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  1. #76
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    Quote Originally Posted by JPPR2 View Post
    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.
    I concur.

    The highs - getting the 1st negative result, getting that hours freedom, going to the coffeeshop were definitely outweighed by hours of abject boredom in a tiny hotel room.

  2. #77
    Thailand Expat TheRealKW's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Shutree View Post
    a couple of young, blond-haired Korean chicks also doing ASQ who seemed to walk around starkers for most of the day, ....
    More photos required.



  3. #78
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    Quote Originally Posted by skidley View Post
    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?
    Total time about 8 weeks. That's from the initial contact with the Consulate to flying out of Dubai International.

    Definitely a plus if your employer will cover those repat costs

    A legit marriage certificate will definitely help you in the repat process, thought there is talk of retirees also being allowed back in the near future.

    I would have liked a 'work from home' option but not so easy for construction safety!

  4. #79
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    Day 3 1st August








    Today was all about that test, the first of 2 COVID19 tests I had to do during the quarantine. It played on my mind from as soon as I woke up – on one one side, the potential freedom of movement (relative to now) that a negative result would bring but … that test itself. That nasal swab and the nurse pushing it in too far.

    I found myself pacing, sitting on the bed pretending to watch TV, making yet another coffee and generally getting worked up. No…I did not enjoy that testing.

    The nurse had told via LINE that the test was at 1000. 10 O’clock came…and went. 1010, 1015.. I started to convince myself it had been cancelled. I got to use the bathroom, but mid-way there, a firm knock on the door and ‘Your COVID test… please come’’. This was the mode of communication BTW, no door opening or direct contact.

    All thoughts of the bathroom vanished, I stepped out in the corridor for the first time in 3 days and I followed the nurse assistant like a zombie. I said ‘wish it was the throat test’ to which he immediately replied ‘it is!’ OMG thank you God. The throat test I can handle. I walked a lot more confidently to the temporary nursing station that has been set up in the courtyard. ‘Please take a seat, and…relax’ That I did. ‘Open your mouth’. I complied.

    1 throat swab later and I was getting up to go. ‘No, No, wait! We still have the nasal swab to do!’ D A M N!!! Both tests were being done. I tipped my head back after seeing the longest nasal swab ever, at least 12 cm. the nurse started to insert it and I felt the uncomfortable irritance of an unwelcome intruder. As she pushed it further in I started tipping further back. Then she put her other hand on my head to stop me moving and pushed it right in. I was mentally thrashing about trying to get rid of it. It seemed to be in a long, long way. No this was not a weird sex movie scene, it was a medical disaster movie with me making a scene!

    The nurse extracted the swab, and I immediately started sneezing, same as the other FOUR tests in UAE. ‘OK you can go back to the room now’. I got up and left but I did have the presence of mind to walk back SLOWLY, savouring this little bit of ‘outside-the-room’ time. I walked back to my room, but on the way I detoured to check out the balcony garden overlooking Suvarnabhumi Airport. No-one challenged me and I then returned to the room and ‘lock-down’



    I had ordered a coffee-shop coffee and today I also ordered a chocolate waffle for being a brave soldier with nursey and settled down to await the result…

  5. #80
    The Fool on the Hill bowie's Avatar
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    TD, thanks for the report. Great report full of detail. First hand experience worth its weight.

  6. #81
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    Day 4 2nd August

    Freeeeedom!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    Yessss…. Results came back negative, in fact we were supposed to get the results from the hotel reception at 0900 but the nurse told me the good news at 7am.



    I started thinking about ‘going out’ of the room. Residents doing ASQ had to book their time slot for the garden, coffee shop or gym. As I had no gym kit with me, so that left the coffee shop and garden. I booked both.

    Not knowing the procedure, at 9am I went down to where I thought the coffee shop was, outside and started to walk down the outer steps. Ooops. No.. we have to escort you to and from the facility in case you thought to detour and jump in a taxi. My first trip to the coffee shop, ‘under escort’; was by myself. There were 3 other people in there, all distanced but not wearing masks. I ordered an Americano and just relaxed OUT OF THE ROOM! The hour went by quickly, in fact, 1 hour 15 minutes but the patrol had noted my time and came to tell me to vacate.







    They walked me to the elevator then left me. Thanks! I went up to the 3rd floor then straight out into the balcony garden. About 10 people there, I stayed another hour, really just enjoying the sun and fresh air. So as not to push it too much, I went back to the room – I had a garden session booked in the afternoon.

    At 3pm I was again in the garden. The arrangement for this was… you book your ‘slot’ then at the time you…go there. No need to be escorted. I had a pleasant 90 minutes chatting to other inmates and then back to the room.

    This new found freedom was a whole lot better that before.






    oops...where did that Heineken come from...?


  7. #82
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    Quote Originally Posted by bowie View Post
    TD, thanks for the report. Great report full of detail. First hand experience worth its weight.
    Welcome bowie...

    I was a bit behind today -

    I got down to kitchen...









    and trifle...









    …making duties!

  8. #83
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    Quote Originally Posted by bowie View Post
    TD, thanks for the report. Great report full of detail. First hand experience worth its weight.
    indeed, it is

    don't think anyone is going to go back to Thailand anytime sooon

    those TV diner style food feel miserable though, and the emptiness of the place is quite creepy, no matter how good it looks

  9. #84
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dragonfly View Post
    indeed, it is

    don't think anyone is going to go back to Thailand anytime sooon

    those TV diner style food feel miserable though, and the emptiness of the place is quite creepy, no matter how good it looks
    That non returning, its the general consensus and I agree - too many hoops to jump through and far too much cost involved (its more now than when I did it)

    I remember hearing waaaay back in May that the government do not really want any foreign tourism in the country until Q1 2021. it is certainly heading that way at the moment despite all the talk of opening this and opening that.

    I think the talk is designed to placate the hoteliers, that the government is 'doing something', but as we can all see, not much has actually happened. 1 busload of Chinese tourists arriving on the 8th September, with full ASQ, and travel limitations is not going to set the tourist sector alight.

  10. #85
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    My Daily Coffee

    Like a lot of people, I depend on coffee. Well… I’m not an addict or anything, that was some time ago and 12 cups a day. Nowadays, 1-2 a day, occasionally 3, but not Nescafe or whatever. I have not bought instant coffee for over 30 years – nice as it might be, it’s still a warm, brown drink, not really coffee.

    No, one of the creature comforts I took to the ASQ was the ability to make real coffee. 2 bags of ground coffee, my china mug, and a little Vietnamese 1-cup drip coffee container. Not the all-out best arrangement, especially as I usually use a cafetiere and so had no filter papers!





    It became the norm to have one fresh brewed cup every morning at about 0800 – a kind of ritual to help pass the day. That and the one in the coffee shop made my daily ration.

    Its the little things that make a difference when you are trapped in a room for 15 nights.





    Cheers!

  11. #86
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    Quote Originally Posted by Thai Dhupp View Post
    too many hoops to jump through and far too much cost involved
    In an ASQ on day 6.

    The UK Thai embassy was very helpful and the decision quick. Although they stated that all "repatriation" were full for months they also suggested the the use of Emirates Airlines, who have three flights a day London to Dubai but only 1 a day Dubai to Bangkok. Tip select the shortest overall travel time.

    Sent all the paperwork via email and received all the returned paper work via email. The tricky part was determining the virus test date v the flight purchase. The Thai demand was 76 from "journey start", the Dubai demand was 96 hours from actual virus test swab being taken. Two different requirements

    My ASQ issued a confirmed booking prior to deposit. The airline promised free date change if required but wanted a ticket purchase. Once the delivered to the embassy the CEO was issued in a day. The test availability in London is good and the results although "guaranteed" issue is70 hours, mine was returned in 48 hours.

    Quote Originally Posted by Thai Dhupp View Post
    the government do not really want any foreign tourism in the country until Q1 2021
    Application for the new Long Term Tourist visa is now available from selected countries. I suggest those that have achieved a certain number of days of new in-country virus positive tests will be the first countries on the list. The UK was not issuing the new visa, understandably with their inability to meet the standard. Once all countries agree on new requirements and meet the criteria more will travel.

    On my travels to the UK via Lufthansa the prices were similar to normal times.The planes were 20% full Bangkok to Frankfurt, 100% Frankfurt to London. The return London to Dubai 30% and Dubai to Bangkok 100%. A large number, 60%, were Asians, I suspect Thai citizens.

    The arrivals procedure at Bangkok airport was well managed. The medical tests and documents checks were working well, the immigration checks were two fold. One at a desk of 8 officers who checked the docs and passport another at the normal IO booth where again both checked again. The ASQ hotel driver were at the exit door, travel to hotel via minibus with partitions between staff and the 4 passengers. Check-in at the hotel was efficient and the room spotless with all amenities for one to do the daily cleaning chores, cleaning, masks hand gel etc. and laundry products supplied.

    The room was a standard twin bedded room, mine overlooks the adjacent block exercise and sitting out area. Many families with young children. Allegedly there is one on the top of my block. TV, WIFI, A/C.

    Twice daily temp tests. Today I had my first swab, mouth and nose, similar to London. Not sure what tests they perform as I've been told the result will be later today.

    The food menu is fixed. Breakfast with a choice of 5 Asian or European, lunch and Dinner menu 8 Asian or European choices. All provide ample daily intake and are delivered to the table outside door. Restaurant room service and general items, no alcohol, can be ordered via a Line app, delivered to your door and added to your final bill.

    Quote Originally Posted by Thai Dhupp View Post
    1 busload of Chinese tourists arriving on the 8th September,
    Who are able to meet the, as yet internationally agreed criteria, health, visa, financial and desire. Unlike many "developed" countries and their citizens.

    Quote Originally Posted by Thai Dhupp View Post
    travel limitations is not going to set the tourist sector alight.
    Snowbirds may disagree with you. The have the finances and time to enjoy Thailand as they have done before, irritating travel requirements and a visa free environment. One week of 3 - 5 star hotel lockdown, a 3 - 5 star hotel based weeks "rest". No need to visit shops these days, use the apps and delivery service to your hotel door.

    Quote Originally Posted by Thai Dhupp View Post
    one of the creature comforts I took to the ASQ was the ability to make real coffee. 2 bags of ground coffee, my china mug, and a little Vietnamese 1-cup drip coffee container
    Now that is planning.
    Last edited by OhOh; 06-10-2020 at 10:22 AM.
    A tray full of GOLD is not worth a moment in time.

  12. #87
    Thailand Expat Airportwo's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Thai Dhupp View Post
    outweighed by hours of abject boredom in a tiny hotel room.
    You wouldn't have made a good "offshore hand" the shear boredom of ~28 days offshore was a killer! especially 25 years ago when there were no communications, thank the Lord those days are behind me.

    Like you, I need a couple of cups of good coffee in the morning, try one of these, great for travel! ??
    Original Portable French Press Coffee Maker Vacuum Insulated Travel Mug Premium Stainless Steel Hot And Cold Brew Great For Commuter, Camping, Outdoors And Office Black | Lazada.co.th

  13. #88
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    Quote Originally Posted by Airportwo View Post
    You wouldn't have made a good "offshore hand" the shear boredom of ~28 days offshore was a killer! especially 25 years ago when there were no communications, thank the Lord those days are behind me.

    Like you, I need a couple of cups of good coffee in the morning, try one of these, great for travel! ??
    Original Portable French Press Coffee Maker Vacuum Insulated Travel Mug Premium Stainless Steel Hot And Cold Brew Great For Commuter, Camping, Outdoors And Office Black | Lazada.co.th
    Lol quit griping n get on with it - they're paying you, aren't they!!??

    Joking of course... that mini press looks the business, except for the weight... really.

    When i came back the measly baggage allowance for business class was....40kg only (could have 2 suitcases)

    We were told that because Thai wanted to recoup as much money as they could, anything over 40.5kg would be excess baggage charge.

    The Thai Airways baggage allowance for business class on this flight was... 40kg only. we were told at the travel agent that Thai were trying to recoup as much cash as possible so anything over 40.5kgs would be a chargeable excess baggage.

    Mine came in at 40.4kgs, cutting it pretty fine but i was prepared to jettison the 3 cans of & Dandelion & Burdock and the family pack of cheesy wotsits should the need arise.

  14. #89
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    Quote Originally Posted by OhOh View Post
    In an ASQ on day 6.

    The UK Thai embassy was very helpful and the decision quick. Although they stated that all "repatriation" were full for months they also suggested the the use of Emirates Airlines, who have three flights a day London to Dubai but only 1 a day Dubai to Bangkok. Tip select the shortest overall travel time.

    Sent all the paperwork via email and received all the returned paper work via email. The tricky part was determining the virus test date v the flight purchase. The Thai demand was 76 from "journey start", the Dubai demand was 96 hours from actual virus test swab being taken. Two different requirements

    My ASQ issued a confirmed booking prior to deposit. The airline promised free date change if required but wanted a ticket purchase. Once the delivered to the embassy the CEO was issued in a day. The test availability in London is good and the results although "guaranteed" issue is70 hours, mine was returned in 48 hours.



    Application for the new Long Term Tourist visa is now available from selected countries. I suggest those that have achieved a certain number of days of new in-country virus positive tests will be the first countries on the list. The UK was not issuing the new visa, understandably with their inability to meet the standard. Once all countries agree on new requirements and meet the criteria more will travel.

    On my travels to the UK via Lufthansa the prices were similar to normal times.The planes were 20% full Bangkok to Frankfurt, 100% Frankfurt to London. The return London to Dubai 30% and Dubai to Bangkok 100%. A large number, 60%, were Asians, I suspect Thai citizens.

    The arrivals procedure at Bangkok airport was well managed. The medical tests and documents checks were working well, the immigration checks were two fold. One at a desk of 8 officers who checked the docs and passport another at the normal IO booth where again both checked again. The ASQ hotel driver were at the exit door, travel to hotel via minibus with partitions between staff and the 4 passengers. Check-in at the hotel was efficient and the room spotless with all amenities for one to do the daily cleaning chores, cleaning, masks hand gel etc. and laundry products supplied.

    The room was a standard twin bedded room, mine overlooks the adjacent block exercise and sitting out area. Many families with young children. Allegedly there is one on the top of my block. TV, WIFI, A/C.

    Twice daily temp tests. Today I had my first swab, mouth and nose, similar to London. Not sure what tests they perform as I've been told the result will be later today.

    The food menu is fixed. Breakfast with a choice of 5 Asian or European, lunch and Dinner menu 8 Asian or European choices. All provide ample daily intake and are delivered to the table outside door. Restaurant room service and general items, no alcohol, can be ordered via a Line app, delivered to your door and added to your final bill.


    Who are able to meet the, as yet internationally agreed criteria, health, visa, financial and desire. Unlike many "developed" countries and their citizens.


    Snowbirds may disagree with you. The have the finances and time to enjoy Thailand as they have done before, irritating travel requirements and a visa free environment. One week of 3 - 5 star hotel lockdown, a 3 - 5 star hotel based weeks "rest". No need to visit shops these days, use the apps and delivery service to your hotel door.


    Now that is planning.
    Thanks for the input, and congrats on making it back.

    If the process has become easier, i am glad to hear it.

    With regards to the new 'opening criteria, the point i was making is that a few over-wintering types are not going to swell the tourist industry coffers by the 400 billion they enjoyed in previous years, thats it. Of course, anyone getting in at any time is good news!

  15. #90
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    Quote Originally Posted by Thai Dhupp View Post
    Mine came in at 40.4kgs, cutting it pretty fine but i was prepared to jettison the 3 cans of & Dandelion & Burdock and the family pack of cheesy wotsits should the need arise.
    That could have been painful, gonna taste all the better knowing how close they came to not making it

  16. #91
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    Quote Originally Posted by Chittychangchang View Post
    That could have been painful, gonna taste all the better knowing how close they came to not making it
    yeah, Chitty... its gone already!

    I never saw dandelion n burdock for sale here....anyone know different?

  17. #92
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    the funny thing is most places in Bangkok are open, there is simply no overseas customers, that must take at least 50% off their usual revenues

    same same here in Paris, most cafe and restaurants are down 70% if it wasn't for us locals to go there

  18. #93
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    2021Q1 most likely for mass tourism again, and that would probably be late February and early March, and another 6 months for things to look almost normal

    eventually governments in all countries are going to realize they can't control that thing, so they will have to let it go despite all the silly measures they have been implementing for the last 6 months

  19. #94
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    You're ignoring how every time around the world when something is relaxed...the shit hits the fan.

    The latest example is in universities in the UK.

    But then being utterly oblivious to reality seems to be your thing.

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    There is a fair question in the middle of all this: Just how much constraint can an economy take before it collapses and social disorder becomes a bigger problem than Covid?

    I don't know the answer, it doesn't look like any country has really got it right. We don't know when a reliable vaccine will reach people like me, almost certainly not in the next 6 months. Young people, let's say those under 30, have little to fear and probably see some advantages in a bit of a clear out of the over-60s.

    Rock v. Hard Place

  21. #96
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    Day 5 3rd August

    I spoke to Martin via messenger and we agreed to meet in the coffee shop at 1000. I booked my slot and arrived under escort at a couple of minutes past. He was there plus 1 other, Dan who had also travelled from Abu Dhabi. The hour whizzed past as we all enjoyed the chance to chat, away from the incarceration.




    Dan


    Martin



    The hour was up all too quickly, and back to the room. Martin had mentioned his wife was visiting and did I want anything? Lol yessssss…aside from beer… honey/lemon green tea (I drink more of that than coke and other sodas), some seaweed snacks, another can of milk for the coffee and some biscuits, any, to go with the coffee.

    We all met again in the afternoon at 1530, again for an extended hour. There seemed to be less control of the garden access, and I really pushed that as the days went by.
    In between were the periods of time in the room, and by now I was heartily bored of that room. TV was pretty crap, and I had done YouTube to death. Only skype was still interesting – ex work colleagues, my son in UK, my wife of course. This was still interesting because it was interactive.

    At least my sleep had settled down. Routine. Wake up – temp check and send on LINE. Banter with the nurse – my coffee – skype with PJ - breakfast – coffee shop for chats – incarceration – skype with PJ -lunch – garden for interaction – room and skype with whoever was online – dinner – Temp check and LINE - bath – Skype with PJ - TV/internet – order following days menu – sleep. Tedious, but I could do it.

    5 days down






    i asked for extra chips and they came - free


  22. #97
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    Day 6 4th August
    Just when the routine was established the hotel / ministry set out to change it! Due to ‘some undefined issues’ with BKK ASQ’s, ALL coffee shop and gym access was suspended. Great. But the coffee shop was still open and drinks could be ordered, so the three of us booked for 1030 in the garden and all ordered coffees there. It worked. Another 90 minutes+, even with the patrolling hotel staff we were not told to return to the rooms after 1 hour. I suspect the hotel were really trying to make our enforced stay as good as they could.

    Martin was due to meet with his wife later so I said, I am going to just go to the garden again in the afternoon and see what happens.

    He dropped round my food order after his meeting, to my room (another no-no, but not prevented) , and later, at around 3pm, he and I just went to the balcony garden again. There was no checking, no book to sign or Tag to collect, and the patrol came 2 times while we were there and said nothing. OK! Another little victory if we could go to the garden at will.

  23. #98
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    Quote Originally Posted by cyrille View Post
    You're ignoring how every time around the world when something is relaxed...the shit hits the fan.

    The latest example is in universities in the UK.

    But then being utterly oblivious to reality seems to be your thing.
    that's exactly how disconnected from reality politicians think,

    they think they can control that thing with restrictions, it simply doesn't work and not feasible in the long run

    a lot of virus specialists are now saying that we need to let that thing run its course, even if it means a lot of cases and casualties

    only the idiots believe in miracle and think that current restrictions are useful,

    it turns out that the 3 months global lockdown was a total waste of time

  24. #99
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    Quote Originally Posted by Shutree View Post
    There is a fair question in the middle of all this: Just how much constraint can an economy take before it collapses and social disorder becomes a bigger problem than Covid?

    I don't know the answer, it doesn't look like any country has really got it right. We don't know when a reliable vaccine will reach people like me, almost certainly not in the next 6 months. Young people, let's say those under 30, have little to fear and probably see some advantages in a bit of a clear out of the over-60s.

    Rock v. Hard Place
    governments are in panic mode and only demonstrating what we knew for a long time, they are incapable of doing anything right, and are only making matters worse

    their rigide structure and ideals mean they can't face the harsh reality of events, and are just in denial mode

    it was the same with the Great Crisis of 2008, absolutely clueless

  25. #100
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    Day 7 5th August
    Same routine as previous, I was well settled in to it, and at the end of today, I would be about 50% through.









    The three of us met at 1030 in the garden, our regular slot and stayed until 1230. It became apparent that the garden was a semi free-for-all – we stopped booking it! Never had an issue the whole time. Same in the afternoon.

    Today I tried the coffee shop menu and ordered Bingsu, the Korean ice desert.



    Little treats. Pass the time, but the room enclosure is really starting to affect me.

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