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Moving to Phuket on Dec 2nd 2016

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Vetster
11/17/2016 13:14 EST

Hi all,

There is a wealth of information on this forum but I still have a few questions about Visa's and my situation. As for me I am retired, over 50, in excellent health and single from the US. My plans are to make Thailand my home base and when its convenient travel back and forth (sightseeing) to other Southeast Asia countries. Short trips lasting a couple weeks or so.
Question: Arrival will be on December 2nd at Phuket's airport. For check-in at immigration, what Visa options do I have? The reason I ask is because I will be travelling with a ONEWAY ticket from the US without any continuing out of Thailand ticket at that time. What I read online was about 30vs60 day permissions, passport photos, sufficient funds letter needed etc. and is NOT completely clear to me. So any suggestions would be appreciated.
Also while in Phuket, if anyone could recommend a private guide so I could get properly acquainted to area, culture, expats etc. that would be great.
Thanks to all,

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swegolf
11/17/2016 13:55 EST

Phuket is expensive and there have been rental house scams recently. Some involve reputable rental companies that show you a nice house, ask 10,000 deposit then say they don't know you. So there's that.
You can extend your tourist visa 28 days then you must leave the country.
You can also go to the US embassy-make an appointment!-and have your retirement amount verified. WITHIN A WEEK OF GETTING YOUR VISA, take that to immigration and file a 365 day extension of your tourist visa.
It takes 3 weeks to clear that through Bangkok office. Some people go to Bangkok to do it bc you're there at the embassy anyway and it's much quicker than Phuket. It's a hassle and takes time, the lines are long at immigration but it's worth it.
Taxis rarely come to immigration and when they do there's a line for them too. And they triple the price, if you can get one.
Welcome to Thailand!

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swegolf
11/17/2016 13:55 EST

Phuket is expensive and there have been rental house scams recently. Some involve reputable rental companies that show you a nice house, ask 10,000 deposit then say they don't know you. So there's that.
You can extend your tourist visa 28 days then you must leave the country.
You can also go to the US embassy-make an appointment!-and have your retirement amount verified. WITHIN A WEEK OF GETTING YOUR VISA, take that to immigration and file a 365 day extension of your tourist visa.
It takes 3 weeks to clear that through Bangkok office. Some people go to Bangkok to do it bc you're there at the embassy anyway and it's much quicker than Phuket. It's a hassle and takes time, the lines are long at immigration but it's worth it.
Taxis rarely come to immigration and when they do there's a line for them too. And they triple the price, if you can get one.
Welcome to Thailand!

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Expatphuket
11/19/2016 09:04 EST

Don't be put off by nonsense postings about Phuket. They are mostly done by Chiang Mai or Esarn expats.

Been here 20 years, and yes it has become more expensive, but then again so has everywhere else in Thailand....My monthly house rent for a 2 bedroom, spacious house with a very large walled garden is THB 10,000 p.m. There are real estate scams involving houses and condos for sale, but that is not unique to Phuket either.

So rent is a good option, and buying doesn't make any sense for a variety of reasons.

Best of luck.

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swegolf
11/19/2016 23:09 EST

Agree TH has become more expensive and yes there are scams.
Immigration has attempted to scam us at Don Muang (holding wife for questioning and threatening to deny her ASEAN entry visa). After 3 1/2 hrs of not paying him anything the fat bstrd let her go. I was made to wait outside. Perhaps his stock portfolio had diminished? Highly uncivil and not the first time. He kept shouting "Visa Run!" We kept saying "Yes! That's YOUR laws!" We are following them exactly!
Immigration also tried to mooch a few pesos at Hua Hin Immigration off me. She brought up false screen on computer, claiming overstay and demanded 1800B. She smiled politely. But I stuck to my argument and waited until my passport was returned-she took it away-and showed entry stamp. She took photo of me with her camera phone. Sorry lady get your $50 somewhere else. To pay them is to embolden them to do it to others. Wait them out!
Filling up the scooter, many times small amounts of change are kept as well. No problem really, but Thais seem to be more emboldened to steal than they were when we first came 6 years ago.
Golf clubs were stolen-at the country club where we were members-management shrugged shoulders. Things like that put you off.
Don't go to Krabi unless you are with a group.
Maybe in the Phuket mix you'll be less of a target. There are more Farangs there.
Thailand just isn't the good deal it used to be, sorry. The heat on Farangs is getting turned up slowly by the attitudes promulgated by the military government.
There have been push backs fron the US embassy. Spare parts for their F-16's have been delayed, quiet economic trade sanctions have been talked about. The US Ambassador has called TH govt out on their BS. So those guys are firing at each other, etc.
There have been over 200 teachers killed in the south, apparently by Muslims from across the border. Be aware if you travel by land there.
Phuket should be fine. Have a nice trip!
With Trump coming I believe that will change, but that's my guess.
The military government knows this will be the only time in their lifetime they will be atop the government so they have repeatedly delayed the vote to return to democracy and stuffing their pockets as fast as they can.
Just my opinion.

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