SE Asia

Local thugs forced to fight pro Muay Thai fighters as punishment during Thai New Year festival

Local thugs forced to fight pro Muay Thai fighters as punishment during Thai New Year festival

Songkran, or the Thai New Year, is held annually between April 13-15. It is also known as the water-throwing festival because the tradition of washing Buddhist statues for good fortune has evolved into a tradition of throwing water on other people as well. In other words, it’s like a giant free-for-all water fight throughout the country!

Naturally, by human nature not all of the citizens are well-behaved, and the festival always leads to some fights and drunken brawls between irresponsible revelers. This year, however, it looks like the ingenious idea of one politician in Buriram City may stop local gang members from stirring up more trouble at future festivals…and it might just shock you. 

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Residents of Bangkok neighborhood don’t play by the railroad tracks, they live by them

Residents of Bangkok neighborhood don’t play by the railroad tracks, they live by them

Our recent meal in Bangkok of a five-and-a-half-pound hamburger may make Thailand seem like a wonderland of unparalleled decadence, but it’s only one facet of life in The Land of Smiles. Not everyone in the Thai capital spends their days chowing down on massive piles of beef, as we visited a neighborhood with a train line running right through the middle of it.

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We take on Thailand’s five-and-a-half-pound hamburger, and live to tell the tale

We take on Thailand’s five-and-a-half-pound hamburger, and live to tell the tale

Our Japanese-language correspondent Kuzo is currently making his way through Thailand, and while we’re happy he had such a good time at the country’s famous water festival, frankly we’re a little worried about the guy. We think all the excitement may have frazzled his brain, since he recently sent us a batch of pictures of himself eating what appears to be a hamburger-shaped novelty pillow.

Wait, that’s a real burger?!

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Revisiting Songkran: the best water festival EVER!!!

Revisiting Songkran: the best water festival EVER!!!

From the ball drop in America, to the first shrine visit in Japan, each culture rings in the New Year in their own special way. Thailand’s Songkran, or commonly known as the water throwing festival, may be the most carefree and fun tradition though. RocketNews24 has brought you the story from last year’s festival, but we couldn’t resist sending a crew back this year. Click on through to see if they were able to avoid getting wet this year, and the plight of their electronic equipment!

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Watch the Singapore Tourism Board video that was so bad it was pulled from YouTube

Watch the Singapore Tourism Board video that was so bad it was pulled from YouTube

Here are a few things you should NOT include when making videos to promote your country as a tourist destination: a cheesy script, terrible voice-overs, and music that seems strangely detached from everything else. Oh yeah, and a completely random pregnancy announcement. In a BOX.

Unfortunately, a recent cringe-worthy video by the Singapore Tourism Board (STB) has managed to nail all of the above requirements. The video received such a critical bashing that the STB was actually prompted to remove it from their YouTube channel and admit that it was awful. Don’t believe that an official promotional video could really have been so bad? Just wait until you’ve seen it for yourself.  

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We try Thai and Indonesian “Ethnic” Cup Noodles, one of them tastes like spicy Fruit Loops

We try Thai and Indonesian “Ethnic” Cup Noodles, one of them tastes like spicy Fruit Loops

Cup Noodles are an iconic part of the Japanese food landscape and of course they’re no stranger to the Japanese custom of adding unusual new flavors to stuff. This time around their maker Nissin has been inspired by some of their international partners and developed two flavors in the “Ethnic Series” of Cup Noodles based on Thai and Indonesian dishes.

The first one is modeled after the spicy Thai soup tom yum goong, and the other is said to resemble Indonesia’s savory noodles mie goreng. Having just been released on 14 April we went straight to the supermarket and picked them up to bring you the Asianiest taste that only a Chinese food made by a Japanese company based on South East Asian dishes can provide.

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Doraemon in Nirvana: Chiang Rai’s White Temple like a beautiful, bad pop culture pipe dream 【Photos】

Doraemon in Nirvana: Chiang Rai’s White Temple like a beautiful, bad pop culture pipe dream 【Photos】

Approaching Wat Rong Khun, Chiang Rai’s so-called White Temple, is a surreal experience. It looks like a massive sculpture of ice and snow shimmering through Thailand’s tropical heat. But that effect barely scratches the surface of the weird at this Buddhist wat, where Doraemon hangs out with the Buddha, bushes are decorated with the decapitated heads of Freddie Kruger and Pinhead, and the penalty for smoking is eternal damnation.

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【TBT】Micro amigurumi crochet animals are small enough to balance on your finger

【TBT】Micro amigurumi crochet animals are small enough to balance on your finger

I’ve tried to crochet a cute little amigurumi animal in the past. In fact, I’ve had several attempts at it, but failed every time. I read a book on crocheting and even had someone teach me, but the end result was always the same: a tangled mess of yarn, a whole lot of frustration, and the shattered dream of creating a yarn buddy to call my own. So when I saw these micro amigurumi, I couldn’t believe that someone was able to crochet a unique animal pattern, let alone one that is so small it can balance on the tip of your finger.

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Not again! Thai insurance commercial hits us right in the feels【Video】

Not again! Thai insurance commercial hits us right in the feels【Video】

You know it’s a cynical sales technique, so you try to be sensible and hold yourself apart, but sometimes commercials really know how to pull the heartstrings. We dare you to watch this spot for a Thai life insurance company and not get a little misty eyed.

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“Realistic” Kuroko’s Basketball characters look just as cool, if not cooler【Pictures】

“Realistic” Kuroko’s Basketball characters look just as cool, if not cooler【Pictures】

As an avid anime fan, I sometimes wish my favorite characters were real humans, but the logical fangirl in me warns that if anime characters existed in real life, they probably wouldn’t be as awesome as they were in the original works. Just take Kuroko’s Basketball as an example, it would be impossible for Kuroko’s unbelievable skill, “Misdirection Overflow”, to happen in real life.

In such situations, I’m glad there are talented artists who create realistic looking fan art of anime characters, such as these amazing portraits!

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Experience the ultimate moe flight with Asian Air x Mirai Airlines

Experience the ultimate moe flight with Asian Air x Mirai Airlines

Danny Choo, founder of Culture Japan and inexhaustible ambassador for all things moe, announced the collaboration between his mascot Mirai Suenaga and the Thai airline Asian Air on his website this week. Read on to find out just how far their plans for anime-themed air domination go.

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Enjoy the beauty of Angkor in your underpants thanks again to Google Street View

Enjoy the beauty of Angkor in your underpants thanks again to Google Street View

It seems Google Maps and Google Street View is truly unending in their quest to walk around and take panoramic photos of some of the Earth’s most beautiful locations. So far we’ve witnessed the eerie wonder of Gunkanjima and the spectacular sights of Mt. Fuji’s summit all courtesy of Google. And now we are treated to a place found on many people’s bucket list: Angkor, Cambodia.

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7 things that surprise a visitor to Laos 【Photos】

7 things that surprise a visitor to Laos 【Photos】

If you are visiting Laos, this is probably not your first rodeo in Asia, so I’ll skip the squat toilets and fleets of bicycles and get to seven things that this little SE Asian gem has to surprise even seasoned travelers.

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Meet Bluefin-21, the robot that’s searching for the missing Malaysian Airlines plane

Meet Bluefin-21, the robot that’s searching for the missing Malaysian Airlines plane

Underwater operations company Phoenix International has a contract with the U.S. Navy to use a robot called Bluefin-21 to search the Indian Ocean for signs of the missing Malaysian Airlines flight 370.

The 21-foot-long robot is capable of staying submerged for 25 hours at a time, deploying its sensors to search and map 40 square miles of sea floor per day.

We spoke to David P. Kelly, President and CEO of Bluefin Robotics, the Massachusetts-based company which manufactures Bluefin-21, to learn more about it.

“It’s a 4,500-meter-rated vehicle, so it can descend to 2.5 miles underwater,” he told us. “Once it goes down, it ‘flies’ above the seabed and uses sonar acoustics to image the ocean floor. It also moves in a ‘mowing the lawn’ pattern, running in parallel lines that overlap and cover the entire bottom to form an image of the sea floor.”

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“Siri, my champagne’s getting warm!” Stunning Thai villa combines technology and beach living

“Siri, my champagne’s getting warm!” Stunning Thai villa combines technology and beach living

Recent studies have warned that, for all their convenience and the social interaction they allow, our mobile devices and anywhere, any time wireless internet access could potentially be hazardous to our health. But what if you just can’t bear to power down your iPhone, tablet, laptop or games console?

If you’re in need of a getaway, and want to assure yourself that the negative effects of your array of gadgetry will be entirely offset by your relaxing surroundings, there’s probably no better place than this luxurious beach villa on the Thai island resort of Ko Samui, which is fitted with pretty much every modern convenience from iPad-controlled shutters to remote-operated pool thermostats and top-of-the-range cooking equipment – available to rent for a cool US$650 a night.

Join us after the break for a photo tour.

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Top Asian delicacies that many consider kind of gross

Top Asian delicacies that many consider kind of gross

One of the top tourism draws around much of Asia is all the adventurous eating. East Asian countries in particular all seem to have a plethora of extreme foods that you’d never be able to get back home. These dishes run the gamut from super spicy to super sweet, may have gooey but oddly pleasant textures, or may come from some animal you’ve never heard of.

Most of the time, while exotic and possibly a little off-putting in appearance, these quirky dishes taste great. But then there are other so-called “delicacies” that a lot of locals won’t even go near, let alone doe-eyed tourists. So put down that burrito; you won’t be needing (or wanting) it, because here’s a list of stomach-churning delicacies from around East Asia:

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A look at Asia’s schoolgirl uniforms【Photos】

A look at Asia’s schoolgirl uniforms【Photos】

Uniforms are worn all over the world by many different groups of people to visually proclaim their association. There’s military uniforms, nurse uniforms, fireman uniforms, flight attendant uniforms, and the one that many people probably have personal experience with – school uniforms. We take the uniforms we see in our own countries for granted, but of course with different cultures come different dress codes. Some countries want their students dressed traditionally, others allow a lot of freedom for them to express their own styles. So read on to take a look at some of Asia’s schoolgirls – eyes on the uniforms, please!

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CNN actually speculated if a black hole swallowed the missing Malaysia flight

CNN actually speculated if a black hole swallowed the missing Malaysia flight

This is one of the most surreal cable news segments you’ll see.

There have been many different conspiracy theories thrown out about the missing Malaysian Airlines Flight 370, but on Wednesday night CNN speculated whether a “black hole” could be involved.

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The beautiful, underwater hunting of the Bajau ocean nomads

The beautiful, underwater hunting of the Bajau ocean nomads

While Aquaman may well be the most boring superhero ever, there’s no denying that he’s actually got some pretty nifty powers. After all, who wouldn’t want to be able to hang out underwater and see all the incredibly bizarre and insanely cool creatures down there? We bet it’s even better than a 3-D IMAX movie!

On the other hand, anyone with a bit of training and some scuba gear can achieve that, but that’s just not quite the same, is it? If only we could just slip into the ocean and run around on the seafloor like we belonged there.

Turns out that, while you and I may not be able to, there are entire cultures of folks who live on the sea–and some of them can even “walk” on the ocean floor!

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21 breathtaking photos of Asia

21 breathtaking photos of Asia

We here at RocketNews24 know there’s a lot to love about Asia. With unique traditions, fascinating people and awe-inspiring landscapes, there’s a certain atmosphere and sense of beauty that has us hooked.

While it’s not always easy to translate the magic onto film, one photographer from Thailand is leading the way with an amazing collection of stunning photos and an open invitation for others to join him on his photo travels across the Asian continent. From Myanmar’s mist-shrouded temples to the quiet rivers of China and India, these photos will simply take your breath away.

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