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what is Bangkok really like?

Discussion in 'Teaching abroad' started by Cez24, Mar 8, 2010.

  1. For those of you out there at the moment: I'm currently mulling over the possibility of uprooting my family for a stint abroad. I was brought up in SE Asia and spent all of my teen-years in Bangkok - I realise probably quite rose-tinted years now. Anyway - I'd love to try living there again, but need to find out the realities of 'grown-up' life there. I have 2 small children (how much are school fees etc?) and a partner. Not sure whether he'd be able to work over there as he's a plant fitter and I don't recall seeing any farangs on the roads/sites etc! Basically, would it be feasible to support a family on one teacher's wage? Sounds like I'm stretching it a bit, but you never know!

  2. Thormaturge

    Thormaturge New commenter

    Some poeple live here on ThB 30,000 per month while others struggle on three times that amount. As a general rule I would suggest ThB 75,000 for a single person with an additional ThB 25,000 for each additional adult is the minimum you need to be comfortable, Others are welcome to dsagree....
    Bangkok is entirely safe unless you find trouble "exciting".

  3. Can anyone tell me anything about the Laprao area?
  4. Dax


    "no just bored of posters like you asking the same inane questions repeatedly and on topics more appropriate to the lonely planet genre of websites."
    It's that idiot Clinical Joe again, this time in Bangkok! Don't worry, Cez24 - he's barking mad and couldn't have a sensible conversation with a frog. In my opinion, there's some excellent information here about Bangkok/Thailand. Don't let insolently rude, bored and inadequate clowns like this put you off. Questions on this thread are being asked about what it's like to be a teacher in Thailand. That's not a "Lonely Planets genre" - whatever he (for it must be a he) thinks that may be. Ignore the bad-mannered fool - some perceptive comments have been made.

  5. lottee1000

    lottee1000 Occasional commenter

    Lad Prao is quite a way out from the city centre, but has good skytrain and mrt (subway) links. Positives are cheaper accommodation, a more 'Thai' feeling than downtown, good shopping areas and some really nice condos. Negatives are that is a bit of a pain getting into town quickly, it's a long way from some of the international schools (depends on where you're going though) and there's not much in terms of entertainment, apart from cinema, and shopping malls.
    Hope that helps.
  6. <font size="3">The information below has been issued today to expatriates living in Thailand. And you say it&rsquo;s safe! Doesn&rsquo;t sound like it to me.</font> Thailand

    Reviewed: 23 April 2010

    There is 'high risk' to your security in Bangkok due to the uncertain political situation, civil unrest and threat from terrorism and we advise against all tourist and other non-essential travel to the city. Suvarnabhumi International Airport on the outskirts of Bangkok is operating normally.

    Political protests involving very large crowds have been taking place in Bangkok in recent weeks and are ongoing. There is a major anti-government 'red shirt' rally encamped in the central Rajprasong area of Bangkok, home to many hotels and department stores. Clashes between protestors and security forces escalated on 10 April resulting in a number of deaths and hundreds of injuries. Protestors may move around locations within the city, affecting access to shops, hotels and tourist sites and causing significant disruptions to traffic. The situation is volatile and tense and further violent clashes between protestors and security forces are likely, as are clashes between rival groups of protestors.

    Although tourists have not previously been targeted by protestors, there is potential for them to be caught up in violence directed at others. Foreigners currently in Bangkok are strongly advised to avoid all protests and rallies, especially in the Rajprasong area, and any areas of military or security force activity. Be aware that large numbers of armed troops have been deployed in areas around the rally site, including the Silom area, and are authorised to use force in certain circumstances.

    The Thai Government has invoked provisions under an Emergency Decree, to apply in Bangkok and surrounding provinces from 7 April 2010. This gives the security forces additional powers of arrest and detention. The new measures may also involve travel restrictions, traffic checkpoints and vehicle and/or people searches.

    Foreigners living in Thailand are advised to comply with any restrictions and instructions issued by the local authorities, monitor events closely and remain vigilant as the security situation could change quickly. If you are in an area affected by demonstrations or violence you should leave the area if it is safe to do so, or if this is not possible, find a safe location, remain indoors and heed any local advice.

    There have been numerous grenade attacks and small explosions in Bangkok and Chiang Mai over recent weeks. Further attacks cannot be ruled out, particularly against buildings associated with the Thai Government.

    There is 'high risk' to your security in the southernmost provinces of Narathiwat, Yala, Pattani and Songkhla because of ongoing criminal and politically-motivated violence. We advise against all tourist and other non-essential travel to these provinces. Since 2004 there have been over 3,400 deaths as a result of terrorist and other violent attacks. The Thai Government has declared a state of emergency in the provinces of Pattani, Yala and Narathiwat.

    There is 'high risk' to your security in the Thailand/Cambodia border region in the vicinity of the Preah Vihear temple (Khao Pra Viharn in Thai) and we advise against all tourist and other non-essential travel to this area. The temple is located on the border between Sisaket Province in Thailand and Preah Vihear province in Cambodia. This part of the international border is disputed by both Thailand and Cambodia and military forces from both countries are deployed to the region. It is only recently that fighting broke out close to the temple. Tensions remain high and further military clashes cannot be ruled out.

    There is 'some risk' to your security elsewhere in Thailand due to the uncertain political situation, potential for civil unrest and threat from terrorism and we advise caution.

    Major demonstrations occurred in Bangkok and Pattaya in April 2009 with some resulting in violent clashes between protestors and security forces and between rival groups of protestors. Between 25 November and 4 December 2008, Suvarnabhumi International Airport and Don Muang domestic airport in Bangkok were occupied by protestors and closed. Phuket Airport and other transportation networks in southern resort areas were also affected by protest activity in late 2008. As the political situation in Thailand remains unpredictable, future travel disruptions cannot be ruled out.

    Due to the threat from terrorism, foreigners and expatriates are advised to exercise a very high degree of personal security awareness in Thailand. Particular care should be taken in public and commercial areas, including landmark places known to be frequented by foreigners, public transport facilities, hotels, bars, tourist resorts and shopping areas.

    Sporadic conflict near the Burma (Myanmar)/Thai border occurs between the Burma military and armed opposition groups as well as between Thai security forces and armed criminal groups (such as drug traffickers). If you intend visiting border areas beyond the main towns it is recommended that you check with the local authorities before setting out. It is not safe to cross the border between Thailand and Burma.

    Foreign expatriates living in Thailand should have comprehensive medical and travel insurance policies in place.

  7. lottee1000

    lottee1000 Occasional commenter

    Yes, I do still say it's safe. If you read through previous posts you'll see that no-one is saying 'yeah, no issues anywhere, perfectly safe'- everyone is pointing out that there are some areas to avoid and areas which are 'perfectly' safe. Obviously the situation may change, but there is plenty of information around, local media reports which areas to avoid, and on the whole public transport is working well. I will remain in Bangkok, carrying out my normal daily routine, for about 95% of the time. For the other 5% I will just be careful about where I shop and socialise.

    Also, many of the issues mentioned above have been ongoing for years, and no one claimed it was dangerous then, did they? Have just looked at the info on the US foreign office website and they have extensive warnings about Northern Ireland, very similar to those about Pattani and Yala. in Thailand. E.g. "Additionally, the potential remains for sporadic incidents of street violence and/or sectarian confrontation". Yet no-one would consider leaving England because of the 'danger', would they.
  8. Cez24

    Cez24 New commenter

    oh dear, lots of different opinions. I just hope it settles for August time.
  9. bigfatgit

    bigfatgit Occasional commenter

    Looks a bit dicey
    Britons already in Thailand are advised to stay indoors and monitor the
  10. Mr robinson

    Mr robinson New commenter

    I am staying indoors for the next few hours, but that is because it is way past my bedtime. Got to go to Bangers on Tuesday - to visa center- right in the middle of the "Red-zone" so hopefully it will be quieter- but things are getting scary.
  11. Cez24

    Cez24 New commenter

    Well I dont know, I will not be a tourist so if I am just careful and just travel to local shops and the school maybe I will be ok. Pray that it will calm down. Do you think the school will ever advise you to not come from Britain or are they just of the mindset that they have selected you and thats it- you're just coming no matter what?
  12. percy topliss

    percy topliss Established commenter

    I am with Lottee on this one. Yesterday they had a bit of a blip where some people left the main demonstration area and the authorities decided to try to split them up. Textbook, divide and conquer. However, that was on one small part of a large road which actually runs from Bkk to Chiang Rai. For those of you who are old enough to remember the poll tax riots were just as bad as these, its just that the people here have guns.
    Cez (?) trust me. IF it all kicks off you won't be allowed to come here. There will be marshall law and people won't be tripping the light fantastic down the Khaosan road, Patpong or Soi Cowboy.
    I would imagine that at the moment the schools won't tell you not to come as they have employed an adult who can make up their own mind. It's up to you whether you travel or not.
    The situation is, as the BBC might say, in a state of flux. I am planning on going to an island for the long weekend coming up, if, however, there is a bloodbath overnight I shan't go. Understand?
  13. strangefish32

    strangefish32 New commenter

    The BBC, like the rest of the hysterical media, are fanning the flames of this protest a lot. Yes, it is unstable and dangerous here... if you're right in the middle of Silom or Rajaprasong.
    We've been living here for the past two years and I have to say that I feel much much safer here, even with all this going on, than I ever felt walking down Streatham High Road at 8pm on a Friday night. It's all about perspective.
    This protest could roll on for months... it might be dealt with severely tomorrow. You just can't tell.
    You just learn to adapt your life around it. We live in the suburbs, not too far out, and the only impact its had on us is that we can't go shopping in the upmarket malls. There are no redshirts here just a few kilometres from the "flashpoint", no yellow shirts, no violence, no threat of violence. Just Thai people (many of whom apologise for their fellow countryfolks' behaviour, other who support it) and farangs getting on with life.
    It may blow up into something bigger. It may not. We don't know, but what we do know is that our lives are a hell of a lot better since we left the grim monotony and means streets of the UK.
    The Bangkok we wake up to everyday is one far removed from that you see on the TV news.
  14. Hey there,

    I'm starting a contract at Shrewsbury in Bangkok in August...do you know it? I'm looking to get in touch with people out there before I go so wondered if I could ask you a few questions?? I'm so excited but nervous now.

    Look forward to hearing from you.

    Rachael missrawalker@hotmail.co.uk

    Also - anyone else going out this August, would love to hear from you
  15. Hi there! I am off to Bangkok in August as well. email me: zo19uk@hotmail.com
    I applied before all this protest nonsense really kicked off, I do still wanna go tho. People keep saying I must be really brave! Oh well- hope I don't live to regret it.

  16. I'm off to Bangkok in Aug too! I'm keeping really optimistic and still very much looking forward to it! Have PM you both.
  17. Any updates? Have things settled down?
  18. Mr robinson

    Mr robinson New commenter

    Yes curfew has been lifted and all pretty quiet. Feel much safer here than in London.
  19. I'm going to Bangkok and I can't wait! Its not that life-changing- if you hate it after two years you can leave and go home. I've been overseas for three years already and it has gone so fast. I wouldn't go back to working in England if you paid me (which I suppose they do - but not very much!).

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