While I feel like a complete wimp for saying this, the temperature is freezing in Thailand. Okay, well not actually ‘freezing’, at least in Bangkok, but much much colder than I’ve ever known Bangkok temperature in my more than 14 years of living here.
According to World Time Server, at 6pm today it is currently 76 degrees and cooling fast. Last night, it was 62 degrees at 3am. Considering I’m used to 95 degrees and above during the day and the high 80s throughout the night, it’s no wonder I’ve been wrapped in a silk shawl and nursing cups of hot tea all day. Last night, as I don’t own blankets, I slept in my coat.
Cold temperatures in Bangkok are unusual
The cold temperatures in Bangkok are unusual as well as they have lasted so long. ‘Winter’ in Bangkok is usually no more than three or four days – and that’s when the temperature drops down to the 80s during the day, and 70s at night.
But to see temperatures in the 70s during the day and 60s at night for more than two weeks in Bangkok this month is highly unusual.
Northern Thailand seeing freezing temperatures
In northern Thailand, they’re getting even worse cold temperatures than we’ve had in Bangkok, with some Thai provinces reporting temperatures as low as 34 degrees fahrenheit, or just above freezing. To say that’s unusually cold in tropical Thailand, yes, that’s an understatement, and easily understandable why the Thai government have named these provinces as disaster areas.
Why can Thais not cope with cold weather?
Of course, people in colder countries will pooh-pooh the Thais for complaining about the cold during the current cold spell in Thailand. What these people don’t understand are three things.
The first being, when you live all year round in temperatures above 90 degrees, your body has a hard time coping when the temperature plummets almost 30 degrees.
Secondly, most Thais don’t own warm clothing as it’s never ever needed in Thailand, so a poor Thai isn’t going to invest in a coat or sweaters just in case the weather turns cold, when that money could put food on the table for their family.
Finally, most Thai houses do not have any type of heating and portable heaters in Thailand can be difficult to find and expensive to buy. Imagine living in the UK or America, with temperatures at 34 degrees fahrenheit and having no way to heat your home, and then you’ll understand how cold it is for Thais.
These are all reasons why cold temperatures in Thailand of this magnitude are for this long a period of time can be trying for the Thais and, in some cases, downright dangerous.
As for me, while I’m not Thai, I also don’t have any form of heating in my apartment so when the temperature drops to 63 degrees tonight, I’m forced to drink more hot tea and cover myself with my coat.
Sure, I could run out and spend money on a blanket but, this being Thailand, it will probably be 90 degrees again by the beginning of next week and what a waste of money that would be. My coat will do just fine until then.