‘Warning: Trains Arrive on Time’

An entertaining headline and story from The Bangkok Post today:

Rail passengers in Phitsanulok are being warned that trains stopping there will be more punctual during the 45-day track maintenance period for the far northern railway, and should ensure they arrive at the station on time so they don’t miss their train.

Saksing Wongsanguansodsri, chief ticket officer at Phitsanulok station, said trains will no longer be up to two hours late, as in the past, because the south-bound service would now leave from Sila-art station in Uttaradit, which is only about 100km away, and not Chiang Mai, which is 362km distant.


Thai Policewomen Perform Songkran Safety Dance

2012 04 08 songkran police dancejpg

No, it wasn’t that kind of safety dance.

The front page of yesterday’s Bangkok Post was adorned with the photo above. The caption said this group of Thai policewomen was dancing…

…to raise awareness about safe driving during the upcoming Songkran festival as part of a wider campaign by police to reduce fatalities and injuries from road accidents during the holiday period.

Video of what appears to be the performance, along with other footage, is embedded above and available on YouTube here.

According to Thailand News, the song is called “สงกรานต์ขับไม่ดื่ม Songkran-Kub-Mai-Duem (Drink don’t drive in Songkran).”

Drunk driving is an ongoing problem during Songkran, which marks the Thai new year. Non-stop parties and raucous water fights are common throughout the country during this time.

Songkran runs from roughly April 13-16.

Update — April 13: Fixed the title of this post to correct the spelling of Songkran.

Bangkok Journalism

Bangkok Post — in 3D

Given my previous dispatches pointing out interesting tidbits from the Bangkok Post, I would be remiss if I failed to note that yesterday’s edition featured 3D images. E&P explains here. ((Related (kind of): On the Media‘s excellent episode, from July 16, about the future of newspapers.))

Yesterday was the Post‘s 64th anniversary, and the paper was delivered with accompanying 3D glasses affixed to a special outer advertising supplement. 3D photos were used in the supplement as well as throughout the paper itself.

Here’s a cell phone pic:

Bangkok Post in 3D

So how did the 3D effect work? It seemed, well, fine to me — though I must say that I have never seen a newspaper in 3D, so I have nothing to which I can compare the experience.


Two ads of note in today’s Bangkok Post

Two images ((Please excuse the low-quality cell phone pics.)) of ads that — for varying reasons — caught my eye in today’s Bangkok Post: ((I’m not postulating, mind you, that there’s a connection between the two ads. Just pointing them out.))

First, a follow up on the AP story I pointed out last week. You’ll recall that the Thai government says it plans to crack down on the parading — and feeding — of elephants in Bangkok. This ad, near the beginning of the front section, has details:

Elephant ad in Bangkok Post

And second, this ad…well, struck me as unique. It’s a few pages after the elephant ad, and is apparently for a “mattress sanitizing and cleaning” service:

Ad in today's Bangkok Post


Front page of today’s Bangkok Post: “Coup, What Coup?”


I mentioned yesterday the Jan. 15 grenade attack on the office of Thai General Anupong, and how the incident underscores tensions within the Thai Army.

So I wanted to follow up, just quickly, with a cell phone pic of the front page of today’s Bangkok Post. The story, as you can see, is called “Coup, What Coup?

Here are the first few graphs:

ANALYSIS: After 22 armoured vehicles appeared on the streets of Bangkok on Monday night, many were wondering if the army was preparing another putsch

Rumours of another coup have been spreading like wildfire after 22 armoured vehicles rolled on to the streets of Bangkok on Monday night.

The sight of the armoured personnel carriers (APCs), which led people to believe another coup was in the works, came several hours after army chief Anupong Paojinda gave assurances there would not be another coup.

“I have denied it [the possibility of a coup] dozens of times,” Gen Anupong said.

(Emphasis mine.)

Worth a read.

I have no viewpoint to add on the issue, but I’m sharing the image because Thailand watchers might like to see how prominent the story is in today’s edition of the print paper.


Kevin Costner’s Turkish Airlines ad in today’s Bangkok Post

Kevin Costner Turkish Airlines ad in Bangkok Post

Kevin Costner/Turkish Airlines update: here’s a cell phone snap of an ad that appears at the bottom of the front page of today’s Bangkok Post.

Background on Costner’s Turkish Airways ad campaign — and a video of the much-discussed “Feel Like a Star” TV spot — are here.


Australian dust storm in the WSJ, IHT, and Bangkok Post

Australia dust storm in today's papers

Interesting sight this morning: All three of the newspapers we receive featured front page images of yesterday’s remarkable dust storm in Australia.

An AP story about the storm is here, Wikipedia has some info here, and you can find more images from the always-excellent Big Picture photo blog here.


Unrelated train stories in today’s Bangkok Post


Here’s a cell phone pic of today’s Bangkok Post front page, which features two train stories. Glancing at the paper might give you the impression that the articles are related, but they’re not.

The headline, “Train services return to normal,” refers to the recent strike by Thailand’s train workers. As the headline says, service is scheduled to resume today.

The image, caption, and second article, however, refer to Monday’s Metro crash in Washington, DC that killed nine people and injured many more. Two trains collided on the city’s red line.

(As it happens, Thai trains may be running again. But service along DC’s red line is, understandably, still “severely impacted.“)


Obama inauguration in Bangkok’s newspapers

President Obama’s inauguration was, of course, front-page news here in Bangkok today. Here’re the top left corner of Thai Rath newspaper, a popular daily ((Thai Rath‘s coverage can be quite sensational. Today’s issue contains three striking below-the-fold images not included in this scan: a man who was killed in a car crash; a woman embracing what appears to be a dead relative; and a crime scene photo of a shirtless man face down in a pool of blood.)):

Obama inauguration in Bangkok's Thai Rath newspaper

And here’s today’s Bangkok Post ((Apologies for the poor scans. My scanner isn’t big enough to accommodate the papers’ broadsheet size. The full Bangkok Post headline reads “Obama Pledges New America.”)).

Obama inauguration in the Bangkok Post

UPDATE: Hong Kong blogger Thomas Crampton has a nice round-up of Obama front pages around Asia.