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  1. #33811
    Quote Originally Posted by Jwdub  [View Original Post]
    Per Reuters, you may want to rethink your strategy.

    https://www.reuters.com/world/americ...ns-2022-01-19/

    Brazil reported a record 137,103 cases of the coronavirus in 24 hours as Omicron spread in Latin America's largest country, the Health Ministry said on Tuesday, as new infections soared above the previous daily record of 115,228 in June last year.

    Brazil has the world's third highest death toll from COVID-19 after the United States and Russia, according to a Reuters tally. Read more.
    200,000 today in Brazil. I am isolated in a beachfront condo, at least for another 4 days. After that, I go back to Rio, but can isolate for a week. Then it's decision time, stay or leave Brazil.

    I was thinking of going to Mexico, but numbers are spiking there, too.

    I will have a better handle on the pandemic in a week.

  2. #33810
    Woke up yesterday with the need for a good long BJ so hopped on Thai Friendly and got a girl to come over before breakfast. Funny thing was she was new to Pattaya and just hopped on a motorbike who took her for almost three times the money just to make 1000 baht from me. I then had to show her how to use Bolt to get a 60 baht motorbike back to her place. Unfortunately she didn't know exactly where she lived, finally got her friend to send her location on LINE chat and I got her close to where she lived. I was then going to hit some of the bars like camel toe on the way to soi 6 but having to take those antigen tests just to get in for a beer made me just head to 6 again. Its still a fraction of what it used to be but there are some gems here and there. The problem with Pattaya is that its such a large sprawling town and its impossible to navigate it at times. I'm on those Pattaya line chat bar groups and they post tons of photos of the girls, they are out there but the issue is showing up just to hear the girl say "I have period" and then right after 'you buy me drink? You end up spending what you'd pay a girl for ST in drinks just to find out she's not wanting to open her legs.

    Quote Originally Posted by Tomasb  [View Original Post]
    Nevertheless, United flights for one way are for the most part now over 1,000 one way where they used to be $700 or thereabouts. One could always fly their Japanese airline partner but that mostly seems to lead into Japan for the first stop and longer layovers. It's still possible to use award miles and lately a one way with United will cost you between 44 to 48 k miles from US west coast to BKK or even va Frankfurt with the last leg covered by Thai Airways. This mileage change assessment came about after Test and Go was suspended so I suspect it will revert back to a higher cost in mileage in short order.
    I flew here from the states using a free airmile ticket. Two years ago when covid hit I saw the writing on the wall and signed up for the airmile credit cards just so I could book this getaway without having to fork over a ton of cash. I talked to some posters here via PM and was told they just used the cash back cards that gave them pennies on the dollar back whereas I got a $700 one was flight for free. Wonder if any of the guys complaining about prices live in the states? If so why didn't you sign up for these types of cards?

  3. #33809
    Quote Originally Posted by Explorer8939  [View Original Post]
    I will head back to Pattaya when Omicron isn't rampant in the bars, and they don't require an ATK test to enter a bar. Until then, I am waiting it out in Brazil.
    Per Reuters, you may want to rethink your strategy.

    https://www.reuters.com/world/americ...ns-2022-01-19/

    Brazil reported a record 137,103 cases of the coronavirus in 24 hours as Omicron spread in Latin America's largest country, the Health Ministry said on Tuesday, as new infections soared above the previous daily record of 115,228 in June last year.

    Brazil has the world's third highest death toll from COVID-19 after the United States and Russia, according to a Reuters tally. Read more.

  4. #33808
    Quote Originally Posted by Explorer8939  [View Original Post]
    ThePattayanews.com reports that TreeTown is closed for a few days for Covid cleaning.
    Only to be contaminated again minutes after the first staff or customer who isn't wearing a properly fitted N95 mask walks through the place.

    Quote Originally Posted by Tomasb  [View Original Post]
    April and May are the hottest months of the year there and those months lead to rainy season too.
    Rainy season has never bothered me much. When it rains it's much cooler which I like. Sure you get caught in a heavy downpour on Walking Street daily but it's just a 50 foot run to the next gogo bar. One of my most memorable nights in Pattaya was trying to walk through Soi Diana to LK Metro in thigh high water. I happened to bump into a very cute girl doing the same but the water was over her waist. She was having problems even moving in the water so I piggybacked her. Since my condo was closer than her destination she came over.

    Agree April and most of May are not the most enjoyable time to be in Thailand.

  5. #33807
    ThePattayanews.com reports that TreeTown is closed for a few days for Covid cleaning.

  6. #33806

    Yes

    Could not agree more. I also used to enjoy my stay in Bangkok immensely, not just because it was a great place to be, but also due to its proximity and ease of travels to other Asian locations. From BKK, I flew to Burma, Vietnam, Cambodia, Laos, Malaysia and Indonesia with barely a ruffle. Since I usually had to leave Thailand after my 60 day visa expired, it only enhanced my justification for leaving. But the cultural and mongering aspect of each country were vastly different and not certain that option will avail itself anytime in the near future.

    I did not know that Eva had started flights again, nor did I know they cancelled them shortly thereafter. I guess ignorance is bliss as I would have tried to make a reservation with them. I have little interest in going to Thailand after April 1. April and May are the hottest months of the year there and those months lead to rainy season too.

    Quote Originally Posted by BananaBoi  [View Original Post]
    EVA Air was to open up to international transit on March 1. I booked a flight to SEA for the 1st week of March. Because of Omicron EVA Air nuked all transit flights from March 1-31,2 days after I booked! They are now booking flights from April 1 but if I were you I wouldn't book because there is a very good chance these flights will be cancelled as well. You'll be stuck trying to get your refund back like me.

    Traveling is no longer fun. I remember the good old days when I lived in Thailand. Woke up in the morning, thought what should I do today. Let's fly to Phnom Penh or Jakarta this afternoon! Booked a flight, packed a carry on, taxi to airport, and I would on Street 136 or Kota Indah by dinner. Now you have to spend hours doing paperwork get PCR tests before you leave and arrive. Countries changing their immigration rules by the second. Worry about cancelled flights. Worry about being one of the unlucky 1 in 25 who have to stay in hospital for 10 days upon arrival. Not relaxing at all.

  7. #33805
    Quote Originally Posted by BananaBoi  [View Original Post]
    You'll be stuck trying to get your refund back like me.
    Over the last 2.5 months I purchased 4 roundtrip flights to Thailand and have cancelled all 4 (each for different reasons). Refunds came easily from the first 3 (Cathay Pacific, British Airways, and Lufthansa) and I'm now waiting for the 4th (Qatar). In each case I bought tickets that allowed full refunds with no penalty. Some airlines have unlimited refund policy now (Qatar) while others have a tiered system where the most expensive option allows unrestricted refunds, medium price allows refunds with penalty, and lowest price does not allow refunds (Lufthansa). Be sure to carefully read the fine print before you purchase.

    For my travel locations, economy class tickets are as cheap as I've ever seen. Premium economy is extremely expensive (more than business class for some routes). Business class is a little more expensive than I've seen in prior years. I'm too cheap to even consider first class so I can't comment on that. In the case of Qatar, it is much cheaper to purchase online than to purchase over the phone, think 20% difference.

    As soon as Qatar gives me my refund for my latest tickets, I'll buy tickets for travel from early March until late April. Advanced ticket purchase often saves money (but increases headaches).

  8. #33804
    EVA Air was to open up to international transit on March 1. I booked a flight to SEA for the 1st week of March. Because of Omicron EVA Air nuked all transit flights from March 1-31,2 days after I booked! They are now booking flights from April 1 but if I were you I wouldn't book because there is a very good chance these flights will be cancelled as well. You'll be stuck trying to get your refund back like me.

    Traveling is no longer fun. I remember the good old days when I lived in Thailand. Woke up in the morning, thought what should I do today. Let's fly to Phnom Penh or Jakarta this afternoon! Booked a flight, packed a carry on, taxi to airport, and I would on Street 136 or Kota Indah by dinner. Now you have to spend hours doing paperwork get PCR tests before you leave and arrive. Countries changing their immigration rules by the second. Worry about cancelled flights. Worry about being one of the unlucky 1 in 25 who have to stay in hospital for 10 days upon arrival. Not relaxing at all.

  9. #33803

    Flight costs

    I don't know but part of the issue of flights is the amount of time it takes to get from PointA to Point be. For example, I usually fly United or Eva from the US West Coast to Thailand with a stop in either Japan or Taipei, Taiwan. However, Eva is currently not flying to most of their usual international destinations due to Taiwans draconian Covid policies. In better times, they offered a reasonable alternative to United with better planes, prettier and more genial flight attendants, and perhaps a few more empty seats. On a few occasions, I was able to commander an entire row in economy to lie down for the long haul portion of the flight. Not so with United. Nevertheless, United flights for one way are for the most part now over 1,000 one way where they used to be $700 or thereabouts. One could always fly their Japanese airline partner but that mostly seems to lead into Japan for the first stop and longer layovers. It's still possible to use award miles and lately a one way with United will cost you between 44 to 48 k miles from US west coast to BKK or even vía Frankfurt with the last leg covered by Thai Airways. This mileage change assessment came about after Test and Go was suspended so I suspect it will revert back to a higher cost in mileage in short order.

  10. #33802

    I hear your pain

    https://www.kayak.co.uk/flights/LON-...t=bestflight_a

    https://www.kayak.co.uk/flights/LAX-...t=bestflight_a

    I did a quick kayak search of flights to Bangkok from London and from LAX. Though more searches would be necessary, fares look ok and airlines who want to stay in the game are desperate for $$.

    Smaller countries like Thailand cannot be the first to blink or they will suffer retaliation. My advice to you would be to book a deal if other variables are ok as carbon taxes are on the way. Western governments have printed and spent money like drunken American sailors in Pattaya for Operation Cobra. There is a huge hangover on the way.

    Quote Originally Posted by Tomasb  [View Original Post]
    I had given up on coming to Thailand after they suspended the Test & Go program. Initially, all indications were that this program would not be reinstalled for at least several months and there was no way as a fully vaccinated individual I was going to submit to a mandatory quarantine of seven days at one of their expensive hotel alternatives. However, it appears that the Thai authorities realized that many potential visitors, like myself, felt the same way and cancelled their plans to come to Thailand this winter.

    Now, they are doing a rather dramatic reversal and all indications appear to suggest they are going to allow Test&Go to resume beginning in February (though so far it's unclear when in February). However, I still have concerns mainly that a potential remains that I would test positive upon arrival, either on the arrival date or five days later, and even though asymptomatic may find myself facing a hospital stay or a longer stay in their designated hotel. That's a non-starter in my opinion. Also, I am still fairly certain I would not come if the 9 pm drinking rule stays in effect. I could live with the non restaurant bars and night clubs being closed, but I can drink at home after 9 pm so why travel half way around the world to face this restriction.

    Finally, the Thai authorities were quoted as saying this change in policy to allow Test &Go will increase tourism by 8 million pax through the year. Perhaps, they are forgetting that many potential visitors have already changed their winter holiday plans, the now high cost of international flight travel that will continue to defer travelers, and the possibility that a positive test whilst in Thailand will result in an enforced hospital stay? In fact, only two months are left of their traditional high season.

  11. #33801

    Thailand visit

    I had given up on coming to Thailand after they suspended the Test & Go program. Initially, all indications were that this program would not be reinstalled for at least several months and there was no way as a fully vaccinated individual I was going to submit to a mandatory quarantine of seven days at one of their expensive hotel alternatives. However, it appears that the Thai authorities realized that many potential visitors, like myself, felt the same way and cancelled their plans to come to Thailand this winter.

    Now, they are doing a rather dramatic reversal and all indications appear to suggest they are going to allow Test&Go to resume beginning in February (though so far it's unclear when in February). However, I still have concerns mainly that a potential remains that I would test positive upon arrival, either on the arrival date or five days later, and even though asymptomatic may find myself facing a hospital stay or a longer stay in their designated hotel. That's a non-starter in my opinion. Also, I am still fairly certain I would not come if the 9 pm drinking rule stays in effect. I could live with the non restaurant bars and night clubs being closed, but I can drink at home after 9 pm so why travel half way around the world to face this restriction.

    Finally, the Thai authorities were quoted as saying this change in policy to allow Test &Go will increase tourism by 8 million pax through the year. Perhaps, they are forgetting that many potential visitors have already changed their winter holiday plans, the now high cost of international flight travel that will continue to defer travelers, and the possibility that a positive test whilst in Thailand will result in an enforced hospital stay? In fact, only two months are left of their traditional high season.

  12. #33800
    Quote Originally Posted by HorseTrader  [View Original Post]
    Are you worried about catching COVID/omicron or are you worried about getting quarantined after you test positive? I delayed my trip because I'm worried about being quarantined in a miserable situation even if I have no symptoms.

    I would have kept my January-March travel plans if the Thai government clearly allowed me to opt to quarantine in my own hotel room when I test positive.
    There are very few good outcomes from catching Covid. I will return to Pattaya when the chances of catching Omicron in a bar are not so high.

    Meanwhile, I am asking those in Pattaya to report on the extent of the spread of Omicron there, and whether those ATK tests are still required to go into a bar.

  13. #33799
    Quote Originally Posted by HorseTrader  [View Original Post]
    Are you worried about catching COVID/omicron or are you worried about getting quarantined if you test positive? I delayed my trip because I'm worried about being quarantined in a miserable situation even if I have no symptoms.
    Bingo, you hit the bullseye with that point. Omicron is not life threatening. It is time various Governments in SE Asia especially realized this fact and and dropped their draconian policies. It is a good thing I know about other countries where a guy can have a great time without the threat of covid ward hanging over him. I won't submit to covid tests in-country. Period!

  14. #33798
    Quote Originally Posted by Explorer8939  [View Original Post]
    No idea. I was speaking hypothetically, since I am not in Thailand now.

    I come back when they stop checking for an ATK test if you go to a restaurant, and Omicron isn't everywhere.
    Are you worried about catching COVID/omicron or are you worried about getting quarantined after you test positive? I delayed my trip because I'm worried about being quarantined in a miserable situation even if I have no symptoms.

    I would have kept my January-March travel plans if the Thai government clearly allowed me to opt to quarantine in my own hotel room when I test positive.

  15. #33797
    Quote Originally Posted by BananaBoi  [View Original Post]
    Has the Thailand. Malaysia VTL officially opened? I'm only interested in VTL's since it's going to be the best way for me to get to Jakarta or Seoul without quarantine. Glad other countries are opening VTL now as I was looking to travel through Singapore.
    No idea. I was speaking hypothetically, since I am not in Thailand now.

    I come back when they stop checking for an ATK test if you go to a restaurant, and Omicron isn't everywhere.

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