Richard Barrow's Letters from Thailand

A weekly round-up of my social media posts, with extra details and exclusive content.

A weekly round-up of my social media posts, with extra details and exclusive content.

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Latest Updates about the Thailand Pass

After a few false starts, the Test & Go scheme is now back on course. Starting from today, Tuesday 1st March, we are back to a proper test and go system. The 2nd RT-PCR test on Day 5 has been dropped as well as the controversial need for a second stay in …


Updates about Test & Go and Covid Extension

It has been a long time coming, but the Consular Department at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs has announced that they will relaunch the Test & Go scheme with a few amendments. The main one being that the list of so-called "safe countries" has been droppe…


Letters from Thailand - #13

There was a lot of drama this week about the Thailand Pass. It started on Monday when the Minister of Public Health proposed that there should be a cut-off date for Test & Go pass holders to arrive in Thailand. This was repeated after the cabinet meeting …


Thailand’s Longest Ferry Route

Thailand already has a number of different car ferry routes. A few that come to mind are to the islands of Koh Samui and Koh Chang. Then there was an attempt to bridge the gap between Pattaya and Hua Hin, which are two very different seaside resorts on opposi…


Full Details about Suspension of Test and Go

As you probably have heard by now, the prime minister announced this afternoon the suspension of the Test and Go scheme. Unfortunately, there has been a lot of misinformation about this which has led to much confusion. A senior official at the Consular Depart…


Letters from Thailand - #12

The Thailand Reopening seems to be going reasonably well. Over the last four days, we have seen an average of 10,000 international travellers arrive every day which is something we haven't seen for a long time. Sunday was a record with 13,664 international ar…


Letters from Thailand - #11

The countdown is on for the closing of Bangkok Railway Station, otherwise known as Hua Lamphong. The last trains are expected to leave the station between 22nd and 23rd December. From what I can work out, the last train to leave is the commuter train No. 71 a…


Letters from Thailand - #10

You've probably heard by now that the expected easing of entry rules didn't materialise. They were going to change RT-PCR testing with the quicker and cheaper ATK test. But then the new variant happened. I personally think that the media and some governments …


Letters from Thailand - #9

As expected, His Majesty the King, briefly flew back to Thailand on Saturday to take part in an important ceremony at the Grand Palace; the changing of the costume of the Emerald Buddha in Wat Phra Kaew. This can only be done by the King or a senior member of…


Letters from Thailand - #8

The Thailand Pass system seems to be improving with time. Certainly, less people complaining about server errors. In fact, quite a few people have told me that they were approved and received the QR Code within minutes. However, there are still people who are…


Updates about the Thailand Pass

After reading all the comments on my Facebook and Twitter feeds, I can see that quite a few people misunderstand about who is running the Thailand Pass system. Some people were saying Immigration, others were saying the Tourism Authority of Thailand (TAT). Bu…


The Nightmare of Testing Positive

The first story is about a family of four who came to Thailand for a 13-day holiday. Kirovs, the father, tested positive and was sent to a hospital for ten days. The mother and the two children, aged two and four, are close contacts and so were told to stay i…


Summary of the Reopening of Thailand

This first section is about my experience of flying from Thailand to the UK to attend WTM 2021 at the invitation of the Tourism Authority of Thailand. I was only in the UK for around four days before I flew back home to Thailand.Around 48 hours before I flew …


Reopening of Thailand - Dispatch 7

The day before my flight, I received the QR Code for Thailand Pass (it took 24 hours to issue) and the test results for my Day 2 RT-PCR test (that took 30 hours for them to send to me by email). This test was actually done for the UK government, but I also ne…


Reopening of Thailand - Dispatch 6

I want to start this newsletter with some really good news. After a bumpy start to the launch of the Thailand Pass system, I have finally received approval of my application and my QR Code. From the time that I submitted my documents, until the first email sa…


Reopening of Thailand - Dispatch 5

The biggest news over the weekend was the last minute increase of the number of approved countries and territories to 63. Great news for anyone planning on flying to Thailand during the upcoming high season. Like I said before, I don’t advise for you to rush …


Reopening of Thailand - Dispatch 4

Around 48 hours before I flew to the UK, I had to fill out a Passenger Locator Form about my travel history and travel plans, and my vaccination status. Interestingly, the form also asked me if I had been to any of the islands in Thailand. I am not sure why. …


Reopening of Thailand - Dispatch 3

In my last dispatch, I told you about the need for me to get special medical insurance as they didn’t recognise my social security nor my private insurance. The coverage of the latter wasn’t high enough. There might be some good news soon about this for expat…


Reopening of Thailand - Dispatch 2

This newsletter is going to be mainly about the insurance needed for the Certificate of Entry (COE) and the Thailand Pass which will replace it for most people. But first, if I may, I would like to say a few words about the re-entry permit. I had to visit Sam…


Reopening of Thailand - Dispatch 1

Today, I was invited by Khun Thapanee Kiatphaibool, the deputy governor of the Tourism Authority of Thailand for domestic tourism, to observe the inspection of the operating procedures at Suvarnabhumi Airport and a hotel in Bangkok in advance of the reopening…