living in the ‘Land of Smiles’

Chiang Mai, Thailand

Chiang Mai Voted One of the World’s Top Cities (that’s right, AGAIN!)

Via: City News – Chiang Mai

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The city came in at 21st, while Bangkok was ranked 13th in the Top 25 Cities in the World category of the Readers Choice Awards 2014.

“The culinary capital of Thailand, Chiang Mai’s laid-back vibe is a world away from the hustle and bustle of Bangkok and the crowded beach resorts of the south,” according to the award announcement. “There are several excellent cooking schools and a popular market scene whose standout is the night bazaar on Chang Klan road – the place to try khao soi, a steaming bowl of yellow curry noodles.”

Six Thai resorts appear in the Top 20 Resorts in Asia category, including the Four Seasons Tented Camp Golden Triangle Chiang Rai in second place and the Anantara Chiang Mai Resort and Spa at eighth. The Four Seasons Resort Chiang Mai is in 20th place.

http://chiangmaicitynews.com/news.php?id=4601

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November 6, 2014 Posted by | Uncategorized | , , , | Leave a comment

(2 of 2)Thailand – Immigration authorities LOOSEN Grip

Via: City News – Chiang Mai

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Expats and tourists will not have to carry their passports on them at all times, it was reported today, following earlier reports that laws requiring foreigners to do so will soon be strictly enforced.

Police Colonel Voravat Amornvivat, a senior official at the Immigration Bureau’s headquarters in Bangkok, told Thaivisa.com that he wanted to reassure the expat community.

Tourists will not have to carry their original passports and expats can use a Thai driving licence or photocopy of their passport as a form of identification, he was quoted as saying.

“Making all foreigners in Thailand carry their original passports with them would be very difficult,” he said. “It’s about being reasonable and using common sense.”

The latest news comes amid often conflicting reports as immigration authorities crack down on visa overstayers and those who make regular ‘visa runs’.

http://www.chiangmaicitynews.com/news.php?id=4313

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Another example of a Thai SNAFU‘Situation Normal, ALL Fucked Up’!

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August 1, 2014 Posted by | Uncategorized | , , , | Leave a comment

(1 of 2) Thailand – Immigration Authorities Tighten Grip

Via: City News – Chiang Mai

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The Immigration Bureau in Hua Hin has announced that it will enforce rules requiring foreigners to carry a valid photo ID at all times and report within 24 hours of moving to a new address, sparking fears that these will soon be enforced nationwide.

The rules apply to both tourists and expats, Thaivisa reported, adding that they are likely to be enforced across the country.

The ID documents deemed valid are a Thai driving licence, an original passport, or a copy of the passport verified and stamped by local immigration authorities. Failure to carry one of the above may lead to a fine of 2,000 baht.

Another rule on the books states that foreigners must report to police or immigration when they visit another province and stay for more than 48 hours. However, these rules are rarely enforced.

Many expats voiced concern about the move on the Thaivisa website, pointing out that the rules were open to abuse by corrupt police officers and would discourage foreign tourists.

http://www.chiangmaicitynews.com/news.php?id=4303

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August 1, 2014 Posted by | Uncategorized | , , , | Leave a comment

Pattaya – Wheelchair Way Construction Completed

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Soi Panead chang alley, Pattaya Daily News reporters had inspected a wheelchair way which had just been finished. The wheelchair route is on the left hand side of the road and is about 1 metre in width. Also the road has been raised in certain places where they can cross the road. The one crossing is opposite the North Pattaya junction.

Upon inspecting the wheel chair route which has just been it was still dangerous (yeah, you think?) some areas near construction sites and where people had parked their cars on the route which has caused the wheel chair users to cross the road in very dangerous areas.

Mr.Suppaluk Wongyapeng a 25 year old wheel chair user said he had used the new wheel chair way and had lived in Pattaya for 3 years. Previously wheel chair users had a lot of difficulty moving around the streets because some side streets had a lot of cars and motorbikes parked in them.

HOWEVER, the officers had constructed the new wheelchair way but some people still drove too fast and parked their cars on the wheelchair way.

http://www.pattayadailynews.com/pattaya-news/wheelchair-way-construction-completed-pattaya/

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personal thought:

After nine-years living in Thailand, I am convinced of the following:

1. IF you want to be handicapped, walk on a ‘handicap sidewalk’.

2. IF you want to get your ass run over, ride your wheelchair on the ‘wheelchair way’.

GUARAN-F’N-TEED!

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July 30, 2014 Posted by | Uncategorized | , , , , | Leave a comment

Thailand – Overstay Penalties Officially Announced

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CityNews – The Bangkok Immigration website has posted a notice outlining the new rules regarding overstay violations. The online announcement came today, July 22, and is further confirmation of the junta’s crackdown on foreigners illegally staying in Thailand.

According to Immigration Bureau, the most severe penalty is a 10-year ban on entering Thailand, which will be handed to those found overstaying in the country for five years or more

Lt-Gen Thatchai Pitaneelaboot, commander of Immigration Bureau’s Region 6 division, said: “It is time to stop. If you live in a country, you respect its rules.” He also stated that those caught overstaying in Thailand can expect no right of appeal to be granted.

On the other hand, foreigners who have arrived in Thailand on a visa-exemption entry will be able to extend their visa exemption period by 30 days instead of the current 7 days, starting from August 29. That means foreigners will receive a total visa-exemption stay of 60 days and the fee will remain the same (1,900 baht).

These new rules are now being implemented at immigration checkpoints and immigration offices nationwide.

http://www.chiangmaicitynews.com/news.php?id=4268

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bye-bye, bye-bye!

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July 24, 2014 Posted by | Uncategorized | , , , , | Leave a comment

Thailand – Tourist Authority launches COUP in order to attract tourists from Europe and M.E.

Via: City News – Chiang Mai

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The Tourism Authority of Thailand (TAT) is preparing to launch a range of tactical campaigns and special tourism activities for the Europe and Middle East markets to retain tourists’ confidence and ensure the growth of the country’s tourism industry, as part of the plans to combat recent challenges and setbacks.

Mr. Thawatchai Arunyik, TAT Governor said, “During the beginning of this year, Thailand faced several volatile factors including the ongoing domestic political situation (really?), but we are pleased to see that the overall European market remained strong and positive although the Middle East market turned quite stagnant. Given the results, we recognise the need for us to be even more proactive in our strategies and activities to make sure that Thailand remains a must-visit destination among travellers from these two markets, as well as other markets.”
Read more, HERE:
http://www.chiangmaicitynews.com/news.php?id=3888
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Personal thought:
Perhaps Thailand can become the ‘Crimea of Asia’?
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May 23, 2014 Posted by | Uncategorized | , , , | Leave a comment

Thailand – End of the road for visa runs – bye bye!

Via: Coconuts Bangkok

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Foreigners who have been exploiting the visa rules are in for a shock. Immigration police have said that people will be allowed to continue to re-enter Thailand on three consecutive “walk-in” visas until August 12. After completing three consecutive stays on visa exemption status, foreigners must obtain a visa from a Royal Thai Embassy or consulate to be able to re-enter Thailand.

Any foreigner who completes even one visa run in order to re-enter the country on visa-exemption status is to have his passport stamped “O-I”, to show they had already been “out and in” from/to Thailand.

Any foreigner attempting to re-enter Thailand after August 12 with a passport stamped “O-I” is to be refused re-entry.

Only in special cases will people be permitted to re-enter Thailand on consecutive trips on visa-exemption status, according to the Phuket Gazette.

The clampdown does not affect holders of non-immigrant visas or holders of tourist visas who still have remaining entries permitted on their legal visas.

It will be enforced at land borders and airports.

http://bangkok.coconuts.co/2014/05/13/end-road-visa-runs

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GOOD RIDDANCE!

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May 13, 2014 Posted by | Uncategorized | , , , | Leave a comment

Thailand – Attack On Anti-Government Protesters Turns Deadly

Via: Huffington Post

Thailand Politics

Gunmen in a pickup truck attacked an anti-government protest in eastern Thailand, killing a child and wounding dozens of other people, as violence in the country’s 3-month-old political crisis spread outside the capital, officials said Sunday.

The attack took place Saturday night in Trat province, where about 500 protesters demanding the resignation of Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra were holding a rally near food stalls where people were dining. Trat is about 300 kilometers (180 miles) east of the capital, Bangkok.

The attack was the latest in a string of protest-related violent incidents roiling Thailand over the past three months, in which at least 16 people have been killed and hundreds hurt. The protesters want Yingluck to quit to make way for an appointed interim government to implement anti-corruption reforms, but she has refused.

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2014/02/23/bangkok-protests-thailand-attack_n_4843104.html

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February 24, 2014 Posted by | Uncategorized | , , , , | Leave a comment

Chiang Mai – Chinese Tourists (See Photo) Behaviour Upsetting The Local People

Via: Pattaya Daily News

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From the popularity of famous Chinese film, Lost in Thailand, lots of  Chinese tourists have descended on  Chiang mai.. However, recently there have been many complaints about the inappropriate behaviour of some groups of Chinese tourists  who visited  Chiang mai university and did not pay respect to the place. They also invaded and damaged government property and trespassed on overnight camping sites  at Ang Kaew, and writing Chinese messages on the concrete floor near Angkaeo. Recently, the University has told all tourists that want to go onto  the campus that they have to show their passport, ID cards, and redeem tickets to the  University for the tidiness .

The total number of complaints  reached 2,220 between  February, 4-10, with 80% of the complaints about Chinese  tourists posing a nuisance to the community , such as making noise, overtaking the cue, pushing other people, smoking in prohibited areas, spitting on the floor, causing disorder by not respecting the rules and regulations of the attractions ,including public Government , even in universities.

On websites  there has been  a lot of criticism of Chinese behaviour such as getting naked and taking a bath in a fountain in front of a famous mall in the central of Chiangmai,

– talking too loud everywhere

– riding motorcycles dangerously

– parking cars anywhere they wanted

– using toilets but not cleaning it afterwards , even in public not just in hotels.

http://www.pattayadailynews.com/pattaya-news/2014/02/16/chinese-tourists-behaviour-upsetting-the-local-people-in-chiangmai/

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February 17, 2014 Posted by | Uncategorized | , , , , , | Leave a comment

Thailand – Tit for Tat: mulls end to free visas

Via: Coconuts Bangkok

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This holiday season someone’s feeling the old bah, humbug!

To punish others collecting visa fees from its citizens, Thailand’s government will consider ending free-on-arrival visas for people from 17 nations.

The Immigration Bureau has formally requested the Foreign Ministry end the longstanding practice which provided free visas for arriving Australians, Britons, Americans, Germans, French, Swedes, Canadians, Dutch, Italians, Swiss, Danes, Finns, Norwegians, Israelis, Emiratis, Spaniards and Kiwis.

Why? Thai immigration officials complain it’s unfair those nations require Thais to pay visa fees, and believe the kingdom should reciprocate in kind.

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Another reason to charge visa fees is the familiar “quality travelers” (yeah, like the Russians and Chinese – brilliant) argument.

Fees would filter out criminals and cons seeking to conduct their nefarious deeds from Thai soil, according to immigration commissioner Lt. Gen. Panu Kerdlarpphol.

Panu suggested two possible structures: A flat, THB1,000 ($30.33 USD) fee, or better yet, charge them the same as their government’s fees, which range from THB750 to THB3,900.

http://bangkok.coconuts.co/2013/12/23/tit-tat-thailand-mulls-end-free-visas

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Related story:

“Teflon Thailand” is starting to lose tourists to its political chaos

It took a while, but Thailand’s political troubles are finally taking a bite out of its giant tourism sector, which along with the broader economy has been largely immune to the country’s periodic bouts of unrest.

A million tourists—400,000 international and 600,000 domestic—have stayed home while the country has been wracked by massive street protests over the past several weeks, which coincided with the peak year-end tourism season.

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Read more, HERE:

http://qz.com/156316/teflon-thailand-is-starting-to-lose-tourists-to-its-political-chaos/#156316/teflon-thailand-is-starting-to-lose-tourists-to-its-political-chaos/

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December 27, 2013 Posted by | Uncategorized | , , , , , | Leave a comment