Thailand - updates

Rappler's latest stories on Thailand


Surveillance of minority Muslims in southern Thailand powered by Chinese-style tech

Jul 04, 2020 - 2:34 PM

Mandatory biometric registration has left many Malay Muslims distrustful of the state and concerned about how new technologies will impact their lives

Illustrations by Gogi Kamushadze

Thailand schools reopen with strict hygiene rules

Jul 01, 2020 - 1:39 PM

Thai authorities recommend that class sizes be restricted to 20-25 students while doorknobs, desks and other areas at risk of spreading infection be sanitized frequently throughout the day

Students arrive at a primary school in Bangkok on July 1, 2020, as schools reopened after being temporarily closed due to the threat of the COVID-19 novel coronavirus. Pupils in Thailand returned to school on July 1, though with strict rules to prevent fresh coronavirus outbreaks, as the kingdom pushed towards normality with the pandemic raging on beyond its borders. Romeo GACAD / AFP

Pro-democracy protests mark anniversary of Thai revolution

Jun 24, 2020 - 11:44 PM

After years of coups, violent crackdowns and short-lived civilian governments, Thailand remains a country sharply divided

Macaque attack: Humans try to take back Thai city from monkeys

Jun 24, 2020 - 11:11 AM

Welcome to Lopburi, an ancient Thai city overrun by monkeys super-charged on junk food, whose population is growing out of control

MONKEYING AROUND. A longtail macaque climbs on top of a monkey statue in front of the Prang Sam Yod Buddhist temple in the town of Lopburi, some 155km north of Bangkok. Photo by Mladen Antonov/AFP

Thailand eyes 'travel bubbles' to resuscitate tourism

Jun 12, 2020 - 5:00 PM

'Travel bubbles' being considered would allow people from countries with a similar coronavirus situation to visit Thailand without the mandatory 14-day quarantine

SHOPPING. People look for bargain items at Chatuchak flea market in Bangkok, Thailand, on May 30, 2020. Photo by Mladen Antonov/AFP

Thai elephants' mass migration to village brings new stress

Jun 11, 2020 - 7:06 PM

About 1,000 elephants and their mahouts – or elephant handlers – have returned to their villages in the past two months, says Thai Elephant Alliance Association

HOME. This photo taken on June 4, 2020 shows children watching a mother and young elephant bathing in Baan Na Klang village in the northern Thai province of Chiang Mai, where over 100 elephants returned from various tourist camps since the outbreak of the COVID-19 coronavirus. Photo by Lillian Suwanrumpha/AFP

Robot dog hounds Thai shoppers to keep hands virus-free

Jun 04, 2020 - 4:16 PM

Mimicking an excited puppy, the robot dog names K9 roams around the popular Central World mall in downtown Bangkok, drawing the attention of delighted children eager to get hand sanitizer gel from a bottle attached to its back

A 5G K9 robot distributes hand sanitiser to visitors in a shopping mall in Bangkok on June 4, 2020, as sectors of the economy reopen following restrictions to halt the spread of the COVID-19 novel coronavirus. Mladen ANTONOV / AFP

How Thailand contained COVID-19: Why a public health system with popular support matters

Jun 03, 2020 - 2:00 PM

It is not authoritarian decrees from above but a strategy of persuasion built on a tradition of cooperation between public health authorities and civil society that makes the difference

COMMUTE. Social distancing in the Bangkok metro rail system. Photo from Walden Bello

Thailand approves $9-billion airport project by Bangkok's skytrain operator

Jun 02, 2020 - 10:55 PM

BTS Group Holdings, which operates Bangkok's skytrain, leads a consortium of companies approved to develop the Eastern Airport City project

Passengers check in to an AirAsia flight at U-Tapao Airport in Rayong on February 4, 2020, where Thais nationals who had been evacuated from Wuhan, the epicentre of the novel coronavirus outbreak, are expected to arrive. (Photo by Lillian SUWANRUMPHA / AFP)

Thailand passes record stimulus package to combat virus impact

May 31, 2020 - 10:00 PM

The 1.9-trillion-baht ($59.7-billion) package would be a much-needed boost for Southeast Asia's second biggest economy

People look for bargain items at Chatuchak flea market in Bangkok on May 30, 2020. - Thailand continued easing restrictions related to the COVID-19 novel coronavirus by allowing various businesses to reopen. (Photo by Mladen ANTONOV / AFP)

Thai parliament urged to pass record $60-billion virus stimulus bill

May 27, 2020 - 9:15 PM

'To get the country back on track...we urgently need the budget of 1.9 trillion baht,' says Thai Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha

REOPENING. People stand in line to enter the Siam Paragon shopping mall as it reopened after restrictions to halt the spread of the COVID-19 coronavirus were lifted in Bangkok on May 17, 2020. Photo by Mladen Antonov/AFP

Rappler Talk: Johanna Son on how Thailand contained the coronavirus

May 27, 2020 - 2:39 PM

On Wednesday, May 27, Rappler editor-at-large Marites Vitug talks to journalist Johanna Son to discuss what other countries can learn from Thailand

Thailand enters global race for vaccine with trials on monkeys

May 25, 2020 - 6:42 PM

More than 100 candidate vaccines are currently in various stages of development around the world, at least 8 of which are in clinical trials with humans, according to the World Health Organization

SEARCH. This picture taken on May 23, 2020, shows a laboratory technician holding a tray with doses of a COVID-19 vaccine candidate ready for trial on monkeys at the National Primate Research Center of Thailand at Chulalongkorn University in Saraburi. File photo by Mladen Antonov/AFP

WATCH: Jason Dy does Filipino version of 'Kan Goo' from the '2gether' soundtrack

May 22, 2020 - 7:35 PM

Jason covers a song originally perfomed by Bright, who played Sarawat in the hit Thai series

2GETHER. Jason Dy sings a Filipino version of Bright's 'Kan Goo' from the official soundtrack of '2gether: The series.' Screenshot from Jason Dy on YouTube

Thailand's 'Golden Son' dolls bring believers luck and protection

May 22, 2020 - 4:02 PM

Believers say the dolls contain the spirit of a real child and must be treated with reverence

This photo taken on May 18, 2020 shows a few of the thousands of Kuman Thong (Golden Son) dolls believed to be infused with the spirit of a real child owned by Wanchai “Jojo” Pongsompetch, at her home in Bangkok. Smearing clay mixed with the dust of cremated bodies onto the base of a figurine, a Thai Buddhst monk chants incantations to invite lucky spirits into a relic dubbed the 'Golden Son".  Lillian SUWANRUMPHA / AFP

Thailand's economy contracts for first time since 2014

May 18, 2020 - 5:00 PM

Thailand suffers a 1.8% contraction in gross domestic product in the 1st quarter of 2020

THAI TOURISM HIT. An aerial photo shows unused tourist buses parked on a lot near Suvarnabhumi Airport in Bangkok on March 8, 2020. Photo by Mladen Antonov/AFP

Long queues as Thai malls reopen after coronavirus shutdown

May 17, 2020 - 6:30 PM

The reopening of shopping centers comes with Thailand's infection numbers slowing in recent weeks

REOPENING. People stand in line to enter the Siam Paragon shopping mall as it reopened after restrictions to halt the spread of the COVID-19 coronavirus were lifted in Bangkok on May 17, 2020. Photo by Mladen Antonov/AFP

The '2gether: The series' finale just aired and the fans have a lot of feelings

May 16, 2020 - 12:16 AM

The Thai BL show comes to an end

2GETHER. The love story of Tine and Sarawat comes to an end. Screenshot from GMMTV

SarawaTine helped keep myself '2gether' during the lockdown

May 15, 2020 - 7:30 PM

One gay man writes about what the hit Thai BL show meant to him during the pandemic

SARAWATINE. '2gether: The series' tells the story of two students who fake a romantic relationship only to fall in love for real. Screenshot from GMMTV

For Bright and Win of '2gether: The series,' love has no gender

May 08, 2020 - 9:27 PM

The hit Thai show airs every Friday on GMMTV's YouTube channel

BRIGHTWIN. Thai actors Bright and Win appear in an episode of the hit BL show '2gether: The series.' Screenshot from

Virus pushes Indonesia zoo animals to brink of starvation

May 01, 2020 - 3:28 PM

'If a few more months pass and we don't get any aid from the government or other international organizations, then with a heavy heart we'll have to feed the carnivores.'

This picture taken on April 29, 2020 shows a tiger resting inside its enclosure at the zoo in Bandung, West Java. Indonesian officials said on April 30 that some 60 cash-strapped animal parks -- home to roughly 70,000 creatures -- across the Southeast Asian archipelago have been closed since mid-March and most say they have only enough food until the middle of May. TIMUR MATAHARI / AFP

Herd of dugongs sighted off the coast of Thai island

Apr 23, 2020 - 5:03 PM

Drone images released by the National Marine Park Operation Center show the dugongs sunning themselves beneath clear turquoise waters off the coast of southern Libong island

This aerial view handout from Thailand's National Marine Park Operation Center in Trang taken and released on April 22, 2020 shows dugongs swimming in Joohoy cape at Libong island in Trang province in southern Thailand. Drone images released by the National Marine Parks center showed a herd of dugongs sunning themselves on April 22 beneath clear turqouise waters off the coast of Libong island in southern Thailand. Handout / THAILAND'S NATIONAL MARINE PARK OPERATION CENTER, TRANG / AFP

Why the Thai BL show '2gether: The Series' works

Apr 23, 2020 - 4:00 PM

It's more than just the kilig

2GETHER: THE SERIES. The Thai BL show captures the hearts of Filipino viewers. Screenshot from

Gold glitters as cash-strapped Thais sell jewelry

Apr 16, 2020 - 8:45 AM

Hundreds flock to Bangkok's Chinatown to trade their jewelry for cash during the coronavirus crisis as local gold prices jump more than 20%

People wearing face masks amid fears of the spread of COVID-19 coronavirus sell their jewelries in a gold shop in Bangkok's Chinatown on April 15, 2020. - Hundreds of Bangkok residents rushed to goldsmith shops in order to sell their jewelries as gold prices reached its highest levels since 2012. (Photo by Mladen ANTONOV / AFP)

Thai hospitals protect babies born in a pandemic with face shields

Apr 14, 2020 - 6:00 PM

Bangkok hospitals are using the shields on newborns in their maternity wards to prevent the spread of the coronavirus

PROTECTION. This photo taken through a glass window at a maternity ward shows nurses holding newborn babies wearing face shields, in an effort to halt the spread of the coronavirus, at Praram 9 Hospital in Bangkok on April 9, 2020. File photo by Lillian Suwanrumpha/AFP

Thailand imposes nationwide curfew to curb virus spread

Apr 02, 2020 - 10:37 PM

The curfew from 10 pm to 4 am will begin on Friday, April 3, and bars everyone in the country from leaving their homes

EMPTY. A discarded face mask used as a preventive measure against the COVID-19 coronavirus is seen on an empty street in Bangkok on April 2, 2020. Photo by Romeo Gacad/AFP

Virus fears spark Thailand prison riot

Mar 29, 2020 - 10:34 PM

Authorities say a group of inmates started a rumor that there's a virus outbreak inside the facility

Thailand hospitals deploy 'ninja robots' to help virus battle

Mar 19, 2020 - 4:40 PM

The robots help staff at 4 hospitals in and around Bangkok to reduce their risk of infection by allowing doctors and nurses to speak to patients over a video link

[OPINION] A few words of hope from an OFW amid the coronavirus pandemic

Mar 16, 2020 - 2:37 PM

'If you have OFW friends and family who are having a hard time understanding the situation, please do check on them by sending a message or calling'

1st Thailand pro-democracy march since 2014 coup

Mar 13, 2020 - 10:31 PM

Discontent with the administration of ex-army chief Prayut Chan-O-Cha is seething, with a progressive opposition party disbanded and the country's economy faltering

PROTEST. A man holds a sign that reads, 'We are tired of Prayut, stop the 2017 constitution' during a demonstration calling for the creation of a new constitution in Bangkok on March 13, 2020. Photo by Romeo Gacad/AFP

Thai immigration officers at Bangkok airport diagnosed with coronavirus

Mar 11, 2020 - 4:59 PM

One of the officers is among a team leading health screenings of Thai returnees from South Korea – which has reported the second most COVID-19 infections in Asia after China

A health official checks the forms of an incoming passenger during a health assessment at a checkpoint for people flying in from a list of countries and territories that include China, Hong Kong, Macau, South Korea, Iran and Italy, as a precautionary measure against the spread of the COVID-19 coronavirus at Suvarnabhumi Airport in Bangkok on March 9, 2020. VIVEK PRAKASH / AFP

Tour buses idle as Thai economy takes gut punch from virus

Mar 08, 2020 - 9:40 PM

Beaches are quiet and shopping malls are deserted in Thailand, a kingdom heavily dependent on tourist spending

An aerial photo shows unused tourist buses parked on a lot near Suvarnabhumi Airport in Bangkok on March 8, 2020. - Ranks of tourist buses idle under a burning sun while once-bustling theme parks lie empty -- from above, striking images reveal the hollowing out of Thai tourism due to fears of the new coronavirus. (Photo by Mladen ANTONOV / AFP)

Global rallies for International Women's Day despite virus fears

Mar 08, 2020 - 6:19 PM

(UPDATED) Marches take place in Thailand, Indonesia, and the Philippines, while women rally in ultra-conservative Pakistan demanding 'freedom'

WOMEN'S DAY. Veiled female supporters of Pakistani Islamic political party Jamaat-e-Islami (JI) carry placards and banners as they march during a rally to mark the International Women's Day in Islamabad on March 8, 2020. Photo by Aamir Qureshi/AFP

Malaysia, Thailand bar cruise ship over coronavirus fears

Mar 08, 2020 - 2:08 PM

The Costa Fortuna is carrying dozens of Italians. Its operator says there are 'no suspected virus cases aboard.'

CRUISE SHIP. In this file photo, Costa Fortuna, the largest cruise ship ever built in Italy, is moored at Genoa's harbor on November 22, 2003. Photo by ANSA/Pool/AFP

Glamour and equality in Thailand at world's top transgender pageant

Mar 08, 2020 - 2:00 PM

The annual Miss Tiffany's Universe pageant brings together 21 international contestants showcasing their beauty but also spreading a defiant message for equality from across the globe

Miss International Queen 2020 winner Mexico's Valentina Fluchaire (C) is congratulated by finalists Ariella Moura (L) of Brazil and Ruethaipreeya Nuanglee (R) of Thailand during the transgender beauty pageant in Pattaya on March 7, 2020. (Photo by Mladen ANTONOV / AFP)

Thai man dies from coronavirus infection complications

Mar 02, 2020 - 5:23 PM

The man tests negative for COVID-19 by February 16 but a lung infection causes the man's multiple organ failure and – despite receiving anti-viral treatment – death on Saturday, disease control officials say

CHECKING FOR COVID-19. Health officials, wearing face masks amid fears over the spread of the COVID-19 novel coronavirus, check the body temperature of policewomen before an anti-government rally in Bangkok on March 1, 2020. Photo by Mladen Antonov/AFP

Thai drug smugglers spared from death penalty in Bali

Feb 27, 2020 - 5:26 PM

The district court in Bali's capital Denpasar says the two Thai women – a janitor and an operator of a motorcycle rental shop in Thailand – had shown remorse for their crimes and deserved leniency

This picture taken on February 26, 2020 shows Kasarin Khamkhao (C) and Sanicha Maneetes of Thailand (L) attend their trial at a Denpasar court on Indonesia's resort island of Bali. The two Thai women convicted of smuggling methamphetamines into Bali have escaped a possible death sentence after the court slapped them with a 16-year prison sentence instead. Tut PARWATA / AFP

Thai student protesters test water as anti-gov't anger simmers

Feb 26, 2020 - 8:43 PM

The flickering of protests comes after several years of quiet enforced by military rule, with groups of high school students joining the march into the streets

RARE PROTESTS. Students write messages at a pro-democracy rally against the military government at Thammasat University in Bangkok on February 26, 2020. Photo by Lillian Suwanrumpha/AFP

Thai court dissolves key pro-democracy party

Feb 21, 2020 - 5:43 PM

The nine-member constitutional court dissolves the Future Forward Party, ruling a $6-million loan by Thanathorn Juangroongruangkit breached the law governing political parties

DISSOLVED. Future Forward Party leader Thanathorn Juangroongruangkit speaks with fellow members and MPs at the political party's headquarters in Bangkok on February 21, 2020. File photo by Lillian Suwanrumpha/AFP

Thai retail giant launches record-breaking IPO

Feb 20, 2020 - 10:45 PM

Central Retail Corporation, a family-run empire, launches Thailand's largest initial public offering

Board representatives of Central Retail Corporation (CRC) attend a ceremony to open trading as Thailand’s largest IPO at the Stock Exchange of Thailand in Bangkok on February 20, 2020. - Central Retail, one of Thailand's largest conglomorates, launched the country's biggest ever IPO on February 20, giving it a market cap of around $8.1 billion in a punt on an sputtering economy now hampered by the coronavirus. (Photo by Lillian SUWANRUMPHA / Lillian SUWANRUMPHA / AFP)

Woman gunned down in new Thai mall shooting

Feb 18, 2020 - 7:37 PM

The incident occurs inside a cosmetic clinic at the busy downtown Century Mall, when a man burst in and gunned down his former partner over an alleged affair

Southeast Asia feels the burn as coronavirus keeps Chinese tourists at home

Feb 16, 2020 - 1:53 PM

Businesses are praying for a bounce back if and when the virus is controlled

WAITING. This photograph taken on February 12, 2020 shows employees waiting for tourists at the entrance of the Floating Market in Pattaya. Photo by Mladen Antonov/AFP

Tearful Thai general says 'don't blame army' for soldier's rampage

Feb 11, 2020 - 3:19 PM

General Apirat Kongsompong breaks down in tears as he apologizes during a televised press conference on behalf of the army to the victims of the shooting

Royal Thai Army Commander-in-Chief Apirat Kongsompong reacts during a press conference in Bangkok on February 11, 2020, after a mass shooting incident in Nakhon Ratchasima over the weekend. An emotional Apirat on February 11 urged a nation in mourning over a mass shooting "not to blame the army" after a soldier gunned down at least 29 people in a rampage linked to a debt dispute with a senior officer. Patipat JANTHONG / THAI NEWS PIX / AFP

Thai mall shooting survivors tracked killer via CCTV

Feb 10, 2020 - 9:46 AM

By the end of the shooting spree at least 30 people are dead – the shooter included. Many more are wounded, several critically.

CAPTURED. A video grab created on February 9, 2020 from a handout video released by the MCOT Thai Public Company Limited on February 8, 2020 shows CCTV footage of Thai soldier Jakrapanth Thomma holding a gun as he walks through the Terminal 21 shopping mall in Nakhon Ratchasima. Photo by MCOT/MCOT Public Company Limited/AFP

Thai gunman among 30 dead in 'unprecedented' mass shooting

Feb 09, 2020 - 10:50 AM

(6th UPDATE) Thailand's prime minister blames a 'personal problem' over the sale of a house for the soldier's 17-hour rampage

MALL SHOOTING. Forensic police prepare to enter the Terminal 21 mall, where a mass shooting took place in the Thai northeastern city of Nakhon Ratchasima on February 9, 2020. Photo by Lillian Suwanrumpha/AFP

Thai soldier holds out in mall after killing 21 in mass shooting

Feb 08, 2020 - 9:32 PM

(6th UPDATE) Authorities give no firm details on the movements of the attacker – a junior army officer identified as Sergeant-Major Jakrapanth Thomma

Thailand sees apparent success treating novel coronavirus with drug cocktail

Feb 02, 2020 - 10:32 PM

Thailand's health ministry says the 71-year-old patient tested negative for the virus 48 hours after doctors administered the combination

Thailand confirms 1st human-to-human transmission of novel coronavirus

Jan 31, 2020 - 11:10 PM

The finding makes Thailand only the fifth country alongside China, Germany, Japan and the US with confirmed domestic infections

HUMAN-TO-HUMAN TRANSMISSION. People wear protective facemasks walk pass a display of Thai royal and national flags in Bangkok on January 31, 2020. Photo by Romeo Gacad/AFP

Brickman-led Alab stuns Mono with 16-point swerve for OT win

Jan 30, 2020 - 10:29 PM

Jason Brickman's prolific showing keys a stunning turnaround as Alab Pilipinas shocks Thailand's Mono Vampire

CAREER-HIGH. Jason Brickman takes over in the final two quarters. Photo by Michael Gatpandan/Rappler

Fugitive giraffe found dead in Thailand canal

Jan 30, 2020 - 6:30 PM

The story of the giraffe which escaped from truck in Bangkok takes a tragic turn, after it is found dead in a lotus swamp near a main road

In this undated handout photo released on January 29, 2020 by the Fire Department Eastern Voluntter shows a runaway giraffe seen in bushes along a road in Bang Khla, Chachoengsao province. An African giraffe which bolted from a convoy destined for a Thai safari park remained on the run January 29, as vets scoured farmland near the escape zone in a near 24-hour search gripping the public. Jongput JIRA-APAKUL / FIRE DEPARTMENT EASTERN VOLUNTEER / AFP