Criminal taxi scammers

Hailing a taxi in Bangkok has become almost impossible. Being forced to overpay or walk is the only option for tourists these days. It's gotten worse, much worse.

On Sukhumvit Soi 11, during my last trip to Bangkok, every taxi I attempted to hail was a scammer.

Even my hotel doorman admitted that every taxi on the soi was like that. "They pay the police," the hotel manager told me. He shrugged and said, "This is Thailand."

I decided to report every scam-taxi that day to the Department of Land Transport by sending a photo of the licence plate in an SMS to #1584, along with the date, time and location of the offending taxi.

Weeks later, the department sent me a feedback report on the drivers via SMS. I was surprised to hear that each driver was fined 1,000 baht. Nice.

Fight back and report these professional scammers posing as taxi drivers. Perhaps the Thai Hotel Association could encourage their members to begin reporting these organised criminals that continually prey on their guests?

Jeff Johnson

Tightened expat screws

Barry Kenyon in his May 18 letter, "No joy for OAPs", notes that people who want O-A visas (visas obtained outside of Thailand) will soon be required to buy health insurance.

But after contacting several people who are in the know, I have found that it's literally impossible to find out if the requirement applies to people who have other kinds of retirement visas.

To say that this is extremely unfair to expats would be an understatement.

I wonder how all of these expats who were rejoicing after the coup now feel about the junta, which has tightened the screws on expats since it came to power.

Maybe it's karma.

Eric Bahrt

Inconsistent immigration

After reading Randy Hurlburt's May 18 letter, "IB not demons", I wondered if he was talking about the same Thailand that the rest of us live in. So far, he appears to be a majority of one, as the old expression goes.

Kindly do not speak for the rest of us, Mr Hurlburt. You might be living in an area where you have no immigration problems, but in my area the staff, and thus the rules, change often.

During my last visit to renew my yearly visa, I was told that the picture submitted did not look like me, although it was taken an hour prior.

Everyone has had a problem at one time or another. I'm sure the letter writer is no exception.

You mean to tell me (or us) that in 20 years all of your experiences were picture perfect?


No police pursuit

While we were returning to Korat on Mittraphap Highway a few days ago, the traffic was flowing at about 100 kilometres per hour, and a police cruiser was in the right lane. Not one metre behind them was a pickup truck apparently trying to bully the police car into moving to the side. The impatient truck driver eventually whipped around the police car and sped off, going at least 30kph over the limit. Did the highway policeman pursue the scofflaw? Of course not. Too much trouble, I guess.

How is the new point system supposed to work when drivers this dangerous never accrue any points?

Terrified in Korat

America is in trouble

Re: "Crackpot theories", (PostBag, May 11).

Apparently, Trump supporters have forgotten how truth, facts and logic work. I always wondered how anybody can like Donald Trump -- the immature, selfish, dishonest, ignorant, short tempered, flim-flam man.

Somehow, Fox News viewers see Mr Trump as a mature, unselfish, honest, knowledgeable, even-tempered man of high morals and integrity. America is in big trouble. A country depends on people who understand the worth and the ways of democracy.

If the USA survives the Trump administration -- an immoral, unethical pack of dimwits -- they will definitely need something like the Germans with the denazification. The Trump addicts need to be "de-Foxed" and get a grip on reality.

Arthur Geoff Blake

Disgusting elephant abuse

A news report on a baby elephant that was made to perform while undernourished, and broke two hind legs but went without treatment for three days, disgusts me. I am disgusted that such a thing could happen, disgusted that it was permitted, and most disgusted at government officials for permitting this type of abuse to continue, while probably collecting tea money on the side for looking the other way.

I'm also angry that tourists find such animal performances "cute" and "entertaining". What part of the rural backwaters do they come from in their own countries? I'm a nice, quiet-mannered person, but taking the facts into consideration, I would be happy to volunteer to break both legs of that zoo owner and not feel a pang of guilt.


Let's not lose focus

Given the amount of time, effort and money spent on political posturing and jockeying now, just think about what could be done if all of this had been given to charities, volunteer programmes and other good causes that need our support.


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