The following are my most popular tweets about Thailand for March 2016 (click here for last month). They are not necessarily the most retweeted, but they are the ones that got the most engagement on Twitter.
ราคาน้ำผึ้งลำไย ฿465 แต่ทำไมข้างล่างเขียนเลขไทย ฿145 มันยุติธรรมแล้วเหรอที่ขายชาวต่างชาติแบบนี้ pic.twitter.com/AfZ2yx5rTj
1. One of the things that I fight against in Thailand is discrimination. I don’t mind tourist attractions having two prices if they want. But I do insist that they are upfront about it. Show us clearly the two prices so that we can make up our own mind as to whether it is worth it. But, where I draw the line for two prices is food. This shop in Chiang Mai sneakily charges foreigners more for honey. A lot more.
2. I have said this many times before, it is important that tourism is sustainable. Some tourist operator milk a good thing until there is nothing left. Just take a look at these before and after pictures of Phi Phi island. I think we can all agree the “before” picture is better.
3. This is such a classic picture in so many different ways. Many Thais replied to say that if they went into a 7-Eleven after midnight and saw this scene, they would run away. At any other time of day it would be pretty funny.
4. I have no idea why this tweet became so popular. You can already reserve seats in the Major app and pay when you get to the cinema. But, I guess people liked the idea that these days you can do so much at your local 7-Eleven.
5. Who says Thai people don’t like to read? I go to this book fair every year and it is always packed. And, as you can see by the number of retweets, a lot of people were interested to know about this event.
6. The big selfie event during March were the 1,600 pandas that toured Bangkok. Most people didn’t really understand the bigger picture that the event was highlighting endangered species. Apparently there are only 1,600 pandas left in the wild.
7. There is no doubt that Thai people love elephants. So much so that they have a special day when they celebrate this great beast. Yes, we know that they are often abused in the name of tourism, but there are a lot out there that are well looked after. If you want to “rescue” these elephants from animal tourism, you will need to make an initial down payment of 1 million Baht per elephant. Then have enough money to feed them. They are very expensive to look after. So, the next time you want to stop animal tourism, please also mention what will happen to all of the animals that are suddenly released. There is no wild left in Thailand.
Here’s some homework. Learn how to read Thai numerals so you will know the next time someone is trying to cheat you: pic.twitter.com/z70QWeZxRr
8. Some tourist attractions are rather sneaky when they display the two prices. They use Arabic numerals for foreigners and Thai numerals for the Thais. So, I thought I would post some homework to help you see both prices.
9. One of the hot topics during March was the so-called rich kids that seemed to get away with “murder”. Lots of people were complaining on social media that there seems to be one law for ordinary folks and one rule for the rich. If you are poor you go to prison straight away. If you are rich or influential, your case could drag on for years.
10. Not many people know that on the Thai coins there are images of six different temples. Four of them are in Bangkok. How many of these temples on coins have you visited?
People asked to use water spray bottles during Songkran to save water กทม.แนะใช้ ‘ฟ็อกกี้’ ฉีดน้ำเล่นสงกรานต์ pic.twitter.com/hP6fRacTSn
11. There is serious drought in Thailand this year and not everyone has regular tap water. So, as a consequence, the Thai government has been asking for people to help save water by not splashing so much during the upcoming Songkran festival. The BMA went a step further and suggested that people use water spray bottles during Songkran instead of waterguns. No, this wasn’t an April Fool. They were deadly serious.
12. I probably shouldn’t keep tweeting things like this or the military government might call me in for some attitude adjustment. But, it is difficult not to make the comparison between Myanmar and Thailand. As they move forward, we seem to be going backwards. And it is not just now during military rule. It has been like this for some years now.
13. I love old photos of Bangkok and this is a classic. It shows a tram passing the Temple of the Reclining Buddha in Bangkok. These lasted until the late 1960’s.
Thanks to everyone who engaged with my tweets during March. I got 38,700 retweets, 11,600 likes and 1,300 replies. The majority of my tweets are about Thailand, where I have lived for twenty two years. I tweet the good, the bad and the ugly about the country, but as many people have noted, I mainly only see the good. Please don’t blame me for that. I don’t get paid to tweet, nor do I accept payment for tweets. If I like it, I will tweet it. If you have an upcoming event or have opened a new attraction that might be of interest, then please let me know. See you on Twitter at @RichardBarrow.