By Barry Kenyon

Anything and everything about Thailand
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gerefan
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Re: By Barry Kenyon

Post by gerefan »

5,500 baht. That’s extortionate. Last time I did a border run it was about 2000 baht. Before covid obviously.

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Re: By Barry Kenyon

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Thai baht caught in international currency crosshairs

By Barry Kenyon

September 24, 2022

The cost of a foreign holiday in Thailand now depends increasingly on the currency you wish to exchange. The US dollar continues to rise on the back of Federal Reserve hawkish interest hikes and investors’ preference for the greenback during a time of general instability in world affairs. One dollar is now worth nearly 38 baht. Kasikornbank Research says there isn’t much the Bank of Thailand can do to stem the rise of the dollar, which is hiking the cost of foreign imports and fuelling Thai domestic inflation. However, the rise in foreign tourist arrivals and the increase in Thai exports should bring an improvement later in the year. CIMB Thai Bank points to a likely rise in GDP (gross domestic product) of 3.2 percent for the whole of 2022.

Meanwhile, the British pound is in headlong retreat against all major currencies including the Thai baht. Thai exchange bureaux are currently offering barely 40 baht for one UK pound, compared with 42 just weeks ago. The British chancellor, Kwasi Kwarteng, has introduced a massive tax-cutting budget (mainly benefitting the rich) to kickstart a dash for economic growth. But the Institute of Fiscal Studies warns the UK will need to borrow an extra 72 billion pounds at a time of high inflation everywhere. The independent Bank of England could well raise interest rates substantially to dampen inflation, but this would have the effect of making mortgages and other borrowing more expensive in a continuing inflationary spiral.

International financial gurus such as Bloomberg say it’s currently very difficult to predict currency movements. For example, a Russian withdrawal from Ukraine, however unlikely, would immediately have a reducing effect on international oil and gas prices. Thus the British pound would be boosted in spite of the recent budget. As regards the US dollar, some speculators argue that the greenback’s share of the world’s foreign exchange reserves continues to fall even as the rise of crypto-currencies poses a threat to traditional theories. As physicist Stephen Hawking hinted, “The only way to predict the future is to invent it yourself.”

https://www.pattayamail.com/latestnews/ ... irs-411426

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Pattaya visa runs to Cambodian border now “much easier”

By Barry Kenyon

September 28, 2022

Visitors to Thailand say that the restarted visa runs to Pong Nam Ron (Hot Water Spring) on the Cambodian border are much more straightforward than before. “The border post was quiet without long queues and we only needed our passports, not even a photo,” said Mr and Mrs Turner on a long vacation from London. They added that they began their journey from outside Jomtien Immigration in a minibus at 8 am and were back before 5 pm.

During the Covid crisis, border runs were mostly off-limits or required two or more nights of accommodation on the Cambodian side whilst applications and health records were checked. The bureaucracy has now vanished. However, the longstanding Thai rule that a new land entry stamp to the country is restricted to two in a 12 months’ period remains intact. Entries by air are not formally restricted.

The latest visa runs are designed for two groups of foreign visitors: those who entered visa exempt and were given 30 days (45 days from October 1) at the airport and those with non-immigrant visas with double or multiple entries. However, foreigners entering with 15 days visa on arrival (30 days from October 1) – mostly Indians and Chinese nationals – cannot be processed through the Cambodian visa run route.

Jessataporn Bunnag, owner of Thai Visa Center Company Ltd located next to Jomtien Immigration, said, “We are finding that the pre-Covid departure time of 6 am was too early and unpopular. It’s far better that we start from the immigration bureau at 8 am.” He added that those who cannot do the land visa run, for whatever reason, can join another new program. This involves travelling to Vientiane, capital of Laos, by air and obtaining a new visa of any type with travel, hotel and embassy contact already arranged.

More details are available from Mr Bunnag on 087 513 3333. The inclusive cost of the one day visa run to Pong Nam Ron is 5,500, including lunch, currently running Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays. For the Vientiane air trip, it’s 35,000 baht including all travel, hotel and embassy charges. Both services require prior payment at the visa and law office next to Jomtien Immigration.

https://www.pattayamail.com/latestnews/ ... ier-411850

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Re: By Barry Kenyon

Post by Jun »

Barry Kenyon wrote:
Thu Sep 29, 2022 4:18 pm
Visitors to Thailand say that the restarted visa runs to Pong Nam Ron (Hot Water Spring) on the Cambodian border are much more straightforward than before. “The border post was quiet without long queues and we only needed our passports, not even a photo,” said Mr and Mrs Turner
So far, I've not done a "Visa run", but I have been to all the neighbouring countries for a proper visit. The last time I entered Thailand from Cambodia was at the Poipet border, just pre-covid in Dec 2019. I was in the queue for over 2 hours for Thai passport control to enter Thailand. That was arriving by taxi, so I beat the hordes arriving on buses. They seemed to be on some kind of deliberate go slow.

In comparison, entering Thailand from Laos a few weeks later, there was no queue at all.

I often deliberately travel over land in one direction, as you see more that way. However, if I find any border is as bad as the Poipet one, I'll be flying.

About a decade ago, it was fairly easy to find other travellers comments on such matters on the Lonely Planet and Travel Fish forums. However, even before Covid, the activity there had mostly died out, so these ceased to be a useful resource.

Now Covid restrictions are gone, I'll be visiting other countries again. Particularly as the next trip is intended to go beyond 90 days.

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