Traveling to Thailand - Mission Impossible

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Gaybutton
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Re: Traveling to Thailand - Mission Impossible

Post by Gaybutton »

gerefan wrote:
Tue Oct 06, 2020 1:56 am
Just have a look at the first page for starters...
Nothing much on the first page other than months old news.

@DM wrote:
Tue Oct 06, 2020 4:30 am
But anyone over 50 can apply for an O-A and enter Thailand that way.
Wouldn't they still have to obtain all the paperwork, be approved by the Thai embassy, be quarantined, and come from "virus safe" countries? It seems to me that maybe they can get in, but would still have to face the issues by holders of the O-A visa.

Barry Kenyon explains in his article the reason why an O-A visa holder might be able to enter Thailand, but an O visa holder cannot.

See: https://www.gaybuttonthai.com/viewtopic ... 61#p102761

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Re: Traveling to Thailand - Mission Impossible

Post by gerefan »

Gaybutton wrote:
Tue Oct 06, 2020 6:48 am
gerefan wrote:
Tue Oct 06, 2020 1:56 am
Just have a look at the first page for starters...
Nothing much on the first page other than months old news.
The point I was making was that the official Thai Embassy website in the UK, which all of us here refer to, comes up in the Thai language...and unless you know where the translate button is..also in Thai.
All very useful...not.

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Re: Traveling to Thailand - Mission Impossible

Post by Gaybutton »

gerefan wrote:
Tue Oct 06, 2020 8:32 am
unless you know where the translate button is..also in Thai.
Way up at the top right there is a tiny down arrow where you can change the language to English. Much of it still comes up in Thai, though. I agree with you - most of what comes up in English is useless anyway. News dated May and even March - and none of it was of any importance even then. I saw nothing on the main page about the STV or anything else about traveling to Thailand. I didn't bother looking at any of the other pages. Don't they think an embassy web site based in the UK should also fully support proper English as well as Thai? I guess not.

Whoever is responsible for that web site needs a new job - one he's truly fit for, such as carrying people's groceries out to their cars.

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Re: Traveling to Thailand - Mission Impossible

Post by Jun »

Websites from governments or any monopoly companies tend to be rubbish.
For example, Thai Railways also have a pretty poor website. Even after selecting English, it keeps reverting back to Thai. Does have some interesting features, such as a tracker which tells you where every train on the network is, however of course it's unreliable and anyone who trusts this is likely to miss their train (as I have).
This isn't limited to Thailand. The latest incarnation of the London Stock Exchange website is appalling. Whoever is responsible for this should be subjected to some kind of barbaric punishment.

Getting back to the Thai Embassy site, the main point is that it has no useful information about the visa scheme. Although it's not something I would look at in it's current incarnation anyway.

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Re: Traveling to Thailand - Mission Impossible

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Save your money.

If anyone reading this has been considering trying to go to Thailand via the STV (Special Tourist Visa) I suggest saving your money at least for now. First there has been delays. Second the news has been reporting that during the initial phase if there is even one case of Covid-19 among incoming tourists, the program will be canceled.

I have seen nothing in the news about refunds or what to do about airfares, hotels, or anything else you may have already advance paid.

If you are thinking about doing this, I suggest waiting until you can be assured after you go through everything required just to be eligible for this visa, the program will allow entry into Thailand. At the moment, no guarantees.

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Re: Traveling to Thailand - Mission Impossible

Post by Jun »

Well one of the government officials said they don't need to issue refunds, as the terms state no refunds and in any case, it's just a postponement.

So there is one more reason to avoid this - the issuing authority cannot be trusted with our money. More of a Scam Tourist Visa.

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Re: Traveling to Thailand - Mission Impossible

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Jun wrote:
Mon Oct 12, 2020 2:07 pm
the issuing authority cannot be trusted with our money.
From what I understand, holders of the Elite card - the one that costs a million baht or more - provides a 5-year visa plus all kinds of extra services. That's fine, but it does not entitle holders of that Elite card entry into Thailand under the current circumstances with fewer health restrictions than anyone else.

What I don't know is whether the time spent outside of Thailand, with no way to be allowed reentry, counts toward that 5 years. If it does and if I had bought that Elite card, I'd be - to put it mildly - angry.

For the sake of holders of the Elite card, I hope due to current circumstances it will not expire 5 years from the date you bought it if you are among those outside of Thailand and cannot get back in, but why do I have a feeling that is exactly what is going to happen and there will be a nice brouhaha when it does?

One minor little problem, though: Even if Thailand says, "Folks, if you have that Special Tourist Visa and/or that Elite card, then come one, come all. We welcome you with open arms." - how are you supposed to get to Thailand . . . ?

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Re: Traveling to Thailand - Mission Impossible

Post by Jun »

Gaybutton wrote:
Mon Oct 12, 2020 3:18 pm
That's fine, but it does not entitle holders of that Elite card entry into Thailand under the current circumstances with fewer health restrictions than anyone else.
I might be wrong on this, but I thought Thais were permitted to return to Thailand with 14 day quarantine.

The 14 day quarantine is the "firewall" to prevent covid transmission.
I would have thought it would make sense for the Thai government to honour the terms of the elite visa and allow holders in with 14 day quarantine. That should result in near zero risk of importing covid, so there's not really any scientific basis for excluding them. A 14 day quarantine should work well, irrespective of the race of the people involved.
Quarantine seems to be working with Thai returnees, as The Nation is reporting positive test results amongst returning Thais, yet we see no outbreaks in the general population.

I DON'T have an Elite card and this is just my view based on doing the right thing and honouring agreements. Considering the Thai government sees no need to honour Elite cards, STVs etc, I imagine most potential customers are taking note of this.

The Bangkok post contains an article about Thailand hoping to sell more Elite cards. :lol:
https://www.bangkokpost.com/business/20 ... investment


Although we criticized it a few weeks ago, right now the $2000 deposit on entry to Cambodia looks like a safer bet than handing your money over to the Thai government. At least there are reports of people getting their $2000 back in Cambodia, minus very fair & reasonable costs.

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Re: Traveling to Thailand - Mission Impossible

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Jun wrote:
Mon Oct 12, 2020 6:58 pm
I might be wrong on this, but I thought Thais were permitted to return to Thailand with 14 day quarantine.
They are - if they can find a way to get to Thailand. There have been repatriation flights, but I have no idea how many more there will be or where they will fly from. I don't know if even Thais are being permitted to enter by land.

But for the average person reading this board, you might as well forget about a trip to Thailand for the time being. As for how much longer that "time being" will be - your guess is as good as mine.

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Re: Traveling to Thailand - Mission Impossible

Post by @DM »

Gaybutton wrote:
Mon Oct 12, 2020 3:18 pm
From what I understand, holders of the Elite card - the one that costs a million baht or more - provides a 5-year visa plus all kinds of extra services. That's fine, but it does not entitle holders of that Elite card entry into Thailand under the current circumstances with fewer health restrictions than anyone else.
You're right that Elite Visa does not entitle holders to entry with fewer health restrictions -- but having the same requirements as everybody else makes sense to me. The last thing anyone wants is for some "VIPs" to come in and start a COVID outbreak. As far as I can tell most of the Elite Visa holders in the Facebook groups and in a WhatsApp group I'm in are all fine with the understanding that ASQ (quarantine) is just part of the deal.

Pre-existing Elite Visa people got an extra 6 months added on to their visa a while back. (It wasn't automatic for some reason. You had to say "yes - give me my extra 6 months." Not sure why they couldn't have made it automatic.). New Elite Visa people I believe can select their visa start date - I think until the end of the year? So the Elite Visa company has tried to address the problem of the visa being useless for much of the year so far.

There was a nightmare logjam for getting actual approvals from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs for Elite Visa holders who applied. I applied 19 August and only got approval last Friday. Now I can apply for a Certificate of Entry. Whatever the internal political or other problem was that cause the logjam, I don't think we'll ever know for sure. The lesson for a lot of Elite Visa holders is that the visa is lower on the MFA's totem pole than O-A/X. [And then there are the "O" people who still can't even apply to go back home.]

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