News from Ban Krut by Kasama's & Bankrutfarang

Wednesday, September 10, 2014

Coup d'Etat and Junta - Affect on Ban Krut?

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There had been a news blackout for three weeks. Western TV news channels  and others were are all closed down, except for BBC Radio World News (Channel 726 on your TV) who apparently slipped through the blackout dragnet. Or maybe not, BBC was reporting the truth while CNN with its blatant bias reputation on this matter two years ago was  definitely off the air.

It hardly matters for westerners and others with capabilities for getting the news. Not sure why the military bothered with a blackout, but it's their show and they must know something the general public doesn't, some of which may still be coming to light; Red shirt arms caches were discovered in some areas, and more high profile dissidents were rounded-up, and its rumored that more, many more, including lower-echelon. 

Taksin wind-ups, will be instructed to report to the military, who, incidentally, has the King's blessing. What few local Reds there were have cleared out of Ban Krut or are lying very quietly out of sight.

Slowly, the 10 PM curfew had been lifted for some places and changed in others. Initially lifted were Pattaya, Phuket and Koh Samai. The curfew here in Ban Krut was initially pushed back from 10 PM to Midnight, and a new arrivals in the area reported that many establishments in Greater Bangkok had continued to be shutting down early, some as early as 8 PM. Finally, the nationwide curfew was lifted on Friday, June 13th.

Interestingly enough, police were said to have been cracking-down on street vendors and commercial concern where IP (Intellectual Property) thefts and knock-offs are discovered.

Which brings us to the Economy

It's was hurting, of course, but not much and as always the Thai economy is resilient and the baht is bouncing back from an earlier deep slump on the Forex. 

It doesn't seem to matter nationwide. In Ban Krut many restaurants have shut down over this period (more than usual, we believe), some because of low tourism numbers and others merely for a welcome break from the high season. Kasama's hasn't closed, and won't, chiefly because we have a good staff who are crashing on English lessons with a very competent American teacher, plus we don't want to put staff out of work.

And it's still the best place for having evening cocktails

Prices have stayed at pre-Coup levels here in Ban Krut and show no signs of abating. It's the old Thai economic theory, we suppose: Hold your prices where they are, even if you're going to take a long vacation or hit an extended dry spot. There were far fewer backpackers and 7-11 raiders in the village this year, not a particularly a bad thing. That was seen immediately when beer prices rose earlier in the year to an average of 10.5%.

Building keeps right on going and we're seeing more western permanent residents building and buying properties. The village is growing, but it's better, quieter, and cleaner. 

Condo in Ban-Krut
Even two condo buildings arise.
 We anticipate that many low-budget tourists will be seeking cheaper deals further south and some with a passport full of turnaround visas may not be allowed back without a travel visa. (See Visa Runs)

Some bungalow rentals even went higher. What we see is that many of the bigger and higher-priced resorts seem simply not to care when things are slower.

It's still as we say each year; Ban Krut is more enjoyable after the high season.

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