Bangkok Expat Life https://www.bangkokexpatlife.com Local city guide of Bangkok for expats, travellers, tourists and local residents in Thailand Mon, 28 Jan 2019 06:29:53 +0000 en-US hourly 1 https://wordpress.org/?v=5.0.4 Villa Market New Year Promotion https://www.bangkokexpatlife.com/2019/01/villa-market-new-year-promotion/ https://www.bangkokexpatlife.com/2019/01/villa-market-new-year-promotion/#respond Mon, 28 Jan 2019 06:29:53 +0000 https://www.bangkokexpatlife.com/?p=14568 Villa Market is currently offering a New Year Promotion for every online customer on their website who spend a minimum of 3,000 baht on their website. Submit promo code “NEWYOU” and you get a 200 baht discount off. Furthermore, in...

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Villa Market is currently offering a New Year Promotion for every online customer on their website who spend a minimum of 3,000 baht on their website. Submit promo code “NEWYOU” and you get a 200 baht discount off. Furthermore, in order to improve their customer feedback service, they are offering a survey until the end of this month – complete the survey and you get an additional 100 baht discount. You can do the survey over here. That’s a total of 300 baht discount you can save!

This on-going promotion is from 1st January to 3rd February 2019. Terms and conditions apply.

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Tesco Lotus giving out 20,000 N95 Masks to fight smog https://www.bangkokexpatlife.com/2019/01/tesco-lotus-giving-out-20000-n95-masks-to-fight-smog/ https://www.bangkokexpatlife.com/2019/01/tesco-lotus-giving-out-20000-n95-masks-to-fight-smog/#respond Mon, 28 Jan 2019 06:27:48 +0000 https://www.bangkokexpatlife.com/?p=14564 In a generous gesture to fight the Bangkok smog that has caused Bangkokians’ health to be threatened with a level of PM2.5, Tesco Lotus will distribute 20,000 N95 masks to customers and colleagues living and working in the 10 districts...

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In a generous gesture to fight the Bangkok smog that has caused Bangkokians’ health to be threatened with a level of PM2.5, Tesco Lotus will distribute 20,000 N95 masks to customers and colleagues living and working in the 10 districts of Bangkok with the highest concentration of dust. The masks will be distributed at 13 outlets.

Bueng Kum district: Tesco Lotus Sukhaphibal 1
Bueng Kum district: Tesco Lotus Serithai
Din Daeng district: Tesco Lotus Fortune
Khlong Toei district: Tesco Lotus Extra Rama 4
Khlong Toei district: Tesco Lotus Sukhumvit 50
Chatuchak district: Tesco Lotus Lat Phrao
Bangkok Noi district: Tesco Lotus Pinkao
Lat Phrao district: Tesco Lotus Ramindra
Bang Sue district: Tesco Lotus Prachachuen
Bang Kapi district: Tesco Lotus Bangkapi
Bang Kapi district: Tesco Lotus Lat Phrao 101
Yan Nawa district: Tesco Lotus Rama 3
Lat Phrao district: Tesco Lotus Wanghin

Ms. Salinla Seehaphan, Corporate Affairs Director, Tesco Lotus, said: “It’s a priority at Tesco Lotus to take care of the health of our colleagues and customers. The smog situation in Bangkok has caused concern among Bangkok residents and has led to shortages of N95 masks. They are currently very difficult to obtain or prices have been raised by a lot. To help our customers and colleagues protect themselves during the situation, Tesco Lotus will be giving away a total of 20,000 N95 masks to customers and colleagues living and working in the 10 Bangkok districts with the highest dust concentration. We ask that priorities be given to those in high-risk groups including the elderly, pregnant women, children, and people with respiratory problems. Each customer will receive one mask. The masks will be given out at 13 Tesco Lotus stores located in these 10 districts, on Thursday January 17, 2019 starting at 11.00 hrs.”

“In addition, in order to cater to the sharp rise in the demand for these masks, we have also increased our orders and are in the process of shipping these masks to stores in Bangkok and the vicinity. We are pegging the price of the masks and will not be raising prices despite higher demands,” Salinla added.

 

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Go-Jek officially launch in Thailand and expand service to 10 more districts in Bangkok https://www.bangkokexpatlife.com/2019/01/go-jek-officially-launch-in-thailand-and-expand-service-to-10-more-districts-in-bangkok/ https://www.bangkokexpatlife.com/2019/01/go-jek-officially-launch-in-thailand-and-expand-service-to-10-more-districts-in-bangkok/#respond Mon, 28 Jan 2019 06:25:25 +0000 https://www.bangkokexpatlife.com/?p=14560 Indonesian ride-hailing unicorn GoJek looks set to continue its aggressive  expansion in Thailand. On 15 December 2018, GoJek officially launch their beta version of its taxi and delivery services in Thailand’s capital Bangkok. Initially, the beta testing phase was launched...

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Indonesian ride-hailing unicorn GoJek looks set to continue its aggressive  expansion in Thailand. On 15 December 2018, GoJek officially launch their beta version of its taxi and delivery services in Thailand’s capital Bangkok. Initially, the beta testing phase was launched only in 4 districts in Bangkok – Chatuchak, Lad Phrao, Wang Thong Long, Bang Rak and Sathorn but now it has expanded to 10 more districts, covering Klong Toei, Yannawa, Bang Kapi, Ratchathewi, Pathum Wan, Phaya Thai, Bueang Kum, Bang Kho Laem and Rat Burana. The testing garnered positive feedback from both drivers and riders which push for a more rapid expansion in Bangkok to serve the growing demand in the world’s most popular city for tourists.

Rebranded under the name “GET”, the ride-hailing unicorn operate exclusively using licensed “win” drivers, or motorcycle drivers who have an official license for driving passengers on two-wheeled vehicles.

“We believe that two-wheeled rides are key to easing Bangkok traffic and helping to move people around more quickly and efficiently. We are soft launching with GET WIN and GET DELIVERY first, before introducing a broader range of services in future. We are confident of offering the best experience to make city life more seamless,”said GET co-founder and CEO Pinya Nittayakasetwat.

“We’re deeply thankful to our drivers for putting their trust in us and joining our mission to make city life more convenient for all. GET is the first app with world-class technology that uses only licensed ‘win’ drivers for passenger transport. We recognize that it is hard for ‘win’ drivers to obtain their license and we are committed to helping them join the digital economy and improving their quality of life.

“We believe that consumers will use ‘win’ driver services with more confidence as a result of the training and onboarding provided by GET.”

Nadiem Makarim, GO-JEK CEO and founder, said: “Our expansion is really taking off and more and more people are feeling the benefit of GO-JEK’s way of operating. We’ve launched ride-hailing and food delivery in Vietnam, our Singapore beta testing is already bringing massive benefits to thousands of people there, and now we are ramping up our presence on the streets of Bangkok.

“This is another great milestone for our company and we can’t wait for GET to become an established presence for the people of Thailand.

He added: “Thailand has great potential for growth, but is also unique. The GET team has worked hard to localize and optimize their app for the Thai market. I’m confident that the team can deliver a service that Thai consumers will use and love. GET is bringing choice back to the market, which will greatly benefit Thai consumers.”

Earlier this month, Go-Jek also extended its ride-hailing services to the whole of Singapore and has even partnered with Singapore’s biggest bank DBS to work together on payment services. As at the end of December 2018, Go-Jek’s beta app in the city-state had been downloaded over 50 million times. But unlike its expansion into other Southeast Asian markets, Go-Jek has entered Singapore using its own entity and brand, without the use of a local affiliate.

On its home ground, as of October 2018, Go-Jek said its mobile app has been downloaded more than 108 million times by Indonesian users and it has partnered with over 1 million drivers, more than 300,000 food merchants and around 30,000 service providers throughout the Indonesian market, while facilitating over 100 million transactions per month. Last year, it announced that it would invest $500 million into overseas expansion into Vietnam, Singapore, Thailand and the Philippines. Go-Jek is reportedly finalizing a $2-billion funding round to boost its international expansion plans. Its arch-rival Grab has raised over $3 billion of an ongoing $5-billion Series H round from investors including Tokyo Century, Yamaha, Hyundai and Microsoft.

GO-JEK Group is Indonesia’s leading on-demand multi-service platform technology group. Last year, the company announced that it would invest US$500 million (about Bt16 billion) into expanding operations into Vietnam, Singapore, Thailand and the Philippines.

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Thailand’s Deputy Prime Minister promises that election will take place no later than March after Thailand has it’s first public protest since 2014. https://www.bangkokexpatlife.com/2019/01/thailands-deputy-prime-minister-promises-that-election-will-take-place-no-later-than-march-after-thailand-has-its-first-public-protest-since-2014/ https://www.bangkokexpatlife.com/2019/01/thailands-deputy-prime-minister-promises-that-election-will-take-place-no-later-than-march-after-thailand-has-its-first-public-protest-since-2014/#respond Mon, 14 Jan 2019 20:36:14 +0000 https://www.bangkokexpatlife.com/?p=14523 Hundreds gathered in the street of Bangkok in downtown to protest the possibility of a delay in the upcoming general election in Thailand after Deputy Prime Minister Wissana Krea-ngam suggested on Hundreds gathered in the street of Bangkok in downtown...

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Hundreds gathered in the street of Bangkok in downtown to protest the possibility of a delay in the upcoming general election in Thailand after Deputy Prime Minister Wissana Krea-ngam suggested on

Hundreds gathered in the street of Bangkok in downtown to protest the possibility of a delay in the upcoming general election in Thailand after Deputy Prime Minister Wissana Krea-ngam suggested on Friday that post-election events might clash with King Maha Vajiralongkorn’s coronation rituals from 4th May to 6th May 2019. The Junta has promised and postponed the election several times since it came to power in 2014, with the latest date set for 24th February 2019 but after DPM’s suggestion of a postponement again, this was the final straw for the Thai people.As a result, this has prompted a public backlash and a first public protest since 2014 when the Junta lifted a ban on political activities and a gathering of more than 5 people 5 years ago. “We want the government to hold an election as soon as possible, so that democracy can move forward in our country,” said Anon Nampa, a human rights lawyer and anti-junta activist who organised the protest at the Victory Monument area in central Bangkok. The diverse and lively crowd that attended the rally served to illustrate the ongoing frustration within the kingdom over the election delays. Dates for the long-promised vote have been set, then delayed, five times till date.

 

 

 

 

Protestors carried signs which read “We Want Election” and “Election only on Feb 24, 2019”, chanting “No delay!” in unison

 

 

 

 

Thailand’s Deputy Prime Minister Wissanu Krea-ngam has come forward to announce that the Thai general election will take place no later than March and the Royal Decree will be issued within the month.

Typically, the Thai general elections are expected in Thailand between 24 February and 9 May 2019 and under the 2017 constitution, elections must be held within 150 days after the relevant electoral law came into effect on 10 December 2018. Earlier, the Bangkok Post had predicted that the likelihood of elections being held in November 2019, however the date aforementioned was remote. There has been a growing dissent among the Thai people as the election has been postponed 5 times.

5 years ago, back in 2014, the Junta (military) government promised to hold an election in October 2015, but later postponed them. This happened after he spoke to Japan’s Prime Minister Shinzo Abe in Japan. On the same year, he said the election will be held after a permanent constitution is in place.

On 22nd September 2016, Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha addressed during the 71st session of the United Nation’s General Assembly in New York that elections would be held by late 2017 but it was postponed again.

On 2nd October 2017, when Prime Minister Prayut met up with Donald Trump at the White House, he said that an election will be held in early 2018 but later backtracked on his comment saying it will be held late 2018.

On 10th October 2018, Prime Minister Prayut said that the election will be held by November that year.

Here’s a timeline of his broken promises.

“Let me just say that the election date will be announced this month and the election will be within March,” he said. “The Election Commission (EC) will determine the exact date.”

DPM Wissanu said that the Election committee will reconvene again on January 26 and he believed that the election date could be announced before that. According to the law, the EC must announce the voting day within five days of the Royal Decree on the election being published in the Royal Gazette. However, DPM Wissanu said the government was not in a position to say when the decree would be out. It had yet to be endorsed by the King, he said. “I don’t know. I don’t dare to say that,” Mr Wissanu said. “But the media – you can draw your conclusions from what I told you.”

DPM Wissanu later assured that the election date will be held no later than March and he also announced that 4th May from next year onwards will be a public holiday known as Coronation Day or “Wan Chatramongkol”. The official coronation of His Majesty the King will take place on 4th May this year. More details about the ceremony and celebration will be discussed again on 26th January when Princess Maha Chakri Sirindhorn, the King’s sister heads the meeting at Government House. The ceremony would involve three major parts – the preparations from April, ceremony from 4th May to 6th May and the post-ceremony activities.

Thailand has a volatile history of elections followed by unrest and coups. While Tuesday’s protest and another held on Sunday appeared small compared to the many thousands who took the streets before the coup, concerns are growing about rising political risk in South-east Asia’s second-largest economy.

 

Pro-election activists raising their three fingers as The Hunger Games salute.

Let’s all hope that the election will be finally held on 24th February 2019.

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Phuket locals scramble for free beer as Leo truck spills https://www.bangkokexpatlife.com/2019/01/phuket-locals-scramble-for-free-beer-as-leo-truck-spills/ https://www.bangkokexpatlife.com/2019/01/phuket-locals-scramble-for-free-beer-as-leo-truck-spills/#respond Mon, 14 Jan 2019 20:18:25 +0000 https://www.bangkokexpatlife.com/?p=14519 Locals ride off with cans of Leo beer that fell of a truck in Rassada on Friday morning, 11th Jan. PHUKET: Christmas must have come late for the locals and residents in Phuket as they rushed to grab as many...

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Locals ride off with cans of Leo beer that fell of a truck in Rassada on Friday morning, 11th Jan.

PHUKET: Christmas must have come late for the locals and residents in Phuket as they rushed to grab as many free beers as humanly possible after a Leo truck carrying thousands of cans of Leo beer spills its load in Rassada.

On Friday morning, 11th January, we can only imagine it must be the best Friday ever for the herd of locals in Phuket as their street had thousands of cans of Leo beer due to a truck that almost overturned which caused this. Wichit Police were notified of this incident at around 6 am on Friday morning but as there was no traffic police on duty at that time, it ws too late to arrive at the scene on Soi Kingkaew-Uthit.

Upon arrival, police found loads of people collecting and carrying away as many cans as they could carry. Whilst others were trying to help to gather the cans and clear the road.

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“Bigger protest this Friday!”, warned opposition party if election date is not confirmed by this Friday, 18 Jan https://www.bangkokexpatlife.com/2019/01/bigger-protest-this-friday-warned-opposition-party-if-election-date-is-not-confirmed-by-this-friday-18-jan/ https://www.bangkokexpatlife.com/2019/01/bigger-protest-this-friday-warned-opposition-party-if-election-date-is-not-confirmed-by-this-friday-18-jan/#respond Mon, 14 Jan 2019 20:13:53 +0000 https://www.bangkokexpatlife.com/?p=14516 The activist group pushing for an early election today threatened to escalate its campaign if the Election Commission fails to announce an election date by this coming Friday, 18th January. Following the protest last week which saw hundreds lined up...

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The activist group pushing for an early election today threatened to escalate its campaign if the Election Commission fails to announce an election date by this coming Friday, 18th January. Following the protest last week which saw hundreds lined up in the streets of Bangkok, the group plans to organize another protest this coming Friday, 18 Jan if the election date is not confirmed by then.

It plans to call another public rally at the Democracy Monument on Saturday to pressure the EC and the government to hold the promised election as early as possible.

Since its first public rally on January 8 has not been met and now the tentative date set for February 24 as promised by the Junta (government) might be postponed again, the group is growing increasingly frustrated with the broken promises by the Thai government.

“This amounts to a postponement of the election and the breaking of a promise by the NCPO (National Council for Peace and Order) for the fifth time with the international community being the witness,” said the group in its statement.

“We are losing our patience with the trickery and all the excuses as well as the slander to muzzle the media and the people who are demanding their basic rights,” said the pro-election group.

The group has demanded that the election must not be put off beyond March 10 as it would cause the EC to miss the 150-day deadline and thus putting the election at risk if being ruled being null and void.

The group announced that they would not allow the election to be scuttled although there have been attempts to stop it from taking place.  They also vowed to oppose any attempts by the junta to stay on in power.

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Thailand extends visa-fee waiver until end of April https://www.bangkokexpatlife.com/2019/01/thailand-extends-visa-fee-waiver-until-end-of-april/ https://www.bangkokexpatlife.com/2019/01/thailand-extends-visa-fee-waiver-until-end-of-april/#respond Mon, 14 Jan 2019 20:10:19 +0000 https://www.bangkokexpatlife.com/?p=14513 Amid a huge slump in tourists, notably from China, the Thailand cabinet has agreed to waive the 2,000 baht visa-on-arrival fee for tourists from 21 countries for 60 days to try and revive one of their country’s main engines of...

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Amid a huge slump in tourists, notably from China, the Thailand cabinet has agreed to waive the 2,000 baht visa-on-arrival fee for tourists from 21 countries for 60 days to try and revive one of their country’s main engines of economic growth.

Here’s the list of nationalities who will be entitled to this visa-fee waiver:

  • Andorra
  • Bulgaria
  • Bhutan
  • China
  • Cyprus
  • Ethiopia
  • Fiji
  • India
  • Kazakhstan
  • Latvia
  • Lithuania
  • Maldives
  • Malta
  • Mauritius
  • Papua New Guinea
  • Romania
  • San Marino
  • Saudi Arabia
  • Ukraine
  • Uzbekistan
  • Taiwan

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Thailand named as one of the top 10 World’s Best Places to retire https://www.bangkokexpatlife.com/2019/01/thailand-named-as-one-of-the-top-10-worlds-best-places-to-retire/ https://www.bangkokexpatlife.com/2019/01/thailand-named-as-one-of-the-top-10-worlds-best-places-to-retire/#respond Mon, 14 Jan 2019 20:06:36 +0000 https://www.bangkokexpatlife.com/?p=14508 Graham Smith, Wendy Khan, John Khan and Felicity Smith (left to right) love living in Pattaya ” Where should I retire?” “Is Thailand a good place to retire?” This is the question we get asked a lot by our readers...

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Graham Smith, Wendy Khan, John Khan and Felicity Smith (left to right) love living in Pattaya

” Where should I retire?” “Is Thailand a good place to retire?” This is the question we get asked a lot by our readers and congratulations to the Royal Kingdom! Thailand has once been named in the top 10 retirement places in the world and number 2 in Asia. According to International Living, an organization that helps people to look for retirement and relocation opportunities, Thailand has been given this fine accolade. Sneaking into #9, pushing evergreen retirement favourite Spain into tenth place.

Thailand is only the second Asian country, after Malaysia to make the top 10 list. Malaysia, Thailand’s neighbor makes the top 10 again coming in at an enviable #5. The list is part of an annual report by International Living magazine and names Panama at the top of the list. Malaysia came in fifth place but Thailand sneaked into the Top 10 at Number 9, pushing evergreen retirement favorite, Spain, into tenth place.

Nestled between Myanmar, Laos, and Cambodia, Thailand enjoys the warm-water coastlines of both the Andaman Sea and the Gulf of Thailand. This is a country that has never been colonized by any Western or European countries, so Thai culture is untouched, rich, and ancient. What’s more, it’s ideal for expat living.

 

The list considers factors such as culture, weather, living conditions and country’s happiness index. There were lots of options in the countries named in the top ten for living in coastal as well as mountain areas. Reasonable rents and the choice of living both the high life and a more modest existence were other main factors.

For Thailand, the reports lists the many choices for retirees on both the Gulf and Andaman coasts, ease of travel to bordering nations as well as the interesting culture.

Chief of the Tourism Authority of Thailand Yutthasak Supphasorn says it is a deserved award pointing to all the reasons Thailand is wonderful for those in retirement.

“It is great news. Really there are many provinces where retirees decide to settle in Thailand”.

He pointed to Chiang Mai, Nakorn Panom and Nong Khai in particular where the attraction of wonderful nature, the quiet surroundings and the possibility of economical living all made for fantastic retirement opportunities.

Check out the full list here and a first-had account by a group of English retirees who moved to Thailand in 2001 after selling their house in England.

Thailand is truly one of the greatest places to retire in the world. The requirement for a retirement visa is 65,000 baht per month (about $2,000) or savings of 800,000 baht ($25,000) in a Thai bank account.

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Thailand touted as next possible venue for Kim-Trump summit? https://www.bangkokexpatlife.com/2019/01/thailand-touted-as-next-possible-venue-for-kim-trump-summit/ https://www.bangkokexpatlife.com/2019/01/thailand-touted-as-next-possible-venue-for-kim-trump-summit/#respond Mon, 14 Jan 2019 19:56:42 +0000 https://www.bangkokexpatlife.com/?p=14505 Following the success of the first summit hosted by Singapore on June 12 last year, the White House has sent their scouts to Thailand as a possible location for the second summit. Bangkok is among the Asian cities reportedly being...

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Following the success of the first summit hosted by Singapore on June 12 last year, the White House has sent their scouts to Thailand as a possible location for the second summit. Bangkok is among the Asian cities reportedly being considered as possible venues, along with Vietnam, Singapore, Indonesia and Hawaii.

On Sunday, Trump said that the US is “negotiating a location” for a second summit with Kim and the two had spoken “indirectly.” The US has not yet decided on a top pick and the list which could expand, has not yet been presented to the North Koreans.

Thailand, as ASEAN chair is ready to facilitate the second summit. Thailand’s Foreign Minister of ASEAN Affairs Department Director-General, Suriya Chinadawongse said “ It would be a joint decision by the US and North Korea about their meeting venue, and the status of ASEAN chair will not be a factor”

“In our capacity as Asean chair, we could facilitate the use of such forums for the benefit of peace in the Korea Peninsula, he said. “It is not our style of diplomacy to offer Bangkok as the venue; it depends on their decision.”

According to a source, Vietnam appears to be the front-contender to host the highly-anticipated second summit Between United States President Donald Trump and North Korean Supreme leader Kim Jong Un as she has been lauded as a role model for North Korea in terms of prosperity and normalizing ties with the US, and the South-East Asian seems keen on this, said experts and the media. However, some experts worry that hosting the summit in Hanoi could send out the wrong message because it will invite a comparison between North Korea and Vietnam. Kim does not want to emulate another communist country’s efforts to modernize its economy, which could lead to outside investment which he believes could disrupt his grip on power.

It is believed that Bangkok would be in the running for the venue, as Thailand has the advantage of diplomatic ties with North Korea and the US, both are close friends. Furthermore, Bangkok’s strategic location means that Pyongyang would be able to send its delegate who are already based at it’s embassy in the city ahead of time for planning just like in Singapore.

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No need to carry your Thai driving license card out! https://www.bangkokexpatlife.com/2019/01/no-need-to-carry-your-thai-driving-license-card-out/ https://www.bangkokexpatlife.com/2019/01/no-need-to-carry-your-thai-driving-license-card-out/#respond Mon, 14 Jan 2019 19:49:31 +0000 https://www.bangkokexpatlife.com/?p=14499 Did you forget to bring out your driving license ID? Don’t worry, from tomorrow Jan 15 onwards, you can use your phone to show your driving license. You can now show any police officer in Thailand your driver’s license digitally...

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Did you forget to bring out your driving license ID? Don’t worry, from tomorrow Jan 15 onwards, you can use your phone to show your driving license. You can now show any police officer in Thailand your driver’s license digitally via an app called “DLT Smart License”.

This is an initiative launched by the Department of Land Transport (DLT) which has solidified Bangkok as a burgeoning startup hub of tech and innovation.

With the app, the police can check all your information, including driving bans and outstanding fines with just a scan of your QR code. Physical driving license is of course will still be acceptable but no longer necessary.

The digital license also includes allergies, blood type, illnesses, rights to use hospital, emergency contact, location and tracking information. The app will even send you a notification when your license is about to expire.

The DLT Smart License app is available on both Android and iOS, and anyone with an old license can now apply for the new EDL at the Department of Land Transport offices nationwide.

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