Click here for information on a pickup from Khao San Road to Suvarnabhumi Airport
The Queen's Gallery features a stunning collection of contemporary Thailand-themed paintings and sculptures on Rajadamnoen Road, just a ten minute walk from Khao San Road.
I recently spent several hours there on a Friday afternoon and was delighted with the collection. I was also very pleasantly surprised to find no more than a dozen other visitors spread across the gallery's four beautiful stories of exhibition space.
I shall return.
101 ???????????????? ???????????? ????????? ???????? 10200
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101 Ratchadamnoen Klang Road, Borwonniwet, Phra Nakhon, Bangkok 10200, Thailand
[looking across Rajadamnoen Road, view from The Queen's Gallery]
"In Thailand, the next cities for Street View will be Chiang Rai, Lamphun, Lampang, Nakhon Phanom, Hat Yai and Nakhon Si Thammarat, and also Thailand's World Heritage cities," Khun Pornthip was reported as saying. Suraphon Svetasreni, Governor of the Tourism Authority of Thailand (TAT) added "The first priority is Thailand's World Heritage. We plan to allow Google Thailand's Street View team to collect images of the World Heritage sites started in Ayutthaya and Sukhothai, as well as Sri Satchanalai".
As far as Khao San Road is concerned, it’s pretty decent coverage which includes surrounding areas like Rambuttri Road and Tani Road. Unfortunately, there aren’t any nighttime pictures (or if there are we missed them) and for many, they might only recognize Khao San Road at night! That’s not really the point of the service though.
The problem they are going to face on Khao San Road is the very “fluid” situation on the strip. New businesses open and close regularly, and it’s already clear that the current pictures were taken a couple of months ago.
Apparently you can request an update from Google if you find that pictures are over three years old, but if they post pictures that old you might find Khao San isn’t recognizable from Google Street View! That said, it’s all interesting stuff and great KSR is covered so well. Images can be accessed through the Thai version http://maps.google.co.th/maps and through the English version http://maps.google.com/maps. Check it out!
My name is Philipp Mattheis, I am German journalist writing for e.g. NEON, an general interest magazine for young people (www.neon.de). I would like to do a story about foreign prisoners in Thai prisons. I know it is possible to visit them, and I have also heard, that some of them have posters on the walls of Bangkok hostels inviting travelers to visit them. Could you help me with some information? What preparations do I exactly need to visit them? Do I have to contact them in advance or do I just go there during the visit times? Is it true that they have restricted the visits only to family members? German prisoners would be the first choice, since it is a German publication, but it is not that necessary. I already had some contact with the German consulate: They said, they won’t provide any names for data security reasons... So, if you could get me a list - this would be very, very helpful! The thing is also: I probably cannot be longer in Thailand for more than ten days. Do you think within this time it is possible to meet let's say five prisoners? Is it still true, that there some bulletins in Bangkok’s hostels, where prisoners invite travelers to visit them?
Do you have the current information on this? If so, let us know and we'll forward it to Philipp...
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If it's too good to be true, it usually is. But despite people realising this, numerous people get caught by a scam every year. People who are usually sensible about things get sucked into schemes that on the face of it seem reliable, but which almost always turn out damaging. It is easy enough to blame people for their own manipulation - greed is often an influencing factor; possibly some people are just innocent. But there's more to it than that... Many of the people involved in scams are credible and convincing enough to make even the most careful person get involved in things without realising what they are doing.
What follows is a list of scams travelers have come across... Be warned!
Steve writes: "Long distance taxi from Surat Thani to Malaysia. If you're taking a long distance taxi (truck/car) from Surat Thani to the Malaysian border some operators are telling people that they must have cash to get across the border. E.g. they'll tell you that you must have at least MYR600 (THB7,000) for the Malaysian authorities to allow you into Malaysia. The scammers hope you a) believe them and b) have no Ringgit. 9 times out of 10 you\'re setting off very early (e.g.4am) so there's no way you can delay your taxi until the banks open to change your bhatt for ringgit. But fortunately it's OK because, guess what, the taxi people can change your money for you. Needless to say a) they\'ll rip you off, giving you half the ringgit you should get for your bhatt and b) it\'s a complete scam and has no truth to it. Don't fall for changing your money with them, or anyone else other than a bank - bona-fide bureau de change. You know, places with the exchange rates all lit up on a big board! Hope this helps." Thanks for this Steve.
Aces low ...
Jacko writes: "I was approached by a pretty girl who saw I was from New Zealand, she said her sister was going to Auckland Uni and would I speak to her mother, to put her mind at ease. At this point her brother turned up and they hailed a taxi to the outskirts of town. They lived in a nice house and I was offered some rice, [no problems so far] must wait for mother not long, father comes in, he is a dealer in the casino and has a very rich friend who will be coming by shortly to play a few hands of 21, the other guy arrives and plays the hands against the brother of course he doesn't mind if I watch (before he arrived the dealer showed us both a code he would use to tell us what the rich guy had in his hand - how would he know??? The rich guy was so arrogant that he shows his cards to the dealer) yeah right! The rich guy makes a bet on 16 ,but the brother did'nt have enough to cover the bet although I know he will win, the rich guy is asked if I can support the brother with funds. Of course, I stand up thank them for the experience shake their hands and leave knowing that I have been very lucky that they were such amateurs - this started outside the Pantip Plaza.
Please note: Gambling is illegal in Thailand - don't get involved or you will suffer the consequences.
Peanuts, fruit and warm towels
Bryan Rilinger writes: "I was scammed to a much lessor degree than some of the stories I have seen here. I truly feel bad for the people that have fallen folly to the gem scam. I have been touted to a tailor, but I knew I wasn't going to buy anything, the Tuk-tuk driver did feed me the usual story about the "gas coupon" etc, and did drop me off several blocks from where I asked to be. Just something little to look out for: At Karoake bars (the real karaoke ones) will often bring peanuts and fruit, warm towels, etc. to your table. As a westerner, you may assume that these are complementary items designed to keep you in the establishment. THEY ARE NOT! They are usually outrageously priced and even if you do not consume them, you are charged for them. So if you are ever brought a plate of fruit, tell them you do NOT WANT it, and send it back. Else, you will end up paying 500 BHT for it."
A bad experience on my first day
Andy writes: "I was in bangkok for 5 days, from the 23rd Dec to 27th Dec.. had a bad experience on my first day there. Check into Novotel on Siam Sq. at about 12noon. had an hour's rest before going out to visit the grand palace. I flagged a taxi cab on the main road of the hotel. Asked him to bring me to grand palace and made sure he used the meter. He said ok. Now, thats where my adventure begin. He began telling me and my girlfriend about thailand, and his wife working in my country, singapore. All along he never thought that i know he was taking a long way round Silom to get to the grand palace (i had a map) i was telling myself, maybe he just wanted to earn more, so i was fine with it. But then, half way during the journey, he told me that the grand palace would be closed soon.
The time was 2:30pm and i know that grand palace closes at 3:30pm. So without my approval, he turn off the meter (was about 70 baht on the meter)and told me he would send me back to my hotel for 50 baht only. He then drove me to a Gem shop or factory along Rama VI road... i sensed a rat... and when we reached there, luckily for me, he went to the toilet, and i gave him the slip.
The next few days (all 5 days of my stay), i saw this guy, the same taxi driver hanging around my hotel (Novotel on siam sq.) waiting for other tourists to prey on...he did came up to me and told me that i didn't pay him on that day, but i didn't bother about him. Last thing. never allow any driver or tuk tuk rider to being u anywhere besides the place u wan to go. on my second day, i took a tuk tuk from chinatown to silom. I wanted to visit a seafood restuartant along Pan Road. This tuk tuk driver reccmended me a seafood market oppsite Lumpini park, behind the suan lom night bazzar.
This place is not marked on my map. so i presummed it was new. So i said ok, and he brought us there. My girlfriend and i ordered 1 bbq lobster, 1 big crab fried with chilli, 1 fresh steam garupa fish and a plate of vegetables. its not very much, but when the bill came. my god... 3920 baht WITHOUT 10% VAT... i ended paying up about 4200 baht for my meal... for 2 persons...well...
Once bitten twice shy...
I got scammed!
Bret writes: " I got scammed in 1999, in Bangkok. I had just arrived in Thailand, and was still suffering from jetlag. The scam artists can tell when you are 'green' or just off the plane. He took me in his tuk-tuk to a local tailor shop. I ended up buying a tuxedo, which I have yet to wear, 4 years later. It was over-priced, but at least, well made. Once I realized my scam, I confronted the main tailor, who was a European national. He said the tourist police would do nothing to help me, since I agreed to buy the suit. Now, after my 4th trip to Thailand, I will never be scammed again."
More on the jewelry scam...
See writes: "I got the same experience regarding the jewelry scam as well. Both Tuk Tuk drivers came up with the same story about once a year for 7 days sale tax free, how this event came about because the government is giving Thai students a chance to earn some money this way instead of from heroin... blah blah blah. Anyway I was shown to a few places on the first day but thanks to the travel guides and your website, I was onto them immediately. Both promised me 10b/hr and took me to gem stores and tailors shops. The first one, after prodding said he needed the coupon for petrol and I had to spend 10 mins above in these shops. He didn't bring me to the Marble temple but to some other place with a small reclining Buddha where I met the accomplice "coincidentally". I saw the Buddha from the doorway and decided that I didn't want to go in. The accomplice, who was going in in the first place, did a turnaround and followed me, asking me questions and finally telling me about the so-called famous jewelry sale. The second one, after I told him about the first Tuk Tuk driver (outside Wat Pho), changed tactics by pretending he is government-licensed and the first wasn't. I went along and halfway, he wanted to show me some Wat with the happy Buddha and some import-export place. I was really disappointed that I got another Tuk Tuk driver like that. I decided to get it all over with and said that he must bring me to Chinatown after the so-called import-export shop he's going to bring me to. Incidentally, it's the same shop that the previous Tuk Tuk driver brought me to yesterday. I didn't go in and guess what, he dropped me off at least 2 streets away from Chinatown. Being new, I didn't know where Chinatown is. The only help I had was the map I got from the airport. Anyway, these drivers dumped you the minute you outlived your usefulness to them. Given a chance, I would recommend taxis instead if you can afford them. They are a/c and you can insist on the meter."
Had a problem? Been scammed? Let us know...
KhaoSanRoad.com is looking for people to write for us in their spare time. Right now we can't pay you much - only expenses really, but if you join us and regularly contribute quality articles to our site, we'll make sure you are part of our success! We are particularly interested in hearing from people who live in Thailand and elsewhere in Southeast Asia. In addition, we recognise that many visitors to Khao San Road don't speak or read English. We're therefore looking for Isreali, French, German, Japanese, Thai and Korean writers who can produce travel/Thailand/Khao San Road-related items for our site. We're particulary interested in hearing from people who would be interested in maintaining foreign language pages for KhaoSanRoad (a Hebrew language page, a Japanese language page, etc.).
If you are interested, contact us using the form below.
Got a job - any job, not just a teaching job - you want filling - use the form at the bottom of the page... If you have a job on offer contact us using the form below...No jobs listed currently...
For many people around the world the term 'teacher' and 'traveller' are, to some extent, synonymous. For years English language students around the world have seen entrepreneurs feed their desires for a 'native English teacher' to teach them 'real' English by offering backpacking westerners a haircut, a shave, an advance to buy a shirt and a pair of trousers, and a few bucks an hour. Fortunately, although the poster on the left (seen on Khao San Road last year) may suggest otherwise, things have generally got a bit more sophisticated over the last few years.
Although you can still get teaching jobs in Asia without a degree, any form of teaching qualification, or any experience, they are getting fewer - and they really are not worth having. When I first started teaching in Thailand I was pretty much in this boat. I did my best, and I got a good reaction from my students. I quickly became committed to teaching and decided to give it a go as a career. And over the months (and then years) I got better at my new trade. Fairly quickly, the Thai students at the schools where I was working asked for me to teach their classes. They were happy to see me; we enjoyed ourselves - in Thai terms everything was 'Sanuk' (fun). There was only one thing wrong: Although there was a lot of teaching going only, and sometimes I broke into a sweat because of the effort I put into doing it, there wasn't much learning happening. In these circumstances you leave a lesson recognising one thing - the bottom line is that you are a charlatan. I was a well-meaning amateur and my students were paying for a professional. Without training you can't claim to be professional and so I decided to get myself some training as soon as possible.
Back then teacher training was hard to find, but with persistence, I got myself onto a month-long Teaching English as a Foreign Language (TEFL) training course. The result was almost divine revelation - the techniques I learned put knowledge into my students' heads and kept it there. Suddenly, there was potential for my students to get real value for the money they were spending on my services. I enjoyed teaching from that point forward…
Well, that was ten years ago. I progressed through the ranks and ended up working for some of the best institutions in Thailand. Along the way I have seen new teachers come, and new teachers come (I have to admit… I haven't seen that many go) and all of those who prospered had some form of teacher training.
"But", I hear you say, "I am only travelling for one year during my year off - what a waste of time p**sing around with a teacher training course". Normally I would say you were right, but if you head over to Thailand first, you can start your travels by doing your teacher training right here in Thailand.
Teacher Training in Thailand
Over the last number of years Thailand has become a leading centre for teacher training, not only in Bangkok, but also virtually everywhere else around the country. You can do it all - in the city, on the beach - you can even take teacher-training courses in a temple! All lead to some form of certification and the skills that will give you the self-confidence to know you aren't ripping your students off.
It's important to do a bit of homework if you are going to do teacher training in Thailand. If it's your intention to use Thailand as a springboard for teaching around the world, only certain training courses will do. But if you are intending only to teach Thailand, a variety of qualifications are available to you.
Here's a basic introduction:
Teacher Training Centre ECC (Thailand)
ECC (Thailand) offers the Certificate of English Language Teaching to Adults (CELTA) at three locations around Thailand – Bangkok, Chiang Mai and Phuket. The CELTA is the single most widely recognized TEFL qualifications in the world and a must for those serious about taking up English teaching as a career and would like to teach in many counties around the world (rather than just Thailand). The course is available to anyone with native-English level English language ability aged 20+. Click here for more on Teacher Training Centre ECC (Thailand).
Steve wrote in recently with information on the AUA's SIT TESOL course: "The School for International Training, Vermont, has been a leader in the field of teacher training for more than 30 years as is recognized worldwide. Their SIT TESOL Certificate Course is now being offered in Bangkok in conjunction with the AUA Language Center. This 130-hour, four week course provides participants with professional knowledge and skills in teaching English to speakers of other languages as well as tools for their own reflection and growth as teachers.
Chiang Mai University TEFL
This is the only TEFL course in Thailand (in fact one of the few worldwide) that is accredited by an actual university. Its on a par with other certificate-level courses in terms of depth and instruction, with a full 120 hours of instruction (over 4 full time weeks) and significant classroom hours with hands on experience. A shorter, cheaper online course is also offered. Both methodology and phonics are taught, along with classroom management, lesson planning, interactive activities and materials, textbook review and grammar refreshers. Their certificate is internationally recognised and Chiang Mai is probably the cheapest and, students tell us, the most relaxed place in Thailand to be studying TEFL - the campus is beautiful.
SEE Siam Educational Experience
Become an accredited TEFL teacher and teach English anywhere in the world. SEE's 4-week 120-hour TEFL certification is internationally recognized. In addition, participants receive accredited cultural awareness training, Thai language instruction and a job-interview guarantee. Click here for more information.
This is just a taste of what's available in Thailand... there really are many more courses. Click here for more information on English language (EFL) teacher training courses in Thailand ... Ask around, see what people think...This is just a taste of what's available in Thailand... there really are many more courses. Click here for more information on English language (EFL) teacher training courses in Thailand ... Ask around, see what people think...
If you hear of any other courses, send us the details... We'll post the information... Use the form below!
Teach in Thailand
You'll find that most people who have been in Thailand for a while probably got a foot in the door teaching English. There are numerous opportunities for teaching in Thailand, and the good thing about it is it's not necessary to have masses of qualifications to land something worthwhile. Most languages centers (and especially universities and other government organizations) require potential employees to have a degree, but if you are keen and willing to learn, you'll probably be able to get something without one. If you have TEFL (Teaching English as a Foreign Language) qualifications, the range of job opportunities available to you broadens, and the income you can command gets better (even more so the longer you stay here).
See our page on Teacher Training courses in Thailand... Click here...
If you are interested in teaching in Thailand there is only one really definitive source of information on the topic - Ajarn.com. 'Ajarn' means teacher in Thai, and this site has basically everything you need to know to be able to fully consider teaching English as an option. Developed by Ian - an Englishman from Yorkshire - the site lists a number of local jobs, tips of the trade, and what to go for and what to avoid. Ajarn.com has grown from humble beginnings to a thriving online community of likeminded people. Check it out - it's good.
As you will see from the Ajarn.com web site - ECC (Thailand) is the largest English language organization in Thailand. With 56 branches around the country, ECC pretty much always has positions available in Bangkok, as well as positions in places a little more of the beaten track (fancy a year in Yala?). Given their size and the difficulties faced by any large organization, ECC are reasonable employers and pay well by local standards. A company related to ECC is First Training. First Training often has positions available for primary school teachers and also has a variety of opportunities for people interested in teaching at Thai companies. We should stress though that both ECC and First Training require native English speakers who have TEFL qualifications and at least some experience, so if you are new on the scene they may not be able to offer you much. Check them out all the same.
If you have time on your hands and you have very specific requirements of the positions you apply for, you are going to have to do some research. Obviously, one of the best sources of jobs is the local newspaper. The Bangkok Post and The Nation are both English language dailies, and at 20 Baht a throw they often have more teaching jobs listed than you can 'shake a stick at'. Teaching jobs are also listed at the papers' websites.
Aside from the local rags there are numerous Internet sites that deal with TEFL positions in Thailand. The classic source is Dave's ESL Cafe. One of the veteran sites, Dave's ESL Cafe lists jobs all over the world and it's basically the first place a serious teacher would look for a job in Thailand. If you are looking for information on jobs coupled with other information about living and working in Thailand, Escape Artist.com might fit the bill. Escape Artist.com is bit more 'ex-pat' in its approach, but let's face it - ex-pat is where the money is! Both have good tips on teaching positions. One final site to visit is TEFL.net. Again, one of the classic sites, TEFL.net is another site that serious teachers would visit first during a job hunt.
Jobs in General
If you have other strings to your bow, our advice is this: USE THEM! Although teaching in Thailand is a fine profession and one of the most enjoyable jobs you can have, the income can be 'modest' to say the least. Most teachers don't get rich. Some have been known to suffer from malnutrition and there are teachers' soup kitchens abound around Bangkok! Actually, that's probably a bit of an overstatement - but you do have to hunt far and wide for a well-paid teaching job! With expertise in other areas, the possibilities become endless. Despite of the recession (in fact, probably because of it) there are numerous opportunities for qualified, talented and experienced people in a number of areas.
As with elsewhere in the world, a swathe of jobs sites exist for jobseekers in Thailand. A lot of these sites are interactive in the sense that you put your profile into their system and it sends you jobs that fit your criteria as soon as they arise. Some sites also allow you to put your resume on display for prospective employers. One site leads the way in Thailand - JobsDB. Both sites offer interactive capabilities that deliver jobs right to you in-box. Jobbees is another good site. Although it doesn't offer the high-tech know-how offered by other sites, Jobbees has a grassroots approach and a 'cute' feel about it. It's packed with jobs for both foreigners and locals. Well worth a visit.
Of course as with teaching jobs, the best source of up-to-date information on vacant positions must be the English language papers - in Thailand, the Bangkok Post and the Nation (see above).
Another thing to try is putting a wanted advertisement in the papers. A small advert costs around 3,000 Baht in the Nation and around 1,500 in the Bangkok Post (see above).
From the Community
Of course, in the Khao San Road community the main source of information about jobs should be word of mouth. If you hear of any good jobs available, or any good organizations, companies or groups that help people find jobs, let us know. We'll pass on the information.