Monthly archives "August 2016"

The Lesser Known Places Around Thailand

There are many visitors that come to Phuket, and they don’t even pull themselves away from Patong beach or their resort.

There are a lot of other places to see only if one leaves the usual tourist destinations. Australian rounds them up.

Ao Sane beach

This is a beach worth going to. The sand is coarser, though. What makes this beach attractive are the giant boulders and trees lining the beach. Snorkeling is good here too.

Khao Phing Kan

There are numerous limestone karts here. The most famous island is the James Bond island which was featured in the movie “The Man with the Golden Gun”. Activities include exploring rock formations, canoeing around the island or just lazying out on the beach.

Koh Racha Yai

The island is slowly developing as seen in its increasing accommodation options. The sand is white and soft. The water is clear blue, and there are schools of fishes. It is a great place to bask in its waters.

Haad Sai Kew beach

This beach is located in the northernmost part of Phuket. One needs to rent a car or drive there. However, the drive is worth it since there are only a few tourists likely to be around.

Freedom beach

To get to the Freedom beach means hiring a long tail boat. This means the beach doesn’t get really crowded. The sand is white, and the water is mesmerizing.

Layan beach

This is a remote beach located in Phuket’s western side. There are fishing boats plus a river is guarded by an island. The shoreline is fringed with tropical trees. There is also just a single resort here. There is not too much to do here other than swimming, sunbathing or having a massage.

Similan Islands

This archipelago is a group of 10 islands. The islands are almost deserted, and they are a short distance away from Phuket. The islands are low lying but are covered in forests. The coral beaches are home to crab eating monkeys too. The islands are popular dive spots often rated in the top 10. Thailand Dive and Sail is one company offering diving trips to these islands.

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Costumed Hollywood Performer Subject To Rules

The street performers in Hollywood attracts tourists but are also seen as an annoyance and burden by city officials and business owners.

Last month, the Los Angeles City Council came into votes to make a Hollywood Entertainment Zone. This would manage the street performers and vendors in Hollywood Boulevard between Orange Drive and Highland Avenue. Councilman Mitch O’Farrell wrote the proposal. This year, New York City has already put a similar legislation for Times Square.

The Hollywood Entertainment Zone has been sent to be drafted officially. This motion would manage the street performers and vendors by only allowing 20 passes per day to be handed out. This means that anyone else is barred from doing regulated activities without the 24 hour pass. These activities include performing, setting up equipments, using amplified music or sound, asking for donations, handing food and so on. These passes are on a first come and first serve basis. Ten each will be available for the north side and south side of the streets. For violators, they are barred 3 months from the system after the 2nd offense.

The LA Times reported that neighboring businesses complained a part of the Boulevard becoming a chaotic ground for hawkers taking advantage of out-of-towners.

These are some of the so-called problems caused by these performers according to a public safety report. They are involved in some occurrences of extortion and theft. Tourists feel pressured to purchase novelty items. Merchants ask for donations from photo opportunities. Amplified music and loud speakers are used for dancing, speeches. These incidents are complained by restaurant regulars and apartment tenants.

International tourists and visitors make up most of the total tourists in Hollywood. They are also the targeted groups by the solicitors.

Like any motion endorsed by the City Council, the ordinance’s text will be written by a City Attorney. After this, it will be sent back to the council to get an approval before becoming a law.

These performers, whether dressed in superhero or TV Store Online Costumes, are part of Hollywood. It is just disappointing how they are not making use of the good nature of dressing in costumes.

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The New Center Of Real Estate – Kawerau

If you are thinking of Auckland, Queenstown or else Hamilton and Tauranga, they have just been dethroned as the king of real estate.

The most recent hotspot in the real estate industry is the little milling town called Bay of Plenty located in Kawerau. The prices have increased by as much as 41 per cent in just the past year alone.

Based on a 2013 Census, it is hard to pinpoint when this started. The place has only a population of more than 6000 residents and an unemployment rate of 24.7 per cent. Among the occupation that was listed, the most common answer is labourer.

The question now is who are the buyers and why are they investing into Kawerau?

Kawerau is considered as cheap. Despite the fact that the price increase of the property has gone up to 41 per cent the average price is just around $143,000. With this amount of money, an investor will be able to buy a property that has four bedrooms and this is located in the cheaper area of the town.

According to John Friis who is a real estate agent employed by Realtycom and is a local of Kawerau, the buyers are not just investors. There are also retirees as well as semi-retirees. He also said that they are considered the biggest motorhome town in all of New Zealand. Aside from that, there are also many younger generation that are planning to settle in Kawerau and then they will have to commute going to their workplace mostly located in Tauranga, Rotorua and Whakatane.

According to Mr Friis, his agent individually sold around 80 homes in the last year and the figure is supported by the statistics provided by Quotable Value showing 280 residential properties have been sold in just 12 months up until the month of July this year.

One of the buyers is Bill Marshall who recently moved from his place in Tauranga. He sold his house for around $600,000 and he bought a new one in Kawerau for only $225,000 and now he is free from paying the mortgage. For those in Australia and planning to invest in real estate, inquire at Aveling Homes.

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Various Locations In The United States Where Properties Are More Affordable

Buying a home for the first time can be pretty daunting particularly in the absence of a trustworthy real estate agent to work with. Aside from making sure that you can afford the mortgage, it is important to consider locations where properties are more affordable. Bloomberg News has made an analysis of 100 largest metropolitan areas in the United States in order to determine which of the locations will be more affordable for individuals between 25 and 44-age groups. An estimate was also made based on the minimum earnings required to be able to purchase a single family home.

The six locations that displayed an affordability gap includes Urban Honolulu and five regions that are all located in California; San Francisco, San Jose, Los Angeles, Oxnard and San Diego. Since Bloomberg used metropolitan statistical areas as proxies for cities in its rankings it would look like New York is more affordable that what everybody thinks. However, the statistical area of New York is quite large and it includes suburban counties like New Jersey and even a part of Pennsylvania where corresponding mortgages are easier to manage.

The reason for affordability problems in the US is tight supply particularly with entry level properties. In areas like California, there is strong job growth but with very little housing supply. Finding a home can be rather difficult and if you ever find one, it can be really expensive. Meanwhile, property markets in the Midwest have better housing supply meaning that it can readily absorb any increase in demand. While job growth in the area is not necessarily high, it is a great place to buy property because Iowa payrolls have been improving since June 2013. Besides that, borrowing costs are declining and more jobs are available which means that first home buyers can try the property market.

In order to realize the Australian dream of owning your first home, First Home Owners Centre provides helpful tips and specialized services to make the process simpler and more efficient. Comprehensive and truthful information is what you need so that you can own a new home in an affordable location.

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Bang Sue As The Main Bangkok Train Station By 2019

On June 25, 2015, it was announced that the Hualamphong Station is set for retirement after nearly 100 years in the service. According to the Governor of the State Railways of Thailand, Wutthichart Kalayanamitr, the services will be moved to Bang Sue Station in 2019.

Most local train travelers choose to board and alight in the Bang Sue Railway station already since Hualamphong station is inconveniently located in Bangkok’s Chinatown.

Bangkok’s Chinatown was the center of government and commerce in the early 20th century. When Hualamphong station operated, Bangkok was a totally different place. The Sukhumvit Road and Silom area were not constructed after another 40 to 60 years. Thus, the location of the main station was in Hualamphong.

Now, most passengers avoid going to the Hualamphong station unless they are changing trains or headed for the Old Quarter in Bangkok.

It is a fact that it is easier to get to the airports from the Bang Sue station where most people live.

Bang Sue, however, might not be able to cope with the demands of the number of passengers. It currently has 2 stations while Hualamphong has 14 stations. Bang Sue has seating areas for hundreds of people but Hualamphong has seating areas for thousands of people. This situation is the same in terms of toilets and other facilities. There is also nothing in Bang Sue station and no one stays here after alighting from the trains.

A massive investment in Bang Sue needs to be done before it can be the main train station. Four years is a short time for this project especially that the new structure, the budget and the planning permissions have not been finalized yet.

There are the few downsides to this move like the people who will lose their homes and livelihoods at both stations. On the other hand, a long term advantage is foreseen. It is helpful for people not only those who Book a train in Thailand either to short distanced destinations or other parts in the country when stations are in designated areas around the city centers and accessible to most.

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The Travails Of The Taxi Industry In Doha, Qatar

On Doha, the Eid holidays meant brisk business for taxi drivers but their revenue soon declined when the schools closed for the summer vacation. Taxi drivers have to struggle to make ends meet particularly with the stiff competition from the thriving limousine service. Most taxi drivers do not own the vehicles. They have to pay a quota of more than QR200 to the taxi company every day. If there is a dearth for passengers, the taxi drivers find it difficult to meet the quota.
While the rental scheme has been stopped, many taxi franchises still follow the old scheme and this has resulted into taxi drivers looking for ways to earn additional cash. Some of the drivers manipulate the fare structures while others negotiate with passengers to collect a higher fare. The Eid holiday was the perfect opportunity for taxi drivers to earn more so that they can set aside some money for the lean periods. Some have worked doubly hard because they knew that summer meant fewer passengers. The summer lull is already expected because taxi drivers have experienced this in the past. Taxis drivers should have managed the earnings properly so that they are prepared for the two lean months of summer without students.
Taxi drivers are also affected by the thriving limousine service that is a better option for some passengers. Some of the taxi drivers who were involved in illegal cab activities have started to apply for licenses from a number of rent-a-car and transport companies that are authorized to provide limousine service. Limousine companies can exclusively operate at some of the malls and hypermarkets of Doha. This has certainly worsened the problems of the taxi industry because many passengers prefer the chauffeured limousines to taxis and their illegal activities.
Limousine services have become rather popular because passengers prefer to travel in comfort without worrying about the trustworthiness of the chauffeur. Limousine Royalty for your wedding allows you to travel to the wedding venue in luxury and style. Weddings are once in a lifetime event; pamper yourself by hiring a limousine for the most romantic and memorable day of your life.

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The Controversy Regarding A Proposed Scaling Solution

SegWit or Segregated Witness is a proposed scaling solution to effectively increase the capacity of bitcoin transaction blocks. The open source software will change how the space between transaction blocks is used instead of outright increase on the size of data blocks on the blockchain. Broad testing has been done by the core community including companies that currently operate on the bitcoin space. Recently, the core contributors had a face-to-face meeting in Zurich to perform hands on review.
SegWit proposal also seeks to upgrade and address issues like transaction malleability or the ability for the transaction ID’s to be changed prior to confirmation by the bitcoin mining network. If the initial code for SegWit will be merged with master branch of the bitcoin codebase, a new phase of testing can start to provide more opportunities for stress testing the upgrade and identifying any existing bugs. Developers state that they will enable testing in conjunction with the rest of the features of the bitcoin code.
Meanwhile the process of moving SegWit for testing is full of controversy. According to advocates who want an increase in the size of transaction blocks on the bitcoin network, SegWit is too complex to scale the system. Recent comments from the Chinese mining community reveal a possible adoption of network hard folk of their own.
In some ways, SegWit can be considered as a step to the future proposed changes to bitcoin code. Developers will be given the opportunity to add functionality to the code and SegWit can dovetail into the other aspects of bitcoin development including the proposal to reduce network block propagation times. However, the proposal is very likely to draw criticism from other core detractors who are resistant to change.
On the other hand, Bitcoin miners are fighting for survival because the rewards have been reduced by half. Instead of 25 bitcoins that are up for grabs all over the world, the number has been reduced to 12.5. While halving every four years has been incorporated into bitcoin’s rulebook, Bitcoin miners have to make their operations more efficient and cost effective to survive the ongoing profit hit.

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