If you relocate to Thailand you'll find it not just convenient, but necessary, to have a local bank account. What's the best bank? How safe are Thai banks? What do I need to know? Do they pay interest? Read on!
There are many local banks in Thailand and there are a handful of foreign banks represented. Thais tell me that the Kassikornbank, the new name for the Thai Farmers Bank, is the best bank, although when asked why, I have yet to hear a good reason, just that it is! I believe Bangkok Bank is the biggest of all of the Thai banks, but you would have to say that Siam Commercial is gaining ground and they have new branches everywhere. I think I can safely say that you see more Siam Commercial Bank ATMs than those of other banks. These are probably the three biggest banks in Thailand and all of them provide satisfactory service compared to the other Thai banks.
As far as the foreign banks go, Citibank and HSBC Bank are represented, as well as some smaller banks from outside the country, but all of these international banks seem to target the corporate market as opposed to individuals. While you can open a personal account at these banks, the minimum balance is measured in the hundreds of thousands. Forget opening an account with a 100 baht deposit like you can at most Thai banks!
Setting up an account is generally a painless procedure. The most difficult thing is choosing not only which bank but which branch to open the account at. Remember that in Thailand your home branch is the only place you can do a number of things, from certain types of transactions to getting a new ATM card to closing the account – so you should open the account at a branch that is conveniently located. If for example you move across town or move to another part of the country, you may wish to close that account and open a new one more conveniently located.
At some branches you will need but a passport to open an account where others may ask you for a work permit and proof of a local address by way of either bills in your name or perhaps even your rental contract or proof of ownership of a condo. The minimum opening balance is usually a tiny 100 baht and you will be issued with a passbook. You can get an ATM card and the cost is usually between 100 and 300 baht. Unlike many ATM cards in the West, local Thai ATM cards don't have an expiry date and you can use them seemingly forever – or at least until they eventually get worn out. The standard cards tend to be around 100 – 150 baht and the gold cards, which can be used abroad, tend to cost more, in the range of 150 – 300 baht. The amount you can withdraw in one transaction using an ATM machine is complicated and can be set by the bank, the type of account you have, or even the ATM machine you attempt to make a withdrawal from.
As far as bank fees go, there are fees for a number of different types of transactions. They are typically not expensive. If you transfer money to an account at a different bank in another part of the country, then you will be charged a fee.
If you're employed locally and paid by direct credit into a bank account you will need to get an account at not only the bank where your employer banks, but at the same branch. This does tend to make opening the account easier as you are something of a known quantity, or at least your employer is.
As a foreigner, whenever you enter a bank to do any major transaction it is worth taking not only your passport, but your work permit, if you have one. Thai banks just love asking customers not just for ID, but also for exactly what the money is going to be used for – as if it is any of their business! Of course one of the more amusing situations some guys find themselves in is when, as a retiree, they are told that they must have a work permit!
When exchanging Thai baht into foreign currency, or vice versa, you should make the exchange in Thailand as you will always get a better rate inside Thailand than elsewhere. Thai banks give remarkably good exchange rates, whether you are selling or buying baht. Compare the local rates in Thailand with what you would get in your home country – I have yet to see an instance where the deal was better elsewhere. Even at the airport, where exchange rates are typically notoriously bad, you get only a very minor fraction of a percent worse rate than you would in a branch downtown. The difference in the exchange rates offered between the different banks varies by a minimal amount on major currencies, but as you get into the lesser currencies, the rates can vary drastically. Incidentally, if you have an odd currency, something like say Scottish pounds, some banks won't accept them or will give a lousy exchange rate and you're often better off at one of the unofficial exchange booths, the likes of which you can find around the Nana area or opposite the Central World Plaza.
Contrary to popular rumour, transfers coming into Thailand are not held for days on end so the bank can make interest on the money before making the funds available. Sure, it might happen, but it is far from the norm. Telegraphic transfers into Thailand almost always see the funds available within 24 hours.
At one time or another you'll probably need to transfer money either into Thailand, or as many people seem to be doing these days, out. Transferring money can be a bit of a concern as some bank branches make it difficult for you. If you are ever told that central bank regulations say that money cannot be transferred out of the country, you might want to know that according to this link "Under Thai law, the central bank must approve any money transfer exceeding 50 million dollars to overseas." The implication is that for any transfer less than that amount, it doesn't require approval. But in reality, like so many things to do with banking in Thailand, it comes down to the individual you deal with. If the person you're dealing with is having a good day, you smile a lot, and / or they like the smell of your cologne, odds are the transaction will be effected and you'll be happy. But if for any reason they do not like you or they're just having a bad day, they may ask for all sorts of things. Passport and work permit will be first but then they might start to get into things like where the money came from, why it is being sent and they may even ask for photocopies of the particulars of the person you're sending it to! As would be expected, transferring money into Thailand is MUCH easier than transferring it out. Even if you're expecting large figures coming in, questions seldom seem to be asked. If you are asked a question, if it often the peculiar "What are you going to be doing with this money?" "Personal expenses" seems to be the best response.
I did have to chuckle once in the past when I wanted to make two telegraphic transfers, one to myself and one to a Thai friend outside the country. Each transfer was small and of a similar amount. The transfer to the Thai friend was no problem at all but the one to myself caused a few issues.
It should be noted that if you transfer money into Thailand for the express purpose of buying property then there is a specific form you need for this purpose. I am not aware of the details so you would be best advised to ask your local bank or real estate agent for more details.
The interest rates offered by local banks are poor. On a standard account the interest rate is invariably .75 % – yes, less than 1% – and that is before the withholding tax component, which I believe is 15%, is deducted. The returns are not only negligible, they ultimately mean that inflation will slowly eat away at the buying power of your money. Term deposit rates offered by Thai banks hit 5% a year or so back and some banks directly targeted foreigners for such accounts. The rates have since come back down. There has been much talk since as to whether foreigners are allowed to place money in such "high" interest bearing accounts and yet again, it seems to come down to the individual branch. Some will allow a foreigner to open such an account whereas others won't. The bottom line is that Thai bank accounts pay a miserable amount of interest.
Getting a loan from a Thai bank as a foreigner is difficult, but doable. If it is for a car, it isn't so difficult, although it is often arranged through the vendor of the car, assuming you are not buying second-hand or privately. In the case of a loan to buy property, it gets complicated and while it is doable, conditions vary from bank to bank. Typically when it comes to home loans for foreigners, the terms are not nearly as favourable as what is offered to a Thai national.
Getting a credit card from a Thai bank as a foreigner is no easy task. The criteria for a foreigner to be issued with such a card is much more stringent than for a local. Whereas a local might only need an income of X baht and X baht deposited in the bank, for the foreigner that figure becomes X x 2 or even X x 3. Clearly there is a very real risk to the bank than an unscrupulous foreigner will run up the card to its credit limit and then abscond to his home country. I once applied for a credit card and despite meeting all of the criteria, it was declined. I didn't push them for a reason but got the distinct impression that my white skin and long nose counted against me. I did appeal and tell them that I only wanted a very small limit. Basically, a credit card is handy for things like booking hotels locally or making small internet purchases. Even a 20,000 baht limit which really is nothing, they told me to sod off! Local credit cards do not usually have annual fees and as one Thai said to me, "The banks which charge a fee for a credit card do not have any customers!"
What some local banks do with foreigners who apply for a card is approve it on the condition that they have a term deposit at the bank to the same or greater value as their credit limit, which is locked. This kind of defeats the reason for getting a credit card, does it not?
One thing worth mentioning is that this region of the world is known as the epicentre of credit card fraud worldwide, and given that the local banks do not necessarily handle credit card fraud in the same way that a bank in the West may, you really ought to be careful with it. Disputing charges for things you claim not to have bought could get icky!
The use of personal cheques is not that common in Thailand when compared to the West and getting a cheque book for an individual, as opposed for a business, is tricky. In fact I personally do not know of a foreigner who has a personal cheque account.
All of the major banks offer internet banking facilities although you would have to say that when compared to what is available in the West they have limited functionality. Still, you can have pre-approved means of making telegraphic transfers and can set up a list of payees so that you can pay most, if not all, of your bills online – and there is real value in that in a city like Bangkok where traipsing around the city to pay bills can become time consuming as well as tiresome.
Getting a credit card merchant's account is doable, but more difficult, and requires a truckload of paperwork. Getting an online merchant account is very difficult indeed and it is usually easier to do it with an online payment service than with a local bank.
The service in most Thai banks is good, although in the bigger branches it can be slow. Bangkok Bank's Siam Square branch for example is a nightmare and I seldom even get seen in there inside 30 minutes, let alone get my banking done in that time. As far as speed of service goes, I remember a saying by some staff I once knew from Bank of Ayuthaya. In Thai it went "yark ton, yark on, gor dong aow mon" which would translate as "whether you're making a deposit or making a withdrawal, you should take a pillow along", alluding to the fact that even employees of the bank acknowledged that service in the branches could be awfully slow. Yep, don't enter a bank in Thailand if you're in a hurry!
Like so many things in Thailand, having a good relationship with the bank staff can be a big help. It can make a huge difference when it comes to getting things done!
From time to time you hear of horror stories at Thai banks. The worst are the stories of people reporting their bank balance has been cleaned out. It is usually done over a period of time via a number of ATM withdrawals which suggests that their ATM card, assuming they had not lost it, had been cloned. The really scary part is that the onus falls on the victim to try and claim the money from the bank. It's not like the West where if you can prove it was not you making the transactions you will get the money credited back into your account. I know a fair few Westerners who only use ATM machines located inside bank branches, such is their concern.
If asking about bank regulations or services, you can hear horribly conflicting stories from staff in Thai banks and at the risk of sounding negative, I would never base any major decision on what one person told you. They may have been mistaken or they just have come out and told you porkies. Finding out later that it was wrong will often see that or another employee blaming things on the Central Bank's policy which is their get out of jail card (sort of like the "you don't understand Thai culture" response from irritated locals).
Thai banks function well enough and if you have a good relationship with the staff then it is little different to having an account in the West. With that said, the low interest rates and the lack of any real guarantee about the funds held in your account means that you have got to question the wisdom of keeping a lot of money in a Thai bank account. Pretty much everyone I know who has a chunk of change keeps it in the West. Not only will it earn more in interest, it's safer!
* It should be noted that every branch of every Thai bank seems to operate with slightly different rules and regulations and your experience may very well vary from some of what was written here. Hell, even some staff within some branches have a completely
different idea of what can be done, and what can't!
Where was this picture taken?
Last week's showed the Oriental Hotel as photographed from a boat on the river. We have a new prize provider this week, OCTOPUSSY BAR in Hua Hin! There are now five prizes each week and the first five people to identify where the picture above was taken and email me with the answer win a prize. You can choose from a 500 baht credit at Oh My Cod OR a giant burrito at Sunrisetacos OR a 500 baht credit at Lennie's OR a 500 baht credit at Catz Gogo OR a 500 baht credit at Octopussy Bar in Hua Hin. Each of the prize providers is in a different area so please specify which prize you would prefer. Oh My Cod – Khao San Road area. Sunrisetacos – Sukhumvit Road. Lennie's – Pattaya. Catz – Pattaya. Octopussy – Hua Hin.
FROM STICK MARK II'S INBOX (These are emails from readers and what is written here was not written by Stick Mark II)
I read in your column about an experience with a motorcycle taxi driver who said "f**k off farang". Well try dealing with a taxi driver in New York City, Chicago or LA. You'll learn what rude is. Rudeness is nothing new. Occasionally I heard samlor drivers being rude in the mid '60s when I was stationed in Korat & Takhli. However I did experience a few bad taxi drivers when I was in Bangkok in April. I was staying at the Ambassador Hotel and three times took a taxi to Nana Plaza, a few blocks at most. Circled around town for a while each time to get the meter reading up there.
Beware of hotels near clean rivers.
Whilst traveling in China with a teeruk (now wife) some years ago we had a blow out in Shanghai. She stormed out of the hotel threatening to drown herself in the river. I thought she meant it and was packing my bags, ready to make a mad dash to the airport (feet don't fail me now) figuring the authorities would think I killed her. Then there was a knock on the door and there she was, high and dry. I asked why she didn't jump and she replied "the water was too dirty".
Kojaks with Kodaks.
I also used to wonder about the speed traps at the airport, so I checked it out. They use laser; my radar detector also has laser capabilities but is confused by the airport's ground radar system, also on the same frequency, but I finally spotted them. The cops set up their equipment at the down ramp going to the international where I've seen them several times. Logically there's nowhere else to do it. Likewise, if you're inbound coming from the expressway from Muang Thong Thani, they'll zap you at one of the up ramps just before the big toll collection gates. Forewarned is forearmed.
Westerners in Vogue.
Very interesting observations about how westerners in Bangkok have come in and out of fashion. I believe the same is true in Japan's cities. When I arrived in Osaka in the mid-80s, (white) westerners were very much in vogue and I felt like a film star wherever I went. At the end of the 80s, a popular Japanese actress published a book about her sexploits in LA and it was the turn of Afro-Americans. There are now so many foreigners in Japan from every continent that the novelty value has been completely eroded. In fact, Korean men are the flavor of the month thanks to some soppy TV soap-operas. There is however one group of women who will always have an interest in meeting westerners – the divorced and the over 30s, who cannot find a local husband. It appears that wherever foreigners go in Asia, many unwittingly end up with the dregs.
Be a hard ass like a Thai guy?
Your article today was certainly interesting, and the difference between farang and Thai attitudes to their outbursts makes for an interesting discussion. In general, farangs try to placate them, and the Thais won’t put up with it and effectively tell them to fxxx off! In London, a Thai friend of mine had his girlfriend turn up one day in a bad mood, and she slit her wrists in front of him – blood everywhere, but apart from calling an ambulance, he didn’t bat an eyelid! BTW, they always slit their wrists across, I have loads of photos of those – if they are really serious, they slit them length-ways! If they are of that mind, they will push it to the limit, it is all a power struggle. The worst thing you can do in that situation is back down, it’s just taken as a sign of weakness, and will come back to haunt you. I’m reminded of the time when a Thai girl had an argument with her boyfriend in the middle of the street in South Pattaya. He beat the shit out of her in public, and nobody interfered. The next day they appeared in the same street, and she was as loving and attentive as any man would want. A very good friend of mine gave me the advice ‘Get some Thai blood in your veins’! In a similar vein, one of the primary chat up lines in the bars is ‘I want farang husband, Thai man no good’ – but around 80% of them have Thai boyfriends who stay at home, getting drunk on the proceeds of the girlfriend's labours. Basically, the Thai guys don’t put up with any shit. I’ve seen that discussed in articles on your site, and the consensus seems to be that farangs see that as being disrespectful to women – but get on the wrong end of a Thai girl explosion, and you may reconsider your view!
If you saw her room…
I agree with the writer that we must give a fair sum to a lady who wants to enjoy one's comfortable air-conditioned room for the night rather than go back to her own room. I do however think the writer could not have seen what sort of room the girl wants to avoid sleeping in, nor does he have any idea of how much a thousand baht is worth to a girl with a reasonable job. It is a lot. He, like so many commentators, judges by western standards rather than the local standards which must apply. Many good, honest girls work long hours for 12,000 – 15,000 baht a month and so 1,000 baht is a lot of money, and a fair price. He should not pay a girl vastly more simply because she is not being a good girl. She still is, or should be, having a good time.
Do you have a flexible backbone?
The Western people who live here and successfully live a more or less Thai lifestyle are suspicious to me and I don't get along with them well. I don't know what it is, but there is something about them I don't like. You have to have a certain edge to totally accept what's going on here. Maybe a flexible backbone. I am too stiff. I met many influential Thais but they just give me the creeps and I would hate myself for being in their favor. Does this make sense?
At this stage it is a rumour, and I repeat that, JUST A RUMOUR, but a leak from the Thai embassy in London suggests that the whole visa on arrival / visa exemption system currently in place for visitors to Thailand may be abolished altogether. If that was the case it would mean that EVERY person visiting Thailand would require a visa i.e. you would have to go to a Thai embassy or consulate outside of Thailand and apply for a visa, before entering the country. For a country which receives well in excess of 10 million visitors a year, this could turn out to be an administrative nightmare and it has the potential to put people off visiting Thailand in favour of somewhere else. Can you imagine the queues at Thai missions around the world? Time will tell if this rumour becomes reality.
And in a related matter, the Thai embassy in Phnom Penh, Cambodia, is tightening up on the issuing of visas for those who wish to enter Thailand. It would seem that getting into Thailand is getting more difficult by the week!
The recent rains have been a killer to a number of the bars, particularly the smaller bar areas. 50% down on last month a number of bars are, and this is even worse when you consider that April is generally considered one of the very worst months of the year. Mother Nature is doing her bit to kill the bar industry.
Silver Dragon in Nana has reopened with a new theme and is Bangkok's first table top dancing venue. While it's good to see a bar trying something new, I can't help feeling that table top dancing is so…..Pattaya!
Known transsexual hang out King's Corner used to have a policy where the staff would tell you who was a girl and who was a ladyboy. But in a sign that times are changing and they'll do anything to take your money, one waitress is reporting that she has been instructed to answer that everyone is female!
More and more Japanese bars are opening up in Soi 33. The sois around that part of town, not far from the Emporium, have long been known as an area popular with the Japanese and soi 33's new direction is more of the same.
Degas in Soi 33 re-opened after a very long break…and is just the same as before! It's one thing to close for such a long period but what was the reason for the closure? Renovations wouldn't appear to be it.
Will Rainbow 4 be closed, and if so, for how long? Much conjecture surrounds the middle floor Nana bar which was said to be caught in operation after 2 AM a few weeks back. The axe has yet to fall. Still, as bad as a month or 2 month closure would be, the group has enough bars to send girls around to the other venues, Rainbows 1, 2 and 3. The latest is that a bar closure will commence from June 1st, but that is rumour, and not fact.
Livingstone's has more staff than ever before and their monthly events (Champagne Night, Bikini Night and one other I can't recall) seem to be pulling in the customers.
The Witch's Tavern in Soi Thonglor is advertising a Bollywood Night on Saturday 26 May. There's an Indian Dancing Show, a Nan bread eating contest with prizes and Indian music. There's also a 3 course set dinner at 290 baht with free Chang draft beer. But more than anything, the reason I mention this event is the flyer they are using to promote the event which has a really saucy Indian bird on it dressed in….not a lot! Witch's Tavern is a fun venue and worth stopping by if you're in the neighbourhood.
The bargirl says "Farang no good, he no come bar me."
The bar owner says "It's going to be a long, hard low season and I don't know if we'll make it through to the end of the year."
The bar manager says "Mate this is the best bar in <insert bar area>. I don't know where the punters are!"
You hear these comments in Bangkok but are much less likely to hear them in Pattaya. When are the Bangkok bar owners going to realise that they need to do something different to attract punters to their bar? Down in Pattaya they have parties all the time, free food, promotions, dance contests (fat chance of that in Bangkok) and you're generally made to feel welcome. Compare that to the sterility of Bangkok bars which are all about sex and not about fun at all.
Have pity on Dave The Rave in his job as bar manager. We all know that some guys get a bit silly when they have a bit to drink but I still don't know how he dealt with the situation of a guy eating his checkbin!
If you find yourself bored in Pattaya on a Sunday afternoon, consider visiting Champagne A Gogo. Some say it is one the bests in town when from late afternoon they have a buffet of shepherds pie, BBQ ribs, coleslaw, fresh large sliced bread, BBQ sausage, chicken wings (sometimes), sliced fruit, draft Tiger or Heineken and good music at a reasonable volume, all to a 20 lady show. Price? 50 baht total for everything mentioned. But don’t be a cheap Charlie, have a few beers and tip the waitress a bit more than usual.
Secrets in Pattaya will be hosting a party on 22 May. There'll be a free buffet and everything should kick off around 8 PM.
Just as Soi Cowboy spruced itself up and lost much of its atmosphere, so to has the Biergarten in Soi 7 lost some of its luster in its new guise. There's something about the newly renovated venue that just doesn't feel right. What I do wonder about is with all of the renovations done, why didn't they just seal the whole place and make it air-con? The Biergarten is just too damned hot and while the cost of building would have been more and the cost of electricity would have shot through the roof, I doubt many would grumble at a 5 baht per dink increase to cover those costs for what would be a more comfortable venue.
Paranoia reigns supreme amongst the staff of Bangkok's gogo bars. In a few bars you'll get leaped on if you take the time to read or send any SMS text messages from your mobile phone. With the quality of mobile phone video getting better, and with some videos of Bangkok gogo bars already up on Youtube (not that those of us in Thailand would know anything about that), are staff are petrified of punters filming and are jumping on guys who so much as play with their mobile in gogo bars.
Insect vendors up and down Sukhumvit and in other parts of town have jumped on the bandwagon of the most well-known insect vendor of all, the vendor on Sukhumvit Soi 4, outside Morning Night Bar. There is a sign above the insects that states that anyone who wishes to take photographs must tip first. I have since noticed vendors in Soi Cowboy, Soi 7, Soi 5, Soi 33 and even Chinatown all have signs erected stating the same.
The state of the pavement between the Asoke intersection on Sukhumvit Soi 33 has never been good. In fact that part of Sukhumvit is something of an embarrassment and always has been. There's been a lot of work down on it recently and I hate to say it is even worse than ever, and with the heavy rain we have been experiencing recently, walking in that area on the odd soi numbered side of the road is both icky and hazardous. I hold absolutely no hope that it will be cleaned up and fixed up any time soon.
There are some very naughty boys dressing up as monks and hitting on unsuspecting Westerners in the sex tourist alley of Sukhumvit, that is the area between Asoke and Nana. Dressed up as monks, they are brazenly entering bars and restaurants and begging for money, holding out an alms bowl. I am VERY surprised that they haven't been rounded up by the police – and no doubt they soon will be. Monks simply do not do this! The staff in the venues they enter look really uncomfortable, too scared to say anything.
It is three years since Dasa Bookshop opened their neat second-hand bookshop on Sukhumvit, not far from Emporium. To celebrate their third anniversary they're having a storewide sale from May 16 – 31. All books will be discounted 20% off their regular price.
Contrary to what some confused readers think, McDonalds in Thailand does not sell food by set menu only. In a number of branches the display boards have a menu suggesting only sets are available, but believe me, you can order individual items. Just steer clear of the rice burger or whatever they call it, the burger where the buns aren't bread but actually made of rice – it is absolutely foul.
What happened to the Microbuses? Have they been abolished? I was just thinking about them the other day and then thought it strange that I had not seen one in a long time. If you are new to Bangkok, the Microbuses were introduced in the '90s as a more comfortable type of bus. They were air-con, had a TV on board, free newspapers were provided and they would only accept passengers when there were seats available. Once all seats were taken, they would not collect any more passengers until someone got off. This was all before the skytrain opened. The flat rate fare was either 20 or 25 baht – I can't remember exactly how much – at a time when the most expensive air-con bus fare was 12 baht. Is it a case of Microbuses RIP?
Following on from a really awful situation where a young American was refused treatment at Bangkok Pattaya Hospital and subsequently died when being transported to a different facility, you should be aware of what would appear to be standard hospital policy when the injured do not have ID or insurance. Imagine in a worst case scenario if you were mugged or robbed and beaten into unconsciousness. Even if you had been carrying proper ID and proof of insurance, you would NOT have those items on your unconscious body. What then would become of you? It's scary, isn't it!
Monday this week was the first day back for school students and it was funny sitting in a food court with office mates, grabbing some lunch and listening to all the students in uniform around us joking about how they had started skipping from the very first day. I guess that is not much different to the West.
A reader reports seeing a quite brilliant slogan on a T-shirt in Patpong's Foodland: "I saw it, I wanted it, I threw a tantrum, I got it!"
Quote of the week comes from a friend. "As a way of finding yourself, Thailand is unbeatable. It grabs you by the balls and you come out of it a more refined person or a total tramp. There's not much in between."
This poor sod spent 17 years in a Thai prison.
Miss Udon is here to answer questions surrounding anything that confuses you in Thailand, particularly issues of the heart. Feel free to send questions in for her to answer and get the perspective of a Thai female. You and I may well disagree with what she says. The purpose of this section is to provide a Thai woman's perspective!
Question 1: My girlfriend is the complete opposite of most of the girls spoken of. She has a degree, a career, lives on her own in Bangkok and is quite possibly a virgin. She wants to come to Canada but her parents won't give their permission. She sends money to her parents in Isaan. This all may or may not be relevant. She says to me "Thai culture for marriage is you have to given money to the bride's parents by the groom's parents at the engagement ceremony." I don't think she expects a lot of money, and says her parents would give the money back to us but she wants them to have some. She continues, "My idea I want to give them some amount of sin sot". Do you know about the engagement ceremony, and specifically if the sin sot is sometimes given there? I would give it at the wedding but not the engagement before we have even had sex!
Miss Udon says: On the engagement day we do not usually pay money but you can do and it’s not wrong, but it isn't the norm either. Mostly the guy will give valuable things such as a ring, necklace, bracelet, or earrings to the girl to show a promise that he will marry her soon. And these things will belong to her, not her parents. Sin sot will not come into play here but will be paid on the wedding day itself.
Like many Bangkok locals, I get a bit bored of doing the same old things and have been hunting for new things to do to keep myself busy at the weekend – and to get the feeling is satisfaction you get from doing something worthwhile or something new. Recently I have been exploring of the city, checking out places I have never been – and it has been a lot of fun. Ko Kret, Talingchan Water Market, Saphan Poot Market are all places I have checked out recently. Seeing new parts of the city and hanging out in new places has contributed to re-invigorating my interest in the city. If you too are getting bored, try it. You're never more than a taxi ride away from new and interesting places. Steering clear of Silom and Sukhumvit is a good thing.
Stick Mark II