Welcome to Sunday!
Another busy week on the newswire in Thailand — a tragically fatal van crash in Ayutthaya, the big reveal of the three best public toilets in Bangkok (we can’t believe the Japanese toilets in Terminal 21 didn’t get a shout out) and, of course, the fact that it looks as though the spirit of Christmas has vomited all over Bangkok’s biggest shopping malls.
You’ve gotta love how hard this Buddhist country goes in for Chrimbo.
Let’s see what else has been entertaining and enraging Bangkok this week…
- 1 News
- 2 Blogs
- 3 Forum Threads
- 4 YouTube
- 5 Twitter
- 6 Instagram
The Thai corner of the internet has been ablaze in the last few days after two British tourists, Michael and Denise Laverty, claimed that Michael was the victim of a violent mugging at gunpoint in Patong that left him with a broken leg. A fundraising page was duly set up in order to raise funds for medical treatment and a new flight home.
But the Phuket Tourist Police, who were called by the couple following the attack, have since come forward to show CCTV evidence of Michael seemly willingly jumping from a first floor balcony after having been recorded on CCTV checking doors along the first floor. The watch that was reported stolen in the alleged mugging was found near where he landed. Michael was left with multiple leg fractures, and he and his wife have since left Thailand, bound for Dubai.
One of Bangkok’s favourite Soi 11 bars has announced its new location on Sukhumvit Soi 50 in On Nut.
Cheap Charlie’s — along with a few other expat favourite bars and restaurants — was forced to close its shutters in March this year to make way for yet another condo development on the prized Soi 11 turf. But instead of simply bowing out of the Bangkok nightlife game, the owner announced this week on Facebook that he was re-opening at The Beacon on Soi 50. Stay tuned for launch day…
A fascinating piece in the New York Times here on Thailand’s role in the Vietnam War and how this country somehow emerged a winner in this controversial conflict. It discusses the role of Buddhism on the front lines, the effects of the exposure to American consumerism and, of course, the birth of the flourishing sex industry on the backs of the willing GIs. The article claims that Thailand enjoyed prosperity and a position on the world stage, in part due to its involvement in Vietnam.
As a few commenters have discussed, it would be even more interesting had there been some insights from Thai scholars and researchers on the issue, rather than just another American view on the conflict.
This is a great guest blog on the Ajarn website of a road trip up to Nan, across to Chiang Mai, and back — a sweet 2,200 kilometres. As well as the photos, there are some great recommendations on where to spend your time on a road trip up north, as well as some surprising insights — Nan making central Chiang Mai look like an extended Khao San Road was a highlight!
An interesting opinion piece here from Stickboy on the case of the Lavertys in Phuket (discussed above), saying that apparent schemes by foreigners such as this are almost two a penny in Thailand. While the majority of tourists to Thailand are perfectly respectable guests, it seems like major exaggerations and sometimes downright lies are told in order to ramp up donations on fundraising sites or clicks to personal blogs.
And we have to agree that this notion held by some troublemakers that stupidity runs rampant here, including amongst the police, is completely misguided. This isn’t a third world backwater that can’t independently investigate your claims. If there’s CCTV footage of you doing one thing while you said you were doing another (*cough, cough*), you can be sure that it’s going to be exposed.
A few cautionary tales here on this recent Thaivisa thread about the potential consequences of taking your wife back home to Europe — she might get a better offer!
The original poster of the thread is lamenting about his wife choosing to stay in Europe while he is tied to Koh Samui for work. Plenty of men in the comments share their experience and bar stool wisdom on the matter…
Essentially, it appears to have boiled down to this:
After hearing a group of expats complaining about how difficult it is to import your helicopter into Thailand, the OP of this thread decided to ask the rest of Reddit about the weirdest expat complaints they’ve heard in the so-called Land of Smiles. Everything from dual pricing, Thai politics, and the classic ‘no one understands me’ is up for grabs.
— Phil / Ajarn.com (@Ajarncom) November 8, 2017
— Greg (@BkkGreg) November 8, 2017
This is kai jiaw
It’s uh it’s an omelette
But it’s in Thailand so that makes it Thai food pic.twitter.com/UtVK5ETm3P
— เสอกสิสแคโดส (@XerxesQados) November 8, 2017
— Andrew Clark (@qandrew) November 9, 2017
— Retro Siam (@RetroSiam) November 9, 2017
And that’s been The Week On Sukhumvit — see you next time!