Thailand Weekly Vol. 31
Thailand news and stories delivered free every Sunday 🇹🇭
We’re back in business here at Thailand Weekly! You see, after 7-months and 30 editions of these newsletters, I had a slight bump in the road last weekend that resulted in a missed Sunday, so my apologies for that! It all started with an afternoon Leo down on Koh Samui that quickly spiralled into a bit of a wild evening at a beach bar in Choeng Mon surrounded by good people, good music, and good drinks. After just 3-hours of sleep followed by an early flight back to Bangkok, I didn’t have it in me to write. I gave it my best shot, but after barely being able to get through the first story (thanks to a gnarly hangover), I threw in the towel and went to bed at 6 PM. Beach parties in Thailand will do that to you sometimes! Hope you all have an awesome week ahead and are one-day closer to your return to this amazing Country.
Thailand’s Winter Season To Begin At End Of October
Thailand’s Meteorological Department just announced that they expect the Country to enter its ‘winter’ season towards the end of October. Lasting until the end of February, winter is also the busiest time of the year as it pertains to international tourist arrivals.
The Director-General of the Department says that “the average minimum temperature in upper Thailand is expected to be about 21 degrees celsius, or 0.5 degrees celsius higher above average, but it will be colder than last year. In Bangkok, the lowest temperature will be about 17-18 degrees celsius and will be very cold from December to January. In the mountain areas, the average minimum temperature will be about 8 to 15.9 degrees celsius.”
Man, the winter sun in Thailand can’t come soon enough, especially with all the rain and flooding Bangkok is experiencing these days. There’s nothing like those cool, but rare days when you wake up and it’s 20 degrees outside. When I was still living in Canada, I remember dreading this time of the year as it meant short days and freezing temperatures. I was actually just chatting about this with Chris the other day. We both feel pretty lucky that we’re going another year without seeing snow and ice. In fact, these next 4-months are by far my favourite time of the year over here. Never thought I’d say this, but I love you winter!
Chao Phraya River May Overflow This Week
Officials in Bangkok and the surrounding area are warning residents that that the Chao Phraya River may overflow this week and spill into residential zones as a result of rising tides and heavy rain. With the chance that water levels will rise to 1.7 to 2 metres above sea level, 11 provinces located downstream of the Chao Phraya Dam are expected to be affected.
In the capital, the public disaster mitigation centre of the Royal Thai Navy have assigned extra teams to fill sandbags that will be used to reinforce flood walls between Pin Klao Bridge and Rama VII Bridge. The’ve also placed people and equipment on standby to provide emergency help when the flooding comes.
The flooding these days is no joke and has started to impact just about everyone living in the city. Just last week I needed to drop off some items at a friend’s place and wasn’t able to go anywhere. I was fully locked in on the grounds of my condo building because traffic was at a standstill for half a day. Cars caught in two or three feet of water, accidents, etc. It was honestly impossible to exit on either side of my building. Things have gotten to the point where officials have asked employers to let people work from home for the next week in anticipation for more rainfall and rising river levels. I’ve heard that Bangkok will be underwater in 50 years, but never really thought much of it until now. After what’s been going down for the past month and a half or so, that feels like it’s a real possibility and a legitimate concern.
Thailand Travel Tip
Last month, 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 the ‘Thailand Travel Tip’ section 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. The same also applied when recommending The Beach hotel in Koh Samui.
Given the good feedback, I figured that this week I’d keep the ball rolling and shine some light on another cool hotel, this time in Bangkok, that deserves some love – Somerset Rama 9. It’s conveniently located in one of the city’s most convenient neighbourhoods within walking distance from several shopping malls, office buildings, embassies, entertainment sites, and local markets, and is also easily accessible via the MRT. With an awesome selection of rooms, pool, gym and other amenities, it’s an affordable 4-star property to base up in whether you’re here short-term or long-term. If you are interested in booking, enter the promotion code ‘RW4U’ to get 10% off your stay. Simple as that.
CNN Visas Revoked Over Unethical Coverage Of Thailand Massacre
Thailand’s Immigration Bureau has revoked visas issued to two CNN reporters after entering an off-limits section of the crime scene at the childcare centre where 38 people – 24 of them being children, were killed this past Thursday. The reporters filmed video inside the building and police are looking to build a case and charge them as they say evidence was tainted in the process.
CNN’s PR team responded and said that “CNN’s crew was filming at the Nong Bua Lamphu daycare centre with other media in a period when the centre’s police cordon has been removed. While filming, three public health officials exiting the building spoke to them and told them they could film inside. The team gathered footage inside the centre for around 15 minutes, then left. During this time, the cordon had been set back in place, so the team needed to climb over the fence at the centre to leave.”
Police are preparing to prosecute the two reporters, and the Foreign Correspondents’ Club of Thailand said that “this was unprofessional and a serious breach of journalistic ethics in crime reporting. It was not a scoop or an example of penetrating reporting because no other news organization, foreign or local, was prepared to behave in this unethical manner, and any one of them could have done so.”
I’m sure you’ve all heard about what happened in Thailand last week given that it was global news, but if you haven’t, an ex-police officer killed 38 people, 24 of them being kids, at a childcare centre in Northeast Thailand. It’s hard to understand and is upsetting beyond belief. I’ll leave it at that because we all feel the same way. Angry, sad, confused, and heartbroken. What’s insane to me is the fact that there are reporters out there that want to get into the building where the massacre took place all in the name of driving traction and clicks to their story. Whether they thought they had permission or not doesn’t matter in my eyes. The fact that they showed no respect or ethics for their work and wanted to get graphic footage inside the building leaves me feeling pretty upset. I hope that police are able to build a strong case against them and at the very least, are blacklisted in the world of journalism. Crazy that CNN came out protecting these two reporters.
Only In Thailand 🇹🇭
Determination is one word that could be used to describe a group of locals in Pathum Thani province last weekend! A lighting and sound company was hired to to set up a stage for an ordination ceremony, but things got a bit tricky when the flood water came in. Instead of cancelling the ceremony, everyone decided that they should proceed no matter what and decided to hold the event regardless of weather conditions. Videos on social media show one paddler in a little boat floating up to the stage to tip the singer while another video shows someone dancing the night away in her boat just in front of the stage. Although it probably wasn’t the safest thing to do given the risky combination of electrical cables and water, everything went smoothly and locals had a fantastic time. That’s Thailand for ya! 🇹🇭