By Barry Kenyon

Anything and everything about Thailand
Post Reply
User avatar
Gaybutton
Posts: 18790
Joined: Sat Jul 31, 2010 11:21 am
Location: Thailand
Has thanked: 2 times
Been thanked: 1018 times

Re: By Barry Kenyon

Post by Gaybutton »


User avatar
Gaybutton
Posts: 18790
Joined: Sat Jul 31, 2010 11:21 am
Location: Thailand
Has thanked: 2 times
Been thanked: 1018 times

Re: By Barry Kenyon

Post by Gaybutton »

Pattaya’s Walking Street refit now depends on China

By Barry Kenyon

August 13, 2021

The waterfront soul of traditional Pattaya is about the same size as Vatican City even if the similarity ends there. But the bars and clubs of Walking Street have been shuttered for months and parts look scheduled for demolition. The Pattaya local authority has already stated that the dozens of premises jutting into the sea will not be able to renew their entertainment licences as they are illegal structures. Moreover, the whole area should be turned into a 21st century business and leisure complex far removed from the sins of the flesh.

The key to the future now is the Eastern Economic Corridor (EEC) consortium, a 1.7 trillion baht mega project for three provinces (including Chonburi and Pattaya) which is heavily dependent on foreign state and private investments. But China is the biggest player. To its supporters, the EEC is a paradise of tax-free industrial zones and green smart cities fuelled by 5G technologies and driven by business allies, including the Thai energy giant PTT which believes that the eastern coast of the Gulf of Thailand can become the hub of the vast Southeast Asian market for exports.

Social media critics say they don’t believe a word of it, but international EEC funds have already built the eight lane Motorway 7, linking Maptaphut with Bangkok. The hi-speed rail network, linking Rayong airport to transport hubs in Bangkok, is another EEC project and one being built by the state-owned China Railway Construction Company. Many Chinese companies have already bought heavily into the EEC, including Alibaba, Great Wall Motors and Huawei. Improved infrastructure is essential for the development of the Silk Road and Chinese investors are attracted by Thailand’s tax-free incentives and the country’s pivotal geographical position in the region.

Pattaya authorities are keen to add the resort to the gravy train. A new 2.9 billion baht mega project for Bali Hai Pier to include waterfront expansion and a terminal for cruise ships has already been sent to the EEC, whilst the adjoining Walking Street is planned to turn into landscaped gardens, department stores, classy restaurants and family entertainment venues. Pattaya Mayor Sonthaya Kunplome has confirmed his aim to turn Walking Street into a world-class for shopping, eating and nightlife.

So everything depends on the EEC policy committee and its Thai and international backers: Pattaya would be a tourist center serving the EEC rather than western night owls. Meanwhile, enthusiasm for a reopening of the sinful Walking Street is waning as former operators realize that a combination of the ongoing Covid-inspired tourist collapse and the determination of national and local government to rejig Pattaya’s waterfront beyond all recognition are compelling factors. To all intents and purposes, the familiar Walking Street has died. No amount of sentimentality can re-start its heartbeat.

https://www.pattayamail.com/latestnews/ ... ina-367739

User avatar
Gaybutton
Posts: 18790
Joined: Sat Jul 31, 2010 11:21 am
Location: Thailand
Has thanked: 2 times
Been thanked: 1018 times

Re: By Barry Kenyon

Post by Gaybutton »

Confusion abounds for travellers from Thailand arriving in UK

By Barry Kenyon

August 14, 2021

On London’s latest health rulings, British vacationers to Thailand’s Sandbox visitor-cocoon program do not have to quarantine, at home or in a hotel, on their return to UK. This is because they must have been fully vaccinated in UK before the Thai embassy in London issued the all-important certificate of entry authorization. On returning to UK, they need only pre and post flight Covid tests and a passenger locator form for address confirmation.

But all non-Sandbox travellers to UK, Brits or Thais, are required to self-quarantine for 10 days on arrival in UK if they are unvaccinated or if their jabs were done in Thailand. This is because the UK health authorities only recognize vaccinations physically performed in the UK, the European Union or the United States. The British Department of Transport says that vaccination programs performed outside the designated countries “are not yet approved.”

Thailand’s current grading in the UK’s traffic lights system is amber or medium risk. But the United States has already moved Thailand to the highest level of concern and strongly urged Americans not to visit the Land of Smiles because of the significant Covid risks. The next revision of the UK’s traffic lights is scheduled for August 25 although changes can be announced suddenly, as happened recently in the case of Mexico.

If Thailand is given the red signal by UK authorities, compulsory quarantine in a state-recognized hotel for 10 days will be required of all arrivals in UK whether vaccinated or not and irrespective of nationality. The cost would be a whopping 2,285 pounds. Another problem could be suddenly invalid insurance policies as vacationers had been visiting countries “against the government’s advice”. UK travel agents say the likelihood of Thailand becoming red increases every time the daily infection totals increase – which is currently the unfortunate trend.

The Tourist Authority of Thailand has reacted to the growing international pressure by stressing that only selected parts of Thailand, particularly Phuket and certain other islands, are open for foreign tourism and that the Sandbox record in keeping overseas visitors safe is unblemished. British nationals have been the leading European champions of the Sandbox program and a sudden withdrawal would leave a serious gap in recruitment.

https://www.pattayamail.com/news/confus ... -uk-367762

User avatar
Gaybutton
Posts: 18790
Joined: Sat Jul 31, 2010 11:21 am
Location: Thailand
Has thanked: 2 times
Been thanked: 1018 times

Re: By Barry Kenyon

Post by Gaybutton »

Thailand’s revival must await quarantine ending, says report

By Barry Kenyon

August 16, 2021

Most European vacationers won’t consider Thailand as a holiday resort until fully vaccinated tourists are spared compulsory quarantine, according to a report by a group of British travel agents.

DreamHols asked 1,360 customers, mostly Brits but with some European Union input, why they were not booking for the Thai Sandbox holidays which are centered on the south of the country. Fully vaccinated foreign tourists must spend 14 days on Phuket, and potentially several other designated islands, before being allowed to roam the country at will.

Respondents gave a variety of reasons including the overall expense, including insurance and health tests, and the complexity of the ever-changing entrance requirements, the fact that many amenities are closed and a preference for non-Sandbox destinations such as Bangkok, Pattaya and Chiang Mal without an initial 14-days delay in Phuket.

However, the key reason stated by over 75 percent was the requirement to undertake initial quarantine for two full weeks, howbeit with limited freedom to move around designated southern islands to enjoy the sun-kissed beaches as long as they slept every evening at their chosen hotel and did not try to run off.

One respondent from Manchester said, “If you are doubly-vaccinated, it should be enough to prove that and to have a pre-departure Covid test without the need to be confined to quarters for a fortnight.” He added that everybody he knew was booking a holiday in a country where you were permitted to be free from day one or, at worst, day two.

The Sandbox scheme has to date welcomed 20,000 foreigners to Phuket with around 1,700 Brits, the largest contingent after the USA. But the American government has now graded Thailand as red, or highest virus risk, and strongly advised against travel to the kingdom. Britain currently rates Thailand as amber, or medium risk, although the persistent increase in daily infection totals could compromise that intermediate listing.

The Tourist Authority of Thailand governor, Yuthasak Supasorn, has stressed that strict regulations to protect visitors are in force in the Sandbox areas and that no foreign tourist has yet caught the virus whilst enjoying a vacation there. He explained that the best way forward for Thailand was to reduce the fortnight compulsory quarantine to one week from October this year. But even that possibility depends on the virus and its variants coming under control.

https://www.pattayamail.com/latestnews/ ... ort-368102

User avatar
Jun
Posts: 3215
Joined: Sun Aug 01, 2010 10:20 pm
Has thanked: 438 times
Been thanked: 208 times

Re: By Barry Kenyon

Post by Jun »

Barry Kenyon wrote:
Mon Aug 16, 2021 11:16 pm
One respondent from Manchester said, “If you are doubly-vaccinated, it should be enough to prove that and to have a pre-departure Covid test without the need to be confined to quarters for a fortnight.” He added that everybody he knew was booking a holiday in a country where you were permitted to be free from day one or, at worst, day two.
Considering covid is already all over the place in Thailand, the only reasonable reason to have anything more than one test would be for screening for different variants of covid.
However, Thailand does not seem bothered about that AND Thailand already has the Delta variant.

So there is no reason to maintain any restrictions beyond entry testing. Also, bear in mind the incoming tourists will be double vaccinated with a good vaccine, which is better than most of the people already in Thailand.

Of course, right now I wouldn't want to go to a locked down country. December might be very different.

User avatar
Gaybutton
Posts: 18790
Joined: Sat Jul 31, 2010 11:21 am
Location: Thailand
Has thanked: 2 times
Been thanked: 1018 times

Re: By Barry Kenyon

Post by Gaybutton »

Jun wrote:
Tue Aug 17, 2021 12:30 am
December might be very different.
The only difference I see coming is further restrictions. The powers-that-be have succeeded only in making things worse than they already were. And things are continuing to get even worse. You might be right about December, though - if you are talking about December 2022 or 2023 - if we're lucky.

We all want the Thailand we know to come back. If anyone thinks the current powers-that-be are going to accomplish that, keep dreaming.

And those in power in Pattaya are still clinging to this "family oriented" nonsense, even to the point that they want to change the entire paradigm of Walking Street. Personally I am sick and tired of this "sex is bad" bullshit. Do they truly believe a G-rated Pattaya is going to rescue the tourist industry?

User avatar
bkkguy
Posts: 60
Joined: Fri Jun 05, 2020 4:20 pm
Location: Bangkok
Has thanked: 3 times
Been thanked: 4 times

Re: By Barry Kenyon

Post by bkkguy »

Gaybutton wrote:
Tue Aug 17, 2021 2:22 am
We all want the Thailand we know to come back.
is this "we" the 118 users you list on the site members page? I know you don't believe in data so I won't start a discussion about your site visitor numbers compared to the total tourists visiting Pattaya, or indeed Thailand, pre-COVID and what "the Thailand we know" might actually be
Gaybutton wrote:
Tue Aug 17, 2021 2:22 am
Do [those in power in Pattaya] truly believe a G-rated Pattaya is going to rescue the tourist industry?
do you, or "we", or indeed anyone, truly believe an XXX-rated Pattaya is going to rescue the tourist industry or that it is the only, or even best, option?
I’m nervous now when people cough near me, I would be much more comfortable if they would far cough.

User avatar
Gaybutton
Posts: 18790
Joined: Sat Jul 31, 2010 11:21 am
Location: Thailand
Has thanked: 2 times
Been thanked: 1018 times

Re: By Barry Kenyon

Post by Gaybutton »

bkkguy wrote:
Wed Aug 18, 2021 8:11 pm
is this "we" the 118 users you list on the site members page?
No. 117. All but one. If you think really hard, you might be able to guess who is the one I have in mind.

User avatar
Jun
Posts: 3215
Joined: Sun Aug 01, 2010 10:20 pm
Has thanked: 438 times
Been thanked: 208 times

Re: By Barry Kenyon

Post by Jun »

Some participants in this thread might hope for the gay scene to get back to what it was 15 years ago. I'm not that optimistic, as the factors are not in place for it to happen. e.g:
Abolishing the smartphone is unlikely.
The baht will not depreciate by 50% merely because some people would like that. I've never read a proper economic argument to justify a weak baht on a gay board. The indebted countries debasing their currencies are places like the USA, UK etc, not Thailand.
The local police will not scale back their fiscal requirements to allow small scale gay bars to thrive.

So forget Thailand getting back to where it was 15 years ago.
What I can do is look at current vaccination rates, then get my calculator out to extrapolate where we might be in December. About 70 million doses delivered. That's where the UK was in June, when we had got rid of most restrictions, although not all. Conveniently both countries have a similar population.
70 million doses is at current vaccination rates. These might increase or decrease according to vaccine supply, but I'd bet on an increase if we measure over the next 4 months.
Therefore, there is every reason to think might be Thailand to be reducing restrictions later in the year. For anyone who gets there, we will find warm weather, plenty of boys on Grindr, possibly a handful of bars reopening.

If Thailand fouls it up, I shall evaluate the alternatives. For instance, Cambodia has vaccinated a far higher proportion of the population than Thailand.

User avatar
Undaunted
Posts: 2303
Joined: Fri Aug 12, 2016 8:47 am
Has thanked: 21 times
Been thanked: 314 times

Re: By Barry Kenyon

Post by Undaunted »

Jun wrote:
Thu Aug 19, 2021 1:01 am
Some participants in this thread might hope for the gay scene to get back to what it was 15 years ago.
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.
"In the land of the blind the one eyed man is king"

Post Reply