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Thailand’s immigration police catch thousands of overstayers thanks to airport biometrics

May Taylor

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Thailand’s immigration police catch thousands of overstayers thanks to airport biometrics | The Thaiger
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The chief of Thailand’s immigration police says the biometrics system in place at sixteen airports across the country has so far netted 1,000 people who are blacklisted or on watch lists, 700 who have arrest warrants out for them, and 45,000 who have overstayed in the country.

The Nation reports that the system is also used to detect fake passports as it uses UV and infrared light to compare the information stored in a chip in the passport with facial features.

It’s understood that in just three days, police were able to arrest 8,000 people for being in possession of fake passports, illegal immigration, overstaying their visas or criminals with arrest warrants out for their capture.

The notorious fake billionaire who married in a lavish ceremony costing over 3.5 million baht and then left his wife to pick up the tab, was recently arrested at Bangkok’s Don Muang Airport after being caught by the biometrics system. See story HERE.

SOURCE:nationthailand.com

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Thai Life

‘Watching the Thais’ – understanding Thai culture

The Thaiger

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‘Watching the Thais’ – understanding Thai culture | The Thaiger

Why does a Thai smile at you after crashing into the back of your car?

 Why do Thais deplore walking?

The heat, the heat.

What about the weather? 

 Why is everything done as a pack? 

What is all this ‘face’ stuff about?

Lies?

 Confrontation? 

Sleeping and shopping?

Just what is it with the Thais? 

What’s it all about?

Author and academic Tom Tuohy answers all these questions and much more in his new book about the Thais and all their quirks. I wish I had read it before I learned the hard way.

“The psychology and general atmosphere whilst using public transport in Thailand is also interesting to think about. When you happen to find yourself on, for example a regular Thai bus, some general considerations need to be noted.

“The same driver will invariably drive as if he has a prior appointment (which he’s only just remembered), with some mysterious benefactor who is going to alter his and his family’s life radically. It is apparently for this reason that he will proceed to slam hard on the brakes at every juncture.

“It amazes me how these drivers wait till the last second to do this, instead of gently easing on the brakes when approaching a junction. What results is a collective surge of passengers moving forward en-masse like an unintentional human, as opposed to Mexican Wave: grandma on her weekly visit to feed the ducks in Lumpini Park gets a new seat on the floor; Somchai, the 7-11 employee gently and apologetically extricates himself from the cleavage of Navaporn, the cute SCB teller; students from nearby colleges hang on for dear life, hoping their hair isn’t messed up and make-up isn’t smudged when they collide with the stainless steel handrails.

“The unflappable ticket-collector, almost always a woman, moves slowly down the bus, click-clacks open and shut her klaxon-like metal pencil case full of five- and one-baht coins, and carries on collecting the money as if nothing ever happened. ‘Mai pen rai!’ the elderly gentleman mumbles in the corner. ‘Amen brother’ I say quietly to myself as I pick myself up off the floor!”

(Watching the Thais, Chapter Three, Thais and Movement , Keep on Walking, Johnny Walker)

If you are one of the forty million or so expected visitors to Thailand this coming year, or an expat interested in moving to the country, this book is a must for you. The book is divided into ten chapters, each one detailing some of the virtues as well as common misconceptions about living and working in Thailand.

Common questions asked by visitors are also dealt with: why do Thais walk so slowly? Why do they like spicy food? Why are they always smiling? Why does nothing seem to upset them?

Towards the end of the book, a series of blogs discuss deeper aspects of living and working in Thailand e.g. the state of Thai education, cross-cultural communication, the Thai floods, marriage to a Thai, and the way the Thai riots in 2010 were presented by the foreign media. If you are planning to spend any length of time in the country and really want to understand the Thai modus operandi, this book will give you a great insight into the uniquely Thai way of thinking and being.

“This is a book I wish I’d read before I went to Thailand for the first time (although it hadn’t been written then). Even now, 23 years later, it taught me things I didn’t know.”

(Timothy Hallinan, author of the Poke Rafferty and Junior Bender series of books)



“Watching the Thais” is a great resource for anyone with an interest in the magnificent kingdom of Thailand. A great read – informative and entertaining.

(James Newman – Author of Bangkok Express and The White Flamingo)

“Though he doesn’t yet qualify as an Old Thailand Hand with two decades in residence, he has lots of personal impressions of the Land of Smiles. Tom, Ajarn Tuohy, is well read on the subject.”

(Bernard Trink, Nite Owl columnist for the Bangkok Post)

To buy the book, click HERE or HERE

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Expats

World’s best street food, top 30 cities rated

The Thaiger

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World’s best street food, top 30 cities rated | The Thaiger

Where in the world is the best street food? Those living in Thailand will bet Bangkok is going to come out on top, right? Well, not according to research, the Street Food Index, conducted by My Late Deals. In their current surgery, Hong Kong came out on top as the city with the best street food. The city topped the Street Food Index, beating tasty competition from Bangkok and Ho Chi Minh in Vietnam.

The annual Street Food City Index ranks the top 30 street food cities in the world for food obsessed travellers. Cities on 4 parameters: number of street food vendors, affordability, number of street food experiences/tours and sanitation.

Hong Kong was followed by Bangkok, Ho Chi Minh, Singapore, Mumbai, Rome, Tel Aviv, Sydney, Mexico City, with Portland, Oregon, rounding out the top 10.

Hong Kong topped the ranking thanks to its high number of street food stalls and street food experiences and high levels of sanitation. Street food is also reasonably cheap in Hong Kong costing around £5 (205 baht). Some of the food you can try in Hong Kong includes dim sum, curry fishballs and cheung fun (a rice noodle roll is a Cantonese dish from Guangdong Province southern China and Hong Kong, commonly served either as a snack).

Bangkok came second (we’re considering an official protest) on the list as its home to the cheapest street food (with an average cost of just £1.61 (66 baht) and the second highest number of street food experiences available in the list. It also scored high marks in number of street food vendors. Some of the food you can try in Bangkok includes the ubiquitous pad thai, khao niao mamuang and tom yum goong (spicy!).

World's best street food, top 30 cities rated | News by The Thaiger

Sitting in third place is the Vietnamese southern city of Ho Chi Minh which gets top marks for number of street food experiences and high marks for affordability (with an average cost of just £1.77 (73 baht) and number of vendors but like Bangkok, Ho Chi Minh lost marks for sanitation. Some of the food you can try in Ho Chi Minh includes pho, banh mi and goi cuon.

Singapore takes fourth spot thanks to its high levels of sanitation and number of street food experiences. It also scores highly on number of vendors but loses points on affordability. Some of the food you can try in Singapore includes char kway teow, kaya toast and laksa.

In fifth place is Mumbai. The city scored top marks in street food vendors with the highest number on the list. It also scored well on affordability and street food experiences. It scored lower on the sanitation aspect. Some of the food you can try in Mumbai includes vada pav, bhelpuri and pav bhaji.

The current top 30 street food cities…

1 – Hong Kong

Score: 93

2 – Bangkok

Score: 90

3- Ho Chi Minh

Score: 89

4 – Singapore

Score: 86

5 – Mumbai

Score: 78

6 – Rome

Score: 76

7 – Tel Aviv

Score: 73

8 – Sydney

Score: 72

9 – Mexico City

Score: 70

10 – Portland

Score: 69

11 – Seoul

Score: 68

11 – Beijing

Score: 68

13 – Berlin

Score: 67

14 – Paris

Score: 66

15 – Istanbul

Score: 65

16 – Palermo

Score: 65

16 – Penang

Score: 63

18 – Tokyo

Score: 61

19 – New Orleans

Score: 60

19 – Kuala Lumpur

Score: 60

21 – Cartagena

Score: 59

22 – Port Louis

Score: 58

22: Honolulu

Score: 58

24 – Taipei

Score: 49

25 – Marrakech

Score: 48

26 – Rio

Score: 45

27 – New York

Score: 43

27 – Durban

Score: 43

29 – Kingston

Score: 39

30 – Dakar

Score: 27

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UPDATE: Thai immigration scraps TM28 reporting requirements

The Thaiger

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UPDATE: Thai immigration scraps TM28 reporting requirements | The Thaiger

Well, for most foreigners anyway (full list of exemptions below)…

Thai immigration have scrapped the TM28 form’s change-of-address reporting requirements for all but a few foreigners. The changes came into effect, with little fanfare, on January 28.

The TM28 is still listed on the Immigration website but there’s now a long list of exceptions added which means that almost no one will be required to submit the forms. In 2019 a crackdown on the TM28 and TM30 forms caused an uproar in sections of the expat community who cried foul about their lives being made more difficult, and the inconveniences and impracticalities of the forms.

TM28, listed under section 37 of the Thai Immigration Act, has been an official requirement since 1979 but was rarely enforced by immigration officials. But last year officials started enforcing the law more literally, causing widespread outrage. Many foreigners, including long term expats living in Thailand, said they didn’t even know the requirement existed.

At the time Immigration officials were saying the crackdown was necessary to maintain better national security and keep track of all foreigners working and living in Thailand.

The list of exceptions, now added to the form, includes just about every foreigner – diplomats and those performing official duties, students, retirees, foreigners working in Thailand, foreigners married to a Thai or are the parent of a Thai child.

The previous requirements, which caused so much discussion last year, stated that foreigners who had stayed in another province for more than 24 hours were have to inform their local immigration office with a filled out TM28 form when they returned to their usual residential address.

Foreigners will still need to inform immigration if they change address permanently.

Last year’s crackdown on the TM28 also coincided with a stricter enforcement of the TM30. That form required hotels, guesthouses and property owners to report foreigners staying overnight at their address.

The crackdowns on both TM28 and TM30 resulted in Thai immigration being heavily criticised by segments of the Thai expat community and foreign businesses in Thailand, who claimed that both forms were counter-productive to help attract businesses and foreigners to the country and were “outdated” and “draconian”.

Official forums were held, inviting senior officers from Immigration, and petitions were launched, and countless articles written, all to bring the plight of foreigners to the attention of officials.

The updated regulations relating to the TM28 form are on the Thai Immigration website HERE.

List of exemptions, as posted in the amendment…

UPDATE: Thai immigration scraps TM28 reporting requirements | News by The ThaigerUPDATE: Thai immigration scraps TM28 reporting requirements | News by The Thaiger

SOURCE: ThaiVisa

 

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