People

Bua Ban: Chiang Rai’s rising star

Bua Ban: Chiang Rai’s rising star

People who have recently visited the foodcourt in Chiang Rai’s Night Bazaar might have noticed a change in the entertainment program. Since August 2012 a relatively new artist called Bua Ban, which translates as Blossoming Lotus, is stealing the show. Bua Ban (Real name: Witchapon Wongtong), aged 22, has a mixed program of stand-up comedy and [...]

Thailand’s kuddle industry

Thailand’s kuddle industry

Welcome to the pagan Walhalla,  welcome to Thailand! Men are enjoying their days on the beach, drinking beer and having sex with any local they can get their hands on, whenever they feel like. Eventhough the stereotype of sextourism and sexpats in connection to the beautiful country persists, it is far from a catch-all phrase for [...]

Do Thai / foreign couples have more make up sex?

Do Thai / foreign couples have more make up sex?

Last week Polly and I were visiting a Thai couple. During dinner a friend who was a lawyer dropped in. I had not met a Thai lawyer in his private time before, so after a few drinks I asked if it would be alright to ask a few questions about Thai law. One of my [...]

10 little known facts about Laos

10 little known facts about Laos

Today Hillary Clinton is in Laos for a one day visit. This event will mark the first time in 58 years for a high ranking US official to do so. What do we actually know about Laos? Reports often start to state that Laos is one of the poorest countries in Asia or in the [...]

Slavery at Sea: A story of human trafficking in drawings by a survivor

Slavery at Sea: A story of human trafficking in drawings by a survivor

Prum Vannak is a Cambodian survivor of human trafficking. His story is one of extreme poverty and of what people are sometimes forced to do in order to take care of their families. It’s also a story of gross neglect to supervise human rights violations  by authorities. Many trafficking victims don’t live to tell their [...]

Social network psychology for dummies

Social network psychology for dummies

Keytar Platypus by tenso GRAPHICS Probably you will all know the feeling: You agree to become Facebook or Google+ friends with someone you just met. Once befriended, you curiously check out the person’s profile, timeline or hangout and albums. Besides available profile data, social network data patterns can give away invaluable hidden psychological traits about that [...]

Thai PM Yingluck surpasses Aung San Suu Kyi in FB popularity

Thai PM Yingluck surpasses Aung San Suu Kyi in FB popularity

Aung San Suu Kyi (L) meets Thailand’s Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra at the Thai ambassador’s residence in Rangoon on 20 December 2011. (Reuters) Yingluck Shinawatra, Prime-minister of Thailand,  is now 10 months in power and is very popular, especially amongst Thai women. Although 44 year old* Yingluck doesn’t seem to be as wise and determined as [...]

Plane spotting

Plane spotting

Seen at Don Mueang Airport, Bangkok (June 4th, 2012): The 747 belongs to the king of Bahrain. I checked the news, but there is no mention of his visit to Asia. Currently the king seems to be left to his own devices.

Chiang Rai’s Dutch village street view

Chiang Rai’s Dutch village street view

During my stay in Chiang Rai I was surprised to find out Dutch expats seemed to outnumber those from any other local farang community. About 40 senior Dutch people enjoy a basic state pension from the Netherlands and are registered at the local Social Security Office. Many more are younger though and are making a [...]

Boiling Buddhists

Boiling Buddhists

Mea Salong, Chiang Rai, 19 Apr. 2012:A Buddhist monk sits in a bowl of boiling water on a wood log fire for an extended period.Somehow his body and skin remain unaffected. Sorry for the quality, but I took this photofrom the display of someone’s camera. Here’s a video of a similar event held last year: