11 July 2024

A picture posted on social media of two foreigners sunbathing in Sanam Luang, in front of the Grand Palace, has drawn mixed reactions, with some Thai netizens suggesting that the pair may not have been aware of the site’s significance.

They argue that it is the duty of officials to inform them that the site is not meant for such purposes, otherwise more people will do the same.

A commentator wrote that for foreigners, it is usual to relax or sunbathe in public parks, so they may have assumed, without signage informing them otherwise, that they could do the same in Sanam Luang.

The viral photo was initially posted on Facebook by Kamron Petprayoon, with a caption stating, ‘UNSEEN IN BANGKOK’ and emphasising that ‘This is not Pattaya.’ The hashtag accompanying the post read, “Sunbathing where the World will remember.”

Kamron did not mention whether he took the photo himself or when it was captured. Sanam Luang is traditionally used for royal ceremonies, festivals and events of national significance.

Some netizens claimed to be offended by the incident, stating that foreigners should check the local traditions and sensitivities of the country they visit.

They regard Sanam Luang and the Grand Palace as significant places, where everyone should maintain a level of respect. Some even suggested that the sunbathers should have been arrested.

A similar incident took place at Chiang Mun Temple, in the northern province of Chiang Mai, where two foreign females enjoyed the sun inside the temple compound. A tuk-tuk driver noticed them, took photos and posted them on social media.

Photo : Chiang Mai News

The photos quickly went viral. A senior monk at the temple learned about the incident and had a temple official inform them that a temple is not the place for such activity. The foreigners understood and left.

Marisa Chimprabha