism

    Thailand tops BBC poll for Southeast Asia travel

    A recent BBC poll saw Thailand on the top of the list of most desired destinations to travel to in Southeast Asia. BBC News conducted a poll of people planning a trip from Europe and North America to Southeast Asia in July. Thailand topped the list with 57.4% of people responding that they would be likely to visit the kingdom.…

  • Thailand

    Dengue fever in Thailand: How the zebra-striped mosquito wreaks havoc on residents

    We have all heard that mosquitoes are the most dangerous creature to encounter. But, what kind of havoc does a tiny, zebra-striped mosquito in Thailand (and other sub-tropical areas) actually wreak on humans? Well, the answer is the widely-feared Dengue or DENV virus. As it comes in four lovely serotypes, the virus that is transmitted by the Aedes Aegypti mosquito…

  • Indonesia

    Thailand teaches Indonesia how to legalise cannabis

    Government officials from Indonesia – a country famous for having some of the strictest drug laws in the world – flew to Thailand to learn about the kingdom’s liberal medical cannabis policies this morning. News that old-fashioned Indonesia is considering legalising medical cannabis comes as quite a shock given that lawmakers in the country approved a Draconian law that bans…

  • Health

    How to combat mould in humid climates like Thailand

    The most humid parts of the world include Thailand and all of South and Southeast Asia. For those who live or travel to these countries, combatting mould becomes a mainstay task of tropical living, especially during the rainy season. According to Dr Cameron Jones, a mould problem occurs when water vapour from the humid air can condense onto surfaces, providing…

  • Indonesia

    Earthquake kills at least 46 in Indonesia

    A 5.6 magnitude earthquake struck West Java in Indonesia this afternoon, killing at least 46 people. Over 700 injuries have been reported so far. The death toll is likely to rise, according to the Indonesian Disaster Agency. The quake struck in Cianjur, about 100 kilometres southeast of Jakarta, at a depth of 10 kilometres and lasted for about one minute.…

  • Tourism

    Asian international tourism slower than other regions

    While tourism in Thailand is picking up, Southeast Asia has seen a much slower rate of return for international travellers than other parts of the world. Many popular holiday areas in Europe have seen a full recovery, and even record-breaking numbers in some. But Asia lags, flummoxed by the slow lifting of Covid-19 restrictions. Thailand began reopening efforts over a…

  • Myanmar

    Burmese junta to release former UK ambassador, Australian economist, and Japanese journalist

    The Burmese junta is set to release a former UK ambassador, an Australian economist, and a Japanese journalist who have been detained in Myanmar. The three are being released under amnesty which includes over 6,000 other prisoners. Former UK ambassador Vicky Bowman was arrested with her husband on August 24, and the two were sentenced to a year in prison. Reuters…

  • Southeast Asia

    Amnesty International calls on Thailand to help stop Myanmar violence

    Amnesty International yesterday called on Thailand to help stop the violence in Myanmar. The organisation marched to the UN building on Ratchadamnoen Nok Road to submit a letter urging the Thai government to help, as Thailand is the host of the 29th APEC Economic Leaders’ Meeting. The letter listed four demands: The Thai government should use every possible means to…

  • Economy

    Thailand pushes digital payments, rejects US dollar in move towards cashless society

    The Bank of Thailand and central banks in four more southeast Asian countries are creating a cross-border payment zone using QR codes so that southeast Asians can make international payments digitally without having to convert and reconvert to US dollars. The bank hopes to bolster the use of digital payments to halve the amount of cash in circulation in Thailand…

  • China

    Business exodus from China will ensure Southeast Asia will flourish

    One of Thailand’s leading business executives believes Southeast Asia will flourish on the back of Chinese President Xi Jinping securing an unprecedented third term as leader of the Chinese Communist Party (CCP). The reelection of President Xi as CCP leader tightened his grip on the mainland and also ensured an exodus of businesses looking to relocate from China to Southeast…

  • Laos

    Starbucks makes its Laos debut with unique local touches

    Starbucks today made its debut in Laos, the nation’s first store. The coffee shop opened in the Lao capital of Vientiane at Parkson Mall, an office and shopping development in the heart of the city. The new Starbucks hopes to contribute to Laos’ thriving coffee culture. The store’s architecture is uniquely Laotian, there is a handcrafted, textured door handle. The…

  • Tourism

    Tourism Authority of Thailand: 18 million tourists in 2023

    After arriving tourist numbers crossed seven million last month, inching toward the goal of 10 million for the year, the Tourism Authority of Thailand (TAT) is making middle-of-the-road projections for 2023. While they don’t believe that Thailand will see anything like the 40 million tourists per year they saw before Covid, the TAT is estimating 18 million international arrivals next…

  • Environment

    Death toll up to 98 in Philippines, more storms predicted

    The death toll in the Philippines has risen to almost 100 after Tropical Storm Nalgae hit the island nation over the weekend. Reports say 98 people have died as a result of the storm sweeping across the Southeast Asian country. The Philippines disaster agency reported that about half the deaths were recorded in the southern autonomous region of Bangsamoro because…

  • Myanmar

    VIDEO: Sex doll consecration ceremony infuriates Buddhism officials in Myanmar

    Buddhism officials in Myanmar are filing a lawsuit against a group of people who conducted a religious ceremony for two sex dolls at Shwedagon Pagoda in Yangon, which is considered one of Myanmar’s most sacred sites, on Saturday. A group of people arrived at the temple with two sex dolls dressed in traditional Burmese clothing and wearing tiaras. The group…

  • Hot News

    SE Asia foreign ministers to hold emergency talks over Myanmar

    Foreign ministers of Southeast Asian countries are set to hold emergency talks over the current state of Myanmar. The talks will be held in Jakarta, Indonesia next week ahead of next month’s ASEAN leaders’ summit in Cambodia. Myanmar has descended into chaos since the military took over in February 2021. Now, reports say there are more than 2,300 killed during…

  • Lifestyle

    Why is Diwali important to Indians? The mythology behind the festival

    You might have heard of India’s “festival of lights” known as Diwali. Many photos show people who celebrate by holding colourful lanterns, or lighting candles. But what exactly is the festival celebrating? What do the lights symbolise? This year’s Diwali festival is coming up on Monday, October 24, and if you have Indian friends, it might be helpful to understand…

  • Myanmar

    Bomb blasts kill eight at Myanmar’s notorious Insein Prison

    Parcel bomb blasts killed eight people at Insein Prison on the outskirts of Yangon in Myanmar at 9.40am on Wednesday. Three prison staff and five visitors were killed, according to the Burmese military junta. Five visitors were killed in the explosions, including four women and a 10 year old girl, who were all relatives of political prisoners. Thirteen visitors, including…

  • Education

    Thai university rankings slide, Singapore first in ASEAN

    The latest Times Higher Education report has seen Thailand’s universities slide in rankings with Singapore coming out on top in Southeast Asia. According to the Bangkok Post, Thailand’s rankings were lower than those of tertiary institutions in Singapore, Malaysia, Vietnam, the Philippines, and Brunei. The report listed the kingdom’s four best universities in the 801-1,000 band: Chulalongkorn University King Mongkut’s…

  • Singapore

    Singapore Air announces new policy for pregnant stewardesses

    Singapore Air announced a new policy for pregnant stewardesses. Stewardesses who become pregnant will now be able to keep their jobs at Singapore Air, the airline said in a statement. The statement said that pregnant cabin crew members can now choose to work in “a temporary ground attachment.” The statement said crew members can resume flying duties after maternity leave. Singapore…

  • Visa

    Philippines offers attractive alternative to Thailand’s 10 year LTR visa

    The Philippines launched a Special Investors Resident Visa (SIRV) offering permanent residency to any foreigner who invests at least US$75,000 in business or securities. The visa reaps more rewards for a smaller investment than Thailand’s 10 year Long Term Resident (LTR) visa, which hasn’t attracted as much attention as initially hoped since its launch last month. Once a foreigner has invested…