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18th December

  Thai Police Dissolved...

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And Thai policeman explains that tourists do not have to carry their passports at all times.
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Thai Police logo Pol Lt Gen Prawut Thawornsiri, spokesman for the Royal Thai Police, has said tourists DO NOT need to carry passports at all times.

His comment came when he was responding to the recent tourist shakedown reports in various media outlets over the past month. He stated that if asked to show their passports, tourists can produce their documents at a later time if necessary.

With his clarification, Thawornsiri brings an end to an expat point of argument spanning years relating to the need to carry a copy, the original or nothing at all. Pol Lt Gen Prawut also told ASTV Manager that the RTP would be conducting a probe into allegations in an article published by The Sydney Morning Herald last week that police officers had stopped, searched, harassed and extorted bribes from foreigners along Sukhumvit Road.

This now brings the number of investigations into the reported stop and searches to three. Pol Maj Gen Apichai Thi-amart, chief of the Tourist Police Division, said he has also ordered an investigation into the matter as have the Ministry of Tourism and Sports following discussions with the British Ambassador to Thailand.

But what does he know, he's just been dissolved. Dissolution of the Royal Thai Police

See article from 2bangkok.com

The Legal and justice system reform committee proposes the model of reorganization of the Royal Thai Police Office:

Dissolution of the Royal Thai Police Office [meaning the end of the centralization of all police into a common command] Transfer the following agencies:

  • Forest police to the Forest Department
  • Railway police to the State Railway of Thailand
  • Tourist police to the Ministry of Tourism and Sports

 

9th December

  A Miserable New Year...

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Junta leader has to step in to slap down ludicrous health minister who wanted to ban alcohol sales over the New Year holiday period
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No Alcohol sign A proposal by the director of the Office of the Alcoholic Beverages Committee Dr Samarn Futrakul to ban all alcohol beverages sales during the New Year holiday and Songkran festival is stiring up outcry with many business operators voicing strong opposition saying that it will severely affect their business and affect tourism.

But Public Health Minister Dr Ratchata Ratchata-nawin assured that the ban is still a tentative proposal which can be changed when it is to be debated by the Alcoholic Beverages Committee which he is chairman on December 19.

However Samarn proposed only banning of sales but did not prohibit drinking. Customers still can buy before the banned time goes into effect, and then take them out for drinking during the festive time, he spouted.

But operators of entertainment venues located on Khao Sarn road are entirely against the proposed banning of alcohol sales from December 31 to January 1 as it will directly affect their businesses. An entertainment venue operator at Khao Sarn road said:

It will seriously affect us because foreign tourists drink a lot of beer. This proposal will mean that we won't be able to sell beer at all! A lot of businesses here are against it and we will certainly be protesting it,

However military Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha stepped in and said that he disagreed with the proposal of the Public Health Ministry to ban alcohol sale during the long New Year holidays.

He said the sale can proceed normally but the people must be responsible for their own welfare.

 

4th December

  Curtains for Sweethearts...

And other openings and closings around Pattaya
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Sweetheart's A-GoGo sign Sweethearts A-GoGo is located at the centre of Walking Street.

The entrance to Sweetheart's is now curtained off by a black piece of cloth now and there is a good reason for it: after years of prudishness there is some nudity on display.

Not much has changed, but apart from the traditional team of bikini dancers clad in white with matching stay-up stockings and stilettos, there is also a team of topless dancers now in black strings and ditto stilettos.

Among the (probably newly hired) topless dancers I saw two extreme fatties.

Bottled Heineken 130 baht.

Meanwhile the newly opened Rhino Club has been closed for a couple of days after a police raid.

And on the more positive front, Tiger Club A-GoGo looks set to re-open just in time for high season. It is located on the first floor on Soi Diamond but has steps up from Walking Street.

Across on Soi LK Metro, The Cave has opened at the venue that was previously Submarine A-GoGo. It is a beer bar rather than a GoGo and looks set to entertain with a live band.

WannaDo Pub and Restaurant on the same soi is taking over from the old 3 Som Bar.

A map of the Soi LK Metro area has been spotted on Google Maps, maybe it will keep track of the changes.

 

21st November

  Worthy of a Bad Review...

Hotel compounds bad service with a smallprint fraud of charging guests for a bad review
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smallprint A couple have been unfairly charged £100 by a Blackpool hotel they described as a rotten stinking hovel on travel review website TripAdvisor. Tony and Jan Jenkinson posted the negative comments after being unimpressed with the one night they spent at the Broadway Hotel.

The couple, from Whitehaven, later found £100 charged to their credit card. The hotel said its policy was to charge for bad reviews.

Trading Standards from Cumbria County Council are investigating. Officials believe the hotel may have breached unfair trading practice regulations.

When the couple queried the surcharge, the hotel's manager said they had a no bad review policy in their terms and conditions. The policy stated in the smallprint: Despite the fact that repeat customers and couples love our hotel, your friends and family may not. For every bad review left on any website, the group organiser will be charged a maximum £100 per review.

The couple then contacted the council's Trading Standards team to complain about their treatment and have also sought a refund via their credit card company.

 

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