Tag Archive | Thailand

Spanish fugitive arrested in Sihanoukville

Artur Segarra
Artur Segarra

One of the photos of Artur Segarra that was broadcast by the Thai media, allowing his identification by the public.

A man of 37 years old, Artur Segarra, in his run from the Thai police, was arrested by the authorities of Sihanoukville last Sunday and deported to the neighboring country on Monday morning to answer as main suspect in the disappearance and atrocious murder of the Spanish businessman David Bernat, whose body was found at the Chao Phraya river. The crime attracted the Thai media, allowing his easy identification, so he entered illegally into Cambodia searching for refuge, but was identified by some people on the Sihanoukville’s beach.  Read More…

Cambodia ranks 50 in HP visa restriction index

  • The Cambodian passport is among of the weakest of the planet. Cambodians can enter freely to only 50 countries.
  • The strongest Southeast Asian passport is the one of Brunei, entering 150 countries, 100 more than Cambodia.
  • The Cambodian passport is the 5th strongest Southeast Asian passport after Brunei, Thailand, Philippines and Indonesia. Cambodia wins to Vietnam, Burma and even China.  

Henley & Partners puts Cambodia in the 50th place on its visa restriction index for 2014. It means that a Cambodian citizen can enter to just 50 countries of the world without a previous visa. The index is a global ranking of countries according to the travel freedom that their citizens enjoy. Cambodia wins for one place to Guinea-Bissau, Haiti, Madagascar, Nigeria and Turkmenistan, whose citizens don’t need previous visa to enter to 49 countries of the planet, and it is behind for one place to Bhutan, Mongolia and Mozambique that do not need visa for 51 countries.  Read More…

Cham Yeam not recommended for Upon Arrival Visa

  • If you want to come to Cambodia expecting to take your visa Upon Arrival, avoid the Cham Yeam International Border: they will overcharge you more than 100 USD visa.
  • If you complain, they will close the window, meaning pay or go back. 
  • If you don’t have a previous visa, prefer the Poipet border from Thailand. 
  • If you are a victim of corrupt authorities in Cambodia, don’t speak in English. Use a third language or do as you don’t understand English, it will help you – although it is valid for citizens of Non-English-Speaking countries… it would be unbelievable a Briton saying they can’t speak English :) Still the option to say “I don’t understand your English.” 

If you don’t have a previous Cambodian visa (such one taken in an embassy, consulate or e-visa), avoid to enter the country through the Cham Yeam International Border. The authorities there will overcharge you. Citizens from 9 countries of the planet need to take a visa in a Cambodian consulate before traveling. They are not allowed to take e-visa. Those countries are Afghanistan, Algeria, Arab Saudi, Bangladesh, Iran, Iraq, Pakistan, Sri Lanka, Sudan and Nigeria, this last one was recently included. The rest of the world can come to Cambodia just with a valid passport, two photographs and 30 USD dollars. You can make your visa just Upon Arrival and it is really efficient. But it is not the same in Cham Yeam, the crossing from the Thai province of Trat to the Cambodian province of Koh Kong. If you don’t have a previous visa, the authorities will overcharge you with fees until 100 USD for a visa! The worst is that if you complain, they close the window and you are finished. It is like “pay or go back.” In order to avoid this situation, if you intend to enter Cambodia by land expecting to make your visa upon arrival from Thailand prefer the Poipet International Border.

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The routes between Cambodia and Thailand using the Cham Yeam International Gate. It is very practical if you go from Bangkok to Sihanoukville, however, use it only if you have a previous visa already. Taking an Upon Arrival visa this point makes you victim of overcharge, especially during the high season.

One strategy that has worked with me before when one meets a corrupt authority in the Cambodian streets is to express that we don’t speak English. Speak in Spanish, French or Arab and they will lost patience and let you go. However, this would not apply for citizens from English-speaking countries. It would be funny to hear an Australian, Irish, English or American saying they can’t speak English. Still the possibility to say “I don’t understand your English”.

Foreigners in Thailand

If you are traveling to Thailand in this moment or you are there, it is appropriate to take some security measures. Keep contact with your embassy. Traditionally, Thai political turbulences keep distance from the tourist industry, but be aware of incidents. Here some recommendations:

– Keep your passport and all travel documents with you all the time. Provide it to any authority if they request to see them.

– If you are travelling in group, please stay all the time in connection with your agency and the tour leaders, especially passing any security checkpoint.

– You have to know that the taxi services at the Suvarnabhumi Airport are available 24 hours. The taxis have a sticker displayed on the front windscreen as Suvarnabhumi Taxis. Please use them, because officials will allow access for those vehicles only.

– If you need any other information or assistance, contact the Survarnabhum Airport Call Center (number phone: 1722).

– Keep with you the number phone of your embassy or consulate and follow news.

– The press has been restricted (censorship). Please don’t take photos or videos of sensitive areas. Stay aways from political gatherings of security checkpoints.

– The army announced a countrywide curfew from 10PM to 5AM. Please follow instructions by the authorities.

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