Some people associate Thailand as the country to visit to buy cheap Nike trainers or Rolex watches for $35. In Asia, trademark laws are not as strict and it makes it much easy to buy fake goods which are quite good replicas. Even though importing […]
If you read the news or have spoken to someone who has visited Thailand over 5 years ago they would make you believe that Thailand is a drug-fuelled partying hotspot for backpackers looking for a good time. However, I am here to sadly inform some of you that this is simply just not the case and this misconception is what leads to a large number of tourists to be arrested year on year. The fact of the matter is that when you visit Thailand you really need to be respectful on your surroundings and use your common sense because one thing is for sure you don’t want to end up in a Thai prison unless you like having your human rights being stripped away inside a horrendous jail.
So to avoid getting into any complications when visiting Thailand please follow these simple steps and stay safe
Respect The King
The first thing you want to ensure you never do when you visit Thailand is disrespect the King. King Bhumibol is a beloved figure in the country as over the last 40 years he has worked hard to make the country as a whole better for its citizens. He is held in the highest regards by the residents and is often referred to the Father of Thailand. With this in mind, you never want to make disrespectful comments, deface images of the King or write articles which show the King in a bad light. Doing one of the above can see you arrested and put in prison
The most recent cases of this were when two westerners were arrested for acts against the King. The act is known as the lese majaste law which saw an Austrailian and Swiss man face prison time whilst over in Thailand. The men were arrested for different acts under the same crime. The Austrailian gentleman was caught writing a fictional book about the royal family whilst the Swiss lad when drunk, spray painted over photos of the king. Both of these lads actually served months in jail until the King himself pardoned the men for their crimes and allowed them to travel home.
Never Step On Money
In Thailand, your feet are considered to be the dirtiest part of the body, this is what is believed within the Buddhists religion. To contrast this, currency in the country has the image of the King and held in high regards. In the last point, I mentioned it is considered a crime to disrespect the King and it is very disrespectful to use the dirtiest part of the body (your feet) to deface the King’s image. Even something as simple as dropping a coin and using your foot to sweep the money up, this is an offence that brings jail time, I know a little silly isn’t it. A German man once in an argument with locals stamped on the currency and was swiftly arrested, it probably wasn’t the best idea
Drugs Are For Mugs
With how the nightlife and Full Moon parties are portrayed in Thailand, you would believe that a booze and drug-fuelled night were normal, however, this couldn’t be further from the truth in 2018. Thai police in recent years have targetting tourists who are bringing a bad reputation to the country. Even though locals and westerners may try their luck on the beaches, it really is not worth the risk of drugs like marijuana which are legal in some countries will get you arrested.
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If you have ever been to Thailand, the roads can be chaos and that is why in my last article, I discussed the topic of taxi’s and the new campaign which has been put in place to counter taxi drivers refusing rides, which you can check out here https://bangkokhangover.me/the-go-anywhere-scheme/
Well recently, the Bangkok Metropolitan Administration known as the BMA have set up just over 100 checkpoints across the roads of Bangkok where Thesakit law enforcement officers are now on duty ready to fine on the spot people who drive or park their vehicles on public footpaths during the busy rush hour times.
Last Friday, Bangkok governor Aswin Kwanwuang said that if you were found to commit this offence that you would be punishable of a fine worth Bt5000 which is just over £110 back home. The clampdown is now refereed within the Maintenance of Cleanliness and Orderliness Act 1992 which follows up from the announcement which was made last year that anyone reporting the violation would receive half of the money from the fine – not too shabby.
How Does It Work
Aswin also went on to say that the 115 checkpoints where the officers are stationed, had been selected based on where the most complaints had been received. If you are found to be violating the act then you will be made to pay the fine there and then. The officers will then give you a paid fine receipt which he will report to the central office at the end of every day. The system is still be assessed which means more changes could be made where necessary.
In the future, there are bound to be more signs and officers lining the streets of Bangkok’s busy roads to combat the issue. To do your part you can report violations to the BMA via the email [email protected] or call (02)4656644.