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Jimbillp

Thailand reopening, some observations, ups and downs

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21 hours ago, Jimbillp said:

thought I was done with the Grand Palace and Wat Pho but an instinct it might be crowd free led to an 8.30 arrival with board member vinapu. And what a visit. It was like a private viewing!

I had a very similar experience. I am not one for temples, but thought if there ever was a time that I was going to do Wat Pho is was when I was there in April. The place was deserted and I had a private tour with, at most, 4 other tourists in the grounds. I too had Reclining Buddha to myself! It was good to make the most of the quiet. On reflection, I probably should have made more use of the fact BKK was empty and done more of the tourist sites. 

Planning my next trip now for November!

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17 hours ago, Milk78 said:

I had a very similar experience. I am not one for temples, but thought if there ever was a time that I was going to do Wat Pho is was when I was there in April. The place was deserted and I had a private tour with, at most, 4 other tourists in the grounds. I too had Reclining Buddha to myself! It was good to make the most of the quiet. On reflection, I probably should have made more use of the fact BKK was empty and done more of the tourist sites. 

Planning my next trip now for November!

By  November it may be close to normal. I,m in Pattaya now and difference between December and now is very visible. More businesses opened, restaurant visibly busier, last night I was, shocked to see massive tour group descending on the Boyztown at 9.30 pm. 

Turned out Vietnamese for Castro show, judging by dresses, well healed crowd. 

 

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On 5/26/2022 at 11:24 AM, vinapu said:

By  November it may be close to normal.

in terms of ease of travel, (hopefully) yes. In terms of crowds guaranteed not as the Chinese will definitely not be able to return by then. So still plenty of opportunity to visit the touristy yet awesome sites crowd-free.

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1 hour ago, anddy said:

in terms of ease of travel, (hopefully) yes. In terms of crowds guaranteed not as the Chinese will definitely not be able to return by then. So still plenty of opportunity to visit the touristy yet awesome sites crowd-free.

I just been chatting to a friend in Shanghai who hasn't been allowed out of his room for 2 months.

 

I don't understand their policy.    Opening up after using low efficacy vaccines has risks, so I get that part.   

However,  I gather they had a licence with Biontech, so they could have given everyone a decent mRNA vaccine by now.  I don't understand why they haven't done that.

So maybe either they want to wait for their own mRNA vaccine OR perhaps someone in charge wants to have less international travel ?      Or some other reason ? 

 

 

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14 hours ago, vinapu said:

After all, despite all technology it,s still authoritarian and totalitarian state which grew up big only thanks to greed of western corporations and consumers.

Yes it's a totalitarian and authoritarian state, although it is far less draconian in most of the country than we often think, - at least that is what my friends living there tell me. Of course those in Xinjiang and Tibet will not agree, for what China is doing there is ghastly and seems underneath everything like some form of genocide.

And yes, China may have grown big largely on the back of the greed of western consumers desperate for cheaper goods. But it has to be more than that for Bangladesh is known worldwide for its textile exports, yet it remains mired in poverty. I think it's important to remember that the USA became a friend of China with Nixon's visit in 1971 which turned the USA's previous policy on its head. The USA actively helped China grow as a natural buffer to the Soviet Union.

At that time, China had lost about 30 million of its peoples to Mao's mad campaigns and was not yet over the Cultural Revolution. Thereafter with the rise of Deng Xiao-ping, it was not the west he turned to but the mega zillionaire Chinese in Hong Kong and other parts of the world. They funded his initial economic reforms and helped drag 400 million out of poverty. Of course, once the west learned of the cheap goods and the cheap labour market, they flooded in. Soon after the start of this century, many Japanese high-end goods like digital cameras were actually made in China. Greed had indeed become a factor in the equation and China grew fast as a result. I don't know enough about theft of intellectual property but no doubt that helped too.

However it was achieved, though, China pre-covid was the world's second largest economy - up from almost zero in just 40 years. I think I am correct in saying only Japan holds a similar record - and again it was a demand first for cheap goods and then quality which was the cause.

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7 hours ago, PeterRS said:

economic reforms

Thanks for sharing your intelligent analysis on China's progress up the economic scale. I think more emphasis should be on the introduction of limited free market principles than western greed.

If they ever go full capitalist...Katy bar the door. The world will be speaking Chinese and liking it.

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This thread really took a turn.

I guess TAT is trying to predict 1m tourists per month by the end of the year which seems quite ambitious. Apparently nightlife venues will be officially reopening sometime soon

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16 hours ago, Lonnie said:

I think more emphasis should be on the introduction of limited free market principles than western greed.

Unquestionably. And it was not Nixon or US administrations that created that change. It was the twice rehabilitated Deng Xiao-ping and his vision for a new China. Sadly Tiananmen Square in June 1989 remains one blot on his record. But even a detailed analysis of that disaster illustrates how he was increasingly hemmed in by the old guard which felt his reforms were not in accord with Mao's revolution and which had got rid of the reformers Deng had earlier placed in top positions. Thereafter, Deng's power was significantly reduced.

The real question for Thailand and the huge investments it made in recent years to cope with the huge - and largely surprising - uptick in Chinese tourism is will the Chinese return in the same numbers. Tourism in this country seems to go in cycles. First the westerners, then the Russians. If the Chinese cannot be attracted back in the same numbers as in 2019, who will take their place? Indians? 

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5 hours ago, fedssocr said:

guess TAT is trying to predict 1m tourists per month by the end of the year which seems quite ambitious. Apparently nightlife venues will be officially reopening sometime soon

Unless the restrictions  are lifted off completely the TAT prediction will remain sceince fiction.

 

37 minutes ago, PeterRS said:

The real question for Thailand and the huge investments it made in recent years to cope with the huge - and largely surprising - uptick in Chinese tourism is will the Chinese return in the same numbers. Tourism in this country seems to go in cycles. First the westerners, then the Russians. If the Chinese cannot be attracted back in the same numbers as in 2019, who will take their place? Indians? 

I don't seem the Chinese coming back soon due the harsh restrictions the Chinese government is forcing on traveling . for the Russians due the war with Ukraine it's almost impossible to travel due the West sanctions and the Indian economy was hit badly due the Covid so I don't see the number of tourists comming to Thailand returning to what it was before the Covid. The number of tourists comming from the West already reduced significantly long time ago when the Thai government imposed harsh Visa restrictions so neither the Westerns will save the situation any time soon.

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On 5/27/2022 at 5:39 AM, z909 said:

I just been chatting to a friend in Shanghai who hasn't been allowed out of his room for 2 months.

 

I don't understand their policy.    Opening up after using low efficacy vaccines has risks, so I get that part.   

However,  I gather they had a licence with Biontech, so they could have given everyone a decent mRNA vaccine by now.  I don't understand why they haven't done that.

So maybe either they want to wait for their own mRNA vaccine OR perhaps someone in charge wants to have less international travel ?      Or some other reason ? 

 

 

Canada was working on a deal before the vaccine was ready to buy the Chinese vaccine, but then the rulers got mad at the Canadian government for something, there's always something, and walked away from the negotiations..... thank goodness.

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 A glance at the headlines in the local media pretty much reflects what members have been saying about conditions they’re observing. 
 

The  much ballyhooed “reopening” of nightlife in Bangkok and Pattaya this Wednesday is of course welcomed but extending closing times is what’s most needed to truly normalize operations.

At least we should see a return to briefs among the stage boys but no second show (well, maybe.Second show on weekends under locally “adaptive” conditions).
 

On the monkey pox front, health minister now says suspected cases actually proved to be herpes.

 

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2 hours ago, reader said:

The  much ballyhooed “reopening” of nightlife in Bangkok and Pattaya this Wednesday is of course welcomed but extending closing times is what’s most needed to truly normalize operations.

We can blame the first Thaksin government and his homophobic Interior Minister Purachai for early closing times. Before their Social Order campaigns in the early 2000s, bars and clubs stayed open virtually as long as there were customers. Purachai imposed mostly 1:00 am closing times. Even the hugely respected GM of the Mandarin Oriental Hotel, Kurt Wachtveitl, told the New York Times this would be a major setback for Thai tourism.

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The government has done another about face on outdoor mask wearing. After leading the public to believe that masks would no longer be required in mid-June, the PM is now saying no such plan ever existed. 

So like the insurance requirement for foreigners and the resilient Thai Pass, The government continues to find ways to limit the tourism it claims it so badly wants to attract

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58 minutes ago, reader said:

The government has done another about face on outdoor mask wearing. After leading the public to believe that masks would no longer be required in mid-June, the PM is now saying no such plan ever existed. 

So like the insurance requirement for foreigners and the resilient Thai Pass, The government continues to find ways to limit the tourism it claims it so badly wants to attract

I suspect that the current Thai conservative government is using the Covid as excuse to impose new social order to limit the number of tourists comming in and limited the entertainment activity and opening hours.

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54 minutes ago, Boy69 said:

I suspect that the current Thai conservative government is using the Covid as excuse to impose new social order to limit the number of tourists comming in and limited the entertainment activity and opening hours.

The new "social order" has been promulgated for at least a couple of years. The government no longer wants cheap tourism. It's after the big spenders. So it has made it easier to park your private jet in Phuket! 🤣

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Agreed; neither "cheap" tourism (and this includes students in gap-years) nor downmarket sex tourists are what the Junta wants.  There are still plenty of islands in the south that can be further developed with expensive hotels and golf-courses without the obvious manifestations of commercial sex. Women will be available, of course, but not the sort that parade along Pattaya Beach Road.  The Japanese hostess bars along Thaniya may be the model.

As far as we are concerned, further consolidation and fewer venues and "gay areas" are likely but we can cope with that, surely? We lost Saphan Kwai long ago, Sunnee  and Boyztown (well, almost) more recently but the Patpong area seems to have a future while the Jomtien Complex is, we're told , already flourishing again. We shall undoubtedly be fewer in number as younger gay men prefer destinations ( and facilities) closer to home: and cultural and economic expectations may limit the numbers of young men and women choosing to work in the sex industry. At least in Thailand-  if not elsewhere, yet.

It is sometimes forgotten that, even in the 90s, some bars were almost empty and quickly closed . Fewer but more vibrant bars (and areas?) may provide a better environment for us.

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3 hours ago, Londoner said:

 Women will be available, of course, but not the sort that parade along Pattaya Beach Road.  The Japanese hostess bars along Thaniya may be the model. 

I wonder where you see the difference as I can,t see more blatant  parade than in soi Thaniya, which I'm passing through at least twice per evening. Only difference is that most of ThaNiya ladies, do not pay any attention to non Japanese

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There was a heavy police presence in Soi Thaniya as I passed through at 7:40 this evening and noticeable absence of ladies of the evening.

The sole exception was the new, and quite posh, Urban Massage located in a new building at the corner of Surawong.

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Anyone else seen or heard anything to corroborate this, 

The ban on over 60s for example?

Please don't let this be true? Although how they would hope to enforce it I can't imagine?

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