From The Problem With Digital Nomads To Why It’s Easy Making Friends In Thailand

Happy Sunday, Bangkok!

Another thriller of a week here in the Land of Smiles. Perhaps our favourite story of the last seven days is the news that Nat — the ex-porn star who garnered plenty of attention last year thanks to her relationship with aging American Harold — is divorcing her husband and has entered a new relationship with a 24-year old Vietnamese girl.

Why not?

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

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New renters’ rights expected to ‘shock’ landlords

The 1st of May will see new protections come into place for tenants in rented buildings — protections that are aimed at tighter regulations of landlords who lease at least 5 residential units in Thailand.

Renters will now be able to terminate long-term leases with 30 days’ notice as long as they have reasonable cause, and landlords are restricted to only charging one month’s rent in advance. In Bangkok currently, it is common to be charged two months’ rent in advance as well as an additional month in lieu of a security deposit. At the end of a tenancy, landlords will be required to return the deposit within 7 days instead of the current 60.

Landlords with at least 5 properties who ignore the new rules face a year in jail and/or a 100,000 baht fine per lease violation.

Gambia apologises to Thailand for sex tourism remark

Last week Thai netizens were outraged after it emerged that the tourism minister of Gambia had remarked that westerners should go to Thailand if they wanted sex tourism, rather than visit his country.

The Ministry of Foreign Affairs in Gambia has now released a statement apologising for the remarks, which were actually made back in January, and confirmed that they are not a true reflection of the government’s views on Thailand.

Swede left with 1 baht in bank account 

Henrik Christian Koch, a 49-year old man from Sweden, was shocked to find 100,000 baht missing from his Thai bank account after he left it untouched for a year.

Koch had opened a Bangkok Bank account in Pattaya at the end of 2016, and had gradually built up its reserves to around 100,000 baht. He then left Thailand to return to his native Sweden for work, returning to Pattaya for a vacation around a year later. When he updated his passbook, he found only 1.38 baht remained in the account, which he is adamant he hasn’t touched, or asked anyone to withdraw from on his authority.

Staff at Bangkok Bank had recorded that two withdrawals were transacted through internet banking in March last year for 90,000 and 9,900 baht. Koch has taken this information to the police, as well as the phone number that the transaction was made with.


The problem with digital nomads…

A really interesting blog here from a remote worker based in Chiang Mai on digital nomadism. The author’s issues with the movement boil down to two things: hype and egotism.

Anyone familiar with the tribe of digital nomads — particularly those in Chiang Mai who frequently try to sell their dream on YouTube — will likely cringe a little at their mention. While the idea of working with your laptop in a hammock or on the beach can seem like a fantasy come true when you’re watching a YouTube video from your dull London office, the fact is that reality often doesn’t measure up to the hype.

There are a lot of perks to remote working for certain kinds of people, but it’s certainly not a perfect situation all of the time. Plus, many of the most vocal digital nomads aren’t making enough money to truly live the dream — so instead they offer hollow courses and e-books on how to make money and travel the world. Those that can’t, teach, right?

A great, down to earth, blog post here from someone in the thick of Chiang Mai’s hyped nomad scene who can see the community for what it really is.

Why it’s hard for foreign men to date in Thailand

This is the latest piece in Coconut’s weekly dating series, this time featuring the plight of the foreign man in Bangkok. It’s often assumed that western men have an easy time navigating the dating game in Thailand and while it’s true that there’s definitely a wide pool of both local and foreign women interested in dating them, there are certain hurdles to overcome.

Many western guys are tarnished with the brush of ‘sexpat’ or down with a case of ‘yellow fever’ when they express interest in Thai women — there’s a lot of judgement to overcome from both Thais and other westerners, both in Thailand and back home when you start dating a Thai woman.

Some men complain that their relationships with Thai girlfriends and wives are regarded by outsiders as somehow ‘less than’ — their girls are suspected of being gold diggers, ex bar girls, or nothing more than subservient domestic sex kittens by those back home. It’s hard to have your mixed race relationship viewed as somehow less legitimate than a western-western relationship would be, regardless of the dynamics and individuals at play.

Of course, hand in hand with that judgement is a wariness of whether a potential love interest is really interested in you for you. Some men have dated local women more interested in having them as a status symbol western boyfriend, and hooked up with western women who they know wouldn’t have paid them a second glance back home.

Why I find it easier to make friends in Thailand than back home

A Chiang Mai based blogger lists the reasons he finds it easier to socialise in Thailand than he did back at home in the States. A self-confessed introvert, he cites three reasons for his improved socialisation: more like-minded people to socialise with, lots of cheap options to take advantage of, and a smaller apartment encouraging him to get out there and see the world.

Forum Threads

Why do you still live in Thailand if you don’t like it here?

Asking a question probably best suited to many members of the Thaivisa forum, a Reddit member asks why people who complain about Thailand continue to visit and live here.

There are lots of interesting responses as this isn’t as simple and clear cut as many people might want it to be. Life is a mess of contradictions: it’s more than possible for someone not to like a lot of things about Thailand but to ultimately decide that they want to live here over anywhere else. I am large, I contain multitudes.

Responses include how expats eventually remove their rose-tinted glasses when in comes to life in Thailand, how many expats are invested in the country to the point that to move would facilitate a major life change, and just plain old inflated expectations.




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


Featured photo by Alex Kotliarskyi on Unsplash



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