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Bob

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  1. I've always used prepaid (AIS) and think it's incredibly cheap. Recently (I was at the AIS shop for some other issue), I switched to a six-month paid-in-advance data package which was 20-30% cheaper than the prior monthly data cost of about 200 baht per month and also provided another gig or two of data (I don't need a lot of gigs as I'm usually home and the True wifi we have here is rather speedy).
  2. I've no suggestions as I have no problem logging in anymore and, lo and behold, clicking on the bookmark brings me directly to the forum. Cool.
  3. A rather incredible comment but, in spite of that, I wouldn't wish him on your country. I still consider Trump's election to be an indictment of the US education system. [post-election studies do reflect an almost perfect bell curve with respect to the education level of the voters (i.e., as the education level went up, his support went to near zero)]
  4. A bit confused as to why you're asking that question (given you obviously know how to re-size photos as you had some kind of photo editor on your prior pc). Your chromebook laptop does have a basic image editor (look in the Files app) but other apps have to be available somewhere.
  5. What is known is: (1) The British have indeed stated that they won't issue income affidavits beginning January 1, 2019, and are recommending that Brits maintain the 800k bank accounts to support retirement visas/extensions. Unless this new declared policy is changed, the new policy will obviously affect the Brits who have relied on the income affidavits to stay here long term. (2) The British authorities for some reason made a comment that they know that the same change is coming for US citizens too. While the Brits had no real business talking about what the US policy will be, I'm also doubtful that the Brits would have said that without knowing something about it (i.e., one typically can rely on what British officials say). (3) Everyone has known for years that the US embassy/consulate has been issuing the income affidavits to its citizens without any requirement that the applicant show any proof of income. But, on the other hand, I've always wondered why other countries have required the proof of income before notarizing the affidavits because the form the embassy/consulate officials sign is simply verifying the identity (and not the income amount) of the signer of the form. (4) In Chiangmai, there have been some credible reports for the last two months or so that CM Immigration officers are occasionally asking a US citizen with an income affidavit to provide some proof of that income. So far, it's been hit and miss for that activity (but there were no prior reports of this occurring so something different is afoot). What's unknown is why this is happening now. Some have suggested (and it's inferred in some of the British statements) that the changes are occurring because of demands by Thai immigration (i.e., Thai Immigration has told the Brits that they must verify the income before issuing the affidavits and the Brits have determined that they have neither the ability or desire to spend the time/effort to verify income from various sources around the world). While I disagree with Scooby's blanket comment that it's all "completely useless information", he's right that only god/buddha knows what the immigration rules (or application of those rules) will be next month let alone the in the coming years. [OP - you plainly assert that the Thai Immigration Chief - Big Joke or whoever - made some declaration that Thai Immigration would no longer accept the British Income affidavits. Where exactly did you find that the Thai Immigration chief said any such thing? The only statements I've seen so far are by British officials]
  6. Bob

    Chiang Mai Fees

    Kind of a blanket condemnation of the transport system in CM because you had to wait 10 minutes once? I will grant it's become difficult to cross over the outer moat roads (we call farther-out roads the ring roads) excepting at the corners, near Thaphae Gate, at the southwest pedestrian overpass, or at the push-button light across from the market by Chang Phuak Gate. I cross the outer moat roads at least a few times a week at the corners and have no difficulty at all (sometimes I do have to wait 3-4 minutes especially on the north end). You're lucky to have crossed Rama 4 in Bangkok and lived to tell the story. I wouldn't have the nerve to try that.
  7. Bob

    Chiang Mai Fees

    I do agree the tuk tuks (if that's what you're talking about here) are a bit of a pain in the ass and surely too expensive for what service they are offering (in a usually hot, stinky, and noisy glorified tricycle). If you can get a tuk tuk at night for 100 baht, that's actually a bargain (most of them will ask for 150 baht+ and you have to haggle aggressively to get them down to maybe 120 baht).
  8. Bob

    Chiang Mai Fees

    Come on, Christian, a bit over the top. I go lots of places via the Songteaws for 30 baht (regardless of distance). And Grab, although a bit more expensive than when Uber ruled the streets prior to March of this year, is still relatively cheap. Plus now we have the various inter-city bus lines that are cheap as hell and air-conditioned (although not exactly screaming fast to get where you want to go). You spend $100 (?) to fly up here, another 700-1000 baht for a hotel, and then decide not to come because somebody wants ninety cents to a couple of dollars to haul you around? I know we both walk a lot....but to suggest that the situation for pedestrians is worse in CM than Bangkok is simply nuts.
  9. Mae Rim is essentially a suburb of Chiangmai and not at all very far....like 6-8 miles north/northwest of the city. There are baht busses (songteaws) that go there all the time....like every 30-60 minutes? You can catch the songteaws to Mae Rim at Worarot Market (called Kad Luang by most Thais) and the fee is like 20 baht. Once in you're in Mae Rim, simply grab a local baht bus or tuk tuk for your trip out to the orphanage. Oh, would note that the songteaws to Mae Rim are yellow in color (and you'll see Mae Rim written in Thai -แม่ริม- on the songteaw sign). I would think the people at the orphanage could easily get you transportation back to wherever you're staying in Chiangmai...or either tell you where to grab the yellow songteaw back to town or actually haul you to a pickup spot. But you likely can use Grab to get there too or simply hire a taxi or general songteaw to take you there...but taking a yellow songteaw from Worarot Market would definitely be the cheapest option. Wherever you're staying in Chiangmai very likely could arrange for a driver for you too (but, of course, more expensive). But, if you don't mind paying the money (I'm guessing it would cost 1000 baht or so for a half day with a driver?), a private driver would certainly be the most convenient. Would strongly advise that you have in Thai writing the name, address, and telephone number of the orphanage. It may come in very handy. You mention that the place you're going is an hour's drive from the Chiangmai city center but I'm not sure how far that means in distance from what we would call "downtown" Mae Rim. Just getting there during the bad traffic times would take 30-40+ minutes. Anyway, good luck.
  10. The RAM (on east end of Soi 6 which runs from Chang Klan to Charoen Prahtet) show starts at 10:00 PM and is worth a look see. They have a whole new cast of performers who started this past Wednesday. Also, there's a new place in town (just south of and across the street from the Pantip building......northwest corner of Chang Klan and Sri Don Chai) called 6ixcret which just opened two nights ago. Same dance troupe (plus a newbe or two) that used to be at RAM and is also definitely worth a look see. The 6ixcret show starts at 9:30 PM. If you're into ladyboys with glitzy costumes, you'll like the show (both shows have some very fine looking boys dancers too).
  11. It's across the street from the Wangcome Hotel (north side)....and very difficult to miss (a large sign above and very big lettering on the window). OP....there should be no rationale reason you simply can't go to the bar.....nobody is going to see you go there (well, except for co-workers who might be tailing you). They supposedly open at 7:30 PM but probably best to wait until at least 9PM.
  12. Poy Sang Long is a Shan buddhist ceremony with a long tradition and which many of the Shan boys do to make merit for their parents and elders. Typically it's a 3 or 4 day ceremony and, until the boys are ordained, they're not allowed to touch the ground. After their heads are shaved, they're dressed up in all kinds of silks and finery as well as facial makeup, all to have them mimic the Buddha himself (before Buddha was an ascetic, he was the son of a king and had all the riches and finery one could imagine). The most colorful and public portion of the ceremony occurs early in the morning for two days when the boys are paraded around the temple grounds (and sometimes outside the temple) on the shoulders of their male relatives (or, occasionally, on a pony or even a palaquin). The last day is the "ordination" day and the boys are stripped of all their finery, don the saffron robes, and enter the temple as novices. Most of the boys stay at the temple for 1-3 weeks although a very small minority might actually become formal monks for life. Mae Hong Song supposedly has the largest concentration of Shan here in Thailand and their Poy Sang Long ceremonies are purported to be fairly grandiose; however, here in Chiangmai, there is a sizable Shan population and similar ceremonies are held each year (between the middle of March and April, the precise dates either set by the phase of the moon or by the discretionary choice of the temple elders) at the two local Shan temples, Wat Guu Tao and Wat Pa Pao. The Poy Sang Long ceremonies at Wat Guu Tao were held this year during the last week of March and about 70 boys were invested as novices. I'll attempt to attach a few photos of that event.
  13. A dozen or so years ago, I was visiting Luang Prabang and sitting in a fancy resort lobby waiting for a ride. There also was a group of about 30 older people (70+?) in the lobby who began to take a group photo. As they were struggling to get everyone in the photo without excluding the photo taker, I offered to help them out and take the photos. They were nice enough about it and subsequently began to talk about why they were there. Turned out they were Morman missionaries based in Phnom Penh but were just in Luang Prabang for a weekend vacation. While I didn't react to them, I began a slow burn....wondering why the hell the Mormans couldn't find 144,000 "souls" to save in Utah and then leave the Buddhists of Cambodia (or anywhere else) the hell alone. I recognize the concept of freedom of religion (from my point of view, everyone has to right to believe whatever fairy tale they wish), but it simply grates the hell out of me when church groups from the west go seeking to instruct the "natives" anywhere that their fairy tale is the one and only true one. To me, it smacks of cultural colonialism and why nations allow it ("it" not referring to the right to practice any religion you want but referring to allowing foreign missionary groups to actively proselytize in their country) is beyond me. So, bottom line, interesting architecture or not, I wish they'd stay in Utah.
  14. Glad that you enjoyed our fair city.......... you're welcome back any time. As a side note, the only mild concern I had reading your report was that you even spent a nanosecond being concerned with what anybody else would think about what you paid the guy. You paid what you voluntarily wanted to pay and that's the only standard you ever need to meet. Anybody out there who would even think in the "geez, you're ruining it for the rest of us mode" gets zero respect from me.
  15. Their stupidity and disrespect hardly merits either any significant punitive measures or two threads on this message board. The dolts ought to be simply told that they are not the kind of tourists Thailand (or any other country) wants, they have 3 days to leave the country, and they'll be banned from returning for a year. Maybe they'll learn something....although, given their age, I doubt it.
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