Happy Chinese New Year, Bangkok! We hope that the Year of the Dog treats you well.
Aside from the dawning of the Lunar New Year, it’s been another busy week in Thailand.
We’ve had Bangkok officials declare war on fried banana street vendors, suffered the continuation of bad air quality and horrible smog, and witnessed Boris Johnson — the UK foreign secretary — give a metaphorical lascivious wink towards the country’s thriving sex industry.
We’re personally getting excited at the prospect of using SCB’s much anticipated new coin deposit machines…
Does life get any better…?
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
Russian ‘cyber gangster’ arrested in Sukhumvit condo
Sergey Sergeyvich Medvedev was arrested last week in his Sukhumvit condo after an international FBI-led operation tracked him to Bangkok, believing him to the Number 2 person behind Infraud — an online international fraud and theft organisation.
The site, now shut down, was infamous for facilitating credit card card, a hub where members bought and sold individual’s financial data.
31-year old Medvedev was allegedly a co-founder of the site, and had been living in Thailand for 6 years with his Thai wife before he was arrested. 30 officers from Thailand’s Crime Suppression Division raided an apartment in City Gate building after a request for cooperation from the FBI.
Medvedev was arrested and various items were seized, apparently showing Medvedev had been buying and selling ‘illegal products’ online using Bitcoin.
Pattaya bar fight leaves Australian dead, American in custody
A bar brawl at Ruby Club in Pattaya’s notorious Soi 6 has left an Australian man dead and an American man charged with assault causing death.
Australian Benjamin Robb apparently grabbed one of the girls working at the club by the throat, which lead to an altercation with a group of Americans. Witnesses say that Robb’s head was repeatedly stomped on during the fight. Jose Manuel Polanco turned himself into police after the incident although apparently denies the charge against him.
BoJo jokes about British sex tourism in Thailand during Brexit speech
Boris Johnson, Britain’s somewhat bumbling foreign secretary, has come under scrutiny for some off-colour remarks he made this week during a important speech about Brexit.
Boris referenced his visit to Bangkok that had taken place earlier in the week in his speech, saying that, “As I have just discovered we have more than a million who go to Thailand every year where, according to our superb consular services, they get up to the most eye-popping things.”
We’d like to confirm that the ‘eye-popping things’ are committed only by a small fraction of that million, despite what the red tops say…
Dating is hard in Bangkok for Thai women
An interesting feature in Coconuts this week about the experience of Thai women trying to find love in Bangkok. Much focus is put on how western women find it hard to date in the capital, but very little thought is given to the experience of local women — how do they cope?
As the author writes, it’s more difficult than outsiders might believe. The Thai culture and disposition is such that it’s hard to date anyone outside of your friendship group or normal social circles. This isn’t a place where women approach men — outside of the red light areas, anyway — so they’re often the passive partner in a dating scenario, accepting or rejecting what comes their way rather than going after what they want.
For the Thai women who are open to dating western men, there comes a slew of cultural considerations to take into account. Many find that their foreign partners have an idealised version of a Thai girlfriend — sweet, traditional, domestic — and rarely look upon them as a true equal. That’s not even getting started on the western men harbouring fantasies about submissive Asian housewives…
Thai men and the white women who love them
Another often forgotten perspective on finding love in Thailand here — western women in relationships with Thai men.
While nowhere near as common as white guys partnered up with Thai women, this ‘AMWF’ relationship dynamic isn’t nearly as rare as many western men in Thailand believe. Provided that the man has a high level of English language and doesn’t subscribe to the ‘cheating Thai husband’ stereotype that white guys seem to love, there is plenty of opportunity for cross-cultural love.
Some of the stories in this report are a little strange — particularly the woman who decided to divorce her husband two days after seeing her Muay Thai instructor and future next husband’s six pack — but it’s good to see a spotlight on different relationship types.
Is it normal for my Thai girlfriend to have an active OKCupid profile?
Yet another Thai dating scenario here. This time, a Redditor wants to know what the Thai culture is around infidelity. Specifically, he has found out that his Thai girlfriend — with whom he’s been dating long enough that they’re planning their future — has been active on OKCupid in the past week. Before he confronts her about it, he wants to know if there are any differences in dating culture for Thais and Americans.
Lots of interesting insights here — some people weighing in and saying that his girlfriend’s actions aren’t normal and should be addressed, others claiming that some women like to keep their options open all the way up to marriage (and sometimes beyond, according to a few comments…). Regardless of culture, it sounds like someone has been flirting with the boundaries of the relationship.
How I got my Thai Elite visa
A very useful and interesting account here on Reddit by someone’s personal experience of getting the 5-year Thailand Elite visa — the 500,000 baht visa scheme routinely considered by wealthy people who don’t qualify for the retirement visa.
A must-read for anyone considering applying.
“We have a drought”
Bring hoses into the street and have a massive water fight.
“Bangkok is choking from pollution”
Start bonfires on the pavement and make smoke. #thailand
— Thos Major (@ThosMajor) February 15, 2018
Artificial rainmaking efforts to reduce air pollution in Bangkok has failed, as cold air from the North prevented cloud formations and even intensified air pollution in the capital https://t.co/fNDaWUU5X1
Artificial rain making is only a short term solution to the #BangkokSmog pic.twitter.com/FDVEUIvIWI
— Richard Barrow in Thailand (@RichardBarrow) February 14, 2018
The “Indy Thai Kid” starter pack
(Via Reddit) pic.twitter.com/4Zh7Q8W2Dk
— Stickboy Bangkok (@StickboyBangkok) February 14, 2018
I’ve learned so much since I got to Bangkok; I’m not allowed to sit beside a Buddhist monk, scorpions cost $1.50 and air pollution makes sunsets pretty.. pic.twitter.com/AKN8c3wDSs
— Cliona ✌️ (@Only1Cliona) February 14, 2018
Hello there! I’m Mafinia, an ordinary Thai student based in Bangkok. I love to draw perpective and a girl! Recently I try to improve my watercolor skill. #VisibleWomen pic.twitter.com/nEg1uuaHWQ
— Mafinia (@mafinia) February 13, 2018
Oh dear, Boris Johnson is in Bangkok. 🤦♂️
— Nick Day (@NickDay13) February 12, 2018
A beautiful baby Elephant in Chiang Mai, Thailand with @sahilbloom #thetravellingnomads . . . . . #chiangmaithailand #chiangmai #elephantjunglesanctuary #elephantsanctuary #savetheelephants #explorethailand #travelthailand #elephantlover #elephants #savetheanimals #thailandadventures #traveltheglobe #girlstravel #makingadifference #thailand🇹🇭 #🇹🇭 #thailand_allshots #thailandinstagram #thailand_ig #thailandonly
C H I A N G M A I M U LE My new favorite drink (sorry Moscow Mule) found someone hotter, spicier and fresh for my Valentines date😜❤️ Tell me what country are you spending your V- Day? @fschiangmai #fourseasons #fsthailand #fschiangmai 〰️〰️〰️ Les presento mi nuevo trago favorito: C H I A N G M A I M U L E Lo siento mucho Moscow mule pero encontré a alguien más rico, picante y sabroso con quien pasar San Valentin😜 Cuéntame en qué parte del mundo pasarás San Valentín?
🌴 Maya Bay, Phi Phi Island, Thailand 💙 Tag someone you’d like to go here with 📷 Photo via: @alexanderneimert ➖➖➖➖➖➖➖➖➖➖➖➖➖➖➖➖➖ 👍Be sure to follow us @PublicTravel.xyz 👉Tag your best photos #publictravelxyz for a chance to be featured ➖➖➖➖➖➖➖➖➖➖➖➖➖➖➖➖➖ #thailand #phuket #kohsamui #krabi #pattaya #bangkok #chiangmai #tropical #island #paradise #travel #sea #ocean #beach #beaches #nature #hiking #explore #adventures #amazingthailand thailand_allshot #thailandluxe #thailandia #tropical #ocean #holiday #phiphiisland #phiphi #mayabay ➖➖➖➖➖➖➖➖➖➖➖➖➖➖➖➖➖
And that’s been the Week On Sukhumvit — see you next time!
Featured image is by Jason Hutchens (CC BY 2.0 licence)