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Sama

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    Finland
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    Krabi
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  1. In Khao Lak's Bang Niang beach area the vast majority of tourist places including restaurants were either completely deserted or closed for the time being. A couple of big resorts and their attached restaurants were operational. One indian restaurant not too far from the beach was open also during the lunch time, some other places closer towards the main road opened up only for dinner. Along the main road with the less touristy places the things are closer to normal times. I had no trouble finding places to eat during my stay, although I had to walk a bit from my accommodation near the beach. Serving alcoholic beverages in restaurants does not seem to be very common outside of Phuket. I didn't try to order any, so not sure what the reaction would have been. I saw a couple of places in Khao Lak where it looked like it probably is possible, but perhaps better not go into details in a public forum. You can of course freely buy beverages from the shops. As for motorbike rentals in Khao Lak, I can't now recall if I saw any right around the beach, but they are so common in general that I'm sure there is one not far away and can be found by asking around. In Surat Thani town things seemed pretty normal as it is of course a local centre. Ko Samui so far looks quite the same as Phuket: most things closed but a lot still open.
  2. Here's a short report on how I have moved about the neighbouring provinces after finishing the Phuket sandbox, and how the practicalities have been. My plan to go to Krabi went bust due to the suddenly tightened regulations there, so I opted for Khao Lak in PhangNa instead. No minibusses or other public transport currently as far as I understand (was told so by a couple of places I asked in Phuket, and the terminal in Phuket town center seemed quite dead when I passed it by). So private transport it was, then. Before crossing the bridge from Phuket, there was a separate lane for foreigners and a counter where the officials asked for my destination and checked the certificate from my Phuket hotel for the succesful completion of the 14 days sandbox. There was also a form to be filled with contact details, including the destination in Khao Lak and the reason for the trip. I wrote "Holiday." The stop took just a couple of minutes. I was the only foreigner crossing at the time. I had only booked a couple of nights in Khao Lak, Bang Niang beach. Extremely quiet. As far as I could see during the two days roaming around, I was the only tourist in the whole area! Nice beaches all to myself, but of course very limited services remaining in the beach area. The tsunami memorial park was sadly in disrepair. If you can, please consider visiting the area to support the few remaining tourist businesses. They really are in desperate need of visitors. A fair amount of stray dogs around the deserted tourist infrastructure with various kinds of attitudes towards a rare bypasser were a bit of a nuisance but not a big deal. My next destination was Surat Thani town, where I was able to arrange a couple of locals to drive me to for a similar fee that I paid from Phuket to Khao Lak (again, was told that the usual once-an-hour busses along the main road are not operating). My hotel for one night in Surat Thani told me that they are not currently allowed to book ferry trips to Samui, and I should instead directly visit the Seatran ticket office. The lady at the Seatran ticket counter was by default asking for a 72-day covid test for travelling to Samui. After I insisted that I had only been in orange provinces (see my posting about the current domestic travel rules under the Thailand local / Ko Samui section of the forums), she took photos of my passport, Phuket sandbox certificate and vaccination certificate and asked me to come back at 10AM for getting the ticket for the 10:30 departure. I don't think she had seen an European Union vaccination certificate before, as she at first mistook it for an outdated covid test certificate. For the ticket to be issued, I also had to register online at https://healthpass.smartsamui.com and fill information about recent whereabout and potential symptoms to get the Samui health pass QR code. This was also later checked both when boarding the ferry and when disembarking in Samui. In sum, travelling around the neighbouring orange provinces (aside from Krabi) after the sandbox is possible without any further covid tests, although many of the cheaper transport options usually available for tourists are not currently operating. Returning to Phuket will require at least an antigen test. I plan to have a PCR tests shortly before my Samui-Phuket flight. The same test will still be valid for my return flights to Europe a day after.
  3. A bit late, but was just researching this and came upon this helpful infographic in English, showing the domestic entry requirements to Ko Samui effective from September 9th. In short: both vaccination certificate and a recent test result (PCR or Antigen) are needed when arriving from red or dark red provinces. No mention of a quarantine. It says the source is "Samui covid center", but unfortunately they do not seem to have a website or at least can't be found via web search in English. The Facebook page containing the picture linked above seems to be actively maintained though, so future updates to the regulations can probably be found from there as well. I was also trying to decipher the moicovid website you mentioned, the one that BKK airlines is linking to. Not only do they have nothing in English, all the info is in pictures, preventing any straightforward google translation
  4. Is there some English language (or even Google-translatable) site where to find the latest domestic restrictions? I'm trying to figure out where to head from Phuket this weekend, after the first 14 days of my Thailand trip. I would prefer to visit Krabi and then maybe the other neighbouring orange provinces, and have not really gotten much results when trying to search the web for the current rules, such as do I need a recent Covid test and what kind, is there some particular mobile app required etc.
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