From Life In Thailand 35 Years Ago To The Cost Of Living In Bangkok For A Thai

Happy Sunday, Bangkok!

And a merry Christmas Eve Eve to you all.

Another crazy week in Thailand, not helped by the pollution-filled haze that’s been dominating city life for the past few days and the news that Bangkok has now inched its way into the top 100 cities in the world for most expensive places for expats to live.

What will the folks on your favourite Thailand discussion forums have to say about that…

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

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British father of 2 dies from suspected alcohol overdose in Patpong

The tragic story here of 31-year old Luke Ramage, a father of two kids from County Durham in the UK, who died in his hotel room last weekend from a suspected alcohol overdose.

Ramage, who had only been in Thailand a few hours before his death, had apparently been out drinking with friends in Patpong before they brought him back to his hotel, the Bavana. After discovering he was dead the following morning, the friends apparently informed the reception staff of Ramage’s condition before disappearing — which they have since attributed to ‘not knowing what to do’.

Thai police are satisfied that there was no foul play in Ramage’s death, although the British tabloids are suggesting there could be more to the story as the body was found with some bruising and the (empty) safe in the hotel room was found open.

Thai teenager found beaten to death in Tokyo hotel

Another sad story this week — a 19-year old unidentified Thai woman died in a Tokyo hospital after being found severely beaten in a hotel room. She was found nude and unconscious after other hotel guests had reported hearing screaming and sounds of a fight. The suspect, a 20-year old man, apparently jumped to his death out of the fifth-floor room when the police arrived.

Bangkok air pollution reaches ‘unhealthy’ levels

If you’ve noticed the smog in our fair city over the last few days, you’re not dreaming it — Bangkok’s air pollution index rose to 184 as of Friday morning, which is officially ‘unhealthy’. Particularly badly affected areas include Bang Na, Din Daeng, Samut Prakan and Phra Pradaeng.

Kids and adults with respiratory conditions have been advised not to exert themselves outside for the time being.


How to manage teacher politics in Thailand

A great blog this week on the Ajarn website about the best way to manage those pesky office politics while working as a teacher in Thailand.

Todd recommends recording any potential conflicts or misunderstandings as soon as they happen, so you have an accurate record of events just in case you’re questioned, need to defend yourself, or simply need to shed light on the matter in the future. Having exact dates and times, as well as potential eye witnesses, will hopefully stand you in good stead.

Dear diary: a weekend at Wonderfruit

A witty and revealing report here from a writer attending the notorious Wonderfruit festival in Pattaya this week, incisively described as “some kind of Burning Man meets Coachella in Southeast Asia, with as many accessories, steampunk sunglasses and colorful photo ops, but a less nuanced approach to music programming.”

A great read for anyone considering attending the fest next year, and also another reminder of how useless Airbnb can be in times of need.

The woman saving Thailand’s elephants

A brilliant interview here with Lek Chailert, the founder of Elephant Nature Park in Chiang Mai. Lek talks about her journey in founding the park, the huge number of animals they look after there (including 600 dogs!) and what she wishes tourists knew about elephants in Thailand.

Forum Threads

The cost of living in Bangkok for a local Thai

A Thai Redditor has shared a spreadsheet detailing his every expense in 2018 and it’s fascinating.

For context, he lives in Phrom Phong in a 60m² apartment, has been fired twice this year and has a high-earning, foreign partner. He has detailed every expense, every single day and it’s a fantastically revealing insight into a born and bred Bangkokian’s spending habits.

What follows is a more general discussion on the cost of living in Bangkok nowadays, how to lower your daily expenses so you can maximise on things like holidays, and how budgets vary between locals and expats.

Reminiscing on life in Thailand 35 years ago

Another fascinating Reddit post and discussion, this time on the original poster’s recollections of what Thailand was like when he first moved here 38 years ago.

No BTS or MRT, only a handful of buildings taller than 6 storeys, and no Chinese tourists — it’s hard to tally this vision of old Bangkok to the one that we’re used to right now.

One of the most interesting reminisces is that of bandits routinely robbing long distances buses travelling south to Phuket and Hat Yai — sounds like a Siamese version of Red Dead Redemption…





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Staff Writer for What's On Sukhumvit

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