From Your Most WTF Thailand Moment To The Colours Of Bangkok

Happy Sunday, Bangkok!

And welcome to August — how did it come around so quickly?!

Another busy week in the Land of Smiles, which has seen the eventual capture of a crocodile that had been terrorizing Phuket, the unveiling of multiple ‘Chinese VIP Lanes’ at 5 major airports, and the BTS running at full speed with one of its doors open.

Hell’s bells.

Let’s see what else has been entertaining and enraging Bangkok this week…

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Bangkok’s new CU Park will hold up to 1 million gallons of rainwater

Bangkok’s latest park — the Chulalongkorn University Centenary Park — has been designed to help combat flooding in the city that threatens to be below sea level by 2030.

Designed by Bangkok-based Landprocess, the new park is able to hold up to a million gallons of rainwater and has been engineered to redirect floodwater away from the streets during rainy season. Built at an incline with a giant container, sloped rain gardens, artificial wetlands and a retention pond, here’s hoping that it does something to reduce the flooded streets and drains following a monsoon.

American crystal meth smuggler arrested in Sukhumvit

Known as ‘Mr Ernesto’ the American was arrested last weekend in his Sukhumvit hotel with 2 kg of crystal meth that he had been hired to to carry to New Zealand later that same day.

Ernesto was put under police surveillance a few days before following a tip-off that he was acting as a drug mule for a gang from Mozambique. He was arrested when an African man carrying a holdall turned up at his hotel room on Saturday morning. Both men have been taken into custody.

Confusion on Khao San after street vendors are cleared from pavements

Confusion reigns this week after a City Hall rule that Khao San Road be cleared of street vendors did not win police support.

Tuesday of this week saw around 100 vendors from the infamous walking street march on City Hall in response to a ruling that they be banned from obstructing the pavements. Vowing to defy the ruling, a number of vendors decided to open their stalls on Wednesday morning anyway but were surprised not to be shut down by local police.

The deputy governor of City Hall later confirmed that he did not know the reasons for the police inaction but that solutions between officers and the municipal authority were now being sought. In response, the vendors have decided to close down until Monday, where they hope a compromise can be reached that works for both City Hall and their businesses.


The colours of Bangkok: crayon edition

We love this piece of graphics wizardry on the Greg To Differ blog, in which he has represented the colours of Bangkok — oh, murky capital that it is — in the form of Crayola crayons. Head on over to the post to see the actual representations on the image.

Our favourites include ‘tuk-tuk driver argument’, ‘Samui ferry seasick’ and ‘Russian on Samet’ — bright white, since you’re asking.

Are Thai people rude, or is it just a culture clash?

An interesting blog post here on the Ajarn website on that age old argument — when Thai people appear rude or evasive, is it a deliberate thing? Or is this simply an instance of culture clash?

We’ve all been there — experiencing bad customer service is an all-too common experience as an expat in Thailand, not to mention the stonewalling of blank faces as you try to solve a problem. The more understanding of us simply attribute this to a clash of cultures — westerners often have a higher sense of entitlement than Thais, particularly if we’re paying for a service or product that doesn’t meet our expectations. Thai people, on the other hand, are seemingly happier to let things go and move on — mai pen rai is the prevailing attitude.

In the most frustrating circumstances, it’s tempting to see the worst in this unhelpful behavior — to imagine the Thai person on the other end of your interaction as deliberately rude or evasive, refusing to take any responsibility for the issue at hand. That perspective has some truth as well, and it’s definitely true that some Thai people will maximise the language and cultural barriers to worm their way out of accountability during a problem with a Westerner.

Fundamentally, what does it matter if the Thai person is being deliberately rude or if it’s just a cultural clash — if it’s causing you harm, frustration or other problems, then you need to decide if you’re able to accept it and move on — mai pen rai again — or if you need to consider moving somewhere where these clashes are more infrequent.

How to explore Thailand’s north Andaman coast

A great trip planner/itinerary here for anyone interested in exploring one of Thailand’s most charming, if quieter, pieces of coastline — Ranong and Phang Nga provinces. The itinerary takes you from sleepy Ranong town, round a few national parks and out to some of the stunning islands in the area, until you end up in celebrated Phang Nga bay.

Forum Threads

What has been your most WTF Thailand moment?

A great Reddit thread here on what your most ‘WTF’ moments have been while living or visiting Thailand.

We’ve got midget bargirls, the sheer volume of people vomiting on the Koh Phangan ferry, next door 7-Elevens, accidentally dating a hooker, cats in a fridge, getting a back rub at the urinal and, of course, entire families plus the dog on a motorbike.

If you could change one thing about Thailand, what would it be?

Another Reddit thread here that’ll certainly rile anyone who believes that if an expat starts complaining about Thailand, “you know where the airport is.”

So, if you could change one thing about Thailand, what would it be? Some interesting replies here, with pointless bureaucracy and visa issues at the top of the list for many, followed by the state of the roads and driving, and the huge amount of single use plastic.




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


Featured photo by Dani Aláez on Unsplash



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