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Myanmar - Ground Zero for Asian Elephant Conservation (Part 1 of 2)

May 22, 2017 | 0 comments

We recently left off with a simplified account of the sordid, modern history of Burma/Myanmar as seen through the windows of The Strand Hotel. The conclusion of that coverage was the election success of the National League for Democracy (NLD) which is led by the world's heroine, Aung San Suu Kyi. As an aside, have you noticed when former western colonies are conquered, as Burma was by the Japanese, and then go through a feeble colonial attempt to return, everything tends to go sideways? Moreover, removal of despotic, totalitarian regimes by well-meaning folks usually results in death, heartache and anguish...

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Has the Bangkok Municipality Lost Its Mind?

May 15, 2017 | 0 comments

In the “Bangkok black and white days” of the 60’s, there were no fancy Thai restaurants. If one wanted a fine dining experience, there were Chinese restaurants galore and the Normandy Grill in the Oriental Hotel. If one wanted Thai food, you ate in the street which was as natural as popping into a fast food restaurant in the western world. Studies indicate that in Bangkok some 20,000 street food venders provide residents with 40% of their food and two-thirds of the households eat at least one meal a day on the street. Various international publications, including the Huffington Post,...

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115 Years of Burmese History as Mirrowed In The Strand Hotel

May 08, 2017 | 0 comments

The Strand Hotel opened in 1901 in Rangoon, Burma and was owned by the Sarkies brothers who also owned the Raffles Hotel in Singapore and the Eastern & Oriental Hotel in Penang, Malaysia. Throughout the colonial period, The Strand was one of the most luxurious hotels in the British Empire. During the Japanese occupation of Burma beginning in 1941, it housed Japanese troops and its ownership was transferred to the Imperial Hotel in Tokyo. During this period, Aung San who was a young law student and leader of the Burma independence movement, received military training in Japan. He and 29...

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Golden Triangle Asian Elephant Foundation (GTAEF) in Cambodia

Apr 24, 2017 | 0 comments

In keeping with some recent coverage of GTAEF activities outside of the Golden Triangle where Thailand, Laos and Myanmar come together, we will now describe a very interesting program GTAEF supports in former war-torn Cambodia. For many years, the world turned a blind eye to the human atrocities of the Khmer Rouge as they destroyed their fellow Cambodians as well as their environment. Accordingly, it is time to look at the humane side of the survivors as they focus on saving their remaining forests and wildlife. For over three years, the GTAEF has assisted the Ministry of Environment of Cambodia...

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The Mandarin from the Middle Kingdom Meets Trump at Mar-a-Lago

Apr 17, 2017 | 0 comments

President Xi Jinping of China has met with President Donald Trump and, as the world remains in orbit, we can call the first face-to-face meeting of the two most powerful, contentious world leaders a success. As you may have gathered from a series of recent blogs about China, the author has no particular fondness for the place or most of its people. Until mid-March, a state entity of China had a long outstanding indebtedness of $52,700,351 to the company that provides the author's day job income which in turn covers the many bills of the author's passion, The Elephant Story....

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