From The Best Places To Live In Thailand To Defending Bangkok’s Shopping Malls

Happy Sunday, everyone!

Another wonderful week what with the celebration of Loy Krathong on Thursday night (and the subsequent clean-up of 850,000 krathongs from the rivers the next day), a new skywalk at Mahanakhon charging customers an eye-watering 1,000 baht a pop to walk upon, and the news that a Thai woman accidentally ruptured a breast implant during an episode of heavy petting.

Ouch.

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

News

Chinese tourist arrivals down by 20% in October

This is the news that Chinese tourist arrivals to Thailand dropped by a huge 19.8% in October 2018 compared to the previous year and their spending slumped to 34.6 billion baht, down 16.5% over the same time period. This has been attributed in part to the Phuket boat accident in July which saw almost 50 Chinese tourist lose their lives.

Even with this decline, Mainland Chinese are still the largest group of tourist arrivals to Thailand, responsible for 9.2 million of the total 31.3 million arrivals during 2018 so far.

Hemingway’s to reopen in January on Soi 11

Expat favourite Hemingway’s, formerly of the beautiful traditional Thai teak house on Sukhumvit Soi 14, is to reopen in January 2019 in the space that used to be Zak’s bistro on Soi 11.

While the exceptional happy hour and tasty Cuban menu drew plenty of punters in, it’s fair to say that much of the appeal of the restaurant-cum-bar was the ambience of the house itself. Recognising that, the team behind Hemingway’s have rebuilt their new structure from the ground up in order to recreate some of the most beloved features and characteristics of the former residence.

We can’t wait to (re)try it out…

The Thai farmer and his best friend, the buffalo

A real feel-good story here that’s made its way to the world stage: the story of Surat Paewkate, a farmer from Chainat, and the buffalo he has bonded with, called Thong Kham.

They’ve captured hearts and minds with their double selfies which show Thong Kham seemingly copying his caretaker’s expressions for the camera. When Thong Kham’s owner intended to sell him, Surat managed to crowdfund over 100,000 baht via Facebook in order to buy him from his former owner.

Blogs

In defense of Bangkok’s malls… mostly

An excellent blog here from Greg To Differ that’s come out of the furore surrounding the brand new megamall ICONSIAM. He’s going against the grain of typical expat opinion which has, predictably, been to moan about ‘yet another mall’ and the supposed westernisation of Bangkok, by treating the issue with a little more nuance.

And he makes plenty of good points, primarily the fact that, while there may indeed be ‘too many malls’ in Sukhumvit, ICONSIAM stands more or less alone on the other side of town, by the river. It’s also hard to get away from the point that Thai people actually seem to like malls so… shouldn’t we just let them get on with it?

For a more in-depth opinion on the topic, take a look at this piece written by one of our Voices contributors: In Defence of Bangkok’s Shopping Malls.

Bangkok’s best bars

BK Magazine have launched their annual B.A.D awards again which rewards the city’s best drinking and nightlife spots. There’s a huge number of categories including one for every neighbourhood, as well as different genre bars and the new kids on the block.

Expats drinking their way through the list should be kept busy until at least the new year.

Forum Threads

Where’s the best place to live in Thailand?

A huge hive of different opinions on this Reddit thread about where is the best place to live in Thailand. Of course, your mileage may vary in any of the places specified, but there’s lots of good advice on what locations suit different types of personalities. All the front runners are in here, including Bangkok, Chiang Mai and Koh Samui, but there are a few out of left field, including Chumphon, Buriram and Nong Khai.

Why are people so miserable on expat forums?

An interesting postmortem on Thaivisa here on why so many posters in these and other expat forums come across as so miserable — with both Thailand and seemingly themselves.

It’s certainly true although we would wager that you see both extremes at play — people competing to show themselves as enjoying an incredible life and those that never stop complaining. There’s not a lot of middle ground among Thailand’s online expats.

The truth is that if you’re spending a large chunk of your day online, engaging only with avatars then you’re not really engaging with real life, which of course has plenty of middle ground and nuance. If you’re always competing to get your online voice heard, then you’ll naturally gravitate to extreme expressions: my life is amazing! Or: my life is awful! And the more and more you give into this way of thinking online, the more this becomes your way of thinking all the time. And then, suddenly, the bubble bursts.

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Instagram

 

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Throwback to some of the best sceneries I’ve ever seen ☀️🌴🇹🇭 #GoPro #throwback

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Let’s find some beautiful place to get lost. #khaosok 🏕 #shabbatshalom

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Pink World 💕🌸 #cosmos #flowerbloom #singhaparkchiangrai #chiangrai #thailand #beautifuldestinations Cr. @nat_donpanpon

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

 

Featured image is of ICONSIAM by Tris T7 (CC BY 3.0 licence)

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