Will he not?
The travel industry is eagerly awaiting the Prime Minister’s decision on whether or not to scrap entry requirements and return to an immigration system similar to the pre-pandemic system. Cautious military establishment warns of further Covid outbreaks, economy demands tourists return in abundance. In these battles, the economy usually wins.
The waterless Songkran festival in Pattaya saw a strong revival of cash register ringing. Massage parlors reported unprecedented business since 2019, while fish and chip restaurants ran out of cod and haddock. Although some of the upturn in business can be attributed to the influx from Bangkok – many cars on the beach road had license plates for the capital – there seem to be a lot more farang tourists around. Good news for the most part.
New entertainment center
While Walking Street is semi-open, albeit barely bustling with activity, the Soi Buakhao and LK Metro areas have become the new heart of Pattaya’s nightlife entertainment hub. Almost all the clubs and bars there have managed to turn into “restaurants” with health and safety certificates. People ask if the 11pm closing time is strictly enforced. The best is to go and see you.
Don’t forget the gays
Songkran also saw the Jomtien resort virtually full most nights of the recent holiday period. Several of the drag clubs had moved indoors, and the police seemed happy with this arrangement. But the 11pm closing is strictly enforced here after some confusion that arose last month. Central Pattaya’s rival neighborhood, Boyztown, is struggling to revive itself even if the jury is still out. Sunee Plaza has all but shut down in an eerily silent semi-blackout.
From the rumor mill
A Grapevine law enforcement source says an immigration task force is considering replacing the TM30 and TM 6 forms (both address reporting requirements) with an app that visitors will download to report their primary residence in the country. smile. It will be assumed that the address remains correct in the country unless/until you change it. The main benefit for consumers will be to cancel the long queues at immigration registration across the kingdom.
Earlier this year, all went quiet on the suggestion that elderly expats might be able to show additional funds instead of being required to take out comprehensive medical insurance for their annual O/A stay extension. Nothing is imminent. We are told that if and when a final decision is made about retirees, there will be a relevant announcement. As usual, it is not possible to rush the Orient. Not a good idea to push either.
Joint fights return
Capacity crowds are expected at next month’s Bare Knuckle Fighting Championship scheduled at the Royal Cliff Beach Resort next month. The concept of no gloves or headgear gives the idea that knucklefighting is similar to an after-hours brawl in pubs, but that’s far from the reality. More information on the BKFC Facebook page. The event organizer is Nick Chapman.
PCEC back in business
Pattaya City Expat Club meets again weekly on Wednesday mornings with guest speakers already lined up. The venue is Holiday Inn at the north end of the beach road. The open forum where more or less anything useful can be discussed is a very popular place. The PCEC website is also full of useful information and updates on issues such as immigration and the availability of booster shots.
Need a travel agency
Not everyone is sure to do what they want on the internet when booking a flight. Although most travel agencies in Pattaya have closed for the duration, and possibly longer, one stands out as being open throughout the pandemic and ready to help. Vicky Travel, opposite the Royal Palace Hotel and behind Second Road, is a one stop shop for travel needs. Telephone Marlowe on 038 426 240 during office hours or email [email protected]
Falling wine prices
Wine remains expensive in Thailand, as anyone who loves grapes will gladly confirm. But thanks to tax changes, some tasty imported wines (from Chile, Australia and South Africa for example) are available in the 400-600 baht range. All major supermarkets have choices in this price range, but you have to shop around to find the best deals. Good hunt.