And… it’s New Year’s Eve!
How did that happen? See ya, 2017!
As always, life is busy in Bangkok and Thailand even during the last week of the year. One of the best pieces of feel-good news this week was Toon Bodyslam finally completing his epic over-2000km run that has so far raised an incredible 1.2 billion baht for 11 underfunded hospitals in Thailand.
Other news this week include insane queues at immigration expected over the New Year and the fall-out from Tropical Storm Kai-tak.
Let’s see what else has been entertaining and enraging Bangkok this week…
- 1 News
- 2 Blogs
- 3 Forum Threads
- 4 YouTube
- 5 Twitter
- 6 Instagram
Thai immigration will be introducing a new 4-year visa for working professionals in mid-January 2018. Dubbed the ‘smart visa’, it will be available to expats earning over 200,000 baht per month in certain specialised industries, including tech, robotics and health care. Holders of the Smart Visa will not need to obtain a work permit and will only need to check in with immigration annually, instead of every 90 days as is required with the current non-B employment visas.
Suvarnabhumi airport is expected to be very busy this weekend as Thailand gears up for the New Year holiday, and immigration have warned that tourists requiring a visa on arrival may well face queues of up to four hours in length. The increased delay is apparently due to increased screening measures ‘to keep out undesirables’, rather than there simply not being enough staff to handle the extra traffic.
In the latest crackdown on the illicit drug dealing activity in lower Sukhumvit, a video has emerged of an African man being arrested by a group of undercover policemen this week. Apparently the police had witnessed the man offering to sell drugs to passersby so approached him in a bid to stop and search. As seen in the video, he was soon lead away.
BK Magazine have put together a year in review for our city this past year, picking out the major events and trends that seemed to dominate. They’ve included everything from purple sweet potato and the slow decimation of nightlife of Soi 11 as it gives way to condo developments, to chicken breast milkshakes and the social media booze ban.
The Fit Traveller has put together a list of their favourite spiritual spots in Bangkok and nearby Ayutthaya — a must-read for anyone who actually did visit Thailand for the temples. There’s plenty of photos, descriptions and the author’s — a Bhakti yogi — take on the experiences on offer.
There are hundreds of islands in Thailand, and not all of them are as crowded as Koh Samui. This blog post on Inspire details some of the nation’s most unknown and mysterious uninhabited islands — some of which you can visit and others that are closed to the public. An interesting read for the intrepid.
Expats in Thailand seem to think a lot about dating Thai people while they’re in Thailand, but how does the experience differ when you meet a Thai elsewhere in the world? Do they carry the same mannerisms and expectations as they might back home?
This Reddit post is by a British guy who has met a Thai girl on Tinder, who has been living in the UK for the past 5 months. He wants to know if there’s anything he should be aware of culturally before embarking on a relationship… As always, there’s plenty of advice — good, bad and stereotypical — in the comments.
Yet another young man here asking for advice on a relationship with a Thai woman. This one is a real classic: he met a bar-girl in a Pattaya go-go while on holiday a few months ago and they’ve been chatting extensively online and with video calls ever since.
He’s come to the Thaivisa forum, of all places, to seek advice on whether he should trust her as a potential partner or not. He further explains that he’s 26, she’s 32 and has two children, and although she’s never asked him for money, she’s never offered to pay for anything either. He is due to visit her again in 3 months… Cue the cynical advice.
Odd one out
(Pic cr.,So You) pic.twitter.com/ChqdnNQ38H
— Stickboy Bangkok (@StickboyBangkok) December 28, 2017
Your choices are to try your luck on the broken footpath or walk onto incoming traffic. This represents life in Thailand perfectly. pic.twitter.com/Apbt7MhKer
— Tracy.3 (@TracyVanity) December 27, 2017
Terrible news: Scala is closing in the first half of next year. If the landlord has its way Thailand’s last movie palace will be obliterated and replaced with a shopping mall.
— Phil Jablon (@SEAsiatheater) December 27, 2017
People are always complaining about badly behaving Chinese tourists. But what about the badly behaving farang? So many recent examples. And now this one in The Nation today. Imagine what it would be like with 9.92 Million farang tourists instead of Chinese #Thailand pic.twitter.com/Zh0k0PJDfP
— Richard Barrow in Thailand (@RichardBarrow) December 28, 2017
Flight to Trat delayed 2 hours due to bad weather. People miss boat to Koh Kood. Screws up holidays. Aussie couple attitude was ‘Shit happens but we’ve got travel insurance’ American couple was ‘How do we sue the airline?’
— Ian (@iamKohChang) December 26, 2017
Day 3: The Cold Fog #Bangkokalypse continues. Vitamin D deficiency is beginning to take its toll. Supplies are low as is morale. All attempts to propitiate Ra, Helios, and other sun gods have proved unsuccessful. The end is surely at hand.
— Darryl Daugherty, PI K.Err. (@DarrylDaugherty) December 28, 2017
— stephff cartoonist (@stephffart) December 28, 2017
And that’s been The Week on Sukhumvit — see you next time!
Featured image is by Aleksandr Zykov and used under a CC BY-SA 2.0 licence