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Everything posted by thaiophilus

  1. ... one who's prepared to "accidentally enter" the new terminal and miss a flight to find out what happens? Any volunteers?
  2. It wasn't speculation before COVID. Back in 2016, if you can believe The ASEAN Post, "the Thai government decided to stamp out zero-dollar tourism, estimating losses of US$2 billion each year in tax revenue. Three companies were shut down, 2,155 buses were seized and several people were arrested for money laundering and operating illegal low-quality tours." If you want speculation about the future, the Bangkok Post has an explainer with a 2023 dateline.
  3. If a Chinese tourist in China pays Chinese money in advance to a Chinese company for a package tour staying in Chinese-owned hotels, how much of that money goes into Thai taxes?
  4. Completely off topic, but I have a couple of 60 baht notes hanging on my wall (hint: they were issued in 1987 and 2006).
  5. ... putting it very mildly, and not just because of the language. Are you sure you can handle the potential boredom of small-town life? Also, the land route from Songkhla to Padang Besar takes you into "FCDO advises against all but essential travel" territory. To satisfy the need for regular visits to Malaysia, you might be better off living in Bangkok and flying to KL or Penang. (it might even be quicker!)
  6. Been there, done that, back in 2001, though I don't suppose it's changed much since. If the river level was low, some of the older wooden boats took three days in the upstream direction. In that case, instead of the relative metropolis of Pakbeng you get to stay in two tiny no-name villages. The trip had its moments... Late on the first afternoon we met another boat identical to ours, which had hit a sandbank and sunk. So we stopped for a couple of hours while our boat's crew helped the other crew to rescue their cargo. By the time we moved on, it was dark. Very dark. Those boats have no lights and we now knew that apparently even an experienced crew can run aground, even in broad daylight. It was a welcome relief when we reached Village #1. The evening meal was noodles or rice; breakfast was rice or noodles. The "hotel" was a row of mats. When we reached Pakbeng at midday the following day I chose to leave the wooden boat and complete the journey on a (slightly) faster and stronger steel boat the following day. Meanwhile I enjoyed the UNESCO world heritage delights of Pakbeng: choice of guest houses! private rooms! beds! choice of restaurants! choice of food! electric light (until 9pm)! Slower than usual slow boat up the Mekong. Pakbeng Luang Prabang
  7. Yes. Difficult to forget, as until you tap the gate doesn't open 😄
  8. Just to clarify: "visa on arrival" and "visa exempt" are different things. People from the countries in 10tazione's list are entitled to the visa-exampt 30 day stamp. The 15-day "Visa on arrival" applies to citizens of Bulgaria, Bhutan, China, Cyprus, Ethiopia, Fiji, Georgia, India, Kazakhstan, Malta, Mexico, Nauru, Papua New Guinea, Romania, Russia, Saudi Arabia, Taiwan, Uzbekistan, Vanuatu, and there is a desk in the airport before immigration where you apply for it. (caveat: this list came from some random web page so may not be 100% accurate!)
  9. ... so why are you wasting your time here? 😊
  10. Yes, of course. And for any doubters out there, here's the evidence.
  11. I'd say opportunistically political - left or right, red or yellow, you can demonstrate your "patriotism" and attract the popular vote by putting on up a big rally to oppose some minority you can label as "un-Thai".
  12. Don't worry, we already know who he is (see recent thread complaining about various nationalities...)
  13. If any of these Lanna destinations appeals, you mght want to look at the Mae Hong Son loop. Lots of picturesque mountain scenery and intersting small towns/villages.
  14. Surely they're accustomed to this kind of thing by now? Not just TiT but TiP
  15. Bar workers (of all nationalities) talk to each other and discuss their customers. Word gets around... 🤣
  16. Or you could head downstream for the port and have a couple of nights in the Bangkok Treehouse in Bang Krachao (which is not in Bangkok but the next province along). Very laid back.
  17. Khao Yai is just right for a 2-night stay. You can get there from Bangkok in 2-4 hours by bus, minibus or train and the guest houses run a free transfer from the bus/train stations. Arrive mid-afternoon in time for the evening "jungle tour" on the day you arrive, then a full-day tour for the following day, stay overnight then return to Bkk. Or you can extend your stay with a night camping in the national park. For a longer national park visit with more things to do, (maybe 4 nights) look at Khao Sok. Fly or take the train to Surat Thani, Krabi or Phuket, then a minibus to Khao Sok. Rome2Rio.com will show the possible routes. A mild warning - the minibus between Surat Thani and Khao Sok needs to be booked in advance. For the return journey, check that you have a ticket showing bus time and seat number. If all you have is a voucher for one unspecified journey, you need to exchange it and book a seat at the minibus office at the road junction just outside Khao Sok. (I learned this the hard way ☹️ - having booked a Nok Air "fly'n'ride" package with flight and connecting minibus reservation on the outward journey I assumed I had a bus reservation for the return trip. Not so. They did all they could to get me on a different bus (good), but it didn't go to the airport (not so good). However, the driver kindly found me a mocy taxi for a white knuckle ride to the airport. If I'd missed the flight I'd have been stuck in Surat for a very long new-year weekend.)
  18. They are condom sizes - the flat width in millimetres. Double it for the girth.
  19. You may be in for a surprise 🤣. 🍆 🍑 ?
  20. I take it that he's not talking about Freddie Frinton and May Warden, and "comedies" should have been "commodities"?
  21. 1620? You youngsters today have no sense of history. I'm talking about the events of 1419! 🤣
  22. Search for "world naked bike ride" in a city near you. According to their wiki: "The ride demonstrates the vulnerability of cyclists on the road and is a protest against car culture."
  23. It's worth knowing that 7-11s have a policy of accepting large notes (and giving appropriate change) even for small purchases.
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