Spa Day for Mary Ann, Immigration for Me
Today, Mary Ann went to one of the 20 or so full service spas in Chiang Mai. She had a Pedicure, Manicure, foot reflexology, full body scrub, milk bath and a massage. 4 hours of being pampered for about $70. An expensive treat in Chiang Mail standards, but she is worth it. She is now a gumby on the couch.
Me? Well my sixty day visa was going to expire 4 days before our flight back to Dubai. I had the choice of crossing the river into Burma (Myanmar now) for a 15 day extension, (You do not need to stay 72 hours, your cross the bridge, stamp stamp and come back) or going to immigration with my cousin. He had to go to get his new retirement visa, so I chose to come along. I wish I had brought a camera because the sign out front said “Kingdom of Thailand Immigration. Let us serve you with a smile”. And they did. I was done in ten minutes. The guy behind the counter was smiling and cracking jokes the whole time, called me Johnny Walker, and so soon I could not believe it I was done, good for another 30 days.
Speaking of immigration people, it seems like migracion in Bocas could take a cue from their equivalents in Thailand. Here is why.
On Thursday, Pattaya’s Immigration Office will officially launch the country’s first Transnational Crime Data Centre, equipped with a staff of 12 and a 6-million-baht (184,615-dollar) computer system dedicated to tracking down nefarious expats.
“Pattaya may have been a heaven for foreign criminals in the past, but now we have the technology to spoil their paradise,” said Police Colonel Athiwit Kamolrat, Chonburi Immigration Police Superintendent.
The centre, plastered with photos of alleged criminals wanted by the Federal Bureau of Investigation, Interpol, Bangkok-based embassies and Thai authorities, sits above Pattaya’s Immigration Office, a busy place visited by hundreds of expatriates a day.
In the morning we are leaving on a tour of the “Golden Triangle”. This is the area where Myanmar, Laos and Thailand all come together. Of course it used to be famous for being the opium center of the world, but now it depends on tourism. There IS an Opium Museum…we will also take a 45 minute float down the Mekong river, land on a Laotian island and see what crap they try to sell us. Basically I am done buying stuff. I have bought two funny hats and ten very comfy silk shirts. We will need an extra bag to get home.
I promise to take pics and post them in a day or so, so stay tuned.