Thai woman not deemed ‘Thai’ enough
I am a regular visitor of the Jomtien area near Pattaya as my family owns a condominium in the Ocean Marina Yacht Club, where I reside several days a
Recently I wanted to take my little boy to Nong Nooch Tropical Garden, just a few hundred metres away from my residence.
At the entrance, I inquired of the staff as to the range of prices for visitors, for those attending the shows and for those just passing through,
specifying that I was a Thai national. The female employee that I questioned sent me to a male staff member. Feeling that there was something in the wind, I stressed that I
was holding a Thai ID card.
But the Nong Nooch staff went on the attack and questioned, “Are you a Thai national?”
I said “yes”, showing him my ID card.
“Are you a luk khrueng [mixed race]?” he continued.
I answered “yes” thinking that this precise question was not at all relevant as my mixed origins - my father is Thai, my mother French - are actually a
But the unpleasant staff person concluded, “Thai prices were for Thai people, that meant ‘real’ Thais and not luk khruengs.”
I flared up. What does “real” Thai mean? Is Nong Nooch Tropical Garden an independent state that makes it own laws contrary to Thai laws? As far as I
understand, according to Thai law, holding a Thai ID card precisely signifies that I am a Thai national, with equal rights compared to other citizens, no matter how farang
(foreigner) I may look.
This racial discrimination is scandalous, not to mention the very backward system in our country of having two different prices for Thais and foreigners.
If all the so-called luk khruengs - including for example those Thai-Chinese who control up to around 80 percent of business trade in Thailand - were to
boycott Nong Nooch, I guess their pretentiousness would take a slap in the face.
Note: Wanphen’s message was forwarded to Nong Nooch Tropical Garden’s Pattareeya Chaipundi, public relations manager, who replied as follows:
On behalf of Nong Nooch Tropical Garden I would like to offer the following explanation concerning Khun Wanphen’s complaint.
The staff who questioned Khun Wanphen about her nationality were new and did not know much about the Garden, so that created a misunderstanding.
I must admit that the way they talked to (her) was unsatisfactory. Please accept our apology. I am sure they did not mean to be rude to you.
We always treat all visitors equally, and the idea of racial discrimination never crosses our minds. Our system of having two different prices for Thai and
foreigners is just the same as other tourist places in Thailand.
However, we did not ignore her situation, and have considered paying more attention to new staff.
Lastly, I would like to thank you for your suggestion. We will try our best to make our service better.
Baht bus fares
Much has been said about being over charged by baht bus drivers. The solution is easy. Go to a bank, purchase 500 baht worth of 5 baht coins. Carry these
coins with you. Put the coin in the driver’s hand and walk away. If you look in the window with a question on your face, as if asking if it’s enough, obviously, they’ll
say it’s not. Pay and leave, they are loathe to leave their vehicle unattended.
Everyone has missed the point
I beg to be heard, again. Everyone has missed the point. Maybe I was not as well spoken as I should have been. Mr. Cady’s letter also comes to an erroneous
conclusion as to what I wrote two weeks ago. I was neither giving the Thai people advice nor lessons in government, or even approaching that territory. I specifically said that
we can only hope that the Thai people will come to terms with their social ills through better education, better law enforcement, an increased social conscience and less
selfish behavior, just like the rest of the world could. I never stated or inferred that we as farangs should or could interfere to cause change of any kind. I simply used the
city of New York as an example as to what can be done. I also stated that certain other “results” may come to pass that are, and I quote myself, “approaching
Still Concerned Ex-pat Resident
What’s all the uproar about?
I don’t know what all the uproar over a gay parade is about. If someone doesn’t want to see it, they don’t have to watch. Attendance will not be
As far as Pattaya’s image, Pattaya has many images, depending on whom the observer is, and what they’re looking for.
If the gay community wants to have a parade, they’ll have it, irregardless of the complaints and objections of those who reject their lifestyle. There are
always those who wish to impose their views on everyone else, and no one ever pays any attention to them.
RE: Mosquito Light
I assume “Mr. Angry” was referring to a standard “buglight” that has a light surrounded by electrified wire that attracts bugs, and kills them as they
come in contact with the wire. First, one should be aware that mosquitoes are attracted by carbon dioxide, not light, like most other bugs. Your skin continuously releases CO2, and
on a still evening, it’s easy for mosquitoes to find you. So, if anybody is selling it as a “mosquito light”, it is a misrepresentation. I was always hoping that somebody
would invent a buglight that would contain some sort of CO2 cartridge that would slowly release carbon dioxide from behind the wire, thereby attracting and killing mosquitoes.
Small pieces of dry ice would also work, because they produce CO2 vapor, but that’s impractical.
If you want to ward off mosquitoes, bug sprays containing DEET, such as “OFF!” work very well. A fan also works, because it makes it difficult for the
mosquito to find it’s CO2 producing host, and they don’t fly and land very well in wind conditions.
As for Mr. Angry’s experience at the store, it would have been wise for him to ask to have the light plugged in at the store to see if it worked, especially
after the first one didn’t. It isn’t unusual for a customer to test out any electrical appliance at a store to check it before laying out any cash. Some stores even do it
without being asked, to show the item was operational when the customer leaves the store with it. Buyer beware.
Joe Gaal was a 29 year old Canadian photojournalist covering the war in Afghanistan who died while taking a break from the war zones and a guest at the Ocean
View Hotel in Pattaya. Joey was the eldest son of Arlene and the late Joe Gaal and brother to David and Laurie, all raised in Kelowna, British Columbia.
I was notified May 1 at 8 a.m. and told that my son had drowned in a swimming pool in Pattaya, Thailand. Knowing that Joey did not like swimming pools and
always refused to swim in any pool, led me to know that something was not right.
The autopsy report stating ‘no injuries or wounds’ was signed by Thasana Suwanchutha, and the autopsy was performed by Dr. Wittaya Khunanukornkul of Bang
Lamung Hospital along with Police Captain Cherdchai Karnslip, and Police Captain Prabhas Maunpew.
Photos taken by the Rhuamkantanyu Foundation at the time the body was discovered were later retrieved by a private investigator hired by our family in June
of 1990. Our greatest fears were realized, Joey had been brutally murdered with severe head injuries, facial bruising, blood that had dried and not washed off in the pool,
broken limbs and what looks like an entry wound in the left chest area. Joey’s tongue was missing as was the pericardium from the heart.
We were also provided through another source written accounts of Joey’s brutal death and drowning in the toilet at Ocean View Hotel, before being placed in
the pool just before his recovery that following day. American witnesses also could not understand what had happened as they were swimming in the pool for two hours before the
body was observed on the pool deck and never saw a body in the water.
Within days of Joey’s death, Police Captain Cherdchai Karnslip apparently left for a “far off province,” and Lt. Col. Pairut Supasawat who stated that
Joey was a victim of the gangs was moved to Bangkok. An apparent cover-up had begun.
Former employees of Ocean View Hotel know what happened as do persons who were either directly involved or indirectly learned of the murder. And to you I say
not with malice but with the need for justice, “The only thing necessary for the triumph of evil is for good men to do nothing!”
I am also appealing to the Crime Suppression Investigators in Pattaya and in Bangkok to help our family obtain justice. If you look at the recovery photos
which I sent, many persons from Pattaya can be easily identified, and they should be brought in for questioning.
The reward for information leading to an arrest still stands, all it takes is a strong will to come forward. Thank-you for listening; the loss of a child
regardless of age is difficult for any parent. I can be reached by e-mail at: [email protected] or by telephone or fax: 250 765-9960.
Arlene Gaal (mother of the victim)
Elder tourists targets of Baht bus drivers
One day I went up to a hotel where a group of Swedish senior people had been staying for three months - just to say goodbye before they went home.
I was quite surprised, shocked, sad and disgusted to hear from them how many times they had been pestered, badgered, persecuted and threatened by some baht
bus drivers when they demanded more than the regular standard fare. This never happened when these senior passengers stepped off from a car with other passengers, especially
Thai people, but only when the drivers were alone with them. It was very abominable to notice that some of the drivers, obviously on a regular basis, seem to be inclined to
attack older western tourists who are less inclined and able to defend themselves. Really disgusting behaviour! And I thought this was a problem belonging to the past?!
This is a serious problem damaging the image, goodwill, reputation and integrity of Pattaya as well as Thailand! For God’s, peoples and Thailand’s sake,
let us have a reliable, foreseeable and safe public transportation system in Pattaya! Any small or middle-sized Thai towns have air-conditioned buses running on regular routes.
Sometimes I really wonder if the only one’s who want the baht bus monopoly just happen to be politicians of the corrupted sort who get corrupted money from
companies who pay for the concessions including the black money from cheating, using and extorting money from innocent tourists - mostly westerners! Am I wrong? I look forward
to any consistent and credible explanation of this matter.
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