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MMan

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Posts posted by MMan

  1. I'm holding out for Moderna, Pfizer or J&J (with AZ a fallback option), and will be more than happy to pay out of my own pocket for any of those at a major International Hospital in BKK as soon as they become available.  Some projections say it might be the 4th quarter but I'm hoping they get here earlier.  Alternatively if TH waives quarantine requirements for those who can prove they've been fully vaccinated with one of those (or at least minimizes the quarantine to no more than 3 days), I'll jump on an airplane back to my home country ASAP & get it there.

    If you are wanting a freebie from the TH government you will most likely be offered either the Chinese or Russian vaccine as it looks like those will be the primary options here over the next several months.

  2. 1 hour ago, thatmanagain said:

     

    And yes - I've already bitten the bullet and organised taking my "due date" off work to do it in person. Will definitely prep for the mail-in next time around.

    If you're going to Muang Thong Thani (BKK Division 1), try to get there around 9 AM or at least before 9:30.  Otherwise you might not finish before they go on their lunch hour.  And if possible try to avoid Mondays, Fridays or the day after a long holiday weekend.  I got there at 9:35 on a Wednesday and finished at 11:30.  They close for lunch from noon to 1 PM.

    • Thanks 1
  3. I don't know if they offer that particular type of laser treatment, but I highly recommend Rutnin Eye Hospital for eye-specific conditions.  I've had 2 cataract surgeries and 2 surgeries related to a detached retina there, and was highly impressed with the doctors, staff, facilities, etc.  Probably the #1 hospital for eye treatment in Thailand and they have state of the art equipment.  According to their website they have a full range of lasers in their laser suite.

    I've always dealt with Dr. Roy (Roy Chumdermpadetsuk) who is half Thai / half American, was educated in the US (Philadelphia & New York), and who I believe he is actually on the Wisconsin State Board of Ophthalmology.  He is very popular though and can be difficult to get an appointment with, however I think all of their doctors are highly capable so I'd suggest asking to see any Ophthalmologist you can get an appointment with.

    Some info on floaters from Rutnin's website:

    https://www.rutnin.com/en/eye_knowledge/detail.24.1.html

  4. Having been to a number of Hard Rock Cafes over the years, the BKK one was pretty good.  They typically had some of the best live bands in town (for those of us that like Classic Rock), good service and good food.  Yes it was pricey, but I had a lot of good visits there & part of the cost was to cover the entertainment & atmosphere along with the rent in an expensive area.  Over the last few years though the service and food quality seemed to be down a bit IMHO, and it became less and less busy.  Part of that is probably because those of us old enough to have lived the glory days of Classic Rock are becoming a smaller & smaller segment of the expat / tourist market.  On my most recent visits though it did seem that the percentage of Thai visitors had gotten higher, often a group celebrating a birthday or other special event.

    During my first visits 15+ years ago it was always packed & the bar area usually had a selection of local lady freelancers on the lookout for customers.  Smoke-filled too (big turnoff for me), at least until the government implemented the ban on indoor smoking almost 14 years ago.

    I was less impressed with the HRCs in Phuket, Pattaya, Phnom Penh & Bali.  A fairly good one did open in Chiang Mai a few years ago though I don't think they ever did the business they anticipated, likely because the locals & tourists there tend to be a lower budget group.

     

    2 years ago I visited the one in Saigon during my 'Songkran Escape from Thailand' - place was packed & humming on a Thursday night with great service, great food, a lively crowd and an excellent band.  Will definitely be sure to check it out again when I get back there.

    • Like 1
  5. Recently I've been mainly going to Bangkok Hospital but I've used Bumrungrad many times too and I've been very happy with both.  I've also heard excellent things about Samitivej.

    The thing I prefer about Bangkok Hospital is that they have multiple different clinics for people of different nationalities.  There is an 'International' clinic that provides general medical services to Thais, Indians and English speaking patients.  Then a separate clinic for Chinese, separate clinic for Arabs, separate clinic for Burmese, separate clinic for Japanese and a few others.  There is staff in the separate clinics that speak those languages and are familiar with their religions and customs.  This can provide a more pleasant and comfortable atmosphere for patients with fewer cultural and language misunderstandings.

    Cost is relative depending on your individual expectations and where you come from.    Compared to seeing a doctor or visiting a hospital in the USA, medical care here is dirt cheap and the service is much better.

    That said... BEWARE of having prescriptions filled at the hospital pharmacy.  Bumrungrad's pharmacy charges far more for the same meds that you can get much more cheaply at outside pharmacies.  I learned this the hard way when they charged me a crazy price for a dozen or so Tylenol tablets when I already had a full bottle of it at home - I didn't really look at the bill until I got home, but it was a lesson learned).  Similarly the medicine I was prescribed for High Blood Pressure by a Bumrungrad Doctor, I found at a pharmacy near the JW Marriott for about HALF Bumrungrad's price.  Their doctors typically direct you to their pharmacy after you see them, but in reality you do NOT have to buy your meds at the hospital pharmacy - just tell your doctor you prefer to get the prescription filled at an outside pharmacy.  

    • Like 1
  6. Over the past year that I've been using Transferwise / Wise, they've used various routings to my account at Bangkok Bank.  The first several transfers they sent direct and those all showed up on my BBL statements as 'International' transfers.

    Then they started using various other Thai banks including Kasikorn as intermediaries.  The last 2 or 3 transfers they sent through Deemoney as the intermediary.  All those are just listed as 'Bahtnet' or 'Other Bank' transfers on my BBL passbook.

    I print out all the transfer receipts from Transferwise/ Wise just in case Immigration wants to see proof where the money came from.  You can easily do so on the Wise website where they show a history of all your transfers.  Just click on the transfer, then click on the link that says 'details' or something like that, then click on the details link that says 'transfer receipt', which will download a PDF file of that particular transfer.

    The transfer receipt shows (1) the sender's name and address (in my case my name and mailing address in my home country);  (2) the amount sent in the foreign currency plus the exchange rate and Wise fee;  (3) the amount of Thai Baht sent;  (4) the Thai bank & account number the money was sent to (in my case my local Bangkok Bank account);  (5) how it was delivered (Local Bank Transfer);  (6) the name of the local banking partner intermediary (such as Kasikornbank or Deemoney);  and (7) the banking partner reference code.

    Of course it may depend on the specific Immigration Office and Immigration Officer who reviews your application as to whether they accept the receipt or not as proof of an international transfer, but it seems logical they should unless they are trying to be a pain in the <deleted>... That said logic isn't something they are always necessarily known for...
     

    • Like 1
  7. 7 minutes ago, ExpatOilWorker said:

    Huh?

    I was as MTT today and didn't see any tent. The waiting area was at the 2nd floor parking garage.

    I was there yesterday.  The tent is just outside the building entrance in front of the door.  You almost surely walked right through it when entering & exiting the building and perhaps didn't notice.  When I was there it appeared those sitting under the tent were perhaps drivers or others waiting for people inside to finish their business.

    The waiting area for people queueing while waiting for Immigration service is on the 2nd floor parking garage, as you say.

    • Like 1
  8. On 2/16/2021 at 9:03 AM, DerbyDan said:

    Never had the guts to go into those Karaoke's near there on Chang Klan but the girls who stand out there are extremely attractive, Chinese I think. Almost passed my number to one when walking home at night but I'm sure they are 'watched'. Not farang friendly places.

    The Karaoke girls are Thai of ethnic Chinese descent & thus the whiter skin which Asian men prefer.  And yes the ones sitting out front are usually extremely attractive + well dressed.

    If you go in you will be escorted to a Karaoke room where a parade of girls will come though with the manager pushing you to choose at least one to sit & drink with you (you also pay a modest fee for the Karaoke room, though that's the only 'modestly priced' thing you will be billed).  The girl will then ask you to also buy a drink for her 'friend' and her 'other friend who hasn't had a drink all night'.  Then someone will come in with a food menu and the girl will say "I'm hungry - let's order food". Then some even better looking girls will walk in and you will be invited to buy one or more of them a drink too.  And pushed to buy the server + the manager a drink.  After about 30 minutes you check the tab and see it is already running close to or above 10,000 THB and you've only just ordered your 2nd beer.  You might be able to negotiate that down a little, but for sure you will leave with your wallet empty and nothing more to show for it other than perhaps a 'joob joob' on the cheek IF you are lucky.

    These places cater to Asian businessmen who have a generous expense account to entertain clients, government officials, etc.  Farang should avoid like the plague and stick to the darker skinned girls on Loi Kroh road.  🙂

    • Haha 1
  9. Got my monthly bill Tuesday (big bill this month staying at home and it being hot season).   Every time I try to pay it online I just get a message to contact the provider.  Tried many times to call MEA at their customer service phone number, but only get messages that the line is not available, get a busy signal, or get a message to call back another time.  I then tried to pay it at Bangkok bank - the bank teller said their system would not accept it, and her supervisor then told me I needed to go to the MEA Office (the bill is NOT past due).  Went there today, but the sign on the window said the payment office is only open from 9 am - 3 pm (it was 3:15).

     

    Next I went to my condo juristic office to see if they knew why I have not been able to pay it.  First the woman there told me to pay at 7 Eleven, but I don't think they can take it if the bank cannot.  Then she told me I don't have to pay it this month because the government is helping.

    Does anyone actually know the facts of what is going on and can enlighten me?

     

  10. On 3/9/2019 at 12:33 PM, streetlite said:

    I am a US citizen. Because of the IAT format I decided to use Transferwise to send money to my Bangkok bank account. This is a recent message from TW:  "When we send funds out to your recipient, the money will come from our local bank account in that country. For example, when we send to recipient’s in Thailand, the money will be sent from our local Thailand account. Being that the money is coming from a local bank account in that country, it would not be an international transfer and won’t appear this way."  Can anyone verify otherwise? I have TW set up as a borderless account.

    When I send money from my US account to my Bangkok Bank account using TW, it shows as an 'International Transfer' on my Bangkok Bank account, even though TW sent it through their bank in Thailand.  I think TW uses the IAT format and they supply that info to Bangkok Bank.  Below is from my Bangkok Bank account showing the TW deposits that hit 19 and 26 March. 

     

    26 Mar 2019 14:02

    International Transfer

     

    128,938.25

    142,422.08

    AUTO

    25 Mar 2019 19:23

    Cash Withdrawal - BBL ATM

    5,000.00

     

    13,483.83

    ATM

    23 Mar 2019 21:32

    Cash Withdrawal - BBL ATM

    3,900.00

     

    18,483.83

    ATM

    21 Mar 2019 16:16

    Cash Withdrawal - BBL ATM

    5,000.00

     

    22,383.83

    ATM

    20 Mar 2019 21:35

    Cash Withdrawal - BBL ATM

    5,000.00

     

    27,383.83

    ATM

    19 Mar 2019 14:02

    International Transfer

     

    31,349.89

    32,383.83

    AUTO

     

    When I go into my US account online and pull up the details from the TW debit the following descrrition appears:

    TransferWise Inc DES:  IAT PMT INFO: MIS 000000000000000000 FOR MORE INFORMATION CONTACT CUSTOMER SERVICE

     

    As you can see they reference 'IAT PMT INFO'

     

  11. I work in Thailand and have a Work Permit valid until December 2018 (which will be renewed by my Thai employer then).  Recently I got a One Year Extension of Stay permit and a One Year Multiple Entry Re-Entry Permit, both valid until 31 July, 2019.

     

    I plan to be traveling outside of Thailand in July 2019, and would like to renew the Extension of Stay Permit and Re-Entry Permit before I leave.  Are there any restrictions on 'when' I can renew those?  Can it be done as early as 30 - 60 days before the current permits expire (sometime in May or June, 2019)?  Based on the current rules of course, which I know can change by then.

  12. I have True and DTAC 3G mobile broadband via aircards I obtained from both carriers. Yesterday I went to the True and DTAC shops in Fortune Town to inquire about upgrading to 4G aircard service, but to no avail.

    The True rep told me their 4G sim cards only work with mobiles but not aircards, due to the operating system. Interestingly, I found a True 4G aircard advertised on the online iTrue shop for 2,190 thb, but it said 'out of stock'.

    DTAC informed me they do not have aircards that support 4G, however said if I shop around I might be able to find one somewhere on my own, then they could provide the 4G sim card for it.

    Anyone know where I can find a 4G aircard in Bangkok?

  13. The "Swami"....."you are a lucky man".

    An Indian guy approached me with this too: "Sir, you are very lucky man, I can see it in your face". Just said no and kept on walking, but I'm curious how does the scam go? I mean what would have happened if I had been interested in what he had to say?

    This happened to me the morning of the 1st day of my 1st trip to Asia, at a public park in Hong Kong. I found it amusing and he seemed relatively harmless so I let him go on. Without me saying a word, he mentions some things about my past that could probably apply to anyone, and then he makes some predictions on my future, generally positive. I just stood there and grinned at him.

    After I'd heard enough I just waved, said 'have a nice day' and started to walk away.

    He held out his hand and asked for a contribution, saying "I am Holy Man !". I just laughed at him. "Holy Man ! Can you please give me some money? I am Holy Man !!"

    "Good for you" I said and walked away without giving him anything.

  14. As the remaining value on my BTS Smartpass card was small I tried to add an additional 300 thb today. But the attendant told me I could not, as the card had 'expired' and I would have to buy a new card. Sure enough when he put the card on the box it comes up 'Card expired 12 January' in English and Thai. I think it was maybe 5 years old, however it was still working fine.

    So I was forced to buy a new card for 100 thb + the 300 thb value added. The old card still had some remaining value and I was able to use it for one final journey, after which it had a useless 5 thb left on it when I threw it away.. So my total loss was 105 thb. Not much money and I won't suffer one iota being out 105 thb.

    But in principle it was an unnecessary and unjustifiable TOTAL RIP OFF. I got taken by the BTS for 105 thb for NOTHING. They should have kept my old card and gave me a new one for no charge.

    When I bought the old card 5 years ago it was to replace a card that was no longer working (it had not expired, just could no longer be read by the gate reader). Pissed me off then too that I had to pay to replace a malfunctioning card they had sold me 2 years earlier.

    When I bought the new card today the attendant seemed to be explaining that the card was 50 thb and the other 50 thb was a deposit. Not sure though as he didn't speak English and my Thai is limited. I don't know if that then means I can get 50 thb back if I return the card at some point, but either way it is still a RIP OFF.

    Thanks for allowing me to vent...

    • Like 2
  15. Wow... tough crowd here. I agree with OP. I don't mind advertising but the multi-media overkill is quite annoying and obtrusive, especially if you are trying to carry on a phone conversation on the platform.

    Kudos to the Thai authorities though for cracking down on the "who authorized and was paid for this" advertising mysteriously showing up on police boxes

    And while we're on the subject of 'over the top' advertising... that ring of flashing and constantly changing lights around EPL football pitches that seeks to distract you from what is happening on the field... especially the adverts shamelessly promoting sports gambling. Can't wait for the "You'll never bet alone" adverts to start showing

  16. Staff at Twin Peaks Condo are very good. The front desk guys speak excellent English. Security guards are friendly and greet you with a smile. Cleaning staff do a great job. Maintenance staff has always been quick and competent. Sounds like your condo needs new management.

  17. The Chinese restaurant at the Novotel Suvarnabhumi is very good too, though definitely not for cheap charlies. I've eaten there a couple of times when I had a very early AM departure the next morning. You have to make an effort to find it though. If coming in from the front entrance you turn immediately to your right and go down a corridor of empty shops then make a left.

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