Saturday, December 24, 2011

Luangta Maha Boowa Thailand and Gold

There was an article in one of Thailand's Nearly English Language Newspapers today about the gold Luangta had collected for the Thai Government following the 1997 crash. As he well knew the buggers would be trying to get their grubby hands on it.
Well a real newspaper with real journalists might have given you abit more information about that 13 tonnes of gold.
Not too worry some of us old expats do a bit more than sit around and drink all day. My friend "Khon Kaen Retirement Larry" did a bit of math for us.

13 metric tons = 458561 oz (rounded down from 458561.507)
Gold in December 1997 was $290/oz.
Gold in December 2011 is $1600/oz.

1997 = $132,982,690 or  3,989,480,700 Baht
2011 = $733,697,600 or 22,010,928,000 Baht

There are also long tons and short tons but I just used on.
Nice little profit sitting there.
Keep the money where it belongs.
Luang Ta Mahabua, who demanded the country's reserves be permanently safeguarded from potential manipulation or use by the authorities.
And he is not dead quite a year yet and they are already after it.

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

An Isaan Persprctive 21.12.11

I guess the "Bog Blog" is as good a place as any when talking about the Tourism Authority of Thailand. This story appeared online yesterday from the "Phuket News" and there were a few things that struck me.
The first thing hotel management did was accuse them.
Is it just me or does this the first line of defense regularly in Thailand when dealing with a problem,
Jet skis, motorbike and car rental, robberies, the customer is always at fault.
I am surprised they weren't charged for damage to the safe.
Next, as always, nobody knows anything.
CCTV security camera installed for the floor  was “misaligned”.
This along with, dummy cctv cameras, locked fire escapes seems to be the norm at the higher end tourist destinations.

And finally "Ms Wong asked for the CCTV camera to be repositioned for better security." WTF, why does she have to ask that the hotel align the camera and just how many cameras are misaligned.
But to me the real grabber is the comments.
It seems like this is a regular occurrence. Getting mugged by tuk-tuk and\or taxi drivers and hotel and jet ski rip-offs.
Where are the tourist police and all the other authorities. The other part is that everyone is always too embarrassed to open their mouths.
Recently, here in Khon Kaen I listened to a Thai gentleman talking about getting ripped off by a taxi driver, with the "meters not working" scam. When asked if he argued with the driver or reported it to anyone he repleied "Oh no, I couldn't do something like that"
Do tourists expect to get ripped off where ever they go?

I am just an old man in Isaan, but from my perspective  I sure as hell would not be back "Mr Nagi told the hotel owner that although he was dispirited by the incident, he would be back to stay at the hotel next year."
And to me none of them are operating with a full deck