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    Unofficial Apec facts from overseas

    When Asian-Pacific leaders smiled for the cameras in specially tailored Thai silk jackets they were decked out well beyond the MEANS of most people they represent.

    Weavers and tailors in Thailand handcrafted the jackets, valued at about 90,000 baht each.

    Most Thais could scarcely buy one even if they worked for an entire year and saved every baht. The nation's average annual income is $3323.

    A typical Vietnamese, who earns the equivalent of $718 a year, would have to work more than half a decade to get one of the jackets, which featured aninal or floral patterns, mostly on burgundy-coloured fabric made from fine silk threads.

    Hotel kitchen staff working on food preparation for Apec leaders had to pass rectal swab tests in extensive health checks before the summit.

    The Apec media centre offered free foot, shoulder and neck messages for accredited reporters and $40,000 free medical insurance.

    Thai Prime Minister Thaksin Shinnawatra ordered the first batch of leaders' jackets remade because he thought they "looked like air stewards".

    A reverbank slum was draped with a giant poster of the Royal Palace to conceal it from leaders watching the royal barge procession on Monday night.

    จากคุณ : tai - [ 22 ต.ค. 46 09:39:36 A: X: ]