Digital Nomads Thailand – Lost Nomad Mon, 20 Sep 2021 04:21:26 +0000 en-US hourly 1 Digital Nomads Thailand – Lost Nomad 32 32 Costa Rica is recognized as the best health destination in the … Sun, 19 Sep 2021 03:22:50 +0000

(MENAFN – The Costa Rica News) By STAFF TCRN September 18, 2021 5 0 Share Facebook Twitter WhatsApp Linkedin Email

Must Read Health PERSONNEL TCRN – September 18, 2021 Learn about the properties of tea and its health benefits PERSONNEL TCRN travel – September 18, 2021 Costa Rica is recognized as the best health destination in the global environment PERSONNEL TCRN – September 17, 2021 Total annual value of Costa Rica’s natural capital is $ 14.5 billion, or 23% of the country’s GDP

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Costa Rica was awarded as the Best international health destination in the first edition of Healthy Places Award 2021 awarded by the prestigious magazine Men’s Health in its Spanish version and aimed at male audiences interested in destinations to enjoy a summer of health and well-being, always looking for a healthy lifestyle .

According to the organizers, our country has been recognized as “a sustainable sanctuary and deserves the award because its settings are perfect for sport. In addition, it was underlined that the country “brings together more than 6.5% of the world’s biodiversity and the advancement of the policy of sustainable development and social progress makes this destination one of the most desirable in the world”.

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The post also highlighted tropical forests, Caribbean and Pacific coasts perfect for all kinds of sports. Finally, they highlighted the new direct flights to San José that have been activated and the increase in frequencies, which they believe makes us a “Even more desirable destination” .

A sustainable destination

“We are very happy with the recognition granted and this award confirms Costa Rica’s positioning as a sustainable sanctuary, a biosecure destination and with multiple alternatives for carrying out wellness activities in the open air, in the heart of nature and reconnecting with this which is really essential. »Said with great pleasure Carolina Trejos, Marketing Director of the Costa Rican Tourism Institute (ICT).

Trejos added that the goal in the midst of this difficult current context is to continue to make permanent efforts to maintain the connection with potential tourists interested in traveling to our country and from one of our main European home markets.

Prices for a wellness sanctuary

The preselection of finalist destinations in the Best international health destination category was completed by Switzerland and Tokyo. Also as part of the selection process, a consultation was carried out with over 4,000 readers, including other destinations such as New York, Hawaii, Maldives, Australia, Japan, Thailand, among others. The results revealed the winners of this first edition in eight categories: national destination, hotel, health services, sports and wellness services, restaurant, gym, clinic and international destination.

Resonance was created to bring together a community of digital nomads, entrepreneurs, innovators, guardians of wisdom, alternative thinkers, mentors and light leaders from across the planet to bridge the gap between demanding work and a way of life that offers the possibility of living and working in a nourishing and supportive environment.


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Top 10 sustainable places in the world Sat, 18 Sep 2021 09:00:52 +0000

Traveling is not only about seeing the wonders of the earth, but also about understanding our impact on it. More and more frequently, people seek to move from being a “tourist” to that of a “conscious traveler” by finding ways to maximize the positive impacts on the places they visit. Making thoughtful choices about how, when and where to go on vacation can make a significant difference.

Travel experts have analyzed over eight million traveler reviews to find key hotspots for eco-travelers. Diving deep into sentiment, global data has shown the top 10 places to stay in the world, as reviewed by Expedia travelers.

From shops with beehives and resorts with recycling rainwater to large urban retreats with solar power, many of these amazing places show that luxury and sustainability are not mutually exclusive. Additionally, experts have highlighted the best countries with the highest rated eco-friendly accommodation, with the United States at the top of the rankings.

Top 10 eco-friendly stays
1.Sandos Caracol Eco Resort,
2.Nomade Hotel Roissy CDG,
Paris, France
3.Siloso Beach Resort, Sentosa, Singapore
4.Habitat Suites, Austin, Texas
5.Pakasai Resort, Krabi, Thailand
6.Park Royal in Pickering, Singapore
7.The Green House, Bournemouth,
8.Listel Hotel, Vancouver, Canada
9.Hotel Verde, Cape Town, South
10.Sherwood Queenstown, Queenstown,
New Zealand
Top 10 sustainable countries
1. United States
2. Mexico
5.United Kingdom
6.Costa Rica
8.New Zealand

Sustainable travel is the perfect opportunity to show Mother Earth and other locals how much you care.

Sandos Caracol Eco Resort – Playa del Carmen, Mexico

Situated between the dense jungle and the blue of the Mexican Caribbean coast, this Rainforest Alliance certified destination is among the top rated by travelers for the multitude of positive impacts it offers. Extensive policies governing waste management, resource consumption and natural conservation; Opportunities for clients to engage in environmentally sustainable practices; and eco-tours, cruelty-free animal interactions and beach meditation; A commitment to the community, reflected in celebrations of local Indigenous culture, on-site markets that support local artisans, and local partnerships to improve schools in the area.

Nomad Roissy CDG Hotel – Paris, France

Located a five-minute drive from Charles de Gaulle Airport, the Nomad Hotel Roissy CDG boasts Scandinavian-inspired design, customizable room layouts thanks to technology and a mission to “minimize the ecological impact of these facilities. buildings, at every stage of life. , from design to operation ”, making it the ideal accommodation for digital nomads with a green tendency.

Stringent standards for heat creation / loss and low total annual energy consumption, supported by green (living) exterior cladding, solar panels, air handling units; Proactive efforts to neutralize the impact on water through the use of rainwater collectors; and Use of sustainable materials including PEFC wood, rugs made from recycled fishing nets, recycled stone and glass showers

Siloso Beach Resort, Sentosa – Singapore

Just off the south coast of Singapore is Sentosa Island, a paradise whose southwest coast is home to the Siloso Beach Resort. Steps from the sandy beaches of the South China Sea, this award-winning eco-resort has taken special care in incorporating the surrounding habitat into its design, prioritizing open spaces and preserving established natural features like mature trees and the sources that flow. The result? A unique organic interpretation of a luxurious seaside experience. 200 original trees preserved (and 450 planted) on site; landscaped swimming pool fed by underground water and built according to the natural formation of the land; 72% of the resort is outdoors and offers activities such as bike rides, hikes and other eco-adventures; and Operations keep ecological impacts in mind, with a focus on locally sourced foods, limited use of plastics and reduced energy consumption.

Habitat Suites – Austin, Texas, United States

Habitat Suites, a sustainable gem in the heart of Texas’ most progressive city, boasts 30 years of forward thinking environmental stewardship experience. Habitat Suites has been a founding member of the Green Hotels Association since 1991 and won an Austin Green Business Leader Gold Award in 2018. Widespread use of alternative energies including solar panels, solar thermal panels and electric vehicle charging; On-site organic fruit and herb gardens; clean, local and organic food options; and the use of chemical herbal detergents without harsh chemicals for cleaning; bio-safe shampoos and detergents for guests; hypoallergenic suites that include living potted plants and windows that open to access fresh air.

Pakasai Resort – Krabi, Thailand

Spa treatments, boxing and cooking classes plus plenty of space for lounging by the pool – the Pakasai Resort offers everything you’d expect from a tropical Thai resort, then sweetens the deal with an impressive roster. sustainability efforts. Krabi’s Greenest Resort was the first in the region to win an ASEAN Green Hotel Award (2014). Resource conservation efforts include rainwater capture and gray water recycling, energy efficient lighting, biogas production and reducing plastic use; Special attention paid to reducing carbon emissions through a waste minimization program and collaboration with the local community and local organizations; Guests are encouraged to make their stay even greener by joining the # Greening-Pakasai campaign, which encourages visitors to make low-carbon choices when it comes to food, transportation, laundry services and local activities. .

Park Royal on Pickering – Singapore

With 15,000 square meters of greenery and cutting-edge design, the Park Royal is equally impressive in what it does and doesn’t do. This LEED-certified masterpiece saves water in 32.5 Olympic-size swimming pools each year and could power approximately 680 homes with the energy saved by its conservation efforts. Highly regulated resource consumption through the use of light, motion and rain sensors; Solar cells and rainwater harvesting mean energy-free maintenance of the 15,000 m2 of hanging gardens; and Thoughtful construction processes reduced concrete use (and associated waste and energy costs) by more than 80%.

The Green House – Bournemouth, United Kingdom

Suitable for weddings, self-care weekends and romantic getaways, every detail of this eco-hotel has been designed to help guests feel good while doing good. This philosophy touches every facet of The Green House, from the building’s renewable energy production and Forest Stewardship certified and UK-made furnishings, to the on-site restaurant’s adherence to local sourcing and high standards. animal welfare – the company car even runs on biofuel from the old cooking oil from the kitchen. The use of environmentally friendly cleaning products and efforts to save energy; Staff are trained in the ethics of sustainability and are encouraged to find new ways to improve Green House efforts; and Environmental efforts extend to outdoor grounds, including bird and bat nesting boxes (to provide a safe breeding ground) and rooftop beehives that produce honey.

Listel Hotel in Vancouver – Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada

The Listel hotel is dedicated to both environmental responsibility and the arts. The hotel provides a location to uplift local and international artists – including a gallery dedicated to Northwest Coast First Nations artists – while participating in the City of Vancouver’s Corporate Climate Leader program, giving the example of sustainable tourism efforts around the world. Responsible eating practices, including membership in the Vancouver Aquarium’s Ocean Wise Sustainable Seafood Program and a commitment to providing local and sustainable food and wine; Conservation efforts including 20 solar panels, a state-of-the-art heat capture program (reducing the hotel’s natural gas consumption by 30%) and water and quality reduction programs air ; and Adherence to a 100% Zero Waste policy since August 2011.

Hotel Verde – Cape Town, South Africa

“Sustainable by design, elegant by nature” is the modest motto of the Hotel Verde in Cape Town. The first hotel in Africa to offer 100% carbon neutral accommodation and conferences, the Cape Town Verde has won a long list of international accolades (LEED Platinum certification and 6 stars from the Green Building Council of South Africa) for its extensive membership in sustainable practices. Restoration of surrounding wetlands now supports native vegetation using water and a healthy population of Cape honey bees, as well as an ecological trail, outdoor gym and ecological swimming pool for visitors to use. , as well as edible vegetable gardens on site and aquaponics. Energy efficiency includes photovoltaic panels on the roof and north-facing facades, wind turbines, gymnastics equipment generating energy and geothermal heat; and Commitment to social responsibility through sustainable procurement practices, waste management and community participation.

Sherwood Queenstown – Queenstown, New Zealand

Sustainability and connection with nature are behind every detail you’ll encounter at Sherwood Queenstown, a boutique hotel perched on three acres of alpine hillside overlooking Lake Wakatipu. The Sherwood operates on the basis of the belief that “a simple respect for nature is at the heart of any sustainable practice”. The hotel’s orchards and vegetable patch supply its award-winning restaurant; most rooms have stunning mountain or lake views, and all come with South Island wool blankets and local drinks. Mornings begin with optional yoga sessions, followed by hiking, mountain biking, skiing or snowboarding. An emphasis on the selection of materiality that integrates the building into the landscape, while using recycled lighting, accessories and furniture; Conscious Choices in Power Generation – Sherwood is one of New Zealand’s largest privately-owned solar installations and currently generates enough electricity to return surplus to the grid. Selection of local foods, wines, beers, spirits and other consumable products, natural, healthy, ethical, seasonal and sustainable in their production and use.


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Thailand to offer 10-year visas to ‘wealthy citizens of the world’ Fri, 17 Sep 2021 00:32:05 +0000

Updates from Thailand

Thailand aims to attract up to 1 million wealthy residents and take advantage of telecommuting professionals uprooted by Covid-19 by offering long-term visas to foreigners who invest $ 250,000 to $ 500,000 in property or bonds of state.

The visa program, unveiled by Prayuth Chan-ocha’s cabinet this week and subject to legal changes, will target “affluent global citizens”, wealthy retirees, digital nomads working remotely and skilled professionals.

The launch of the visa program comes as the pandemic shakes Thailand’s tourism industry, damaging business confidence and hitting the baht, which is one of Asia’s worst performing currencies this year.

Thailand is cautiously reopening its largest island Phuket and a few other resorts to vaccinated foreigners, but officials admit mass tourism is unlikely to return to the record 40 million visits in 2019 anytime soon.

To qualify for the 10-year visa, which includes family members, the Thai government has said that “wealthy citizens of the world” would have to invest at least $ 500,000 in bonds or real estate and prove they had a minimum income of $ 80,000 per year. Retirees will need to invest at least $ 250,000 and earn at least $ 40,000 per year.

Bangkok plans to offer the measures for an initial five-year trial period starting in 2022. During this period, the government said it expected an increase in investment of 800 billion Thai baht ( $ 24 billion) in the country, as well as an additional 270 billion baht. tax revenues.

Thailand will join several other countries, including Barbuda and Antigua and Barbados, which offer tax and visa incentives to attract digital nomads and other high-income foreigners.

“We expect wealthy global citizens, retirees and highly skilled professionals to welcome this opportunity,” said Juckchai Boonyawat, Thai CEO of Mercer, the consultancy firm.

“That said, we need to keep an eye on how the government would change the laws relating to land and property ownership as well as applicable taxes, as these are major considerations for foreigners who wish to stay with a long-term investment in Thailand. “

A government spokeswoman told the Financial Times that the program would only be implemented after “other changes in laws and regulations” were made.

An expert on digital nomadic visas described the 10-year term as “a game changer,” but added that its importance would depend on the details, including whether it allowed freelancers who worked for multiple clients, as opposed to a single employer. , to define base in Thailand.

“This is the holy grail of the true digital nomad: getting a multi-year visa,” said Jeff Opdyke, editor-in-chief of Global Intelligence Letter.

Thailand’s year-round warm climate, vibrant cuisine, beaches, and reliable private healthcare have already attracted a large expat and retiree community.

Latest Coronavirus News

Follow FT’s live coverage and analysis of the global pandemic and rapidly evolving economic crisis here.

“Overall, this [visa scheme] is a positive step, but it remains to be seen whether this overhaul will actually attract the investments expected by the government, ”said Mercer’s Juckchai.

However, some long-term foreign residents have recently complained about the government’s mess in its Covid-19 vaccine response and onerous entry requirements for residents returning from abroad.

Thailand’s deputy prime minister Anutin Charnvirakul angered some expatriates at the start of the pandemic when he blasted “farangs” (Westerners) for being “dirty” and not wearing masks. He then apologized for the comments, which were aimed at tourists.

Twitter: @JohnReedwrites

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The best seaside towns in Thailand for work and life Thu, 16 Sep 2021 03:33:45 +0000

Living and working in Thailand is not only possible, but many who land in this beautiful country on vacation decide to stay for the long term. So those who love live by the beach, can find our list of the best beaches towns to live and work in the Kingdom.

The best seaside towns in Thailand for work and life

1. Phuket

The island of Phuket is known as the “Pearl of the Andaman”. And, her beauty does not disappoint. Located in the southeastern part of the island, Phuket is one of the most famous beach towns in all of Thailand. Moreover, its wide range of accommodation, activities and attractions makes life in Phuket always exciting. Turquoise waters and rocky jungles undoubtedly add a serene backdrop to your working day. With a large expat community, it’s easy to find others who are working from home. Additionally, due to the large expat community and inbound tourists, the developers have ensured that shopping malls, restaurants, and other attractions are top rated.


2. Hua Hin

Water sports enthusiasts will love having fun in Hua Hin. This popular expat, the seaside town is known for its fun activities and kid-friendly attractions. As it teems with a population of longtime expats, the attractions here are of high quality and rival those of others in the world. Moreover, Hua Hin is famous for its golf courses, hiking, boating, cycling, fitness and snorkeling. The city moves at a slower pace, which makes it ideal for those who just want a relaxing life. Since the city is cheap, it’s a great place for retirees and families who want modern medical and other facilities at a fraction of the price they would get in their home country.

Hua Hin, always more accessible - About Thailand Living

Hua Hin

3. Koh Samui

Koh Samui is the 2nd largest island after Phuket and is home to many longtime expats. Known for being an upscale spa paradise, the island certainly has some top-notch attractions and accommodations. In addition, the island has many international hospitals and schools, which makes it perfect for those who wish to live here for the long term. Its beaches also rival those of others and are perfect for postcards. Despite its lively vibe, the nightlife here is not as shabby as Pattaya, which makes it family-friendly. In addition, water sports enthusiasts will find a wide variety of activities to do both on the water and on land.

20 unique things to do in Koh Samui - PlacesofJuma

Ko Samui

4. Prachuap Khiri Khan

Located in southern Thailand, this city has long been a favorite among Thai tourists. As it becomes more and more popular with expats, it is a great idea to relocate here while it prepares. The city is known for its pineapple and coconut industries, which makes it quite serene. Thus, a lower cost of living is included in the more serene and relaxed city. For expats who want a seaside town without the hordes of tourists and all that goes with it, Prachuap Khiri Khan is a great choice.

Prachuap Khiri Khan - See & Do

Prachuap Khiri Khan

5. Pattaya

Known for its popular nightlife, this is the place to go if you are looking for a more energetic setting. As many expats live here, you can be sure to meet other digital nomads. Although the nightlife is quite famous around the world, Pattaya during the day is ideal for families. Boasting international schools, hospitals and shops, this exciting seaside town caters to all types of visitors. Plus, getting to nearby islands only takes around 15 minutes, so it’s fun to go from island to island in Pattaya.

Pattaya tourism 2021: best of pattaya, thailand - tripadvisor


Thailand’s seaside towns are popular with expats looking to settle. As they offer beautiful oceans, water sports and other outdoor activities, these nature lovers will surely enjoy it all. Plus, since there are many others doing the same thing as you, it’s easy to build a community and a home away from home.

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Thailand urges wealthy expats to boost economy Wed, 15 Sep 2021 18:08:47 +0000

BANGKOK (Bangkok Post) – The firm has given the green light to an economic stimulus and investment promotion plan aimed at attracting wealthy foreigners and highly qualified professionals from abroad to help revive the economy after Covid-19.

Benefits of the package include a 10-year Thai visa not only for approved special visitors, but also for their spouses and children, government spokesman Thanakorn Wangboonkongchana said on Tuesday.

The package also includes automatic work permits, the same income tax rates as Thai citizens, a tax exemption for income earned abroad and ownership of property and land, he said. .

Thanakorn said the right to elect to pay a fixed rate of 17% income tax under the package is offered, but only to foreign experts contributing to the development of the government’s flagship program of the Eastern Economic Corridor (EEC) .

The government hopes to attract more than one million skilled people to Thailand over the next five years, starting next year, he said.

“The government also expects these foreigners to spend an average of one million baht per person per year while staying and working in Thailand, or about one trillion baht over the next five years in total,” he said. said Thanakorn.

About 800 billion baht is also expected from the money invested by about 90,000 foreigners as required in the application forms for these long-term visas, he said.

An additional 270 billion baht is also expected to come from taxes paid by these foreigners: 180 billion baht from income tax, 70 billion baht from value added tax and 22 billion baht from taxes related to their government. has four target groups for this long period. fixed-term visa program, the first group being wealthy citizens of the world who travel frequently and have assets in multiple countries, he said.

To obtain a long-term Thai visa, this group would be required to invest at least $ 500,000 (16.5 million baht) in Thai government bonds in the form of foreign direct investment (FDI) or in real estate. , did he declare.

The minimum income required for this group is $ 80,000 per year for the past two years, while the minimum required value of assets held is $ 1 million and the minimum health insurance coverage required is 100,000. dollars, he said.

The second target group are wealthy retirees aged 50 or older with sufficient pensions to cover their living costs in Thailand, he said.

Members of this group are required to invest at least $ 250,000 in Thai government bonds in IDE format or in real estate, he said, adding that the minimum income required for the group is 40,000. $ per person per year.

The minimum health insurance package required for this group is also $ 100,000 per person, he said.

The third group are the so-called Thai professionals who want to live in Thailand while working remotely for their employers in other countries, he said.

People in this third group are expected to be digital nomads and employees of large organizations nearing retirement, he said.

The fourth and final group of foreigners who should be interested in this long-term visa program are highly skilled professionals who might want to come to Thailand to work as experts in government target industries, Thanakorn said.

Highly qualified professionals who would work as university professors to teach subjects related to important industries are also part of this group, he said.

They must have at least five years of professional experience, earn at least $ 40,000 per year and have a health insurance policy with a coverage value of $ 100,000, he said.

Thailand’s Board of Investment has been tasked with setting up a new center to specifically serve this long-term visa program, Mr Thanakorn added.

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What to do in Ari, one of Bangkok’s coolest neighborhoods Wed, 15 Sep 2021 13:08:40 +0000

Mid-Century Villas and Affordable Apartments in Ari, an area just south of Bangkok’s fun-filled Chatuchak Weekend Market, is home to longtime artists who have settled there to open galleries of art and beer gardens along its leafy roads. But in recent years, a younger generation has arrived, adding photogenic matcha bars and burgers to next-gen conceptual spaces in pastel hues like Gump’s. Now, mobile som tum vendors selling plates of crispy green papaya salad share nooks with stamp-sized espresso bars, and visitors can find artisan donuts (try those from Chubby Dough) alongside. of syrupy khanom or traditional thai candy. Stroll through the low-key Soi Ari 4 and 5 streets for a taste of what has won over so many locals and expats.

All listings featured on Condé Nast Traveler are independently selected by our editors. If you book something through our links, we may earn an affiliate commission.

Where to have breakfast or a nightcap

While it’s best to stay close to the Chao Phraya for easy sightseeing, you should still go to the Wes Anderson-esque Josh HotelIf only for the carbs: Volks makes excellent bagels (try the activated charcoal and black sesame varieties) coated with wasabi or wild raspberry cream cheese. If you are visiting after dark, ask for the key to Room 72 – it leads to an underground bar-style cocktail bar.

Homemade Umeshu from Fruit Bar

Chris Schalkx

Townhouse, retail space, gallery, and community hangout

Chris Schalkx

Get your caffeine fix

Which sets Nana roasters Along with the myriad of other trendy cafes nearby is its tree-lined garden. A hotspot for digital nomads, this local favorite’s second outpost has more than 30 single-origin beans in its arsenal, which baristas brew at the slow bass, siphon brewer, or in sweet concoctions made from it. ‘espresso with coconut foam and yuzu a soda.

Find artistic inspiration

Having also lived in Melbourne and London, creative director Rom Sangkavatana sees Ari as the analogue of Bangkok with bustling, community-oriented neighborhoods like Fitzroy or South Kensington. In her gallery and year-old retail space Townhouse, it aims to channel the creative energy of the region with flower arrangement workshops and coffee tasting classes, as well as exhibitions by Thai artists.

The local pillar to try

While neighboring businesses have disappeared, the glass and concrete exterior of Salt has been a constant on Ari’s social scene since 2010. Knowledgeable locals stop by for casual dinners that merge Italian, Japanese and French flavors and techniques – think duck confit and scallop noodles – and to sip organic wine in the cactus-strewn courtyard.

Pick up new threads

The city’s independent fashion scene is teeming with treasures, but it can be difficult to navigate without language skills and insider information. Industry veterans behind the concept store TO HIDE. (who call themselves Tao and Fang) have made everything simple for you, filling the shelves with Thai-designed shirts, shorts and dresses in natural hues and airy silhouettes, as well as a range of monochrome basics of their own. collection, H. by HIDE.

Sip something local

When the sun goes down, the neon lights will light up on Oh! Vacoda Café, where avocado appears in all dishes (and some drinks); the change signals its transformation into Fruit Bar, a social diving club with mismatched furniture and scribbled designs on the walls. You will find over 40 types of umeshu (plum wine) and house beers made from SangSom rum and plums cultivated by hill tribes in northern Thailand.

This article appeared in the September / October 2021 issue of Condé Nast Traveler. Subscribe to the magazine here.

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Chulabhorn Royal Academy purchases 8 million doses of Moderna to use as boosters Wed, 15 Sep 2021 04:32:22 +0000

The Chulabhorn Royal Academy has announced that it will purchase 8 million doses of the Moderna Covid-19 vaccine, to be administered as a booster in 2022. The ARC is one of the 5 agencies authorized to procure alternative Covid-19 vaccines and has already purchased supplies of the Chinese Sinopharm vaccine. According to the CRA, Moderna will be delivered in stages, between the first and third quarters of next year.

The announcement follows the announcement of the Thai Red Cross also purchases 2 million doses of Moderna through the Government Pharmaceutical Organization. The doses will be administered free of charge to specific target groups, while 5 million doses purchased by private hospitals through the GPO will be administered for a fee in the last quarter of this year and the first quarter of 2022.

According to a Thai report from PBS World, CRA’s Dr Nithi Mahanonda says that in Phase 3 clinical trials, the vaccine has been shown to be over 94% effective, with serious side effects being very rare. Out of 1 million doses administered, 2.5 patients experienced serious side effects. The vaccine has also been shown to enhance immunity against beta, gamma, and delta variants.

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Debates rage on the five future scenarios for Pattaya Sat, 11 Sep 2021 17:25:25 +0000
Pattaya is changing, but how exactly is a matter of dispute.

The virus pandemic has certainly put pressure on what Pattaya will look like in two or five years. Screenings range from the ghost town scenario to an upscale business hub to rival Miami in the United States. Here are the choices.

The zombie apocalypse
This ultra-pessimistic view, much loved by some keyboard warriors, assumes that Pattaya’s tourist collapse is on-going as the ravages of the coronavirus continue over and over again. The only people left will be a mob of bored expat zombies who find nothing to do now that alcohol has been shut down as an avenue for collective fun. A variation on this theme is the future of the ghost town where padlocks, crumbling buildings and jackhammers are becoming the new normal in Pattaya and Jomtien.

The good old days
An alternative prediction, also popular on social media, is that Pattaya is only good for one thing – selling sex – that will come back once the virus decides to stop it and bars and clubs reopen. The problem with this view is that sex tourism had already dramatically declined as Pattaya’s source of income even before the pandemic hit. The new generation of tourists, mostly from China and India, preferred to buy whiskey at the 7/11 stores on Walking Street rather than pay exorbitant prices to see chrome pole dancers dragging their feet on stage with bored indifference.

Only for the rich
The Tourism Authority of Thailand argues that Thailand can find at least a million new expats who will benefit the Thai treasury by the billions in any currency. Ideas include the ability for foreigners to purchase freehold properties in selected areas (including Pattaya) and the removal of immigration restrictions for Elite card holders and well-heeled digital nomads. There is even the suggestion of permanent residence for foreign investors who continue to write checks. But none of these initiatives have surfaced yet – with the exception of the four-year Smart Visa which doesn’t require a work permit – and it’s far from clear how many of these wealthy foreign men and girls are actually there. -low.

An artist’s impression of what Pattaya Beach could look like.

The Chinese takeover
This problem first appeared 10 years ago, as hundreds of Chinese tourist buses clogged main roads during the day and parked at night near the new generation of glitzy cabarets on Thepprasit Road in Pattaya. During the pandemic, concerns have grown as new reports reveal that most overseas condominiums bought in Pattaya are being bought by Chinese investors who are now also looking to buy local hotels that cannot repay their loans for recession. However, travel gurus doubt zero-sum tours will resume on the scale they once were, while real estate agencies are reporting declining interest from Chinese investors.

The satellite city
The latest prediction is that Pattaya will transform into a new family-oriented international business and leisure center, supported by the investment privileges granted by the internationally funded Eastern Economic Corridor (EEC). Proponents of this vision point to developments such as new highways, the renovation of the Bali Hai Pier, and the high-speed railway project from the east coast to Bangkok. Ultimately, neo or new Pattaya will become a satellite division of the metropolis. But critics say the EEC may not attract the necessary funds in the future, while Pattaya’s infrastructure (especially flooding and roads) remains insufficient to qualify for high status.

Those who denounce Pattaya describe it as a ghost town or a den of zombies.

The conclusion
There is truth in all the proposals. Pattaya is going to have empty large-scale commercial and residential properties for many years to come. The night scene will survive on a less rugged scale, but will become more expensive and be based in peri-urban areas. Thailand could attract big spenders and international investors via investment and immigration benefits, but whether they will choose Pattaya as their permanent base is a moot point. Chinese influence in Pattaya will grow, but not necessarily uniformly, while the satellite city model is likely too ambitious in the short term. After the pandemic, Pattaya will continue to change and adapt over the years. But you can soon forget about a new Miami.

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Vaccine snobbish travelers flock to Guam for sun, sea and photos Thu, 09 Sep 2021 19:03:13 +0000

A woman walks her dog on a beach in Tamuning, where more businesses are reopening due to Guam’s vaccination campaign and vaccine tourism. (Lyric Li / The Washington Post)

Passport: check. Coronavirus test: negative. Temperature: normal.

Wearing an N95 mask and face shield, Jimmy Lin dragged his bag full of instant noodles and beachwear out of the modest Guam airport one recent afternoon.

“It’s a bit surreal to be here,” said the 37-year-old Taiwanese who owns a ski resort in Japan he has not visited since early 2020 due to travel restrictions. “I used to travel abroad at least every two months, and then all of a sudden the world closed on me.”

Like thousands of Asian tourists who have visited this American outpost in the Pacific since early summer, Lin was in Guam to receive his favorite coronavirus vaccines – Pfizer’s messenger RNA doses – as part a vaccine tourism initiative designed to offset pandemic losses.

While a growing number of tourism-dependent countries, such as Italy and Thailand, recognize vaccination records for travel, vacations abroad remain banned for millions of unvaccinated people. Enter Guam, a U.S. territory with abundant vaccine supplies and no quarantine restrictions, where more than 80 percent of the eligible population is fully vaccinated. For residents of Taiwan, South Korea and elsewhere, three weeks on a tropical island plus the chance of receiving a double dose equates to an opportunity they cannot always have at home due to supply shortages. and access problems.

Diners show off their vaccination records and registered phone numbers before entering the Micronesia Mall food court on August 30, the day Guam reinstated a mask warrant and social distancing rules for indoor locations .

Diners show off their vaccination records and registered phone numbers before entering the Micronesia Mall food court on August 30, the day Guam reinstated a mask warrant and social distancing rules for indoor locations . (Lyric Li / The Washington Post)

Frances Nicdao, clinical nurse manager of the American Medical Center in Guam, administers a dose of Pfizer vaccine to a Taiwanese tourist at the Hyatt Regency, a designated facility "holidays and vaccination" Hotel.

Frances Nicdao, clinical nurse in charge of the American Medical Center in Guam, administers a dose of Pfizer vaccine to a Taiwanese tourist at the Hyatt Regency, a designated “vacation and vaccination” hotel. (Lyric Li / The Washington Post)

“I’m a vaccine snob,” said Lin, who received his first Pfizer vaccine on Aug. 3 as part of the Guam-sponsored “Vacation and Vaccination” program, or AirV & V, paying $ 100 for a dose. . “Here in Guam I can choose whatever vaccine I want at an affordable price, but back in Taiwan all I could do was wait for whatever was available, who knows when.”

Tourism-dependent places around the world have come up with creative ideas to try to revive businesses devastated by the pandemic. Some have sought to attract digital nomads or have allowed visitors to self-quarantine at seaside resorts. Others have tried travel bubbles which collapsed when new epidemics erupted.

And while Guam’s AirV & V initiative can do little to redeem lost tourist dollars – more than 1.6 million international visitors graced these shores in 2019 – companies say it’s worth it.

“Since the AirV & V program, we have started to see an increase in the number of international guests from Taiwan, Korea and Japan,” said Honoka Yamazaki, planning manager at the high-end Tsubaki tower, adding that room reservations and sales were up from last year. year.

Some 2,000 visitors from Taiwan, where only 4% of people are fully vaccinated, have visited Guam since the first charter flight on July 6, according to Taiwan’s Lion Travel, which operates tour groups in Guam and Palau.

Vaccinated tourists book their snaps online and often get them at a kiosk in the Tumon Tourist Center, which houses upscale hotels and luxury boutiques. Tech companies including TSMC, the world’s largest chipmaker, have booked group tours for their employees, who arrive on charter flights and stay at a handful of designated AirV & V hotels.

Shopping malls and restaurants in tourist hot spots in Guam have reopened in recent weeks, with more residents getting vaccinated. And now the modest influx of tourists is encouraging other businesses to follow suit. To keep the arrivals going, Guam officials have offered to give AirV & V vacationers a $ 500 voucher.

“A full recovery may take time, but bringing back tourists is a vital start to that recovery,” said Anna Kao, owner of the beachfront Ocean Villa in Tamuning, a village adjacent to Tumon. Her guesthouse, which had to close for months in 2020 after a lockdown, reopened before Christmas and saw more visitors from Taiwan, Japan and the Philippines this summer.

But even here, 1,500 miles from Tokyo and 4,000 miles from Hawaii, the pandemic is never far away.

No sooner had authorities in Guam eased restrictions this summer when coronavirus cases started to rise again in August. The local government reinstated mask warrants and social distancing rules on Monday. U.S. military installations – including Guam Naval Base and Andersen Air Force Base – have also reimposed mask requirements. Restaurants now require proof of vaccination for restaurant patrons and have stepped up checks.

“The pandemic, as you can see, is not going anywhere anytime soon,” said Brandon Kinsella, project coordinator for the AirV & V program. But, he said, “there will always be a need for vaccines and a market for travel.” Guam, like the rest of the United States, will be rolling out booster shots in the coming weeks.

The new wave of infections has taken some of the excitement away from visitors yearning for a vacation in the sun and sand. Some Taiwanese groups visiting Guam for vaccinations are choosing to quarantine themselves in their hotel rooms, only emerging for take-out.

“I don’t want to become covid when I came here to get my virus shot,” said Richard Chang, a recent retiree from Taipei, who had just received his second Moderna shot at the Hyatt Regency Guam and was clutching his arm against it. instruction from a local guide speaking Mandarin.

Guam has experienced other crises before and has finally recovered.

Accompanying his fiancee on a three-week vacation and vaccination, Shin Hee-seok, a South Korean scholar, said the delta variant reminded him of the North Korean missile threat to Guam in 2017, which frightened many visitors and drives down the prices of flights and hotels.

“The South Koreans have moved past the fear of North Korean missile threats and are now learning to live with the coronavirus,” said Shin, a researcher in international law at Yonsei University in Seoul.

South Korea, one of the island’s main sources of tourists, records more than 1,000 infections a day. And while the epidemic in Guam – 170,000 residents – is small compared to those elsewhere, vaccinated tourists face other more mundane concerns.

“I have done everything that is still open to tourists, from shooting and hiking to jet skiing, kayaking, scuba diving and surfing,” said Lin, the owner of the Taiwanese resort, said. the day before he returns home at the end of August, fully vaccinated and in compulsory quarantine for two weeks.

“To someone who is used to city life, Guam looks like heaven, but only for the first week or two. If I were to spend more time here, I would probably be bored.”

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Are expats tempted by Thailand? Tue, 07 Sep 2021 15:05:06 +0000

When Brits think about retiring or moving abroad, more often than not, picturesque landscapes of beaches with cloudless skies are cited as their desired features.

While the usual suspects of Spain, Portugal, France and Italy still top the list, many have looked further for a place in the sun.

And these potential expatriates are attracting the attention of several countries around the world which have adopted favorable tax rules and open them the possibility of settling there or retiring.

One of those countries is Thailand. Not only is she famous for her climate and affordable lifestyle, but she has also made strides in becoming more attractive to foreigners.

For example, this year the Thai government developed a “proactive economic plan” to attract at least one million foreigners and high-income investors to Thailand and help them settle.

While the prospect of retiring to a tropical location certainly sounds appealing, what can Thailand offer and what is available for Brits who wish to settle and / or retire there?

International advisor spoke with consulting companies around the country to understand the benefits expats can enjoy if they make the one-way trip.

Attractive destination

Paul Gambles, Managing Director of MBMG Investment Advisory, said: “Many features – the climate, the food, the welcoming people and the laid back lifestyle – that make Thailand an attractive vacation destination also make it a great location. for the British. live and work.

“The Board of Investment allows you to own and manage your own business in Thailand. The UK is one of 14 countries whose nationals, aged 50 and over, are eligible to apply for renewable five-year retirement visas.

“Currently, various government departments are consulting on how to implement the cabinet’s proactive economic plan to attract wealthier foreigners to boost domestic consumption.

“The solutions proposed consist in particular of facilitating access to property for foreigners and offering greater tax advantages. Currently, foreigners can own property but not land that would be preferable to wealthy Western retirees.

“The tax incentives could be aimed at attracting foreign investors to set up regional offices in Thailand, as well as more attractive proposals for retirees, the self-employed, digital nomads and start-ups.

“MBMG’s view is that while the incentives offered seem likely to create a range of exciting new opportunities, Thailand’s legal and tax structure has always offered legitimate opportunities particularly favorable to UK expats, especially those who earn income outside of Thailand or hold significant assets. out of the country.”

Expats, however, weren’t the only ones to have noticed. Many wealth management companies have entered into partnerships, joint ventures or even are moving to Thailand to tap into the country’s growing advisory market.

Examples include Schroders, Julius Baer, ​​Lombard Odier, Franklin Templeton, LGT, and Stashaway.


Tim Niranvichaiya, country manager for Thailand at Stashaway, said the pool of investment options available to clients has grown to meet a more global and mobile population.

“In the past, most of the investment options available to investors focused on the domestic market. But today we see both traditional banks and fintech players offering more offshore investments to their clients, allowing them to build a more diversified portfolio globally.

“One of the reasons for this is that the Bank of Thailand has also relaxed the rules on foreign investment and put in place better regulations to benefit consumers. As a result, it opened up the possibility for financial institutions to directly offer more global investment products and services.

“There are also tax-advantaged funds offering a variety of investment strategies like provident funds, pension mutual funds and super savings funds where foreigners can enjoy tax benefits in the same way as Thais.

“Having said that, these funds are commonly used as tax reduction vehicles in Thailand, but there are eligibility conditions that you should consider carefully, such as continued membership or holding periods.”

Living and working in Thailand

Paul Wyatt, Managing Director of AIMS Pensions and Investments, added that the UK has ties to Thailand through the British Embassy and the British Thailand Chamber of Commerce because they “work for both expats and UK businesses here and provide a network and a common purpose to those with the same mind and values ​​”.

“Working in Thailand is pretty straightforward, although it’s a good idea to have an accountant who knows the local rules and has a good understanding of English to help run the business side, if you have one. They can also make visas and work permits much simpler.

“To work here you need a work visa and a work permit and you can’t have one without the other. The visa is renewed every year and your passport must be stamped every three months, either when traveling outside the country or at local immigration offices.

“Income tax is on world income with eight brackets, ranging from 0% to 35%, so it’s a reasonable overall level. On international income, tax is only assessed if the income was earned in the year you bring the money into the country. There are various deductions and allowances including savings through Thailand Provident or mutual funds available from local banks. VAT is 7%.

“Corporate tax is 20% while there is a 15% rate for small businesses.

“In terms of investment management, Thai regulations are broadly similar to those in the UK. The financial services regulator, the Thai SEC, is very clear about the advisory process using risk profiling, client types, fee / commission disclosure and written advice.

“There is no national health service in Thailand, but the network of private hospitals is excellent. It comes at a price and therefore a decent quality local or international medical plan is generally a good idea to cover inpatients, outpatients or both to give you peace of mind, ”he added.

With Brexit making life more difficult for Brits seeking a life in the sun, Thailand could prove to be an attractive alternative that has an established connection to the UK as well as a large multinational expat community.

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