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Monkey Party Banned

Political Animals?

Political Animals?

The world-famous Lopburi Monkey Party has been banned by Thailand’s Junta because it contravenes Martial Law.

Martial Law bans public meetings of more than five individuals and the Lopburi Monkey Party, held every year at the end of  November, attracts hundreds of participants. As one of Lopburi’s principal tourist attractions, local hoteliers provide a banquet to thank the city’s monkey population.

However, the authorities fear the monkeys will gather this year for more than just a good feed and some light tourist mugging. “Lopburi’s monkeys frequently meet in groups and chatter endlessly. The problem is we just don’t understand what they are saying – they could be plotting anything!” explained Police Field Marshal Bungus Roybaht “And bits of these monkeys are definitely Red… Very Red indeed.”

Junta spokesthing, Sergeant-at-Arms Maotpeet, confirmed the government’s suspicions about the motives of the so-called Lopburi monkeys. “We have invited several leading simians for attitude adjustment but with very little success.” Maotpeet explained that the monkeys wouldn’t even sign the standard promises not to engage in politics, “When an interviewee grabs such a revered document, wipes it’s backside with it and throws it back at you, the message is, I’m afraid, quite clear.”

One major point of confusion is that the behaviour of Thailand’s politicians when in office was often indistinguishable from that of monkeys and this reflects badly – on the monkeys.

Randy Mall a prominent activist and campaigner for migrant monkey rights spoke to us. “It’s disgraceful that decent, hard-working monkeys who come here to earn a few nuts and bananas to send home to their families, are being treated like nothing more than politicians.” Randy and his team of primate lawyers are demanding that DNA samples be taken from all Lopburi monkeys and compared to known politicians. “We need to clear this up in the name of justice and tourism.” he said. In the interest of balance we should note that Mr Mall is currently in jail charged with defaming a politician – something not considered possible in most countries.

Lopburi’s monkeys attract millions of baht in tourism every year in addition to billions in fenced goods stolen from tourists by the furry kleptomaniacs. One particular monkey, known locally as Mr Big, is said to have a ‘treasure room’ filled with so much loot even a police General would have difficulty explaining it away.

 

Tourists to be Press-Ganged

Angling for a visa

Angling for a visa

Tourists who do not meet quality criteria on arrival at any Thai airport will be required to serve at least one week on a Thai fishing boat.

The ‘earn your visa’ scheme is designed to both reduce the dependency of the Thai fishing industry on trafficked slave workers and to bring ‘dodgy’ foreigners into line with a taste of what’s waiting for them if they overstay. Tourists who arrive wearing a suit and tie or in ‘a nice twin-set and pearls’ will be exempted, as will anyone who can pay a modest ‘administrative’ fee – in cash.

Interestingly, but not entirely surprisingly, the proposed regulations do not specify which sex should wear the suits and which the twin-sets.

Admiral Thaithannik of the Thai Navy’s ‘Volunteer’ Fisherman Administration told us, “For whatever reason, Westerners have been taking an unhealthy interest in how we recruit to the fishing boats. We think a little ‘time-served’ will help these ‘low-quality’ tourists appreciate our culture and adjust their attitudes.”

A renowned human right’s activist who works in Thailand on his own special ‘Foreign Criminal Visa’, expressed concerns. ” Exposing fishing crews to foreign tourists, especially Brits and Aussies, will likely scar them for life. I don’t know any Burmese migrant who would want to work on a boat full of drunken Pattaya refugees.”

Nearly-Thai blogger Dicky Handcart thinks tourists will welcome the opportunity for sun, sand and scurvy. “It will certainly help create a class of hard-working, quality tourists, I can’t wait to drone on about it. Another stroke of genius from our dear leaders.”

Dicky wasn’t quite so enthusiastic when we asked him about plans to send ‘digital nomads’ to work in the noodle mines of Korat.

Thailand’s Monster Tourism Boom

A Real Monster or an Elephant of a Lie?

A Real Monster or an Elephant of a Lie?

By the side of a large lake on the outskirts of Thailand’s umpteenth city, Nakhon Nowhwere, Tokbplaa Buusalot stares into the dark waters and recounts his encounter with a hideous, prehistoric creature – the Thai-Ness Monster.

I saw it swimming in the water over there,” he pointed to a rickety pier made from old oil barrels and palettes. “It was easy to see because although the water looks black during the day, it glows at night.” The poor quality snapshot K. Tokbplaa has been hawking around the local media has been labelled too blurry even for the hyper-credulous Thai Facebook community and his tale was widely ignored.

Until, that is, tourist numbers in the region nose-dived and the Ministry of Tourist Traps took an interest. Re-branding the area “Thai-Ness” after Scotland’s own Loch Ness, the ministry is planning a monster-themed water park – just as soon as it can be confirmed whatever is in the lake can legally be called water. Thai-Ness was originally owned by Isaan Chemical Industries and was previously called ‘Waste Run-Off Pool No. 6’

Critics inevitably pick on the fact that Thai-Ness is an artificial construct, a fake idea made-up to impose an idealized identity on the area with no real basis in historical fact. “It’s primarily for marketing purposes.” said environmental activist and somtam farmer,  Dweebee Dtreehugga, “Most people here don’t believe in Thai-Ness and wouldn’t know the Thai-Ness Monster if it crawled up and bit them in the ass.”

But local businesses are looking forward to the water park with its jet-skis, speedboats and, once the sludge around the edge of the lake solidifies, a lucrative deckchair franchise. Thailand’s premium travel blogger, Dickie Handcart is keen to promote Thai-Ness. “I for one can’t wait to get my drone up over the lake and photograph the monster.” He said. “The ministry says it’s real and that’s good enough for me and my sponsors.”