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This is Thailand, I can do whatever I want

So I currently live in a 3 story shophouse behind Chiang Mai University across the road from a busy coffee shop (with no parking) and a very large apartment complex that has conciderably more bikes and cars than it does have space to park. Inevitably they park in front of my shop. Now I don't drive a car but I do have a motorbike and there are 3 car spots and space for 30 bikes which anyone can park in.

Parking has long been a problem for the Soi that I live in and just driving along the road at the wrong time can get very congested. The council recently put up a lot of signs to say not park on the other side of the road but fat lot of good that does (see photo below), the council only occasionally comes around to lock cars but I've noticed it's only on a trash pickup night do they do that.

Parking Situation in front of my shop

Parking Situation in front of my shop

When I went to Pattaya and came back the entire area out the front which must be 150sqm was completely full I couldn't even get to the front door.

I was pissed!

So I started a campaign where I would sit out the front and keep people from parking in front of the door being nice to everyone explaining the situation. This approached worked and the space cleared up but as soon as I stopped sitting out the front the bikes would come back!

So I thought of a new approach I stuck a sign out the front that read

"Please don't park in the front of the shop"

I must have been stupid drunk to think that would work. Of course it didn't. It actually got worse!

So I tried a new approach.

I wrote another few signs that read things like.

"No Trespassing" and "Park here and I'll lock your wheel"

No parking sign in thailand

These are the signs I had made up for no parking in front

Amazingly this worked!

Since that time I've locked maybe 3 scooters and a bicycle. NO TRESPASSING

So I bought a new bike off my friend the other day it's a 250 so it's bigger than a scooter and I want to park it on the inside. So I put some cones out so people would realise not to park here and I could get the bike in and out which is fair enough since I should have access to my own property right?

my new motorbike in thailand

My New Bike

Next day I wake up all the cones are moved away and there are now more bikes than usual!


So I move some bikes out of the way so I could get my bike out, I put the cones back and drive out. Then I come back a few hours later and there's even more bikes again and the cones have been moved out of the way, in addition to this someone has parked right underneath the sign that reads "Park here and I lock your wheel".

So I get the chain out and lock the wheel sit down and wait for the owner. Lucky for him within 5 minutes he's out the front dumps his backpack on the bike and lights up a cigarette. I then proceed to tell him that I locked his wheel. He then pretends he can't understand me lol so I point to the sign and ask him if he can read it. "hmmmm" he exclaims. Without turning into a bushel of flames I go unlock the guys tire and ask him not to park there again...please.

This punk is a real smartass and needs to just say something and tells me "he didn't think anyone lived here" and then adds "I thought the sign meant I can't park inside the shop". WTF. God this guy is starting to piss me off. So I reply and say "This is private property not public property you can't park here" and again he says "Well I thought no one lived here" and adds another thing "This is Thailand" and laughs at me.

I'm about to get the chain I used to lock his wheel and ring it around the punks neck he must be what 20y/o and studies at Chiang Mai University. Without getting into an argument and bickering further with some punk kid I wave him and tell him to immediately leave the property.

But what got me about this kid was he said "This is Thailand". And I honestly don't believe he said it to mean that this is Thailand his country I'll park where I want. I really think he was making an excuse for his being inconciderate in parking across the front of my shop because This is Thailand. This is Thailand is not an excuse for poor behaviour and parking wherever you want.

So what if this is Thailand! Does that simply mean because we're in Thailand you can park and do anything you want. Is "This is Thailand" an excuse to tresspass on someones property? Just because "This is Thailand" is it an excuse to have bad behaviour? I honestly believe Thai's use the the excuse "This is Thailand" to get away from personal responsibility, in fact I think a lot of Farang do as well, what do you think?

Anyway so I wrote this story last night when I was pissed at this kid then I woke up this morning and someone parked their bike right in front of my door, can you believe that like right in front of the door I have to climb over it to get out. Wasn't just that they locked their own wheel so I couldn't move it! Fucker! So I locked the other wheel. Fuck him.

Locked motorcycle wheel

So another day continues without publishing this post when I go downstairs about 9pm and the bike is gone! The owner of the bike kindly left the chain and lock in Tact! I laughed so hard because it was probably that kid and so instead of throwing a brick through my window he'd just be a smartalec lol at least he has a sense of humour and I'm a little less stressed about it.

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About Chris

Chris founded LivingThai.org in 2011 and has received over 3 million visitors. He has lived here for over 10 years and speaks reads and writes very good Thai.

24 Responses to This is Thailand, I can do whatever I want

  1. Chris December 20, 2012 at 10:31 am #

    I should probably comment here and say that I’m still not sure how he undid the lock but it was a pretty cheap ass lock

  2. Greg December 20, 2012 at 11:25 am #

    You need a zero tolerance policy Chris.
    1. Find a friendly policeman.
    2. Offer him 500 baht for each time he has to unclamp someones bike.
    3. Have the sign threaten that bikes will be clamped and subject to a 500 baht charge to unclamp them.
    4. Clamp any bikes that violate, and stick a printed sticker on the seat telling the perpetrator to call a number to have the clamp removed (the police officers cell phone number).
    5. Sit back and watch the drama as the police officer turns up – but never show your own face!!!

    • Chris December 20, 2012 at 11:29 am #

      Thought about that, little too worried about retaliation like them screwing with my bike or something like cutting the wires to the break lines and stuff, expensive to fix.

  3. Stan December 20, 2012 at 12:43 pm #


    I live here in Chiang Mai also. And yes, “This is Thailand” means “This is my country. If you don’t like it go back to your own country.” I have experienced it more than once….at the bus station waiting in line for a ticket, today at Index Living Mall when a guy about 25 or so thought he could just jump ahead of me in line, hell, even my own Thai wife tries to use that crap on me. It has happened more other times that I can’t even begin to relate. It’s not everyone certainly and it’s not just young people or university students, but it’s out there. This is a nationalistic country. As polite as they are, you still have to expect it. All you can do it let it fall off your back like water. Although, I do like Greg’s suggestion and I think it would work and clear the front of your property quickly!

  4. Milbrath December 20, 2012 at 8:25 pm #

    “This is Thailand” means this is my country, you’re not welcome here, and I’m not going to listen to you.

    This one idiotic statement sums up all that is Thai, unable to think or know ANYTHING beyond their own dysfunctional borders.

    You need to get heavy duty chains and locks and charge a fee to unlock them. 200b – 300b. Post the warning everywhere. As suggested above, work a deal with a local policeman and put his number on the sign for when they are locked. They can sit and wait for him. He will come for 200b.

    If you own the building, you can build it up where they can not park there.

    The good thing about “this is Thailand” is that is also applies to you, meaning you too can do whatever you want and get away with it. Use that to your advantage and turn the tables on them.

  5. Johnnie Walker December 20, 2012 at 10:29 pm #

    ….. and there’s the rub, “If you OWN the building.”

    I’ve had the “This is Thailand” line before. I agree with other posters above, basically what they are saying is: I’m Thai, my m/bike is Thai, the road is Thai and this is Thailand. So who the hell are you are as a pale skinned foreigner to tell me what I can and can’t do in my own country? You’re only here as a guest. But they haven’t got the balls to come out and actually say it, so you just get the 3 words.

    I have to say, I can see their point however I sympathise with your problem Chris. Difficult one.

    Interestingly after many years of rip off cowboys, the clamping of vehicles on private land has just been made illegal in England.

    • Chris December 20, 2012 at 10:42 pm #

      England must be messed up because that’s stupid so in England now you can just go park on someones property and it’s ok? what about trespassing is that no longer a crime too?

  6. Jeff Thomas December 24, 2012 at 10:19 am #

    For the most part, everything that the other users have already posted is completely valid.
    I see this alot in general (although it’s never really happened to me personally). The people here just generally believe that because THIS IS THEIR COUNTRY, they are free to do whatever they want (and why in my opinion, I believe the people here to just be very inconsiderate because of this very reason).
    Example. I was at Suvarnabhumi this past spring and after a reservation agent closed off the ropes, a group of Thais just walked up and a woman with a definite ‘I can do whatever I want because I’m Thai’ kind of appearance approached the roped podiums and with no frills, moved the podiums aside so she and her group could get in line and be processed. However, luckily the agent noticed and told them to move to another line. However, the situation seemed very similar to the guy Chris was describing in that, they just don’t give a $%^ about anyone but themselves, laws, and most namely, consideration towards anyone else.
    They’ll just DO what they want WHENEVER they want. Aside from that, they don’t care.
    It also shows just like Millbrath stated how, the people here are so brainwashed, ultra-nationalistic, they cannot understand ANYTHING but ‘Thainess’ and use that anytime they get in a jam…ever noticed that???
    In conclusion though, Chris. good idea to chain their bikes. I would just keep doing that if they are on your property. Chris how about a fence or retaining wall of some kind? Some kind of barrier that would cordon off the area that those punks keep parking in?
    Finally, sweeeet bike man! The slime green Kawasaki ninja bike has ALWAYS been my FAVORITE bike for years and years…(and I don’t even ride a bike hehe).

    • Chris December 24, 2012 at 2:52 pm #

      Decision has been made, a fence is going in!

  7. Yorchichan December 25, 2012 at 6:33 am #


    I’m not sure if trespass has ever been a crime in England, but it certainly isn’t at the moment.

    • Chris December 26, 2012 at 6:07 am #

      Really? I think it’s a small offence in aus

    • Johnnie Walker December 26, 2012 at 11:45 am #

      I think you are correct. Trespass alone is not a crime, damage has to proven.

      • Chris December 26, 2012 at 12:07 pm #

        so weak, like you can ask someone not to be in your place but you can’t throw them out, you have to call the police but if they want to stay they are in their right to stay? need some legal advice here.

  8. Johnnie Walker December 25, 2012 at 1:20 pm #

    Don’t forget the follow up pics.

  9. JB December 27, 2012 at 8:19 am #

    I never heard anyone bust the “this is Thailand” on me before but in China it is standard. They use that excuse for literally stealing from you and like you should know it’s gonna happen cause you are in China. Ur situation wasn’t very extreme but the attitude in general sucks pretty hard as nobody says that in America or Europe.

  10. ChiangMaiGuy December 28, 2012 at 10:19 pm #

    it depends if this is ‘public footpath’ or actually part of your rented shop? I assume it’s the latter? if so block it off

    If it’s the former I actually get pissed at shops etc. putting cones and chairs on public highway as ‘private parking’ when it’s for everyone – not saying this is the case with your rented shop but no one owns the highway (well thais think they do)

    as for ‘this is Thailand’ they are a backward, nationalistic race with little education and ethics and, generally, they are ‘gob nai kala’ and there ain’t much you can do about it

    • Chris December 28, 2012 at 10:22 pm #

      It’s private property and it’s not rented I hate the cones on public land too but if they obstruct access to the shop i understand and feel for the shop owner.

  11. craig armitage December 30, 2012 at 1:55 pm #

    “Just because “This is Thailand” is it an excuse to have bad behaviour?”

    some people would consider your behaviour as bad.

    • Chris December 30, 2012 at 1:56 pm #

      That’s true, but this is Thailand 😉

  12. jefke December 30, 2012 at 2:43 pm #

    Now the donut shop is closed you are probably not using the carpark.

    • Chris December 30, 2012 at 9:09 pm #

      lol, they are parking at the entrance of the shop, i still live here bro, would you park in someones driveway?

  13. Scott Mallon January 9, 2013 at 5:00 pm #

    Lay their bike over on it’s side, gently, then lock it. Either that or drain their gas or let the air out of their tires. This way they know that every single time they park on your property it’s going to be a pain in the ass to use their bike again.

    • A Thai Guy April 5, 2014 at 7:32 am #

      Scott Mallon

      I would not recommend you or any one who read this to do what Scott’s suggested or at least be very cautious! ” Kob Nai Kala” meaning is “Ignorance,backward person” can be use with both educated or uneducated alike. The dark side of Thais you don’t want to see. Read the news and you ll understand what the Thais are capable of doing to one another ! Be patience and try to resolve the problem with kindness..

      It is unfortunate and an embarrassment to me as a thai person to have to hear stories like this one from foreigners who live in Thailand.. But it is what it is.. Adapt or live here in misery. ”
      T.I.T” yes… This is Thailand !!

      From a Thai Guy

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