Thailand

AP Photo/Penny Wang

One of the latest locations to ease public restrictions imposed after the coronavirus pandemic is Thailand.

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Government officials in Hawaii and many other travel destinations are trying to figure out how to safely encourage tourism. In southeast Asia, the short-term answer is closer to home.

AP Photo/Sakchai Lalit

Hawaii is far from the only place in the world that’s debating what to do about tourism. There’s another oceanfront destination that’s making some small moves this week, and still considering possibilities over the longer term.

AP Photo/Penny Wang

One of the biggest western tourist attractions in Asia is open for business this week. Shanghai Disneyland limited visitors to a third of its capacity on Monday, and staggered entry times. But a return of international tourism to the region will require much more than facemasks and social distancing. And that includes a favorite destination for Chinese travelers: Thailand.

AP Photo/Sakchai Lalit

Different states and countries are adopting various approaches when it comes to the possibility of gradually re-opening. There’s a country in Southeast Asia whose economy is dependent on tourism, and is considering a gradual loosening of a national lockdown.

AP Photo/Penny Wang

While tourists are still emptying out of Hawaii, they are now being shut out of another popular oceanfront vacation destination. One of the most popular beach attractions in Thailand is totally closing down to all travelers.

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Thailand is one of the latest countries to declare a state of emergency. It goes into effect today — and lasts at least through the end of April.

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The numbers of those affected by the coronavirus are continuing to rise. But the virus and the measures taken to fight it are having different impacts in various locations — including in the Asia Pacific.

AP Photo/Sakchai Lalit

Tomorrow marks one week since the worst mass shooting in the history of Thailand. 30 people were killed and 58 wounded, and many in the nation are still filled with grief and shock.

Sakchai Lalitkanjanakul/AP

NAKHON RATCHASIMA, Thailand — A gunman described as a soldier angry over a financial dispute killed two people and then went on a far bloodier rampage Saturday in northeastern Thailand, shooting as he drove to a busy mall where shoppers fled in terror. At least 20 people were killed in all, 31 were injured and others were believed to be still inside the building as more gunshots rang out early Sunday.

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As brush fires continue to devastate parts of Australia, dry weather is creating trouble in another part of the Asia Pacific. Parts of Thailand are suffering through their worst drought in nearly 40 years.

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This has been a busy week for developments in the royal family of Thailand. The king of Thailand has fired half a dozen officials — days after taking action against one of his closest confidantes.

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A multi-billion-dollar train project is now expected to begin operations slightly sooner than expected. It’s not the Honolulu Rail Project, but a massive development across the Pacific Ocean.

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Late August is a popular time for vacation in many parts of the world, and a busy period for travelers to Hawaii. That’s not the case in Thailand, but this week the country’s top tourism official scaled back expectations for the rest of the year.

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Several islands across the state are facing drought conditions this summer – especially parts of Maui County and Hawai’i Island. More severe drought is plaguing parts of India, where several major cities are reporting water shortages. And now drought is on its way to Thailand.

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Here’s a question that’s familiar to residents of Oahu: what’s the best way to pay for a multi-billion dollar rail project? It’s a question that’s also coming under increased focus in Thailand.

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For the first time in nearly half a century, two neighboring Southeast Asian nations are connected by rail. The leaders of the two countries took a ceremonial ride together yesterday, but further progress in the relationship may be more complicated.

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While U.S. politicians are already lining up for next year’s presidential election, there are a series of elections coming up much sooner in Asia. And they start this weekend in Thailand.

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One of the world’s largest multinational military exercises has been underway for more than a week. It hasn’t captured many headlines in the United States, but American forces from across the Asia Pacific are taking part.

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Air pollution has been an increasing problem for nearly two months in Thailand’s capital. Conditions have become so bad that public schools closed for more than a week, and top government officials were summoned to court to testify about it.

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Today is the Lunar New Year. According to the Chinese Zodiac, it’s the first day of the year of the pig. And across the Asia Pacific, that’s meant everything from family gatherings to a pointed political statement.

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Some public schools on the mainland have closed in recent days because of severely cold weather. In Thailand’s capital, every public school in the city is closed for the rest of the week — for a very different reason.

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Many in the United States remain focused on the continuing partial government shutdown. But in some parts of the world, attention is shifting to news about elections. And that includes one country that hasn’t had one for nearly a decade.

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2018 saw another increase in the number of traffic fatalities across Hawaii. But this problem has become even worse in one Southeast Asian country – which is taking new steps to fight it.

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Medical marijuana has been legal in Hawai‘i for nearly twenty years. But the concept is much newer in Southeast Asia. And one country in particular sees it as a growth industry.

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The mid-term elections are now less than a week away in the United States, but in Southeast Asia an election scheduled for next year is getting more attention. The location is Thailand — where a number of political developments are taking place, and quickly.

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Police in South Korea this week made the largest seizure of methamphetamine in the country’s history. Authorities say it was smuggled in by an international syndicate; it’s the latest reminder that the drug remains a potent threat in the Asia Pacific.

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Food preparation and space travel are two pursuits that have some unexpected links. That’s especially true for a new experiment that Thailand plans to try this summer. HPR’s Bill Dorman has more in today’s Asia Minute.

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Hawaii’s visitor industry reported another strong month in April, although any impact of the Kilauea Volcano won’t show up until the May figures come out next month. While authorities continue to encourage visitors to Hawaii, there’s another location in the Asia Pacific that is taking a different approach. HPR’s Bill Dorman has more in today’s Asia Minute.

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Thailand has now been under military rule for four years. Several hundred protestors marked that anniversary yesterday in Bangkok—but the police had an even bigger presence. HPR’s Bill Dorman has more in today’s Asia Minute.

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