Racist anti-tourist rant
Recently, I crossed from Laos into Thailand at the Nong Khai immigration checkpoint at about 5pm at the Friendship Bridge. I have been visiting Thailand every year since 1985 and have made several entries via border after visiting neighbouring countries. My previous trips, both by air and by land, were trouble free with courtesy by the Thai authorities until last time.
When I gave the Thai immigration officer my passport, he asked me why I had no visa. I explained to him that I have never stayed over two or three weeks at a time in Thailand and that as a Canadian I was visa exempt or had been for every one of my previous visits. I was not aware of a new regulation that places restrictions for tourists from a long list of countries including Canada as of December 2016 to two land crossings annually into Thailand. When I handed my passport, I was sent to a lady immigration supervisor at Thai immigration a few booths down. She was just starting to explain to me about the new regulation when a male immigration officer two booths down started yelling at me in English and asking why I was coming to Thailand, where was my Thai wife (I’ve never ever been married to a Thai woman), and then went on to tell me to stay in my own country and not to come to Thailand. I felt like telling him, but didn’t, that if it wasn’t for tourists he might not have his job.
I was allowed to enter with the usual 28-day visa exempt entry, but was utterly flabbergasted at this racial rant by the officer. This officer has probably treated other tourists entering Thailand in the same manner and left them with a very negative experience with regards to Thailand. ARNIE LUKAS