Thailand Weekly Vol. 08
Thailand news and stories delivered free to your inbox every Sunday 🇹🇭
No more tests on arrival? Mango sticky rice goes viral? Dolphin saved in Phuket? Water spraying Tik Toker on BTS? All of this covered in the the 8th volume of Thailand Weekly.
The Test and Go program for those travelling to Thailand will no longer be in place as of May 1st, marking the most significant easing of entry requirements to date. The news comes as PM Prayut Chan-o-cha says that ‘many countries are easing travel restrictions significantly, and our country depends considerably on tourism to support our economy’.
Below are some details to help you understand exactly what this all means:
No more PCR tests on arrival, however, travellers can still do an ATK test if they would like to. It’s completely optional. There’s no need to book a one-night stay at an approved hotel, and the insurance coverage requirement has been lowered to USD $10,000. The Thailand Pass remains in place, but the only paperwork required for registration are your passport details, proof of vaccination, and insurance coverage. You can find details as to what it means to be ‘fully vaccinated’ here.
If you’re considered an unvaccinated traveler, thing are also looking up. If you provide proof of a negative pre-travel PCR test when you arrive, you’ll be treated as if you were vaccinated. No quarantine and no SHA+ hotel booking required. If you are unable to show proof of a negative test on arrival, you’ll be subject to a five day quarantine at an AQ hotel.
Mango Sticky Rice Goes A-List
Mango Sticky Rice gone viral? Popular Thai rapper Milli enjoyed this tasty treat in the midst of her performance at the Coachella Music Festival in California this past week. Sales in Thailand and around the world jumped significantly after she played her song ‘Mango Sticky Rice’ to a cheering crowd. It has gone so viral that the Thai government is looking into registering the dessert on UNESCO’s cultural heritage list while also looking for other ways to harness Thailand’s cultural influence abroad.
In Bangkok, street food vendors have had to double their inventory of mangos, while restaurants that work with one of the many delivery apps such as Foodpanda, Grab, or Lineman have had to shut down mobile orders in order to restock.
Thailand Travel Tip
Thailand is an easy place to explore at surface level. The tourist areas are well-defined, the locals are friendly, and things are relatively straightforward. Having said that, as soon as you want to start pulling back the hundreds of layers that make this country extra special, it can get difficult. Local restaurants, activities, attractions, nightlife, etc. can be tough to navigate. Bangkok’s back-alley noodle shops. Koh Samui’s secret beaches. Chiang Mai’s speakeasy bars. They’re all special places, but can be almost impossible to find unless you have local friends. That’s why we created the Teenee App. It’s a handpicked list of the best things Thailand has to offer, overlaid on an easy-to-navigate map interface. Every spot is recommended by Thais or Expats that actually live here. With the ability to search, filter, and enjoy bite-sized videos across hundreds of recommendations, it’s like having a local friend in your pocket at all times. Click here to check it out.
Dolphin Rescued In Phuket
Those enjoying a morning at Nai Yang Beach in Phuket this past weekend spotted a dolphin washed up on shore at around 7:30 AM. After being notified, a rescue team quickly sprung into action to give the mammal first aid, before brining it to the Sireetarn Marine Endangered Animals Rescue Centre for further treatment. One of the veterinarians on scene said the dolphin had a wound on its tail, mouth, and right side of its body.
It’s likely that the mammal was caught and injured by a discarded fishing net, prompting marine officials to order officers to regularly be on the look-out in the area for dolphins that may be stranded or injured.
Only In Thailand 🇹🇭
Ahhh, Tik Tok. A place where you can find all sorts of cringey material at every scroll. A tourist apologized to Bangkok residents this past week for taking things a bit to far on the city’s BTS system during Songrkan celebrations. Tik Tok user Shizu0405fc3 splashed water on unsuspecting riders and didn’t wear a mask on the BTS while filming a dance video. I definitely feel bad for the locals that had a wetter BTS ride than what they had anticipated, and actually get a bit of second-hand embarrassment when watching these videos. Tik Tok is like the Wild West, you never know what you’ll see!