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  1. #1
    Moderator Tobias's Avatar
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    Default Taking Cremated Remains to Thailand

    This afternoon I received a telephone call from Rolyshark's brother seeking a little help.

    On the 26th August there will be a Thai memorial where Steve's ashes will be laid to rest in Thailand (I'll be posting more about that later in the week).

    Steve's brother is having some logistical problems with respect to transporting the remains to Thailand. We are fully au-fait with respect to the legal requirements on the British side of things, does anyone here have any experience of taking 'falang' remains over to Thailand or have any knowledge of the legal requirements for taking such into the Kingdom?

    This is an urgent request, flights are booked (with Emirates via Dubai) for just over a week from now and we want to ensure there no unexpected problems down the line.

    At present the airline require the usual certificate from the crematorium. Strangely they have requested a copy of Steve's passport and death certificate as well as "some paperwork" from the Thai Embassy. Can anyone shed any light on what the Thai authorities will require on arrival at Bangkok or offer any information that may assist?

    All comments will be gratefully received.
    Tobias - โทเบียส
    If you want to know where I am, follow me on my Thailand-UK Blog.

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    Tobias
    A few years ago, a friend of mine died here in UK. His wife had him cremated with due solemnity, and said she would take him(his ashes) back to Thailand. All she did was to put the ashes in a biscuit tim, seal it with Sellotape and put it in her suitcase. In her village he was duly interred in a Stupa in the village with a ceremony presided over by the local monks.

    I know a biscuit tin does not seem to be the right way of transporting ashes but she had no problems at either end. Maybe she was lucky or maybe Lord Buddha was watching over them both.

    Regards,
    Dick & Tim
    Courage is going from failure to failure without losing enthusiasm!

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    Moderator richardb's Avatar
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    Originally posted by Compass Call:
    Tobias
    All she did was to put the ashes in a biscuit tim, seal it with Sellotape and put it in her suitcase. In her village he was duly interred in a Stupa in the village with a ceremony presided over by the local monks.

    I know a biscuit tin does not seem to be the right way of transporting ashes but she had no problems at either end. Maybe she was lucky or maybe Lord Buddha was watching over them both.

    Regards,
    Dick & Tim
    Being practical I was in a vaguely similar position a few years ago and I took steps as above. Practical again UK ashes are often less voluminous than Thai ashes/bones and the container should not be a big one. I did get pulled once at a Thai checkpoint but once the officials knew what I was carrying and why they were good as gold, or perhaps they did not want to take custody of the remains.
    Good luck

    Richard
    It takes courage to grow up and turn out to be who you really are

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    R.I.P. ddwjg's Avatar
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    Tobias. This thread is entitled 'Taking cremated remains to Thailand'. Can I just ask, are they being 'taken', or 'sent' to Thailand. I hope they are being taken, as I think the Thais would see it as a sign of disrespect, if they are being sent. Also, with superstitions very prominent in Thai culture, you might find postal service workers, too scared, to carry the remains. Like the police in Richard's post above.

    Dave.

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    Forum Antiquity ของโบราณ Linne's Avatar
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    If i get time I,ll have a word with the temple in Wimbledon as I,m passing nearby today (being Thursday). I need to discuss something else on a similar subject. I know this may not help but there are a number of funeral directors who do repatriation work in the capital.

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    Not sure if this will help or not,
    A friend of mine, transported his wifes ashes to Brazil last year. I know not the same destination.
    However he wanted to take them on board as hand luggage as the thought of a lost suitcase does not bear thinking about.
    There was no paper work involved however he did tell the senior cabin crew member as he got on board the aircraft and they found him a safe stowage in the cabin.
    I guess it may depend on the airline, for info it was BA.
    I`m sure the Thai embassey here would be helpful as to any requirements at the other end... maybe a good place to start

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    Moderator Tobias's Avatar
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    Default

    Many thanks for the responses, all very helpful.

    The issues have been raised by the Emirates, the airline who will be transporting the passenger and the remains ('hand luggage'). All the legal requirements have been met as far as the UK are concerned. It is the airline who are asking for the (strange!) documentation. The Thai Embassy in London have been contacted but, TIT, not been of much help, although contact is ongoing.

    Thanks for all the input, it is greatly appreciated and any additional comments will also be equally appreciated.

    Cheers folks
    Tobias - โทเบียส
    If you want to know where I am, follow me on my Thailand-UK Blog.

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    a few years ago before i transferred into my present at BAA i worked in T4 security previous home of BA and it was a common thing for indian families to take home the deceased ashes, in those days they were not even x-rayed just the sealed casket and the cremitorium paperwork was suffice to clear security,if emerites are throughing up obstacles can they change airline

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    R.I.P. ddwjg's Avatar
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    Tobias, I think the request for passport and death certificate has got to be a communications breakdown. Those requesting this must think that a 'body' is being transported. Has the word 'remains' been misinterpreted.

    Dave.

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    Forum Antiquity ของโบราณ Linne's Avatar
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    Just to show that those who answer the phone are often capable of only doing just that. I have a health issue which requires me to take hyperdermic needles onto the aircraft. I asked an airline once on the phone and it nearly melted i had to insist on speaking to someone senior. No problem of course. I don,t even declare them any more and the x ray machines don,t pick it up or at least its never been queried. Phone again and assert himself a bit more. I thing he needs confidence/mentoring in stressful times. Maybe he needs an advocate ?
    Send his brother our best wishes and perhaps this really will the the final journey but hopefully not the hardest.

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    Moderator Tobias's Avatar
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    Thank you all for you comments, all are very much appreciated. I would particularly like to make special mention of Dave (ddwjg) who has been doing some splendid work behind the scenes over in Thailand.

    Steve's brother went to the Thai Embassy in London yesterday and, after he'd waited for a good few hours, they confirmed (what we all knew) that there are no legal requirements with respect to taking cremated remains in to the Kingdom. The Embassy were asked, given Emirates requirements, if they would be kind enough to put this in writing to hand over to the airline - they refused ... no surprise there! So we are back at square one ...

    If the airline continue with this silly red tape, I'll be paying a little visit to its Station Manager at BHX.

    So again, many, many thanks for all your contributions
    Tobias - โทเบียส
    If you want to know where I am, follow me on my Thailand-UK Blog.

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    Moderator Tobias's Avatar
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    Just to bring this topic to a close, I am pleased to report that Steve's remains arrived safely in Thailand at the weekend with no problems encountered along the way.

    Eventually Emirates explained that they needed the passenger to have a copy of the Cremation Certificate, copy of passport and death certificate in accordance with UAE law for the changeover in Dubai.

    Many thanks for all your contributions, Steve's family are very grateful.

    Steve 'Rolyshark' Rowlands: Ceremony of Remembrance - Pattaya 27 August, All Welcome
    Tobias - โทเบียส
    If you want to know where I am, follow me on my Thailand-UK Blog.

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