Yachts and Champagne
Signs of the resilience of wealth are dotted across Bangkok.
Houses worth between $1-5 million are selling well, according to real estate agency CBRE Thailand, while condos at the super-plush Mandarin Oriental are being snapped up despite the $14,200-a-square-meter price tag — pricier than the swankiest west London postcodes.
A trawl through the Instagram accounts of Thailand’s ‘Hi-So’ (High Society) set also reveals a glamour scene unruffled by the new normal — yoga sessions on pristine beaches, yacht parties and champagne receptions.
“They’ve got the money and they can spend it any time,” says Naphalai Areesorn, editor-in-chief of fashion and society magazine Tatler Thailand.
The allure of being “Hi-So” runs through Thai society, she said, explaining that money — especially the show of having it — is a shortcut into Thailand’s elite, which was once defined by having the right “breeding” and education.
“There’s still very much a class system here… maybe it comes from a feudalistic history,” she said.
Entering High Society — and staying there — is very much “an aspiration” for many in Bangkok “whether you can afford it or not”.
PHOTOS BY LILLIAN SUWANRUMPHA/afp