From Is Every Thai Girl Materialistic To The Re-Emergence Of Bangkok’s Chinatown

Happy Sunday, Bangkok!

Another mad week in the Land of Smiles — it’s been announced that PM Prayut Chan-o-cha will be visiting Europe next week to meet Theresa May and to buy a $215 million observation satellite (treat yo’self); terrible scenes in a crowded Nakhon Pathom hospital where a Thai man shot his wife, father-in-law and then himself, leaving behind a 6-month old baby; and finally, the traffic lights died at the notorious Asoke intersection in Bangkok after a bunch of cables caught fire.

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

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BKK airport taxis demand fare hike

Taxis servicing Suvarnabhumi airport arrivals this week called once again for a fare rate rise. They have a proposed a jump from 50 baht to 75 baht for the automatic airport surcharge, as well as a 5% rise in the metered fare for the journey.

Previously, their demands for a price rise has been shot down by authorities due to the number of complaints received from passengers about taxis refusing fares or refusing to use the meter. A director of the airport taxi association this week claimed that complaints have fallen and drivers have tangibly increased their service levels.

This, coupled with the rising cost of living in Bangkok, apparently justifies the requested rise in prices. With the average daily cost of running a taxi around 2,000 baht, it’s hard to see how drivers manage to make any profit at all considering the current low rate of fares. We’re sure that consumers would support this price rise if the number of drivers refusing metered fares continues to diminish.

American tourist found dead after swimming in Khao Sok National Park

A tragic death in the provinces this week after the body of 30-year old Jordan Scot, an American tourist, was discovered in Ratchaprapa Dam a few days after he disappeared during a swimming trip there last week.

Scot was apparently on a day trip with friends last Friday to Ratchaprapa Dam, part of Khao Sok National Park, when he dived in the water and failed to surface. His body was found floating in the water by a rescue team on the following Monday.

Thai Airways ending BKK-Samui flights

Thai Airways this week announced that they would be ending their twice daily flights from Bangkok to Koh Samui this September. This will leave Bangkok Airways as the sole operator of this route.

Bangkok Airways privately own Koh Samui airport and the route is known for its high prices compared to flights of a similar distance elsewhere in Thailand. They negotiated a contract with Thai Airways back in 2008 to share the route and end this monopoly, although consumers are doubtless worried that September will see flight prices between Bangkok and the island increase again.


The re-emergence of Bangkok’s Chinatown

A great read here on a walk through the city’s Chinatown district on the Nomadic Notes blog. Probably the most unique and recognisable Bangkok neighbourhood, James argues that it’s well worth a visit now — before the MRT arrives in 2019 and before the inevitable gentrification comes bulldozing through and over all that’s so idiosyncratic about this place.

If you’re a foodie, there’s also some cracking street food recommendations in here, including a visit to the recently Michelin-anointed Kuay Jab Uan Pochana. A must-visit for Chinese Noodle Pork Soup, by all accounts.

Thailand remembers Anthony Bourdain

A nice in memoriam here on Coconuts following the sudden and shocking suicide of Anthony Bourdain last week. Bourdain, an American chef, writer, presenter and traveller, was an enigmatic force of nature that woke the world up to the wonders of street food on his shows that included Parts Unknown and No Reservations. He travelled Southeast Asia, including Thailand, extensively while filming these shows and spoke often of his fondness for our cuisine.

Expat author Joe Cummings contributes his memories of Bourdain during his filming trips in Thailand, as well as other Thais and expats who knew him and were inspired by him.

Pim Techamuanvivit: a culinary profile

Speaking of foodies, a fascinating profile in the New York Times here of Pim Techamuanvivit, the female chef taking the head job at Nahm, after Australian David Thompson’s departure earlier this year.

Pim, a born and bred Bangkokian who moved to California for graduate school before eventually opening the celebrated Kin Khao there, is back in her homeland running the 1 Michelin-starred Nahm in the Metropolitan Hotel since May.

This profile digs into her childhood, her time in San Francisco, her family’s influence in her cooking and her beliefs in the role of Thai women in the kitchen.

Forum Threads

Is it possible to have a non-materialistic relationship with a Thai girl?

A classic Thaivisa thread here, where members manage to reduce an entire nationality and gender down to one character trait: materialistic.

The original poster asks the above question after stating his terrible disappointment in all the Thai women he has dated during his time in Thailand. Apparently, they have all used him as a means to a ‘better life’ and understand ‘love and feelings’ differently.

Sure, materialism runs rife in Thailand — or certainly in Bangkok, anyway — but to tar every girl with this brush and to suggest that this materialism overshadows love and relationships seems a little fishy. If every person you meet is awful, chances are you’re pretty awful too.  The poster would do well to look inwards at himself and discern what is it about him that encourages this behaviour in his romantic relationships.

And as for understanding ‘love and feelings’ differently, maybe that’s true. But then, if you have a problem with that, maybe you’re not cut out for a cross cultural relationship with a gaping language barrier 🤷🏻‍♀️

How to know if you’re being played by a Pattaya girl

Another cracker here — a young European lad wants to know if the girl he met on Tinder in Pattaya is playing him for a fool. They lived together for 6 weeks, he never gave her money he claims (save for her living expenses…), and they even visited her poor parents up north. Apparently, she loves him.

Sounds good, right? Well, it did to our noble friend until one night his Pattaya girlfriend got very drunk and started crying about how poor she is and wondering why he doesn’t give her any money. Ah.

He’s back in Europe now, but still in touch with his lady friend who is apparently keen to visit him at home. We’re sure she is (but who’s paying for the Schengen visa?)

Some interesting replies…




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


Featured photo by Geoff Greenwood on Unsplash



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