Get more with myNEWS
A personalised news feed of stories that matter to you
Learn more
Reungkrai Leekijwatana, an official with the Thai Raksa Chart party, holds a copy of Prime Minister Prayuth Chan-Ocha's candidacy application as he speaks to members of the media at the office of the Election Commission in Bangkok, Thailand. Photo: Bloomberg

Asia Briefing: Thai election analysis and the Russians of Pattaya

  • Thai election tumult: what happened? And what can we expect?
  • Meanwhile, in Pattaya’s notorious red light district, we reveal a different sort of Russian revolution that is transforming the town in surprising ways

Join the team from the Asia desk at the South China Morning Post as they take a deep-dive into two contrasting, but pertinent aspects of contemporary Thailand.

Tom Sturrock, Bhavan Jaipragas and Meaghan Tobin discuss the colour and chaos of the election campaign leading up to Thailand’s March 24 vote. They then head south of the capital for a take on life in Pattaya, where the Russian-speaking community set the record straight regarding the city’s unsavoury reputation.

Bhavan has been covering Thailand's uniquely unpredictable, uniquely opaque politics and explains the developments of recent days. When Princess Ubolratana Rajakanya threw her hat in the ring, becoming a candidate for prime minister, it shaped a transformational moment in Thai politics. It was, however, fleeting: her brother King Maha Vajiralongkorn vetoed her candidacy hours later. What does that mean for the junta, for the monarchy, for the Shinawatra clan? What of Thais hoping for a return to democracy? We try to make sense of it all.

Pattaya has been described as a giant open-air brothel: it is a notorious hub for Thailand's sex industry. This unwanted reputation was apparently confirmed last year when a group of Russian “sex trainers” were arrested and deported for running “sex seminars” in the resort city. Listeners may not be aware that the city is also home to a highly visible Russian community. Contrary to the stereotype, they mostly live ordinary, productive lives.

Listen or subscribe now on iTunes, Spotify or Stitcher.