From Whether Thailand Is Going Downhill For Expats To Why Thai Women Won’t Say ‘Me Too’

Happy Sunday, Bangkok!

A strange week in Thailand as the country goes through a period of transition, both culturally — preparing to lay King Bhumibol to rest next week in his just now completed crematorium — and seasonally, as we experience a week of beautiful sunshine and city-clogging floods.

In other news, the always crazy vegetarian festival (known as the Nine Emperor Gods Festival in Phuket) kicked off at the end of the week — we can’t wait to see the graphic ‘piercing’ photos that always make the rounds — and Facebook’s Mark Zuckerberg claimed he wouldn’t be visiting Thailand to meet the PM after all (er… what?!).

Of course, that’s not all that’s been entertaining and enraging Bangkok this week…

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Bangkok is 12th most dangerous city to live in

According to the Safe Cities Index by The Economist, Bangkok has been rated the 12th most dangerous city in the world to live in. The list was compiled according to four safety measures — digital, health, infrastructure and personal security — with personal security being our capital’s worst performance.

Yangon was placed at number 2, just behind Karachi in Pakistan, with Jakarta in 4th place, HCMC in 5th and Manila in 6th.

At the other end of the scale, Tokyo was ranked as the most safest city, followed by Singapore in second place.

Korat cops bust 1 billion baht crystal meth operation

A huge drug bust in Isaan this week as Korat police seized 508 kgs of ice (crystal methamphetamine) which bore an estimated street value of over 1 billion baht.

Apparently the operation had been subject to months of surveillance and intelligence gathering by multiple agencies. As well as the drug seizure, one drug mule was also arrested.

Why aren’t Thai women saying #MeToo?

It’s very likely that you’ve seen the stream of ‘#MeToo’s flooding social media this week as seemingly thousands of women across the world chime in with their own experiences of sexual assault and harassment.

This article on Khaosod English seeks to uncover why this is largely a western phenomenon, and why Thai women aren’t adding their own voices to the campaign. After all, it’s not like this isn’t an issue in Thailand.

Speaking to a variety of experts in Thailand, they conclude that there are some strong reasons for this. Firstly, the cultural structures in Thailand are much different from those in the West. What might be seen as a cathartic experience for women in the US and Europe isn’t really expressed over here, nor contributed to by people in the public eye.

Any such sexual abuse is seen as a personal matter between two people and not for digestion by one’s social circle. Plus the patriarchal society of Thailand means that ‘victim blaming’ is still very much a feature for women who accuse men of assault.


Who has the last laugh: stay at home westerners or expats in Thailand?

A bizarre blog here from Inspire Pattaya comparing the experiences of people who stay in their homelands to expats who move to Thailand.

The author appears to have a bee in his bonnet about what keyboard warriors back in the UK think of his new existence as an expat in Thailand. The implication is that the expats of Thailand will have the last laugh, in terms of making the most of their precious time on this planet by escaping the rat race of the West.

But, of course, the argument doesn’t really make sense. You can make the most of your time and have a fantastic life, wherever you live — even if it is based in a small apartment in Grimsby with an Aldi microwave meal for company. On the flipside, you can waste your life regardless of where you are in the world. Not many people see the wonder in living out their years surrounded by sycophantic bargirls on a Pattaya barstool. And if that is truly how you want to spend your precious time, why do you care that people back home think you’re a sexpat?! Revel in it.

Regardless of whether you live in Pattaya moaning about Brits who think you’re a sexpat, or a Brit moaning about Pattaya sexpats, you’re probably not making the most of this life anyway.

10 things to see and do in Mae Sot

Here’s a great little guide to Mae Sot, the city close to the Myanmar border on Thailand’s western flank. For expats and tourists chomping at the bit to see the so-called ‘real Thailand’, this little pocket should be on your bucket list.

Doi Inthanon National Park trip report

Another good travel blog here on a favourite day trip from Chiang Mai — Doi Inthanon National Park. The Fit Traveller takes us on a journey through her trips to  the Karen tribe at Ban Mae Klang Luang Village, Wachirathan Waterfall, and the Roof of Thailand itself.

Forum Threads

Is Thailand really going downhill for expats?

A Thaivisa thread on that most Thaivisa of topics: whether LOS (Land of Smiles!) is going downhill or not. The original poster of the thread wants to know where did it all go wrong — when he was here in the early 90s, the beer and women were cheap! Alas, both are apparently now a little more expensive. What’s the world coming to?

We have to agree with one of the respondents: “If drink and girls are the only criteria that some use for judging a country and its attractions, then they are a very poor measure and the person is doomed to disappointment as they age.” Amen sister.




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


Featured image is by Hanny Naibaho on Unsplash



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