Thailand Weekly Vol. 28
Thailand news and stories delivered free every Sunday 🇹🇭
G’day everyone. Coming at you from a VERY soggy Bangkok. If you follow any Thailand-news outside of this newsletter, you’ll know that the capital has been getting hit with its heaviest rain in over two-decades, causing substantial flooding in many of the city’s key districts. Thankfully, my Soi hasn’t gotten hit that hard, but I do have some friends that have barely been able to get into work! On that note, make sure to check out the video that I included in this week’s ‘Only In Thailand’ section to get a full glimpse into how a pro-wakeboarder handles a situation like this. That’s all I’ll say 😉
Heaviest Rain In 20 Years Pressures Bangkok
Over the past week, Bangkok has seen its heaviest rains in over 20-years causing flood management infrastructure to be overwhelmed. With over 170mm falling on the city over the past 5-days, massive floods have been reported in many of Bangkok’s 50 districts. Governor Sittipunt was out on Thursday night live-streaming the downpours while offering support to those in the city’s Bang Kaen neighbourhood. He said that authorities are doing their best to drain water off the roads and sidewalks, but high-water levels in the drainage canals make it extremely difficult for the water to actually go anywhere. Minister of Defence Prayut Chan-o-cha also instructed military units to help distribute water pumps and disperse floodwater.
This all comes as the Thai cabinet just approved a budget of close to 1.6 billion baht (USD $43.9M) to address the Country’s ongoing flooding troubles. To put the downpours in perspective over the past 5-days, Bangkok has been hit with about a quarter of the amount of rain that places like New York and Toronto see in an entire year, and about a tenth of what Miami sees annually. All in less than a single week.
In all honesty, Bangkok hasn’t been the most pleasant city to live in over the past few weeks. We had a brief, sunny afternoon the other day and I remember walking outside and being shocked that it was actually bright and cheery. I also didn’t really understand how much 170mm was until I looked up how much rain my home city of Toronto gets in a given year. When I realized that in the past 5-days alone, we’ve been hit with a quarter of what that entire city gets annually, it gave me a MUCH better understanding of why they’re having such a tough time clearing these floods. It also makes me think of the Bangkok’s less fortunate residents living in informal housing in places like Khong Toei. I haven’t been down there in a few weeks, but can only imagine it’s insanely difficult to keep everything dry. September and October are by far the rainiest months of the year here, so that November reprieve of perfect weather can’t come soon enough.
Chiang Mai Top City For Healthcare In SE Asia
Chiang Mai was recently ranked as the top city for healthcare in Southeast Asia according to global data aggregator Numbeo, which is a crowd-sourced database of perceived consumer prices, crime rates, quality of health care, and hundreds of other quality of life-centric stats. Although not peer-reviewed, this platform shines light on what the thoughts of real people are through data.
Based on their findings, the top 10 cities for healthcare in SE Asia were:
Chiang Mai, Thailand
Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia
Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam
Thailand as a whole is extremely popular when it comes to medical tourism with its highly developed network of quality healthcare options at affordable prices. Often times, procedures of all kinds (dental, cosmetic, surgical, etc.) are less than half the price here compared to what many would pay in other Countries around the world.
Thailand Travel Tip
Staying on the same note of medical tourism as the story above, one company worth shouting out is Ever Healthcare. They actually helped us make this video on the topic about 2-months ago and are locally grown and headquartered right here in Bangkok. They’re a super cool group that has figured out a way to simplify the entire process from finding the treatments and treatment centres you’re looking for, all the way to your recovery period, and everything in between. Think of their platform sort of like the ‘AirBnb of Medical Tourism’ except with a more personal touch. Whether you’re looking for basic treatments like dental work or complex surgeries like knee replacements, I’d definitely recommend exploring Thailand if you’re concerned about either pricing or timeline in your home country. To help illustrate this, back in Canada, there’s universal healthcare where everyone is covered. This is amazing, but the negative side is that people often have to wait many months (or even years) to get non-life threatening surgeries and treatments that would ultimately make a massive positive impact on their lives. Knee replacements, hip replacements, cataract surgeries, etc. are prime examples that take forever to get done back home. If you’re in the US, the whole pricing component and specific insurance plans obviously play a massive factor in what procedures most people can and can’t get.
Point is, Thailand is an awesome alternative worth exploring if you want high-quality medical work done fast and affordably. Like I said, I’ve written about it at length, but I still talk to people ALL the time that are shocked to hear this, so it’s something that we’ll continue to share. If you’re interested in exploring further, then check out Ever’s website and chat with one of their care concierges if you have any additional questions. Who knows, maybe going overseas is the medical solution you’ve been looking for.
100 Lost Elephants Returned To National Park
Over one hundred elephants have been safely driven back to Thap Lan National Park in Eastern Thailand after they were found destroying upwards of 60 Rai (23 acres) of farmers’ crops last week. Feeding on rice, sugarcane, and corn, officials had to figure out a way to lead them back to their forested home using drones, park officials, community leaders, Buddhist monks, and disaster foundations so that local farmers in the area who use that land to make a living weren’t impacted further. The operation took just over 3-days.
Only In Thailand 🇹🇭
Well, I never would have thought that these floods would have made the city someones playground! Bangkok-born professional wakeboarder Daniel Grant took advantage of the situation and showed off some insane skill on the streets of Bangkok, landing some tricks on his wake skate while being pulled behind a car. Here’s the video if you want to check it out. It reminded me a lot of the video that one of my favourite YouTubers (Casey Neistat) made a few years ago when he snowboarded behind a Jeep in an NYC snowstorm. Just a tropical version of that 🇹🇭