Happy Easter, Bangkok!
The first day of April marks the countdown to the joyous celebrations/hell-on-earth fiesta that is Songkran in just over a week’s time. And as if by magic, the weather is delivering more heavy rains and 90+% humidity days to get us excited for the world’s largest water fight.
It’s been another busy week in Bangkok — we’ve had Uber announce that they’re selling their Southeast Asian operations to Grab, a farang in Pattaya suffer agonising cuts to his penis after receiving oral sex from a women with braces, and a Chinese lady allegedly shitting in the back of a taxi and refusing to pay for clean-up after getting stuck in traffic.
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
Beware all you island hoppers travelling around Trat province right now — the Marine and Coastal Resources Department have warned that box jellyfish have been spotted and have even stung some holiday makers in the sea around Koh Mak.
Large numbers of these ethereal looking invertebrates were found floating in the sea near the main beaches of Koh Mak. This is apparently normal for this time of the year and holiday makers should be fine if they take suitable precautions.
If you want to swim in the sea, the authorities recommend that you swim in the designated ‘safe zones’ and wear proper swimming costumes. In case you are stung, rinse the affected area with vinegar — not water — for 30 seconds and don’t rub the area.
As has become an annual occurrence, the ever popular Maya Bay in Koh Phi Phi — otherwise known as The Beach beach — will close to all visitors for four months from June in order to hasten recovery of the nearby coral reefs and marine life.
The beach apparently deals with an average of 200 boats arriving daily, bringing with them 4,000 visitors. It’s thought that this intense tourist traffic has contributed to the decaying coral reef in the bay.
Upon reopening, authorities have decided to set a limit of 2,000 tourists a day and no boats allowed to anchor in the bay.
Songkran is coming, and with that means more road accidents, general debauchery and… groping. In order to minimize the latter, authorities have recommended that women refrain from dressing provocatively, once again showing how behind Thailand is when it comes to placing the onus on women to avoid sexual assault, rather than educating their men not to grope women in the first place.
Thai women apparently aren’t standing for it this year, however, and have started a movement on Twitter against this advice, using the hashtags #DontTellMeHowToDress and #TellMenToRespect.
Cindy Sirinya Bishop, a Thai-American supermodel, spearheaded the movement when she tweeted, “How covered do I need to be in order to be safe?”, followed by the hashtags.
— Cindy Sirinya Bishop (@cindysirinya) March 25, 2018
A nice 3-day itinerary here that should prove helpful to any newbie tourists to Koh Chang, who want to see the best of what the island has to offer in just a short timeframe. It includes time spent at the island’s best beaches, a visit to a traditional fishing village and even some snorkelling and diving expeditions.
A really important and useful post here from Bumrungrad Hospital on the BKK Kids blog about how and when to call an ambulance in Thailand. Bookmark the page, program the numbers into your phone and rest easy that you have this important info to hand in case of an emergency!
If you’re someone who finds Thailand a little oversaturated with Westerners and are looking for the next ‘undiscovered’ spot to be an expat in Asia, check out this Reddit thread.
Paul wants to set up a small business for himself but thinks that Thailand is more than well served in that scenario, what with the busloads of tourists, expats and foreign business owners who have already set up shop in the country. He’s looking for the next Thailand — the Thailand of 20 years ago, if you will.
There are some good suggestions in the comments here from well travelled Redditors offering their opinions on other Southeast Asian locations that are a little slower, more underdeveloped and a little less westernised than the Land of Smiles.
You’ve likely already heard the news that Uber is selling its Southeast Asian operations to Grab, and will be withdrawing from the region imminently — the 8th of April.
This Reddit thread is a hive of reactions to the news, both positive and negative, as well as plenty speculative about what this will mean for Bangkok’s taxi offerings. Regardless how you feel about either Uber or Grab as individual companies, it’s certain that less competition in this market sphere will not equal a good deal for consumers.
A classic Thaivisa thread here which sees one member moan that he is ignored everytime he says ‘hello’ to a fellow foreigner in Thailand. “What’s wrong with you?” he rages, saying that Thais will often respond positively to his friendliness.
There are plenty of varied responses to this rant, with some agreeing with the original poster and some — whom we are more sympathetic to — wondering why this person needs constant validation from strangers returning his greetings.
There are so many westerners living in and visiting Thailand these days that there’s really very little need to pal up with people simply on the basis of their having the same skin colour as you. And, let’s face it, approaching random strangers with a ‘hello’ is often seen as quite strange. In the UK, for instance, it’s simply not done — at least not down south.
A fantastic video on one of Thailand’s hardest working soi dog rescue operations
Didn’t make it to the hospital in time. Woman gave birth in the back of a pick up truck on Koh Chang yesterday. Mother & child are fine. pic.twitter.com/YQqaYTbgPx
— Ian (@iamKohChang) March 27, 2018
— Independent Travel (@IndyTravel) March 28, 2018
If I were an ex Uber Southeast Asia person I’d serious consider moving to Go-Jek instead of the guaranteed Grab role — bigger challenge and Google, Tencent among the investors https://t.co/VxoWnRHFXy
— Jon Russell (@jonrussell) March 29, 2018
Getting on that raw diet pic.twitter.com/BMv1iz4o1Q
— Craig (@cksauers) March 27, 2018
*calls GrabCar, sees a car at the end of soi*
*App assigns me a driver 400km away*
— Greg (@BkkGreg) March 29, 2018
At first glance I thought it was a backpack
— Stickboy Bangkok (@StickboyBangkok) March 28, 2018
When you’re late for the teddy bear picnic and traffic’s horrendous as usual. pic.twitter.com/bPxriVPnem
— Emma In Bangkok (@EmmaInBangkok) March 22, 2018
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And that’s been The Week On Sukhumvit — see you next time!