“Recycling” Kra-tongs: Business or Theft?

Should “recycling” Kra-tongs be considered a business move or theft?

A photo captured by a Thai internet user has gone viral on social media. The picture depicts a woman with a giant bucket full of Kra-tongs. The caption reads “Hurts my feelings. My Kra-tong didn’t even get far before it was picked up to be sold to someone else again. These vendors purposely take advantage of our Thai traditions and customs. I saw a tourism police nearby, and asked him if this is legal and he said yes. He said it’s our choice whether or not we want to buy from these vendors. I guess on the bright side we are supporting recycling and clean rivers.”


As a response, some users suggest that people should go to deeper rivers or even beaches to avoid such incidents. Some suggested that such act should be considered theft and that these vendors should be reported. Traditionally, Thais believe that releasing Kra-tongs once a year represents an act of respect and apology to the goddess of River. It is commonly believed that doing so will also take away bad karma as well. Thus, some comments believe that these vendors are ultimately taking bad karma upon themselves when they pick up these Kra-tongs.


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