Tom Yum Kung Studies: Lessons (Un)Learned

Things to do
3 out of 5 stars
Tom Yum Kung Studies: Lessons (Un)Learned

The Museum Siam commemorates the 20th anniversary of Asia’s worst economics crisis with a creative retrospective exhibition

Everything Nineties is cool again, but if there’s one thing from this decade we wouldn’t risk repeating, it’s the Tom Yum Kung Crisis, the 1997 financial collapse that was dubbed as one of Asia’s worst-ever economic catastrophes. The crisis started in Thailand when the then government floated the baht due to huge foreign debt, overspending in the private sector and lack of foreign currency. The collapse of the baht affected the stock markets and economies in other countries in Asia, and raised fears around the world.

We can still remember these disconsolate times – our parents suffered from debt, the rich became poor and the news reported of people jumping off buildings.

This year marks the 20th anniversary of the crisis.

The Museum Siam remembers the event with a walk-through exhibition that displays everything you need to know about the crisis, from the cause to its eventual results. These are depicted through cartoons and infographics in a classroom-themed room—as if saying that the lessons learned from this catastrophe is something we must all learn to avoid history from repeating itself.


What did we learn?

* Before the crisis, Thailand was ranked as one of Asia’s rising economic stars, following Singapore, with an annual economic growth of 8 to 13 percent.

* The last payment to IMF in 2003 wasn’t the end of the Tom Yum Kung Crisis and Thailand is now free from all debts. It was just part of the massive amount of total debt. Thai government spent more than 1.4 trillion baht to save the ass of many local financial institutions.

* Since 1999, only 33.61 percent of the country’s total debt has been paid — 904,600 just for the interest — leaving B930,288 million to be paid

* Last year in 2016, we paid B40.2 billion just for interest, which simply means B110,136,986 per day


Note: The cartoons don’t have English translations so if you can’t read Thai, we suggest going with or bringing a Thai friend.



By: Top Koaysomboon


1 person listening