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  1. #51
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    Quote Originally Posted by Thai Dhupp View Post
    At the very start, the Thai government approved 'home quarantine', when it was just the Thai nationals repatriating. Of course, a great number of them flew home then totally disregarded those home quarantine requirements, mainly y'know...staying at HOME.
    This is the option I had, but this meant that the whole household would have to quarantine with me.

    As the missus, youngest kids and and nanny did not come with us to the UK due to commitments, I (the wife ) decided that it would be better for me shack up in a hotel for a couple of weeks. I had a case full of UK food and sitting by the pool sipping beers for 2 weeks was no real hardship.

    Pretty gutted I had to check-out and go home in the end.
    Black diamonds? I shit 'em.

  2. #52
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mendip View Post
    Fingers crossed
    All the best with it!

    TD has shown the way, respecto for his journey and sharing.

    I know I'd rather be with my family having sacrificed a couple of weeks in luxury isolation, than an uncertain few months in freezing Blighty.

  3. #53
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    Quote Originally Posted by nidhogg View Post
    Welcome back. Simple fact is, for many of us Thailand is home.
    Until your next visa appointment

  4. #54
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    Quote Originally Posted by Chittychangchang View Post
    All the best with it!

    TD has shown the way, respecto for his journey and sharing.

    I know I'd rather be with my family having sacrificed a couple of weeks in luxury isolation, than an uncertain few months in freezing Blighty.
    thats exactly right - when you are away from home and family, and its out of your control to return, increasingly, you will do anything to get back. the government knows this which is why we are currently in the situation we are in.

    A word about the costs for information as to what desperate returnees are faced with. For me:
    * New visa, to cover for the expired one i got in March - 700 AED
    * paying for the accommodation for the additional time while waiting to sort out my return - 20,000 AED. an additional cost because I was unable to return at the end of March
    * flight to return to Thailand - 4,300 AED (but luckily, my ex-employer covered that cost
    * ASQ hotel - 42,000 THB - this is one of the cheaper/more reasonable options. a lot up around 60k, 80k, 100k and on . Phuket options up to 500k, i read somewhere
    * Mandatory insurance for the repatriation - 58,000 THB

    if you say approx. 9THb to 1 AED...

    6,300
    180,000
    38,700
    42,000
    58,000
    ---------
    325,000 THB
    I got back the 38,700 for the plane ticket, so i was out of pocket by 286,300. the actual repatriation costs to me were 106,300 THB if yoy take out the costs of my extended stay in Dubai

    This is not including food, drink, travel costs via taxi, etc

    yes...a LOT of money you only live once and i would rather live it with family not wasting my life away stuck on my own in Dubai.

  5. #55
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    Quote Originally Posted by YourDaddy View Post
    Until your next visa appointment
    yeh... i wonder what the future will hold now for long stay visa holders.

    Its very obvious the government do not want us here but they do want the money we spend. You only got to see how they are treating expats on retirement visas, or even Elite visa holders.

    My visa is a 12-month one so i have breathing space - got to do my first 90-day check in soon, and that 1st one must be in person apparently, not on line.

    At some point soon, i will convert it to the 'marriage visa' so i guess at that time we will see what the government thinking is

  6. #56
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bogon View Post
    This is the option I had, but this meant that the whole household would have to quarantine with me.

    As the missus, youngest kids and and nanny did not come with us to the UK due to commitments, I (the wife ) decided that it would be better for me shack up in a hotel for a couple of weeks. I had a case full of UK food and sitting by the pool sipping beers for 2 weeks was no real hardship.

    Pretty gutted I had to check-out and go home in the end.
    Lol... sounds like you had a good time.

    if you are with someone I'm sure its easier, but for me, traveling back alone, the novelty of 'me time' soon wore off.

  7. #57
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    Quote Originally Posted by JPPR2 View Post
    Additionally, for what it may be worth to others, the cost to get here including airfare, covid testing before and during, van service from Airport and hotel stay during 14 day quarantine was just under $7,000 usd. Of course hotel choices and airline flights will have an impact on the costs.
    People will pay it though and the government knows it. ASQ and the whole quarantine process will not be going away any time soon.

  8. #58
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    Quote Originally Posted by Buckaroo Banzai View Post
    Thank you for sharing your return adventure. A lot of good info there. And thank you for that link to the FB repatriation group. I already joined.
    I have read every word you wrote with great interest.
    And I am constantly monitoring the news for new info concerning return to Thailand.
    I am lucky in two respects, I have my wife with me, and we maintain a private residence in the Florida, that we were planning to keep for vacations there. And perhaps returning to the US if I got too sick to be in Thailand when I got older.
    But our house in Thailand sits empty, and I miss our dogs. One poor guy still sleeps outside my door waiting for me to come out. We are lucky to have my wife's sister taking care of the dogs, cutting the grass, and starting our car every so often.
    At this point we will wait a couple of moths more in the hope that travel restrictions are relaxed , I am not sure I can sit in a hotel room for 14 days. Also we have a very long trip from FL to Thailand (24 hr at least ) with a min of two plane changes and multiple airports and I am not sure how safe it is to be on airplanes and wait in airports for that long.
    I can't wait for a vaccine to put an end to all of these nonsense. !! But if things don't change in the next few months I will have to bite the bullet and go through the same process as you.
    below is poor boy waiting for us.
    Glad it was on some help and, good luck

    The Facebook forum i listed previously was a godsend to me - real support and advice. I chipped in a bit and i got a lot out of others experiences

    Teya's YouTube channel 'Its Thai things' is a good source for the latest government thinking and the current rules for repatriation

    if you need any other info or advice, email me and i will try to help

  9. #59
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    Quote Originally Posted by aging one View Post
    Such a good thread. Old TD..

    You must be on such a high right now being "Home" for sure. Keep this tale going on.

    Attachment 58255
    ,


    I am but its took a long time to come down from the work ethic. You cannot just work n work day after day for decades, then suddenly switch it off on the first day of retirement and expect to totally chill out. My experience anyway.

    I'm still waking up really early and still thinking about work stuff, even though i left!

    Someone told me a long time back that the worst thing for your body is to go from full on work days with all the associated stresses and pressures (and rewards) to ... nothing. its a massive body-shock. I have a lot planned to do for just this reason... I'm currently building a kitchen, then I'm building a walk-in closet, i will be helping the builder with the car port, sorting out the pool, doing the garden etc etc etc.

    lol more than when i was working full time, but its work at my face without unnecessary pressure.

  10. #60
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    Quote Originally Posted by YourDaddy View Post
    Until your next visa appointment
    My Visa updates and check ins are a cake walk and always have been.

    Quote Originally Posted by Thai Dhupp View Post
    yeh... i wonder what the future will hold now for long stay visa holders.

    Its very obvious the government do not want us here but they do want the money we spend. You only got to see how they are treating expats on retirement visas, or even Elite visa holders.

    My visa is a 12-month one so i have breathing space - got to do my first 90-day check in soon, and that 1st one must be in person apparently, not on line.

    At some point soon, i will convert it to the 'marriage visa' so i guess at that time we will see what the government thinking is
    I think the view many foreigners have about Thailand and the government wanting them out is solely based on the Visa type, how the individual interacts with the immigration people at the annual and 90 day updates and of course the area you live. What I mean by where you live, there are areas with high foreigner populations and I have personally over my years watch unruly westerners go off on Thai immigration staff over stupid stuff that seemed to be their fault anyway. This unfortunately sets in play that all westerners are a pain. I have never felt like they wanted me out in all my years here.

  11. #61
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    Quote Originally Posted by Thai Dhupp View Post
    People will pay it though and the government knows it. ASQ and the whole quarantine process will not be going away any time soon.
    I agree TD, Especially business travelers. The company writes it all off anyway. Just another business expense. I was supposed to fly back to the states for our annual AOP and it was relatively easy getting out but the return back was a pain and while the company was willing to foot the bill and take care of all the leg work for tests and paperwork, I said I can do a Telco and save the company a ton of cash and me a lot of headaches.

  12. #62
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    So… I flew on the evening of the28th July, arriving at around 7am on 29th. After the uneventful flight and whizzing through Suvarnabhumi airport, at last, the ASQ senten….adventure was about to begin.


    Day 0 29th July
    Arrived into the hotel to be greeted by fully-paper suited hotel and medical personnel. The check-in required the CoE, the declaration and a passport copy plus of course the confirmation of the ASQ hotel booking.

    Then it was the initial medical, my BP was up due to stress I think but they were not concerned. My temp was up at 37.1 but again, no issues.

    The nurse escorted me to the allocated cell and advised me that I would be COVID tested on day 3 and day 11. Until the first test results were back (and obviously, negative), we had to remain in the room at all times.

    The room itself was a pretty standard hotel room – large comfortable bed, TV , ample power sockets and internet, and of course, AC. There was a full bathroom with tub, though it was only ¾ size lengthways. There were tea and coffee making facilities, and 15 large bottles of drinking water. The first surprise was, the mini-bar had several bottles of beer!

    I spent the day getting used to the room, and the facilities and I had a good sleep, my first for about 4 weeks. The stress really took it out of me. Although I did not know it at the time, it was going to take nearly all the ASQ time to get back to any semblance of what one might call a normal sleep pattern.

    I tried the TV and discovered… NO ENGLISH CHANNELS!! Lol a quick call to reception though and a paper suited maintenance guy came, armed with a USB. 5 minute later and 30 watchable channels. The internet worked flawlessly.

    Breakfast, which I had selected on check in, arrived at around 0900.



    A sort of western style ham and eggs + rice n shrimps!. It was good – no complaints, a theme that continued throughout the stay.
    I had also ordered my lunch and dinner at the check in, but from day 1 onwards we had to order from the menu supplied on LINE the evening before. The menu offered 3 options for breakfast, 3 for lunch and 3 for dinner, and over the 15 nights, the menu never repeated. Although the menu choices seemed limited, in fact there was always something good to choose.

    The nurse contacted me on the provided LINE account to make sure it was working and to remind me to take my temperature and post in on LINE. I had my own digital infra-red thermometer which they allowed me to use.

    Lunch arrived at 1300. Dinner arrived at 1900





    I posted my temperature, ordered my day 1 menu choices from the menu that arrived on LINE from Reception, and went to bed early, convinced that this was going to be fairly easy.

  13. #63
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    Damn! sorry all...i forgot to re-size the photos. will do for day 1 onwards

  14. #64
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    Day 1 30th July
    Despite the 3 hour time difference I woke up at 0455 (0155 Dubai-time). I could not get back to sleep and ended up watching random YouTube videos until the tap on the door, this time at 0650 – the ‘Breakfast has arrived’ knock





    This was the modus operandi for the duration of my stay – the knock for notification, no direct contact. There was a table outside the door to place the meals on, and where you placed the empties tray when you finished. All the food came in disposable containers and the cutlery was plastic.

    I had got into the routine for the food. I was taking 2 baths a day but at about 1400, I became stir crazy – cooped up in this hotel room, not allowed out. I wanted to go out. There was security on each floor (I was on the 3rd floor) so ’popping out’ was not an option.

    I also realised why I woke up so early. 3 meals a day, and zero exercise – I was not burning anything to make me tired. No more daytime naps. I had to sleep through the night so dozing was out.

    I struggled through the day, chatting to the nurse on LINE and of course PJ via skype – thank goodness for skype. I was also able to speak to my son in UK, though the 6 hour time difference did not always work for us.





    Did all my temp checks and ordered the next days food. Early to bed again

  15. #65
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    I am laughing my ass off TD, I got the same type Bento box pictures from my colleagues. They got a menu with 3 options for Bfast, Lunch and Dinner. No other choices so they had to mix it up over 14 days. At Day 10 one said they were about to run naked through the lobby to get some different food.

    The other tried doing jump rope out in the "Yard" (Prison term) and the Thai help laughed at him, so he tried handing them the rope to see if they could do better.

  16. #66
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    Quote Originally Posted by Thai Dhupp View Post
    yeh... i wonder what the future will hold now for long stay visa holders.

    Its very obvious the government do not want us here but they do want the money we spend. You only got to see how they are treating expats on retirement visas, or even Elite visa holders.

    My visa is a 12-month one so i have breathing space - got to do my first 90-day check in soon, and that 1st one must be in person apparently, not on line.

    At some point soon, i will convert it to the 'marriage visa' so i guess at that time we will see what the government thinking is
    Sounds like you have some expensive respite, well done and good luck, but don't make plans based on what the gov is thinking, next week or month it could be the opposite and they'll blame you for it.


  17. #67
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    Quote Originally Posted by JPPR2 View Post
    I am laughing my ass off TD, I got the same type Bento box pictures from my colleagues. They got a menu with 3 options for Bfast, Lunch and Dinner. No other choices so they had to mix it up over 14 days. At Day 10 one said they were about to run naked through the lobby to get some different food.

    The other tried doing jump rope out in the "Yard" (Prison term) and the Thai help laughed at him, so he tried handing them the rope to see if they could do better.

    Lol the choices were limited by tasty and the menus were unique for the whole duration

    We could also order from the house menus - cafe, room service, pasta/pizza, alacarte, desert and all with 20% discount. will explain all in future posts.

    Which ASQ were they in, as a matter of interest?

  18. #68
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    Day 2 31st July
    Woke up too damn early again. The routine was monotonous even though it was only my second day it felt like i had done a week already.

    As mentioned, I was on the 3rd floor, the same floor as the garden – so near yet still out of reach. In fact, my room neither faced Suvarnabhumi nor the Main road – I looked out at right angles but straight across the garden to rooms at the other side of the garden.

    From the attached photo you can see I looked across into the bedroom of a couple of young, blond-haired Korean chicks also doing ASQ who seemed to walk around starkers for most of the day, but I even got bored of that in the end. Also, I did not want anyone seeing ME walking around starkers so I kept the curtains closed the entire time.

    No, the main news today was… only one day to go until I got tested! I discovered I could order coffee from the coffee shop and it would be delivered to the room so I started having a Mocha every morning at 10am.

    I was bored of YouTube already. I made contact with Martin who had travelled to the ASQ with me from UAE via LINE and messenger. We were both scheduled for the first COVID19 test on day 3 so we were looking forward to the freedom that would come with a negative test!

    Don’t know how many of you have done any COVID19 testing? Having done 4 nasal swabs in UAE, you would think I would be used to it…nah. Hated them. If you have to get a test and are offered either throat or nose, choose throat every time! The nose swab is not painful, no no, but it is effin’ uncomfortable / irritating. Depending on the skill of the nurse administering the test swab it ranged from bloody horrible to OMG that swab is all the way through and coming out of the back of my head. The swab stick is long and some nurses insist on inserting it all the way.










    Killed the rest of the day with meals, baths, TV, skype and Messenger. This day was very long. I tried to stay awake til late in the hope I would sleep in.

    The room really felt like a prison now.

  19. #69
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    Quote Originally Posted by Thai Dhupp View Post
    ,


    I am but its took a long time to come down from the work ethic. You cannot just work n work day after day for decades, then suddenly switch it off on the first day of retirement and expect to totally chill out. My experience anyway.

    I'm still waking up really early and still thinking about work stuff, even though i left!

    Someone told me a long time back that the worst thing for your body is to go from full on work days with all the associated stresses and pressures (and rewards) to ... nothing. its a massive body-shock. I have a lot planned to do for just this reason... I'm currently building a kitchen, then I'm building a walk-in closet, i will be helping the builder with the car port, sorting out the pool, doing the garden etc etc etc.

    lol more than when i was working full time, but its work at my face without unnecessary pressure.
    My retirement became official last March also, That's when I started collecting my trade Union pension, and social security, but the project I was working on in NYC was completed last September and I was lucky enough to convince management (worked for that company for 18 years) to lay me off so I was able to collect unemployment until March that my pension started. It was lucky for me because I was able to miss the Pandemic in NYC . We were going to come back to Thailand when covid started and we thought we would be safer in the US , so we decided to stay a few months more and see how things played out . For sure I thought that a therapy would had been developed in a few months and the travel restrictions resolved.
    Boy was I wrong!! In retrospect I wish we had come to Thailand .
    Concerning retirement, having experienced some of it already. It was great for a few months. Sleep late, fix things around the house, Garden etc . But it grows old quick. For most of my adult life I got up 4:00 am. I still cant brake that habit. It is now 6:am in FL, and I am sitting in the dark writing this while wife sleeps like a baby LOL.
    It is Unfortunate that the thing that I did not have all my life. (Discretionary time to go places ) , I have so much now, but I cant travel anywhere.
    You never want something more that when they tell you you cant have it LOL
    So Here is what I have done, and some of my advice for you to try.
    What you are already thinking of, (fix the house, gardens, carports etc. ) I am doing the same and plan some of the same for Thailand home when I come back.
    -Travel when it is allowed again. I am lucky to have family , in Greece, Itali, Australia and of,course the US and Thailand, and plan to visit them often until when they seem me coming they turn their light off , shut the doors and keep quiet until I leave. LOL . I am sure you have a lot of contacts from your work abroad, Cultivate them.
    -Take a small amount of money that you don't fear loosing and trade. If you are conservative, you can grow it, have some fun doing it, keep things interesting, and keep you interested in what's going on around the world.
    -If you are interesting in Music , buy a guitar. Plenty of tutorials on YouTube and a good way to annoy the wife and neighbors with your squeaking.
    -Increase your exercise and decrease your caloric intake. You cant eat the same like when you were working and running around all day.
    KIDLE !!!! great for your quarantine hotel stay also. Download the App on you Ipad , Smartphone or laptop. If you have Amazon prime, there is kindle unlimited with plenty of books for free or a small fee.
    And watch the booze. no explanation necessary there. We know what the say about idle hands and the guy with the pitchfork and tail dressed in red. I seen you eyeing the korean girls with the blonde hair already. LOL
    Good luck and Enjoy the new adventure in your life. and thank for sharing, your thread makes for interesting reading.
    The sooner you fall behind, the more time you have to catch up.

  20. #70
    Thailand Expat armstrong's Avatar
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    Did they refill the beers in the fridge if you drunk em?

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    Quote Originally Posted by armstrong View Post
    Did they refill the beers in the fridge if you drunk em?
    Hey Armstrong, hope all is well with you...

    Nope not a chance AFTER the government crackdown on some ASQ hotels trying to make the stay good for the 'guests'.

    In the first few days after arrival, yes they did but i was too slow for that! Others succeeded though.

    One of my other travelling friends did manage a top up, and we shared some of those. Also, Martin's wife brought beer which was not checked so again, supplies could be 'got in'.

    The ministry were sending scouts and inspectors to check al the ASQ's and SM were scared of losing their ASQ status. Apparently there was some trouble with people leaving the hotel to go buy food in central BKK and so all the rules were tightened up / enforced by the government for all the ASQ's.

  22. #72
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    Quote Originally Posted by Thai Dhupp View Post
    Which ASQ were they in, as a matter of interest?
    Grande Centre Pointe, Sukhumvit

    One thing that they both said, You start out thinking "14 days, that's not to bad" But it grates on you. Both said by day 8 its starts to get really boring.

  23. #73
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    From the attached photo you can see I looked across into the bedroom of a couple of young, blond-haired Korean chicks also doing ASQ who seemed to walk around starkers for most of the day, ....


    The breakfast photos are all well and good. Possibly I am not the only one interested in the Korean chicks?

  24. #74
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    I cannot even work out which attached photo is supposed to show that.

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    Thai Dhupp, Glad to see you made it back with your sanity. I was lucky enough to be home when the shut down happened so was stuck working from home for the first few months until the Company decided to put the project on hold.

    Now the restart of the project is about to happen and I am being asked if I can come back to work in November. I will also need to sort out travel back to Thailand from UAE. This has got me a bit worried that if I leave Thailand I might have a hard time getting back in. I think I will be asking the Company to take care of all the expenses associated with it.

    Out of interest, how long did it take from when you started the "process" of returning, once you knew you were entitled to return, to when you actually got on a plane? As I already have a marriage visa do you think this would help speed up the process?

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