Category Archives: General/Thoughts

Krong Kam the Lakorn: Of Social Class, Identity, and Ego

As I’m revising my PhD research proposal, I have turned to escapism for a bit by indulging myself in the recent Thai drama series called Krong Kam (Thai: กรงกรรม), or loosely translated as “Cage of Karma”.

I haven’t watched many Thai drama series or lakorns since I relocated back to my own apartment early this year – I’m not a huge fan of drama series to begin with, but would occasionally (half-)watch a few here and there. There hasn’t been many remarkable ones from Channel 3, especially since last year’s Buppesannivas and also 2016’s Nakee, but Krong Kam captures my attention from Episode 1.

กรงกรรม

Krong Kam revolves around the conflicts between Yoi, a rich and hardworking but oftentimes stingy and aggressive Thai woman who marries into a traditional Chinese family in a town called Chum Saeng, and Renu, the pregnant wife of Yoi’s eldest son who was forced into prostitution due to a series of unfortunate events until she met her husband Achai.

Despite being of Thai descent, the “Chineseness” in Yoi runs evident with her business-mindedness, the way she manages her family of five men and her business/fortune, as well as  her attempts at arranging endogamous marriages for her sons. Being a controlling woman, it’s either Yoi’s way or no way.

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5 Thai Laws You Need to Know Before Travelling to Thailand

5 Thai Laws You Need to Know Before Travelling to Thailand

For those of you who will be travelling or make constant visits to Thailand, you may not realise or may have taken for granted some of its strict laws that would impact you as a tourist.

Tourists will have to comply to these laws, or they could face maximum fines between 100,000 baht (RM12,900) and 500,000 baht (RM65,000), and/or up to 10 years of jail sentences.

Below are 5 Thai laws you need to know before travelling to Thailand:

1. Smoking ban at 24 beaches around Thailand

With effect from February 1, 2018, a total of 24 beaches in 15 provinces have been declared no-smoking zones.

Smoking ban at 24 beaches around Thailand
Smoking ban at 24 beaches around Thailand. Image credit to bangkokpost.com.

Violators face fines of up to 100,000 baht (RM12,900) and/or up to a year in prison.

Besides, six Thai airports have also been declared no-smoking zones from Feb 3, 2019. Read more here.

2. Registration needed for drones brought on holiday to Thailand

With the growing popularity of drones, it has become pretty common for tourists going on a holiday to bring along a drone.

Registration needed for drones brought on holiday to Thailand
Registration needed for drones brought on holiday to Thailand. Image credit to caat.or.th/en/archives/27220.

If you intend to fly a drone in Thailand, whether for leisure or commercial purposes, you will need to register your drone first. Violators could face a fine of up to 100,000 baht (RM12,900) and/or up to five years in prison.

Detailed steps on how to go about the registration of drones can be read here.

Besides drones, one must note that possessing a walkie-talkie illegally is also an offence in Thailand. In January this year, a tour guide was reportedly arrested for bringing a walkie-talkie into the country.

3. Vaping and e-cigarettes are illegal in Thailand

In November 2014, Thailand approved legislation outlawing a ban on the import, export, sale and possession of vaping products.

Vaping and e-cigarettes are illegal in Thailand.
Vaping and e-cigarettes are illegal in Thailand. Image credit to vapingpost.com/2018/11/13/thailand-warns-against-bringing-vaping-products-into-the-country.

Those arrested with e-cigarettes will be fined four times their prices and/or face a jail term up to 10 years.

In January this year, a Frenchwoman was arrested, fined, jailed and deported for vaping according to thephuketnews.com. While the validity of the news report is not known, what we do know is that Thailand is continuing to reinforce its stringent anti-vaping policies.

4. Submission of car registration and passenger details at customs when driving into Thailand

In this entry, I have covered in detail the list of documents a Malaysian driver would need to prepare and the procedure to go through at any of the Malaysia-Thailand borders.

Driving into Thailand - Bukit Kayu Hitam Border Crossing: Document Checklist and Procedure

What is relatively new in the procedure is the submission of the TM3 Passenger List Form.

Remember to drive with a driving license. Drivers holding a valid driving license issued by any of the 10 Asean member countries can use their national driver’s license in Thailand without the need to obtain an International Driving Permit or International Driver’s License.

Sometime ago, Thai news outlet Thai Rath reported that a proposal was in the pipeline to increase the fine and jail terms of those caught driving without a driving license.

The current penalty is capped at 1,000 Thai baht (RM130). If the proposal is passed to become a law, the penalty would be 50,000 baht (RM65,000) fine and/or up to 3 months’ jail.

5. Get insured when driving into Thailand

As per the Protection for Motor Vehicle Accident Victims Act 1992, it is a legal requirement for vehicles to have Compulsory Motor Insurance (CMI) in Thailand.

Driving into Thailand - Bukit Kayu Hitam Border Crossing: Document Checklist and Procedure
Thai compulsory third-party motor insurance.

It costs as reasonably as under RM20 for a third-party Compulsory Motor Insurance (CMI). In this entry, I detailed how to go about the CMI at the Bukit Kayu Hitam/Sadao border.