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New VIP lane at Suvarnabhumi, as long as you’re Chinese

The Thaiger

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PHOTOS: Thai Tourist Police

Arriving on an international flight at Suvarnabhumi airport? Long lines at Immigration? No problem – please use the new special VIP lane, as long as you’re Chinese.

As the Ministry of Touristm and Sport and the Tourist Police go on a charm offensive to restore confidence in the Thai travel market, a new special Chinese Immigration line has been established at the country’s five largest airports.

Mr Everywhere, Maj Gen “Big Joke” Surachet Hakpal (who has been photographed in four different parts of the country in the last two days) and Pol Maj Gen Pritthipong Prayoonsiri at Region 2 immigration did today’s photo-opportunity honours at the opening of the new fast-track lanes. How many lanes devoted to Chinese tourists?

18 – Suvarnabhumi
21 – Don Mueang
18 – Phuket
10 – Hat Yai
8 – Chiang Mai

The Tourist Police website says that Thailand did not want to be seen as taking advantage of the Chinese. They say VIP measures were already in place to give Chinese tourists every assistance from the plane to their waiting transport outside the airport.

They said they were looking at short term and long term ideas to help address particular problems faced by Chinese tourists. There was no specific mention of the recent drop in Chinese tourists and the many cancelled travel plans to Thailand, particularly Phuket.

There are no plans for special ‘VIP’ lanes for other nationalities at this stage.

SOURCE: Thai Tourist Police, ThaiVisa

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Bangkok

Bangkok drug party busted

The Thaiger & The Nation

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Bangkok police have called on the Office of the Narcotics Control Board to help find the source of the narcotics that the 28 suspects allegedly used at a party on Saturday, Wang Thong Lang deputy superintendent Pol Lt-Colonel Chaowarit Ngernchalard said on Sunday.

The suspects are in police custody for further interrogation and will be escorted to Criminal Court on Monday so police can apply for their first 12 day detention period, Chaowarit said. The 17 men and 11 women were rounded up at 5.30pm yesterday by 30 police team led by (guess who…) Maj-General Surachate Hakpan.

The suspects were found in a rented house with 177 ecstasy pills, 289 pills of a club drug known as Erimin 5 or Happy 5, about 250 grams of marijuana, 11.19 grams of ketamine powder and 13 bags of crystallised ketamine.

A 30 year old man, identified only as Teerapong, confessed that the house had been rented in his name and he often hosted drugs parties there. Police were acting on neighbours’ complaints about noise and cars being parked outside their homes every weekend, deputy commissioner of the Tourist Police Bureau Pol Maj-General Surachate Hakpan, who led the raid, said. The house was rented for 25,000 baht per month since March.

STORY: The Nation

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Bangkok

Institute closed for seven days as police break up student gang brawls in BKK

The Thaiger & The Nation

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By Khanathit Srihirundaj

Bangkok police have held a meeting between representatives of Pathumwan and Uthenthawai colleges today. Yesterday students from their colleges fought on the skywalk near the National Stadium BTS station. Education Ministry officials attended the meeting to help find solutions to the issue of student brawls.

The meeting at Pathumwan Police Station was brokered by the deputy chief of the Metropolitan Police Bureau, Maj Gen Panurat Lakboon.

Pathumwan Institute of Technology has announced that it will remain closed for seven day and a police truck has been stationed at the entrance to prevent further violence.

Royal Thai Police deputy spokesman Col Krissana Patanacharoen said the latest incident took place at 6.45pm on Thursday when nine students – six Pathumwan students and three students from Uthenthawai – were apprehended along with two knives (one from each side) by 20 police officers. They were each fined 1,000 baht for carrying weapons and 5,000 baht for brawling in public.

Police have stepped up patrols to prevent fights between the adjacent institutions near Siam Square.

STORY: The Nation

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Bangkok

Observations of a working expat couple, and their 9.5 kilogram cat ‘George’

The Thaiger

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All expats have a story of how they ended up in the Land of Smiles. Few are just ‘I got a job here’. It usually happens the other way around where people visit Thailand and find a reason to stay. John Read, writing for the Financial Times, and his husband German, have lived and worked in many of the world’s cities and hot-spots but currently live in the Big Mango with their own take on ‘nouveau expat’ life…

“We both like hot weather, and were happy to push our winter clothes to the back of the closet. In the “cold” season (December to January) Thais melodramatically put on scarves, hats and down jackets, but the temperature rarely falls below 20C — nicer than cold, rainy Jerusalem, where it can dip below zero.”

In this case the pair have settled into life in Bangkok working as foreign correspondents, along with their 9.5 kilogram cat ‘George’. Having lived around the world they say they’re always evaluating their new homes rated on the climate, food and social life.

“Bangkok delivers on all three counts. It has 8m people and can accurately call itself a world city. It pulls in foreigners from the region and overseas, whether Burmese builders, Australian restaurateurs or “ladyboys” from the Philippines who work at the clubs off Silom Road (fluent English is a plus when impersonating Beyoncé or Britney Spears). We have made more friends and acquaintances here in less than a year than we did in Jerusalem in nearly five.”

Read about their adventures and observations of life in Bangkok, ‘Building a new life in Bangkok, Thailand’s world city’ courtesy of Financial Times, HERE.

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