I saw this article today from BBC and wanted to share it with you.  From my experiences in Bangkok and even in Khorat, I agree with it.  I wrote a little about it in my post “City of Contrasts.” Here a portion of the BBC story and the link to the full story featuring the incident that sparked this article:

Thailand has one of the most unequal distributions of wealth anywhere on the planet, despite some recent improvements.

And that yawning gap between rich and poor is most openly on view in Bangkok, where ostentatious displays of wealth are commonplace alongside the grinding poverty experienced by millions of migrant workers who have come from the countryside.

A man walks past a Louis Vuitton shop in central Bangkok
High-end shops cater to the wealthy in central Bangkok

Luxury cars costing more than the entire annual income of a village rub up against the battered carts of street vendors.

New shopping centres and apartment blocks are crowding out what little open space remains in the city, projects that help the rich get even richer.

It should come as no surprise that it is in Bangkok that a five-star hotel is offering its 50 highest-spending guests what it calls the meal of a lifetime, prepared by a team of Michelin-starred chefs and preceded by the guests being flown by executive jet to a village in eastern Thailand to witness a little poverty before tucking into their 10-course feast.

Total cost: around US$300,000 (£150,000). The event has barely raised an eyebrow in Thailand, but caused such an uproar elsewhere over its questionable taste that many top chefs in France have decided to boycott it.

Clothes hang outside a ramshackle house surrounded by skyscrapers
Bangkok’s architecture showcases the uneasy coexistence of rich and poor

What is so striking about Thailand’s inequality is how little visible social tension there is.

For the most part people appear to accept their lot without resentment. Some put this down to Buddhist concepts of fate and karma, others, to Thailand’s deep-rooted sense of hierarchy, with the king at its apex.”

 

Full Article HERE.

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