From Expat Alternatives To Thailand To Are Thais Killing Their Own Tourist Industry

Happy Sunday, Thailand!

Another crazy hot week in what has been, so far, a blisteringly torrid ‘cool’ season. And, of course, there’s been the usual #ThailandOnly high jinks: Maeklong Train Market making international headlines after a travel blogger posted a dangerous selfie there, a Bangkok wedding planner running off with hundreds of couples’ deposits, and traffic so bad that it even holds up a train:

Let’s see what else has been entertaining and enraging Bangkok this week…

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Norwegian man found hanging in full view from Pattaya condo

This is the unsettling story that a 69-year old Norwegian man was found hanging in full public view from the top of a 31-storey condo building in Pattaya this week. After a lengthy rescue process, complicated by the location of the body, investigators found that the man, identified as Max Holden from Oslo, had sustained other injuries as well, including deep cuts on his wrists.

Police apparently found no signs of foul play, but did find a handwritten note containing names, as well as a boxcutter, in Holden’s room. The body has been sent for autopsy.

Aussie man and Thai wife sentenced to death in Thailand for drug smuggling

34-year old Australian Luke Cook and his 40-year old Thai wife Kanyarat Wechapitak have been sentenced to death in Thailand for their alleged role in smuggling half a tonne of ice — crystal methamphetamine — worth a whopping AU$300 million into Thailand in 2015 via yacht. The intention was apparently to then smuggle the drugs on to Australia but the drugs ended up being dumped off Chonburi, before eventually washing up on shore, after being spotted by the Thai authorities.

Cook is apparently a known member of the Hells Angels biker gang and owned the Piss Stop Bar in Pattaya, as well as running a boat rental with his wife.

The death sentences are expected to be commuted to life in prison.

City Hall commit to ‘humane’ round-up of stray dogs

Anyone who’s spent any amount of time in Bangkok knows that the city has a huge problem with stray dogs. After receiving over 6,000 complaints over the last year, City Hall have committed to rounding up the dogs and placing them in shelters across the country in order to stem the problem — which currently stands at about 140,000 stray dogs on the streets of the city.

But experts aren’t convinced that this is quite as humane as promised — after all, most of the dogs on the streets are peacefully settled into their communities and, frankly, many of the shelters simply aren’t able to provide adequate care for such huge numbers of dogs.

Money would be better spent on trying to stop the cycle of street dogs breeding more street dogs, with vaccination and sterilisation drives to keep the population down. Educating people that ‘a dog is for life, not just for Christmas’ would go some way to stop people abandoning their pets once they get bored with them too.


Are the Thais killing their own tourist industry?

A blog post here by ‘Albert Jack’ that looks to be more like an extended rant that you’d find on Thaivisa than anything particularly well researched or thought out.

The author seems to believe that Thailand is running its tourism industry into the ground as its own people are treating tourists badly, by scamming them out of money, being violent towards them and just generally mistreating them.

He apparently seems to have missed the memo that tourist numbers are up in the Kingdom, and continually growing.

Sure, Thailand certainly has it’s problems that affect tourists, but these are generally along the lines of an over-inflated baht rather than random acts of violence against tourists. Indeed, most well travelled people would agree that Thailand is one of the safest places to travel to.

Albert Jack likens Thailand’s apparent tourist demise to that he perceives in Spain, Greece and Turkey but, of course, any problems in these countries aren’t because of pickpocketing and waiters watering down wine but rather due to seismic economic problems in the first two and serious threats of terrorism in the latter. To compare them to Thailand is misguided.

This blog post is a perfect example of the attitude of some Western expats and tourists who visit Thailand and expect the country to bend to their will without consequence. We’re not saying it’s right, but you shouldn’t be too surprised to receive a whack to the back of your head if you’re turning off people’s motorbikes because you think it’s too loud while you eat your street food.

Forum Threads

Expat alternatives to Thailand

A potentially useful Thaivisa thread here for any expats considering moving elsewhere in the region to places with more welcoming/suitable visa policies. Cambodia, Vietnam, Philippines and India are all discussed in detail — both their visa policy and their various pros/cons.

Let’s be real though: it’s pretty easy to live in Thailand for long stretches at a time as long as you play by their rules. It’s only when expats start looking for cheaper and sneaker ways to stay long-term that they run into problems. And it’s this kind of attitude that will likely catch up with them wherever they are in the world.

What to do in Isaan

A comprehensive and useful Reddit thread here on everything there is to do in Isaan — that northeastern Thai region that many believe is just the birthplace of buffaloes and bargirls, but actually has plenty to offer those that pass through.

And don’t forget one of the best things about Isaan — the food. Definitely our favourite regional variety.





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Thailand Trip Day 1, Dec 24, 2016, 12:59 PM: The north part of the main building of #WatMahaThat(#วัดมหาธาตุ). I was standing on the top of the building in front of the main building where nine towers stood. I let you see the central Buddha sitting here next. . . #旅写真 #旅行写真 #遺跡 #ワットマハータート #スコータイ歴史公園 #スコータイ #タイ #世界遺産 #worldheritagesite #historicalsite #historicalbuilding #ruins #WatMahaThat #Sukhothai #Thailand #filtered #colorcorrected #nocomposite #a6500 #throwback #TLPicks #aroundtheworldpix #TourThePlanet #travelgram #travellingthroughtheworld #culturetrip #wonderfuldestinations #TravelAwesome @tourismthailand @lonelyplanetthailand @loves_united_thailand @thailand_jp @thailandgram @thailand @thailandvision @igersthailand @thailandinsider @landofsmilethailand

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land of smiles 😁 #thailand #bangkok #phiphiisland #secondhome

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#sukhothai 🙏🏽

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



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