¡Ay, caramba! It’s Sunday, again!
Holy smokes, Bangkok. We’re hurtling towards September at a pace we’re not entirely comfortable with. And yet, here we are.
It’s been another busy week in Thailand. The fallout from the bomb blasts in the Southern tourist resorts is still hanging over the country, with the police naming suspects and the government, er, doubling the cost of the Visa-on-Arrival fee for a number of countries.
What do you do when tourist spots are hit by bombs & 4 people killed? Double visa fees for citizens of 18 countries https://t.co/STzOVEjoa7
— Richard Barrow (@RichardBarrow) August 18, 2016
In other news, rainy season has been plaguing the North of the country, with flooding galore and Sukhothai province currently on high alert for the Yom River bursting its banks.
It’s hard to complain about a bit of rain-induced heavy traffic in Bangkok when those in other parts of the country are at risk of having their homes destroyed.
Of course, there’s been plenty more occupying us this week. Let’s take a look at the best of the week’s news, views and social media updates…
This is a lovely story showing the power of karma and the genuine ‘Thainess’ that this country is rightly so proud of. Woralop had been sleeping on the streets for a year when he found the lost wallet of Nitty Pongkriangyos, containing some 20,000 baht. Returning the wallet to its rightful owner for the simple reason that “it’s not his”, steel factory-owner Nitty hired Woralop for his honesty and provided him space in the employee accommodation.
A video emerged of a group of British tourists being beaten with metal bars by four bouncers on Khao San Road this week, supposedly after one of the tourists was seen flipping the bird at one of the bouncers.
In antithesis to our first news story this week, this is a much sadder news story about Sermsak Thammasaro, who was ejected from his Buddhist order after being deemed ‘disabled and a burden’. Sermsak is 99cm tall and weighs 15kg. Apparently Sermsak’s monastic order, Buddhist Vinaya, is against ordaining monks who are judged too physically small.
We all know how much Thailand loves its buffalo. Now you can see what an authentic buffalo market in Uthai Thani looks like with the Thailand For Farang blog. Considering their usefulness and relative low maintenance in terms of feeding, we think these beasts are surprisingly cheap!
This is a curiously negative blog post about how travellers can ‘survive’ Bangkok. While it’s widely acknowledged that Bangkok is something of an acquired taste, we find some of the judgements here a tad hyperbolic: they deem the city to have “a permanent odour akin to sour milk mixed with rotting fish guts,” for instance, and confer some faintly misguided comments about street food (“I’m not saying that the street food will kill you…” is a killer opening line).
Amusingly, their number one tip for surviving the Big Mango is to, er, leave it. Sounds sensible.
Other tips they put forward — avoiding the floating markets, Khao San and the Grand Palace — are good advice on avoiding the tourist traps, in fairness.
As data freaks, we love cost of living analysis, and this blog on how much money you need to survive or thrive in Chiang Mai is a cracker. The land of digital nomads, many CM expats wax lyrical on how they survive on just $500 a month in the city which, while a noble endeavour, probably isn’t the best indication of how much you need to live the good life there. They really get down into the nitty gritty numbers of accommodation, entertainment and general living costs for a variety of budgets.
This lengthy Reddit thread is inspired by a question, asked by someone who’s about to move to Thailand, about the various perils of living here. There’s some great answers here, including noise pollution, business politics and work ethic, the fluidity of time and deadlines, dangerous roads, and even other expats.
And, of course:
— kent buse (@kentbuse) August 18, 2016
Everybody is eating Durian in the office and it reeks. When I joked about it one girl said ‘it smells better than your cheese’ #Fairenough
— Glenn (@_GlennCollier) August 18, 2016
— Noeke Dens (@NoekeDens) August 18, 2016
My lady’s brother keeps yelling at her for my buying a used car. Guess it’s not good for “face” to buy secondhand? #Thailand
— Signore Sammy (@signoresammybkk) August 18, 2016
And that’s been The Week on Sukhumvit — see you next time!
Featured image is by Heiko S and used under a CC BY 2.0 licence