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MAIL BAG  [email protected]

A correction on my previous letter

Dear Editor. Re: My comment published 14/7
It was not my intention to discredit or malign the person in question.
I have had contact with him and he cleared a few things up. He seems quite genuine in his efforts and stresses Not to take what he says as Gospel and check it out with the proper departments.
If I were to ask the Noodle Seller at Hua Lampungwhat time the train to Chiangmai leaves, She would point to the Departure Board. She doesn’t know when it goes but has directed me to someone who does. This man will also give you directions and in each case both have been of assistance.
A wise move before you decide to make the break would be to come here for a month holiday. Keeping your money separate. If you decide to go to a bar, pay a bar fine, buy ladies drinks etc. pay for them out of your holiday money.
When you are living here with only your pension these things will be only a small part off your life. You should suss out the best areas with the cheapest rent etc and budget on what you will be receive in later years.
Chaingmai is not the answer to every one’s dream. If you like the quiet life, village life might suit you. I have lived in a Moo Barn in Buriram for a number of years and have been "Adopted" by the villagers. Recently I had to travel to Bangkok for a hospital visit and there were 30 people sitting on my doorstep waiting to wish me good luck. Thai Custom is that you Wai each person, I'm afraid I lost count.
Several years ago I was involved in an accident. The villagers mortgaged their land and paid the hospital bill until I could arrange with my bank to remit the money. The interest was high and perhaps they ripped a little off the top for repairs to the local Wat, but how many of your neighbouurs back home would do such a thing?
If you make the transition, respect the culture and treat Thais as equals you will fit in ok but remember; Life isn't always a bed of roses and there is often a thorn to contend with
on another topic
After reading your news items this week I feel I must comment on the Article about a woman I have the greatest respect for. England had their Princess Diana, Denmark has Princess Mary, but none would compare to Thailand’s " HRH Princess Maha Chakri Sirindhorn".
Where this woman gets her energy from I'll never know. Turn on the Thai news any night and you will see her bringing Joy & happiness to the people. Be it in a mansion or a farmer’s house she is at ease with everyone.
One night she may be in Chiangmai the next she will be in Hat Yai.
The logistics of moving her around must be spot on as she is never late, never a crease in her attire nor a hair out of place.

Take the time to go to Immigration

Whilst surfing the net I came across an article by an Australian claiming he lives in Chiang Mai on his old age pension. He heaps praise on your fair City and I agree with him.
Claiming to live here 6 months of the year he would need to have a multiple entry nonimmigrant visa, that would give him almost 6 months with only one border run. Failing that he could purchase a Double entry Tourist Visa, that would require 2 X 30 day extensions and 1 Border Run. Be aware that your time starts from the date the Visa is granted. Not from the day of arrival.(That is why I have said almost 6 months )
After a few weeks abroad you pension reverts to the basic amount, Approx ฿ 42000 monthly, This is not enough to qualify for a Thai Retirement Visa.
The man claims to be married but doesn’t say if his wife lives in Australia. If he declared to be married he would automatically go on a married couples pension and his pension would drop $ 200. If his wife is in Thailand she is considered a Non-resident and receives no payment.
If she was in Australia she "May" get a new start allowance, which she would lose when she left the country.
The writer paints a pretty picture. He has a lovely wife, A car, motorbike and a Million ฿ house. All this on ฿ 42000?
I have heard stories like this over the last 20 years
I recall one time I met a man at a Bar who told me everything I needed to know to exist in Thailand. Later I found out he had been here 3 weeks on his 1st trip.
I wish now I'd asked his name.
Don't take as gospel what you hear around the pool or bar or me. Take time to go to Immigration!
A resident reader

HEADLINES [click on headline to view story]

Update July 20, 2015

A correction on my previous letter

Update July 13, 2015

Take the time to go to Immigration

Note: Letters printed herein in no way reflect the opinions of the editors or writers for Chiang Mai Mail, but are unsolicited letters from our readers, expressing their own opinions. No anonymous letters or those without genuine addresses are printed, and, whilst we do not object to the use of a nom de plume, preference will be given to those signed.
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