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Wildlife

Bangkok’s Gone to the Dogs…

Many foreigners will tell you that Thailand’s gone to the dogs, and that tourists are increasingly finding better (and cheaper) vacations in Vietnam or the Philippines.

But when I first came to Bangkok I soon realised that the place had literally gone to the dogs.

There are dogs EVERYWHERE in Bangkok. I presume the rest of Thailand is the same.

Here’s one lazy bitch I spotted at the entrance to one of the Sukhumvit BTS SkyTrain stations:

Lazy Soi dog at the entrance to a Bangkok skytrain station. I guess this one's too lazy to move out of the way...

Lazy Soi dog at the entrance to a Bangkok skytrain station. I guess this one’s too lazy to move out of the way…

It’s common to see these so-called Soi dogs lounging around the place during the heat of the day. In the evening they’re often a bit more active, and often wander round to the nearest street cooking stall, or go to bother diners at outside restaurants.

If you’re in Bangkok it’s best to avoid these dogs – you don’t know what diseases it’s carrying, and it might even have rabies.

At night the strays often roam in packs, and it’s best to avoid these, especially if you trespass on their territory. Using a stick to shoo them away is often the best policy – that’s what the locals do anyway.

Not all of these dogs are even strays. All of the Soi dogs in my neighbourhood actually have owners, they just let their dogs out to do their toilet business in the roads rather than in their own back yards. Nice.

Stray dogs are a nuisance, but an even bigger annoyance is the dawn/evening chorus of dogs barking. In fact in my neighbourhood dogs bark pretty much 24/7.

And every time they settle, some truck or bicycle with a loud horn or musical device comes round to disturb them all again. This ice cream vendor has a particularly irritating tune to announce his arrival in the neighbourhood:

Bangkok ice cream vendor doing the rounds. Apparently this franchise operates throughout SE Asia...

Bangkok ice cream vendor doing the rounds. Apparently this franchise operates throughout SE Asia…

I howl just as much as the dogs when I hear this tune for the nth time in a single day. This guy is wasting his time coming round to my neighbourhood anyway. Nobody has kids here, just dogs.

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