Grapevine: Foreigners last – June 4, 2021


Another hits the dust
One of Jomtien’s most popular English-style eateries, Simple Simon, is the latest casualty of the pandemic having closed its doors last month. It pioneered great quality pies in the area and was one of the first cafes in the resort to offer multi-sized English breakfasts from small to gut buster. Adieu.

Excellent bread
With freshly-baked genuine baguettes at 25 baht, you can’t do better than try the single-unit shop next to Family Mart on Thappraya Road at the traffic light junction with Thepprasit Road. It doesn’t obviously have a name displayed, but most times you’ll see a small queue of people buying loaves, croissants, buns, cobs and the like. First class value for money.

Extra visits to Immigration
Foreigners seeking short-term visas, for example the 60 days Covid one, may not receive the whole period due on application. They will likely find they have to return to get the remaining 30 days after one month. This is because the application is technically “pending” at first. But you should not be charged twice and 1,900 baht should cover it. Hopefully.

Penalties for naughty farang
Those caught flouting the lockdown health rules just now will likely be fined rather than sent to court, jailed and even deported. The pandemic means the police and judicial authorities don’t want much contact with you as the virus rages. The real penalty might be a stamp in your passport that your visa is cancelled and/or you are blacklisted for years.

Vaccine confusion
The golden rule is that whatever news is announced for the vaccination of foreigners in Thailand will be contradicted the following day. We were told recently that there is a shortage of all vaccine brands, but within 24 hours the health ministry announced there was plenty for everyone. Even a third jab if you want one. Welcome to Thailand.

Son of Mosley
Max Mosley, privacy campaigner, barrister, ex-motorsport boss and son of the pre-war fascist leader Sir Oswald, made several visits to Pattaya during the 1990s. Apparently, he did not come to Sin City to study temple life or to visit the waterfalls. However, he was fairly interested in the Bira racing circuit.

Alcohol you can’t drink
Latest local rumour is that drones are to be employed to spray alcohol from the sky on Covid-risky places such as markets and other busy places. The solution is a mixture containing alcohol although you won’t like the taste of it, we are told. How effective the drones are isn’t totally clear so it may be a morale-raising idea to prove “they are doing something.”

Best embassy website
The London-based Thai embassy is surely the best of all the country’s overseas posts when it comes to describing visa regulations. It is always the first to update its information to deal with the frequent changes of detail required by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs. The 12 ways of obtaining entry clearance are listed in a way you understand. Most of the time anyway.

Thai borders closed?
Thailand’s land borders are closed to visa runners or to most foreigners seeking to gain entry to the Kingdom. They are specifically open for Myanmar, Cambodian and Laos workers and their families returning home and returning here officially and with the right documents. The borders are also open for goods traffic.

Covid daily figures
The Thai authorities publish daily figures of Covid-infected people returning from “overseas”. But “overseas” in this context does not mean only airports but also land crossing points where swab tests are systematically carried out on new arrivals. If you thought land border posts were fully closed, read the previous segment above. But they are likely closed to you.