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keestha

Russian Presence In Phuket

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Mostly for me and my family driving down to Phuket is a matter of getting business done (usually shopping mile/hospital), and then heading straight back to Khao Lak.

But last friday we decided to make kind of an outing of it, so things being done we drove down to Rawai, and then all the way up the coast: Kata, Karon, Patong, Kamala.

For the first time in Rawai/Nai Harn since a few years, it looked nice enough for me: string of low key looking bars along the beach, could imagine this is a nice area for expats to live.

As usual whilst driving around in Southern Phuket, continuously I had the feeling of being at the outskirts of a big city. Shopping malls, gasstations, building sites, large restaurants geared for tour groups, and so on.

But what really surprised me, was the number of signs in Russian language that weren't there a few years ago: mainly lawyers offices, real estate firms and restaurants. Nothing new for you Phuket expats, but not having driven around the island extensively for a number of years, it really surprised me.

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Da Da it gets cold in Moscow commrade

Yeah, they're newly rich, and can afford to buy a nice second home.

Then to service the expanding Russian expat market, businesses spring up.

That's capitalism for you, comrade.

Some cynics might also say that it's a way of laundering money.

But i wouldnt!

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There's also a significant factor in that Thailand is one of the few countries where Russian citizens can get visas on arrival. Cyprus was another such country, though that may have changed now Cyprus is a member of the EU.

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There's also a significant factor in that Thailand is one of the few countries where Russian citizens can get visas on arrival. Cyprus was another such country, though that may have changed now Cyprus is a member of the EU.

They can only get 15 days no matter how much money they have

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But what really surprised me, was the number of signs in Russian language that weren't there a few years ago: mainly lawyers offices, real estate firms and restaurants. Nothing new for you Phuket expats, but not having driven around the island extensively for a number of years, it really surprised me.

Most Russians don't read/speak English; that's why.

The days will come that one will see signs in Chinese, Japanese and Korean as well as an important part of inbound tourism is from those countries, contrary to Russia.

TAT is spending considerable money to try and attract more tourists from those countries so it's to be expected more and more sign in other than Thai and English languages will show up.

Matter of time.

LaoPo

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But what really surprised me, was the number of signs in Russian language that weren't there a few years ago: mainly lawyers offices, real estate firms and restaurants. Nothing new for you Phuket expats, but not having driven around the island extensively for a number of years, it really surprised me.

Most Russians don't read/speak English; that's why.

The days will come that one will see signs in Chinese, Japanese and Korean as well as an important part of inbound tourism is from those countries, contrary to Russia.

TAT is spending considerable money to try and attract more tourists from those countries so it's to be expected more and more sign in other than Thai and English languages will show up.

Matter of time.

LaoPo

My experience is that whilst many Russians don't speak English, there are also many (particularly amongst the higher educated ones) who do. Like many nationalities, there's a craving for knowledge, principally led by the internet, and as every one knows, the majority of information is in English. Russia has been different because of it's isolationist policies, but there is a genuine need on the part of younger people to expand their knowledge and experience.

Opinion/comment based on living/working in Russia for a couple of years.

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Russian citizens can get 30 days Visa Exempt entries.

It actually says 15 days VOA for Russia on that PDF.

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Russions get 30 day visa exempt entry under bilateral agreement. The (visa chart from the) MFA failed to delete them from the list of countries who could get a visa on arrival.

We have reports of several Russions who got a 30 day visa exempt entry.

Edit:

See Thai embassy to Russia website: http://en.thaiembassymoscow.com/info/?sect...d6&artid=98

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Most Russians don't read/speak English; that's why.

Really?? Thank you for not mentioning bears along streets and vodka...

Yes, visa on arrival is 30 days as for others. :)

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I was in Bkk last week. Flying back to Phuket, i was sat next to a Russian lady. We struck up a conversation and it turns out she was on a fact finding mission - along with a group of about 20 other Russians, all involved in the tourism industry in Russia. (Actually she was from somewhere in Siberia, Novaszneisk or something)

She showed me their itinerary and they'd booked appointments to view like the top 20 hotels in Phuket over a 5 day period - spending a couple of hours at each. She said that her clients only wanted the best.

We pulled out the free map and she showed me that airlines do DIRECT flights from Siberia to Phuket - and it's only like 5 hours or so. That's similar to the UK - Canary islands timewise.

It's cold in winter there, and they have money......................they're a'comin' !

Have also been approached by a couple of Russian whores in Patong, i think it was in Hollywood club, along with their pretty scary Russian 'minder'.

That's a bit worrying !

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Reminds me a bit of home really....Most of West London, Birmingham, Leicester, Manchester, Liverpool, Leeds with signs in Hindu and Punjabi and the rest of the country in Polish...... :):D:D

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