Thai Life


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12th October   

Green Book...

Extending list of items for traffic police to check
Link Here

  Can I see your
papers and green stuff

Police checks on motorcyclists have always been very common but as people comply more with the obvious transgressions, such as not wearing a crash helmet, so the police are checking for more minor misdemeanors.

The checklist has been extended beyond the usual ID/drivers licence/Tax/Insurance.

Cyclists are now checked for ownership (or presumably rental papers as appropriate).

Ownership of a motorbike is laid out in a green book and cyclists are required by existing law to carry photocopies of the relevant pages showing ownership details and tax payment history.


24th September   

Overstaying Your Welcome...

Overstayers liable to jail after just 3 weeks, and certain for jail after 6 weeks
Link Here

Allegedly tired of overstaying foreigners arriving at Suvarnabhumi airport with a valid air ticket and the maximum fine of 20,000 baht in their hands, the Immigration Department is now arresting and jailing people before permitting them to leave Thailand.

Anybody who has overstayed a valid visa in Thailand beyond a period of six weeks (42 days) is no longer permitted to simply turn up with the cash and an air ticket and leave the country after filling in a few forms and handing over the wedge.

People on overstay of less than three weeks (21 days) are still able to arrive at the airport with the correct amount of folding stuff, pay the fine due of 500 Baht per day and leave Thailand.

The grey area is for those whose overstay falls in the period between three and six weeks; that is, between 22 and 41 days. They can potentially have a problem. It is being suggested anyone whose overstay falls into this time frame should be aware that it will be up to the Immigration officer and his superiors at an airport or land border crossing to decide whether to detain the recalcitrant foreigner or permit him, or her, to leave unhindered, after payment of the overstay fine has been levied.


Under the Immigration Act 2522:

Section 81 : Any alien who stay in the Kingdom without permission or with permission expired or revoked shall be punished with imprisonment not exceeding two years or a fine not exceeding 20,000 Baht or both.

  • Overstay 1 - 21 days: Pay a fine 500 Baht/day at Airport/land border
  • Overstay 22 - 41 days: Pay a fine 500 Baht/day, possible arrest/detention, deportation, possible blacklisting
  • Overstay 42 days or more: Pay a fine of 20,000 Baht, arrest/detention, deportation, possible blacklisting

Update: Not So Dogmatic

14th October 2010

It seems That the story hasn't really panned out and the Thai authorities aren't dogmatically imprisoning overstayers as suggested. However the law is accurate and overstayers could be imprisoned.


29th July   

Post Redirection...

Pattaya's new post collection office
Link Here

Many thanks to pattayarag for posting the location of the new post office parcel collection point.

Previously this meant a trip to the Naklua Post Office but now the new Pattaya City Post Office is on Sukhumvit about 1km from the Floating Market.

You have to drive on Sukhumvit towards Sattahip until you reach the Floating Market. You then take a u-turn and drive approx. 1km back towards Pattaya. You will see the new Post Office on your left side. Look out for the flags.


18th July   

Dangerous Thailand...

Brits are more likely to die, be arrested, or need consular help, in Thailand than any other foreign country
Link Here

The UK Foreign Office annual report, British Behaviour Abroad , is based on cases reported to its global staff between April 2009 and March 2010.

The report shows that overall most Britons (5,283) needed consular assistance in Spain. However, as a proportion of British visitors and residents, most assistance was needed by Britons in Thailand (957), Pakistan (273) and Cyprus (736).

There were 5,930 reported deaths of UK citizens abroad, including natural causes, accidental deaths and unlawful killings, compared with 5,629 deaths the previous year. Proportionally, most Britons died in Thailand (292) Germany (563) and Cyprus (323).

According to the Foreign Office figures, there were 2,012 Britons arrested in Spain last year, significantly more than in any other country. But when taking visitor and resident numbers into consideration, proportionally Thailand is the country where the highest number of Britons were arrested (249) followed by the United Arab Emirates (265) and the US (1,367).


18th July   

Dangerous Thailand...

And if you need consular help, here's the new British Honorary Consul
Link Here

Many people who have visited Pattaya (or just observed from a distance via Bravo TV) will recognise Howard Miller.

He is noted as the main man of the Tourist Police Assistants who hang round sorting problems on the Beach Road end of Walking Street.

Or perhaps you may know of his Pattaya One News website that reports on crime in Pattaya.

Anyway he has been appointed the new British Honorary Consul for Pattaya and will now hang round in the Jomtien Soi 5 office.

Update: Resigned

26th October 2011.

Howard Miller resigned as the British Honorary Consul for Pattaya. The role is being redefined as full time and Howard did not want to become a full time consul.


6th June   

Updated: ATM Fees...

All Thai banks charge 150 Baht for withdrawal using foreign card
Link Here

30th September 2009

The cartel of all Thai banks got together and levied and extortionate charge on ATM withdrawals using foreign cards.

Each withdrawal is now charged at 150 Baht (£2.90)

Update: Exceptions

8th February 2010

AEON ATMs still have a zero charge and are located at Carrefour on Pattaya Central Road, Tesco Lotus on Pattaya North Road and HomePro on Sukumvit near Pattaya South Road junction.

Bank of Ayudhya (Krungsri) ATMs have a zero charge just for a subset of cards, namely VISA Debit Cards. Other cards are charged the usual 150 Baht. These machines are common around Pattaya.

Ray points out that asking for a cash advance on a card from a bank teller avoids the Thai ATM charge and is settled at the same exchange rate.

Update: Bank of Ayudhya Start Charging

6th June 2010

It is reported that Bank of Ayudhya (Krungsri) ATMs have now starting the extortionate 150 Baht (£3.20) ATM charge.

AEON ATMs still have a zero charge and are located at Carrefour on Pattaya Central Road, Tesco Lotus on Pattaya North Road and HomePro on Sukumvit near Pattaya South Road junction.


9th May   

Updated: Snakes and First Aid...

Poisonous snakes abound in Thailand
Link Here

Hundreds of Thailand's snake species are poisonous and, if you do get bitten by a snake in Thailand you should know what to do.

Preventing a Snake Bite in Thailand

As they say, an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure. If you happen to come across a snake, give it a wide berth. Snakes are more afraid of people than we are of them so the only time they bite is when they feel threatened. Walking a wide swath around a snake will almost always ensure it doesn't bite you. Leave a snake alone, and it will probably leave you alone.

Learn About Thailand's Poisonous Snakes

There are some excellent websites about Thailand's poisonous snakes, but the best place in Bangkok to learn about snakes so you can recognize them is the Thai Red Cross Society Snake Farm. Here, you can see the actual snakes in cages and pens so, if you come across one in real life in Bangkok, you'll know it's a snake who's bite can kill you.

What to Do if You Get Bitten By a Snake

  • Stay Calm - First of all, stay calm. Any undue running around or panicking simply gets your heart rate up and makes the venom travel through your body faster. Calm down, relax, take a deep breath.
  • Don't Pick Up the Snake - Many people try to pick up the snake or kill it so they can take it to the hospital as identification. Don't. Simply take a photograph of it, so the doctor can see what type of snake it was and, as long as it's not an immediate threat, let it just continue on its way before someone else gets bitten.
  • Don't Use a Tourniquet or Suck the Venom Out - Unbeknownst to popular opinion, the last thing you should do is use a tourniquet on a snake bite or attempt to suck the venom out. In most cases, this will cause more damage to the affected area and make the venom even more dangerous. Just put a bandage over the affected area and get someone to drive you to a hospital. Make sure you lie flat with your feet elevated on the way, if possible, as this will slow down the venom's progression.
  • Go to Any Hospital - All Thai hospitals are set up for snake bites and are somewhat experts in this field. Call ahead to the hospital emergency room and tell them you're on your way. Also describe the snake to them so they might have an idea what anti-venom to use. Once you get to a hospital, the emergency room staff will take it from there. Expect to be in the hospital for anything from 1-5 days depending on the seriousness of the bite and the type of snake that bit you.

Thais will usually kill any snake they find, especially in Bangkok. I once saw the security guard at the school I was teaching in beating a snake with a broom. He'd found it in a kindergarten classroom, and certainly wasn't taking any chances. For westerners though, the further away you are from a Thai snake the better. Most snake bites in Bangkok are survivable, buy you don't want to take the chance of being bitten so you can find out. But, if you are bitten by a snake in Bangkok, follow these quick tips and you hopefully you'll survive the incident with nothing more than a little bit of bodily damage and a story to tell.

Update: Help to get the right anti-venom by identifying the snake

See the World Health Organisation database matching images of snakes and antivenoms

With snake bites killing at least 100 000 people a year and countries facing a shortage of appropriate antivenoms, access to and information about available antivenoms is increasingly important. The World Health Organization (WHO) is publishing new guidelines for the production, regulation and control of snake antivenoms and a website with details on where the venomous snakes are located, what they look like, which antivenoms are appropriate, and where they can be obtained.


8th February   


Indonesian president objects to being likened to a water buffalo
Link Here

Indonesian police will enforce a ban on buffalo at street protests after the country's president expressed hurt at being compared to the animal.

Protesters stuck President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono's photo on the animal's behind at a protest last week.

They said the country's leader was big, slow and stupid like a buffalo .

Police have told the BBC that livestock will be removed from any political rallies in future.

So when Thai people mutter the word kwai at you, you will know that you are being similarly insulted


7th February   

Working the Land Permits...

Work permits now required for some farang transactions at the Land Office
Link Here

Effective immediately the Banglamung Land Office requires the Managing Director signing on behalf of a Thai company to have a work permit issued by the Labor department and a Business visa issued by Immigration when signing for most transactions.

Work permits are required for foreign Managing Directors buying land, recording a Lease of more than three years or recording a mortgage on property owned by the Thai Company Limited which many foreigners use to buy property in Pattaya.

The Land Office, thank God, right now does not require a work permit for foreign Managing Directors buying property so we can rest assured on purchases until the regulations become more stringent and include the necessity for a work permit in all matters relating to the land office, said Drew Noyes of PAPPA Co.

However, when it is time to sell, you must add a Thai Managing Director to your company recorded at the Department of Business Development so the Thai can sign the papers for the sale at the Banglamung Land Offcie and other Land Offices in Thailand. You do not need to be removed as Managing Director and you do not need a work permit in this case.

Land Offices are regional and each is operated independently of the central government in some cases and so rules may vary at other land offices.

-- Pattaya Times 2010-02-07


3rd February

 Offsite: Climate Change...

Link Here
Act now to stop Bangkok sinking, urge scientists

See article from


1st January

 Offsite: Grovelling...

Link Here
A primer

See article from

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