Curbs may end
The government says that it will consider changing the virus pandemic status to epidemic at the end of June. Some people believe that Test and Go and Thailand Pass bureaucracies will end at the same time. No guarantee of that. Many will recall the promise that the Thailand’s night life would be back to normal by mid January this year. Never happened.
Walking Street rebounds
Most of Walking Street remains in darkness, but an increasing number of clubs are opening their doors by exploiting the ambiguity surrounding what exactly is a restaurant. Full marks for their ingenuity in accommodating the regulations issued by central and local government. None the less, success still depends on soft-pedaling legal restrictions by the boys in brown.
Nashaa remains a mystery
Seven months after the fire which demolished the building, no public information has been released on the causes of the Nashaa club disaster. Some say it was an accident, others point to chewing rats whilst others ponder conspiracy theories. The chief insurance assessor promised a public report months ago, but that never happened. Of course, This is Thailand!
High season ends
What we used to call the high season ends about now. The prospects for the remainder of 2022 are not good with inflation well and truly on the rampage worldwide whilst airfares are rising in the wake of the Ukrainian conflict. Pattaya is expected to survive, just about, on local expats, weekend visitors from Bangkok and a loyalty market of international tourists who will book here come what may.
Covid extensions end
March 25 is the last day for the 60 days Covid extensions which were introduced two years ago to assist international tourists trapped by the travel dislocations of the pandemic. It has been widely used by those actually trapped and by a substantial number of guys and gals who simply didn’t want to go home. It has been a splendid immigration rule which has kept tourism alive.
Another good Italian
Trattoria Italiana, located next to Jomtien’s Foodmart, is well worth a visit for the genuine article. In particular, the pizzas have a crispy base whilst the toppings are generous. Prices are medium and good value. Pattaya and Jomtien are lucky to have such a wide selection of Italian restaurants. Unlike the 100 plus Indian restaurants here, the vast majority of Italian eateries have remained open throughout the coronavirus crisis.
New mayoral election
This coming May sees the first election for the position of Pattaya mayor since 2012. There is likely to be a strong field of candidates, old and new, and the Kunplome family will be defending their territory and not for the first time. Once the new mayor is installed, expect to hear much more about the future of Pattaya. Or neo-Pattaya as they like to call it now.
More clinics open
The high costs involved in visiting a private sector hospital here seem to have resulted in a growing number of clinics for general medical purposes. The latest is Jomtien Medical Clinic, close to the entrance of the Jomtien Complex, which claims to be a first port of call whatever your problem. Like most clinics, their charges for blood tests and similar are a good deal cheaper than the hospital sector.
Still lots of confusion about having a reentry permit. This alone won’t get you back in the country. As soon as you leave Thailand, you (anyone) are a potential virus victim so you need to go online and apply under the Thailand Pass regulations. This means you will need Covid insurance, at least for 30 days.
A reader asks about prices in Thai temples. Well, how long is a piece of string? City temples tend to be more expensive than rural ones. Funerals with a lot of ceremony cost more than plain ones. The budget can be anywhere from 20,000 baht to 100,000 or even more. If you can, leave the details to a Thai. Farang often interfere at their peril.