By Barry Kenyon

Anything and everything about Thailand
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Re: By Barry Kenyon

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Undaunted wrote:
Thu Aug 19, 2021 5:33 am
With few exceptions the gay scene even before Covid was in need of a ventilator. The fat lady has already sang in spite of those that refuse to hear her song.
Yes, that is true. I'm hoping for an encore. And to answer a question that was put to me above, asking if I truly believe an XXX-rated Pattaya is going to rescue the tourist industry or that it is the only, or even best, option?

My answer is I don't know. I wish I did, but I don't. My guess is XXX stands a better chance than Pattaya becoming the ideal place for Heidi, Rebecca of Sunnybrook Farm, or anything similar. That is not what Pattaya ever was and was never why foreign tourists used to flock to Pattaya, especially gay tourists.

When it comes to what the powers-that-be have already done and what I think they want to do, I lean toward Groucho Marx's sentiments:


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Re: By Barry Kenyon

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In my opinion, farang intentionally breaking Thai Covid restriction laws - or any Thai laws the police actually enforce, have to be utter morons. Is liquor really that important?

I have no sympathy whatsoever for these people. They give those of us abiding by the law a bad name and make things more difficult for us. I'm sorry, but to me those unwilling to obey these laws don't belong in Thailand. I don't know if this will happen, but after they pay the fines and serve any jail time, their visas could be revoked or renewal refused and out they go. Is that risk truly worth it?

And please - don't bother giving me the usual all about how prostitution is illegal.
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Excuses galore from Pattaya expats caught drinking on the graveyard shift

By Barry Kenyon

August 22, 2021

To judge from compiled press reports, over 3,500 people, Thais and foreigners, have been arrested in police raids for illegal drinking and partying in Thailand during 2021. The last few weeks have seen an upsurge in the light of extra regulations, notably a national curfew from 21.00-04.00 hours and additional regulations from some provincial governors to outlaw consuming alcohol if more than one person is guzzling or imbibing. That’s a really tough one.

Virtually all the raids have taken place in licensed premises, such as clubs or hotels, and all but one seem to have involved foreigners as well as Thais. The sole exception was apparently the raid last May at the Faros “let’s get steamy” sauna in Bangkok where only Thai nationals have been identified at an alleged chemsex orgy. Like many other graveyard-shift raids, this one occurred after midnight on five star luxurious premises, belying a common myth that the police always steer clear of places frequented by the wealthy. Only sometimes.

The August 20 raid in Pattaya on the area in front of the Tree Tops area in Soi Buakhao was a much humbler affair involving 21 people of mixed nationalities. The area is backpacker-dominated and houses much of the cash-conscious British expat market, or what remains of it. The police action was unusual since it occurred before 21.00, the curfew hour, but group drinking at any time is forbidden under a welter of national and local orders.

Dave, a British retiree who understandably does not wish to be identified, said he and several others had assumed drinking was OK out of curfew hours as he and his friends had been to the same bar most nights in the past two weeks without incident. He had also been assured by a bar worker that a raid was out of the question as the authorities did not want bad publicity when tourism was at an all-time low. This belief that certain venues have an unofficial certificate of exemption from prosecution runs through all the raid sagas as the unfortunates look for an exit strategy.

The retiree said everyone had been piled into police transport and taken to a large room on the top floor of Pattaya police station – not a cell – where those arrested were processed on production of a copy of their passports or a driving licence. He had signed a paper in Thai which he assumed was a guilty plea and had since paid a 40,000 baht court fine. He was not sure what had happened to those who could not prove their identity. He had heard one had been detained in Nong Plalai prison as he refused to confirm his identity.

Dave added he was not being deported as “the detention center is full” but was warned that the immigration bureau had designated him as a “marked man” whilst police retained his passport. In any case, he added, he would not be returning to Thailand, a common reaction in his situation. He believed the core reason why people break the booze laws is that they are totally fed up with nothing to do. “I didn’t come to Pattaya to be a wandering extra in a zombie movie,” he concluded.

Amongst other Pattaya exposures was the raid last month on the Bamboo Beach Club on Pattaya’s “dark side” which netted 66 unfortunates of several nationalities. A Frenchman later told Pattaya Mail his defence had been that he was just visiting a friend, who used it as a base for fishing, and was surprised to have been involved in the mass arrests. However, he had changed his plea to guilty when he had discovered he would need 100,000 baht for bail with an eventual court hearing some months down the road. He had been fined by the court 50,000 baht, he said, with no other penalties so far as he yet knew.

Other alleged farang excuses for illegal drinking during arrests have included the claim by a Swedish man who was “looking for my wife,” whilst a British guy said he had read on the internet that only spirits were banned and not the bottle of Tiger beer he was defiantly holding. Another British man claimed he was exempt as he had a “special” visa which turned out to be the nondescript 60 days Covid extension granted to any tourist. Perhaps the most bizarre explanation was offered by the expat who said he was just drinking soda water and “waiting for the show to start.” Well, best to remember that the police and the courts have heard it all before.

https://www.pattayamail.com/news/excuse ... ift-368741

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Re: By Barry Kenyon

Post by Jun »

Barry Kenyon wrote:
Sun Aug 22, 2021 11:39 am
40,000 baht court fine
Presumably this sets the tariff scale for "non-court" fines ?

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Re: By Barry Kenyon

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Jun wrote:
Sun Aug 22, 2021 4:36 pm
Presumably this sets the tariff scale for "non-court" fines ?
"I don't know. You want me to ask?"
- Cary Grant (Walter Eckland), 'Father Goose'

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Re: By Barry Kenyon

Post by gerefan »

They deserve it.
One of my Thai friends tells me that the bar we used to drink in is still open, but behind closed doors and only until 10pm. There must be others.
Why on earth would these people be drinking outdoors??

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Re: By Barry Kenyon

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gerefan wrote:
Sun Aug 22, 2021 8:39 pm
Why on earth would these people be drinking outdoors??
Or drinking at all. Apparently these people think.........

Poor choice of words on my part. Seems more obvious they don't think.

And it's not just Pattaya. I don't know what's wrong with these people. Why do they do it? I couldn't possibly enjoy attending one of these parties. If I wasn't nervous about getting Covid, I'd definitely be scared the entire time of getting caught, especially if anyone there is using drugs. Not my idea of a way to have a good time.

"I hope you ENjoy......your eeeeeeveNING."
- Bela Lugosi (Count Dracula), 'Dracula'
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2 Samui party-goers nabbed during raid test positive for Covid

by Supapong Chaolan

22 Aug, 2021

SURAT THANI:
Two people arrested during a Friday raid on a party at a resort on Koh Samui have tested positive for Covid-19, leading to the officers who took part in the operation being quarantined.

The provincial public health office on Sunday said two of 83 new cases were connected with the party on the resort island: an Australian national, the owner of Lamborghini Villa where the party was held, and a Thai visitor, it said.

The two were among 24 party-goers — 13 Thais and 11 foreigners — caught during the raid at the bungalow in front of Samui airport on Friday night.

Acting Koh Samui public health chief Apidet Promkhum said others who attended the party were being quarantined at a field hospital on the island.

Five Thais and one Russian national apprehended in the operation had previously been infected with the coronavirus at an entertainment venue on Chaweng beach. They were discharged from the field hospital on Aug 10.

Almost 50 officials from six agencies participated in the raid on Friday night and also confiscated small amount of illicit drugs from two foreigners.

Bophut police chief Pol Col Yutthana Sirisombat, whose station oversees the area, said 11 of the station's police officers were being quarantined, but could not speak for other units.

The immigration office, the Tourist Police office, an army unit, the district office and the public health district office all took part in the round-up.

Samui has about 5,000 expats living on the island.

Samui district chief Theerapong Chuaychu warned foreigners based on the island they would face deportation if they continued to violate Thai law.

https://www.bangkokpost.com/thailand/ge ... -for-covid

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Re: By Barry Kenyon

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Twilight food queues on Jomtien beach road are lengthening

By Barry Kenyon

August 24, 2021

As the sun dips and before the 21.00 curfew kicks in, Jomtien promenade comes to life. The lockdown restrictions still allow locals and expats to stroll, jog and people-watch provided that their feet don’t touch the sand. The braver souls gently defy the no-social-mixing rules, chatting in small groups outside coffee stalls, whilst the younger end indulges in roller skating and laughter outside the police station. The officers inside are indulgent. As the unlamented News of the World used to say, “All human life is here.”

Five hundred yards away, around 800 people are queuing for free food and waiting anxiously for the pickups to arrive. They are orderly and patient, with almost all the noise coming from small children who are bored as well as hungry. Queuing without grumbling is grounded deep into Thai culture as any visitor to a busy bus station or post office will attest. Soon enough, a Toyota pickup arrives and starts handing out packages of rice, noodles, tinned fish and fruit. One lady holds up a sign stating that this is a charitable and religious donation. There are two pictorial representations of Jesus, although the lady in question assures me that all the volunteers are strict Buddhists.

After their departure, another truck pulls up and several foreigners begin donating the sought-after packages. They are similar in content but having the additional nutrition of two Jacob’s cream crackers. The modest volunteers are not keen to be publicized, but say they are from a local Rotary club and are subsidized by overseas donations. The food packages run out before the queue has subsided, but nobody is left hungry. There is an immediate deal with a local food cart seller to provide around 30 chicken curry takeaways for a special price of 30 baht per plate, funded by one of the volunteers.

Some of those receiving the packages depart rapidly, some on motorbikes, but others remain on the promenade to eat. Somchai says he is an out-of-work security guard who does not receive any subsidy from the government as his employer did not register him under the social security system. Teerasat and his wife confide they used to work on the long-shuttered Walking Street. Ellen, who used to eke out a bare living selling rice to foreign tourists who wanted to feed the beach pigeons, projects that things will improve by Christmas. Hopefully.

Pattaya City Hall is not sure how many locals are wholly or largely dependent on food charity, but it could be 15,000 if you include the whole of Greater Pattaya. A spokeswoman said the numbers are now much bigger than ever they were in past lockdowns. However, the authorities do require any potential, charitable organizers to register first with City Hall to ensure that staff or nominated volunteers can be on duty and to help with location publicity on social media. The contact centre helpline for all local authority matters is 1337.

https://www.pattayamail.com/news/twilig ... ing-369025

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Re: By Barry Kenyon

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Thai nationals banned from entering UK, whilst returning Brits must be compulsorily quarantined

By Barry Kenyon

August 27, 2021

The UK’s latest revision to the traffic lights travel system has moved Thailand from neutral amber to danger red. This means that from 0.400 hours on Monday August 30, only British nationals and permanent residents will be allowed to enter the UK and will be compulsory quarantined in managed hotel accommodation. There is no exemption for vaccinated Brits or those on Phuket-based Sandbox holidays. But Thai passport holders and all other foreign nationals here will be refused boarding on planes to UK from that date until further notice.

The London-based Department of Transport said that the inclusion of Thailand in the red list reflected the early August spike in infections and inadequate genomic surveillance. That, the Department claimed, makes it difficult to spot outbreaks of new or existing variants of concern, especially the Delta or Indian type. The British move will bitterly disappoint the Thai hospitality industry, especially as recovery rates have been exceeding infected numbers in recent days. Brits have been the main European supporters of Thailand’s Sandbox initiative in the last few weeks.

There will now be a desperate attempt by both British and Thai nationals to beat the deadline by trying to obtain flights to UK at very short notice. Those that succeed will likely pay hundreds or even thousands of pounds to change their tickets, as happened in Mexico which suddenly changed to red earlier this month. But many will be left behind. Others may try to obtain flights with an indirect routing to the UK, but it is a serious offence there deliberately to hide having been present in a red country anytime in the last fortnight.

The newly-announced rules will mean that all British nationals and permanent residents, from the due date, will need to have a negative PCR- test in Thailand, 72 hours before departure, and book and pay for their UK quarantine hotel for 10 days at a cost of 2,285 pounds. There is no exemption for those doubly vaccinated. They must also fill in a passenger locator form and, on arrival in UK, take two further Covid tests on or before days two and eight – unless they are under five years old.

As announced, Thai citizens – unless they are dual passport holders or hold permanent residency – will not be allowed to enter UK until the red status is changed. The next scheduled date for traffic light revisions is September 16, although announcements can be made at any time. All eyes will be on Thailand’s progress in the next three weeks in reducing recorded infections, achieving more vaccinations and publicly researching Covid variants.

The latest travel rules mean that Thailand joins the Philippines as the two red countries in south east Asia. Cambodia and Vietnam are amber, whilst Singapore and Australia are green, but none is issuing visas for holidaymakers. Marlene Lipton, part of the UK Travel and Tour Consortium, said, “The UK traffic light grading system is full of ambiguities and contradictions. The Thai authorities are predicting that the infection rates have peaked, whilst the UK thinks the situation is deteriorating.” She advised all those affected to check their holiday insurance details as those trapped in Thailand now face much bigger costs to get home.

https://www.pattayamail.com/latestnews/ ... ned-369379

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Re: By Barry Kenyon

Post by Jun »

Barry Kenyon wrote:
Fri Aug 27, 2021 2:43 pm
The newly-announced rules will mean that all British nationals and permanent residents, from the due date, will need to have a negative PCR- test in Thailand, 72 hours before departure, and book and pay for their UK quarantine hotel for 10 days at a cost of 2,285 pounds. There is no exemption for those doubly vaccinated. They must also fill in a passenger locator form and, on arrival in UK, take two further Covid tests on or before days two and eight – unless they are under five years old.

As announced, Thai citizens – unless they are dual passport holders or hold permanent residency – will not be allowed to enter UK until the red status is changed.
I suspect the last comment might not be correct.

The following is an extract from the red list rules on gov.co.uk.

"If you have been in a country or territory on the red list in the last 10 days you will only be allowed to enter the UK if you are a British or Irish National, or you have residence rights in the UK."

My interpretation of this is that only British and Irish citizens can enter the UK DIRECTLY from Thailand.
There would be nothing to prevent a Thai citizen entering the UK if they have been in a non red-list country for over 10 days. Unless I have missed some other small print.

Also, rather than splash out £2285 to stay in a quarantine cell, I'd expect most British citizens to fly somewhere else for a couple of weeks, then return to the UK.

https://www.gov.uk/guidance/red-amber-a ... list-rules

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Re: By Barry Kenyon

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Friends, flying from a country in the Middle East, spent a very pleasant fortnight in the Irish Republic rather than spend time at high cost in the places, which pass for hotels, near UK airports.

"All eyes will be on Thailand’s progress in the next three weeks in reducing recorded infections"..... everything depends on how many you test.

Anyone who thinks that covid-19 has peaked in Thailand is delusional. It may have peaked in Bangkok, and the surrounding provinces, where they've thrown most of the vaccines at it but the South, North and North East appear to be well behind in vaccinating people. That's another peak yet to come. This delta variant spreads like wild fire.

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