From Cost Of Living Breakdowns To A Christian Impression Of The Bar Girl Scene

It’s just another Sunday in Bangkok — we hope you’ve had a good week.

There’s been a steady dribble of news and events this week, with perhaps the most eyebrow-raising accolade going to the story of a prostitution ring that was busted at the Cow-Buffalo Market in Khon Kaen on Monday.

While the story itself was low on details, Coconuts more than made up for it with a quite fantastic illustrative photoshop to accompany the news: check it out here.

Genuinely excellent. Faceless go-go dancers superimposed onto a field of buffalo. Love the caveat that this was an in-house mock-up as opposed to a live recording of events.

As always, there’s been plenty more occupying the minds of Bangkokians this week — let’s have a look at the best of the week’s news, views and social media updates.


Mystery death of a Swede found in Pattaya bathroom

62-year old Sten Lundholm was found dead in a Pattaya condo this week, on his knees with his head in a bucket and a bag of golf clubs hanging over his shoulder. It’s thought that a suicide note was left at the scene but local police are apparently not ruling out other causes of death at this stage.

Thailand to develop dedicated LGBT prisons

An interesting development in Thailand’s LGBT scene as the government proposes to pilot a scheme whereby LGBT prisoners will be held in separate prisons to straight prisoners. Min Buri Prison will be the first institution to try this out. While the measure is ostensibly to protect these prisoners from violence and abuse — a very real problem — what’s the cost of such segregation to the LGBT community?

Chinese women fight over items in a Thai 7-Eleven

In the next episode of “Chinese Tourists Behaving Badly”, two women were captured on camera in a 7-Eleven store bickering over the last stock of what’s thought to be aloe vera and snail lotion. It’s quite literally handbags at dawn as the ladies squawk and elbow each other, ending up with the basket thrown onto the floor in the shop.

Our favourite part is the staff just quietly watching from behind the counter, and the shoppers taking video of proceedings before stepping in.


Leaving middle class America for Southeast Asia

An interesting blog from an American currently teaching in Myanmar, who writes about how his American Dream disintegrated — wage stagnation, rising living costs, healthcare bills, wage cuts etc — and how that inspired his move to Southeast Asia.

The writer’s story is a similar story told by many of his generation who end up here in Thailand — unable or unwilling to keep up with the pace of change in the West, they move to Southeast Asia. Suddenly, their money goes further, there are fewer ‘keeping up with the Joneses’ middle class expectations to maneuver, and they can do less to feel more important and wealthier than they did back home.

Will such people manage to survive the globalisation of Thailand? Probably not; and soon they’ll be complaining about the pace of change here, opting to move to Cambodia, Myanmar or Indonesia before repeating the cycle.

Adapt or die.

Being scammed on Special Tourist Buddha Day

This is a brilliantly self-aware blog from a tourist in Bangkok who unfortunately fell for the all-too prevalent scam of a bargain basement tuk tuk ride around the city’s best sights. Plus a few Indian tailors. Here we’re introduced to the aptly named Wat Ben, as he reveals to the writer the wonders of ‘Special Tourist Buddha Day’…

A Christian take on Bangkok’s bar girls

Quite a cringe-worthy read here from a Christian blogger talking about her visual impressions of the prostitutes working the Bangkok bar scene. While we don’t agree with the apologism that resonates from many of the men that patronise the scene, we would say that it’s a bit of a stretch to project that,

Her face looked expressionless yet through her eyes she showed she was desperate, tired, bored, beaten, battered, scared, lonely, and lifeless. I tried to make sense of it all. She was alive and breathing but she looked lifeless. She needed a fresh breath, she needed life. I have never seen someone who has Jesus in their heart make that face.

It will be interesting to hear her reflections if she manages to meet and talk to any of the girls during her travels.

Forum Discussions

Cost of living breakdown for one month in Bangkok

Maybe it’s because we love data, but we find something fascinating in finding out how people spend their money. A Thaivisa member has obliged us by breaking down his expenses for the month of May. Aside from just generally being useful and interesting (particularly for anyone interested in moving to Thailand), the responses are pretty hilarious.

thaivisa forum

Some posters seem to think that his expenses — totalling 83,794 baht — are somehow extravagant, perhaps indicating the standard of living that some of them are getting by at. The poster seems to live a pretty normal life, particularly as he pays both rent and a mortgage payment on a separate condo, has a wife enrolled in a British Masters programme and a 3-year old child.

thaivisa forum

Armchair outrage

Are Thaivisa members just trolling?

Perhaps appropriately, the /r/Thailand forum seeks to psychoanalyse the admittedly often awful attitude of some of the Thaivisa members. An interesting cross-forum analysis although not nearly as self-aware as it should be.




That’s been The Week On Sukhumvit — see you next time!


Featured image is a photoshop of Creative Commons image by Adam Selwood and an image in the public domain