Thailand - updates

Rappler's latest stories on Thailand


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

Long road to freedom: Giraffe escapes convoy in Thailand

Jan 29, 2020 - 5:20 PM

Two leggy ruminants make the daring bid for freedom from the back of a poorly secured container truck as it slowed in highway traffic shortly after leaving Bangkok's main airport. One is caught, the other still a 'fugitive'.

ESCAPE. In this undated handout photo released on January 29, 2020 by the Fire Department Eastern Voluntter shows a runaway giraffe seen crossing a road in Bang Khla, Chachoengsao province. Photo by Jongput Jira-Apakul/Fire Department  Eastern Volunteer/AFP

Asian nations try to shield against deadly coronavirus outbreak

Jan 29, 2020 - 8:37 AM

The outbreak is sending shock waves through Asia's tourism industry, which has become increasingly reliant on growing numbers of Chinese visitors

TEMPERATURE. A private school in Manila suspends classes and takes precautionary measures on January 28, 2020, amid the novel coronavirus emergency. Photos by Inoue Jaena/Rappler

The global spread of the coronavirus: Where is it?

Jan 24, 2020 - 8:34 AM

(9th UPDATE) Here are the countries that have confirmed cases of the novel coronavirus

PROTECTION. A woman holds a child wearing a facemask as they queue at the West Kowloon rail station in Hong Kong on January 23, 2020. Photo by Philip Fong/AFP

WHO to hold emergency meeting as SARS-like virus spreads in Asia

Jan 20, 2020 - 11:38 PM

(3rd UPDATE) An 89-year-old man has become the fourth person to die from the virus in China, authorities say Tuesday

MYSTERY VIRUS. A man leaves the Wuhan Medical Treatment Center, where a man who died from a respiratory illness was confined, in the city of Wuhan, Hubei province, on January 12, 2020. File photo by Noel Celis/AFP

SARS-like virus spreads in China, reaches third Asian country

Jan 20, 2020 - 3:18 PM

A third person is confirmed to have died and 136 new cases are found over the weekend in Wuhan. Meanwhile, South Korea reports its first case.

OUTBREAK. A medical staff member walks outside the Jinyintan hospital, where patients infected by a mysterious SARS-like virus are being treated, in Wuhan in China's central Hubei province on January 18, 2020. Photo by AFP

Thais find second case linked to China mystery virus

Jan 17, 2020 - 3:27 PM

Authorities ramp up airport screenings ahead of an expected surge in arrivals for Chinese New Year. More than 1,300 passengers are expected to arrive in Thailand daily from Wuhan alone. 

VIRUS. Thai villagers wear masks to protect themselves from the bird flu virus in Kanchanaburi province westhern of Thailand, 21 October 2005. (Photo by Pornchai Kittiwongsakul /AFP)

'Run against dictatorship' fun run draws thousands of defiant Thais

Jan 13, 2020 - 8:29 AM

Runners wielded the three-finger salute made famous by the blockbuster Hunger Games films as a symbol of freedom from authoritarian rule

LEADER. Thai Future Forward Party's leader Thanathorn Juangroongruangkit (L) greets supporters during a "run against dictatorship" in Bangkok on January 12, 2020. (Photo by Mladen Antonov/AFP)

Anti-gov't fun run draws thousands of defiant Thais

Jan 12, 2020 - 1:18 PM

The runners wield the 3-finger salute made famous by the Hunger Games franchise to oppose Thai Prime Minister Prayut Chan-O-Cha

3-FINGER SALUTE. People take part in a "run against dictatorship" in Bangkok on January 12, 2020. Photo by Mladen Antonov/AFP

2-year-old boy among 3 killed in Thailand armed robbery

Jan 10, 2020 - 4:04 PM

Shocking CCTV footage shows the attacker storming into the shop, opening fire, and leaping over the counter as victims writhed in agony on the ground

INJURED. This photograph taken on January 9, 2020 and received from ViralPress shows paramedics helping a man wounded during a robbery at the Robinson shopping mall in the town of Lopburi, in Thailand. STR/ ViralPress/AFP

Angkas-like: Motorcycle taxis in Southeast Asia hit bumpy road toward gov’t recognition

Jan 10, 2020 - 11:00 AM

Like Angkas in the Philippines, app-based services in Indonesia, Thailand, and Malaysia want their governments to recognize motorcycles as official modes of transportation

Thai retailers ban single-use plastic bags

Jan 03, 2020 - 8:12 AM

Several mall operators and convenience stores in Thailand ban single-use plastic bags and will instead see customers paying a small fee for a reusable bag made of a cloth-like fabric

Employees carry banners informing customers about the ban on free single-use plastic bags at a shopping mall in downtown Bangkok on January 2, 2020. Thai retailers kicked off 2020 with a ban on free plastic bags to customers, as an environment group on January 2 said the move would merely act as a temporary salve to Thailand's "throw-away culture" and plastic crisis. Mladen ANTONOV / AFP

Thai Navy SEAL dies after yearlong infection after cave rescue

Dec 28, 2019 - 12:35 PM

Petty Officer Beirut Pakbara is the second Thai Navy SEAL to perish after rescuing 12 boys and their coach from a cave in northern Thailand

A HERO. Petty Officer Beirut Pakbara dies from blood infection months after rescuing 12 young boys and their coach in a cave in Thailand. Photo from the Royal Thai Navy Facebook page

Elephants in Thailand 'broken' for lucrative animal tourism

Dec 23, 2019 - 12:48 PM

According to frustrated activists, there is little impetus to enact more stringent rules in Thailand's tourism industry, which welcomed over 30 million tourists in 2019 alone

ELEPHANT 'SANCTUARY.' This photo taken on November 8, 2019 shows tourists taking pictures with elephants at the commercial Maetaeng Elephant Park in the northern Thai province of Chiang Mai. Photo by Lillian Suwanrumpha/AFP

Wanted Thai serial killer re-arrested after early release

Dec 18, 2019 - 1:38 PM

Somkid Pumpuang is now the chief suspect in the murder this week of a 51-year-old hotel maid in the country's northeast

SOMKID PUMPUANG. This undated handout photograph released by the Royal Thai Police on December 17, 2019 shows a mugshot of convicted serial killer Somkid Pumpuang. Handout photo by Royal Thai Police/AFP

Thai serial killer sought over new murder after early release

Dec 17, 2019 - 3:42 PM

Seven months after being let free for good behavior, authorities want to rearrest Somkid Pumpuang in connection with the murder of a 51-year-old hotel maid in northeastern Thailand

SOMKID PUMPUANG. This undated handout photograph released by the Royal Thai Police on December 17, 2019 shows a mugshot of convicted serial killer Somkid Pumpuang, dubbed by the media as Thailand's 'Jack the Ripper.' Handout photo by Royal Thai Police/AFP

No surprise: Gilas rips Thailand by 34 for 18th SEA Games gold

Dec 10, 2019 - 9:55 PM

The Philippines retains its status as the undisputed king of men's basketball in the region

BACK-TO-BACK. Christian Standhardinger wins his second SEA Games gold medal. Photo by Jerrick Reymarc/Rappler

Gilas Women crush Thailand for historic SEA Games gold

Dec 10, 2019 - 7:52 PM

Jack Animam, Janine Pontejos, and Afril Bernardino show the way as the Philippines rules women's basketball for the first time in SEA Games history

DOUBLE GOLD. Janine Pontejos wins her second gold medal in the 2019 SEA Games. Photo by Jerrick Reymarc/Rappler

LIVE UPDATES: Philippines vs Thailand - SEA Games 2019 basketball finals

Dec 10, 2019 - 3:37 PM

The Philippines guns for an 18th SEA Games gold medal in men's basketball against Thailand on Tuesday, December 10, at the Mall of Asia Arena

Photo from

30,000 monks attend mass alms-giving in Myanmar

Dec 08, 2019 - 5:23 PM

They meditate, pray and collect alms in an event meant to tighten the relationship of 'monks and Buddhists' in Myanmar and Thailand, and to 'strengthen the monkhood' in the region

GIVING ALMS. Monks line up for alms during the alms-giving ceremony to 30,000 monks organize by the region government of Mandalay affiliated with Dhammakaya Foundation at Chanmyathazi Airport in Mandalay on December 8, 2019. Photo by Kyaw Zay Win/AFP

Dead deer found in Thailand with 7 kilograms of plastic in stomach

Nov 28, 2019 - 9:49 AM

The Southeast Asian country is one of the world's largest consumers of plastic, with Thais using up to 3,000 single-use plastic bags each per year, whether for wrapping street food, takeaway coffee or packing groceries.

In this handout photo released by the Office of Protected Area Region 13 on November 26, 2019 and taken on November 25, veterinarians prepare to examine a dead deer at Khun Sathan National Park in Thailand's Nan province. A wild deer was found dead after swallowing 7 kilograms (15 pounds) of plastic bags and other trash in Thailand, an official said November 26, raising the alarm on waste littering the country's waters and forests. Handout / Office of Protected Area Region 13 / AFP

Thailand reverses ban on weed killer linked to cancer

Nov 27, 2019 - 9:11 PM

Glyphsate, also known as Roundup, remains popular among farmers in Thailand – one of the world's leading rice and sugar producers – who are among the heaviest users of pesticides in a sector that employs 40% of the population

Pope cautions Thai youth against tech pitfalls

Nov 22, 2019 - 9:13 PM

'Rapid technological advancements can open up immense possibilities that make life easier, but can also result in the growth of consumerism and materialism,' the Pope cautions

GREETINGS. Pope Francis greets the faithful after a Holy Mass at the Assumption Cathedral in Bangkok on November 22, 2019. Photo by Lillian Suwanrumpha/AFP

'Peace prayer': Muslim choir from restive Thai south to sing for Pope Francis

Nov 22, 2019 - 1:58 PM

Wearing headscarves and school uniforms, students assemble in a university auditorium to practice ballads specially written for the Pope, who is in Bangkok for a four-day visit

This picture taken on November 21, 2019 shows Muslim students from the Attarkia Islamiah Institute singing during a rehearsal in Bangkok, ahead of their performance for Pope Francis at Chulalongkorn University. Gripped by nervous excitement, young Muslim singers from Thailand's conflict-plagued south gather for choir practice ahead of a performance of a lifetime -- for Pope Francis himself, who is in Bangkok as part of his whirlwind Asia tour. Joe Freeman / AFP

Pope urges respect for prostitutes at crowded Bangkok mass

Nov 21, 2019 - 10:18 PM

Pope Francis focuses his message on helping vulnerable children and women 'who are victims of prostitution and human trafficking, humiliated in their essential human dignity'

POPE FRANCIS IN THAILAND. Pope Francis (C) leaves after a Holy Mass at the National Stadium in Bangkok on November 21, 2019. Photo by Mohd Rasfan/AFP

Pope Francis kicks off Asia tour with Buddhist temple visit

Nov 21, 2019 - 1:15 PM

The 82-year-old Pope is on his first visit to Buddhist majority Thailand, where he will spend 4 days before setting off to Japan

Pope Francis (C) waves as he leaves St. Louis Hospital in Bangkok on November 21, 2019. Mohd RASFAN / AFP

Thai court strips opposition frontman of MP status – judge

Nov 20, 2019 - 6:15 PM

Thanathorn Juangroongruangkit's removal as an MP means the Election Commission could bring criminal charges that carry serious penalties - including a political ban and imprisonment

NO LONGER AN MP.  In this file photo taken on March 27, 2019, Future Forward Party leader Thanathorn Juangroongruangkit arrives at a hotel for a joint press conference with other political party leaders in Bangkok. Photo by Lillian Suwanrumpha/AFP

Pope lands in Thailand, start of two-country Asian tour

Nov 20, 2019 - 1:35 PM

Francis is the first pontiff in nearly four decades to visit Thailand where the nearly 400,000-strong Catholic community makes up a little more than 0.5% of the population

THE POPE IN THAILAND. Pope Francis (C) arrives on the Military Air Terminal at Don Muang airport in Bangkok on November 20, 2019. Photo by Vincenzo Pinto/AFP

'Heart' of Catholicism in Thailand fired up for Pope Francis

Nov 20, 2019 - 11:31 AM

A Catholic holdout in a sea of Buddhist temples, St. Joseph's Church in Ayutthaya survived hardship, occasional hostility and war

In this photo taken on November 17, 2019, peope walk past St. Joseph church in Ayutthaya. Setting foot in a powerful Buddhist kingdom more than three centuries ago, fearless European missionaries built a church on the banks of a river - the birthplace of a Catholic community in Thailand which eagerly awaits the arrival of Pope Francis on November 20. PANUPONG CHANGCHAI / AFP

Pope to visit Hiroshima on anti-nuclear weapon mission

Nov 18, 2019 - 11:55 AM

Pope Francis, 82, flies to Asia on November 19, where he will first visit Thailand and then Japan, including the two cities destroyed by devastating US nuclear attacks during the Second World War

POPE FRANCIS. Pope Francis (C) has a lunch with people on November 17, 2019, at the Paul VI audience hall in Vatican, to mark the World Day of the Poor. Photo by Vincenzo Pinto/AFP

French tourist killed taking selfie at Thai waterfall

Nov 15, 2019 - 2:49 PM

The 33-year-old man falls from Na Mueang 2 waterfall, the same spot where a Spanish tourist died in a fall in July, Lieutenant Phuvadol Viriyavarangkul of the island's tourist police says

SELFIE GONE WRONG. In this photo released by Na Mueang Rescue Unit, Koh Samui Municipality on November 15, 2019 and taken on November 14, rescuers recover the body of French tourist from a Na Mueang 2 waterfall in Koh Samui island. Handout photo by Na Mueang Rescue Unit Koh Samui Municipality/AFP

Thai cuisine restaurants get two Michelin stars for first time at home

Nov 12, 2019 - 11:15 PM

This is the first time the leading guide has awarded the accolade to local establishments offering Thai cuisine

TWO STARS. Thai chef Chumpol (third from left) holds the two Michelin stars award during a ceremony in Bangkok on November 11. Photo by Stephane Delfour/AFP

Thailand won't allow Cambodian opposition leader to transit – prime minister

Nov 07, 2019 - 12:26 PM

The Thai leader says: 'We will not allow anti-government (parties) to use Thailand as a base,' an apparent reference to Cambodian opposition Sam Rainsy

Cambodia's main opposition Cambodia National Rescue Party president Sam Rainsy arrives at a conference room to speak to the press in Tokyo on November 10, 2015. The leader of Cambodia's main opposition on November 10 called for a peaceful transfer of power in elections in 2018, encouraged by a historic vote in nearby Myanmar. Cambodia has been ruled for three decades by Hun Sen, frequently accused by rights groups of stamping out dissent and ignoring human rights abuses. AFP PHOTO / Yoshikazu TSUNO / AFP PHOTO / YOSHIKAZU TSUNO

Thailand drug suspects run to ground days after daring escape

Nov 06, 2019 - 11:00 PM

The couple is facing death penalty charges for drug trafficking, although sentences are rarely carried out

15 killed in suspected rebel attacks in Thailand's south – army

Nov 06, 2019 - 11:55 AM

Militants strike two checkpoints in Yala province manned by civil defense volunteers, opening fire on them as a group of villagers stopp to talk, southern army spokesman Pramote Prom-in says

ATTACK. Members of a bomb squad inspect the site of an attack by suspected Muslim militants in Yala province on November 6, 2019. Photo by Tuwaedaniya Meringing/AFP)

Huawei pushes 5G in Southeast Asia, brushing off 'tech war' with U.S.

Nov 03, 2019 - 3:53 PM

Thailand and the Philippines have shrugged off cybersecurity warnings in a rush to exploit the ultra-fast 5G network promised by China's biggest smartphone maker, while Vietnam has edged away from Huawei

HUAWEI 5G. Illuminated Huawei and 5G signs are on display during the 10th Global mobile broadband forum hosted by Chinese tech giant Huawei in Zurich on October 15, 2019. File photo by Stefan Wermuth/AFP

Thai cave reopens for visitors after Wild Boars rescue

Nov 02, 2019 - 4:17 PM

Guests are not allowed beyond the entrance for now, where they can peer into the cave opening

REOPENED. This handout photo taken on November 1, 2019 and released by Chiang Rai Provincial Public Relations Office shows people visiting Tham Luang cave in the Mae Sai district of Thailand's northern Chiang Rai province. Photo handout / AFP / Chiang Rai Provincial Public Relations Office