“Sunday morning, praise the dawning…”
Just another week charting the days in Bangkok. And as the rest of the world goes mad — what with a mass shooting in Germany, hyperbole and gloom at the US Republican National Convention, and engineered hysteria over free speech on Twitter — Thailand has largely plodded on as usual.
Well, until a car somehow accidently drove into the Erawan Shrine on Friday. 5 people were injured.
Much of the news from last week has carried over to this one — including the crazy crocodile fishing operation in Pattaya, whose owner has now dared naysayers to come and try and sink the shaky looking rafts. If you can do it in five minutes, you apparently win a grand prize of 5 million baht.
Sure. Sounds pretty legit.
Anyway, there’s still been lots to occupy us up and down the land. Here’s the best of the week’s news, views and social media updates.
In what could be described as something of a ballsy move, the female Thai tourism minister, Kobkarn Wattanavrangkul, has announced her intention to rid Thailand of its status as a sex tourism destination and to clamp down on prostitution. World Outreach International estimate that 70% of male tourists to Thailand come for sex.
“We want Thailand to be about quality tourism. We want the sex industry gone,” Ms Kobkarn said.
Perhaps in a bid to replace those pesky sex tourists, the Tourism Authority of Thailand is hoping to bring in more German tourists as it’s thought they have higher spending power than other more cash-strapped European countries. The strategy is apparently not to necessarily get more Germans to visit Thailand, just more high-spending Germans.
In yet more tourist-centric news, this is the story that a group of 6 drunk Australians were escorted off a Jetstar flight from Sydney to Phuket after having a punch-up onboard. The flight made an emergency landing at Bali Denpasar and the offenders were ordered back to Aus.
This is a great blog with illustrative photos of what happens once the sun comes up after a Full Moon Party on Koh Phangan. People coming together to watch a beautiful sunrise? New lovers walking off hand-in-hand in the surf? Not quite. An entertaining read.
We love these ‘first impressions’ blogs as they all inevitably say more or less the same thing: “I thought I would hate Bangkok but it eventually grew on me. I also got scammed.” The problems these bloggers face seem to all stem from the fact that they stay on or near the Khao San Road — this particular piece talks about getting ‘Bangkok Belly’ and being continually hassled and overcharged for taxis and tuk tuks.
This Paleo Robbie blog explores why Thailand has the second highest obesity rates in SEA, with Thai women the third most overweight in Asia. They look at the prevalence of processed foods in our diets, the increasing use of chemicals that cuts the nutritional quality of our fruit and veg, and the high amounts of sugar in, well, basically everything.
A poster is seeking advice here after the mother of one of his female students called to ask if her daughter could live with him — a 28 year old American — full time, in order “to improve her English skills.” Needless to say, the poster isn’t keen.
Replies include suggestions that the mother could be attempting to engineer a blackmailing situation, an off-road discussion about HiSo vs ‘farm’ girls, and the taboo of dating much younger women.
A quite sweet thread here from Thaivisa, written by a 23 year old who’s shacked up with a reasonably wealthy 28-year old woman who goes in hard for materialism and doesn’t let him pay for anything. The catch? She doesn’t have a job and her parents don’t appear to be hugely wealthy either — so where’s the money coming from?
While many replies point out that it’s likely her income comes from a source that he’s not going to be too happy about, some tell him just to sit back…
Actually, Thai students studying English is a bit like us being made to study French. The majority can get by perfectly without it.
— Phil / Ajarn.com (@Ajarncom) July 20, 2016
I usually use when a farang gets amusingly angry: “He went full on farangutan at the receptionist” https://t.co/ODmPGM9xNQ
— Jerome Taylor (@JeromeTaylor) July 21, 2016
The only Thai phrase you need know: “FOLLOW THE FUCKING MAP, UBER DRIVER! YOU’RE NOT SMARTER THAN GOOGLE MAPS!” #bangkok
— Evo Terra (@evoterra) July 21, 2016
My local restaurant was closed for painting for 5 days. Reopened today & it’s bright green & orange! Looks like a giant bowl of Tom Yum
— Glenn (@_GlennCollier) July 22, 2016
A photo posted by Jonas Erixon (@a_himitsu) on
A photo posted by @champagne_mamita on
And that’s been The Week On Sukhumvit — see you next time!
Featured image is by Joe Stump and used under a CC By 2.0 licence