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.
Allegedly 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
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
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.
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.
Many 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.
The 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).
Hundreds 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
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.
Effective 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.
Bangkok 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).
In 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.