Grapevine: February 11, 2021


Airport forbidden items

Now that the UK has banned all its citizens from going on holiday, caution is necessary for anyone bold enough to turn up at a British airport. It is recommended that potential passengers do not arrive with water skis or golf clubs strewn across their shoulder. A fishing rod might look suspicious too.

Pattaya paradox

The resort is very short of tourists, yet very few hotel rooms were available at the end of last month. This was because hotels were ordered closed so that staff could receive government social security payments in a stressful time. Hotels with guests or quarantine arrivals were allowed to opt-out by special registration. Don’t arrive without a confirmed booking.

Covid-19 visa extensions

Foreigners still stranded here, or not wanting to go home, are still allowed to extend their visas by another 60 days on payment of 1,900 baht at immigration offices. We hear on the grapevine that they will be allowed to do so at least until the end of March which gives permission to stay until the end of May.

International flights scarcer

Faced with a coronavirus surge, European countries across the continent are restricting the number of flights both landing and departing. This means that leaving Bangkok by air is going to get progressively harder with cancellations reappearing as a major problem. Even countries nearer to Thailand, for example Cambodia and the Philippines, are in similar air lockdown.

Nightmare suspended sentences

At least two groups of foreigners arrested for attending booze parties in red zones have been fined quite small amounts (a few thousand baht) but the sting in the tail might be the suspended jail sentence of one month. Will they be able, if they wish, to extend their current visas once these run out? Or ordered to take the next plane out? Nobody knows yet.

Glasses and adultery

The latest international research claims that men and women wearing glasses are more likely to cheat on their partners than those who don’t use them. However, the research was conducted in specific cities such as Glasgow and Bradford which may be non-typical internationally. You could try wearing sun glasses to see if you get any more offers. Or any at all.

Walking Street cables

Pattaya’s deserted Walking Street is scheduled to have a six months’ vacation whilst overhead cables are buried under the concrete. Some are surprised as there is little chance the night clubs and bars will ever resume their erstwhile activities on any scale. Of course, it may be that this is the first step in the redevelopment of WS into a leisure park and family-friendly fun area.

90 days reporting Jomtien

Some people report it’s problem-free to do it online and there are those who say the opposite. The issues might be trying to report once the due date is past tense, even though manual reporting can be done up to a week after that. Another matter might be trying to report online for the first time after you have changed your visa. Anyway, you can certainly give it a try.

Foreigners and vaccination

A plan of action (don’t expect too much) is being prepared nationally for the Center for Covid-19 Situation. Foreigners won’t be anywhere to be found. The best they can hope for, several months ahead, is paying for the jab(s) in private hospitals. Several foreign embassies have already said they have no plans to import vaccines to help out their nationals.

Very dry Pattaya

Although the weather forecasts often predict some rain in north or south areas, Greater Pattaya remains stubbornly dry. Moreover, the lakes on the Dark Side look alarmingly bereft of H2O, especially given that the next rainy season is some months ahead. Soon we can expect the warnings to begin about the need to conserve water. It’s become an annual routine.