Happy Sunday, Bangkok!
It’s been a quieter week in the Thailand news pages over the past 7 days with the major stories revolving around a multi-million baht bitcoin scam, sexual shenanigans in Lumpini Park (more on that later…) and the worst flash flood in a decade hitting the beautiful Khao Yai National Park.
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
City Hall steps up watch after group sex in Lumpini Park
Bangkok City Hall this week have vowed to increase the frequency of patrols and add more surveillance cameras to the capital’s parks, following reports of group gay sex in Lumpini Park.
Patrols will now be increased to every 30 minutes in Bangkok’s 36 public parks and will also cover the public bathrooms. Anyone found to be in violation will be fined 5,000 baht.
This action has come about following a viral story on social media where a group of men were spotted getting jiggy in beloved Lumpini Park. City Hall officials were apparently shocked at the story and vowed immediate action.
Actor arrested following alleged 797 million baht bitcoin fraud
27-year old Thai actor Jiratpisit ‘Boom’ Jaravijit was arrested this week after allegedly defrauding a Finnish man out of 797 million baht worth of bitcoin. Jiratpisit along with 6 others are suspected of money laundering and collusion.
The victim, identified as Aarni Otava Saarimaa, apparently transferred the large amount of bitcoin to the actor and his elder brother, believing that they would be buying stock in various companies that invest in Dragon Coin on his behalf. He raised the alarm with police after failing to receive any dividends or invitations to shareholder meetings from these companies.
Jiratpisit is believed to have transferred 400 million baht of the bitcoin to relatives. 200 million baht worth of assets have also been seized.
Phuket bar owner arrested in Cambodia over coyote dancer killing
Panya Yingang was arrested in Cambodia this week on his way to Vietnam for his alleged role in the murders of 20-year old coyote dancer Paveena Namuangrak and her childhood friend 21-year old Anantachai Jaritrum.
Paveena had been working as a dancer in one of Panya’s Phuket bars since she was 16, and the influential bar owner is believed to have been infatuated by her. He allegedly thought Anantachai to be her boyfriend.
Panya is one of 6 suspects to be arrested in connection with their murders.
The surprising reason there are so many Thai restaurants in the US
An interesting read here for anyone wondering why there are almost 5,500 Thai restaurants in the USA despite there just being 300,000 Thai Americans — because the Thai government paid for it.
A sterling example of using gastronomy as a soft power, the Thai government have for years been propagating their unique and much-loved cuisine around the world by training up local chefs to go out around the world, work in kitchens and eventually open their own Thai restaurants.
And it’s worked — how many people rate Thai as one of their favorite cuisines without having even stepped foot in Asia?
This article goes into the nitty gritty of this ‘gastrodiplomacy’, including explaining how there are three model master prefab restaurants which they encourage investors to copy when they set up shop: Elephant Jump for fast casual dining; Cool Basil for mid-priced diners; and Golden Leaf for the higher end, complete with authentic Thai fabric and ‘objets d’art’.
Why are so many Westerners leaving Thailand?
One of the Ajarn bloggers goes deep here on a Thaivisa forum survey that found increasing numbers of Western expats are unhappy with their lot in Thailand.
While we could debate the validity of a survey of Thaivisa members for hours (let’s just say that it’ll probably skew to the older, cynical and more irritable demographic of expats), there’s no doubt that only rarely is Bangkok a city expats stay in forever — ironically the unhappy Thaivisa members are probably the longest-running residents.
Why do people leave? The blog goes into plenty of depth on this front, but it’s safe to say that a higher cost of living, the increasing numbers of Chinese visitors and unwelcoming red tape all have a hand in it.
What’s the most annoying thing that expats in Thailand do?
A welcome change from the usual threads about what do you hate most about Thailand/Thai people, Reddit this week is turning the tables on itself and looking inwards: what’s the most annoying thing about expats?
Both locals and expats chime in here and the responses are varied. You’ll probably recognise a little of yourself in some of the answers if you’re really honest with yourself.
Responses include competing about who is the best integrated into the Thai way of life (‘Thaier than the Thais’), speaking awful Thai and expecting to be understand, leering at any and all Thai women, being blind to the flaws of the country, being incredibly cynical about the country, racism and treating other expats like they’re Thai too.
There are ‘good’ bar girls in Thailand…
If you’re bored and looking for a classic WTF Thailand story, head on over to Thaivisa and try this on for size.
The poster is regaling us with how he has found a so-called ‘good’ bar girl after he fell from an apparent life of riches to being what sounds like an unemployed hobo. After spotting her outside a bar, he was immediately ‘fascinated’, slept with her (for free!), ate Thai BBQ together (she paid!) and spent the night at her place (he was homeless!). Later, she took him to her hometown to meet her family, where she surprised him with an engagement ceremony (she provided the sin sod!).
Post engagement, she still works in the bar as our gallant hero is apparently still unemployed. She has apparently warned her colleagues and friends that they are not to even speak to her beau as she is so territorial — and who can blame her? He sounds like a real catch.
Our hero is now asking Thaivisa whether he has found the only ‘good’ bar girl in Thailand. The only spanner in the works is one of her bargirl friends who his betrothed apparently knows ‘at a lesbian level’ and is jealous of their relationship. Sure.
Is this what makes a Thai bar girl good? Is any girl either good or bad with no inbetween? Of course not. The poster is an absolute cretin.
This billboard is right outside the airport in Bangkok and every time I leave I send a pic of it to some BKK friends and they never understand why it’s funny. pic.twitter.com/tlPgdK7GmD
— Steve. (@stevesnotlost) August 15, 2018
Asked the cab drive to take me to a bar and somehow I ended up in a whorehouse. Be careful. #bangkok
— LG (@DJLG210) August 15, 2018
I’m in the cleanest taxi ever in Bangkok and there are lots of rules which are laminated and stuck everywhere! Even the handles in the roof have covers. 😂 #CleanBangkokTaxi #PoliteBangkokTaxi pic.twitter.com/2uF4LOFXBn
— Birdie (@BirdieBangkok) August 15, 2018
Of course he knows which wire is which
(Pic cr.ภูริพัฒน์ รักษาชาติ) pic.twitter.com/VGxmrM9oLJ
— Stickboy Bangkok (@StickboyBangkok) August 14, 2018
Lot of rain last night on the mainland in Trat province. pic.twitter.com/q5TyzNfSwN
— Ian (@iamKohChang) August 15, 2018
Yeah, the Khon mask presentation going on now at EmQ is cool, but nothing beats the one Central World did in honor of The Force Awakens in ‘15. #Thailand pic.twitter.com/Yh2ZJFbSYh
— Justin Dunne (@justindunne) August 11, 2018
The award for worst planning in a parking structure goes to Paragon, where you add 20 minutes to the exit time for each floor you go up. Pretty sure I just passed a car with a skeleton in it.
— Greg (@BkkGreg) August 12, 2018
One of my colleagues works in Bang Na but lives in Sathorn. And they’re gonna get a taxi home, in the pouring rain, at rush hour. She might as well sleep at school 😂😂😂
— Somchai the Dog (@bkksomchai) August 15, 2018
Thug Life: Siam Square #Repost pic.twitter.com/t3iLNh0Aaj
— 𝘛𝘩𝘦 𝘚𝘩𝘦𝘭𝘭𝘮𝘢𝘯 (@NeilShelley) August 14, 2018
Thai’s seem to be able to fall asleep anywhere pic.twitter.com/M5OAtS9mm4
— sweet3mango (@sweet3mango) August 15, 2018
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And that’s been The Week On Sukhumvit — see you next time!