This is thailand

 |  September 28, 2010

For those of you with any questions regarding Thailand, Thai culture, history, tourism, laws, rules, food, nightlife, sub-cultures, dating; generally anything as long as it is relevant,
we have a panel of three experts who will respond to your enquiries.

1. Do you know where in Chiang Mai I can get electronic goods fixed when they are not under warrantee? I have a TV and a games console that are both bust and I have no idea where to go to get them fixed.

You can get your console looked at at Neo games on the third floor at Central, Kad Suan Kaew, it’s besides all the phone shops. There is also Champ Games on the second floor at the back side next to the escalators. As for TVs, Niyom Panich, just after Far Eastern College, close to Airport Plaza, will also look at your goods, and hopefully, fix them. So will Siam TV on Chang Lor Road, next to the Chinese Embassy.

2. I hear there is a lot of dengue fever around. How do you know if you have dengue? How to avoid it? Will it kill me or my family?

There are four different kinds of dengue and each is different with varying symptoms. I had it, as did a few of my friends, and we all had different symptoms. I actually thought I had a bad hangover when it started, though that soon turned into not being able to stay awake, ugly rash (that became itchy as hell) loss of appetite, eye-ache, malaise, a tad melancholic and short-tempered, and of course, fever (initial stages). One of my friend’s symptoms were worse than mine, he was bedbound (I was merely couch-bound) and in more pain. At the hospital they will first do a CBC (complete blood count) to see if your blood count is normal. If it’s not they will specifically check for dengue with another test. If you have it they will either ask you to stay in the hospital (if your blood count is at dangerous levels or you are VERY dehydrated) or send you home with a return ticket for more blood tests in the following days. Most foreigners, it seems, are sent home, yet the Thais seem to prefer the hospital. You will feel lethargic after the initial symptoms (7-10 days) pass. There is no prevention so just try not to get bitten by a mozzie. It’s doubtful you’ll die if you get it, only people with compromised immune systems and the very old or very young die, and only when they have the hardcore version of dengue (dengue shock syndrome) which may make you look something like a zombie as you bleed from all your orifices.

I have a number of friends who have recently come down with dengue. I wrote about it on my blog.

3. Read your ‘Music Issue’, great articles. If I want to get into Thai music what exactly should I buy? I have no idea? I like rock, indie, country music. Is there somewhere I can download, or God forbid buy, the music too?

Here are some suggestions: Indie: Paradox – Hit Me (best of), Modern Dog – Modern Dog, Apartment Kumpa – Romantic Comedy, Abuse the Youth – Black Stars. Rock Music: Silly Fools – Mint, Loso – Sek Loso, the Collection. Country Music: Caribao – Made in Thailand. Most of these are Thai ‘classics’. All these albums are cheap and on sale all over Chiang Mai.

There is Thai music and Thais singing western style music. My favourite Thai music is luk tung (Thai, for ‘children of the rice fields’). Go to and do a search on luk tung and check it out. Here is one of my favourites, Bird and Jintara, in ‘Fan Jah’, a hugely popular, very well produced music video that really rocks. There are a couple of westerners who have become very popular in Thailand singing luk tung music. One is Kristi Gibson. Here is one of her songs (

4. Is there any way I can watch sporting events, tennis, soccer, NFL, golf – basically everything, I’m an armchair sports addict – without having to pay for overpriced UBC (which I have found doesn’t show many major events) or feel obliged to drink beer in a pub while I view?

WE TV has ‘some’ major sporting events and it’s cheap, though a loose definition of ‘some’ in this case might mean full coverage of the 2007 Lithuanian Blind Table Tennis Qualifiers repeated for the entire weekend. You can purchase ‘under the table’ UBC [Disclaimer: Citylife does not advocate, agree with, entertain the idea of criminal activity like this] from a guy in a village, in every village in Thailand. You install the dish, make one biggish payment of about 10 grand and then you’re on for about 300 baht a month. If you already have a dish, then you don’t have to pay for that. You can also stream sports online. Although one of those horrible governmental ministries just blocked many streaming sites, it is rumoured that streaming sites were used to promulgate left wing rhetoric and so were banned, other rumours report that government members have some friends in the corporate ‘club’ that were out of pocket last year and had to cancel their box at Crufts. Unfortunately, Sopcast (great for watching most sports for FREE) is blocked. Check out this site: and follow the instructions.