Happy Sunday, Bangkok!
Another crazy week in Thailand: from taxi saviors Uber being banned from Suvarnabhumi airport, Guns n Roses rocking out the SCG Stadium to a man having sex with a brown cow (thankfully the cow was left unharmed).
More importantly, a 23-year old Russian woman has been declared missing after being last seen on Koh Tao two weeks ago.
Let’s see what else has been entertaining and enraging Bangkok this week…
Zaw Lin and Win Zaw Tun, the Burmese migrant workers who were found guilty of murdering two British backpackers on Koh Tao in 2015, this week lost their appeal against their death sentence. The guilty convictions were already mired in controversy and this is likely to only add fuel to the fire. Zaw Lin and Win Zaw Tun’s final recourse is now to Thailand’s Supreme Court.
One of the more WTF stories to emerge from Thailand this week was a statement from the Pattaya police superintendent that “there is no such things as prostitution in Thailand.” What has followed has been policy suggestions like the Pattaya Happy Zone (not that kind of happy) that will supervise Walking Street and ensure no illegal activities. Alrighty then.
Police visited the notorious Soi 6 as part of the ‘crackdown’ this week only to find no wrongdoing. This was backed up by a series of illustrative photos.
To protest against unfair elephant identification procedures, kraal owners from across Thailand will reportedly march 100 elephants outside Government House in Bangkok on March 13, according to the Ayutthaya Elephant Palace. The elephants will be walked from their kraals today and tomorrow into Bangkok on National Elephant Day. The march has come about after the recent seizure of 3 elephants by the Department of National Parks, Wildlife and Plant Conservation.
This is a wonderful piece of writing on living in Bangkok by author Lawrence Osborne (we reviewed his book Bangkok Days here) that delves into the spiritual fabric of this city, personal sanctuaries, living among the welcomed ghosts and the entire concept of living in a city with so much life and sanook. There’s also an interesting insight into being a Farang here — what Osborne equates to being a ghost of its own kind.
Blogs about things to do, where to eat and where to stay in hotspots like Bangkok, Chiang Mai and Phuket are two a penny on travel blogs these days, but we really like this guide to Chiang Rai that should help more than a few travelers make the most of this beautiful Northern city. There’s a few spots here that we’ve added to our next Chiang Rai itinerary — including Doi in Cee and the Choui Fong Tea Plantation.
It’s a classic Thaivisa thread this week that’s somehow captured our attention, as one poster asks when he can expect his new girlfriend to start chipping in and paying for meals, trips etc. He’s particularly perturbed as she doesn’t appear to be short of money in any way.
What follows is an interesting discussion on the economics of dating in Thailand, comparisons with the West, and a fair few racist and sexist remarks thrown in for shits and giggles.
A particular low light:
Another thread on Thai economics from Reddit this week, as the original poster recounts a recent conversation he heard at the notoriously cheap Terminal 21 food court, where a foreigner attempted to negotiate down from a 30 baht plate of chicken and rice as he didn’t fancy the rice. Sure.
Commenters reply with similar stories of Cheap Charlies in Thailand: everything from attempting to negotiate massage and hotel prices, to avoiding paying 10 baht to use a beach toilet. As many mention, it’s particularly galling when they presumably paid a large chunk for their airfare over here.
Japanese man arrested at BKK airport with 12 otters and 8 protected owls and eagles. Claims he bought them at weekend market for 450 dollars pic.twitter.com/O1xNO8wnWi
— Edwin Wiek (@EdwinWiek) February 28, 2017
Nothing like a trip to Thai immigration to make you want the world to burn.
— Tracy Vanity (@TracyVanity) March 2, 2017
If you think your job is pointless, spare a thought for the guys who paint zebra crossings in Thailand. pic.twitter.com/BYDE4hOMRN
— Ian (@iamKohChang) March 3, 2017
And that’s been The Week On Sukhumvit — see you next time!