This is Thailand

 |  November 30, 2012

1. Help! My apartment is full of tiny ants. How can I get rid of them?

Aung (Intern): This is a pretty common problem in Thailand, and some say it cannot be avoided. It’s important to keep your apartment clean, but sometimes this isn’t enough. You can buy insecticide sprays at most stores but you have to be careful because they contain poisons that can get in your food and pose a risk to you and your family’s health. Instead, try this safe, easy, and natural method: Dip a napkin into vinegar and wipe it around the path of ants.  This will prevent them from returning to the area again. If they move to another path you can do the same thing. This method is safe for everyone living in your apartment (except for the ants)! Finally, if you notice small holes in your walls, ceilings and floors, cover them up to prevent ants from entering in the first place. Or just call the (ex)terminator.

2. I have collected a lot of junk over the years and need a clear-out. Some of the stuff is valuable, any ideas what to do with it?

Hilary and Grace: A great place to donate clothing and small items is the Thai Freedom House at Free Bird Cafe’ at 116 Maneenoparat Road near Chang Puak Gate on the north side of the moat. For more information, call 081 028 5383 or email Need some cash? You could hold a yard sale either at your home or as part of a larger school or organisation sale, or sell valuable pieces on Craigslist or in local classified sections of magazines or websites. Citylife’s own free classifieds go up online daily, or you can simply use our classified section at the back of this magazine. To post an ad, send details to or add it to the website directly. You can also subscribe to Chiang Mai Community Classifieds by sending an email to

3. I just arrived in Chiang Mai with a young baby. Is there anywhere I can go with my child and make new friends too?

Grace: There are a few mother and child meeting groups such as the International Playgroup, which meets in members’ homes on the north side of Chiang Mai on Thursday mornings from 9.30-11.30 a.m. Most of the children are aged 4 and under.  All are welcome. Contact Debbi Hosken, There is a Mommy/Mummy Meetup for mothers and their babies or toddlers on Tuesday mornings from 10 a.m.-12 p.m., which rotates meetings in homes or other locations. Contact Jasmine Tell, Another International Playgroup meets on the south side of Chiang Mai in the homes, parks and pools around Grace International School on Thursday mornings from 9.30-11.30 a.m. Contact Jocelyn And finally La Leche League Series Meeting; all breastfeeding moms, their babies, and moms-to-be are invited. Contact Kim Adams, or 080 790 6592 or visit

4. Near where I live, there is a monkey in a cage at a person’s home. Is it legal for people to own monkeys in Thailand? 

Hilary: It is illegal to hunt and catch monkeys from the forest, and most endangered animals are protected against international trade under the CITES (Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species) treaty. However, the animals are not currently protected by national laws, so trade within the country in foreign wildlife can’t be tackled yet, according to the Department of National Parks. Even international trading is difficult to monitor as traders are often exploiting the grey areas and using online message boards to make deals, says the Wildlife Friends Foundation of Thailand (WFFT). This is unfortunate as many monkeys are exposed to very poor conditions during the importation process and many die during the trip (hence the high price tags).  In short, one should not support the monkey trade as it is highly inhumane, not to mention the fact that monkeys do not make good pets.  They require constant care and can be very dangerous due to aggressive tendencies and the spreading of diseases. All that being said, it is not actually illegal to keep monkeys as pets in Thailand at this time. For more information, visit or