Sunday again, Bangkok!
And, of course, it’s been another busy week in the Land of Smiles.
We’ve had Pattaya bargirls attacking Cheap Charlie customers with their high heels, a fugitive monk pulling another amazing feat of escapology, and the rare spotting of a jungle cat up in Chiang Mai.
Of course, there’s been plenty more entertaining and enraging Bangkok this week — let’s take a look at the best of the news, views, videos and social media updates over the past 7 days…
The neverending saga which is the money laundering investigation into the mysterious Wat Dhammakaya took a (further) turn for the absurd this week. Looking for the temple’s leader, fugitive Dhammachayo, Special Investigation officers came across what they assumed was him sleeping in his bedchamber — only to discover that the sleeping figure was in fact just a pile of pillows artfully arranged under the bed sheets.
Dhammachayo still remains to be found.
In a case of ‘you really should have seen that one coming’, a British tourist was attacked by a Pattaya bargirl and her high heel after he refused to pay his checkbin at the Patsy Beer Bar, claiming that it would have been cheaper to buy beer at 7-Eleven.
The lady in question then chased the British tourist and the rest of his group, before later being charged with assault.
Tourism minister Kobkarn Wattanavrangkul has said that the department is currently in talks with Nestlé to produce KitKats in flavors of durian, mangosteen and tamarind.
This is a pretty cracking idea: God knows those Matcha green tea KitKats have gone down a storm and everyone knows that any tourist worth their salt loves an Instagram post with a kooky Thai delicacy.
This is an interesting piece by famous Bangkok expat Stickboy on what it’s like to be visually impaired in Bangkok. He explains the details of his conditions and how he has only around 8% of the sight of a person with ‘normal’ vision. While he doesn’t ask for any sympathy, it’s fascinating to read about the extra obstacles that a technically disabled person might face in such a busy city like Bangkok.
Although even as we over here have near enough 100% vision, we certainly have sympathy for tripping over cracked pavements, having difficulty reading Thai and worrying about being mown down by a motorbike!
This blog post on a ‘crazy Bangkok tour’ by young travel blogger Rachel Brown tells the story of a day in Bangkok that sounds so bad it’s actually pretty funny. Recounting a day trip to Bangkok from Singapore a few years ago, the blogger really serves as a warning about what not to do when in our fine city as a tourist.
From not being able to navigate out of the airport and into Bangkok proper, to agreeing to an insanely expensive tour by the first English-speaker she encounters (naturally an adventure around a series of gem shops), to being taken to a massage shop by her tour guides (who had also told her that she should buy them lunch) and then being frightened as her previously gentle masseuse turned around at the last minute to demand, “where’s my tip, motherfucker?”.
Crikey. That’s a bad day.
This is a great interview with Bangkok-based author Jake Needham on what it’s like to live in the city. Perhaps the best insight is the one that most of us come around to at some point during our expat tenure here — that the city is something of a magnet to, for want of a better word, losers.
He also mentions the delicious Needham omelette at the Brainwake Cafe at the bottom of Sukhumvit Soi 23 — highly recommended!
This is an interesting and charged discussion on Thaivisa regarding a subject that pops up from time to time as an expat in Thailand: if you’re dating an ex bar girl, would you be able to trust her?
Responses vary from the ‘absolutely not’ end of the spectrum right up to willing acceptance — particularly if the girl in question was on the game to support her family. An interesting ethical discussion on prostitution and what it means for Thai-Farang relationships in Thailand.
You may not have previously regarded Redditors as the fashion police, but they’re out in force on this thread. The issue at hand is that of ‘elephant pants’ — the loose, drawstring trousers typically embellished with elephants and usually worn by the legion of tourists visiting the country.
So — fashion crime or handy long trousers for a hot day? We’re inclined to agree with this judgment…
Sorting out the Human from the Replicant staff members down at Villa Market pic.twitter.com/vYbtJ966Xu
— Glenn (@_GlennCollier) February 17, 2017
— Tracy Vanity (@TracyVanity) February 14, 2017
As much as we bitch about Don Muang, it’s light years better than flying through any US airport. Security is even cordial! #Thailand
— Signore Sammy (@signoresammybkk) February 16, 2017
North America does Tom Yum different pic.twitter.com/EBXb1K52Gi
— Nick (@PNM_79) February 16, 2017
— David Aames (@David_Aamez) January 6, 2017
And that’s been The Week On Sukhumvit — see you next time!