Thailand Weekly Vol. 09

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Thailand Is One Of The Safest Places To Travel

Thailand has earned its spot on a popular list that outlines the Top 10 safest places to travel, coming in at number eight. Japan and Korea were also included as the only other Asian nations. The survey was taken as part of Berkshire Hathaway’s State Of Travel Insurance Report for 2022 and comes as welcome news for PM Prayut Chan-o-cha according to a Government Spokesperson. The Spokeswoman says that the ‘PM sees the ranking as helpful in the wake of recent changes and the easing of entry requirements’. This all comes as Thailand fully opens up with no pre-departure or post-departure requirements, except for the completion of a new and improved Thailand Pass system where travellers only need to upload a copy of their passport, insurance coverage, and vaccination certificate.

Tourism infrastructure is ramping up all around the country in preparation for what operators hope is a busy season ahead. Chiang Mai Airport Director, Wijit Kaewsaitiam, says that they are ready for a large influx of international passengers from May 1st onwards. Just a few hours in, over 1000 people registered via the Thailand Pass system to enter the country under less restrictions, which don’t include any testing requirements.

Our Take

As someone that lives here, the fact that Thailand is thought of as one of the safest places in the world to travel comes as no surprise. In almost two years of being here I’ve never felt uneasy, regardless of the situation.

Having said that, it took a little bit of time for me to realize how safe this place truly is. I remember during my very first trip to Thailand back in 2019, I had a night out in Bangkok that involved some drinks. As my Uncle and I were debating on whether to head home or not, a local Thai person saw that we weren’t sure what we wanted to do, so he kindly offered to walk us through back-alley Bangkok, and take us to his friend’s bar which happened to be a super cool Karaoke spot. I was with Chris, who had lived here for some time, and he took the local up on his offer right away. I thought this was a bad idea that would result in us getting mugged and then lost in these back-alleys. Man, was I ever wrong. Long story longer, Chris knew that the worst case scenario was this man asking for a 200 Baht referral fee or something along those lines. Knowing this, we decided to follow him to his friends Karaoke Restaurant and ended up having an amazing night full of smiles and laughs. The local wouldn’t even let us buy him a drink or give him a tip for showing us his spot. Experiences like this are what define Thailand for me. In general, you can enjoy it in ways that would be beyond dangerous to replicate in other parts of the world.

Big Rush For Weed Licenses

Thailand’s FDA has received over 4700 licence applications from both individuals and organizations to grow, possess, import, and produce cannabis and hemp products as the country continues to push ahead towards legalization. The FDA’s secretary-general Withid Sariddeechaikool said that the ‘delisting of cannabis and hemp from the narcotics list will come into force on June 9’.

The move follows a policy spearheaded by the Public Health Minister to allow people to use the plant for medical and economic purposes. Thailand is not aiming to become a ‘stoners paradise’, but instead boost tourism, and the economy as a whole through health and wellness. Licences were approved for both cannabis and hemp extracts to be used in cosmetics, as well as traditional medicines and supplements. It all falls in line with Thailand’s goal of securing its position as a bonafide medical hub.

Our Take

This is pretty exciting news. I feel that Thailand is wise to become one of, if not the only country in Asia where cannabis and hemp products aren’t highly illegal and thought of as Class A narcotics. There will be all sorts of opportunity for local and international entrepreneurs to build out businesses and provide real value in the space. The fact that there won’t be competition with China could also prove to be extremely fruitful. This is a story that I’m certainly going to be following closely over the next month!

Thailand Travel Tip

Thailand is a country full of magical places. Now that it is finally open for all of you to come and enjoy, we’re dropping our largest collection of Thailand gear ever to celebrate. We worked with our favourite local artist, Khun It from Koh Samui to come up with five designs that highlight some of the the most special places in the entire country. Check out the artwork above to see some of the crazy detail that’s going to be hand printed on your favourite T-Shirt, DriFit Shirt, Shorts, or Bucket Hat. If you’d like to browse the collection, click here to see if there’s something that you like. It’ll only be available for five more days, so if something pops out to you, now is the time to get it!

First Flight Lands In An Opened Up Thailand

Qatar Airways flight QR842 with 324 passengers on board was the first flight to land in Thailand under the eased entry requirements. It took passengers just 17-minutes to get through the entire process.

Both the crew and travellers on board were welcomed in the arrivals lounge at Phuket International Airport by staff led by director Monchai Tanode, alongside immigration officials, customs officers, and international disease control officers.

Just under 4500 passengers landed on the Island May 1st, with this coming month expected to bring an average of 27 flights per day flying into the popular tourist province.

Our Take

There’ not to much to comment on other than this being awesome. Now that it has become super easy to travel to Thailand, I expect nothing but an increase in arrivals month to month over the balance of the year. The Tourism Authority feels the same way. Over 700,000 international travellers have arrived into Thailand so far this year, and the goal is to attract 1 million per month in the final quarter. I think there’s a real chance of even exceeding this target.

Only In Thailand 🇹🇭

Not allowed to cross your legs? That seems like a strange rule? The BTS system in Bangkok is asking passengers to avoid crossing their legs when sitting down during rush hour to avoid annoying people. The official Facebook Page for the system made a post that roughly translates to this:

“We ask for your cooperation, please do not cross your legs while sitting on the skytrain. Admin would like to ask for cooperation from all passengers to avoid crossing thier legs while sitting, especially when the trains are crowded. The legs might accidentally annoy other passengers standing in front of you.”

I guess it all comes from a good place. When people cross their legs it does take up space, and in a crowded train during rush hour, I can imagine it gets frustrating. Ultimately, the BTS Skytrain is in immaculate condition and operates super well, so I’m happy to abide by whatever they ask of me.

Press Worthy 🔥

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