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Phuket: even “problem foreigners” must mask up or 20k fine



PHOTO: Really... its the law.

Phuket government officials have threatened to strictly enforce the 20,000 baht face mask fine and contact consular officials for foreigners that refuse to mask up. The vice governor of Phuket has issued a stern warning that all people are required to wear face masks in public at all times. As Covid-19’s third wave sweeps the country, and Phuket has begun to require Covid-19 tests on arrival as the local government struggles to try to contain infections.

After an emergency meeting of the Phuket Communicable Disease Committee at Phuket Provincial Hall, the vice governor reminded the public that the order to wear masks in public was issued in January. He requested that everyone, Thais and foreigners, wear a mask to fully cooperates with the mandate now. The vice governor pointed out that Section 51 of the Communicable Diseases Act stipulates a fine of up to 20,000 baht, and Section 18 of the same act states that mask violators are subject to jail sentences of up to 2 years plus up to 40,000 baht in fines.

He also specifically mentioned the troubling issue of what they labelled “problem foreigners” – those expats and travellers that refuse to wear a mask in public.

“Cooperation between Thais and foreigners is requested to wear a mask because wearing a mask will reduce the transmission of infection from person to person to a great extent. If everyone participates, wearing a mask will help prevent the spread of Covid-19, thus we are asking for special cooperation.”

The Phuket government made a 2-step plan to deal with “problem foreigners” who protest mask-wearing. The first step is a meeting with all councils in Phuket and province officials to make sure regulations are clear and understood and then have those rules clarified to foreigners in a public campaign to raise awareness. If that gentle approach proves unsuccessful the next step is to begin to prosecute anyone who breaks the mandate and refuses to wear a mask. That includes contacting foreign consulates for foreigners violating the mandate.

Phuket: even "problem foreigners" must mask up or 20k fine | News by Thaiger

DMHTT – The government’s Covid-19 safety campaign

The government has been publicising a campaign of DMHTT (though apparently only in Thai) to stress the safety measures needed to combat the spread of Covid-19. The M stands for Mask-wearing as the vice governor stressed. The 5-point campaign reminds people of the need for:

  • Distancing
  • Mask wearing
  • Hand washing
  • Testing (checking temperature and testing for Covid-19)
  • Thai Chana (the contract tracing app to check in everywhere you go)


SOURCE: The Phuket News


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  1. Toby Andrews

    Sunday, April 25, 2021 at 5:27 pm

    Ah well, wait another three months and there will be very few foreigners there to fine . . .

  2. J West

    Sunday, April 25, 2021 at 5:37 pm

    Unmasked Problem Farang ? Another infantile slap at the foreign phantom. It wasn’t farang people smugglers luring cheap Myanmar workers into Samut Sakhon fish packers. It wasnt farang crossing illegally in Myanmar to play the casino and lurid sex triangle. It wasn’t farang super spreading the Thonglor Bar Disease to friends and family. It wasn’t farang who stalled vaccine distribution. Farang for the most part don’t live in Nontaburi housing estates. By all means, enforce masking….but don’t blame ” farang” for the Thailand Covid Disaster unfolding.

  3. Ian Jones

    Sunday, April 25, 2021 at 6:29 pm

    Before it was “dirty falang”, now it is “mask problem foreigners”. Seams like Thai’s always need someone to blame, and foreigners are easy target.

    There will always be some idiot that make the rest of well behaving foreigners look bad. But I don’t understand, why protest wearing a mask, why? So, Issue the 20000 THB fine and the “ problem foreigner” will probably start wearing the mask? if he can afford to pay the ticket…

  4. Jesus Monroe

    Sunday, April 25, 2021 at 6:44 pm

    When your desperate for tourist dollars hit em with a 20000 fine…… else will they make money……..

  5. Jason

    Sunday, April 25, 2021 at 6:52 pm

    As an Australian, who lives in a country that has fought with Covid 19, can I encourage all the people of Thai or foreign origin to adhere to the directive to wear masks and keep social distance. It worked here and it will work there1

  6. Kristof

    Sunday, April 25, 2021 at 7:10 pm

    As a foreigner in Thailand, if there actually are still other foreigners arrogant and stupid enough to refuse mask mandates, then i think Thailand should them home. If they haven’t learned by now, they aren’t going to.

  7. Helene R.

    Sunday, April 25, 2021 at 8:13 pm

    Hahaha, dying laughing. Thailand, now a year behind everyone else due to Prayut’s incompetence, is now mandating masks most of us stopped wearing months ago. Why? Because they don’t stop Covid at all.

    Good luck. Thailand is so screwed it’s beyond funny. And you are all going to be forced to wear masks while your economy continues to collapse. In all that heat.

    Funniest thing I heard all day.

    • Thaiger

      Monday, April 26, 2021 at 8:01 am

      Dear Helene. Do you really think having to wear a face mask is going to destroy the Thai economy? We’ve had to wear masks in most places since April last year. Just now, it’s going to be more heavily enforced and fines applied. It’s all in the emergency decree which was published in April 2020 and rolled over every month or so since.

  8. Gordon Bennett

    Sunday, April 25, 2021 at 8:16 pm

    @Jason – Masks don’t work anywhere. And there isn’t a single reputable scientific study to prove they do, but many to prove they do not.

    Even the manufacturer’s of the Chinese masks most of you are wearing state on the packet they do not stop viruses. But hey, keep masking up and in your lockdowns (isn’t Perth now in lockdown because TWO people tested positive for Covid 🙂 ), while the rest of us get on with life as normal.

  9. James

    Sunday, April 25, 2021 at 8:20 pm

    What about when eating or drinking in a restaurant or coffee shop?


    Sunday, April 25, 2021 at 8:24 pm

    Deport any foreigner who refuse to mask up.

  11. Craig

    Sunday, April 25, 2021 at 8:45 pm

    I doubt a possible fine will change things. Maybe enforcement of it would help. Today, at a cafe, a farang wasn’t wearing a mask. Ok. He then coughed 2x, left and later returned, without a mask, to retrieve something he forgot. No concern about others, If a province or establishment requires a mask, then enforcement would help and worse case scenario, a threat of Visa cancellation might work.

  12. Clive G

    Sunday, April 25, 2021 at 8:56 pm

    Can someone produce some evidence to convince me that masks work? They are compulsory in nursing homes and hospitals, yes this is where practically all the infections are. In France and Spain they increased their mandate to wearing masks outside as well as inside with the result of cases going skyhigh. In Canada masks are reported to be causing lung cancer. Some blue and grey masks contains graphine oxide which is comparable to asbestos in toxicity. Most mask wearing is tokenism. Many, especially the politicians, are wearing cloth masks because they can breathe through them. The world health organisation announced that they were of little use, yet changed their mind due to political pressure. The Danish study, which has had little publicity, ruled that they did little against a virus that is so minuscule that you could fit all the infections past and present in the world into a Coke can. Too little critical thought and too many sheep.

    • Thaiger

      Monday, April 26, 2021 at 7:58 am

      There is so much misinformation in this single comment Clive, it’s difficult to know where to start unpacking it. I’ll try and get to it later in the day because you’re simply wrong on so many accounts.

  13. Slugger

    Sunday, April 25, 2021 at 8:58 pm

    @J West. Just go home if you’re so badly discriminated against.

  14. stu

    Sunday, April 25, 2021 at 9:04 pm

    make sure u wear a mask while riding your motorcycle you problem farang (no helmet required)

    driving alone in your car? duh…. wear a mask of course!

    jogging alone on the beach? mask up u problem farang!

    always wear ur mask right up until u eat in a busy restaurant!

    imagine what a covid free paradise phuket would be without these dam problem farang…..

  15. stu

    Sunday, April 25, 2021 at 9:09 pm

    @PATRICK LEE – deport any farang that leaves dumb comments on thaiger. pack ur mask!

  16. Rick

    Sunday, April 25, 2021 at 9:35 pm

    I find it truly amazing how many people will advocate for, and even force others to do, what they think is correct even when they might be wrong. How about people who can’t wear a mask due to a health condition? If a few people are not allowed to go maskless even when everyone else is wearing one then it obviously is no longer about health but only about compliance. I don’t live my life in fear, of “Covid” or anything else, and I resent being forced to do something that might harm me just to conform to someone else’s irrational fears. Although I must admit that the level of ignorance and the demand for conformity in some of the comments here is pretty scary.

  17. Maestro

    Sunday, April 25, 2021 at 10:00 pm

    Send ANY foreigner that refuses to wear a mask back to where they came from, but only after paying 20,000.

    3 weeks ago I had an argument with a foreigner in a small supermarket after I told him that he should wear a mask.

    His answer: don’t tell me what to do, you’ve been brainwashed. The store manager saw the about to get ugly scene, came over and kicked him out.

  18. James

    Sunday, April 25, 2021 at 10:18 pm

    Stop this racism against foreigners. Not Ever going to Phuket again.

  19. Martin Smith

    Sunday, April 25, 2021 at 11:59 pm

    Okay some passionate comments. BUT just wear a mask, it’s that simple, it will end up with someone NOT dying. Yes, farangs get shit because we are an easy target and Thailand is racist. This thing only spreads because people don’t like RULES, we (you) hate RULES. Grow a pair! WEAR A FUCKING MASK !

  20. Simon Small

    Monday, April 26, 2021 at 12:02 am

    Who is “blaming” foreigners?

    The only people I’ve seen not wearing masks here are foreigners – in the provincial capital first hand and in pictures of Pattaya and Phuket taken when mask wearing was mandatory.

    No-one’s “blaming” foreigners, and the sources for all the outbreaks from Bangkok night clubs to Samut
    Sakhon markets are widely and very publicly recognised, but with mask-wearing Thais are damned if they do highlight farangs and damned if they don’t.

    It’s simple – some farangs refuse to wear masks. Some have protested here when they’ve been told to wear masks in public – one, notably, in a temple in Phuket when asked to do so when mask wearing was mandatory.

    If the cap (or mask) fits, wear it.

  21. Simon Small

    Monday, April 26, 2021 at 12:11 am

    “@J West. Just go home if you’re so badly discriminated against”

    abd take Clive G, Rick, and anyone else like them with you.

  22. Dave

    Monday, April 26, 2021 at 12:55 am

    20,000 bath fine and up to 2 years in jail for not wearing a mask in Phuket? Thank you, I will cancel my vacation this November there

  23. Sanuk

    Monday, April 26, 2021 at 1:10 am

    Of all the places in Thailand, I found Phuket to be the least hospitable for foreigners. I went once to Phuket and will never return.

  24. James R

    Monday, April 26, 2021 at 2:01 am

    While I was in Phuket for seven months last year I only ever saw farangs without masks, the Thais followed all the rules.

    I told a farang I know in Thailand about the new fine yesterday so his way around it is to drive to the restaurants he goes to and then goes right into the restaurant without a mask as none of the owners enforce mask wearing.

    Maybe business owners should also be fined if they have customers without masks.

    The current lockdown measures are not good enough anyway as you can see there is an exponential growth in the number of deaths at the moment in Thailand, I wonder how many people will have to die before the government takes real action as it is clear any unvaccinated country in the world will have such massive growth in virus cases under these conditions.

  25. LondonAl

    Monday, April 26, 2021 at 3:44 am

    “Can someone produce some evidence to convince me that masks work?”

    How about the fact that mask wearing countries such as most of the far east, haven’t suffered anything like the numbers of cases and deaths in countries where they don’t wear masks.

    It’s basic common sense that says you have less chance of catching covid if you wear a mask than if you don’t, unfortunately common sense requires a level of intelligence and that’s where Clive G and his redneck buddies are lacking somewhat.

  26. Grand master duke of Kent

    Monday, April 26, 2021 at 3:49 am

    @Kristof – as a non Freemason I encourage all people to do their research into this Masonic hoax. You have to realise all countries and media are run by them. Merkel doing the triangle with hands, Prince Harry doing the hidden hand. Learn and resist ?

  27. Social Observer

    Monday, April 26, 2021 at 4:28 am

    If you do not wear wear a mask it means you do not care about others. It means you are selfish and self-centered. If you don’t wear a mask you should be fined and put in jail for at least a few days. A repeat offence should result in deporation and a black listing. Covid is causing a huge amount of damage to people and to the economy. Wearing a mask is a very simple way to reduce that damage.

  28. James

    Monday, April 26, 2021 at 5:42 am

    Covid is not being spread by people walking down the street while not wearing a mask. It is spread by people in crowded indoor areas while not wearing masks. As long as people are coming across the border from Myanmar and the hi-so’s don’t follow the rules, Thailand will continue to see more cases.

  29. iPhone4TH

    Monday, April 26, 2021 at 5:47 am

    @Maestro: He was very nice to you. I wouldn’t told you to go F yourself. Mind your own business.

  30. John

    Monday, April 26, 2021 at 6:14 am

    @Rick – I know what you mean – I like to walk around naked. But I get arrested if I do so, all because of people who think it is correct/necessary to wear clothes. And now on top of the clothes we have a mask as well. Crazy eh?

  31. Ben

    Monday, April 26, 2021 at 6:19 am

    It’s the law. Just follow the laws when you’re in a foreign country. The griping and refusals work in your home country and not in Thailand.

    @Clive. No one is going to produce any evidence to satisfy you. It’s common sense. It’s like telling a kid that doesn’t want to eat spinach that it’s good for him. I will tell you that if you have COVID and you’re wearing a mask you cough or sneeze your droplets into your mask and not all around you. Does that make sense to you or are you to stupid to understand that?

    Masks cause lung cancer? You’re stupid enough to believe that? And not smart enough to understand coughing and sneezing your droplets into your mask is better for those around you? If that’s where you’re at in life then you’re too stupid to understand any rational evidence. The WHO along with other healthy professional, early on, stated masks were not useful. They did it to preserve masks for health professionals and so people like us wouldn’t hoard them. They’ve since retracted that original thought and encourage mask wearing. Keep up and stop hanging your hat on obsolete news that supports your narrative.

    And you probably believe Democrats eat small children. And the Deep State controls everything around you. The people making this stuff up are laughing at you!

    The bottom line is it feels uncomfortable and unnatural and you don’t like it. So you’re looking for anything that supports your narrative. Do you understand that? It’s not about masks being unhealthy. That’s idiotic in a COVID pandemic.

  32. RA

    Monday, April 26, 2021 at 8:04 am

    @Clive G – Your comment is beyond moronic. Do some research into current information, not something a year old. Most of us have learned and continue to educate ourselves, you apparently haven’t or just want to find what some other moron has printed and that fits your agenda.

  33. Preesy Chepuce

    Monday, April 26, 2021 at 8:32 am

    It risks sounding like:

    “give us your money but go away”



    “Locals always wear masks properly, and are super hygienic”

    Hopefully that’s not what was meant.

    In the end, whilst i don’t along with Ben’s tirade, the fact is that his implicit message is correct – that masks protect you from fines and stress.

    we stand out in a foreign country and are easy targets for local point scoring, and “the house always wins”, it doesn’t really matter who’s right.

    Most of us are here because we run a cost-benefit analysis and conclude that on balance it’s worth the inconvenience, to remain here, and we can grumble in private, but ultimately accept it.

    Hopefully the local authorities will balance their pronouncements with a recognition that all foreigners are ultimately customers in some way.

    it’s not in anyone’s interests to undermine goodwill on either side.

  34. Preesy Chepuce

    Monday, April 26, 2021 at 8:35 am

    There still seem to be a lot of racist Chinese fake accounts on here with fake Western names, attacking white people,

    • AileenDouble

      Monday, April 26, 2021 at 8:53 am

      I am a chinese, and we chinese do not need to make up a fake account here and make a fake western name, it is an open platform to leave a polite comment. I think your comment is also racist as well. I have been living in Thai for many years and I really like this country, and plz guys, wear a mask now. this action is really helpful to prevent the droplets spraying

    • Thaiger

      Monday, April 26, 2021 at 9:23 am

      We have the IP addresses for all the accounts. We know where every single email address is registered (although it remains private information). We can assure you that there is only a handful of accounts registered in China.

  35. Geoff

    Monday, April 26, 2021 at 8:36 am

    People are paid money to put stupid stories on the internet, because they know losers will read them and believe it. Why? Web page advertising, scams etc. Or just for fun. I know it’s true, because Elvis told me, by email, the other day. Uh huh.

  36. AileenDouble

    Monday, April 26, 2021 at 8:45 am

    please wear the mask guys, this action can be really helpful for preventing others and yourself from

  37. Rob

    Monday, April 26, 2021 at 9:08 am

    So many pathetic boomers and sheep on here. Keep grazing in the synthetic grass they provide for you idiots.

  38. Ben

    Monday, April 26, 2021 at 9:23 am

    I would estimate 80% of the “problem” people walking around without masks or not wearing them properly are farangs. One got into my elevator yesterday without one. Just no consideration for others.

    The 20% of Thai’s that are problematic wear them below their nose and only cover their mouth.

    Also, 100% of the non compliers are men. Every woman I observed wore their mask and wore it properly.

    I get it. It’s hot and makes it harder to breathe. It’s uncomfortable. It sucks.

    Because there are some people that can’t follow directions the authorities boil it down to the lowest common denominator. They make us wear them 100% of the time in public whether you’re indoors or outdoors. A more sensible policy would be to allow non-masking outdoors where you can social distance. If you’re outdoors and more than 2 meters away from anyone else then the risks are almost nil.

  39. John

    Monday, April 26, 2021 at 9:44 am

    Many of the above comments confirm that foreigners are a problem.

    The petulant attitude on display is disappointing.

    There is a law. One can either comply or not. There are obviously consequences for non-compliance.

    Presumably, non-renewal of visas is a possible outcome and deportation for non-compliance with the law.

  40. J West

    Monday, April 26, 2021 at 10:22 am

    @Slugger – 5555555 If you’re satisfied being a toothless whipped dog, so be it. Most whining neutered pups, like yourself , inevitably join the ‘flying club’ .Either that or get some balls and speak out against the anti-farang racists. Stay silent and watch that B500 ‘test fee’ into Phuket become an expanded country wide permanent overall entry tax on farang, likely a new revenue stream to make up for the loss of beer bar ‘ tea money’. If that happens we’ll blame you for hiding under a rock like a puppy instead of protecting yourself and your interests. Stick up for yourself or take a “ pegging”…. your choice.

  41. Mike

    Monday, April 26, 2021 at 10:35 am

    Unless the mask is a KN95 it is worthless. Those paper and cloth masks are nothing more then accessories.

  42. Simon Small

    Monday, April 26, 2021 at 11:10 am

    “While I was in Phuket for seven months last year I only ever saw farangs without masks, the Thais followed all the rules.”

    We disagree about many things, @James R, but we’re in total agreement here – a small minority, as usual, is giving all farangs a bad name and ruining it gor everyone.

    “… it is clear any unvaccinated country in the world will have such massive growth in virus cases under these conditions”.

    FWIW I agree with you there too. If they’d managed to keep a lid on it, as Aus and NZ have done by seemingly using sledgehammers to crack nuts, it’s possible that the virus could have been contained just with travel and minor restrictions and major lockdowns could have been avoided.

    Thailand blew it, though, with Songkran travel and excess nightlife, and now there’s no option.

  43. Simon Small

    Monday, April 26, 2021 at 11:17 am

    “Of all the places in Thailand, I found Phuket to be the least hospitable for foreigners.”

    Ditto, @Sanuk. Elsewhere foreigners, whether tourists or residents, are welcomed – from Pattaya to Chiang Mai, Isaan to the islands – but in Phuket they’re tolerated at best and loathed at worst.

  44. Simon Small

    Monday, April 26, 2021 at 1:39 pm

    “We have the IP addresses for all the accounts. We know where every single email address is registered (although it remains private information). We can assure you that there is only a handful of accounts registered in China.”

    Thaiger, I suggest you talk to your “IT department”.

    IP addresses are meaningless with VPNs; e-mail addresses can be registered anywhere and anyone can register an e-mail address in anyone else’s name; and without verification anyone can also use anyone else’s e-mail address here.

    … and Chinese and N Koreans routinely use VPNs and overseas registered e-mail addresses more than anywhere else in the world to avoid monitoring.

    I’m not suggesting you’re getting comments from hundreds of Chinese or anyone else stirring things up, but you have no way of knowing who is actually making any comments here or where they’re making them from.

  45. YNBAW

    Monday, April 26, 2021 at 4:30 pm

    The Thaiger knows all the IP’s and email addresses, oye shor shor ya do M8. Go, on.

    As far as Phuket goes, they’ll not have any “problem foreigners” to be concerned with before long, not the one’s they’re referring to anyway.

  46. Ray

    Monday, April 26, 2021 at 5:01 pm

    @Simon Small – I have lived in BKK and traveled to Samui, Koh Chang, the North, East and South of the country but somehow always skipped Phuket. I’ll keep it that way.

  47. Maestro

    Monday, April 26, 2021 at 6:53 pm

    @iPhone4TH, you should wear a mask.

  48. AC

    Monday, April 26, 2021 at 7:22 pm

    I agree with you Simon, l have been once to Phuket, the first day l got lost in Patong, l asked for information to a local man and he said that only money could help. Kapunkap …l have been in many others islands villages and cities in Thailand and always treated like a prince like in Vietnam, Cambodia and Philippines.

  49. Karena

    Monday, April 26, 2021 at 7:40 pm

    @J West – The FACTS are that Thailand has one of, if not THE lowest Covid deaths in the worls at only 112 deaths !! And the way they`ve kept it down is by mask wearing and trackntrace, which in Eastern countries is way ahead of the sloppy and often unworkable system in the UK.

    If people don`t want to wear the mask in Thailand, which btw has been worn before the pandemic for pollution in BK or if people have a cold, then fine, all they have to do is STAY AWAY, it `s their choice !!

  50. Ron Brown

    Monday, April 26, 2021 at 10:50 pm

    @Rick –

  51. sam

    Tuesday, April 27, 2021 at 12:38 am

    As visitors to the country that had implemented mask wearing,they should either abide or if they stubbornly refuse leave the country immediately.Pointless to argue on whether the masks are scientifically proven to protect from the virus.

  52. David

    Tuesday, April 27, 2021 at 1:16 am

    The way masks work has been shown in videos that show how the plume from a cough or sneeze is reduced when wearing a mask. No one claims that a mask will protect you from a virus particle, but rather it reduces your ability to infect others when you talk or cough or sneeze. Duh.

  53. Michael

    Tuesday, April 27, 2021 at 1:16 am

    @TheThaiger “We can assure you that there is only a handful of accounts registered in China.”

    Do you really think that fake Chinese accounts will register with a Chinese IP? There are VPN’s, proxies. That is what Chinese trolls use. You will not recognize them by looking at IP addresses.

  54. Patrick M

    Tuesday, April 27, 2021 at 10:48 am

    @Gordon Bennett – Get out of Thailand. If you aren’t here…stay out of Thailand. You make law abiding farang look terrible by your comments and actions. Health deparments and epidemiologists what world over recommend wearing a mask as a low cost method of reducing virus concentration in crowded, indorr areas. masks are not fully sealed haz mat suits..they do not prevent every virus particle from leaving or entering the body. They reduce the amount of virus laden breath moisture entering the air.

  55. Howard

    Tuesday, April 27, 2021 at 11:42 am

    Isn’t this double standard racist? Is Thailand an anti-Westerner country?

    The fee is clearly 20,000 Baht. No more, No less.

    According to recent April 2021 news:

    PM Prayut was fined only 6,000 Baht.

    Two Ayutthaya Men at a market were fined only 500 Baht.

    While Westerners have critical thinking skills (a pre-requisite of citizens of a democratic country) and are akin to questioning authority (a requirement of a democracy), Thais who are quietly spreading COVID-19 in Thailand are NOT considered “problematic”. Why? Because they are breaking the rules without threatening the face of authority figures?

  56. Bob Johnson

    Thursday, April 29, 2021 at 4:50 pm

    whoever wrote this article is retarded and it was just written to pin races against each other. There are many Thais not wearing masks as well . The way this is written it makes it sound like it’s the foreigners fault when it’s clearly Thai’s and foreigners. At the end of the day we all just need to burn our masks and get rid of our TVS as the real virus is the TV and stupid people complying with tyranny !!!

  57. Daniel

    Sunday, May 2, 2021 at 2:14 pm

    some magical post here 😀
    propably 90% of the comments here are the problem foreigners, who are the reasonof this post. great stuff here.
    stupidity never hides. you just need to call it and it comes loud and clear.
    wear a mask, to protect other from your virus droplets and smelly breath.
    whe refuse it, is a shitload of a bad human and an selfish retard and needs to get deported. if you dont like thailand and you dont comply with the rules, leave or stay away. nobody urge u to stay in thailand. nobody needs you here.

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Neill is a journalist from the United States with 10+ years broadcasting experience and national news and magazine publications. He graduated with a degree in journalism and communications from the University of California and has been living in Thailand since 2014.

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