The following is our weekly feature in which we ask our readers a question at the start of the week and then a week later give the results, highlight diverse viewpoints and opinions on topics. This week we asked you the following: What should Thailand do about Songkran this year? Should it be canceled for the second year in a row? Postponed? Allowed with rules? Only traditional? Etc. Reader talkback: What should Thailand do about Songkran for this year? As expected, this was a passionate topic. Many long-term ex-pats hate the event personally, but many also understand that it is the biggest holiday of the year for the Thai people and the biggest domestic tourism (and before, a major foreign tourism) event. Billions of baht are made every year…but is it at the cost of a lack of a traditional Songkran? We asked our readers also to think of the event from a larger perspective and not just “if you personally dislike it.”(Although got plenty of those responses too) Let’s ... » Learn More about Reader talkback results: What should Thailand do about Songkran for this year?
Waiting line management system
There will be bumps along the way between your visits to the beach, bar and immigration office (sometimes the bumps will be at the beach, bar and immigration office). Expat life is what you make of it here in the Land of Smiles. Moaning about it never helps but accepting the bumps is part of the adventure. Here are our Top Ten Hard Truths for expats in Thailand. 1. Visas can be a pain in the neck You have plenty of options but the options never quite fit into your line of work or expectations. Between the Non-B visa, ‘Retirement’ visa, Education visa, Tourist visa, Elite visa and Smart visa, along with a few visa runs and trips to your local immigration office, you can usually fernangle a long-term stay in Thailand (yes, we know we used nick names for some of the visas). One way or the other you will need to keep your paperwork up to date as the fines and penalties for over-stays and visa problems can be quite harsh and difficult to negotiate your way around these days. ... » Learn More about Top 10 hard truths of living as an expat in Thailand
THE dramatic news of the winter storm disaster in Texas last week was appalling, to the say the least, but it also elicited a fair bit of schadenfreude, uncharitable though that sentiment may be. The calamity – which left nearly everyone in the entire state without electricity and water for several days – was as bad as it was because Texas is Texas: A big, stupid state with far more money and guns than sense, an embodiment of the Dunning-Kruger Effect on the scale of a massive civic entity. There are good people in Texas, but as a collective, it is an arrogantly ignorant place with a deeply ingrained, fallacious belief in its own unique superiority. It deserves it every time it gets turkey-slapped by Mother Nature, which actually happens fairly often, and never seems to learn from it. The winter storm that hit Texas with heavy snowfall, high winds and sub-Arctic temperatures was unusually strong, but was not unprecedented; there was a similar storm about 10 years ago, although it ... » Learn More about Texas: The deformed love child of climate ignorance and privatization