Happy Sunday, Bangkok!
Aside from a few patches of rain, the skies are blue, the breeze is refreshing and it’s practically Arctic at the top of Doi Inthanon… peak season, is that you?
This week has mostly been concerned with super moons and Loy Krathong. The end of the initial 30-day mourning period for King Bhumibol has seen the resumption of events like the full moon party and normal closing times at bars so things seem to be ‘getting back to normal’, at least in the eyes of tourists and bar-goers.
Of course, there’s been much more entertaining Thailand this week. Let’s take a look at the week’s best news, blogs, vlogs and social media updates…
2016’s super moon was the biggest and brightest of any since 1948 and, quite poetically, it lit up Thailand’s Loy Krathong festival this week. Usually accompanied by various festivities and fireworks, this year’s Loy Krathong was a more restrained affair as the Thai people reflected on the death of HM King Bhumibol.
The mangmoom card — Bangkok’s answer to the oyster card — is *finally* set to launch next June, after hype for what feels like bloody decades. It will only work for the BTS, MRT (including the new Purple line) and Airport Rail Link, despite officials initially suggesting it could work on boats, buses and vans. Of course.
Anyone who’s sat down to watch an episode of a Thai lakorn (soap opera) will be well aware of the general romanticisation of sexual assault in these dramas. Female characters are routinely raped, either as a form of revenge punishment, or to ensure that they eventually fall in love with their attacker with often no form of recrimination for the perpetrator.
This issue has now been raised in The World Post, a branch of The Huffington Post. Hopefully international pressure — as well as the domestic pressure they are already facing — will force producers to rethink how they present such issues in order to avoid ‘normalising’ rape.
An amusing article poking fun at the supposed differences between expats who choose to stay in Pattaya and those that choose Bangkok. You know, the down n’ outs go to Pattaya while the, er, super quality, highfalutin among us choose to reside in Bangkok. However, as we all know by now, rapscallion expats worm their way into every corner of Thailand.
Lifestyle website High Snobiety (excellent name) took a couple of trips to the Rot Fai night market in Bangkok in a bid to find some genuine streetwear. He comes away with a few SUPREME (Superdry?) knock-offs and an amusing Pablo-emblazoned T-shirt which we can assume was ‘inspired’ by Kanye West. We personally dig the RIPNDIP T-shirt.
Regularly updated, this cracking list is a handy where-to-go guide if you’re looking to try somewhere new in Bangkok. Some corkers here that we haven’t yet graced with our presence, including a few riverside locations that could persuade us to leave the expat ghetto of Sukhumvit (just for a few hours, mind).
This moany post on Reddit has a few commenters up in arms, complaining about the standard of wait service in Bangkok restaurants, going so far as to describe it as the worst in the world he has endured. Quite a claim. While we’d agree there’s a few disinterested waiters and waitresses scattered about, they’re hardly the norm. Most service here comes with a smile (even if it takes you a while to procure the checkbin).
One commenter has a particularly on the nose piece of advice for the complainer:
— Justin Dunne (@justindunne) November 16, 2016
Teaching myself Thai has reminded me I don’t know English very well
— Glenn (@_GlennCollier) November 17, 2016
Strawberry flavoured shite anyone?
(Pic cr.Camille Lemmens) pic.twitter.com/OSTKhd3aYk
— Stickboy Bangkok (@StickboyBangkok) November 17, 2016
— kevin finney (@blindfish1) November 15, 2016
And that’s been the Week On Sukhumvit — see you next time!
Featured image includes photo by Aleksandr Zykov (CC BY-SA 2.0 licence)