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Alternative State Quarantine Hotels in Thailand

Limited Time ASQ – Alternative State Quarantine Offers from Mercure Bangkok Sukhumvit 11





19 th January 2020: Mercure Bangkok Sukhumvit 11 is among the finest 4-star hotels in the city with a strong focus on comfort, convenience and local experiences. Becoming an ASQ – Alternative State Quarantine hotel in November, Mercure Bangkok Sukhumvit 11 has re-enforced its commitment to safety and hygiene and partnered with BNH Hospital.

The hotel has introduced thoughtful touches and curated experiences to make every guests’ stay memorable and delightful. The hotel’s spacious rooms are comfortable for single travelers and families with high speed internet and in-room Netflix streaming, activity guide (including Spoken Thai lessons for expats), extensive menus options for them to choose for their breakfast, lunch and dinner with a special attention to kids and vegans as well.

The hotel is now offering special deals for bookings until 31 st March 2021. Explore Mercure Bangkok Sukhumvit 11’s limited time offers for couples, families and single travelers. Stay, relax and rejuvenate before you head to re-discover Thailand.

Single Travelers

Regular Price: THB 52,000 NET
Flash Sale price for foreigners: THB 45,000 NET. (SAVE: THB 7,000)
Flash Sale price for Thai residents: THB 42,500 NET. (SAVE: THB 9,500)

For 2 adults: THB 119,000 NET. ONLY
For family (2 adults & 1 child OR 1 adult & 2 children): THB 139,000 NET. ONLY
*Special 5% discount on top for Thai nationality only*

Couple’s Package
Regular Price: THB 104,000
Special Price: 75,000 (SAVE: THB 29,000)
*Special 5% discount on top for Thai nationality only*

Family Package
Special Price: THB 93,000 NET for a family of 2 adults and 1 child OR 1 adult and 2 children
*Special 5% discount on top for Thai nationality only*

• Three meals per day with Thai, Western and Japanese options to choose from
• Limousine transfers from the airport to hotel
• Room equipped with coffee tea making facilities & drinking water
• Welcome snacks and soft drink at the time of arrival
• Safety Kit including face mask, hand sanitizer and thermometer
• Complimentary high-speed internet access
• 43” Smart TV with 55 channels for personal entertainment
• Netflix streaming service available
• Room cleaning service on day 7th 10th and 13th once test results show negative
• Dedicated area for you to relax outside the room while attendant is cleaning
• Hotel will provide two pairs of shoes for indoor and outdoor areas
• 15% discount on laundry service
• ALL-Accor Live Limitless Members are eligible to earn elite nights and reward points on your stay

• Covid – 19 test twice at the hotel on Day 5 and Day 12 of your stay
• 24-hour access to nursing services and consultation on request
• 24-hour emergency ambulance service including transfer from hotel to hospital
• Daily Telemedicine service available (Additional charge 500 THB per time)
• Complimentary basic health checkup from BNH hospital valued THB 4,000

For more information and booking please call: +66-2-120 8888 or email:
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Central Thailand

Samut Sakhon Expatriate Guide with Covid-19 Travel Report





All Travels to Samut Sakhon are currently restricted to to a Covid-19 outbreak. Samut Sakhon (สมุทรสาคร) is a city in the Central Thailand, Thailand.


Samut Sakhon, called “Maha Chai” by the locals, is a small province on the mouth of the Tha Chin River, only 2 kilometres from the sea and 36 kilometres from Bangkok. It is a historic city recorded in the Ayutthaya Chronicle. This was during the period that Phrachao Suea travelled by the royal barge procession creating the story of the loyal Phanthai Norasing.

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This province was originally called as “Tha Chin” because it was a large district on the Gulf of Thailand, where there were a lot of foreigners, especially the Chinese -Chin- who travelled by ship and stopped at the seaport –Tha- for trading. Therefore, it was well known as Tambon “Tha Chin”. In 1548, during the reign of Phra Maha Chakkraphat, many new cities were established with the royal aims to gather power to fight the Burmese. Ban Tha Chin, hence, was upgraded to Mueang “Sakhon Buri” to be an outpost city preventing the invasion of enemies arriving by sea. Until the reign of King Rama IV, the city’s name was changed into Mueang Samut Sakhon.

During the reign of King Rama V, he conducted governance reform by organising the regional bureaucratic system in the form of a circle called “Monthon Thesaphiban” and announced the establishment of Thailand’s first sanitary district in Tambon Tha Chalom in 1906.

Then, in 1913, King Rama VI announced a royal command for the government to transform the word “Mueang” (town) to “Changwat” (province) throughout the country. Mueang Samut Sakhon was changed to “Changwat Samut Sakhon” as it is still known. The word “Maha Chai” that people usually used is the name of a canal dug across the crooked Khlong Khok Kham which is the symbol of the loyalty of Phanthai Norasing.

Get in

By car

Travelling from Bangkok can be done as follows:

  • From Bang Pakaeo Intersection. Go along Highway No. 35 Thon Buri – Pak Tho Road (Rama II Road), passing the Bang Khun Thian District Administration Office, Ekkachai Weighing Station to the Maha Chai Intersection at km28. Then, turn left to Samut Sakhon city. A total distance of 29 kilometres.
  • From Dao Khanong Department Store. Go along Ekkachai Road, pass Bang Khun Thian Bridge, Wat Sing, Bang Bon Intersection, Sueksanari School, Wat Pho Chae, Tambon Khok Krabue, Ekkachai Weighing Station, Maha Chai Community Housing, to the centre of Samut Sakhon. A total distance of 30 kilometres.
  • From Tha-Phra Intersection. Go along Highway No. 4, Phetchakasem Road to Nong Khaem and turn left into Soi Phetchakasem 81 to the Ekkachai Intersection. Then, turn right and go along Ekkachai Road, passing Sueksanari School and the Ekkachai Weighing Station to the centre of Samut Sakhon. A total distance of 30 kilometres.
  • You can also take Phetchakasem Road, pass Bang Khae and turn left into the outer ring road, crossing with Ekkachai Road. Then, turn back to Ekkachai Road or go straight on into Thon Buri – Pak Tho Road or from Phetchakasem Road, pass Om Noi to Setthakit 1 Road at km25, passing Amphoe Krathum Baen.
  • From Phra Pinklao Bridge. Take Borommaratchachonnani Road and take any one of 3 routes into Phetchakasem Road which are Phutthamonthon Sai 2, 4 or 5 Roads. Then, 2 ways can be chosen to enter the centre of Samut Sakhon. Either from Phutthamonthon Sai 2 Road to Ekkachai Road. Turn right and pass Sueksanari School; a total distance of 35 kilometres, or take Phutthamonthon Sai 4 and 5 Roads to Setthakit 1 Road and pass Amphoe Krathum Baen; a total distance of approximately 50 kilometres. Besides, you can take the outer ring road, passing Ekkachai and Thon Buri – Pak Tho Roads.

By bus

The Transport Company Limited provides buses to Samut Sakhon everyday from 04:20-21:00. For more details, contact the Southern Bus Terminal, Borommaratchachonnani Road at Tel. +66 2 435-1199, +66 2 435-5605 (air conditioned bus).

By train

The State Railway provides trains leaving Wongwian Yai Station many times a day from 05:30-20:10 to Maha Chai Station or across the river by boat to Ban Laem Station and take a train to Mae Klong Station, Samut Songkhram. For more details, contact Wongwian Yai Railway Station at Tel. +66 2 465-2017, +66 2 890-6260 and Maha Chai Railway Station at Tel. +66 34 411003.

Go next

On weekends, Amphawa has a floating market that is popular with local daytrippers from Bangkok.

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Tight Virus Controls Urged in Thailand for Christmas & New Year Celebrations





It’s holiday season in Thailand, when international tourists who pay top prices join local residents for countdowns, fireworks and a blur of partying.

Central World, a mall in downtown Bangkok famous for its annual mega countdown, displays the tallest Christmas tree in Southeast Asia and gigantic gift boxes. Icon Siam, a rival luxury mall on the Chao Praya River, plans to light up Bangkok’s sky with a ribbon of fireworks just shy of a mile long.

But the weekend surge of hundreds of COVID-19 cases among migrant workers from Myanmar — Thailand’s worst outbreak — is prompting authorities to rethink how to welcome 2021.

Samut Sakhon province, site of the current surge, is about 50 kilometers from Bangkok’s sprawl and already locked down. Some large gatherings and New Year’s events in Samut Sakhon and Bangkok were canceled in response. Those officially approved to proceed must impose stringent hygiene measures and prioritize social distancing.

A migrant worker receives belongings over barbed wire in front of a closed shrimp market, amid the coronavirus disease (COVID…
A migrant worker receives belongings over barbed wire in front of a closed shrimp market, amid the coronavirus disease outbreak, in Samut Sakhon province, in Thailand, Dec. 20, 2020.

“I’ll spend the next seven days to assess the situation and then we will decide about public New Year celebrations,” Thai prime minister Prayuth Chan-ocha told reporters Monday. “I urge you all not to panic. I hope the situation will get better in seven days.”

The latest outbreak erupted just as the Thai tourism industry was seeing glimmers of relief after months without the foreign tourists who pump millions of dollars into the Thai economy.

While Thailand has largely contained the coronavirus — hovering near 5,300 infections and 60 deaths since January, according to Thailand’s disease control department — the country’s strict measures have battered its economy, especially the tourism sector.

“We miss (foreign tourists) greatly,” said Ian Pirodon, general manager of The Continent Hotel in central Bangkok, where 95% of its pre-pandemic bookings were from foreign travelers.

‘A very painful process’

Thailand was ranked the world’s ninth most-visited country last year, according to the United Nations, welcoming 39.8 million foreign visitors. The capital, Bangkok, was named the world’s most visited city for four consecutive years from 2016 to 2019 by Mastercard.

Tourism accounts for nearly 15% of Thailand’s $543.55 billion gross domestic product, according to the World Bank. But by introducing tight entry restrictions and two-week quarantines to keep the pandemic at bay, the country saw a 79.46% drop in foreign visitors between January and October from 32.6 million to 6.7 million, while tourism spending plunged 71% from $40.3 billion to $11.05 billion, according to the Ministry of Tourism and Sports.

A tourist wearing a protective mask sits on a social distancing seat as she waits for her flight at Bangkok's Suvarnabhumi…
FILE – A tourist wearing a protective mask sits on a social distancing seat as she waits for her flight at Bangkok’s Suvarnabhumi International airport amid the spread of the coronavirus disease, in Thailand, June 3, 2020.

By the end of this year, Thailand’s tourism authority estimates only 8 million visitors will have visited, a fifth of the 41.8 million expected before the coronavirus outbreak. That number would have included Michael Agard, who has celebrated New Year’s with his American and Swedish relatives in southern Thailand for the past 15 years.

“I’d certainly like to get a vaccine before I go anywhere,” said Agard, 42, an IT specialist from New York City, who got stuck in Fukuoka, Japan — his regular stopover on the haul back to New York — in February and has been working from there since. “I’m worried a bit about taking a risk of flying in a long-haul flight.”

Many hotels have been closed for months. Those that are reopening are struggling to fill rooms by attracting Thais, who in a typical year account for a third of the total market.

“It’s a huge challenge for the company,” said Marion Walsh-Hédouin, the vice president of public relations and communications at Minor Hotels, an international hospitality group based in Bangkok. “We went through a very painful process of closing the hotels, of sadly losing many, many good team members across corporate offices and hotels. And we went through quite stringent right-sizing of the company.”

Minor Hotels operates more than 530 hotels in 55 countries. In the first nine months of this year, the company reported a 63% decline in revenue from Thailand’s hotels and spas compared to the same period last year. Its profit has swung to a loss of 1.9 billion baht, or $63.8 million.

Slow border reopening

In October, the Thai government eased its border restrictions to allow entry to foreigners from low-risk countries. Authorities began issuing a special tourist visa that required long-term stays, in part to accommodate the required quarantine period.

The program is falling short of expectations, with only 825 people and six luxury yachts from 29 countries taking advantage of the special visa, prompting the government this month to open the long-term stay option to all tourists regardless of their countries’ COVID-19 situation. It also introduced a new measure that allows citizens from 56 countries, including the United States, to enter without a visa if they are willing to undergo a mandatory 14-day quarantine.

Closed tourist service counter is seen at the arrivals hall of Suvarnabhumi Airport during the coronavirus disease (COVID-19)…
FILE – A closed tourist service counter is seen at the arrivals hall of Suvarnabhumi Airport during the coronavirus pandemic, in Bangkok, Thailand, Oct. 12, 2020.

The quarantine is discouraging Colin Anderson, a 52-year-old Briton who for the last 25 years has traveled to Thailand in December from his home in Rotterdam, The Netherlands, to visit his brothers who lives in Bangkok.

“I was pretty much prepared to pay money and do the 14-day quarantine, but eventually I realized it’s 14 days in a room, eating takeaway food,” said Anderson, who works in IT for an insurance company. ”In the end, I decided it’s just too much. I think if I was going for three to four months, I would definitely do it, but not for five or six weeks of vacation.”

The quarantine also deterred Anderson’s friend, Krijn Tol, who teaches English at a Rotterdam high school in The Netherlands.

“You have to stay in quarantine in a hotel, and it’s a lot of money. It can add up to about $2,000, and that doesn’t sound very inviting,” said Tol, 65, who has an annual three-week winter break.

“I think most people don’t want to go through that process of coming here. It’s quite stringent,” Walsh-Hedouin told VOA.

Hotel operators and associations have been pleading with the government to shorten the quarantine, relax border controls, and explore alternatives for safe entry, such as having “travel bubbles” with select countries that would permit entry without quarantine.

Thai officials said they are taking those suggestions seriously. This month, the government added a  golf quarantine program, where golfers from overseas can stay in a resort and play rounds in a controlled quarantine environment, but it has yet to take other steps.

“We understand and feel the pain of the tourism operators, but we also have to listen to general populations who may have a different take on this issue,” deputy government spokesperson Rachada Dhnadirek told VOA.

“It’s our job to communicate and build understanding with all parties, but rest assured that we are constantly reviewing options that will help us contain the virus and support the economy,” she said.

Officials said the quarantine period gives the public confidence. Cutting it short may be scientifically sufficient but psychologically fraught. Until recently, most cases in Thailand arrived with overseas visitors. In July, two foreigners infected with COVID-19 sparked nationwide fury by flouting COVID-19 containment protocols.

A member of a visiting Egyptian military team who tested positive for COVID-19 went to shopping malls with colleagues in Rayong province, 180 kilometers east of Bangkok, during a brief stay. The other person, the daughter of a Sudanese diplomat, tested negative upon arriving, then, after testing positive stayed in a Bangkok condominium rather than an official state quarantine site.

Pushing domestic tourism

To bolster the hospitality sector, the Thai government launched massive campaigns to stimulate domestic travels, by subsidizing 40% of hotel room rates and air tickets for Thai nationals and adding extra public holidays in November and December.

These campaigns and rising domestic consumption have enabled hospitality operators and hoteliers to reopen.

Local tourists visit the Grand Palace as it reopens after months of being closed, as the Thai government eases isolation…
FILE – Local tourists visit the Grand Palace as it reopens after months of being closed, as the Thai government eases isolation measures amid the spread of the coronavirus disease in Bangkok, Thailand, June 7, 2020.lva

The Continent, a 154-room boutique hotel, reopened in October after six months.

Although hotels are getting a boost from the government’s campaigns, a room with the discounted price of just more than 2,000 baht ($70) a night is a hard sell. The average Thai family earns $866 a month and spends $690, or 80%, on household expenditures, according to Thailand’s National Statistical Office.

“Some 40 to 70 rooms a day and up to 80 to 90 rooms on a weekend are supported by Thai residents at 30 to 40% of what the rates used to be,” Pirodon, the hotel’s general manager, told VOA.

The Continent Hotel charges between 4,200 baht ($140) and 7,000 baht ($233) a night for its rooms. In 2019, the average room rates for Bangkok’s five-star hotels and four-star hotels were about 9,000 baht ($300) and 4,500 baht ($150) a night respectively, according to a market survey by Edmund Tie, a Singapore-based real estate consulting firm.

“You’re having to offer a rate, whether you are a four-star or a five-star hotel, in a 1,000 baht to 2,000 baht range ($33 to $66)” because that’s what the domestic market can pay, according to Pirodon.

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