It’s been another busy week across Thailand, with news desks occupied with everything from the petty – the imminent arrival of Tom Jones – to the tragic – the deaths of 8 people at a Bangkok SCB branch during a fire prevention upgrade.
Other topics holding our attention include the threat of 41°C temperatures – thankfully not yet realised – and the start of a high-profile human trafficking trial against 92 accused.
Word from the bird is that some Bangkokians got a little too exuberant in their Guinness drinking during Thursday’s St Patrick’s Day festivities and have since sworn off all social activities until further notice. Ahem.
Here’s the best of the week’s news, views, videos and social media updates…
It was revealed this week that 48 percent of Thailand’s monkhood are obese, thanks to a relatively sedentary lifestyle coupled with the food and drink alms donations they receive, which are seldom particularly nutritious.
A new campaign to get monks healthy has thus been launched, which hopes to promote long and healthy lives while staving off obesity-related conditions like diabetes, high cholesterol and high blood pressure.
A feminist flashmob by Bangkok Rising, in aid of International Women’s Day last week, was the centre of a sexist furore this week after it attracted online harassment from a few members of local Facebook group, ‘Everything Bangkok’.
A photo of a woman at the event wearing a “This is what a feminist looks like” t-shirt was uploaded to the group, attracting comments like “She looks alright. Could soon beat the feminism out of her”.
Everything Bangkok has since been removed although a new ‘Everything Bangkok (The Original)’ group has seemingly replaced it.
Stickboy reported rumours of passport checks on Sukhumvit sois 22, 23 and in the Asok area on Friday night; notably popular late-night tourist areas. It’s unknown if this is a one-off or a soon to be more common occurrence as the police crack down on visa overstayers, but does chime with reports that passport checks may become more routine in Bangkok.
Since its introduction towards the end of last year, the new multiple entry tourist visa (METV) for Thailand has been bamboozling the Bangkok expat population. Tieland To Thailand give a comprehensive run-down on the particular requirements and fees, how it works and how you can turn this 6-month visa into almost 9 months.
It’s no secret that Thais love their magic and mystery, and the latest novelty to capture attention is Lek Lai: an ancient substance found within caves. It supposedly holds miraculous powers and can be an ingredient in amulet-making. This interesting blog post goes into the whys and wherefores.
Bangkok’s Chinatown is a veritable smorgasbord of interesting and delicious dishes – Miss Tam Chiak walks us around her favourites. We would interject to say you should avoid the shark fin cafe, but everything else looks pretty delectable.
This Reddit thread provides some helpful advice to a young American guy considering a move to Bangkok’s fair shores when he comes into some inheritance, like ‘don’t expect Thailand to change your personality’, and ‘wait a while before you settle with a girlfriend’.
Of course, there’s a few white knights in there too besmirching any suggestion that the poster may be shocked upon arrival at the comparatively poor infrastructure, for instance, as well as the searing insight that some Thai people are quite open about nose picking.
Specifically looking at methods that could put you or others in danger, this ThaiVisa thread looks at the myriad of ways that tourists and expats get their knickers in a twist while in Thailand. Alcohol, drugs, starting fights and the usual suspects are all mentioned, but there’s a few Thai-specific troubles in there which may make you chuckle. Our personal favourite:
Yep; definitely best to avoid that if at all possible.
Thailand: the good and the bad (in Thai but well subtitled)
— Free Mind (@FreeMindTH) March 19, 2016
— MrPae_Terames (@MrPae) March 19, 2016
— Bob James (@NotThatBobJames) March 17, 2016
That’s been the Week On Sukhumvit – see you next time!
Featured image is by Mark Fischer and used under a Creative Commons licence