Thailand has grabbed headlines for much of 2021 in South East Asia, but what’s it been like to live and work in a country that appeared COVID-safe, and then was hit very hard by the Delta variant? In the final part of our ‘2021: The Year So Far in ASEAN’ series, Gary and Hannah chat with Vincent Vichit-Vadakan, a freelance writer and editor based in Bangkok. Vincent is also the host of tourism-related seminars for Destination Mekong and the Foreign Correspondents Club of Thailand. We talk about the early year projections for a partial travel recovery, and the COVID concerns that emerged around the time of the Songkran festival. We discuss in depth the protracted development and implementation of the Phuket Sandbox, and the lacklustre results so far. And, what has been the knock-on impact for domestic travel? Plus we look ahead to the still-unconfirmed next phase of Thailand’s reopening, which includes the capital, Bangkok – one of the world’s most visited cities.
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