Thailand Video News | Formula-E coming to Thailand, Cannabis reform sparks controversy

In this video, Alex and Jay cover the latest news in Thailand. Beginning with Formula-E’s imminent arrival sparks excitement in Thailand, while cannabis reform stirs controversy. Severe thunderstorms loom, and a floating ‘hand’ surprises locals. France offers assistance to enhance the Thai aviation experience.

Formula-E is coming to the land of smiles


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The Government of Thailand, under Prime Minister Srettha Thavisin, announced plans to host the prestigious Formula E electric-car racing championship, highlighting the country’s commitment to electric vehicles (EVs) and sustainable development. This decision follows the prime minister’s discussions with Formula E executives and reflects Thailand’s significant shift towards EVs, with 40% of all car orders being for EVs since last year. The event aims to stimulate the economy, enhance infrastructure, and support carbon emission reduction policies. Chiang Mai is being considered as a potential location for the championship, which could elevate Thailand’s status as a regional tourism hub. Additionally, the prime minister’s engagement with French businesses, including Accor and Michelin, indicates a broader strategy to attract international investment in sectors like hospitality, fashion, and automotive, further supporting Thailand’s economic and environmental goals.


France and Thailand are coming together to improve the aviation experience in the Kingdom

Thailand’s aviation sector is poised for a significant transformation through a collaboration with France, as announced by Thai Transport Minister Suriya Jungrungreangkit. This strategic partnership, established during an official visit to France, aims to enhance Thailand’s aviation industry in preparation for future demands. Discussions with France’s Directorate-General for Civil Aviation focused on the ongoing Memorandum of Understanding on Technical Cooperation, targeting advancements in aviation capacity, the development of Electric Vertical Take-off and Landing (eVTOL) drones, Urban Air Mobility (UAM) vehicles, cyber security enhancements, and the adoption of Sustainable Aviation Fuel (SAF) for decarbonization. Additionally, engagements with private companies like Satys and Volocopter emphasized investment in Thailand’s aviation sector. The talks also covered the southern Land Bridge megaproject, involving deep-water ports, a motorway, and a railway system, showcasing international interest from companies such as CMA CGM and Artelia, hinting at a promising future for Thai-French aviation cooperation and broader infrastructural development.


Severe thunderstorms are expected to rock the upper regions of Thailand

The Thai Meteorological Department (TMD) issued a warning about severe summer storms anticipated to hit the upper regions of Thailand, particularly emphasizing the risk in the lower northeastern areas due to a high-pressure system from the east combined with moist winds from the south and southeast. The public is advised to exercise caution, avoid open spaces, unstable structures, and to protect agricultural assets. The forecast highlights Nakhon Ratchasima and Buri Ram as provinces likely to be heavily impacted. Additionally, a broader warning covers 38 provinces across northern, northeastern, central Thailand, and Bangkok, with potential for thunderstorms, strong winds, and hail expected from March 8 to March 10. Residents are encouraged to stay informed through the TMD’s website and hotlines, as the Department of Disaster Prevention and Mitigation remains vigilant in monitoring these atmospheric conditions.


Upcoming cannabis regulations spark controversy across the country

Thailand’s cannabis industry, thriving since the decriminalization of recreational marijuana in 2022, faces potential regulatory overhaul as the government considers reining in its unfettered growth. Bangkok has become known for its cannabis culture and symbolizes the industry’s expansion, with about 20,000 dispensaries opening nationwide. However, the health minister proposes to restrict cannabis use strictly for medical purposes, with heavy fines for recreational use. This shift aims to control the rapidly expanding sector, distinguishing between medical and recreational use, amid concerns over public health, youth exposure, and the blurring lines between different uses of cannabis. Business owners and industry advocates argue for sensible regulations over outright bans, fearing negative impacts on small businesses, tourism, and medical research. The proposed legislation has sparked a debate, with some seeing it as necessary for sustainability and others as potentially disastrous, risking pushing the market underground. This regulatory uncertainty underscores the complex balance between economic opportunities, health concerns, and political interests in Thailand’s evolving stance on cannabis.


What could be a promising tourist attraction has gone derelict due to neglect


The Bangkok Metropolitan Administration (BMA) has responded to criticism over the neglected state of the Klong Ong Ang Canal area, once promised to be a tourist attraction. Images showing the deteriorated condition of the area, with parked vehicles on an unfinished footpath, abandoned artistic graffiti, and homeless individuals, have led to public outcry. BMA officials, including spokesperson Aekvarunyoo Amrapala and Deputy Governor Sanon Wangsrangboon, explained that the footpath is still under construction by the Public Works Department and not yet under BMA’s jurisdiction. Measures are being discussed to prevent unauthorized parking, and actions are planned to address the presence of homeless people, aiming to maintain the area’s appeal and safety. The BMA intends to revitalize tourism in the canal area with outdoor events for the upcoming Songkran festival, highlighting their commitment to improving the situation.


What appeared to be a human hand floating in a Thai canal sparked concern and then comedy

In Samut Prakan province, a supposed human hand spotted floating in a canal stirred panic among locals and authorities. The alarming find in Klong Hua Koh near Hua Koh Market prompted a swift response from Samut Prakan Police and volunteers. However, upon inspection, the supposed human appendage turned out to be merely a discarded rubber glove, much to everyone’s relief and amusement. This incident led to shared laughter among the onlookers and officials at the scene, as what was feared to be a grim discovery was simply a case of mistaken identity. The mix-up provided a light-hearted moment for the community, highlighting the importance of not jumping to conclusions.

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