Happy Sunday, Bangkok!
What. A. Week.
We’ve had a man arrested for sexually assaulting not one, not two, but three motorcycles; a member of the National Reform Steering Assembly fined for slapping a waitress at Greyhound after she inferred he was a sugar daddy; and the upholding of a 15 year prison sentence for former model Yuyee who was found guilty of smuggling a tiny 251 mg of cocaine.
But that’s not all that’s been entertaining and enraging Bangkok this week…
Ciaran Duffy, a 25-year old teacher in Bangkok, admitted this week that he had partially made up a story about being assaulted by a Pattaya van driver on Monday. Duffy had initially said that the driver demanded 2,000 baht from him for driving him back to Bangkok, before kicking him out of the van and stealing 2,500 baht. After the driver reported into the police with a different story, Duffy admitted he had been drunk on the ride and couldn’t actually remember what had happened.
The driver, Buddee Srimontri, admitted he had pushed Duffy out of the van after he had disturbed other passengers with his drunken behaviour, but the stories’ similarities ended there.
A press conference saw Duffy apologise to Buddee and the men shake hands.
In a noble attempt to clean up Pattaya, a Happy Zone will be launched on the notorious Walking Street on 25th March, with an accompanying party.
The aims of the Happy Zone will be to monitor goings on and stamp out any trouble for visiting tourists, by ensuring no swindling, weapons and no under 20s.
Tuesday saw a 36-year old French lady strip naked and run a kilometre around the area from Phra Pinklao Bridge down to Democracy Monument, chased by traffic police. She was eventually taken in a sheet to a tent near Sanam Luang before being transferred to psychiatriac hospital Somdet Chaophraya. The lady had been travelling alone and staying on Khao San Road since 6th March.
This blog, written by a UK travel blogger, seeks to explain why she believes the city is overrated. While it’s always interesting reading other people’s opinions about where you live, we have to say that we didn’t really recognise Bangkok from her descriptions. Although she didn’t pinpoint where she stayed and what she did, we have a sneaking suspicion that she didn’t make it too far outside of the Khao San Road perimeter — otherwise, how can you claim there’s nothing to do, no cute cafes or parks? Taxi drivers may be rude and fraudulent in these hyper tourist areas, but it’s rare to come across this in most other neighbourhoods.
And as for the complaint that the airport was outside the city and you have to pay a toll fee… Well, sure. We can’t think of many world capitals with an airport slap bang in the city centre and you can easily opt out of the highway route if you begrudge the sub-100 baht fee.
We will concede that the traffic can be heinous.
We love a good walking tour and this one’s a cracker: a 3.5 mile stroll around Chiang Mai’s Old City with 8 sight seeing opportunities and a couple of pitstops for food and drink.
Prepare to get sweaty if you try this in hot season…
A pretty downright bizarre discussion on Reddit this week, with the original poster asking the above question. Aside from the obvious ‘beauty is in the eye of the beholder’ remark, it’s hard to equate his question with the reality in front of us: we would say that, more often or not, the lady is at least moderately more attractive than the man in many Thai woman-Western man relationships.
There’s plenty of chest beating in the comments, as you’d expect really when someone asks you why your wife is ugly, but we’d have to agree with this one:
An interesting topic on Thaivisa this week as members discuss whether Thais are better equipped to deal with the death of loved ones than those of us who grew up in the West. Thailand is very much a collective society, but strongly streaked with fatalism and a Buddhist belief in reincarnation, which isn’t nearly so common in the West.
Plenty of comments here agreeing that Thais appear to accept and ‘move on’ quicker than they can, whereas others cite examples of everyone being just as fearful of passing over to the other side as everyone else, regardless of nationality.
However my life ends, please God don’t let it be a pixelated image with Thais standing around pointing and taking selfies.
— Phil / Ajarn.com (@Ajarncom) March 14, 2017
When you think you’ve seen it all in Bangkok! :D pic.twitter.com/Vkga0vMoir
— Willy Thuan (@willythuan) March 12, 2017
— Jim Algie (@jim_algie) March 13, 2017
Guess the BTS station pic.twitter.com/r30MVscUiJ
— Alec Peeples (@abroadwithalec) March 16, 2017
And that’s been The Week On Sukhumvit — see you next time!
Featured image is by Brandon Fick and used under a CC BY 2.0 licence