Pattaya to Hua Hin Ferry Service Now Officially Launched

Ferry service between Pattaya and Hua Hin on the other side of the Gulf of Thailand isn’t really anything new. Several private ferry operators have tackled the project again and again over the decades – and ultimately all failed miserably.
The last attempt to bridge the 113-kilometer sea route between Pattaya and Hua Hin by ferry failed only in 2011, due to lack of passengers and as unprofitable as previous projects.

Now a brand-new passenger ferry service between Pattaya and Hua Hin was officially launched on Sunday.
The new ferry service, operated by Royal Passenger Liner Ltd, launched unofficially on January 1, with free trips between the seaside resorts offered until January 31. The official launch was however postponed from January 12 after bad weather caused the cancellation of many trips.

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Zero-Dollar Tour Clampdown Cuts Chinese Tourist Arrivals in Pattaya

walking-street-after-dark-2015

While the latest tourist arrival statistics released by the Department of Tourism show that, only in August, the number of Chinese tourist arrivals was still on the rise year-on-year (up 11,34%) and Chinese tourists (891.382 nationwide) still accounted for nearly one third (31.01%) of all tourist arrivals in August, business operators in Pattaya are now reporting a sharp drop in arrivals from China.
Due to the government’s ongoing crackdown on so-called “zero-dollar tours”, tourism industry representatives are now complaining that the number of Chinese visitors to Pattaya has recently dropped by approx. 50% and hotel bookings have fallen drastically during the Chinese national holiday (October 1-9).

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Foreign Tourists May Be Required to Use Tracking SIM Cards (Updated)

Bar girls using smartphones

In the name of national security (what else?), Thailand now plans to issue foreign visitors to the kingdom with special SIM cards that would allow authorities to easily track them.
According to the controversial proposal, all foreign tourists and expats would be required to use a new style of SIM cards which would allow the authorities to track the card owner’s location at any time.
Yes, Big Brother wants to watch you in Thailand, too!

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Briton Dies in Bangkok Hospital After Failing to Pay Medical Bills

Here’s a distressing reminder that life – especially that of a foreign tourist who has run out of money and gets hospitalized – is worth very little in Thailand and that a decent travel health insurance is of utmost importance in the kingdom. In fact, many hospitals won’t even treat or accommodate you if you… Continue Reading

Pattaya Sex Industry Under Fire From Tourism Minister, Police

To start with the quote of the day. In response to a question asked in an interview with the Reuters news agency regarding the role the country’s sex industry played in drawing visitors to Thailand, Tourism Minister Kobkarn Wattanavrangkul (note: the minister is a woman) was in complete denial and replied without hesitating: Tourists don’t… Continue Reading

Thailand Welcomes Record 9 Million Tourist Arrivals in Q1

With three million arrivals in January and almost 3.1 million visitors in February, Thailand recorded an all-time high in tourist arrival numbers at the beginning of this year. Never had more foreign tourists visited Thailand in just two months. While we noted that tourists from European key source markets such as the United Kingdom or… Continue Reading

Tourist Arrivals Hit Record High in 2016-16 Peak Season: Stats

Once upon a time not so long ago, high season in Pattaya would last as long as five or six months each year, from November through March or even April. But that was then. In recent years, it appears, the peak season has gradually been getting shorter and shorter, with the biggest influx of visitors… Continue Reading

Thailand Records 29.88 Million Tourist Arrivals in 2015 (Complete Stats)

According to data compiled by the Thai Immigration Bureau and now released by the Department of Tourism, a total of 29.88 million foreign tourists visited Thailand in 2015. This wasn’t just a substantial 20,44% increase from the 24.8 million tourist arrivals the kingdom had seen in 2014 but also marks a new all-time record. While… Continue Reading

Visa on Arrival Fee to Double from 1,000 to 2,000 Baht

Visitors from a total of currently 19 countries, such as China, India, Taiwan and Ukraine, whose nationals don’t qualify for the visa exemption scheme (which allows tourists from most Western countries to visit the kingdom without a visa), may apply for a so-called „visa on arrival“ in Thailand. Rather than applying for a tourist visa… Continue Reading

Thailand Targets 32 Million “Quality Tourists” in 2016

Official figures have not been made available yet, but according to Thailand’s tourism and sports minister, an estimated 29.88 million foreign tourists, including more than eight million Chinese travelers and 60-70% repeat visitors, visited the kingdom in 2015. That’s an approx. 20% increase in arrival numbers from 2014 and just less than half a percent… Continue Reading

Thailand Welcomes 28 Millionth Tourist in 2015 (Updated)

A young Indian man and his family were given a huge welcoming party and granted a number of rewards at Suvarnabhumi Airport on Sunday after he became the “lucky” 28 millionth tourist to visit Thailand this year. The rewards for the family included two return air tickets to Thailand with free accommodation for five nights… Continue Reading

“Proof of Address” Now Required for 30-Day Visa Extension

It’s always been a requirement for tourists who sought to extend their temporary stay in the kingdom for an extra 30 days at a local immigration office to indicate an address where they were staying in Thailand. This could be a hotel, guesthouse, condominium – whatever. In practice, immigration officials would never come and check… Continue Reading

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