Thailand Weekly Vol. 26
Thailand news and stories delivered free every Sunday 🇹🇭
G’day Thailand Weekly readers. Crazy to believe it’s the end of August already. My guess is that most of you live in North America and Europe which means that fall is just around the corner. In Thailand it means that we’re about 60-days away from entering the best time of the entire year to be here. Cooler temperatures in Bangkok, less rain in the South, and extremely crisp air in the North. I can’t wait for November to hit because it means 3-4 months of perfection! You gonna be here during that period?
Minimum Wage Increase Approved
Frozen since January 2020, Thailand has just approved a minimum wage increase that will take effect starting October 1st. The move is aimed at helping low-income workers cope with rising costs on basic goods due to inflation, and will see wages increase by an average of 5% depending on the province and its economic snapshot. Actual minimum wage rates will range from 328 baht (USD $9.06) per day to 354 baht (USD $9.78) per day. Although the increase still needs to be approved by the Thai cabinet this week, a group of representatives from the government, private sector, employers, and labour unions all agreed on the 5% jump based on the 5.5% to 6.5% inflation forecast over the balance of the year.
Snake Encounters Reported Every 15 Minutes In Bangkok
Encounters with snakes in Thailand’s biggest city are much more frequent than what most people likely would have guessed. The ‘199’ emergency hotline reported that they get snake related calls every 15-minutes and directly handle upwards of 60,000 snake removals every year. These stats were released after a Din Daeng resident posted a photo of a sizeable Boa Constrictor hanging from a tree located about 20 minutes north of Sukhumvit Road, which prompted all sorts of discussion on social media. The hotline mentioned that not only do they have a 90% success rate in capturing snakes when these types of calls come in, but that they also deal with an additional 100 calls per day for other animals such as water monitors, lizards, wasps, etc. Although no official survey of the snake population has been conducted in the Capital, it’s estimated that there are likely 1000 snakes in each district, which would mean that there’s approximately 50,000 city-wide. The reason that so many snakes call Bangkok home is because they have no natural predators here, but do have access to all sorts of prey such as dogs, cats, rats, and chickens.
Thailand Travel Tip
Last week, I gave you the full breakdown of the Thailand hotel collection we’re piecing together, the backstory of how it came to be, and why we started it. If you missed it, just click here and then scroll down to last week’s ‘Thailand Travel Tip’ where you can get the full scoop. Anyways, as part of this all, I went ahead recommended an awesome property down in Phuket called X10 Panwa Beach which MANY of you seemed to appreciate. Not only was it one of the most clicked links I’ve ever left as part of this newsletter, but I also had a few people reach out directly and say thanks for the recommendation + discount code. So, given the good feedback, I figured that this week I’d keep the ball rolling and shine some light on another cool hotel that deserves some love, The Beach Samui. Located beachside in the charming fishing village of Thong Krut in Samui’s sleepy south, this is one of those spots that’ll make you feel like you’e in a completely different era. Offering up award-winning suites and epic views, it’s the ideal place to stay at if you’re looking for a ‘vacation from your vacation’ while on the Island. To paint the picture for you here, let’s say you have 12 days booked in Chaweng. Instead of doing a straight shot in that single area, I’d recommend taking 2 or 3 nights to break up your trip and head south to enjoy all that Thong Krut, Taling Nam, and Na Mueang have to offer. It’s a beautiful part of the Island that many people don’t ever get to truly explore, and The Beach is the perfect place to stay when down there. It really is a ‘vacation from your vacation’. Just like I mentioned last week for X10, if you are interested in booking, enter the code ‘RW4U’ to get 10% off your stay. Easy as pie.
Bangkok Governor Launches ‘Open Bangkok’ Initiative
Bangkok Governor Chadchart Sittipunt recently announced the ‘Open Bangkok’ initiative which will see all units of the Bangkok Metropolitan Administration (BMA) upload and share readable reports on the progress of their work, including budget decisions and where money is being spent. The idea is to provide full transparency to residents while also holding the administration accountable. This entire initiative is meant to make Bangkok a more liveable city for everyone under the idea of Transparency, Accountability, and Participation.
“Transparency comes when we open the data. It is also a way to fight corruption.” says Sittipunt.
Only In Thailand 🇹🇭
One Thai couple got extremely lucky this past week when they found a rare pearlworth over 1 million baht (USD $27.5K) inside the seafood they were about to eat at a restaurant in Northern Thailand’s Phayao Province. Khun Sittidate and his girlfriend Khun Patjariya were celebrating a birthday and enjoying Babylon snails when one of them bit something oddly hard. They picked out a round orange stone and joked that they may be millionaires as it looked exactly like a Melo Pearl. Well, they sent it into a lab in Chiang Mai and were shocked to learn that it was in fact real and worth a decent chunk of change. They’re looking to sell the rare gem and use the funds to pay off family debt. Talk about a lucky score!