Grapevine: Tourist markets vary


Tourist markets vary
While Thailand is putting its faith in the early tourist arrivals to Bangkok or Pattaya being Indians or Russians, largely on the grounds they don’t have to quarantine when they get back home, the Cambodian government believes that the Chinese and the South Koreans will be the first to start flooding Angkor Wat again. Both countries surely can’t be right.

Another 60 days please
Tourists can now extend their stay in the kingdom by asking for another Covid-related two months until the final application date in late November. So the scheme will only phase out in late January. It is, of course, possible that a further extension may be given, but sources say unlikely. If the land borders open up soon, as hinted by immigration, no need for more.

Yellow book stampede
Following an article in this newspaper, there’s lot of interest by local farang in getting their name in the yellow residence book and, more particularly, obtaining the pink ID card which has 13 digits and can be used to access government Covid websites to prove vaccination status. You have to apply at city hall or the district office in which your residence is based.

A myth bites the dust
A long-believed bit of nonsense has finally died after police raided a restaurant in Jomtien and actually checked the cups and mugs to see if they actually contained hot tea or coffee. Of course, they didn’t and the unfortunate Thais and foreigners spent an uncomfortable night in the can before being duly processed. Drinking alcohol is for your own home only.

British embassy silence
If you have had your vaccine shots in Thailand, they are not recognized in UK. At the moment, it doesn’t make any difference as the British authorities deem Thailand to be a red zone and hotel quarantine is required of everyone arriving there. But once Thailand is taken off the red list, will vaccines done here become acceptable or not? The embassy needs to do the digging.

Jomtien deviance
Jomtien promenade is always busy around 18.00 hours as early evening strollers enjoy some exercise before the curfew comes into force. In recent weeks there has been a growing carelessness about social distancing with groups gathering for mask-less chats even though they are within sneezing distance. For some reason, Pattaya promenade is less deviant.

Not fault of immigration
After the alleged data leak of the personal details of 106 million visitors to Thailand over the last 10 years, the immigration bureau announced that it had nothing to do with them and that their records were as safe as houses. It’s not clear who else might hold these records. Another government department is certainly a possibility.

Empty massage shops
You have only to look at the assembly of ladies sitting outside their premises and staring at their mobile phones to realize that massages are a buyer’s market right now. Many shops have dropped their prices by 25 percent, but it hasn’t made a lot of difference. Most masseuses average one customer per day, if they are lucky. Sadly, expect more closures soon.

Full steam ahead
The September floods in Pattaya caught many people by surprise as the last such serious downpours were 10 years ago. Parked vehicles at street level or in underground car parks became victims of the rising waters and, in due course, gave off a pungent odor very difficult to eliminate. The steam cleaning companies have made huge profits indeed from smelly carpets.

Drainage clearance target
The drainage project on the Pattaya railway road (next to the tracks) looks to have run out of steam, but it’s actually on target. According to city hall, it’s 40 percent complete already and should be finished about this time next year. Let’s hope they don’t start digging it all up again immediately afterwards.