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» Welcome to This Is Thailand - The Ajarn Forum

Established in 2000 with continuous archives since 2004, we are one of the oldest forums in Thailand.

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There's been a bomb blast in BKK

Aug 17, 2015 - 7:44 PM - by outbound
outbound's Avatar

Looks like there have been a few casualties. Hope nobody was caught up in this. No news on who did it or why at the moment. Stay safe y'all
  320 Replies | 8,706 Views

How low can you go?

Aug 22, 2015 - 2:04 PM - by gungchang
gungchang's Avatar
We are cash poor. I just took what little remains and put it in my wallet (euro, dollar, baht) for the trip to the airport in a few days.

My wife took my wallet to the temple to be blessed. I'm concerned she'll lose it or get robbed.

For now, I can't even make a phone call. My balance is that low. I can't buy a card and top off.

While I left a thousand baht in each of two accounts so they won't self-destruct over the next couple of years, my ATM cards are in the wallet.

I do have an extra subway pass lying around. It might have something on it, or it might have a negative balance courtesy of my wife's allergy to putting money on subway or skytrain passes.

I have a roof over my head and utilities are paid, and we have our plane tickets and we fly the same day my visa expires, but cash is literally zero until my wallet returns.

So, has this ever happened to anyone, literally having empty pockets? Sleeping in parks?

I once thought about crashing in a 99 cent all night porn theater in San Francisco long ago. I should have. I would have had more sleep, as it turned out, but that's another story. I was wealthy then. I had a whole dollar in my pocket.
  105 Replies | 2,458 Views

What to do when the school won't pay?

Aug 20, 2015 - 9:46 AM - by gungchang
gungchang's Avatar
I'm on a fool's errand.

I've been back from Lampang for over a week. Before leaving, the manager asked if he could deposit my last salary payment. He had an account number for me, and I agreed. The deposit never materialized, and texts were usually ignored. Sometimes I got some gibberish in reply when I indicated that I'd be back in Lampang today.

I might have gone to Lampang today for two reasons. One would be to arrange to move back to Lampang if I had needed to call off the move to China due to my father's-in-law health. He is dying, but it appears to be HIV and we expect him to be around for two or three more years. There are other relatives to care for him. My wife may travel, and China is still on.

The other reason would be to confront the manager and collect my salary. However, he indicated that he'd deposit the money yesterday (Wednesday). Also, he could avoid me even if I went. So, I didn't buy bus tickets and set out on an 18 hour butt ache round trip to the north.

My wife was supposed to use this money to visit her father. I wound up hocking my wedding band when the money didn't come. I really really am not in the best of moods.

That brings us to the fool's errand. I doubt there's anything I can do, but does anybody have any suggestions? I worked with neither contract nor work permit. My only bargaining chip I know of is that he may be desperate for a teacher and is probably interested in getting me back.

I can think of only four options:

1) I've contacted a couple of teachers, and one has gotten the director involved. I'm not sure what if anything he can really do.

2) Turn myself into the tax... [Read More]
  50 Replies | 1,918 Views

Reporter and Photographer Killed During Live Interview

Aug 26, 2015 - 8:30 PM - by beachbound
beachbound's Avatar
Two WDBJ employees were shot to death while reporting on a feature story Wednesday morning, the CNN affiliate in Virginia reported. They were reporter Alison Parker and photographer Adam Ward, the station said.


The video..

  41 Replies | 678 Views

European Rail Journey...How much baht?

Aug 22, 2015 - 6:19 PM - by Smiley
Can anyone give me a ball park on how much a 1 month 4 country rail journey for two would cost in Baht?..

I'm thinking airfare from Bkk to Lisbon, Portugal and the rail from Lisbon into Spain then through the South of France and down through Italy culminating in Palermo, Sicily and flying out of there back to Bkk.

I'm not talking first class and 5 star hotels...but a trip staying in small hotels, eating in markets and bistros and cafes...that sort of thing...

Is this trip even possible?...has anyone done something like it?...

how's the visa situation work in the EU?
  27 Replies | 674 Views

Retirement visa without proof of income?

Aug 19, 2015 - 9:53 AM - by Tilted Grin
Tilted Grin's Avatar
I have heard that it's possible for an American citizen to bypass the 'proof of income' requirement and get the O retirement visa?

Any comments or advice appreciated.
  25 Replies | 980 Views

Visiting Bangkok (my 2nd home) in January

Aug 18, 2015 - 5:54 PM - by cre8tivguy
cre8tivguy's Avatar
Hello folks,

I lived and worked in Bangkok from 2001-2012. I've been glued to the news back here in the States, following the story of the bombings in disbelief and disgust. My thoughts are with all of you (Thai & Farang). Please stay safe.

I'm planning my annual trip to Bangkok for mid-January of 2016 and am wondering... do you think I'll have any trouble arranging travel to Bangkok at this time as a result of all this incredible unrest?

At this point, I have no intention of cancelling my plans, as I love Thailand and miss it daily. It's just that I don't normally begin to plan my trip until September.

I guess I'm just wondering if you think I'll have any trouble booking a flight with all that's currently happening?

  24 Replies | 746 Views

Burmese Days the Myanmar cycle tour - December 2015

Aug 23, 2015 - 3:37 PM - by goo_stewart
goo_stewart's Avatar
Ok folks, some will like this, some won't, but here it is anyway. I am planning a cycle ride of Burma/Myanmar this coming December. I am starting this thread to chart the ups and downs of the tour. Myanmar is breaking new ground for me, I haven't been there before. That is the primary reason for going. I am writing a cycling book at the moment and have included stuff from most parts of SEA including Thailand, Vietnam, Laos, Cambo, Malaysia and Singapore, Myanmar is the one that is missing from the mainland part of SEA. So, I thought that being a bit of an Orwell junky, I would do a cycle tour and go find some of Orwell's haunts.

I have just started the planning, but the rough idea is to get a train out of Bangkok to Nakon Sawan in the first week of December. Then cycle through Mae Sot and into Burma. It will take me 4/5 days to get to Yangon, then take a few days off and head north to Mandalay. After that I think I will get on a cheapy AA flight back to Bkk.

I have so far found one account of the Mae Sot - Yangon route by bike, but the two chaps camped out. I don't want to do that as I am not that hardcore and also I don't want to carry that much equipment. Mae Sot to Yangon is 400+km, but I think there are places to stay on the route. I think there is a new highway open, which should make things easier. Heading north to Mandalay I haven't begun to research yet, there are a few routes to take, but I definitely want to go through Bagan. I will take a look at that in the next few weeks.

I will be using a MTB with a rack and panniers. My old faithful Trek is a bit worse for wear and needs new wheels, I am going to donate it to a Thai family cousin and buy a new bike. Nothing... [Read More]
  23 Replies | 648 Views

​Yamaha Tyros5 76-key Arranger Workstation

Aug 17, 2015 - 4:53 PM - by Hadija K Mjumbe
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  22 Replies | 590 Views

China Southern

Aug 26, 2015 - 9:18 AM - by gungchang
gungchang's Avatar
This should be a very short lived thread.

Today I fly China Southern - twice!

The first flight will be international from Bangkok to the PRC.
A ten-hour layover will then culminate in a domestic flight.

I inadvertently used my wife's maiden name when purchasing our tickets. She might be turned away at the airport. We're carrying both her passports, which show both her names, and our marriage license, and, anticipating a problem with PRC immigration, a letter from the school in Mandarin explaining things.

Add to this the flights on a Chinese airline full of Chinese tourists returning from summer break.

IF my wife stays behind, I'll be flying into the world's largest torture chamber. Mongolian woman are hot, I'll be living alone, and I won't be able to even think about misconduct both because of my job and marital status.

For her part, it might be a chance to take care of one of her relatives that she loves.

We'll leave for the airport in a few hours and I hope to be able to go online briefly late this afternoon.

Any comments and or caveats and or debates about what's in store just trying to get my wife on the plane, and then the flight, and then the layover (I've already got mosquito repellent) would be welcome. The layover will include immigration, collecting baggage, finding the domestic terminal, and then finding a place to wait/sleep for five or six hours waiting for the check-in counter to open.

  22 Replies | 479 Views

Anyone been to Bali?

Aug 23, 2015 - 10:11 AM - by phuketbound
phuketbound's Avatar
I'm planning a trip to Bali either for December or February of next year. I've been reading a lot about the place, but would be interested on getting people's recommendations on beaches or places that they have stayed at? I was thinking about going to Seminyak beach for a bit. And also want to take surf lesssons while in Bali. I believe Kuta may be the best place to take lessons.

Thanks in advance.
  19 Replies | 536 Views

BKK Hotel Recs

Aug 16, 2015 - 10:00 AM - by samsara
samsara's Avatar
- must be near the bts
- preferably asok or siam sq area
- no more than 3000/night
- will be a 4-5 day stay, so a package deal would be cool
- would like a rooftop pool with a view

previously stayed at best western (ok, but no frills) and furama (amazing location but meh)

so far im interested in Golden Tulip Mandison Suites

any recs?
  18 Replies | 741 Views

Questions about teaching in thailand

Aug 20, 2015 - 11:58 AM - by Will Young
Hi I was looking for some advice on the teaching prospects in Thailand.
I have gone though post after post from many sites, but find most posts are significantly outdated or vague. I was hoping to get some advice from teaches currently teaching and teachers with
a knowledge of the hiring situation from schools to corporate companies.

A main question I have and it is the most relevant is about qualifications and hiring. My main career role in the states is that of an Armed Security Guard, not the best life style but pays decent
and I'm good at it. I don't see any work in that line in Thailand legally so I was thinking of teaching English.
This is my education level; AA Degree (associates in arts), a decent helping of college English classes and a vary literate family. Minor tutoring to adults/college students with English as a second language and I am taking a 120hour TEFL course in the US, that I will finish prior to looking for work.

I don't have a BA in any field much less English but i know i work well with children, if my past was as indication and i constantly have to teach/evaluate other security persons so I have learned
how to be patient and friendly at the same time as teaching or training.

What real chances do I have to get a position as a teacher? what advice do you have? I work 50hrs a week and I am 32 so my college English classes are 10 years out of date so re-taking them because a college won't accept the units now while working to get a degree before I try is not an option at this time.
I also being a bit of a book worm have saved most of my grammar/English study books that I even now are going over to ... [Read More]
  18 Replies | 908 Views

La Monita at Helix

Aug 16, 2015 - 2:41 PM - by tomcat
tomcat's Avatar
...a branch of the Mexican restaurant at Ploenchit: 40% more expensive, 40% smaller servings, a more limited menu, uncomfortable seating (they seem to have mastered this part), lots of US-Asians and US-Asian wannabees ("Cupertino was amazing!"), and children, babies, toddlers: all noisemakers and demanding attention from doting parents...generally speaking, and compared to the Ploenchit location, a mess: confused servers, weak margaritas and...did I mention weak margaritas? The guacamole with chips was fine: fewer chips, smaller serving; the 12 chili fries with dip were tasty (but really: B250?); I had a shrimp and crab quesadilla (wonderful, but B450 for a smallish serving?) while SD had a simple chicken taco (good, but the serving size suggested appetizer rather than main: B350). A waste of a fine afternoon: no repeat visit planned (and probably not to Helix either)...it's La Monita at Ploenchit for us...
  16 Replies | 509 Views

PRC v. Syam

Aug 22, 2015 - 1:48 PM - by gungchang
gungchang's Avatar
I think something similar has been done before.

In four days at this time we'll be checking in for our flight to Wuhan.

I was surprised to recently learn that our final destination, Baotou, as far in the boonies as it is, has a Wal Mart of all things. It also has a Burger King and a cross dresser. All of a sudden, aside from the language, China doesn't seem quite so foreign.

It has also come to my attention that "massage" is also quite common. Now I'm starting to feel that I won't have to make much of an adjustment.

I've already been tipped off to bring insect repellent with me for that overnight layover. What else should I be ready for that first week? To make it more fun, my wife will be with me on an S1. We will arrive with an apartment waiting but next to no money. What are some nuts and bolts of a small big city (population a couple of million) ?
  16 Replies | 522 Views

General help with understanding thai visa's needed

Aug 25, 2015 - 12:39 PM - by Will Young
I could use some help on figuring out the in's an out's of Thai visa's.
I understand from your embassy, at least here in the US i can get at least i believe a multiple entry visa for up to 6months if I do multiple visa runs.
But that from what i understand is a non-work permit visa as well.

What about 1 year, 3 year, and the 5 year visa's?
I heard the 5 year visa is $500,000B that is about $15,000US quite expensive but i heard on a video it mentioned it was 100,000B a year and that is something that can be done much
easier than all at once.

Can anyone give me a good site with clear information on the processes needed for getting the different visa's, the requirements and costs.
Or if anyone happens to knowledge of what is needed i would love to hear about it.

  14 Replies | 327 Views

Part-time training/TEFL work and Visa's

Aug 26, 2015 - 7:48 AM - by bbbrisco
I've been busy reading and trying to research the ins and outs of moving to Bangkok, and thought it time I post and try asking for help directly.

I'm a 46 year old Canadian male with a Bachelors of Math (BMath) and a 120 hour TELF cert from Thailand in 2011. I had a very good career as a software developer from 1993 until I retired in 2006. Since then, I've mostly lazed around and golfed, except for a 6-month period teaching Business English in China in 2012 which I enjoyed very much.

I'm considering moving to Thailand and am trying to figure what type of job would tick most of my preferences, such as:
- prefer to work with older teenagers or adults (not so keen on teaching younger children)
- would like to work from 12-16 hours per week (but fine with nights or weekends)
- want to be above board and legit as far as Visas and authorities are concerned

From following the job postings on Ajarn.com for a few months, I see positions pop up asking for people to teach adults for 400-600 baht/hour, and they look like they might be a good fit if I can get a legitimate Visa and work permit for doing that on a part time basis. I seem to recall from the many posts I've been reading in the forums that some of the companies hiring people for such work limit themselves to people who already have a valid Visa and work permit based on a full-time teaching job.

I'd also be willing to spend some effort learning Thai, and I notice that signing up for a course at Walen can get me a 1 year ED Visa, so that might help with the Visa issues for a year or two at least. I'm still looking into what exactly is required to satisfy both the school and the Thai authorities on that... [Read More]
  12 Replies | 262 Views

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