Pattaya-area health officials are warning residents to avoid herb- and animal-infused moonshine whiskey after one person died and 11 others were hospitalized for alcohol poisoning.
Banglamung Public Health Officer Sompol Jittirungkiat said Oct. 30 that 12 people were admitted to Chonburi Hospital after drinking a homemade concoction of 40-plus-proof alcohol with fermented yeast, salt, honey, and herbs known as “ya dong”.
While illegal to sell, it is widely available in and around Thai pubs, pop-up bars and street stalls for as little as 20-baht a glass.
Symptoms included heart failure, blood acidosis, kidney failure and electrolyte imbalance. One of the victims eventually died. No one has been arrested for selling the poisonous liquor, which authorities said contained deadly methanol alcohol.
Despite the danger posed by ya dong moonshine, Sompol said the Health Office has no power to arrest or even inspect alcohol sellers. That responsibility lies with the Excise Department, which has done little to prevent ya dong’s spread.