We’re not sure where the time has gone, but somehow we’ve hit April at full stride and Songkran is mere days away.
Are you ready to get wet?
We’re not, so have made investments into the full range of 7-Eleven waterproof ponchos. Yes, they look like oversize, baggy condoms but if that’s not getting into the spirit of the festival then we don’t know what is.
In other Bangkok news, this week has seen the body of a drug mule turn up in a suitcase in a Bangkok khlong, 21 Thai nationals named as beneficiaries of an international tax evasion and money-laundering scheme in the Panama Papers while a private soldier was tragically beaten to death at the hands of his superiors.
But as always, Bangkok is nothing if not shades of grey and there’s been a variety of stories and pictures brightening up and dampening down the news desks and social media this week.
Let’s take a look at some of the highlights…
In an attempt to save just a little water in the middle of the current drought (the worst in over 20 years, natch), Songkran celebrations – read: massive water fights – will be shortened to just two days over April 13 and 14 with a 9pm curfew each night on the Khao San Road. This will hopefully serve as a compromise between officials conscious of mass water wastage and the local vendors who depend on increased income during the celebrations.
The TAT is shifting their promotional focus onto female travellers during August 2016, recognising the increase in female arrivals to the Kingdom and the fact that many women are the decision makers when it comes to choosing the family holiday. They’re planning to woo women with, er, Lady Golf, Lady Celebrities, Ladies Photo Contest, Lady in Thai Fabrics, Lady Bloggers’ Journey, and Mobile Application “Lady Journey”. We’re pretty pumped for Lady Golf.
A double decker bus in Nakhon Pathom province collided with a train at a grade crossing last weekend, resulting in the death of 3 people (including the bus driver) and the injuries of 30 others. The bus was supposedly playing loud music prior to the crash and the automatic barriers at the crossing were inoperable as the Department of Rural Roads had yet to complete paperwork with the State Railway of Thailand.
This half-Thai, half-European blogger recounts some of the funny conversations she’s experienced during her last two years in Thailand, the absurdities of which she attributes to the language barrier, culture clashes and idiosyncrasies: “sometimes it’s a Thai or Farang thing”.
We were particularly tickled by #10:
(In Thai) Monk : “Bless you…(I don’t really understand monks when they do their blessing)…” Pauses, looks at the clock, looks very serious at me and says “Now go home and cook for your husband!”
Looks like someone’s been told…
A creative and funny look at a dinner between the writer, his foreign correspondent friend and three other such journalists. He examines the almost boastful pride they take in showing off about what they’ve seen and where they’ve been, as well delving into a personal story on how many Thai people believe in ghosts.
Keen photographers will enjoy this guide to the city’s top spots to take striking cityscapes from. You’ve got all the usual spots in there – Octave at the Thonglor Marriott, Sky Bar at Lebua – as well as a couple of hidden gems like the Blue Sky Bar in Chatuchak and the River View Guest House in Chinatown.
A soon-to-be new expat asks about some of the pain points other foreigners encountered upon first moving to Thailand. Some very interesting and honest answers here, including how you can only trust what you see with your own eyes, the comparatively inferior infrastructure and, arguably most important, the high price of cheese.
I’m hearing the army have raided and shut down several venues in Sukhumvit Soi 7/1 in the past hour. Punters turfed out. #Bangkok
— Stickboy Bangkok (@StickboyBangkok) April 5, 2016
Generally & in principle I am against death penalties. The only real exception is cases involving shopping mall architects#DeathByEscalator
— ρhαετhøṉ (@PhaethonTweets) April 7, 2016
When I first moved to Thailand, all the bar bands would cover “Hotel California” now it’s “Creep” by Radiohead. I prefer Creep.
— Tracy Vanity (@TracyVanity) April 8, 2016
A photo posted by TaNoom (@tanoom_88) on
That’s been The Week On Sukhumvit – see you next time!
Featured image is by ol’pete and used under a Creative Commons licence