Archive | September, 2014

Getting a Work Permit in Thailand

Posted on 24 September 2014 by ABPC

As with most countries in the world you will need a work permit to work legally in Thailand.  This is something that years ago had been a little bit vague but it is now being strictly enforced by the Immigration and Labour Departments.  Strict penalties are now in place with offenders usually being deported from the country after a short spell in one of the many notorious local prisons.

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To obtain a work permit you first need to have a Non Immigrant B Visa.  These cannot initially be obtained in Thailand so you would need to visit a Thai Consulate before you travel.  A number of documents are required including an invitation letter from your employer, proof that you will be applying for a work permit, completed tax returns for the company and audited accounts.  If you don’t already have a work permit you will be granted a single entry, 90 day Non Immigrant B visa and then you will need to extend this to a one year visa once you have your work permit.

To obtain a work permit you must be employed to do a job that can’t be carried out by a Thai national.  There are a number of restrictions that are in place and some restricted jobs.  The company must also employee 4 Thais for each work permit and have paid up registered share capital of THB2 million per work permit up to a maximum of 10 expatriates.

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Once you and the company you are going to work for have met this criteria you then need to begin the actual application.  A copy of every page of your passport is required and this needs to be signed.  You will also need to complete a medical to prove that you are fit to work and also do not have any of the restricted diseases.  After you have all of this you will need to have 3 passport sized photos, one that will go in your work permit and 2 to be kept at the Labour Office.  The process is relatively quick assuming that you have met all the necessary criteria.  The work permit will need to be renewed on an annual basis as will your Non Immigrant B visa.  Again at the time of renewal all the criteria will need to be met and renewal is not necessarily automatic.

All information is correct at the time of writing but is subject to change without prior warning. Always speak to an expert prior to applying.

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8 Great Things You Should do Everyday to Enhance Your Life

Posted on 20 September 2014 by ABPC

We are all looking to improve our lives in anyway possible.  Most of us think of money, a good job, a sexy girlfriend or that nice car will be the answer.  Maybe they would, but what can we do on a daily basis that will make us feel better and improve our quality of life? Here are 8 ideas:

  1. Be positive

It is surprising what a difference being positive has on the quality of your life.  If you can see the good things, it gives you a better chance of being able to deal with the things that perhaps aren’t so great.  It will also impact on those around you.

  1. Smile

In the land of smiles a simply simile will make you feel better. If you smile at someone they will probably smile back.  See you have just made someone else feel better! Don’t you feel better now? Who knows, it may help you find that sexy girlfriend!

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  1. Be kind to others

‘Treat others as you would like to be treated yourself’ is an old fashioned saying but surprisingly accurate.  If you are kind to someone they will probably be kind back and this will certainly make your life easier and enhance your quality of life!

  1. Try to relax

Easier said than done but when we are relaxed we are happier, more practical and generally in a better position to deal with the everyday demands that life throws at us.  If we are relaxed it will be recognised by others and hopefully it will be replicated. If you find it hard to relax try a daily massage in one of mainly massage parlour around Pattaya

  1. Enjoy your surroundings

Sometimes we take our natural surroundings for granted as we see them everyday.  You might have stunning sea views, a beautiful garden or something else that others would be envious of.  Appreciate it for what it is – it certainly can’t harm your life and will hopefully enhance it! Maybe a walk along the beach would be a good daily activity

  1. Eat healthily

We all know we should do it but how many of us actually do? If we eat healthily our bodies will function better, we will feel and this will certainly enhance our lives.  There are lots a fruit stands around Pattaya that there really is no excuse

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  1. Do more exercise

Without sounding like repetition we all know we should but…  Exercise is good for us and our bodies.  Just a few minutes exercise each day will release hormones making you feel better and therefore, guess what… enhancing our lives! Tony’s gym has over 10 locations now and are very cheap to join

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  1. Appreciate what you have

Sometimes we forget how lucky we actually are.  Let’s not forget that there are far more people in a worse situation than us! Just drive out of Pattaya and look around, you will see

Enjoy the day ahead!

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First Reports of The Cartoon Network Water Park

Posted on 13 September 2014 by ABPC

The Cartoon Network Amazone finally opened it’s door on 31 July after several delays. The long anticipated water park is located in Bang Saray, about 15 minutes drive to the south of Pattaya and features a total of nine entertainment zones that are based on Cartoon Network’s shows. Six zones are already completed with the remaining three due to open later in the year. When everything is completed it is reputed to be the largest water park in Asia.

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The park has drawn the usual criticism for it’s dual pricing policy. Foreigner adults are charged THB1590 and children THB1190 so it isn’t a cheap family afternoon. Thais nationals are charged THB1290 for adults and THB890 for children. Annual passes are available ranging between THB7000 and THB12,990 for adults.

We spoke to the Martin family from Scotland to give us their thoughts. Mr. Martin said “the kids really enjoy it and the choice of slides, flumes etc is fantastic. It was a great day out for the family but a little expensive to go more then once in our 2 week holiday”

Another guest who we spoke to was Mr. Martinez originally from Florida but now working over here. Mr Martinez was also complimentary about the facilities on offer commenting that “these are comparable with the great water parks in Florida. They really have done a great job. To be honest I am a little surprised how good it is and was very sceptical. The kids have been pestering to come since they found it had opened.” Mr Martinez son Josh went on further. “The place is really swell! I want to come every week! I will never get bored of a place like this!”

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Generally speaking people seem very impressed with the facilities and excited to see the entire park open. A quality water park has been required for some time with Pattaya Park in Jomtien still popular, but starting to show it’s age. The fact that it is backed by the Cartoon Network and the large amount of money (reportedly THB1 billion) that has been invested in the project certainly helps. Everything appears to be of good quality, which you would expect, only drawback seems to be the price but it could get reviewed at a later date if needed, only time will tell!

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The Future of Pattaya

Posted on 10 September 2014 by ABPC

Pattaya is a city that is forever changing and evolving and is without a doubt becoming more family orientated.  Pattaya used to have shall we say – a questionable image and I think it would be very hard to deny that this was probably fair.  Over the years a lot of effort has been made to change the imagine of Pattaya and make it more attractive to a wider audience.  The demographics of Pattaya have certainly change over recent years both in terms of the type of tourist that is coming to visit and the groups of people who are choosing to come and live here.

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Over recent years we have seen a big change in the nationalities that are coming over here en masse.  It wasn’t so long ago that most of the visitors were from Western Europe, North America or Australasia.  Now it seems more likely that you will bump into Russians, Chinese or Koreans rather than Brits or Germans.  Of course we are seeing more families come too – something that you would certainly not have considered just a few years.  These are both families coming on holiday and those coming to live here – often through employment at one the large multinational companies that are based in the area.  This seems to be a trend that is growing and likely to continue long into the future.

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Of course there is a reason why Pattaya is attracting more of these groups and that is the fact that we are so close to the capital Bangkok and the international airport. Pattaya now has a wider range of activities that people can participate in.  Whilst the nightlife is certainly still in existence, the city has a whole new world of other things on offer.  It has been mentioned a thousand times but one of the big attractions to the area is the large number of high quality golf courses in the area.  There are around 20 championship standard courses with an hour’s drive of Pattaya, so this is something that is popular throughout the year.  Again this is something that will probably carry on long into the future and the courses are relatively cheap and there are a number of golf societies around the town.

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As we touched upon earlier there are an increasing number of families coming to city for holidays so there must be something to attract them!  In all honesty there are loads of things for families to do in Pattaya.  We have a number of shows, shopping centres, water parks and even botanical gardens not to mention the zoos close by.  Families are well catered for so really you can only imagine this group will only increase in the future and it seems to be the group that the city is openly encouraging.

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A Day Trip to Nearby Koh Larn

Posted on 06 September 2014 by ABPC

The island of Koh Larn is the closest island to Pattaya and can be seen if you look across Pattaya Bay.  The island is around 40 minutes away from Bal Hai Pier if you travel by one of the old fishing boats that have been converted into ferries.  These leave the pier on a frequent basis and are very reasonable priced.  The boats do fill up quickly and vary where they land as the island has 2 piers, one on the East side and one to the West.  It is nearly impossible to determine where they land until you arrive!

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For those people looking to arrive at the island quicker or perhaps in more style, there are a number of speedboats making regular trips across the bay.  The prices are quite high although this can be greatly reduced is you are part of a large group. It is possible to negotiate especially in the low season.  Life jackets are available and after the recent accidents a great deal of effort has been made to improve the safety of these types of tours.

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Once you are on the island there are a few beaches to choose from with most popular being either Tien Beach or Samae Beach.  Both of these beaches have a number of small restaurants and bars located on the beach themselves.  Tien Beach in particular offers a range of water sports for those who are looking to be more adventurous.  Regardless of which beach you go to, you will be pleasant surprised at the long stretches of golden sand and stunning blue sea.  The beaches here really are a great place to relax and are far better than those on offer in Pattaya itself.

In recent years a number of small resorts have opened on the island.  Although maybe not as lavish as some resorts in Pattaya and beyond, they are excellent getaways.  Most have excellent sea views looking back across the bay towards Pattaya and Jomtien.  The rates start at as little as THB800 per night and most offer air conditioning and hot water as standard. One that we recommend would be Suntosa Resort www.suntosaresort.com

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All in all, Koh Larn is an superb place to visit for just a day or a short break with it’s close proximity to Pattaya.  It is certainly worth a visit and an excellent place to spend time with the family.

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Review of the Pattaya Sheraton

Posted on 03 September 2014 by ABPC

The Sheraton Resort is a 5 star hotel located in the Pratamnak area of Pattaya offering stunning, panoramic views across to Koh Larn and beyond.  The oceanfront restaurant gives you the opportunity to make the most of these views that are particular spectacular and romantic in the evening when you can make the most of the sunset.

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The hotel itself offers spacious, modern guest rooms that are complimented by the naturally friendly and helpful Thai staff giving it a real sense of warmth and tranquillity.  The tropical gardens that overlook the sea are well maintained and add to the whole ambience and experience.  The facilities include as you would expect include swimming pools, fitness suite, restaurants and bar along with the award winning Amburaya Spa that has 6 treatment rooms.  The hotel can also cater for meetings, conferences and weddings.

As you would expect from any fine hotel, the Sheraton offers are number fine restaurants offering a variety of menus.  The Sheraton offers 2 excellent restaurants as well as the Latitude Lounge overlooking the sea.  The Latitude Lounge is an excellent place to relax and unwind over a tropical-inspired cocktail, a glass of wine or anything else that you may wish as the lounge offers an impressive wine cellar and full bar.  Drinks can be complemented by food from the gourmet tapas menu.

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Elements is a bright and comfortable restaurant that offers indoor seating in a modern, Thai style dining room.  The large windows offer sweeping views across the lush gardens and the Gulf of Siam. The menu is mainly Thai but also includes many original dishes from the West and other parts of Asia.  The emphasis of the restaurant is top quality, fresh authentic ingredients that are prepared under the supervision of the Executive Chef.  The food is again complimented by excellent wines and a wide selection of other beverages.  The restaurant is open throughout the day and casual dress can be worn.

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The other restaurant is known as Infiniti.  Infiniti is ideally placed on a cliff side offering fantastic views once again.  The food is contemporary and prepared using only the freshest, finest and most authentic ingredients.  The restaurant also serves salads, pizzas, pasta, burgers and sandwiches.  The food is cook in a wood fired oven or over hi-tech griddles adding to the taste.  The bar offers wonderful wines and a wide range of cocktails.  The restaurant is open from 11.00am until 10.30pm and casual dress may be worn.

 

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