Children in rural Northern Thailand are keeping an ear out for an engine sound from a motorbike driven by the local legend “Santa Claus of Rayong.”
Thailand’s Old Saint Nicholas goes from province to province every December, driving his motorbike filled with toys and handing gifts out to children.
64-year-old Yongut Sangdee says he loves spreading Christmas cheer and joy. It’s his passion and he will continue to do it until he’s physically incapable.
He has been the “Santa Claus of Rayong” for 27 years.
This year the gifts are a little different due to the pandemic. Along with toys, dolls, sweaters, and blankets, Yongut will be handing out face masks and hand sanitizer.
In May, Santa of Rayong helped set up a roadside food pantry to help those with financial problems.
A local laundry shop owner even helped out by cleaning the donated toys. Many people in the community help by making donations and buying toys to be handed to children.
Santa of Rayong is handing out toys to children in Chiang Mai, Nakhon Sawan, Chiang Rai, and Mae Hong Son.