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 Thai Life

 2010
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12th October   

Green Book...

Melon farming Fresh
A website
update service

See further details
Melon Farming Fresh

 

Extending list of items for traffic police to check
Link Here
thai motorcycle cop

  Can I see your
papers and green stuff

Police checks on motorcyclists have always been very common but as people comply more with the obvious transgressions, such as not wearing a crash helmet, so the police are checking for more minor misdemeanors.

The checklist has been extended beyond the usual ID/drivers licence/Tax/Insurance.

Cyclists are now checked for ownership (or presumably rental papers as appropriate).

Ownership of a motorbike is laid out in a green book and cyclists are required by existing law to carry photocopies of the relevant pages showing ownership details and tax payment history.

24th September   

Overstaying Your Welcome...

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Overstayers liable to jail after just 3 weeks, and certain for jail after 6 weeks
Link Here

man in Thai jailAllegedly tired of overstaying foreigners arriving at Suvarnabhumi airport with a valid air ticket and the maximum fine of 20,000 baht in their hands, the Immigration Department is now arresting and jailing people before permitting them to leave Thailand.

Anybody who has overstayed a valid visa in Thailand beyond a period of six weeks (42 days) is no longer permitted to simply turn up with the cash and an air ticket and leave the country after filling in a few forms and handing over the wedge.

People on overstay of less than three weeks (21 days) are still able to arrive at the airport with the correct amount of folding stuff, pay the fine due of 500 Baht per day and leave Thailand.

The grey area is for those whose overstay falls in the period between three and six weeks; that is, between 22 and 41 days. They can potentially have a problem. It is being suggested anyone whose overstay falls into this time frame should be aware that it will be up to the Immigration officer and his superiors at an airport or land border crossing to decide whether to detain the recalcitrant foreigner or permit him, or her, to leave unhindered, after payment of the overstay fine has been levied.

Law

Under the Immigration Act 2522:

Section 81 : Any alien who stay in the Kingdom without permission or with permission expired or revoked shall be punished with imprisonment not exceeding two years or a fine not exceeding 20,000 Baht or both.

  • Overstay 1 - 21 days: Pay a fine 500 Baht/day at Airport/land border
  • Overstay 22 - 41 days: Pay a fine 500 Baht/day, possible arrest/detention, deportation, possible blacklisting
  • Overstay 42 days or more: Pay a fine of 20,000 Baht, arrest/detention, deportation, possible blacklisting

Update: Not So Dogmatic

14th October 2010

It seems That the story hasn't really panned out and the Thai authorities aren't dogmatically imprisoning overstayers as suggested. However the law is accurate and overstayers could be imprisoned.

29th July   

Post Redirection...

Pattaya's new post collection office
Link Here

post collection officeMany thanks to pattayarag for posting the location of the new post office parcel collection point.

Previously this meant a trip to the Naklua Post Office but now the new Pattaya City Post Office is on Sukhumvit about 1km from the Floating Market.

You have to drive on Sukhumvit towards Sattahip until you reach the Floating Market. You then take a u-turn and drive approx. 1km back towards Pattaya. You will see the new Post Office on your left side. Look out for the flags.

18th July   

Dangerous Thailand...

Brits are more likely to die, be arrested, or need consular help, in Thailand than any other foreign country
Link Here

FCO logoThe UK Foreign Office annual report, British Behaviour Abroad , is based on cases reported to its global staff between April 2009 and March 2010.

The report shows that overall most Britons (5,283) needed consular assistance in Spain. However, as a proportion of British visitors and residents, most assistance was needed by Britons in Thailand (957), Pakistan (273) and Cyprus (736).

There were 5,930 reported deaths of UK citizens abroad, including natural causes, accidental deaths and unlawful killings, compared with 5,629 deaths the previous year. Proportionally, most Britons died in Thailand (292) Germany (563) and Cyprus (323).

According to the Foreign Office figures, there were 2,012 Britons arrested in Spain last year, significantly more than in any other country. But when taking visitor and resident numbers into consideration, proportionally Thailand is the country where the highest number of Britons were arrested (249) followed by the United Arab Emirates (265) and the US (1,367).

18th July   

Dangerous Thailand...

And if you need consular help, here's the new British Honorary Consul
Link Here

howard millerMany people who have visited Pattaya (or just observed from a distance via Bravo TV) will recognise Howard Miller.

He is noted as the main man of the Tourist Police Assistants who hang round sorting problems on the Beach Road end of Walking Street.

Or perhaps you may know of his Pattaya One News website that reports on crime in Pattaya.

Anyway he has been appointed the new British Honorary Consul for Pattaya and will now hang round in the Jomtien Soi 5 office.

Update: Resigned

26th October 2011.

Howard Miller resigned as the British Honorary Consul for Pattaya. The role is being redefined as full time and Howard did not want to become a full time consul.

6th June   

Updated: ATM Fees...

All Thai banks charge 150 Baht for withdrawal using foreign card
Link Here

ATM30th September 2009

The cartel of all Thai banks got together and levied and extortionate charge on ATM withdrawals using foreign cards.

Each withdrawal is now charged at 150 Baht (£2.90)

Update: Exceptions

8th February 2010

AEON ATMs still have a zero charge and are located at Carrefour on Pattaya Central Road, Tesco Lotus on Pattaya North Road and HomePro on Sukumvit near Pattaya South Road junction.

Bank of Ayudhya (Krungsri) ATMs have a zero charge just for a subset of cards, namely VISA Debit Cards. Other cards are charged the usual 150 Baht. These machines are common around Pattaya.

Ray points out that asking for a cash advance on a card from a bank teller avoids the Thai ATM charge and is settled at the same exchange rate.

Update: Bank of Ayudhya Start Charging

6th June 2010

It is reported that Bank of Ayudhya (Krungsri) ATMs have now starting the extortionate 150 Baht (£3.20) ATM charge.

AEON ATMs still have a zero charge and are located at Carrefour on Pattaya Central Road, Tesco Lotus on Pattaya North Road and HomePro on Sukumvit near Pattaya South Road junction.

9th May   

Updated: Snakes and First Aid...

Poisonous snakes abound in Thailand
Link Here

kraitHundreds of Thailand's snake species are poisonous and, if you do get bitten by a snake in Thailand you should know what to do.

Preventing a Snake Bite in Thailand

As they say, an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure. If you happen to come across a snake, give it a wide berth. Snakes are more afraid of people than we are of them so the only time they bite is when they feel threatened. Walking a wide swath around a snake will almost always ensure it doesn't bite you. Leave a snake alone, and it will probably leave you alone.

Learn About Thailand's Poisonous Snakes

There are some excellent websites about Thailand's poisonous snakes, but the best place in Bangkok to learn about snakes so you can recognize them is the Thai Red Cross Society Snake Farm. Here, you can see the actual snakes in cages and pens so, if you come across one in real life in Bangkok, you'll know it's a snake who's bite can kill you.

What to Do if You Get Bitten By a Snake

  • Stay Calm - First of all, stay calm. Any undue running around or panicking simply gets your heart rate up and makes the venom travel through your body faster. Calm down, relax, take a deep breath.
     
  • Don't Pick Up the Snake - Many people try to pick up the snake or kill it so they can take it to the hospital as identification. Don't. Simply take a photograph of it, so the doctor can see what type of snake it was and, as long as it's not an immediate threat, let it just continue on its way before someone else gets bitten.
     
  • Don't Use a Tourniquet or Suck the Venom Out - Unbeknownst to popular opinion, the last thing you should do is use a tourniquet on a snake bite or attempt to suck the venom out. In most cases, this will cause more damage to the affected area and make the venom even more dangerous. Just put a bandage over the affected area and get someone to drive you to a hospital. Make sure you lie flat with your feet elevated on the way, if possible, as this will slow down the venom's progression.
     
  • Go to Any Hospital - All Thai hospitals are set up for snake bites and are somewhat experts in this field. Call ahead to the hospital emergency room and tell them you're on your way. Also describe the snake to them so they might have an idea what anti-venom to use. Once you get to a hospital, the emergency room staff will take it from there. Expect to be in the hospital for anything from 1-5 days depending on the seriousness of the bite and the type of snake that bit you.

Thais will usually kill any snake they find, especially in Bangkok. I once saw the security guard at the school I was teaching in beating a snake with a broom. He'd found it in a kindergarten classroom, and certainly wasn't taking any chances. For westerners though, the further away you are from a Thai snake the better. Most snake bites in Bangkok are survivable, buy you don't want to take the chance of being bitten so you can find out. But, if you are bitten by a snake in Bangkok, follow these quick tips and you hopefully you'll survive the incident with nothing more than a little bit of bodily damage and a story to tell.

Update: Help to get the right anti-venom by identifying the snake

See the World Health Organisation database matching images of snakes and antivenoms

With snake bites killing at least 100 000 people a year and countries facing a shortage of appropriate antivenoms, access to and information about available antivenoms is increasingly important. The World Health Organization (WHO) is publishing new guidelines for the production, regulation and control of snake antivenoms and a website with details on where the venomous snakes are located, what they look like, which antivenoms are appropriate, and where they can be obtained.

22nd March   

Air Cards...

Internet for laptops on the move
Link Here

ais air card Broadband is not yet available for mobile laptops but it is on the way.

In the meantime there are slower options available.

Air cars that work with DTAC or AIS use GPRS and/or EDGE technology with a max speed of about 130 kb/s.

This will be ok for email and simple websites but won't allow video and will probably make voice comms imprctical.

Reliability should be the same as that for the normal cellphone usage. AIS tends to be a good option out in the sticks.

A USB modem costs about 2500 Baht. A SIM card is also required at about 100 Baht.

And for internet usage there are various options. AIS offer 350 Baht for 100 hours of internet connections or 1000 Baht for a month of unlimited access.

8th February   

Kwai!...

Indonesian president objects to being likened to a water buffalo
Link Here

Water buffaloIndonesian police will enforce a ban on buffalo at street protests after the country's president expressed hurt at being compared to the animal.

Protesters stuck President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono's photo on the animal's behind at a protest last week.

They said the country's leader was big, slow and stupid like a buffalo .

Police have told the BBC that livestock will be removed from any political rallies in future.

So when Thai people mutter the word kwai at you, you will know that you are being similarly insulted

7th February   

Working the Land Permits...

Work permits now required for some farang transactions at the Land Office
Link Here

work permitEffective immediately the Banglamung Land Office requires the Managing Director signing on behalf of a Thai company to have a work permit issued by the Labor department and a Business visa issued by Immigration when signing for most transactions.

Work permits are required for foreign Managing Directors buying land, recording a Lease of more than three years or recording a mortgage on property owned by the Thai Company Limited which many foreigners use to buy property in Pattaya.

The Land Office, thank God, right now does not require a work permit for foreign Managing Directors buying property so we can rest assured on purchases until the regulations become more stringent and include the necessity for a work permit in all matters relating to the land office, said Drew Noyes of PAPPA Co.

However, when it is time to sell, you must add a Thai Managing Director to your company recorded at the Department of Business Development so the Thai can sign the papers for the sale at the Banglamung Land Offcie and other Land Offices in Thailand. You do not need to be removed as Managing Director and you do not need a work permit in this case.

Land Offices are regional and each is operated independently of the central government in some cases and so rules may vary at other land offices.

-- Pattaya Times 2010-02-07

3rd February   

Offsite: Climate Change...

Act now to stop Bangkok sinking, urge scientists
Link Here

Bangkok floodedBangkok is likely to face such severe flooding by the middle of this century that parts of the Thai capital may have to be abandoned unless radical action is taken soon, experts warn.

Subsidence and poor urban planning have resulted in the low-lying city gradually sinking between 2cm and 5cm a year, according to researchers in Thailand.

With the added problems of rising sea levels, which the UN International Panel on Climate Change estimates at between 18cm and 59cm by 2050, and coastal erosion along the Gulf of Thailand, Bangkok could soon be contending with regular flood waters up to 2m high.

For decades we have known that the city was sinking because of sediment compression, but recent research has shown that the crust of the earth itself is also depressing here, caused by tectonic events that are totally outside our control. It is a combination of factors, said Anond Snidvongs, the Southeast Asia regional research director for START (global change System for Analysis, Research and Training, a multi-national NGO).

...Read full article

1st January   

Offsite: Grovelling...

A primer
Link Here

grovellingIn western culture, there is an association of grovelling with abject servitude. People see it as abasement. But in Thailand, the ability to grovel beautifully is a mark of a cultured sensibility and good manners. And, while people here don't usually bother to think this through, the fact is that even the highest members of royalty grovel to ordinary monks, and there are a lot of ordinary monks. This cyclical nature of grovelling prevents it from being the sort of sword-and-sandal on thy knees, thou miserable cur type of thing that westerners might expect.

If you as a visitor to Thailand have been a guest at a decent hotel like the Oriental in Bangkok, and have sat down in the lobby for a coffee, you may have been amazed to find the waitress serving it to you on her hands and knees. Perhaps it surprised you that she didn't act like an oppressed peasant while grovelling, but did it as if it were the most natural thing in the world. Within this culture, it is. People who cannot grovel elegantly aren't considered insufficiently oppressed in this country; rather, they are considered ill-mannered or uneducated.

...Read full article



Thai Life  Background: Thai National Anthem An illuminating translation (Aug 2007)
 Background: The Wai To wai or not to wai...that is the question (March 2007)
 Background: Gestures Just a Matter of Interpretation (Feb 2006)
 Background: Rent Not Buy Mixed Blessings of being hitched with a Thai (Feb 2006)
 Background: Red Tape Hard lessons in expat paradise (Dec 2006)
 Background: Thai Whiskey How tax keeps Thailand tipsy (Feb 2006)
 Background: Living Up Country Stickman doesn't recommend the 'Real Thailand' life (14th Dec 2005)
 Background: The Morning After Ever woken up with LT girl only to wish you had gone ST (Nov 2005)
 Background: When Last Orders may Really be Your Last Be wary of late night violence (Aug 2005)
 Background: Use of the Word Farang ie Westerner (July 2005)
 Background: The Bangkok Hilton Life on death row (June 2005)
 Background: Opting out of the Thai Family Pension Scheme (May 2005)
 Background: Foreigner in your own House Farangs have names you know! (March 2005)
 Background: Mia Farangs Thai wives and the Thai economy (June 2004)
 Background: Why Wai? when it is better not to (Jan 2003)
 Background: Grovelling A Primer (Jan 2010)
 Background: Losing Face Stickman explains (Jan 2003)
 Background: Foreigner Prices Dual pricing (Sep 2003)
 Banking: Would you Credit it? Rules for farangs to get Thai credit cards (July 2008)
 Banking: Mortgages More on Bangkok Bank mortgages to foreigners (Aug 2005)
 Banking: Farang Friendly Banks Which banks will open a foreigner an account (July 2005)
 Books: Book Reviews About the Thai Life
 Business: Thai Time Businesses to record internet transactions using Thai Standard Time (Aug 2008)
 Buying a Bar: Renovate Your Ideas Successful Bar Ownership (March 2007) 
 Buying a Bar: Business GoGo Going Gone Why do people want get into the GoGo business (Feb 2005)
 Buying a Bar: A Bar in a Million Will people come to yours? (Nov 2005)
 Buying Property: Discouraging Property Purchase Via Company Sleeping partners to be checked for tax (May 2006)
 Buying Property: Home Affairs Buying property in Thailand (June 2004)
 Climate: Climate Change Act now to stop Bangkok sinking, urge scientists (Feb 2010)
 Crime: With so many Britons murdered in Thailand Why does our Government not warn of the dangers? (Jan 2008)
 Crime: Guns in Thailand Thailand near the top of the league in gun murder (Dec 2006)
 Driving: Don't Text and Drive Mobile phone use whilst driving now illegal (May 2008)
 Driving: Tea Junction Identifying hot spots for illegal traffic police 'tolls' (Feb 2006)
 Environment: Tap Water is Clearly Green Whereas bottled water is clearly not green (July 2007) 
 Health Box Aware Deadly box jellyfish new to Thailand (Oct 2008)
 Health: Jellyfish First Aid for jellyfish stings (June 2009)
 Health: Cancerous Joss Sticks Beware of health hazard in Thai temples (Aug 2008) 
 Health: Don't Let your Typhoid Jabs Lapse Food hygiene is not good in Thailand ( Nov 2005)
 Health: Rabies First aid after an animal bite (May 2005)
 Law: Work Permit Law Official Memo (Jan 2007)
 Law: Sex Toys Illegal to sell in Thailand but tolerated by Customs (July 2005)
 Law: Young Adults Should Avoid Thai Holidays Drinking age is 20 ( July 2005)
 Law: Farang Volunteer Tourist Police Their role in kill joy operations (June 2005)
 Law: Divorce Thai Style essential reading by Stickman (June 2004)
 Law: Age Related sex & marriage (Sept 2003)
 Marriage: Murderous Wives Bar girl and the expat: a killing foretold (Aug 2008)
 Marriage: Farangs seek the warmth of large Thai Families: Bollox conclusion from survey (April 2008) 
 Marriage: Married to Isaan How Issan ladies meet their husband (Dec 2006)
 Marriage: Pizza vs Somtam How Thai life adapts to accommodate farang husbands (Nov 2006)
 Marriage: A Good Little Earner Farang/Thai marriages a hot in Isaan (Aug 2006)
 Marriage: The Ultimate Mother In-Law Joke Paying the bride price (March 2003)
 Money: New 2 Baht Coin A bit easier to spot (March 2009)
 Motoring: Drink Drive Limits in Thailand (April 2006)
 Police Foreign Tourist Police Assistants Who are the black shirts on Walking Street? (Jan 2009)
 Politics: What's Up Down South Summary of the unrest in South Thailand (2Oct 2005)
 Politics: Who Runs Thai TV? Ex Prime Minister Thaksin, the army and Thai Rak Thai (Nov 2005)
 Tax: Tax Allowances to Raise (6th Aug)
 Travel: Airlines on Thai Time Compensation now due for severely delayed or cancelled flights  (Jan 2008)
 Travel: Hotline for Work Permit, Visa Queries Thai Immigration service (June 2006)
 Travel: Passports Last 6 Months Longer Change of immigration rules (May 2006)
 Travel: One Way Tickets and travelling to Thailand without a visa (April 2006)
 Travel: Tourist Police Overstay their Welcome Overstayers 5 day ordeal (Feb 2006)
 Travel: Surviving Homeland Customs Tips to minimise hassle on your return home (21st Dec 2005)
 Travel: Mug Shots for the Surveillance State New specification for UK passport photos (Aug 2005)
 Travel: Border Hassle Beggars Belief Beware of thieving Cambodian children (Aug 2005)
 Travel: UK Immigration are Coughing Blood Long stay UK visitors need pre-travel TB test (July 2005)
 Travel: Beware of Barcodes in suitcases and parcels to the UK (Nov 2005)
 Travel: A Customary Warning An unpleasant welcome to Thailand (Oct 2006)
 Travel Oh My Buddha! Export of Buddha Images from Thailand (Aug 2009)
 TV: Truely Bollox Work permit required to subscribe to True telephone, TV or internet (Nov 2007)
 Working: Working it Out Work Permit changes being implemented (Aug 2008)
 Working: Extending Non-Immigrant-B Visas More hoops to work in Thailand (May  2007) 
 Working: Prohibited Occupations for Farangs (Oct 2006)

Scams  Scams Thai-Anxiety on scams
 Thailand Jet Ski Scams on Facebook
 Bangkok Scams at BangkokScams.com
 The Gem Scam at 2Bangkok.com

Speak Thai  A Thai Primer an introduction to speaking Thai (10th August 2007)
 Months in Thai (15th May 2007)
 Not Enough Hours in the Day to Learn Thai (July 2006)
 Learn Online Suggested websites (March 2006)
 Sex & Slanging A few useful words and phrases (Jan 2006)
 Learn to Speak Thai in 1 Easy Lesson...and then ten years of summer school (Oct 2005)
 Use of the Word Farang ie Westerner (July 2005)

Pattaya Information  Diary Public holidays and special days in Pattaya
 Pattaya Hotels Reader reviews
 Pattaya Phone Book Emergency Numbers & Hospitals (Dec 2005)
 Pattaya Transport Bus, Train, Plane
 pattayaphotoguide.com Google Street View of Pattaya
 On Google Earth jj's Pattaya place markers (Sep 2006)
 Pattaya Movies and Times Select Pattaya for cinemas at Big C & Royal Garden Plaza
 Pattaya Sophon Cable TV Listings

Pattaya Articles  Good guys go to heaven, bad journalists go to Pattaya (Dec 2007)
 An Irish View Seedy Sex Resort Home to Hundreds of Irish (Dec 2006)
 The People's Paradise Tabloid town with broadsheet aspiration (August 2005)

Sex Aware
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