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Transport Company resumes service, bans foreigners



PHOTO: Love and Road

The wheels on the bus go round and round. But not for foreigners living in Thailand.

The Transport Company, the state operator of intercity bus services, announced today that foreigners are banned from its services due to the Emergency Decree. Although services have resumed on most of their routes across the country, foreign travellers are not allowed to board because they do not have Thai national ID cards. Well that’s the official excuse according to a service agent. Asked whether passports can be used instead, the agent said “no”.

“They don’t hold Thai ID cards, so they can’t board our buses. We need them for identification purposes.”

“It’s the company policy, sorry for any inconvenience.”

The company also announced on its website that it reserves the right to book tickets for Thai nationals only, citing an unspecified clause of the Emergency Decree.

Other interprovincial bus providers have no such rule. Private operators Nakhonchai Air and Sombat Tour say foreigners are welcome on board, but are encouraged to check local quarantine requirements since some provinces still enforce 14 day quarantine for foreigners.

But Thaiger has had four messages in the past week saying they were unable to buy tickets or board Sombat Tour buses. This message from a New Zealand expat who tried to board a Sombat Tour bus.

“I wanted to go and visit my friend in Bangkok and she went ahead and booked a ticket on สมบัติทัวร์ มิตรแท้เพื่อนเดินทาง (Sombat Tour Bus Company) from Chiangmai to Bangkok.

The next morning I got a call from the company saying foreigners are not allowed on the bus. I am deeply offended by this discrimination. I have been in Thailand well before Covid arrived. Does this mean I can’t travel on planes also?”

The State Railway of Thailand says foreigners are also allowed to board long distance trains.

Domestic travel restrictions, in place since April, were mostly lifted after the government shortened the curfew by an hour on May 29 due to lower numbers of Covid-19 cases reported nationwide. (No new cases were reported today, according to the assistant spokeswoman for the government’s Covid-19 crisis centre.)

The country’s cumulative cases of infection now stand at 3,125. 80 patients are being treated in hospital, while 2,987 have recovered, putting the recovery rate well over 95%. There have been 58 deaths.

SOURCE: Khaosod English


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  1. sam thompson

    Thursday, June 11, 2020 at 2:58 pm

    Well that seems entirely reasonable and not at all discriminatory or xenophobic.

  2. Toby Andrews

    Thursday, June 11, 2020 at 3:07 pm

    Good, the railway is cheaper, and often quicker because they are not slow going through cities as the buses are.
    One more reason for foreigners not to return to Thailand.

    • John cameron

      Thursday, June 11, 2020 at 5:25 pm

      I have thai ID card .can i tavel on coaches .

    • Jim shelley

      Thursday, June 11, 2020 at 10:14 pm

      Imagine if we tried to do this to Thai nationals in the UK, , it would be illegal. I live in Bangkok but if this is how they want to be maybe it’s time to move on. Let’s see how Thailand copes without tourists and foreign nationald who live here & spend money here.

  3. Kelvin Bamfield

    Thursday, June 11, 2020 at 3:16 pm

    white lives matter WLM

  4. Jesters_cry

    Thursday, June 11, 2020 at 4:09 pm

    How are all the fake unqualified foreign ‘teachers’ going to get to work ? Maybe segregation might be the way to do it. Keep the whites at the back of the bus.(That is sarcasm. I am not a Thai national.)
    Using foreigners as part of a corrupt scheme to defraud students of qualified foreign teachers is fine,but allowing them to sit next to Thais on a bus is an issue. Keep those foreigners in their place. In schools without valid work permits as visa slaves. (That part may sound like sarcasm,but it isn’t.)

  5. tourist

    Thursday, June 11, 2020 at 5:36 pm

    What a lovely way to let farangs know that they are not welcomed and should stay home. The once famous Thai hospitality is obviously a thing of the past.

  6. Robert Cole

    Thursday, June 11, 2020 at 6:47 pm

    Are you fuc^%$ kidding me? Ha ha! That’s a new low. So those on retirement or work or spousal visas, who haven’t been out of the country for at least 3 months, can’t get on a frigging bus? After so many years, one would think that they couldn’t be surprised by the total lack of logic that is (often?) displayed in this amazing country. But then again, just by writing the previous sentence, it shows that I haven’t been here long enough, or just haven’t quite “got it” yet. And nope, we most likely never quite will ; )

  7. Anutin

    Friday, June 12, 2020 at 7:34 am

    Incredibly rasicst even for this government. Contact your embassy and ask them if they endorse state sponsored segregation.

  8. JKU

    Friday, June 12, 2020 at 7:55 am

    Add temles refusing entry to foreigners. Why would anyone visit Thailand?

  9. james

    Sunday, June 14, 2020 at 7:16 pm

    I am not surprised as falangs here have always been seen as second class but as long as you buy your way of life here you are welcome.

    Oh and don’t forget to pay falang prices at Zoos, shops etc.

    It is a nice place to visit but not to live unless you don’t mind swallowing your pride.

  10. Jerrod

    Thursday, September 10, 2020 at 11:10 am

    White falangs living in Thailand a getting just a minuscule taste of the type of discrimation that BIPOC experience in western countries. LMFAO

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Jack Burton is an American writer, broadcaster, linguist and journalist who has lived in Asia since 1987. A native of the state of Georgia, he attended the The University of Georgia's Henry Grady School of Journalism, which hands out journalism's prestigious Peabody Awards. His works have appeared in The China Post, The South China Morning Post, The International Herald Tribune and many magazines throughout Asia and the world. He is fluent in Mandarin and has appeared on television and radio for decades in Taiwan, Mainland China, Hong Kong and Macau.

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