Happy New Year, Bangkok!
After what can only be described as an eventful year, we’re looking forward to what 2017 has in store for us this year in Thailand.
Looking back on the past week, the major story came from the panic surrounding what was thought to be a phantom explosion after Facebook asked its Bangkok users to mark themselves as safe. It later turned out that there was actually an explosion, albeit a very tiny one. Talk about making a mountain out of a molehill…
Anyway, onwards and upwards: here’s the top news, views, videos and social media updates from the past 7 days.
Confusion erupted this week when many Bangkokians received a request from Facebook to mark ourselves as ‘safe’ in the wake of an apparent ‘explosion’. After much confusion, in which it was thought the safety check feature was activated thanks to the sharing of a fake news story, it was later revealed that there was an explosion, albeit a very small one, from a few firecrackers a protestor had let off on the Government Savings Bank.
29 December to 4 January sees the 2016/17 New Year holiday in Thailand, which characteristically sees a much higher level of road accidents than during the rest of the year. This year is apparently no different, with 113 people losing their lives in the first two days of the season, and over 1,000 injured. Unsurprisingly, motorbikes were the vehicles most often involved, and most accidents are thought to have been caused by drink driving and/or speeding. Drive safe, Bangkokians!
This is an interesting report on what lies behind the hostility many in Thailand have for Chinese tourists, including overblown reports in the media of uncouth behaviour, the notorious yet popular ‘zero dollar’ tours, as well as a more widespread feeling of uncertainty as the world adjusts to the rise of China.
This interesting post on the Ajarn website explores what it takes to be a good English teacher in Thailand and how the very concept of a ‘good teacher’ depends entirely on that individual person’s opinions. Entertaining and a must-read for Thailand’s many TEFL teachers!
We often focus on what life is like for expats without too much thought of what comes after you pack up your bags and return to the motherland for good. This blog by a former expat in Chiang Mai explores what it’s like to return to America after years of nomadic journeying, and what it’s been like to resettle in the land of her birth.
The food writers at BK magazine pick out some of their favourite restaurant experiences of the past year. There are some cracking recommendations here that you probably wouldn’t have chanced upon without some of their professional guidance. Kin, kin, kin!
This is an interesting Reddit thread on how Thai people view their country’s prostitute population. What follows is a discussion on how Thai men in particular are very likely to use the services of sex workers, as well as how the body is viewed differently by Buddhists than it is by Christians, and why it is that many Thai women are jealous in their relationships.
This is a classic Thaivisa thread with many posters moaning about the western freeloaders they encounter down the pub who conveniently forget their wallets when it’s time to stump up the baht for the Chang tower. Others share stories of the farangs they know who turn up unannounced at their home expecting a free meal and access to the booze cabinet. Reading the thread, the apparent lesson here is really to stop making friends with freeloaders in Pattaya.
New years eve day with the in-laws. I can’t remember who hates who, so I keep the conversations to sticky rice and the weather
— Lucky Erawan (@LuckyErawan) December 31, 2016
Stall at gas station selling knives, machetes, axes and katanas! Just what every motorist needs. pic.twitter.com/2yHamIR6W0
— Jamie in Phuket (@jamiemonk) December 31, 2016
— Neil (@neil_PJ) December 30, 2016
Old Gold pic.twitter.com/uDxnBvRNJ6
— Stickboy Bangkok (@StickboyBangkok) December 31, 2016
That’s been the Week On Sukhumvit — see you next time!