Get set for dazzling light spectacle

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Time Out’s Awakening Bangkok light festival is scheduled to light up the environment and be a feast for your eyes from December 17 until the end of 2022. So get your camera ready for the glorious spectacle that will light up iconic attractions across the capital and provinces nationwide.

The annual light festival by Time Out Bangkok is making a comeback after an absence of two years.

The Awakening Bangkok festival this year is more special than ever, as it is set to be held in other provinces aside from the metropolis.

Here’s the festival schedule:

• December 2021, in Sam Yan district right in the heart of the capital.

• January 2022, the largest set of the festival in Bangkok’s Charoenkrung district.

• February to March 2022, urban partygoers can enjoy the festival from Soi Nana through Yaowarat to Khaosan Road.

• May 2022, the first showcase outside of the capital in Khon Kaen province.

• November 2022, capture state-of-the-art lighting installations in Chiang Mai while enjoying the winter breeze.

• December 2022, the festival is set to make its way back to Bangkok’s Charoen Krung.

Source: Time Out Bangkok

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Published : December 01, 2021

By : THE NATION

Update to Covid-19 vaccine guide for travellers to Thailand

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The Tourism Authority of Thailand (TAT) on Monday provided an update to guide to Covid-19 vaccines for international travellers to Thailand effective from December 16, 2021.

International travellers, including returning Thais and foreign residents, who are above 18 years of age should get fully vaccinated for Covid-19 with a vaccine approved by Thailand’s Ministry of Public Health (MoPH) or the World Health Organisation (WHO) no less than 14 days before their travel date.

Travellers 12-17 years of age, travelling with parents under the Test & Go entry scheme and Sandbox Programme, are not required to be vaccinated but must have a negative RT-PCR test result within 72 hours before travelling. Those unaccompanied must get vaccinated with at least one dose of an approved vaccine and must have a negative RT-PCR test result.

Travellers 6-11 years of age, travelling with parents under the Test & Go entry scheme and Sandbox Programme, must have a negative RT-PCR test result within 72 hours before travelling.

Travellers under 6 years of age, travelling with parents with a negative RT-PCR test result within 72 hours before travelling, are not required to have a pre-arrival negative RT-PCR test result and can have saliva test when entering the Kingdom.

Travellers previously infected within 3 months before travelling must have a medical certificate of recovery or get vaccinated with at least one dose of an approved vaccine for an unspecified period of time before travelling.

List of approved Covid-19 vaccines

Currently, the MoPH has approved the following manufacturers and vaccines:

  • CoronaVac by Sinovac Biotech Ltd – 2 doses needed / 2-4-week interval;
  • AstraZeneca or Covishield by AstraZeneca and the University of Oxford, SK Bioscience (South Korea), Siam Bioscience, and Serum Institute of India (Covishield) – 2 doses needed / 4-12-week interval;
  • Pfizer–BioNTech or Comirnaty by Pfizer Inc. and BioNTech 2 doses needed / 3-week interval;
  • Janssen or Janssen/Ad26.COV2.S by Johnson & Johnson Services, Inc. – 1 dose needed;
  • Moderna by Moderna Inc. – 2 doses needed / 4-week interval);
  • Sinopharm or COVILO by Sinopharm Co., Ltd. – 2 doses needed / 3-4-week interval);
  • Sputnik V by the Gamaleya Research Institute of Epidemiology and Microbiology – 2 doses needed – 3-week interval).

Meanwhile, the WHO’s guidance on the Covid-19 vaccines is available here.

Have you been fully vaccinated?

According to the MoPH, travellers are considered fully vaccinated if:

  • They get their second dose of a 2-dose vaccine; such as, the AstraZeneca or Pfizer vaccines, no less than 14 days before their travel date to Thailand.
  • They get a single-dose vaccine; such as, Janssen vaccine, no less than 14 days before their travel date to Thailand.
  • In case of mix-and-match vaccines, travellers should get their second dose of a different vaccine within the recommended interval of the first vaccine no less than 14 days before their travel date to Thailand. For example, if the first vaccine is CoronaVac from Sinovac Biotech and the second vaccine is AstraZeneca, the time between the two doses is 2-4 weeks.

Travellers who do not meet these criteria may be denied entry into Thailand.

Requirements for the ‘Certificate of Covid-19 Vaccination’

The travellers’ Certificate of Covid-19 Vaccination should contain the following details:

  • Given name and last name;
  • Date of Birth;  
  • Nationality;
  • Passport or Identification No.;
  • Name of the Covid-19 vaccine;
  • Vaccination dates;
  • Vaccine manufacturer and lot/batch number;
  • Authorised organisation in the country of origin.

In addition to being fully vaccinated, international travellers should have all of their advance arrangements in good order for arrival and entry. For more information on Thailand’s reopening programmes, see: https://www.tatnews.org/thailand-reopening/.

Published : November 30, 2021

By : THE NATION

Streams converge to create rare waterfall spectacle in Krabi’s Koh Rok Nai island #SootinClaimon.Com

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Krabi’s Koh Rok Nai Waterfall, which can only be seen during the rainy season, has unveiled its beauty for visitors in Mu Koh Lanta National Park.

The national park chief told reporters on Sunday that this waterfall is a unique landmark in Krabi’s Koh Rok Nai island.

The waterfall flows from an altitude of about 180 metres above sea level and ends in the Andaman Sea.

The area around the waterfall is covered in evergreen plants and trees from the rubber family. During the rainy season, which usually lasts until the end of November, small streams converge giving birth to this beautiful waterfall.

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Streams converge to create rare waterfall spectacle in Krabi’s Koh Rok Nai islandStreams converge to create rare waterfall spectacle in Krabi’s Koh Rok Nai islandStreams converge to create rare waterfall spectacle in Krabi’s Koh Rok Nai islandStreams converge to create rare waterfall spectacle in Krabi’s Koh Rok Nai island

Published : November 29, 2021

By : THE NATION

Pattaya’s Nong Nooch Garden comes up with yearend bonanza for visitors #SootinClaimon.Com

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As part of the Pattaya Move On tourism project, Nong Nooch Tropical Garden is offering visitors a special yearend deal.

Apart from the 300-baht buy one, get one package, the garden is also offering two tickets for the price of one at 100 baht for a special cultural show and elephant performance at its very own Scala Theatre.

These deals are available until December 31.

Pattaya’s Nong Nooch Garden comes up with yearend bonanza for visitorsPattaya’s Nong Nooch Garden comes up with yearend bonanza for visitorsPattaya’s Nong Nooch Garden comes up with yearend bonanza for visitorsPattaya’s Nong Nooch Garden comes up with yearend bonanza for visitors

Apart from enjoying these special shows, visitors can also wander through several “unseen” parts of Nong Nooch, such as the sky garden, cacti garden and the dinosaur valley to name a few.

Pattaya’s Nong Nooch Garden comes up with yearend bonanza for visitorsPattaya’s Nong Nooch Garden comes up with yearend bonanza for visitorsPattaya’s Nong Nooch Garden comes up with yearend bonanza for visitorsPattaya’s Nong Nooch Garden comes up with yearend bonanza for visitors

Covid-19 prevention measures put in place at Nong Nooch has won it the SHA+ stamp and the Tourism Authority of Thailand’s Safe Travels certification.

Pattaya’s Nong Nooch Garden comes up with yearend bonanza for visitorsPattaya’s Nong Nooch Garden comes up with yearend bonanza for visitorsPattaya’s Nong Nooch Garden comes up with yearend bonanza for visitorsPattaya’s Nong Nooch Garden comes up with yearend bonanza for visitors

Shows at Scala Theatre are held at 1.30pm daily, with an additional billing at 10.30am on weekends and national holidays. These timings apply from December 1 to 31.

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Pattaya’s Nong Nooch Garden comes up with yearend bonanza for visitorsPattaya’s Nong Nooch Garden comes up with yearend bonanza for visitorsPattaya’s Nong Nooch Garden comes up with yearend bonanza for visitorsPattaya’s Nong Nooch Garden comes up with yearend bonanza for visitorsPattaya’s Nong Nooch Garden comes up with yearend bonanza for visitorsPattaya’s Nong Nooch Garden comes up with yearend bonanza for visitors

Published : November 28, 2021

By : THE NATION

Tourists will skip Thailand if they have to pay extra 500-baht entry fee, warns ATTA chief #SootinClaimon.Com

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The Association of Thai Travel Agents (ATTA) is calling on the government to drop its plans of imposing a new fee on foreigners entering Thailand at least until the travel industry fully recovers.

On October 2, the Centre for Economic Situation Administration approved the Tourism and Sports Ministry’s proposal to charge each foreigner a 500 baht entry fee from January 1.

“Collecting an additional fee will only increase the travel budget of international visitors, which could ultimately force them to skip visiting Thailand altogether,” ATTA president Sisdivachr Cheewarattanaporn said on Friday. “The tourism industry is still recovering from the impact of Covid-19 lockdowns, and we need to attract as many foreign tourists as possible after the country fully reopens.”

Sisdivachr added that many other countries were also ramping up their own recovery plans by loosening entry restrictions for inbound travellers.

“With increasing competition in the international tourism market, it is not the best time for Thailand to impose an additional fee on visitors,” he said.

“The government should also clarify the objectives and mechanisms of the fund management, including who will benefit from the fund and what types of tourism project developments are the main targets for the financial aid,” he said.

“Most importantly, private sector representatives should be allowed to help manage the fund as well as monitor its disbursement to ensure the fullest transparency before we consider when the new fee should be imposed.”

Funds collected from tourists will reportedly be used to establish the Tourism Transformation Fund to promote the tourism industry in the post-Covid era.

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Published : November 27, 2021

By : THE NATION

Everything you need to know about traveling to Thailand #SootinClaimon.Com

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Now, after various reopening experiments, the Southeast Asian nation is welcoming fully vaccinated travelers from 63 approved countries, including the United States, to visit quarantine-free under a program called Test and Go. Children under 12 traveling with parents don’t need to be vaccinated to enter.

The 15 months without international tourism gave Thai people the opportunity to have the country to themselves, said Bangkok local Tasara Taksinapan, who works in the travel industry.

“I went to temples around Thailand I wouldn’t normally go to because they were touristy and crowded,” Taksinapan said.

As tourism has not fully returned, “it would be the perfect time to visit Thailand right now while everything’s still fresh and not too busy,” he added.

Here’s what travelers need to know to plan a trip to Thailand.

– What you need to enter Thailand

Through the Test and Go program, there are a few steps vaccinated travelers need to take before heading to Thailand. They need to purchase an insurance policy that covers at least $50,000 in coronavirus treatment, and they must book a one-night package at a government-approved hotel that includes private transportation and a PCR test on arrival.

“Just as an example, the Mandarin Oriental Bangkok is one of those hotels, so our clients can stay in the most luxurious and comfortable hotels while getting over jet lag and waiting for the result,” Desiree Overhage, an adviser for BookHuman.Travel, said in an email.

A warning: Double-check that the room purchase includes transportation and testing. Some hotels and websites have deceived Test and Go travelers, resulting in visitors being forced to buy a new package or get sent home.

Travelers will have to upload their documents, including their vaccination proof and accommodations, to the Thailand Pass system, which provides a QR code.

Marion Walsh Hedouin, a spokesperson for Minor Hotels, which operates the Anantara and Avani hotels in Thailand, said the Thailand Pass can be a challenge for travelers who apply at the last minute. Because of the current spike in demand, it may take seven days to get the code.

Before boarding, passengers must present to the airline proof of a negative coronavirus test taken within 72 hours of departure. Upon arrival, they will present the Thailand Pass QR code and then be taken via the pre-arranged transportation to the property for their on-site PCR test.

Visitors must then wait for a negative result at the hotel, and once that clears, they are free to go. They will receive an antigen test kit to use on day six or seven of the trip and will log the result into the MorChana tracing app.

Foreigners who aren’t fully vaccinated are not eligible for Test and Go. Instead, they must follow rules for the Alternative Quarantine program and stay in a pre-booked, government-approved hotel for a 10-day quarantine after arrival, among other restrictions.

As with everything in the pandemic, restrictions evolve. “By the time someone travels, whether that’s December or February, we anticipate that things may change as well – hopefully for the better,” said Jeffrey Krevitt, a spokesman for Inside Travel Group, which operates InsideAsia Tours.

– What to know about restrictions

Once in Thailand, travelers won’t be asked to show their vaccination status at tourism sites and businesses, but there are some changes compared to visiting before the pandemic.

“There are not many restrictions,” Taksinapan said. “It’s about 80 percent back to normal.”

Everyone in Thailand is required to wear a mask indoors and outdoors in public settings. Tourists are already drawing attention for breaking the rule, which comes with a fine of about $600.

According to the Tourism Authority of Thailand (TAT), entertainment venues such as bars and karaoke spots remain closed. But most businesses and activities in the country’s “Blue Zone” destinations, such as Bangkok and Phuket, have reopened with normal hours; restaurants, markets, theaters, scuba diving, massage facilities and spas are among the places and activities that are operating.

“You can go out and about the city, catch a taxi, go to a museum and restaurant, travel to Chiang Mai,” Hedouin said. “The only thing which might be different than perhaps other countries right now is when you’re outdoors you must wear a mask.”

As for the country’s famed street food, “it’s definitely here,” Taksinapan said. “There’s maybe even more than before.”

– Where to get a coronavirus test before returning home

At this time, anyone aged 2 and older must take a coronavirus test to fly into the United States, regardless of vaccination status. Vaccinated Americans have a three-day window to get their test before their flight, and unvaccinated travelers must get their test within one day of their flight. Those who have recovered from a case of covid-19 in the past 90 days can provide a note from a licensed health-care provider.

Taksinapan said travelers shouldn’t have trouble finding a coronavirus test in Thailand. Rapid and PCR tests that fulfill U.S. testing requirements can be arranged at local hospitals, and they range in price from 1,500 Thai baht (about $45) to upwards of 4,000 baht ($120). Some hotels in the country offer special packages that include coronavirus testing.

Alternatively, travelers can pack an approved self-test, like this BinaxNOW kit, ahead of time.

Published : November 25, 2021

By : The Washington Post

Train services set to hit the track to scenic Pasak Jolasid Dam #SootinClaimon.Com

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The State Railway of Thailand is all set to run its special “floating train” service on the Bangkok-Pasak Jolasid Dam route every Friday, Saturday and Sunday until January.

The first trip begins tomorrow, November 26.

The train will operate every Friday to Sunday except on January 1 and 2 for a total of 27 days.

Prices are the same for adults and children:

  • Normal seats:

Round trip from Bangkok to Pasak Jolasid Dam: THB330 baht
Round trip from Saraburi/Kaeng Khoi to Khok Salung: THB130
Return trip from Pasak Jolasid Dam to Bangkok: THB150

  • Air-conditioned seats:

Round trip from Bangkok to Pasak Jolasid dam: THB560
Round trip from Saraburi/Kaeng Khoi to Khok Salung: THB260
Return trip from Pasak Jolasid Dam to Bangkok: THB250

Train services set to hit the track to scenic Pasak Jolasid DamTrain services set to hit the track to scenic Pasak Jolasid Dam

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The train will depart from Bangkok at 6am. It will stop at other stations along the way until it arrives at the Pasak sightseeing point, where it will halt for 20 minutes. After that, the train will head to Khok Salung station for travellers to visit, eat and shop for 30 minutes.

The train will arrive at Pasak Jolasid Dam at 10.35am. Here travellers can have lunch or travel to nearby tourist sites via van for THB60. Passengers can also visit a sunflower field and a giant fern garden.

The train will depart from the dam at 3.30pm and arrive in Bangkok at 6.50pm.

Passengers will need to strictly follow Covid-19 prevention measures. They also need to present proof that they are vaccinated, for example showing a Digital Health Pass, or presenting a negative ATK test result not more than 72 hours before travel at a screening point.

Those who are interested can reserve tickets 30 days in advance at train stations or via the D-Ticket system. Those who want to travel in a group can also charter a carriage by contacting the customer relations centre at 1690 24 hours a day or the PR.Railway Facebook page “ทีมพีอาร์การรถไฟแห่งประเทศไทย”.

Train services set to hit the track to scenic Pasak Jolasid DamTrain services set to hit the track to scenic Pasak Jolasid Dam

Published : November 25, 2021

By : THE NATION

Catch a sea of mist, splash in a waterfall, camp under a starry sky in Phitsanulok #SootinClaimon.Com

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If you would like to catch a magnificent sea of morning mist or grab a “magical sleep under the sparkling stars”, head off to Phitsanulok’s Khwae Noi National Park and Khwae Noi Banrung Daen Dam in Wat Bot district.

The head of Khwae Noi National Park told the reporters on Wednesday that Phitsanulok’s mountaintops have begun to get colder, with the average morning temperature being 18 degrees Celsius amid the abundant nature.

The park has set up a view point for tourists to camp overnight under the stars and wake up in the morning to the breathtaking sea of mist over Khwae Noi Banrung Daen Dam. Tourists can also visit the beautiful Santakhian Waterfall at the entrance of the national park, which currently has a “perfect water level” that’s fit to be captured.

Khwae Noi National Park is open for overnight stays under Covid-19 prevention measures.

Visitors are required to provide a document proving at least one shot of vaccination 14 days prior to visiting. Those unvaccinated will need to provide a negative RT-PCR or antigen test result not more than 72 hours before entering the park. Meanwhile, those who have recovered from Covid-19 will need to have completed 28 days of isolation and not more than three months, and provide a medical treatment document.

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The national park, located 70 kilometres from Phitsanulok city, features a camping site and accommodation for those who wish to soak up the fresh air and surrounding nature.

The accommodation can be booked via the QueQ application, or contact the Khwae Noi National Park Facebook page. You can also call 055 906615 for more information on what is bound to be a memorable trip.

Published : November 24, 2021

By : THE NATION

Doi Inthanon blanketed with frost as temperature drops to 4C #SootinClaimon.Com

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Tourists who flocked to Doi Inthanon National Park in Chiang Mai were treated to a beautiful white frost that blanketed the mountaintop on Monday morning.

The national park was covered in frost for two days as the temperature dropped to 4 degrees Celsius on Monday, colder than 6 degrees Celsius on Sunday.

Doi Inthanon blanketed with frost as temperature drops to 4CDoi Inthanon blanketed with frost as temperature drops to 4C

As many as 2,000 Thai and foreign tourists paid a visit to the national park on Monday to witness the beauty of white frost which proves that cool weather has arrived.

Doi Inthanon blanketed with frost as temperature drops to 4CDoi Inthanon blanketed with frost as temperature drops to 4C

The Thailand Meteorological Department said on Monday that cool weather and fog in the morning with isolated light rains are forecast in the North. The temperature on hilltops is likely to drop to 9-16 degrees Celsius, the department added.

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Published : November 22, 2021

By : THE NATION

Lopburi Inn offers a taster ahead of Monkey Buffet Festival on Nov 28 #SootinClaimon.Com

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Lopburi Inn served up a feast of fruits and Thai sweets for monkeys on Sunday in a bid to get them ready for the Monkey Buffet Festival scheduled for November 28.

The hotel even put up banners “inviting” monkeys to attend the upcoming food carnival.

Yongyuth Kijwattananusorn, the hotel’s president, said thousands of monkeys living near the Phra Prang Sam Yot temple and San Phra Kan shrine showed up to enjoy the spread, especially durian which appeared to be their favourite.

Lopburi Inn offers a taster ahead of Monkey Buffet Festival on Nov 28Lopburi Inn offers a taster ahead of Monkey Buffet Festival on Nov 28

“This year’s festival will see more than 100 tables piled high with delicacies for the monkeys, which will be topped up every two hours from 10am to 4pm,” he said. “We will also donate 100 wheelchairs for people with disabilities during the festival.”

Lopburi Inn offers a taster ahead of Monkey Buffet Festival on Nov 28Lopburi Inn offers a taster ahead of Monkey Buffet Festival on Nov 28

He added that this festival aims to attract domestic and foreign tourists now that the country has reopened and to also generate revenue for the province.

Lopburi Inn offers a taster ahead of Monkey Buffet Festival on Nov 28Lopburi Inn offers a taster ahead of Monkey Buffet Festival on Nov 28

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Published : November 22, 2021

By : THE NATION