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Happy Falang

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  1. introduce yourself to the forum

    Hi and welcome to the forum. You will find this forum to be ok its just the odd cracked pot every now and then goes off the rails. Generally a good board for info in Pattaya and Thailand
  2. Top Ten hard truths of living as an expat in Thailand There will be bumps along the way between visits to the beach, bar and immigration office. Moaning about it never helps but accepting the bumps is part of the adventure. Here are the Top Ten Hard Truths for expats in Thailand. 1. VISAS ARE A PAIN IN THE NECK You have plenty of options but the options never quite fit into your line of work or expectations. But between the Non-B visa, Retirement visa, Education visa, Tourist visa, Elite visa and Smart visa, along with a few visa runs and trips to your local immigration office, you can usually fernangle a long-term stay in Thailand (yes, we know we used nick names for some of the visas). One way or the other you will need to keep your paperwork up to date as the fines for over-stays and visa problems can be quite aggressive and difficult to negotiate your way around these days. There’s plenty of good information on the net about visas but, despite what you read, interpretation may be different on the day you visit the local office and depending who you end up speaking too. At the end of the day, ask yourself how difficult is it for Thai citizens to live in your country… 2. YOU CALL IT CORRUPTION. THEY CALL IT BUSINESS. You are a guest in a foreign country. Thailand has a long history of independence and hasn’t been tainted with a lot of western influence. Unlike Myanmar, Laos, Vietnam, Malaysia, Singapore, Indonesia. Philippines and India (just to list the countries around Thailand), there has never been western colonisation of the Kingdom. And most Thais will be delighted to remind you of this proud fact. The down-side is that your perception of western efficiencies and customs are going to be challenged whenever you want to do just about anything. There will be times when you will be asked, or invited, to put your hand in your pocket to get something happening – it could be a building project, a visa, getting your accounting done or getting a signature on a contract. If you are running a business in Thailand you’ll be invited more often than if you’re just living the single life here. Be shocked, be angry, be determined to point out your isses with corruption – it’s not going to change a system that has been in place for generations and unlikely to change much during your time in the Kingdom. Speaking of business… 3. THAIS LOVE PAPERWORK Thais and Thai bureaucracy loves paperwork. You will be bewildered by the amount of paperwork generated for the most simple tasks. We’ve decided that there must be a huge building somewhere in Thailand that just holds mountains of paperwork that will never, ever be seen again. Despite computers, modern banking and the concept of the ‘paperless office’, you will see paperwork generated at the expense of perfectly good trees in quantities you can’t even start to imagine. How about 32 A4 pages of paperwork for changing one brake disc in a 12 year old Honda Jazz? Watch in wonder as the photostat machines and bubble-jet printers churn out paper you probably can’t even read and get placed into files that will likely never be read by anyone else. 4. BUSINESS IS A CHALLENGE Despite a US NGO voting Thailand as one of the best places to start a business in Asia (try and hold back your laughter), starting a business in Thailand can be 1) challenging 2) an adventure 3) bewildering 4) perhaps impossible. Or all four at once. Free you mind of anything you’ve learned in the west about starting a business, jump onto Google and find a good local Admin. person or lawyer. Do it all yourself at your peril. Just because the Thai GF can pour a beer or ‘knows someone’ is no guarantee that things will go smoothly. Running a Thai business never ever goes the way you plan. Ever. Between your visas, business registration, Labour Office, Department of this and that, accountants and your Thai staff is a wall of red tape, twists, turns and WTFs that will test your resolve. The effort is usually all worth it but you’ve been warned! Dot your ‘i’s and cross your ’t’s and check everything thoroughly before you sign a document. And then do it again. 5. TWO-TIER PRICING Go to a small local restaurant in any holiday area and there will likely be several versions of the menu – one for locals and one for tourists. Off course the menu for the tourists has the same food listed at higher. Go to any national park in Thailand and the entry price can be as much as 1000% higher for ‘farang’ and tourists. It’s just a fact of life much-debated, and you probably just need to accept it. If you do confront a two-tier pricing issue from time to time get out your Work Permit or local drivers licence and the higher price is usually waived. But not always. 6. BAR GIRLS DON’T LOVE YOU The 20-something bar girl with the short skirt and fetching smile probably doesn’t love you. Whilst many westerners seem to gravitate to Thailand to indulge in the local pleasures of the flesh, a long term relationship and partner may take more time to cultivate than a round of expensive drinks and some small talk with a bar girl whose vocabulary will likely range between the cost of drinks and routine pleasantries, Ka. You’ll have better luck on Tinder or, heaven forbid, taking a lady out on a date and getting to know her. 7. BUT THAT’S NOT HOW I DID IT LAST TIME! Immigration rules, negotiating with police, business rules, road rule enforcement. The way you tackle some of these day-to-day little ‘impediments’ should be treated as a single adventure and not to be referred to in the future as the-way-things-are-done. Whilst Thailand has well described rules, regulation and laws relating to just about everything, they are often applied and enforced in a way that may appear unfair or inconsistent. The way police negotiate who was responsible at an accident will be different everytime. It used to be folk lore that if if there’s any issue to be sorted out between a Thai and a foreigner, the Thai will always come out ahead. From personal experience I would say that’s no longer the case but always be prepared to ‘wing it’ in any given situation. If there are going to be police or the law involved best to get someone speaking Thai, the local Tourist Police or someone in-the-know to help you wade through potential problems. 8. DON’T LOSE YOUR COOL Stamp your feet, raise your voice, point at the absurdity of the situation over and over. I can guarantee it will make absolutely no change to the final outcome. Losing your cool will simply not help any situation and will likely inflame it further, to your detriment. Ak for the manager, describe your point-of-view in exquisite detail on a sheet of paper, get out the finger puppets or turn to Google Translate – go for it. But never lose your temper and try not to raise your voice because it’s just not the Thai way. 1) They will smile in silence at you whilst you point out that their website said something completely different 2) They will go and discuss the matter with other staff and come back to you with precisely the same answer they gave you in the first place. 3) They will listen to your rant and think you are completely insane without actually saying so 4) They will simply walk away whilst you are just getting warmed up 5) They will get angry… you NEVER want that to happen, you’ll come off second best every time. Jai yen. 9. THE ROAD TOLL IN THAILAND IS APPALLING Despite their generally affable nature, great food and endless smiles, Thais don’t do the driving thing well. And it’s dangerous Depending on which list of stats you want to believe, Thailand is either the most dangerous or the second most dangerous country to drive in the world. If you are in a car your chances improve a lot. If you’re older or female, the odds improve further in your favour. If you are on a motorbike but wear a helmet you’ve also improved your chances of surviving Thailand’s roads. Christmas/New Year and Songkran (Thai new year) are the times of the year when Thais wipe themselves off their roads in astonishing numbers and all the police checkpoints, Government media releases and changes to laws do little to curb the carnage. The biggest contributor to this national disgrace is drunk driving with speeding coming a close second. Despite almost draconian laws on alcohol advertising the message about drink driving simply isn’t sinking in. Attitudes and a commitment to enforcement is slowly changing but it’s a long-tough road ahead for the people of Thailand to tackle their shameful road toll. 10. QUEUES (or ‘lines’ if you’re American) Queues and waiting in line are just a part of modern Thai life. Whether it’s waiting in the Immigration queue at the airport or your local office, at the local convenience store or at a public hospital, your wait is just a function of all the other systems that lead to inefficiencies and delays. It might be well argued that it’s not only Thailand where queues have become a part of life but in Thailand many situations seem quit easy to fix, at least to the person waiting in line (who usually has plenty of time to contemplate solutions). Immigration queues at airports are becoming longer even though the well-publicised delays have been acknowledged, more computers installed and more staff trained. You can be waiting for an hour to get through immigration at any Thai airport with only half the stations staffed and spare staff standing behind passport control drinking coffee and checking their Facebook. But it’s all managed with a smile once you get your moment in front of the funny pod camera for your photo. So what can you do with many of these challenges? In most cases, keep smiling, take a deep breath and remember why you came to live in Thailand in the first place. Despite the thousand and one little annoyances and inconsistencies it’s still a wonderful place to live. A few days on Thai Visa would make you think that all expats ever do is whinge and complain about life in the Land of Smiles. It’s a bad example of expat life and most of us find our way through these challenges with a bit of patience, grace, a good book or a smartphone with a full charge. We are, after all, guests in the Kingdom of Thailand and it’s up to us to find away around THEIR systems, as best we can. There is an airport nearby, in most cases, with multiple flights out of the country if you’re truly aggrieved by any situation. Get some good locals around you, do some research before you embark on any new task and keep an eye on your rear-view mirror.
  3. Pound to the baht

    Yesterday on the soi.
  4. Maya Bay To close to tourists

    The Beautiful Beach From 'The Beach' Is Closing To Tourists If you've ever seen The Beach, the first part of it is a great advert for the beautiful country of Thailand. After that it - well, let's just say that things take a dramatic and sudden turn for the worse. Anyway, the beach that featured in the film is a real place, a lovely place called Maya Bay on Phi Phi Leh Island sat away in the middle of the Andaman Sea. It really is picturesque - not even murder, gangrene and evil cannabis farmers could ruin this island paradise. Apparently tourists are having a pretty good go at it though. So much so that the local authorities have agreed to close it down so that it can have a bit of a time off. Thailand's National Parks and Wildlife Department are worried that the sheer amount of tourists and boats carrying them coming to the island are ruining its coral reefs and decimating its marine life. Credit: PA The beach receives about 200 boats and 4,000 visitors every day, the Daily Mail reports - some off the back of the success of the film, but also because it's a really nice place. But recent surveys have discovered that the coral reef is disappearing quickly and sealifenumbers are badly struggling, and with this in mind, it will completely shut for four months from June and after that the number of visitors allowed will be controlled. A prominent marine scientist and member of Thailand's National Strategy Committee on Environment Development, Thon Thamrongawasawat, said: "It's like someone who has been working for decades and has never stopped. "Overworked and tired, all the beauty of the beach is gone. We need a timeout for the beach. "This would be a good way to start managing our tourist destinations. And we can improve on what we learn after the first year. "We know that it's important we manage our resources well. It's not about more numbers of tourists but about sustainable tourism that benefit locals as well." Credit: PA Thanya Netithammakum, head of Thailand's National Parks and Wildlife Development added: "If you ask me if it is too late to save our islands, the answer is no. "But if we don't do something today, it will be too late." It's not unusual for the Thai authorities to close off areas of outstanding natural beauty. Some of them are closed at certain times of the year, but others are shut down all year so that they can regenerate. The islands of Koh Yoong and Koh Tachai have been closed since 2016 and the results there have been encouraging. Thon hopes that the same dramatic recovery will help Maya Bay. He said: "I have always dreamt that one day we could work to bring her back to life. I have been following and working on Maya Bay for more than 30 years. "I had seen it when it was a heaven and I see it when it has nothing left. "Anything that we can do to bring this paradise back to Thailand is the dream of a marine biologist." Featured Image Credit: PA Topics: World news
  5. Whats your best decade ..?

    There's always one that gets the wrong end of the question... 555
  6. Pound to the baht

    I've just seen this and its showing on the street at 43.87..
  7. Pound to the baht

    It looks like we are going to get more baht to the pound.. Climbing up to 44.12 over the last few days.. Will it keep going...? I wonder what people are getting on the soi's..?
  8. introduce yourself to the forum

    Welcome to the forum ... yes it does have its moments, but everything seams ok until someone goes of the rails..
  9. Whats your best decade ..?

    Mine has to be my 20's I had a great time good pay and traveled the world.
  10. introduce yourself to the forum

    Same to you too... Welcome to the forum It can be a little bit mad around here especially when Matthew is around on the weekends.
  11. introduce yourself to the forum

    Welcome to the forum Dennis. It can be a little bit mad around here especially when Matthew is around on the weekends.
  12. Not been for a few years so i'm looking forward to my next trip to Thailand. Im planning on spending a few nights in Bangkok then heading down to Pattaya for a week then i'll spend my last week in Phuket. Any dates for this coming years forum meetings at the Rockhouse.
  13. The big switch over to digital

    Thailand makes the switch to only digital TV Thailand makes the switch to only digital TV Television stations in several provinces stopped broadcasting analogue services on New Year’s Eve as part of the Office of the National Broadcasting and Telecommunications Commission (NBTC) policy to encourage the full use of the digital system. Viewers in the affected areas will need to use a cable box and satellite dish to access programmes. The Thai PBS station has stopped transmitting its analogue signal in Kanchanaburi, Khon Kaen, Phetchabun, Phuket, Yala, Lampang, Sing Buri, Sukhothai and Surat Thani. Channel 7 stopped broadcasting on the old system in 17 provinces; Mae Hong Son, Lampang, Phrae, Nan, Buriram, Surin, Trat, Nakhon Sawan, Uthai Thani, Chainat, Kanchanaburi, Ranong, Nakhon Si Thammarat, Satul, Pattani, Yala and Narathiwas. Channel 5 stopped in three provinces: Ubon Ratchathani, Chaiyaphum, and Loei. Meanwhile, the government-run NBT channel has postponed cutting off its service to July 17. Source: Nation So that means out with all the old tv's and in with the flat screen tv's. I bet many TG's will be pulling at the sponsor pockets for a new family TV
  14. Fake Camels Toe Underwear is Apparently The Latest Fashion Trend. For many women, a camel toe is considered an embarrassing wardrobe malfunction. Certainly, no woman wants to be photographed in this awkwardly revealing state. Or so we thought. Apparently, some of them are fans of the camel toe underwear. The Online Slang Dictionary deAnes camel toe as “the visible cleft of the outer labia under tight clothing” or a “frontal wedgie” on women when they wear tight pants or swimsuit bottoms. The so-called “frontal wedgie” looks like the toes of a camel. Hence, the term, “camel toe.” It's easy to see how the wardrobe malfunction got its name. However, a company in Japan has manufactured underwear that has a camel toe shape on it. The fake camel toe mold — which is made of silicone or thick fabric — is sewn into the front of the underwear. These panties have been tagged as “Party Pants.” Some people have called them "shocking lingerie." Although the company started producing Party Pants several years ago, it’s only now that the product is selling really well. Trend analysts explained that Party Pants appeal to the transgender market — speciAcally men who are transitioning to becoming women. Those of them want to conceal their manly parts use Party Pants. Frankly, these don't look so appealing. Party Pants come in an assortment of colors and styles. Popdust reports that the skimpier styles are Atted with “a little curtain that you can wear if you want to hide the camel toe and then Oash it when the urge should strike.” Other retailers have also come up with more life-like camel toe underwear variants. These are so lifelike that they're creepy. Surprisingly, there are also women who reportedly buy Party Pants in order to be “more seductive.” After all, the product ads promise to “lift and separate” lady parts. Then again, we fail to see why this would be considered seductive, as camel toes only look very uncomfortable to us. But if you’re really interested to try it out, you can buy one here. We don't get why some women purposely want a camel toe. For those who really aren’t into camel toes, another Japanese company produces underwear that prevent camel toes. The camel toe-proof underwear is under the Cuchini brand. Its tagline? “Our lips are sealed.” Other retailers have also started producing variants of this anti-camel toe underwear. Will it catch on in Thailand...?