Every year during Songkran, there is always “outrage” about pictures and videos of Thai girls or ladyboys dancing topless in the street. This year there has only been a few so far. But the picture that has raised the most eyebrows is of a British tourist wearing a mankini at a Songkran event in Chiang Mai. I think dozens of pictures have already been posted on social media of “Borat in Thailand”.
This morning I translated a tweet from the Thai media claiming that the police will arrest anyone dressed in a mankini. Up until now his identity has been unknown, but the foreign tourist just tweeted to me:
RT @JJACCKOO: @RichardBarrow @ittipat_Rw Hey keep posting. Loving the pics of me. Just thought you should know I got a high-five off a police officer 😉
That possibly could be true as judging by the video clip there was a lot of interest in this British student from London. I’m sure the police would have been amused too. However, Thailand has by-laws that forbid going shirtless outdoors in the city. People have been fined before in parks for sunbathing. Though obviously it would be bad for tourism if they did it often. But in this case, it’s more indecent exposure. A quick search on Google and I found Western police arresting people dressed like this.
I’m not sure if the Minister of Culture knows about this yet. If so then the police might be pressured to make an arrest, though the fine is small. But they won’t find this Brit out and about tomorrow as, according to a post on his Facebook page, some locals ripped off his mankini today. “They were like a pack of wild frikking animals!! Why is there always someone that feels the need to ruin the fun?” he said.