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  • Is Thailand now TOO EXPENSIVE for ex-pats?

    Bangkok and Chiang Mai remain among the 30 most expensive cities for expats in Asia, with Ashgabat in Turkmenistan still on top of the global and Asian tables. The Thai capital ranked 28th, one place above Chiang Mai, according to the latest ECA International survey on the cost of living for expatriates. In the global rankings, Bangkok […]

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    Bangkok and Chiang Mai remain among the 30 most expensive cities for expats in Asia, with Ashgabat in Turkmenistan still on top of the global and Asian tables.

    The Thai capital ranked 28th, one place above Chiang Mai, according to the latest ECA International survey on the cost of living for expatriates. In the global rankings, Bangkok was 60th and Chiang Mai 142nd, it added.

    But Bangkok dropped out of the top 50 global ranking from the last survey released in December last year.

    Bangkok has lost a considerable amount of its appeal for budget-conscious expatriates, having risen 64 places over the past five years, according to the survey.

    ECA International said the growing economy and increased foreign investment — at least, prior to the coronavirus pandemic — had made Thailand more expensive, fuelled by the stronger baht.

    “The baht has strengthened considerably — making the country more expensive for expatriates and tourists,” said Lee Quane, regional director for Asia at ECA International. “However, this trend has slowed over the past year, partly in response to government attempts to weaken the baht in order to keep the country competitive.”

    The survey has been carried out in March and September every year since 2005. It is calculated based on a basket of items such as accommodation rental and utility fees. Car prices and school fees are not included.

    Hong Kong was the second most expensive city in Asia after Ashgabat but ahead of Tokyo and Singapore. Singapore was also the most expensive place for expats in Southeast Asia.

    The Chinese territory also remained sixth in the global standings, one place ahead of the Japanese capital. Singapore was 14th in Asia despite dropping two notches from the previous survey.

    Ashgabat’s meteoric rise to the top of the ranking is largely attributable to the economic problems of the Turkmenistan government, according to ECA.

    The energy-rich Central Asian nation has faced severe inflation and a black market for foreign currencies has caused the cost of imports to rise, said Mr Quane.

    Both of these factors have sparked a large increase in the costs visitors pay in Ashgabat.

    Mr Quane said Chinese cities fell across the board in the latest rankings due to signs of a weakening economy and poorly performing currency, even before Covid-19 started to take its toll. – The Bangkok Post

    The post Is Thailand now TOO EXPENSIVE for ex-pats? appeared first on BangkokJack News.

    4 July 2020
    Editorial
    https://bangkokjack.com/?p=533402
  • 700 noisy exhausts CRUSHED by STEAMROLLER

    Since the national curfew was lifted last month, illegal motorbike racing has returned to Thailand’s streets with increased popularity. From June 20-30, police arrested more than 5,600 racers and seized more than 17,700 motorcycles nationwide. Chon Buri Police yesterday used a steam roller to publicly crush more than 700 illegal exhaust pipes seized from road racers, known […]

    The post 700 noisy exhausts CRUSHED by STEAMROLLER appeared first on BangkokJack News.

    Since the national curfew was lifted last month, illegal motorbike racing has returned to Thailand’s streets with increased popularity.

    From June 20-30, police arrested more than 5,600 racers and seized more than 17,700 motorcycles nationwide.

    Chon Buri Police yesterday used a steam roller to publicly crush more than 700 illegal exhaust pipes seized from road racers, known locally as “dek waen” or “vanz boys,” in the Pattaya area.

    The media were invited along to capture the public shaming.

    Police told that Pattaya News that over 11 days, Chon Buri police arrested 11 reckless drivers and held 1,307 inspections at motorcycle shops and repair shops, 8 of which face further legal charges relating to the illegal modifications.

    761 illegal exhaust pipes were seized, 11 cars and 2,157 motorbikes were seized, and 3,075 road users were arrested.

    A spokesman said this is part of national Thai Government measures to crack down on road racing and the noisy modifications made to standard motorcycles, most of them less than 150cc in power.

    PM Prayut Chan-o-cha has publicly warned that curfew or not, those violating the recently extended Emergency Decree will face stern penalties, and even threatened a renewed curfew if such illegal activities aren’t brought under control. – Pattaya News

    Bt50,000 reward for information on ‘Boy-Racers’

     

    The post 700 noisy exhausts CRUSHED by STEAMROLLER appeared first on BangkokJack News.

    4 July 2020
    Pattaya News
    https://bangkokjack.com/?p=533399
  • TRIPLE MURDER – Jealous Thai man arrested

    A man facing murder charges in the shooting death of his wife and two of her family members has confessed he acted out of jealousy when he learned his wife wanted to return to her ex-husband, police say. Noppadol Nuamsamlee, 41, was arrested shortly after the fatal shooting of his wife Sujittra Chiangbai, 23, her […]

    The post TRIPLE MURDER – Jealous Thai man arrested appeared first on BangkokJack News.

    A man facing murder charges in the shooting death of his wife and two of her family members has confessed he acted out of jealousy when he learned his wife wanted to return to her ex-husband, police say.

    Noppadol Nuamsamlee, 41, was arrested shortly after the fatal shooting of his wife Sujittra Chiangbai, 23, her sister Jitra Chiangbai, 25, and their mother Lawan, 45, on Maha Sitthichok Road in Muang district of this northeastern province on Friday afternoon.

    Police took the suspect for a crime re-enactment in Muang district on Saturday morning.

    Police said the incident began after Mr Noppadol and his wife left their rented house in Muang district to go shopping on Friday.

    While driving his pickup, Mr Noppadol demanded to know why his wife was still in touch with her ex-husband, with whom she had a son who is now 5 years old.

    After stopping his pickup on Maha Sitthichok Road, the man allegedly assaulted his wife, who phoned her sister for help.

    When Jittra and her mother arrived at the scene, the man fired shots at them as they tried to help her. He later fired two shots at his wife before fleeing.

    All three women died at the scene. Police subsequently arrested the suspect on the road.

    During interrogation, the suspect admitted he carried out the shootings in a fit of jealousy, police said.

    He told police he had become angry after he found records of chats between his wife and her ex-husband on her mobile phone.

    Mr Noppadol, a resident of Bang Lamung district in Chon Buri, insisted he still loved his wife and was willing to accept punishment for what he had done, police said.

    He was due to appear in Nakhon Phanom provincial court later on Saturday to face charges of murder and carrying a firearm in public. Police said they would oppose bail.

    Paijit Chiangbai, 60, who lost his two daughters and his wife, said he could not come to terms with the losses.

    He said he never thought Mr Noppadol, who had lived with his younger daughter for a year, could be so cruel.

    He said he would not forgive the suspect, and did not want him released on bail for fear the suspect would kill him.

    Mr Paijit arrived at the crime scene shortly after the shootings on Friday, and said the suspect pointed a gun at him and threatened to fire if he tried to intervene.

    Mr Paijit also said he never thought his daughter would return to her former husband as both had been separated for a long time and her ex-husband already had a new family.

    The gunman also had an 8-year-old daughter from his previous marriage.

    Ratchadaporn Thongkhlee, 25, friend of Jittra, said the suspect had earlier threatened to shoot her and Jittra and accused them of encouraging Sujittra to return to her ex-husband.

    The suspect had earlier assaulted his wife several times, said Ms Ratchadaporn. – Bangkok Post

    The post TRIPLE MURDER – Jealous Thai man arrested appeared first on BangkokJack News.

    4 July 2020
    Thailand News
    https://bangkokjack.com/?p=533396
  • Pattaya failing to recover from DAMAGING LOCKDOWN

    Beaches in Pattaya and Jomtien were not as busy as expected on the first day of a four-day holiday weekend despite a heavy tourism promotion and the end of measures imposed to contain the coronavirus. Only a small number of beachgoers were seen swimming or gathering for meals on mats or beneath umbrellas on Saturday. […]

    The post Pattaya failing to recover from DAMAGING LOCKDOWN appeared first on BangkokJack News.

    Beaches in Pattaya and Jomtien were not as busy as expected on the first day of a four-day holiday weekend despite a heavy tourism promotion and the end of measures imposed to contain the coronavirus.

    Only a small number of beachgoers were seen swimming or gathering for meals on mats or beneath umbrellas on Saturday.

    Jet skis and banana boats were available for rent but there were almost no speedboats in the water.

    The months-long absence of foreign visitors because of travel bans has dealt major blow to the economy of Pattaya and Chon Buri province, but officials have been hoping to see many Thais indulging their pent-up desire to travel after being home-bound for many weeks.

    And they were wrong, as they usually are, with most people choosing to give the city a miss this time round.

    And who can blame them with the mayor’s infantile social rules being imposed in public places by over-zealous uniformed idiots wearing face-muzzles.

    Pattaya City and the Tourism Authority of Thailand even staged a promotional campaign offering a 50% discount for hotel rooms booked via the Shopee app, which few responded to.

    Sunitsa Sukkul, who rents umbrellas and sunbeds at Pattaya beach, said the number of visitors in the city was not expected to be very high even though it was a long holiday.

    She speculated that many people from Bangkok might have opted to travel farther from the capital since they had four days off.

    Indeed, traffic appeared to be heavier 250 kilometres down the road in Trat, where a Twitter user posted photos of a two-kilometre tailback at the ferry terminal as drivers waited to take the boat to Koh Chang.

    Pattaya-bound traffic on Motorway Route 7 was light by comparison.

    Even in normal times, Ms Sunitsa said, Thai people tended to visit Bang Saen beach in Chon Buri as it was closer to the capital, while Pattaya beach used to be a popular venue for foreign tourists.

    Pattaya city authorities had sealed off all beaches on May 9 as part of their effort to prevent the spread of Covid-19.

    The beaches were reopened on June 1, along with the popular offshore destination Koh Lan, in line with the decline in local coronavirus infections nationwide.

    Many believe it is now too late for Pattaya to recover, while others remain hopeful that as soon as the borders re-open and the foreign cash comes back the good times will return.

    Pattaya mayor declares himself a HUGE SUCCESS

    The post Pattaya failing to recover from DAMAGING LOCKDOWN appeared first on BangkokJack News.

    4 July 2020
    Pattaya News
    https://bangkokjack.com/?p=533390
  • Pattaya mayor declares himself a HUGE SUCCESS

    Pattaya’s LOCKDOWN mayor, Sontaya Khunpluem,  thanked his staff and the public for their efforts during his city isolation that ended two-months ago.  As expected he declared his safety measures, that included eight Nazi-style checkpoints around the city, at which angry looking people wearing uniforms and face-masks checked people’s permission to travel, a huge success. And […]

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    Pattaya’s LOCKDOWN mayor, Sontaya Khunpluem,  thanked his staff and the public for their efforts during his city isolation that ended two-months ago. 

    As expected he declared his safety measures, that included eight Nazi-style checkpoints around the city, at which angry looking people wearing uniforms and face-masks checked people’s permission to travel, a huge success.

    And he proudly told the local media that there had been no new cases of COVID-19 in Pattaya since he came up with his isolation plan.

    He went on to claim that Pattaya is now a White Zone, whatever that is.

    Unsurprisingly he failed to mention the real cost of his childish posturing in terms of business failures, unemployment, poverty, starvation, malnutrition, suicide, crime, police extortion, a decimated tourist industry and ex-pats who have packed up their money and moved away, never to return.

    It is worth noting that this is all because of his lock-down and NOT because of the virus.

    The root of this failure is not the original problem, it is the hysterical reaction to it.

    Pattaya is FINISHED as owners pack up and leave

    Instead of addressing those issues, this week’s idiot has cautioned that it is only a first step.

    He has spent his time wondering how he can next interfere and decided that while exercising around the beach area can take place, with proper social distancing measures, people must not congregate or bring food and drink to consume.

    He doesn’t want to think about the food lines full of starving locals. He only wants to think about his next public orders.

    Because he still believes that drinking and eating is dangerous and that citizens are too stupid to survive without following his directive.

    And this comes from a man who closed the safe bicycle paths and ordered cyclists onto the busy main roads, because it is now safer for them.

    All we have seen from Thailand’s provincial governors and city mayors, over the last 6 weeks, is silly posturing by small men throwing their 65 kilograms around.

    Meanwhile, as some businesses in Pattaya are slowly opening up again they are finding there is no business to be done. They have few, if any, customers and there are even fewer foreigners remaining in town.

    The mayor’s plan, that he shamelessly declared such a huge success, has driven tens of thousands out of town and of the few that were forced to remain thousands of them are picking themselves something to eat along the sois of this once prosperous city.

    A once prosperous city that will now take years to recover from the LOCKDOWN MAYOR’S disastrous behavior. – Albert Jack

    The post Pattaya mayor declares himself a HUGE SUCCESS appeared first on BangkokJack News.

    4 July 2020
    The Jack Report
    https://bangkokjack.com/?p=532088
  • Bt50,000 reward for information on ‘Boy-Racers’

    A reward of Bt50,000 is being offered in exchange for reports on motorbike racers in a bid to rid Bangkok of this nuisance. Assistant national police chief Pol Lt-General Damrongsak Kittiprapat said police swooped on motorbike racers who came out once lockdown measures were lifted on June 20. So far, 109 of them have been […]

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    A reward of Bt50,000 is being offered in exchange for reports on motorbike racers in a bid to rid Bangkok of this nuisance.

    Assistant national police chief Pol Lt-General Damrongsak Kittiprapat said police swooped on motorbike racers who came out once lockdown measures were lifted on June 20.

    So far, 109 of them have been arrested, 11,743 motorcycles and 208 cars seized.

    Also, in a bid to tackle the problem at its root, police have also arrested 3,088 owners of garages that modify motorbikes and 98 social-media influencers.

    Penalties include a fine of between Bt1,000 and Bt2,000 as well as 15 days behind bars.

    Those wishing to report motorbike racers can record a video and send it to the Royal Thai Police’s social-media page or call the 191 and 1599 hotlines. – The Nation

    Noisy bikers forced to smash exhausts with SLEDGEHAMMER

    The post Bt50,000 reward for information on ‘Boy-Racers’ appeared first on BangkokJack News.

    4 July 2020
    Bangkok News
    https://bangkokjack.com/?p=533388
  • Mystery death of Australian in Pattaya

    A 59-year-old Australian man was found dead on Saturday inside an apartment with a plastic bag covering his head and fastened with a cable tie wrapped around his neck. His body was found on the bed in a room on the fourth floor of the four-storey building, said Pol Lt Col Nithat Waewpradab, deputy superintendent […]

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    A 59-year-old Australian man was found dead on Saturday inside an apartment with a plastic bag covering his head and fastened with a cable tie wrapped around his neck.

    His body was found on the bed in a room on the fourth floor of the four-storey building, said Pol Lt Col Nithat Waewpradab, deputy superintendent of Pattaya city police, who was alerted at around 4.30pm.

    The man’s name was withheld pending notification of relatives.

    Wearing a T-shirt and underwear, the man had a green plastic bag covering his head with a cable tie fastened around his neck.

    His hands were also bound with a cable tie. Police found no bruises on his body.

    There were no traces of a struggle inside the room, which had seven computer monitors on a desk. The room had a safe but there were no valuable items inside.

    Police initially speculated that the man might have suffered from stress and taken his own life.

    Closed-circuit television images from the building showed nobody had entered his room.

    The building’s housekeeper, who discovered the body, told police the man had lived in the apartment for almost three years.

    His body was sent to Police General Hospital in Bangkok for a post-mortem examination to determine the exact cause of death.

    Seven computer monitors stand on a desk in the dead man’s room in Pattaya. (Photo: Chaiyot Pupattanapong)

     

    The post Mystery death of Australian in Pattaya appeared first on BangkokJack News.

    4 July 2020
    Pattaya News
    https://bangkokjack.com/?p=533385
  • Vague attempt to lure the Chinese back to Phuket

    The Tourism and Sports Ministry will target specific provinces in China in a campaign to attract visitors back the resort island as travel restrictions are eased. Minister of Tourism and Sports Pipat Ratchakijprakarn said on Friday the ministry will not splash out money launching a tourist campaign across China. It will target provinces that have […]

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    The Tourism and Sports Ministry will target specific provinces in China in a campaign to attract visitors back the resort island as travel restrictions are eased.

    Minister of Tourism and Sports Pipat Ratchakijprakarn said on Friday the ministry will not splash out money launching a tourist campaign across China.

    It will target provinces that have the coronavirus under control. It appears he does not know which provinces since he declined to explain further.

    Phuket was being eyed to lead the planned tourism bubble comprising Thailand and its selected partners. The primary target was China, he said.

    “China is the first market with potential, because flying time to Thailand is less than six hours,” Mr Pipat said.

    Other markets were South Korea, Japan, Australia, New Zealand and other southeast Asian countries.

    One in every four foreign visitors to Thailand before the pandemic was Chinese, he said.

    There were almost 40 million foreign arrivals last year, but the Bank of Thailand expects only 8 million this year after Covid-19 grounded airlines and stopped tourism in its tracks.

     

    The post Vague attempt to lure the Chinese back to Phuket appeared first on BangkokJack News.

    4 July 2020
    Phuket News
    https://bangkokjack.com/?p=533379
  • ‘Don’t Insult My Intelligence’ warns Prayut

    Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha hit back at some opposition MPs, from Kao Klai party, on Friday for, what he took as an insult to his and his ministers’ intelligence, their questioning of some Transport Ministry projects, insisting that all of them have been properly screened and transparently implemented. “We are no less intelligent than the […]

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    Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha hit back at some opposition MPs, from Kao Klai party, on Friday for, what he took as an insult to his and his ministers’ intelligence, their questioning of some Transport Ministry projects, insisting that all of them have been properly screened and transparently implemented.

    “We are no less intelligent than the speaker, so do not insult our intelligence.  Public sector projects require a lot of investment, we invest under a PPP (Public-Private-Partnership) structure.  There is a transparent bidding process, and the contracts are then signed in accordance with the law,” he responded, apparently referring to remarks made by Mr. Surachet Prawinwongvut, a Kao Klai MP, during the third day of the 2021 budget debate.

    He said he held no personal grudge against Mr. Surachet, adding that his government has never approved a project just to favour any particular individual or supplier.

    The Prime Minister added that he will not keep responding to questions on similar issues from the opposition, about how the Government will use the 400 billion baht fund for economic rehabilitation and whether the funds will be used wisely and worthily.

    He pointed out that his priorities are to build better cooperation between the governmental and private sectors and the public, to ensure the country weathers one of its worst economic crises, and turn it into an opportunity, noting that economies around the world are all suffering, due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

    Deputy Transport Minister Thaworn Senneam, meanwhile, told Parliament that his ministry has allocated 14 billion baht to develop three airports, specifically 1.625 billion baht for Betong, 1.113 billion baht for Mae Sot airport and 5.136 billion baht for Krabi airport. – ThaiPBS

    The post ‘Don’t Insult My Intelligence’ warns Prayut appeared first on BangkokJack News.

    4 July 2020
    Thailand News
    https://bangkokjack.com/?p=533373
  • 4 things you must do when planning to retire overseas

    So you’ve spent the better part of your life working and you think you’re now old enough to stick it to your boss and retire. But with the cost of living soaring year on year, it looks like you’ll have to shelve your retirement for yet another year and continue working even as you inch closer […]

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    So you’ve spent the better part of your life working and you think you’re now old enough to stick it to your boss and retire.

    But with the cost of living soaring year on year, it looks like you’ll have to shelve your retirement for yet another year and continue working even as you inch closer to the grave.

    Or do you? Not if you retire overseas in a country with a lower cost of living and that offers a retirement visa—like Malaysia, recently voted amongst the five best places in the world to retire.

    But before you join the other retirees by breaking out your Tai Sing slippers and putting on your batik shirt, know that retiring abroad isn’t just about buying a ticket on some budget airline and planning for a life of cheap massages. Here are four factors you’ll need to take into account first.

    Check visa requirements to retire overseas

    There is no country in the world with an open-door policy. Before allowing you to retire in a foreign land, you’ll have to prove to the authorities that you’ll be there to spend money and won’t be a burden on their system.

    So be prepared for quite a bit of paperwork! You may even need to consult an immigration lawyer or agent based at your destination before you’ll get the green light.

    You will most definitely be asked for proof of income of some sort. If you are relying partly on your monthly CPF payouts, you must ensure that they can be counted towards the requirements imposed by the country.

    For instance, in addition to a monthly income of over 10,000 MYR (3,327 SGD), those wishing to retire in Malaysia must also show proof of liquid assets of over 500,000 MYR (166,342 SGD). If you’re planning to retire in Malaysia, you might want to keep a larger proportion of your retirement funds liquid rather than depositing them into your CPF account.

    You might also be required to invest a certain amount of money in the country or spend on certain things. For instance, if you intend to retire in Indonesia, you will need to rent accommodation worth at least 500 USD (670 SGD) a month or buy a home costing at least 35,000 USD (46,600 SGD) and also employ an Indonesian maid.

    Make health insurance arrangements

    You might adore the cheap massages and food at your new retirement destination, but when you fall ill, you might not love waiting in terror to see a doctor who may not speak English.

    As you age and your healthcare needs rise, you’ll want to ensure you are taken care of. Where possible, make sure you have the option of returning to Singapore to seek medical help if affordable healthcare is not available to you at your destination, or if you do not trust their healthcare system.

    Some countries will require those on retirement visas to purchase their own health insurance to ensure they are covered if they fall ill.

    Even in countries that do not impose health insurance requirements, you might want to purchase your own medical insurance policy. And assuming you will not be travelling back to Singapore every 90 days, you will need to purchase a policy that covers you for indefinite travel or life abroad.

    Depending on your proximity to Singapore, you might also want to consider maintaining a Singapore-based health insurance policy as well. This is recommended for those retiring in countries like Thailand and Indonesia, which are a short plane flight away.

    Decide on your accommodation

    For many Singaporean retirees heading overseas, renting out their homes in Singapore will provide them with a significant proportion of their retirement income.

    Obviously, you’ll need to find a new home in your retirement destination. You have the option of renting or, if the country allows it, buying a new home to retire overseas.

    Do note, however, that many countries impose restrictions on retirees hoping to buy a home. For instance, in Thailand, foreigners are generally not allowed to buy land, so you’ll have to go for condos or apartments.

    Handle banking and currency exchange matters

    While opening a bank account should not be a problem once you’ve moved to your destination, it’s likely that your income will be in the form of Singapore dollars. You will thus be faced with the question of when to change currencies and how.

    You’ll thus want to watch the exchange rate like a hawk and change lump sums of cash when the Singapore Dollar is at its highest.

    It might also be worthwhile to open a multi-currency account in Singapore so you can store your overseas currency locally, and withdraw it at your destination without paying ATM fees.

    The post 4 things you must do when planning to retire overseas appeared first on BangkokJack News.

    4 July 2020
    Features
    http://bangkokjack.com/?p=464487