Thailand Weekly Vol. 27

Thailand news and stories delivered free every Sunday 🇹🇭

Happy Sunday everyone. Make sure to pay special attention to this week’s ‘Thailand Travel Tip’ section because we’re giving away two flights to Bangkok to some of you out there! Anyways, hope you have a great week and are one sleep closer to your return to Thailand! 🇹🇭

Applications Open For New 10-Year LTR Visa

The Tourism Authority of Thailand and the BOI announced this past week that as of September 1st, applications are now open for the new 10-Year Long Term Resident Visa that brings a wide-array of benefits for those that qualify. The move is aimed at attracting ‘high-potential’ foreigners to Thailand as a regional hub to live and do business in.

The LTR visa is available to four categories of foreigners:

  • Wealthy global citizens that have total assets of at least USD $1 million, personal income of at least USD $80,000 per year in the past two years, and who invest in Thailand to the value of at least USD $500,000

  • Foreign retirees (wealthy pensioners) that have personal income of at least USD $80,000 per year

  • Work-from-Thailand professionals that have personal income of at least USD $80,000 per year in the past two years, work experience of at least five years, and be working in a legally registered business that is a publicly-traded company, or a private company which has income of at least USD $150 million in the past three years

  • Highly skilled professionals that have personal income of at least USD $80,000 per year, are skillful in one target industry, and have at least five years of work experience

The LTR visa offers multiple benefits to the holder. These being:

  • A visa with 10-year validity that can be extended

  • The requirement to report to immigration once a year instead of every 90 days

  • Fast track service at international airports in Thailand

  • Multiple re-entry permit

  • Permission to work in Thailand with a digital work permit

  • Personal income tax rate reduction to 17% for highly skilled professionals

  • Full exemption from the four Thais to one foreigner employment requirement ratio

  • Spouses and children (under 20 years old) of an LTR visa holder also qualify (up to four dependants per visa holder)

For more information on the new LTR Visa and to apply, click here. They outline everything very clearly.

Our Take

Although the eligibility requirements make this long-term visa program a bit less accessible than what some other countries offer, I still think that the BOI has done an awesome job in setting up requirements to attract the type of person they envision taking advantage of this program. Yes, the eligibility ‘fruit’ is hanging a bit higher from the ‘tree’ than what some other countries offer for these types of visas, but there’s still a LOT of people out there that this program will be perfect for.

For example, let’s say your a mid-level manager at a big company like Microsoft. You’ve worked there for 7-years and are earning USD $85,000 annually. You’d absolutely be eligible for the third category that has been outlined above. There’s nothing “ultra-wealthy” about someone in this position, so anyone that says that this is only for the “super-rich” or says “no one is eligible for this” is incorrect. There’s tons of people that could easily take advantage of this program and live/work out of Thailand and have an amazing life while doing so. Do I think that it will bring in 1 foreigners to Thailand over the next five years? Probably not. This goal feels very ambitious, but that’s not a knock on the program at all. I think everything that’s been outlined is wise, and that they’ll have a decent level of success with what has been put on the table.

Thai Food At Top Of Best Street Food List

A report published this past week by CNN Travel has shined some well-deserved light on three different Thai dishes as part of its ‘Top 50 Asian Street Foods’ list. This comes on the heels of the popular Northern Thai dish – Khao Soi, being ranked at the very top of an online poll highlighting the world’s best soups.

You can find the three Thai dishes that made it into CNN Travel’s list below:

  • Sai Krok Isaan (ไส้กรอกอีสาน), which is fermented sausage made with pork and rice, usually served with chilli, cabbage, and ginger
  • Kai Jeow Pu (ไข่เจียวปู), which is a crab omelet made with a combination of crabmeat, eggs, flour, fish sauce, and cooking oil
  • Khao Soi (ข้าวซอย), which is a coconut curry noodle soup usually served with ultra tender chicken or beef, featuring crispy egg noodles on top

Government spokesperson Anucha Buraphachaisri said “it’s great to see that Thailand’s street food is still attractive to people across the world”. He also highlighted the fact that they are actively working with different agencies to promote the ‘5 Fs’ to the rest of the world as part of its soft power strategy. These things are food, films, fashion, fighting, and festivals.

Our Take

I can definitely see how these three dishes made the list. Each of them are classic Thai staples that are worthy of recognition. I’m not a huge seafood guy, so I don’t usually order Kai Jeow Pu, but I regularly head out for Khao Soi and Sai Krok. In fact, my go-to snack on a late night walk home from a bar, pub, or club here in Bangkok is Sai Krok. When you need some substance in you after a few drinks, it’s the perfect little snack to cap off your night. Add-in a Leo from 7/11 and life couldn’t be better. Another Thai dish that I think is worthy of being included on this list is Massaman Curry. That’s probably my number one Thai food of all time, and on that note, if you find yourself in Phuket then check out this spot. It’s the best Massaman I’ve ever had.

We're Giving Away Flights To Bangkok!

You know, one of the coolest things about this whole YouTube game is the fact that you meet some really cool people along the way. Whether it’s those that we periodically make videos with (shout out to Dana and Shaun), those that watch the videos (shout out to all of you), or those that work with us (shout out to Khun Fah and Khun Yok), Chris and I have made some lifelong friends on this ride. The other group of people that deserve a massive shout out are our members, also known as ‘Preferred Shareholders’ or ‘Board of Directors’. This a play on words, and is meant to represent the opposite of what it means to be ‘corporate’. We want to keep things fun and lighthearted, just like Thailand. It’s the tightest-knit group of people in the entire RW4U community and is made up of true Thailand Lovers from over 20 different countries. Whether it’s members-only Meetups and Parties, free Awkward shirts, the Private Facebook Group, members-only WhatsApp Chats, Discount Codes, or regular Flight Giveaways, we want to make this group the ultimate community for anyone that loves Thailand. We’ve had some amazing times together and are only just getting started. We’re going to be doing a bonus flight giveaway for the members this month, so if you’re interested in joining, and also being eligible to win one of two round-trip tickets to Thailand from anywhere in the world, then check out the program here and consider joining the ride. The odds aren’t too shabby considering that this small group are the only one’s eligible. Theo from South Africa was our flight winner for July and there’s already tons of activity in the chat planning a party for when he’s in town. Hope to see ya in the group, and if not, totally cool. Hope you continue to enjoy the videos over on YouTube and Facebook!

Suvarnabhumi To Implement Automated Check-In

Starting this past Thursday September 1st, the post check-in, pre-security clearance at Suvarnabhumi International Airport in Bangkok should be a much faster process as airport management gears up for a busy high-season over the balance of the year. If you didn’t know, outgoing passengers previously had to wait in line and get their passports and boarding passes manually checked by security staff before heading to the actual security sections at the entrance of each gate. Now, instead of waiting in long-lines here where everyone gets their documentation checked manually, there are PVS reader systems that allow passengers to scan the barcode of their boarding pass and clear this stage of security much more efficiently.

Our Take

Given that I moved to Thailand right in the middle of COVID, I never really experienced the crazy lines that are so common at BKK up until recently. I went down to Phuket a few weeks ago and it was my first time flying since Thailand had fully opened up on July 1st. I couldn’t believe my eyes. The airport felt packed compared to the skewed reality I’d been used to over the past year and a half and it was still probably nowhere near capacity. Point is, these new barcode readers come at the perfect time as everyone gears up for what will be a busy high-season later on this year. No one likes crazy lines.

Only In Thailand 🇹🇭

You know, back in Canada it’s quite common for people to have issues with raccoons breaking into garbage bins, recycling bins, etc. In my home province, worst-case scenario is dealing with black bears in the more rural areas. In Thailand, the local pests are much bigger! This past Friday, an elephant broke through the wall of a home in Prachin Buri Province and stole some fermented fish and a few other food items before making its way back into the jungle. The homeowner woke up to a loud bang at 4:30 in the morning to see the elephant’s trunk poking around the kitchen through the smashed wall. This is one of the craziest ‘Only in Thailand’ stories I’ve written about. Could you imagine how insane that would be? To wake up in the middle of the night to be greeted by an elephant trunk in your kitchen stealing your food through a massive hole in the wall? Wild stuff right there.

Press Worthy 🔥