Thailand is known for its exotic tourist attractions and nightlife. Bangkok alone receives 20.2 million international tourists in 2017, according to Master card’s annual list of most-traveled to cities. it flocks thousands of tourist every year with its nightlife alone.
The nightlife bustles with drinks and farangs (caucasians) in the streets of the capital Soi Cowboy Asoke, Thonglor and most famous of them all the Khaosan road is ever crowded.
Like Tucker Max, American author and public speaker, says,” the devil doesn’t come dressed in a red cape and pointy horns. He comes as everything you’ve ever wished for.”
The nightlife red light districts are also full of illegal activities like drugs and sex trafficking. but being new to the world of reporting, I decided to report on something smaller and the thing i had first hand encounter with. illegal parking on the sidewalk.
Imagine being drunk from partying all night with your friends at Khaosan and by sunrise you finally decide to leave for home. hungry and broke you try to walk out of loud and crowded street or bars and clubs when you suddenly hit a motorbike parked on the path that is designated for people to walk on. you will be furious. not only did he hurt you but it broke two laws at one time.
Section 19 of Act on the Maintenance of the Cleanliness and Orderliness of the Country, B.E. 2535 (1992):
“No one shall place, put or pile any object on the road except in the area specified by the local official or the competent official by making an announcement with the approval of the traffic official.”
Section 17 of Act on the Maintenance of the Cleanliness and Orderliness of the Country, B.E. 2535 (1992):
“No one shall:
(1) take any action to impair the pavement;
(2) park or drive or ride a car, motorbike or wheeled vehicle on the pavement except for parking or driving to enter the building or there is an announcement of the traffic officer to allow such parking or driving. “
Something similar happened with my friend whom I was a witness to. it was a dull night of 26th January, 2019 when my friends and i decided to go to Khaosan to let loose of university stress. We walked our car at Wat Bowonniwet near the Khaosan street and went in to look around a little.
My friend was too excited and didn’t see the series of scooters parked in front and almost crashed into them.
“Is this suppose to be here?” she asked. There were a group of men sitting by the scooters and they glared at us. We apologised and moved away. I could only think to myself what if someone absolutely drunk was in place and had actually fallen and hurt himself and ran in with the sitting thugs. The violence would would be bloody.
I took some pictures and reported it to www.1555.go.th. it’s a government website that lets civilians report anything illegal.
It heard from them soon after the very same day. I was surprised by the speed they worked at. They asked me all the relevant questions about the location and what exactly happened and concerned for my safety as the thugs didn’t sound friendly at all.
After numerous phone calls, i finally got one last call saying that my case was taken care of and that there will be no more illegal parking in the area.
To check it myself i went to de-stress again with my friends a few days later and found more signs saying not to park there.
I was shocked to see policemen taken rounds in the area too. I felt accomplished. I felt i rescued some drunk partier from getting beaten to death if not hurting himself from falling on the bikes.
My take from this report:
To trust the law and be confident and brave when reporting. I am only asking for my rights as the citizen of thailand. I am not encroaching or hurting anyone. I am just doing whatever i can to keep the nation in order and harmony.
Also, it takes a lot to report. People fear that when they report something, they are digging their own grave. I learnt that we don’t need to be scared at all. It doesn’t matter if we are reporting something or small, the law enforcement is there to help us and we will make their job easier by telling these small laws being broken.