Happy Sunday, Bangkok!
Here we are again.
Another busy week in the ol’ Land of Smiles, per usual. Netizens have mostly been preoccupied by the media coverage of the Red Bull heir horror crash of 5 years ago, while tragedy struck at Suvarnabhumi after a foreigner was thought to have jumped to his death from the 4th floor of the airport.
Of course, there’s been plenty more entertaining and enraging Bangkok this week…
Thailand has been fuming this week at the news that Vorayudh Yoovidhya — heir to the billion dollar Red Bull fortune — has been openly living a life of opulence since his alleged involvement in a car crash that killed a police officer in 2012. Prosecution has been delayed for 5 years multiple times owing to Yoovidhya’s becoming unwell and travelling overseas, according to his lawyer.
Photos have emerged recently of the 31 year old enjoying luxurious holidays around Europe and Asia, as well as attending Formula One events, in that time — not in hiding as many critics expected.
The recent announcement that street food carts will no longer be allowed on the pavements of Thonglor and Ekkamai is worrying some of the workforce in these areas. While this part of Sukhumvit is known far and wide for its incredible array of restaurants, the number of truly low cost eateries is on the low side. Until now, the area’s lower paid workers have got by thanks to the generous variety of street food — what will happen to them once the stalls clear out after Songkran?
Rumours have been swirling for months that the beautiful British embassy building on Wireless Road has been sold to Central Group, but ambassador Brian Davidson denied this is the case this week — although he did concede the land itself was up for grabs. Why the Brits are selling their old bastion of colonial institution is up for debate, with many linking Brexit and the need to raise more cash to it.
It’s that time of the year again — when every media outlet releases a remarkably similar list of the best restaurants in Bangkok/Thailand/Southeast Asia/delete as appropriate. This week saw the launch of BK magazine’s Top Tables 2017 list, which saw newcomer Sühring jump to the top. The rest of the top 5 is decked out with the usual suspects: Gaggan, L’Atelier de Joel Robuchon, Nahm and Le Normandie.
Wake us up next year.
This is the absolutely fascinating and violent history of Klaew Thanikul, a mafia kingpin operating in Bangkok’s golden age of Muay Thai in the 1980s. Described as a “mashup of Don Corleone, Don King and Donald Trump,” Klaew was not to be trifled with, and this biography paints a vivid picture of how. From murder to amulets to protection and trafficking, Klaew (over)saw it all — until his death in a hail of bullets in 1991.
The Wildkiwi blog takes us on a tour of the Royal Thai Military Academy, about 1.5 hours from Bangkok. An interesting, not-so-touristy, tourist attraction for anyone wanting to swot up on their Thai military history.
An interesting Thaivisa thread this week that attempts to cut through the bullshit of why foreigners eventually leave Thailand to go back to their homelands. That is, not complaining about how much Thailand has changed or how it’s the country itself at fault for your unhappiness but rather more practical, personal reasons — being poorer thanks to a falling exchange rate, your Thai partner losing their ‘exotic’ charm after showing so much promise at the start of your relationship, or even worries about how your declining health will be looked after here.
There are some interesting comments here, and this thread will likely be most close to home for those expats of a retiree age. The grass is always greener…
This Reddit thread is truly more of a novella — whether it’s a romance or a thriller remains to be seen at this point. Basically, it’s a tale of boy meets Thai girl online, girl decides to visit boy, girl’s parents get concerned and refuse to let her go without her mother and sister as chaperones. What could go wrong, right?
Throw in a sexual fetish and the fact that one party is transgender (PS it’s not who you think!) and you’ve got a real spine chiller on your hands!
— Retro Siam (@RetroSiam) March 31, 2017
Perplexed by those who feel these are the charms of Bangkok pic.twitter.com/lZbSvTcTub
— Prathan (@scomma) March 30, 2017
(Pic cr. Changton Natee) pic.twitter.com/vUtTWtkRh9
— Stickboy Bangkok (@StickboyBangkok) March 30, 2017
And that’s been The Week On Sukhumvit – see you next time!