CrazyExpat

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  1. Like
    CrazyExpat reacted to rmambour in Newbie   
    Angthong...100km north from Bangkok, 30km from Ayutthaya
     
  2. Like
    CrazyExpat reacted to rucus7 in What happened to this Thailand visa web site.   
    Three and a half years ago when I joined, it seems like it was going to take off. I was a pleasant change from Thai Visa. much less negativity. Anyway, I check back from time to time hoping to to see it revive.
  3. Like
    CrazyExpat got a reaction from Pereraito in Thai PM urges more Japanese participation in ASEAN   
    PHNOM PENH, Nov 19 – Thai Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra today called on Japan to play a key role in connecting the Southeast Asian region, particularly in the development of the Dawei deep seaport mega project near the Thai-Myanmar border and cooperation in preparing the region for possible disasters.
    Ms Yingluck made the overture in a meeting among member countries of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) and Japan, held on the sidelines of the 21st ASEAN Summit in the Cambodian capital. The ASEAN-Japan Summit, the 15th of its kind, lasted about one and a half hours.
    The Thai premier openly sought the Japanese support in handling natural disasters and exchanges of information with the Asian Disaster Preparedness Centre in order to connect a disaster arning system through satellite.
    She called on Japan to take a larger role in connecting the region, especially especially regarding logistics to link Thailand’s border areas with neighbouring countries, and the Dawei project with Laem Chabang deep seaport on eastern Thailand.
    Japan should increase its activity in the Mekong region through the Initiative for ASEAN Integration and the Mekong Japan Forum with emphasis on agriculture, public health and human resources development, said Ms Yingluck.
    http://englishnews.mcot.net/site/content?id=50a9e739150ba07c7b000008#.UKo3noV8VD0
  4. Like
    CrazyExpat got a reaction from byclelloday in Living Wills in Thailand   
    Wills are instruments used to state one's testamentary wishes after death. Usually the issue of Will preparation arises in the Kingdom of Thailand when property disbursements need to be arranged in advance of one's demise. In Thailand, both foreign nationals and Thai Citizens pass away, leaving property in the form of Real Estate, bank accounts
    , or other forms of personal property. In many cases, the family of the deceased will "let the will speak," which is another way of saying that they will have the Will read in front of those mentioned therein. After that the deceased's family will see to it that it processes through the appropriate probate court. This court will then see that the assets are distributed in the manner set forth in the codicils of the Will.
    A Living Will is an instrument to be used for an entirely different purpose. The following quote from Wikipedia accurately describes this kind of legal document:
    "[The Living Will] was first proposed by an Illinois attorney, Louis Kutner, in a law journal in 1969. Kutner drew from existing estate law, by which an individual can control property affairs after death (i.e., when no longer available to speak for themselves) and devised a way for an individual to speak to his or her health care desires when no longer able to express current health care wishes. Because this form of 'will' was to be used while an individual was still alive (but no longer able to make decisions) it was dubbed the 'living will.' A Living Will usually provides specific directives about the course of treatment that is to be followed by health care providers and caregivers. In some cases a living will may forbid the use of various kinds of burdensome medical treatment. It may also be used to express wishes about the use or foregoing of food and water, if supplied via tubes or other medical devices
    . The living will is only used if the individual has become unable to give informed consent or refusal due to incapacity. A living will can be very specific or very general. An example of a statement sometimes found in a living will is: 'If I suffer an incurable, irreversible illness, disease, or condition and my attending physician determines that my condition is terminal, I direct that life-sustaining measures that would serve only to prolong my dying be withheld or discontinued.'" http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Advance_health_care_directive#Living_will
    Recently, the popular website Thaivisa.com in conjunction with The Nation Newspaper reported that the Cabinet in the Kingdom of Thailand has preliminarily approved a proposal that would create legislation allowing living wills in the Kingdom:
    "The Cabinet Tuesday gave the green light to living wills. Under the draft decree, health professionals will honour a dying patient's wish to forego treatment during the terminal stage if it can only prolong life. The draft prepared by the National Health Commission Office will now go to the Council of State for review." http://www.thaivisa.com/forum/Thailand-Green-Light-Living-Wills-t320469.html
    It will probably be interesting to observe how this proposed legislation moves through the numerous government channels. Living Wills are generally an effective method of conveying one's wishes should some misfortune occur. As Thailand is primarily made up of Buddhist adherents, the idea of death can be a notion that some Thais do not wish to openly discuss. Although, passage of legislation aimed at providing for Thai Living Wills would probably be a major relief to some of those living in the Kingdom. With luck, this proposal may gain popular acceptance and be enacted as Thai law.
    Ben Hart
    Benjamin W. Hart is licensed to practice law in United States Federal District Court. He is also the Managing Director of Integrity Legal (Thailand) Co. Ltd. Contact Integrity Legal at: 1-877-231-7533, +66 (0)2-266-3698, info@integrity-legal.com. To learn more on related topis please see: US-Thai Amity Treaty or Thai property.
    http://www.articlesbase.com/law-articles/living-wills-in-thailand-1642365.html
  5. Like
    CrazyExpat got a reaction from lotoalosisp in Udon Thani - Gateway to Laos via Friendship Bridge   
    Udon Thani, also known as simply Udon, is a province in the northeast of Thailand, close to the Laotian border and is the gateway to Laos via the Friendship Bridge at Nong Khai. Its capital city is also named Udon Thani. Most Thais refer to it as Udon.
    Udon Thani was relative unknown to foreigners until the Vietnam war, at which time the USA set up a military base. That base has since been turned over to Thailand, which was part of the deal when the USA was granted permission to set up the base.
    Udon Thani itself is better known as a gateway city rather than a major tourist destination. Many tourists pass through Udon Thani on their way to somewhere else, such as Laos and Nong Khai during the time of the Naga Fireballs.
    The Naga Fireballs is a phenomenon that has to be seen to be believed. No one seems to know how this phenomenon occurs, but it is predictable. Along the banks of the Mekong River, when the moon rises, the phenomenon begins, with these fireballs rising out of the river. Sometimes there are only a few. Sometimes there are thousands. This year, 2009, the phenomenon is expected to occur the evening of Sunday, October 4. If you wish to experience the phenomenon you won’t be alone. As many as 500,000 spectators are expected. If you wish to go, if you don’t already have hotel reservations, try to make them immediately. Don’t be too surprised if you cannot find any vacancies. Reservations are usually made months in advance.
    Getting to Udon Thani is easy. Udon Thani has a good passenger airport. There is also an abundance of bus services to Udon and is a 14 hour railroad train ride from Bangkok. Within Udon there is plenty of public transportation. There are motorcycle taxis, tuk-tuks, baht buses, and even bicycle rickshaws for short-distance rides. You can also rent bicycles and pedal around the city yourself.
    There are many mid-range priced hotels in Udon Thani and surrounding areas.
    In Udon Thani you will find an abundance of Korean barbeque restaurants. These are quite popular in Udon. If that is not to your taste, then along with all the Thai food, you can find the typical fast food restaurants in the shopping centers and a few western restaurants. The best western restaurants, along with some the best shopping, can be found in the Charoen Shopping Complex. There is also a good night bazaar near the railroad station. The shopping action at the night bazaar usually begins around 5:00pm and finishes up around 10:30pm.
    The Charoen Shopping Complex also houses most of Udon Thani’s nighttime entertainment venues, with bars, karaokes, and English style pubs
    Udon Thani is in the real Issan part of Issan. Wherever you go, you can count on seeing one thing. Rice farms. Everywhere you look you’ll see rice farms. This is the major industry in this area of Thailand and this is also the area at whioch most of Thailand’s famous sticky rice is grown.
    Sightseeing in and around the Udon Thani area includes:
    • Ban Chiang – This is widely considered to be the most important recent archeological discovery in nearly all of Southeast Asia. The discoveries, beginning in 1967, here date back to the Bronze Age and artifacts have been made here that date back as far as 4400 BC. This is one of the finest museums in Thailand and is considered a must when visiting Udon Thani.
    • Udon Thani Museum – This museum houses collections dating back to the founding of Udon Thani and includes an abundance of historical information.
    • Udon Sunshine Orchid Farm – This is one of Thailand’s finest collections of common and rare orchids. A stop here is a must if you are an orchid enthusiast and well worth a stop even if you are not. Some of the most beautiful flowers you will ever see can be found here.
    • Phu Foi Lom – This is a major eco-tourism site, located in the Pa Phan Don-Pakho National Forest.
    There are also several caves, waterfalls, rapids, and other historical sites to visit.
    Local food products include the Chinese sausage called kun chiang, moo yong, which is a pork floss, moo yo, which is steamed pork, and moo naem, which is a sour pork product.
    If you wish to enter Laos via the Friendship Bridge at Nong Khai, the visa-on-arrival fee for foreigners is US $35 and entitles you to 30 days in Laos You must have two passport photos available. Thais pay a different fee of their own. Air conditioned buses to Vientiane depart six times daily from Udon Thani. The fare is 80 baht one way.
    cc ThailandVisa.com 2009
  6. Like
    CrazyExpat got a reaction from enulparcadder in Thailand, US agree to deepen partnership   
    Thailand and United States have agreed to chart the way for a deeper bilateral strategic partnership and enhanced regional cooperation as Bangkok welcomed Washington’s policy of forging a stronger partnership with the Asia-Pacific region.
    Thai Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra on Sunday welcomed the US President Barack Obama at Government House and held bilateral talks on a wide range of issues.
    Both leaders later held a joint press conference in which Mr Obama reaffirmed the enduring US support for democracy in Thailand and welcomed the Thai government’s commitment to strengthening Thailand’s parliamentary democracy.
    He emphasised that Thailand is America’s oldest treaty ally in Asia. The two leaders agreed that their alliance is rooted in a shared commitment to democracy, the rule of law, respect for both universal human rights and open societies, and a free market, which has bonded the people of the two nations closely together.
    Thailand and the US will mark the anniversary of their 180 years of diplomatic relations in 2013.
    The two leaders welcomed their continuing high-level and multidimensional dialogue, including the Fourth United States-Thailand Strategic Dialogue in June 2012, considered as the critical framework for shaping the agenda for United States-Thai relations.
    Ms Yingluck welcomed the American’ policy of forging a stronger partnership with the Asia-Pacific region and US support for ASEAN centrality in regional development and integration, especially through Washington’s engagement in the ASEAN-US Summit and the East Asia Summit (EAS).
    Mr Obama noted the growing importance of the EAS as an important regional forum for Asia-Pacific leaders to discuss political and strategic issues.
    The two leaders reaffirmed their commitment to working together to promote practical regional cooperation, including using other regional multilateral organisations such as the ASEAN Regional Forum (ARF) and the Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) forum.
    The US President welcomed Thailand’s interest in the Trans Pacific Partnership (TPP) negotiations, which is subject to Thailand’s undertaking the necessary domestic procedures.
    The two leaders looked forward to reconvening the TIFA Joint Council as an important step to strengthening our trade ties and consulting on the requirements for Thailand’s eventual participation in high-standard agreements, including the TPP. (MCOT online news)
    http://englishnews.mcot.net/site/content?id=50a9ac6b150ba0aa500000d9#.UKo2u4V8VD0
  7. Like
    CrazyExpat got a reaction from carpinteyroifn in BMW Motorcycles in Thailand   
    Looking for a nice use BMW motorcycle!
  8. Like
    CrazyExpat got a reaction from Haftisioftown in Visa reforms seen to boost tourism   
    MANILA, Philippines - The government is set to implement a number of visa reforms intended to boost the competitiveness of the Philippines as a tourism destination.
    The new visa policies include additional visa-freee privilege for 166 countries/territories from 21 to 30 days, granting of a 30-day visa-free stay to Chinese nationals traveling to the Philippines as part of a tour group handled by a Department of Tourism-accredited Philippine tour operator and a 14-day visa-free stay for Indian nationals who have a valid American, Japan, Australia, Canadian, Shengen, Singapore, or United Kingdom visa.
    The new policies were agreed upon in a recent meeting between Tourism Secretary Ramon Jimenez, Foreign Affairs Secretary Albert F. Del Rosario, Justice Secretary Leila M. De Lima, and BI Commissioner Ricardo A. David Jr.
    The new policies are set to simplify entry requirement procedures and processes and allowing tourists more time in the Philippines.
    http://www.philstar.com/Article.aspx?articleId=789458&publicationSubCategoryId=200
  9. Like
    CrazyExpat got a reaction from enulparcadder in BMW Motorcycles in Thailand   
    Looking for a nice use BMW motorcycle!
  10. Like
    CrazyExpat got a reaction from enulparcadder in Burapa Pattaya Bike Week Feb 15-16 2013   
    Been here several years and it is a great time. Put this on your calendar!


  11. Like
    CrazyExpat got a reaction from gggrgerd in Getting a Permanent Residence Permit in Thailand   
    The various advantages of holding a Thai PR can perhaps explain the increasing volume of PR applications being received by the immigration office every year. Though the requirements and processes involved are never definite and clear, most resident expats in the Land of Smiles are willing to gamble their money, time and effort to secure a permanent residence status in Thailand.
    Among the merits of holding a permanent resident status in Thailand are as follows:
    1. A PR holder can live permanently in Thailand which means he/she doesn't have to go through the usual immigration red tape.
    2. A Thai permanent resident is entitled to an alien registration book which is equivalent to the National ID card held by Thai citizens. Apart from this, he will be issued a permanent residence book.
    3. A permanent resident can be included in the Tabien Baan aka house registration document.
    4. A PR holder can obtain a work permit easier than a non-resident. This implies that he/she still have to obtain a work permit if he/she intends on working in Thailand.
    On top of the advantages outlined above, a permanent resident can also enjoy a lot of privileges that go with his permanent status. These include the following:
    1. Ability to finance a condo purchase with funds earned in Thailand as opposed to the required use of off shore funds.
    2. Being able to apply for naturalization in accordance with the law concerned;
    3. Your children who are born in Thailand can be granted a Thai nationality.
    4. Become a director of a public company although it's majority Thai owned.
    5. Non-Thai family members can also apply for extension of stay and permanent residence.
    The Immigration bureau implements a quota in granting permanent residence status by nationality. That is only 100 PR grants per nationality every year. The application period normally opens in early or mid December which runs until the last business day of December. The results of the PR application are published in a newspaper in December of the next year. This means that the Thai PR application process takes a year to complete.
    If you think you are qualified to apply for the Thai PR, it would be good starting your preparation as early as possible. You have to identify the best category which your qualifications fall under and start collecting the required documents associated with it. It's also advised that you enlist the services of a qualified Thailand lawyer to guide you with the requirements and process involved.
    Siam Legal International is a full service Thailand law firm providing Thailand Immigration and Thai PR assistance to all nationalities.
    George M. Londob works as a Business Correspondent for Siam Legal International, Thailand's largest legal service network with offices in Bangkok, Phuket, Pattaya, Hua Hin, Chiang Mai and Samui. The firm has international locations in London and Los Angeles. Siam Legal is a full-service law firm that provides a wide range of legal and visa services. Reach Siam Legal at +(66) 2-253-8100, or info@siam-legal.com
    Article Source: http://EzineArticles.com/?expert=George_Londob
  12. Like
    CrazyExpat got a reaction from gggrgerd in US influence helps nail foreign felons with Thai visa   
    The capture of several high-profile transnational suspects in Thailand in recent months owes a debt to a US information-pooling model, the Immigration Police Bureau says.
    The new approach to intelligence sharing is helping catch suspects who might previously have gone undetected, it says.
    Vital information about key criminal suspects from local and national security offices is combined and shared among crimebusters, including those in other countries when a crime-tracking operation goes global.
    Pol Maj Gen Preecha Thimamontri, commander of Immigration Division 2, said the IPB is emulating the Fusion Centers model created by the US government after the 9/11 terror attacks. Each security agency, from local to federal level, pools information for analyzing and predicting threats.
    For the full article:
    http://www.bangkokpost.com/news/crimes/287013/us-influence-helps-nail-foreign-felons
  13. Like
    CrazyExpat reacted to smoker in Meatload from Lvdkeyes   
    My version:
    My meatloaf - otherwise known as "burger and bun in one" is the food make when you are a few days before your paycheck and really don't want to be forced to choose between beer and food.
    It will cost only a few bucks to make and, in general, feed you for about three days.
    That's a good thing.
    Plus, you get to get messy.
    MEATLOAF AKA BURGER AND BUN IN ONE
    Step One: Purchase a loaf of bread, two pounds of cheap ground beef, eggs, a large jar of cheap ass tomato sauce.
    Step Two: Turn the dial on your over two thirds of the way around. Do this first. Really.
    Step Three: Wash your hands.
    Step Four: Throw the meat into a bowl. Crack two or three eggs into it.
    Step Five: Rip up five or six slices of bread and throw them into the bowl.
    Step Six: Dump two thirds of the jar of sauce into the bowl.
    Step Seven: Put one shake of every spice you have in the house into the bowl. Also add three shakes of worchester sauce if you happen to have a bottle of it around.
    Step Eight: Stick your hands in the bowl and mush it around until it starts becoming one solid mass. Then shape the solid mass into a loaf shaped item.
    Step Nine: Open the oven door. If you have been following this closely heat should emanate from the oven. If not, remember to turn the dial on the oven two thirds of the way around and wait 10 minutes.
    Step 10: Put the loaf like object onto the oven pan. Then pour the last third of the jar of sauce over the loaf like object.
    Step 11: Close over door. Wait 75 minutes.
    Step 12: Open over door, take out food.
    Step 13: Wait 15 minutes for loaf to cool.
    Step 14: Eat.
  14. Like
    CrazyExpat reacted to Bob in Meatload from Lvdkeyes   
    Yep, I think the "meatload" deal is a totally different recipe...
    But the meatloaf recipe does sound great and, if/when I get the urge to actually cook, will have to try it.
  15. Like
    CrazyExpat reacted to Thaimo in Meatload from Lvdkeyes   
    "Meatload from Lvdkeyes." That has to be the greatest Freudian slip I've ever seen!
    Your recipe looks wonderful. I will soon try it.
  16. Like
    CrazyExpat reacted to lvdkeyes in Meatload from Lvdkeyes   
    Try this one:
    Meatloaf
    Serves 8 to 10
    • 4 slices white bread, torn into pieces
    • 2 1/2 pounds ground beef
    • 1 medium yellow onion, peeled and cut into eighths
    • 2 cloves garlic
    • 2 stalks celery, cut into 2-inch pieces
    • 2 carrots, peeled and cut into 2-inch pieces
    • 1/2 cup flat-leaf parsley leaves
    • 1 large egg
    • 1 cup ketchup
    • 3 teaspoons dry mustard
    • 1 tablespoon coarse salt
    • 2 teaspoons freshly ground black pepper
    • 2 tablespoons brown sugar
    1. Heat oven to 375 degrees. Place bread in the bowl of a food processor fitted with the steel blade; pulse until fine crumbs form. Transfer to a medium bowl, and add ground beef.
    2. Place onion, garlic, celery, carrots, and parsley in the bowl of a food processor fitted with the steel blade; pulse until fine. Add to meat mixture, using hands to mix well. Add egg, 1/2 cup ketchup, 2 teaspoons dry mustard, salt, and pepper; use hands to combine thoroughly. Place in an 8 1/2-by-4 1/2-by-2 1/2-inch loaf pan.
    3. Combine remaining 1/2 cup ketchup, remaining teaspoon dry mustard, and brown sugar in a bowl; stir until smooth.
    4. Brush mixture over meatloaf; place in the oven with a baking pan set on the rack below to catch drippings. Cook until a meat thermometer inserted in the center reads 160 degrees, about 90 minutes. If top gets too dark, cover with foil, and continue baking.
  17. Like
    CrazyExpat reacted to Scout in A big hello from the deep South.   
    Hoping to get to Thailand soon. I love the photos you are posting on facebook.
  18. Like
    CrazyExpat reacted to Thai in Hello   
    I lived in Thailand for 8 years previously had a small business in Jomtien all went sour after the crisis in America hit the world and most peoples pockets , Lived in View Talay 2 ... you may know me .. all the bars owners do anyway hahaha .. now back in England to revive the bank account the back again to the land of smiles , any way Hi to you all
  19. Like
    CrazyExpat reacted to Desiree in In Thailand, Smuggled iPhones Go for Up to $1,400   
    I'm about to make a trip to Thailand. This makes me want to run out and buy a few phones to sell. I could almost pay for my trip.
  20. Like
    CrazyExpat got a reaction from rajarezafahlevi in Welcome to Thailand Visa   
    Welcome to Thailand Visa: where you don't need American Express! At Thailand Visa we are the premier site to help people like you visit Thailand and get the most out of the experience!
    ThailandVisa.com is your home away from home, whenever you visit Thailand, or are just fantasizing about your next trip. We have all the information you need right at your fingertips. Think of us as your personal guide to the great temples, spicy food and fabulous beaches!
    Thailand Visa is free and contains the most up to date and practical information you could ever need. Whether you want to take off your shirt and say Phuket on the beach or bang a gong in Bangkok, you'll find the information you want before you need to know it. Consider Thailand Visa everything you ever wanted to know about Thailand but were afraid to ask!
    You can come here and ask questions and get cool responses from expats who know the real deal about the Thailand experience. Feel free to debate cultural issues, gossip about the natives or just hang out!
    You'll never have to deal with annoying pop up ads or registration fees. Thailand is a free country and we want our site to be just as liberating as a bike trip through the countryside!
    So, all you have to do now is ask yourself if you are ready for the real Thailand experience! Post and play in the forums if you dare!
    Important note: You must post your first post in the Introduction Forum and once approved by a Moderator, all other posts will show instantly. We do this to protect the site from spammers.
    We can't wait to meet you!
    Thanks,
    Thailand Visa!
  21. Like
    CrazyExpat got a reaction from Tiffany's Show in Miss International Queen 2009   
    I am not getting an virus alert but I have sent a message to the owners of the website to have this checked. It is a flash Intro that may be the issue there.
  22. Like
    CrazyExpat got a reaction from MinanOGuN in ONE TOURIST DIES AND ANOTHER HOSPITALIZED FROM SPIKED DRINKS   
    Pattaya, 29 September,2009, [PDN]: two tourists invited a couple of ladyboys back to their hotel room. While there, one or the other of the ladyboys is suspected of having spiked their hosts’ drinks, with the result that one man died and the other was hosoitalised. The case is under investigation
    At 8.50 am, on 29 September, Pol.Lt.Col. Chatchai Srisuwan, Pattaya Police Investigator, was notified by Mrs. Sopis Sungkakarn, [50] the Pattaya City Hotel Receptionist that one of their clients was dead in his room and his friend, who had been sharing the room, had been sent to hospital. The police went immediately to investigate the incident.
    In room 304, containing twin single beds, at Pattaya City Hotel, located in Soi Pattaya Klang 12, Moo. 10, police found a team of doctors from the Pattaya Memorial Hospital pumping the heart of Mr. Anand Amint, [25], who was lying unconscious on the bed, wearing only underpants.
    Unfortunately, despite their efforts, the doctors were not able to save his life because it is estimated that he had been dead for about 10 minutes before the doctors arrived.
    Police did not find any immediate signs of foul play. His clothes were on the bed next to his body and a used condom was on the floor. A few bottles of whisky and beer were also found in the room. Mr. Parwan Kumar, [41], his friend, had been sent to hospital. He was intoxicated from drugs; as yet unidentified. He was lucky to be treated in time and is now safe, but was still unable give any further information.
    Mrs. Sopis said the two men had checked in at the hotel on 28 September and had both brought lady boys back to the room at 4.00 am. The two ladyboys had left the rooms later on in the early morning.
    http://www.pattayadailynews.com/shownews.php?IDNEWS=0000010526
  23. Like
    CrazyExpat got a reaction from MinanOGuN in Welcome to Thailand Visa   
    Welcome to Thailand Visa: where you don't need American Express! At Thailand Visa we are the premier site to help people like you visit Thailand and get the most out of the experience!
    ThailandVisa.com is your home away from home, whenever you visit Thailand, or are just fantasizing about your next trip. We have all the information you need right at your fingertips. Think of us as your personal guide to the great temples, spicy food and fabulous beaches!
    Thailand Visa is free and contains the most up to date and practical information you could ever need. Whether you want to take off your shirt and say Phuket on the beach or bang a gong in Bangkok, you'll find the information you want before you need to know it. Consider Thailand Visa everything you ever wanted to know about Thailand but were afraid to ask!
    You can come here and ask questions and get cool responses from expats who know the real deal about the Thailand experience. Feel free to debate cultural issues, gossip about the natives or just hang out!
    You'll never have to deal with annoying pop up ads or registration fees. Thailand is a free country and we want our site to be just as liberating as a bike trip through the countryside!
    So, all you have to do now is ask yourself if you are ready for the real Thailand experience! Post and play in the forums if you dare!
    Important note: You must post your first post in the Introduction Forum and once approved by a Moderator, all other posts will show instantly. We do this to protect the site from spammers.
    We can't wait to meet you!
    Thanks,
    Thailand Visa!
  24. Like
    CrazyExpat got a reaction from miss expat universe in FREE TRIP CONTEST   
    It is legit. 500 posts gets your name in the pot. It will be a live drawing. It is available for anyone who wants to visit Thailand! We love the country and want as many as we can to come and see how amazing it is!
  25. Downvote
    CrazyExpat got a reaction from Bob in Bangkok airport embarks on image makeover   
    BANGKOK — Baggage handlers at Thailand's main airport now wear uniforms with pockets sewn shut to prevent pilfering. Police are hauling away illegal taxi touts. And cushions are being added to metal seats at departure gates derided as a "pain in the rear."
    An overhaul is under way at Bangkok's $3.8 billion Suvarnabhumi Airport, which is virtually brand new but trying to put a scandal-plagued past behind and become one of the world's top 10 airports — a goal senior officials concede might be a long shot for this year.
    The campaign is partly aimed at addressing passenger complaints logged since Suvarnabhumi opened in 2006.
    Free Wi-Fi will be in place by the end of the month and 126 Internet terminals have been installed for travelers without laptops, according to Airports of Thailand, the airport's operator. Other upgrades include more restrooms, improved signs and the upholstery of all 19,000 cold metallic seats with turquoise, peach, green and purple cushions that brighten Suvarnabhumi's concrete-and-steel design, panned by some critics as too monotone.
    More than cosmetic, the cleanup has become a matter of national pride. It comes amid a rash of bad publicity that prompted the prime minister to tour the airport's trouble spots last month — from its luggage-sorting underbelly up through duty-free shops and out to the arrival hall.
    "We must have high and strict standards," Prime Minister Abhisit Vejjajiva said during his Aug. 15 visit, prompted by highly publicized claims by European tourists that they were falsely accused of shoplifting at duty-free stores and then taken to seedy motels and extorted by a police interpreter.
    On Abhisit's orders, tourists accused of stealing will now be handled "transparently so there are no complaints," said Ayuth Sucantharuna, a spokesman for Airports of Thailand, or AOT. They will be interrogated at the airport, rather than transferred to an outside police station, and interviews will be videotaped.
    Scams against tourists are the subject of a new British documentary series called "Big Trouble in Tourist Thailand." The program, which aired its first of eight episodes last week on British television, "explores the ugly side of tourism in Thailand" — like getting ripped off by a gun-wielding jet-ski operator and landing in jail after partying at a drugged-out, all-night beach rave.
    The show is sure to hit a sore spot in Thailand, where the tourism industry has barely recovered from last year's public relations disaster at Suvarnabhumi — the main gateway to the country — when anti-government protesters shut the airport for a week and stranded 300,000 travelers.
    Abhisit set a realistic target while discussing Suvarnabhumi on his weekly TV broadcast recently: "I think the problems can be significantly reduced — but to get rid of them all together will be difficult."
    Take the case of taxi touts with "broken meters," which Nirandra Theeranartsin, the airport's general manager, calls "a monumental problem" that started 40 years ago at Bangkok's previous international airport.
    Part of the problem appears to be that senior AOT officials were sanctioning the touts in exchange for kickbacks, Nirandra said, adding "it's hard to prove" but several high-ranking officials are nonetheless being transferred.
    So far, a six-week crackdown on illegal touts and unauthorized tour guides at Suvarnabhumi has resulted in more than 1,200 arrests — a misleading number since several are repeat offenders, AOT and police officials say.
    Touts are charged with creating a public nuisance, which carries a maximum 1,000 baht ($30) fine and is too weak a deterrent, authorities say. Fifty new security cameras are now being installed in the arrival zone to get proof of trespassing and other offenses that carry stiffer penalties.
    Another 327 new security cameras are going up in the luggage-sorting zone, where a "no pocket" rule took effect Sept. 1.
    After Abhisit's visit, baggage handlers were ordered to turn in their uniforms and all pockets were stripped off or sewn shut, Nirandra said.
    "They walk in with the clothes on their back — without pockets — and no mobile phones, no wallets, nothing. Not even a pen," said Nirandra. "And they come back out the same way."
    The crackdown has been a regular topic of letters to the editor and editorials that urge authorities not to relent, predicting touts will return once arrests stop. The Bangkok Post newspaper applauded the new cushioned seats with the headline, "AOT ends Suvarnabhumi's Pain in the Rear."
    The upgrades and new security measures are costing upward of 150 million baht ($4.4 million), which the airport hopes will pay off with a top-10 ranking in the Geneva-based Airports Council International's annual list, based on passenger surveys of 120 airports. Suvarnabhumi is ranked 28th, a point of contention since regional rivals Seoul, Singapore and Hong Kong hold the top three spots.
    "It's about pride of the Thai people," Nirandra said. "I don't know if we can reach the top 10 yet. But we're trying. If not this year, maybe next year."
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