Grapevine: Vaccines for farang?


Vaccines for farang?

Usual ambiguity from various government departments about Thai expats and the upcoming vaccination programs. Certainly long stay foreigners won’t be in any priority group. Best to assume you’ll have to pay at a designated hospital to receive your shot or shots. If you haven’t done anything by next year, you may well run into travel and/or immigration problems.

Travel insurance for all

Once there’s a 300 baht “insurance” levy on all foreign tourists coming into the country, how will it be collected? Can’t be via your airline ticket as that would punish all Thais as well as foreigners. And what if you already have health insurance? But as only 34 baht of the 300 baht will be put aside for notional insurance, the whole idea isn’t primarily about insurance anyway.

Getting out of Pattaya

Impossible for guest workers from neighboring countries and fairly difficult for other foreigners. You certainly need the travel paper issued by the district office or city hall and your journey needs to be “essential”. Early feedback is that it’s easier to leave Pattaya for another province than it is to get back in. We hear the motorway road blocks entering Chonburi are strict.

Gambling raising the stakes

Strange how the general population seems to be more aware of the location of gambling joints than those charged with their suppression. There’s no point in legalizing casinos if the same people are left in charge of supervising them. Corruption doesn’t disappear just because the law is changed.

Masking the ups and downs

Pattaya’s social scientists say that the popularity of mask raising goes up and down according to the perceived threat from the virus. When Banglamung (which includes Pattaya) records zero or near zero infections, people start getting careless again. The analogy is Britain in World War Two. Gas masks were distributed to all but usage fell when no gas bombs actually fell.

Immigration confusion

A lot of rumours, all untrue, about Jomtien immigration office closing down for a while. The confusion likely arose because the tiny immigration bureau on Koh Si Chang has actually closed for now. There are three immigration bureaux in Chonburi province: Jomtien (open as normal), Sriracha (open as normal) and Koh Si Chang (closed for now).

Free parking in Pattaya

Terminal 21’s news that a 1,400 free-space carpark is to be built there for an outlay of 400 million baht is welcome. The fact that the move will boost business and profits at Terminal 21 is beside the point. In the future, when Pattaya again hosts music festivals and the like, the perennial parking problem might just be a little easier at any rate in North Pattaya.

Signing in with Mor Chana

All shopping malls and similar public gathering places are offering signing in with the new Mor Chana app. But over 90 percent of those entering seem to prefer the manual signing on a list. Reasons likely vary. Some haven’t downloaded the app, others find it takes a long time to prepare their cell phone and quite a few worry about personal security issues.

Best breakfast boredom

At the last count on Facebook there were 27 candidates for the label “the best breakfast in Pattaya.” If you sign up for the various blogs, you’ll be inundated by close up photos of egg yolks, streaky bacon and, if you’re lucky, a black pudding or two. Pattaya Mail must take a share of the blame for nominating a few restaurants a while back, but let’s give the whole thing a break.

Counting the eateries

A reader with nothing better to do claims there are still 3,206 places, high and low, where you can sit down and eat in Greater Pattaya (including the Dark Side). His list apparently includes five star extravaganzas and the most humble Thai cafeterias. However it must be 3,205 this morning. Sweet Potato in South Pattaya finally shut down this evening.