Thailand Weekly Vol. 07

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Happy belated Songkran everyone! Bangkok certainly felt quiet this past week as many Thai’s headed back to their hometowns to celebrate with friends and family. The break is well-deserved, but I must say, I’m looking forward to Ruam Sab Market opening back up tomorrow! I’m beyond excited to get off of Foodpanda and head back into the market for my daily lunch routine 🍜

Be sure to check out the @ThailandWeekly Twitter for daily snippets from the Kingdom and also head on over to our new YouTube Channel called Best Of Thailandwhere you can get bite-sized video recommendations of places to enjoy while you’re here.

– Adam

To Splash, Or Not To Splash?

Thailand has just finished celebrating its biggest week of the entire year. Songkran. It’s a festival that marks the start of of the Thai New Year and is a deep rooted tradition celebrating one of the most important dates on the Buddhist calendar. It’s also well-known as the world’s wettest celebration. The true Songkran tradition is to sprinkle water on others ceremonially, however it has transformed greatly as locals and travellers alike often use buckets and water guns to create the world’s largest water fights. Unfortunately, this portion of the festivities was scaled back this year.

Splashing was banned for the third year in a row because of COVID which really frustrated tour operators. Many provinces and districts did follow the rules, but some didn’t. The famous backpacker street known as Khao San Road had all sorts of water fights throughout the week. Authorities exercised serious restraint in punishing tourists taking part in the prohibited splashing and spraying activities. Water guns were confiscated, but zero arrests were made. The sentiment was that they didn’t want to ruin the positive spirit in the air and put a serious damper on those vacationing here.

Our Take

First off, I’ll give credit where credit’s due. Hats off to authorities for handling the situation proportionally on Khao San Road. Although I don’t necessarily agree with the nationwide ban on splashing given the current stage of the pandemic, it is nice that they didn’t severely punish those on Khao San. This likely would have made the news and resulted in all sorts of negative press, which I can only imagine is the last thing that the government wants as it tries to lure travellers back to the Kingdom. Having said that, there does seem to be a bit of a double standard in the air as authorities used water cannons at Democracy Monument to break up a crowd that was largely made up of Thai people participating in the splashing. The use of water cannons in this case likely runs deeper than the ban itself based on the location being Democracy Monument, but the point still stands.

Ultimately, I’d just love to see a world where COVID is an afterthought and we can get back to zero pandemic restrictions no matter who you are, where you are, or what you’re doing.

Over 10,000 People Enjoy Full Moon Party

Full Moon Parties are back in Haad Rin. The southern Island of Koh Pha Ngan attracted over 10,000 party-goers this past weekend for the first full-scale full moon party in over two years.

The event went off without a hitch with tourist, marine, and immigration police all there to ensure that everyone was able to have fun while also maintaining some sense of law and order. One local said that the large number of foreign tourists meant that the iconic event was still in people’s minds, even after two years of silence. They feel that the next party on May 16th will attract even more party-goers.

Below is the full-moon party schedule for the balance of the year:

  • May 16th
  • June 14th
  • July 15th
  • August 13th
  • September 10th
  • October 11th
  • November 8th
  • December 8th

Our Take

I had a few friends attend the grand rebirth of full-moon parties this past weekend and they said it was absolutely amazing. It sounded like an awesome time with a celebratory vibe. These beach parties have become well-known around the world, and its amazing to see them roar back to life. I’m going to try and go to one in either July or August, so let me know if you’ll be there. Who knows, maybe we’ll enjoy some of the famous booze buckets together? 🪣

Thailand Travel Tip

There’s a lot of different travel insurance companies out there and often times it’s a pain to find the right one. Especially the past two years. I get all sorts of emails about this topic from those of you that watch our videos over on Retired Working for You or Best Of Thailand, so I decided to include the company I use in this week’s edition of Thailand Weekly.

SafetyWing is a global travel insurance company that provides awesome coverage for anyone that lives abroad, but their rates and coverage make it ideal for those vacationing in Thailand as well. The big advantage here is that their coverage includes COVID related costs. Signing up takes a couple minutes and is super straightforward. Can’t recommend these guys enough.

Time For Casinos In Thailand?

Time for casinos in Thailand? The answer is maybe. Next month, a committee studying the feasibility and scope of opening up casino resorts will be submitting their findings to Thailand’s House Of Representatives. If pushed through, the first resort of this kind is expected to open in Bangkok, with other destinations across the country following suit later on.

Although yet to be confirmed, there’s rumours that the Las Vegas Sands is in talks with the Thai government to be the first player at the table if this gaming opportunity actually gets passed. There’s also talk of making entry far more strict for Thais than foreigners. Locals would have to show multiple financial documents whereas those from overseas would only need to show their passports. These casinos would have an entry fee and minimum age requirement.

Our Take

This one is interesting. I’ve never really gambled, and have only ever been to a few casinos back in the US and Canada, but definitely understand the size of this space and the amount of revenue it drives. I’m all for people being able to spend their money however they want within the boundaries of the law, and am not one of those guys that will take a morale high-ground over those that gamble. It can be fun. If this actually gets pushed through, and a casino-resort opens up here in Bangkok, I’ll probably check it out for a night with some buddies and see what it’s all about. Until then, I’ll keep tabs on the progress and update you guys on any movement over on the @ThailandWeekly Twitter Account.

Only In Thailand 🇹🇭

Picture this. You wake up to make your morning coffee and when you head down to the kitchen, you’re greeted by a crocodile! Well that’s exactly what someone in Chonburi’s beachside town of Si Racha had to deal with this past week. Thankfully it was just a baby croc just under one metre in length. It took rescue workers 10 minutes to catch the reptile with their bare hands before moving it to the Pure Yiang Tai Rescue Foundation. Talk about a freaky thing to deal with. Having said that, those of you in Florida probably wouldn’t even bat an eye. ‘Gator season baby. 🐊

Press Worthy 🔥