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30th September

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Thailand considers electronic tagging for tourists in response to Koh Tao murders
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electronic tagging Identification wristbands may be distributed to tourists in Thailand, the country's tourism minister says. Kobkarn Wattanavrangkul said she had approached hotels over the idea of handing out wristbands to help identify tourists who get lost or into trouble.

When tourists check in to a hotel they will be given a wristband with a serial number that matches their ID and shows the contact details of the resort they are staying in, so that if they're out partying late and, for example, get drunk or lost, they can be easily assisted.

The next step would be some sort of electronic tracking device but this has not yet been discussed in detail.

She said a buddy system , pairing tourists with a local minder at tourist destinations, was also being discussed.

Kobkarn admitted the wristband idea had already met some resistance:

Most people welcome the idea but some hotels are concerned that tourists may not want to wear the wristbands.

Limiting party hours on some of Thailand's islands and imposing restrictions over where beach parties could be held were also being considered, said Kobkarn.

The idea is unlikely to go down well with hoards of young backbackers who travel to Thailand each year.

 

28th August

  Tourists Only...

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Thailand bans visa runs but at least gives tourists a one off chance to extend their stay by 30 days
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thai entry stamp The Immigration Bureau has approved a new regulation that allows tourists to extend their stay in the kingdom by a further 30 days, effective from Aug 29.

That will mean holidaymakers from 49 countries who enter Thailand under a 30-day visa exemption can extend their stay for a further 30 days by obtaining a 30 day extension from their local immigration office. Of course this concession is limited to a single extension.

The measure will appeal to foreign travellers who want to prolong their stay in Thailand and visit other Southeast Asian countries, Pol Col Vorarat said. The extension will cost 1,900 baht.

The bureau, however, tightened up visa extension regulations for foreigners who enroll to study Thai in private language schools outside of the official school system, as well as those working in a public charity/non-profit organisation or a foreign chamber of commerce. Those affected will be granted visa extensions of 90 days but for no more than one year.

 

26th August

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Thailand's military dictators demand midnight closing and ban all drinks promotions including Happy Hours
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singha beer Thailand's military junta has warned that it intends to enforce harsh measures regulating the advertising and promotion of alcohol, in a move that will affect thousands of businesses throughout the country.

Under the newly enforced rules all alcohol products must carry health warnings, sales are banned to anyone under the age of 20, and initiatives promoting alcohol -- such as happy hours, free ice and mixers, and the use of beer girls -- are banned.

No drinking is allowed after midnight in bars or restaurants, even though sales have ended; no alcohol logos are allowed on glasses, ashtrays and other paraphernalia; and bars will not be allowed to display posters or bottles -- even old ones -- featuring such logos.

Bar staff cannot wear T-shirts with alcohol logos, and it is illegal to promote events such as wine and beer tastings. Alcohol logos - or even images accepted as representative of brands, such as a deer head for Benmore or red stars for Heineken - are not allowed to be displayed in sponsorship or any kind of advertising or promotion.

Promoting alcohol through word of mouth is also illegal, so if a waiter is asked to recommend a particular brand of beer he would be breaking the law if he responds. All printed photographs of glasses or bottles in the media must have visible brands and logos blurred.

Fines range between 2,500 for non-cooperation with inspectors and 500,000 baht if beverage companies promote and advertise their alcohol illegally. There are also punishments of up to six months in jail for various offences.

Update: Not yet national

28th August 2014.

The new doesn't seem to have made any national newspapers so maybe this is an action local to Chiang Mai.



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