Pattaya-Hua Hin ferry link and new electric buses

Pattaya-Hua Hin ferry service a reality this coming New Year

FROM New Year’s on, you can ride directly from Pattaya to Hua Hin across the Gulf of Thailand in a private-run ferry while exact ports location, fares and schedule are yet to be announced.

A Marine Department licensed company, The Royal Passenger Co would initially provide a daily round-trip service only to passengers, said Sorasak Sansombat, the department’s director-general.

He added that, cruising at 27 knots, the ferry’s travel time over the 113-km route should be about two-thirds comparing to a normal drive of 5-6 hours between the two resort towns and service would start on January 1 as a New Year gift for the public.


Top: A map showing road and ferry routes to and from Pattaya and Hua Hin. Graphic :

Transport Ministry to ask Cabinet for 200 electric buses approval

 ACCORDING to the Deputy Transport Minister Ormsin Chivapruck, the ministry would be asking the Cabinet to approve 2.3-billion-baht budget to purchase 200 electric buses and another 300 million to improve the 672 old buses

new-electric-buses-for-bangkokThe purchase is to act as a pilot project, replacing the ageing BMTA buses, following PM Prayut Chan-o-cha’s policy to support energy efficient and environmentally friendly public transport.

 If the cabinet approves, the government will call bidding immediately, said Mr Ormsin.

Since the terms of reference drafting has finished, the process to acquire the electric buses can move quickly,” said BMTA director Surachai Eamvachirasakul. The ToR can be announced next month, followed by bidding in January and contract signing in March next year.

BMTA has an original plan approved by the Cabinet to buy 3,138 NGV buses. With this new 200 buses option, it has decided to purchase only 489 NGV buses instead over the concern of long term cost.


Inset: A photo of an electric bus which the Transport Ministry wants to acquire. Photo:

Plan for first-ever automotive testing center accelerated

PART of preparation for ambitious Thailand 4.0 policy, government speeds up the long-delayed plans for the country’s first automotive testing center on 1,235 rai area in Sanam Chai Khet district, Chachoengsao province.

Suthon Nikomkate, director of the Thai Industrial Standards Institute (TISI), said the testing center should be finished by June 2019 and become operational by early 2020.

auto-testing-centerThe total 4.54 billion baht facility will consist of both tire testing track with R&D unit and car testing tracks. The tires R&D unit gets the top priority as the government is trying to save the country’s rubber industry. The facility is also to contribute in the government’s dream to domestically produce electric vehicles.

The government is also very keen to develop a national research and development (R&D) unit to upgrade the automotive and auto parts industry to maintain the country’s competitiveness.” said Mr Suthon.

Nattapol Rangsitpol, inspector-general of the Industry Ministry, said the testing center will help empower Thailand’s auto industry to become an Asean hub not only for manufacturing but also for R&D.


Inset: Testing tracks at the new automotive testing center which should be completed by June 2019. Photo:

Thailand digital content market promising

 SUWIMOL Taewasillachaikul, vice president of the Software Industry Promotion Agency (Sipa), said on November 16 that the market of Thai digital content has expanded substantially.

The agency’s survey of the industry had found that gaming software would be valued at an estimated Bt9.7 billion, with animation making up the remainder, at Bt3.95 billion.

These figures represent year-on-year expansion of 9.56 percent and 2.8 percent, respectively.

The gaming-software market is also projected to grow to around Bt10.8 billion next year, while further development of smart devices and government policy – and the digital-economy scheme, in particular – will be the main factors driving the digital-content industry as a whole, she said.

That said, while more local enterprises are currently developing digital-content software and will put their products on the market in the near future, there is a lack of promotion of local digital content in TV programs, she added.


Below: A3D model of a minecraft-village exported directly out of the game. Graphic: Post-apocalyptic research institute (CC-BY-SA-2.0)

By Piboon Awasdaruharote




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