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A Singaporean's guide to living in Thailand

yinyang

Alfrescian (Inf)
Asset
Less bang for your baht :giggle:

Unstoppable baht
Baht surges to 5-year high near 31
Investors optimistic on US-China talks

The baht soared to its highest level against the dollar in more than five years on Wednesday, on hopes that the US and China would be able to secure a trade deal and avert retaliatory tariffs. Analysts expect the local currency to continue marching past the 31-baht mark.

The baht's rapid gain could be due to dollar weakness as investors place bets that the US-China trade talks will reach a deal and that the US Federal Reserve will pause rate hikes for the rest of the year, said Roong Sanguanruang, head of global market research and analysis at Bank of Ayudhya.
She said the baht is the target of foreign fund inflows, due to Thailand's high current account surplus.


The baht is the best-performing currency in Asia, rising 4.7% so far this year to Wednesday's 31.07 -- the highest level against the US dollar since November 2013. Indonesia's rupiah is second with a 2.3% gain, followed by the Chinese yuan at 2.2%.

Local exporters' sell-off of the US dollar for the baht and foreign direct investment (FDI) to Thailand gave a boost to the baht this year, though portfolio investors have a net selling position, she said.
Given the US central bank's signalling of a pause throughout this year, fund inflows could be reversed to Asia and the baht is likely to rise above 31 against the greenback, Ms Roong said.

Bank of Thailand governor Veerathai Santiprabhob last week voiced concerns over the rapid baht run-up but insisted that the stronger baht did not stem from December's 25-basis-point policy rate hike, given net fund outflows worth nearly US$300 million (9.33 billion baht) as of Feb 13 from investment portfolios.


The governor's comment was echoed by the Monetary Policy Committee's minutes from the Feb 6 meeting, released Wednesday, which said the baht strengthened mainly due to the weakening dollar.
The baht's movement was in line with those of emerging markets and regional currencies, while the nominal effective exchange rate index appreciated due to Thailand's strong external stability, which was partly reflected by the sustained current account surplus, the minutes said.
The committee added that the economy is likely to reach its potential but would experience increased uncertainties from external and domestic factors that could affect economic growth in the period ahead.


These uncertainties include trade protectionism measures between the US and China that could be prolonged and effect trading partners' economies and consequently Thailand's merchandise exports, a worsening outlook for Chinese economic growth, and the progress on infrastructure investment projects that could have important consequences for private investment.
A trader at Krungthai Bank, Jittipol Pruksamethanon, cited high demand for the baht prompted by the country's current account surplus, the bright outlook of the US-China trade negotiations and the US dollar's retreat.


"These factors could push the baht to strengthen further to 30.75 to the dollar," Mr Jittipol said.
Kasikorn Research Center said that if the US-China trade talks show positive signs and the Fed follows through on its hints of slower rate hikes at the March meeting, the dollar will be pressured and the baht will climb higher.
 

Froggy

Alfrescian (InfP) + Mod
Moderator
Generous Asset
In Thailand the Burger King seems to be rediculously expensive, went to a restaurant to have a quick fix a few nights ago.

How are prices of Burger King in Singapore compared to the other fast food?







Menu and price


My simple meal consists of a double cheese burger and a regular fried and free water


226baht is $9.40
 
In Thailand the Burger King seems to be rediculously expensive, went to a restaurant to have a quick fix a few nights ago.

How are prices of Burger King in Singapore compared to the other fast food?







Menu and price


My simple meal consists of a double cheese burger and a regular fried and free water


226baht is $9.40
Burger King in US serves beer 24/7

 

Froggy

Alfrescian (InfP) + Mod
Moderator
Generous Asset
Mo-Mo-Paradise is a chain of shabu-shabu and sukiyaki restaurant from Japan. You can find them in many malls in Bangkok. Everything in their restaurants are very fresh. Its buffet style meaning its eat-all-you-can at 1 price. There is a bar for vegetables, tofu, salad but the meats and noodles you have to order with the staff.

Had dinner there alone 4hrs ago

The restaurant, got to queue 15mins for my table


Inside the restaurant


Salad, vegetable, tofu


My dinner


Pork and beef


Boiling pot with 2 flavors


616 baht ($26.60) discount using credit card so price is 526 baht ($22.70)
 

Froggy

Alfrescian (InfP) + Mod
Moderator
Generous Asset
https://asia.nikkei.com/Politics/Tu...ource=NAR Newsletter&utm_content=article link

Young Thai billionaire emerges as potential kingmaker in election
Huge fresh voter base puts new party Future Forward in pivotal position
MASAYUKI YUDA, Nikkei staff writer February 22, 2019 12:14 JST


Thanathorn Juangroongruangkit has built a significant supporter base among young Thais since establishing the Future Forward party less than a year ago. ©Reuters

BANGKOK -- Thailand's new Future Forward party is rapidly emerging as an unexpected wild-card in the country's long-awaited general election, and could prove pivotal in the formation of the next government.

Formed only in March by businessman Thanathorn Juangrongruangkit, the party has drawn vast support from the country's young by presenting itself as an alternative choice for anti-junta voters.

With huge numbers set to enter the electorate for the first time, this new force in Thai politics could play a crucial role in the outcome on March 24.

Future Forward was backed by 7.5% of respondents in a nationwide opinion poll run by the Bangkok Post on Feb. 12 and 13. That fell below the 9.3% garnered by Pheu Thai, a party linked to exiled former leader Thaksin Shinawatra, but above the pro-junta Palang Pracharat Party's 7.0%.

When asked for a favorite prime ministerial candidate, however, just 6.6% endorsed Thanathorn, compared with 12% who picked junta leader Prayuth Chan-ocha and 8.1% opting for Pheu Thai's Sudarat Keyuraphan.

Tellingly, around two-thirds in both polls said they were undecided, indicating just how difficult it is to predict the result.

Thanathorn founded Future Forward on a pro-democracy agenda that he claims differentiates it from the country's traditional power groups. Its members are youthful collection of academics, entrepreneurs and activists from a diverse range of fields.

"We have to review the tank contract with China and see if it could be amended or canceled," said the 40-year-old, drawing the loudest cheer at a panel discussion with other candidates on Feb. 7.

Military spending has become a particularly contentious issue. Prayuth's government set the 2019 defense budget at 227 billion baht ($7 billion), a 4% increase from the previous year, while several anti-junta parties have suggested cutting it by 10%.


With six million Thais eligible to vote for the first time, the outcome of elections on March 24 has become extremely difficult to predict. © Reuters

Thanathorn stepped down from his role as an executive at Thai Summit Group, the auto parts manufacturer his family owns, in order to focus exclusively on politics. Many of Future Forward's policies, like fighting inequality, pushing for decentralization and reducing military spending, resonate in poorer areas of northern and northeastern Thailand -- traditional Thaksin territory.

Many in the largely agricultural region say their lives have not improved in five years under junta rule.

Future Forward was endorsed by 21.2% respondents in the northeast in an opinion poll run by Khon Kaen University, coming second to Pheu Thai with 44.8%. Palang Pracharat, on the other hand, was backed by just 7.4%.

Another potentially crucial demographic will be the roughly six million voters -- out of a total of 50 million -- who have come of age since the last election eight years ago. Very little is known about their voting behavior, but many speculate that the party's message will appeal to first-timers, and Future Forward has made full use of social media to reach as many potential supporters as possible.

Eager to portray himself as someone ordinary people can relate to, the billionaire arrived for candidate registration on Feb. 4 by public bus wearing an open-collar white shirt, rather than being chauffeured to the venue and donning a loud sweater emblazoned with campaign slogans like some of his peers.

The pro-Thaksin Thai Raksa Chart party broke with longstanding tradition in attempting to nominate Princess Ubolratana, seen here in 2010, as a candidate for prime minister. © Reuters

The new party is also potentially set to gain from the pro-Thaksin Thai Raksa Chart Party's seemingly maladroit attempts to nominate Princess Ubolratana as one of its candidates for the premiership.

The Election Commission of Thailand has filed a motion with the Constitutional Court contesting the legality of involving a member of the royal family in politics. The court will start considering the case on Feb. 27.

Thai Raksa Chart was endorsed by 7.5% in the Khon Kaen University survey, and if it is forced to disband by a court ruling, many of its supporters will be expected to turn to other anti-junta parties, including Future Forward.

This election has been so difficult to call that few media outlets or think tanks have ventured a prediction on the seat count, especially after the attempted nomination of the princess cast further uncertainty over proceedings.

As things develop, however, many specialists foresee Future Forward playing a pivotal role in the formation of a ruling coalition.

"Thanathorn has been trying to distance his party from Thaksin's allies," said Yuji Mizukami, a visiting research fellow at Thammasat University. "But the Thaksin side may approach Future Forward, if they need its seats to reach majority in the lower house."

Some say that Thaksin is already maneuvering for such a deal, with his choice of words in a recent tweet having set tongues wagging.

But while the party's outspoken nature has struck the right chord with young people, it may have landed its leadership in hot water.

Police said on Wednesday that they were seeking the prosecution of Thanathorn and two other Future Forward executives over a speech the leader made on Facebook last June, criticizing the ruling junta. The authorities claim that they have "uploaded false information." The party has denied the charges, saying that the speech was based on information that had already been made public, according to reports.

If convicted, the three could face five years in prison under the Computer Crime Act and would be automatically disqualified from entering politics.
 

Froggy

Alfrescian (InfP) + Mod
Moderator
Generous Asset
All alone and nothing much to do today so went to my fav Italian restaurant for early dinner. Opens at 5.30pm was there 5.20pm.

Called a dinner companion to join me, while waiting started with a Pinot Grigio


with some salami and parma ham


Here she come


Chef Peppe already know what she wanted, the usual rocket


Peppe is very busy tonight, full book


She prefers red


Love these italian tomatoes


Fresh, juicy, delicious


Paccheri with sauce made with nduja salami, my first time, marvelous


One more Primitivo


Tenderlion


The way we love, medium rare


Came early and end early, time to go
 

Froggy

Alfrescian (InfP) + Mod
Moderator
Generous Asset
Foodland is a supermarket chain that opens 24 hrs every day. All foodland branches has a kitchen that serve all sorts of food.

Breakfast a short while ago

Missed happy hour by 4 minutes so had to pay 81 baht $3.50


Fruit juice, bread, fresh coffee, water, 2 eggs (any way you like), sausage (or bacon or ham)


 
Mo-Mo-Paradise is a chain of shabu-shabu and sukiyaki restaurant from Japan. You can find them in many malls in Bangkok. Everything in their restaurants are very fresh. Its buffet style meaning its eat-all-you-can at 1 price. There is a bar for vegetables, tofu, salad but the meats and noodles you have to order with the staff.

Had dinner there alone 4hrs ago

The restaurant, got to queue 15mins for my table


Inside the restaurant


Salad, vegetable, tofu


My dinner


Pork and beef


Boiling pot with 2 flavors


616 baht ($26.60) discount using credit card so price is 526 baht ($22.70)
Shabu Shabu buffets are quite cheap in jakarta too.
 

yinyang

Alfrescian (Inf)
Asset
Sense of dejavu, here in Suk 15 -used to stay at Royal President hotel 15 years ago. Now the soi has taken diff look with upmarket 4 Points Sheraton. Housing Hooters and this nice Irish pub aptly called Drunken Leprechaun.

Here for the biggie MU vs Pool match starting at 9pm here. Ordered in house pint 169 plus fish and chips

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yinyang

Alfrescian (Inf)
Asset
Was at T21 for lunch. Never did Sinkie Chan's acclaimed Michelin back home (adverse to Qs).

Here sinkie style DIY, even with trays return. Comfort food from home, after all the spices here. Char siew fatty, okay la.
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Froggy

Alfrescian (InfP) + Mod
Moderator
Generous Asset
Dinner at a very nice Thai restaurant pub




Pork neck meat fried


Somtam


Minced pork with Thai herbs


Seafood salad


Seabass with fish sauce


Pork jerky


Cashew


Salad


Sweet and sour seabass


Chicken wings with lemon grass


Fruits


More drinks


Preparing our drinks
 
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