Thailand News Today | Bizarre (but inventive?) “scam” in Thailand


A Thai woman said she was scammed into buying two second-hand air conditioners that demanded she pay an extra 900 baht a month top-up to keep them running!

The woman posted her story on Facebook saying she had paid 5,000 baht for each machine and an extra 3,000 baht for installation. They then stopped working one week after the installation, and the technician couldn’t understand why.

She contacted the Haier air-con company customer service hotline and found out that users of the air conditioning units needed a monthly top-up via a QR code, at 900 baht each month to use them. If not, the system would automatically be cut off.”

The woman informed social media that in the end she decided to remove the two air con units, even though it was going to leave her 8,000 baht out of pocket, and filed a complaint at a police station. She said she wanted to warn others to beware of this kind of scam.

A Facebook page, that shares information and reviews about electronic appliances, explained that the top-up air con units use an Internet of Things system to control the air-con system remotely. If users fail to top up, the system is cut off by the company that controls it.



Nok Air have made a public statement apologising to passengers who sat on a Boeing 737-800 for over an hour after it skidded off Chiang Rai International Airport’s runway on Saturday evening.

Several passengers have expressed dissatisfaction with the evacuation procedure.

The airline said the reason it took so long to get the 164 passengers out of the aircraft was because the airline “followed the highest safety procedures.” Heavy rain and waterlogged ground outside the aircraft made it harder to navigate the evacuation too, said Nok Air.

But what passengers were primarily upset about wasn’t the lengthy safety precautions, the fact that the captain turned off the engines which in turn turned off all the lights and air conditioning in the cabin.

After an hour without air conditioning, maybe because they forgot to top up the monthly air con plan, passengers began to complain they were struggling to breathe, which is when the cabin crew opened the doors and allowed passengers to slide down from the emergency exits.

One passenger said that only two vehicles came to pick up passengers from the aircraft, and suspects that lack of available vehicles at the airport could be a reason for the delay. However, Nok Air did not cite this as a reason in their statement.

The airport announced the suspension of all flights in and out of the airport on Sunday morning. Yesterday, director of Mae Fah Luang Chiang Rai Airport said that removing the aircraft was a three-day job, because the plane’s wheels were stuck in the mud and a crane would need to be used to lift the Boeing 737-800 out of the ground.

Flights in and out of Chiang Rai airport are expected to resume tomorrow, August 3, at 10pm. The disruption to travel has been significant, especially since the incident occurred during Thailand’s four-day weekend. Usually, 36 flights per day take off from Chiang Rai airport, facilitating a daily average of 4500 – 5000 passengers.



Continuing with the theme of you couldn’t make this stuff up, after 13 years of delayed construction, the new Fai Chai Tunnel in Bangkok officially opened yesterday, only to close due to a flood.

Bangkok Governor Chadchart Sittipunt last month visited the unfinished Fai Chai Tunnel to talk with the Director of the Public Work Department, Taiwut Khankaew, about the project’s delay. Chadchart made a few barbed comments to Taiwut about the project’s perpetual holdup which first began in 2009.

Chadchart said…

“Director, you should be careful with every detail. No more chances to close the tunnel to fix the construction again. The road seems a little bit bumpy but it will be OK as it should be paved with asphalt again, right?“

Taiwut explained that the MRT Blue Line, and pavement improvement, were reasons for the long delay but promised Chadchart that the tunnel would be finished and open by August 1. And Taiwut made good on that promise as the Fai Chai Tunnel officially opened yesterday at 5am. However, the tunnel was only open for about eight hours before it was closed again because of flooding.

The Bangkok Public Relations Facebook page reported…

“There was water waiting to drain at the entrance and the end of the tunnel, and some objects were obstructing the drainage. The officials would solve the problem as soon as possible. The tunnel is expected to reopen at about 4pm.”

The page updated again that the tunnel was reopened at 4.30pm.

Bangkok Public Relations stated the Fai Chai Tunnel construction was completed but added there were a few snags to fix like the water drainage system that the Public Work Department was still working on.

The tunnel opens every day from 5am to 10pm but will close between 10pm to 5am as the Public Work Department continues working on minor details.



Thailand expects 1,000 doses of the smallpox vaccine to arrive in the kingdom from the US by the end of this month. But the Ministry of Public Health (MOPH) said that the vaccines would be made available to only the most vulnerable groups of people in Thailand.

The Director-General of the Disease Control Department, Opas Karnkawinpong, yesterday said that monkeypox vaccines haven’t been developed anywhere for years but the US has a supply of the serum that was developed by the US FDA in 2019 and approved by the World Health Organisation.

Opas reported that the Government Pharmaceutical Organisation expects 1,000 doses of the medicine by the end of August.

The director said the vaccines would be made available to people who had poor immunity, health conditions, or medical staff taking care of monkeypox patients. Each person would get two doses of vaccine.

Thai media reported that the Department of Medical Sciences is to conduct tests on volunteers to measure levels of immunity and resistance against the monkeypox strain.

Opas moved to reassure the public over the spread of the monkeypox virus.

“People should not be worried because monkeypox does not spread easily and it will not cause severe symptoms. People should not rush out and get a vaccine because most people will not need it. Secondly, the vaccines could cause some side effects. We only need to use the vaccines when it is needed, for the vulnerable or those infected.”



Three Thais travelling to Malaysia for the long weekend were imprisoned for three days and fined the equivalent of 50,000 baht after they tested positive for the happy plant substance.

The tourists crossed over the border into Malaysia in Satun province and were asked to provide a urine sample on arrival in Weng Kelian in Malaysia. When traces of the plant were found in their urine, the tourists were immediately detained.

The plant was removed from Thailand’s list of illicit narcotics on June 9 but is still very much illegal in Malaysia. Explicitly saying the name of the plant also gets our channel flagged by Youtube, hence the euphemisms.

The Malaysian government also forbade Malaysians from consuming food or drinks which contained the plant while travelling in Thailand, because it could stay in their system and they could be tested for the drug upon returning to Malaysia.

According to local sources, the Malaysian border force is meticulously checking bags, passports and cars for traces of the plant.

Ensuring that arrivals in Malaysia are not smuggling an illicit drug into the country is one thing, but the requirement that anyone entering Malaysia cannot have traces of the plant in their system is sure to cause a big problem between the bordering countries.

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