Masked question

Re: "Covid lessons from abroad", (Editorial, Oct 4).

The Bangkok Post's editorial informs us that twice-vaccinated passengers aboard a bus in Iceland contracted the Covid virus during their trip. Since they were in a confined space with closed windows, one wonders, since this is not mentioned, whether those passengers were wearing masks. It would be important to know as some people still think that masks are useless or worse, impinge their freedom (one would laugh at this childish conception of freedom if this crisis were not so tragic).


Get Astra approved

Re: "Astra mystery", (PostBag, Oct 2).

Michael Palmer highlights the problem many of us still have in going to see loved ones in Europe. The UK has scheduled Thailand as a red zone and therefore requires government quarantine for returning citizens, who do not actually have to be vaccinated. Non citizens cannot enter. This is not because of the scale of our infections but because Thailand does too little genome testing to identify new variants and provides insufficient data.

Since the UK was the second-largest source of tourists to the Phuket Sandbox scheme prior to entering the red list, one would have thought that this would be an easy win for a government looking to boost tourism. Confusingly, France accepts Thai-produced AstraZeneca by concession, but the EU does not so we cannot go to Spain, Italy, etc.

Like much of the vaccine saga in Thailand, the application for WHO emergency use approval was delayed until September, several months after vaccinations commenced. They hope to gain approval by the end of year. Getting Thai AstraZeneca approved by the EU and WHO is essential for normal travel to resolve.


Failing state

Re: "Collection of B500 fee from foreigners starts next year", (Business, Oct 4).

I have been stranded in Thailand since March last year. I read the Bangkok Post almost daily, though in some places the printed edition is not available.

I was reading many predictions by the boss of the Tourism Authority of Thailand, Yuthasak Supasorn. As an experienced tour guide and travel agent for 30 years, I have been laughing all year about his forecasts for millions of foreign tourists.

Last year, my forecast was a slow recovery in April 2022. It looks like I am not too far off.

Who protects the head of the TAT?

Is he a relative of Coup Minister Prayut (minister for everything) or just related to any other family of the Thai Tatmadaw?

In all Western countries he would have lost his job a long time ago. Even in today's Bangkok Post article, it seems like he just rolled his dice to any seven-digit number.

Believe me, there are many cheaper countries in Asia than Thailand, which has a ridiculously high alcohol tax similar to Muslim nations like Malaysia and Indonesia.

I've come to Thailand probably 100 times since 1993, when I spent one night in Bangkok. I had to, because of the famous song. I stayed at the Dusit. It was still the Land of Smiles.

During my 19-month "Covid stay" here, the friendliest people have been immigrant workers from Myanmar.

In 2019 I visited Vietnam four times, because for my nationality 15 days are visa-free. I flew in to Ho Chi Minh, left via Danang, flew into Nha Trang, left from Haiphong, etc.

As a writer (Lung Stib) to PostBag said in a letter more than a year ago, Thailand is a failed state.

And I agree!

05 Oct 2021 05 Oct 2021
07 Oct 2021 07 Oct 2021


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