I used to buy magazines all the time and had numerous subscriptions when I lived in America. But, in Thailand, so many of them are too darn expensive. Many of the foreign-language magazines cost between 400 and 500 baht with a few approaching the thousand-baht level! There are a few bilingual Thai-English monthlies published here that are much more reasonable in price. The English translations, however are often extremely poor and very few of the articles actually have an English counterpart.
There is one magazine that I do purchase every month despite it being completely in Thai. It’s only 25 baht and the pictures within certainly justify the cost. I keep planning to ask one of the girls on the front desk at my school to help me read some of it but I never do.
The magazine is simply called Stamps & Collectibles (renamed at the end of 2011 from Philatelic Magazine) and is, I think, published by Thailand Post. It’s loaded with details about new Thai stamp issues, ordering information about the myriad of commemorative postmarks that can be obtained here, a kid’s page, articles about past Thai and foreign stamp issues, etc.
This year, the issues of Stamps & Collectibles have each contained a couple of bound-in postcards picturing late 19th century/early 20th century Thai stamps and vintage photographs of post offices, pillar boxes, etc. Presumably, these are in recognition of the THAILAND 2013 World Stamp Exhibition held in Bangkok a couple of months ago. That event coincided with the 130th anniversary of the first Siamese stamps and the 10th anniversary of the establishment of Thailand Post Company.
Each issue also has brief coverage of Thai numismatics (coins and currency) and the thriving amulet market. Magazine racks in Thailand (even those at 7-Eleven) are filled with magazines about collecting the Buddhist amulets! Inexplicably, the past several issues of Stamps & Collectibles has included a detailed profile of a different American crooner from the 1950’s or 1960’s. This month’s featured entertainer is Andy Williams.
While most of the magazine — text and photos alike — are printed oddly in an ugly shade of green, the middle eight pages are always in full-color. This is often my first glimpse of Thailand’s upcoming new stamp issues in all of their available formats (singles, mini-sheets, first day covers, etc.). It’s too bad that I can’t read a lick of it!