Learn Thai at ALA Language School in Bangkok

To most Western people (me included) learning Thai language seems to be a scary undertaking. Not only is Thai a tonal language which means that there are five tones, but Thai also has 44 consonants and 30 vowels which makes learning it a challenge for foreigners. However, on the level of grammar Thai seems to be simpler than most European languages like English or German since Thai has fewer grammar restrictions and exceptions. Thus, forming sentences in Thai appear to be easier and much more straightforward.

Learning Thai at Asoke Language Association

Learning Thai at Asoke Language Association

Well, let me include some of my own learning experiences with Thai language. First of all, I must admit that I’m not proficient in Thai and that I have only basic knowledge. I’m a native speaker of German and I’m also a language instructor for German and English. However, until this day I haven’t mastered Thai language. This is due to different reasons, first I was not thaught Thai as a child (meaning I didn’t grow up with Thai). When I was very small though, like four to six years old, my dad thaught me a bit of Thai. However, later we didn’t speak Thai at home at all and since I grew up in Germany there was also no urgend need to learn the language.

Welcome to ALA Asoke Language Association

Welcome to ALA Asoke Language Association

So the years went by and it was until much later when I was in my early 30s that I wanted to learn some Thai. Thus, I enrolled in two courses at the community college in Hamburg, Germany. I guess I did up to level A 2. After that I didn’t continue learning Thai because I hardly ever used the language and I rarely travel to Thailand. For this reason, there was only little or no opportunity to actually speak Thai. Hence, the courses at ALA language school also sound interesting to me, if I’d decide to go to Thailand!

Classroom at ALA in Bangkok, Thailand

Classroom at ALA in Bangkok, Thailand

There are some advantages of speaking Thai as a foreigner. Firstly, you will be more accepted by Thai people if you know their language and it also help you to understand Thai culture and colloquialisms better. In this way, you will be able to understand some basic aspects of Thai culture like grengjai (being gracious). Knowing Thai it will also be easier for you to make Thai friends, to find a Thai partner and to get integrated into their community. What is more, learning Thai might also increase your chances as a foreigner to find employment in Thailand.

Learning Thai for travel and work at ALA

Learning Thai for travel and work at ALA

After all, it might not be so difficult to learn Thai language! First, it is possible to learn Thai without learning to read and write. That might be sufficient knowledge for traveling. Only in a second step, if you decide to get more into depth, you can learn the Thai alphabet. Now you may ask ‘How to learn Thai the best way?’. Well, firstly it is important to find a helpful teacher or a good language school respectively.

Learning Thai is fun at Asoke Language Association

Learning Thai is fun at Asoke Language Association

Thus, I’d like to present you the Asoke Language Academy (ALA) located in Bangkok (Asoke/Nana). ALA is a newly established language school that focuses on helping international students learn Thai as a second language while they are in Thailand for work, play, or travel. The school offers group classes as well as private instruction which students can take advantage of.

ALA Language School Logo

ALA Language School Logo

The curriculum is flexible and can also be personalized for each student. In this way, it is more of a personalized learning experience. Thus, before starting a course, ALA likes to learn why the students want to learn Thai and how they intent to use the language. Hence, it is possible to personalize the students’ experience. ALA offers the most current curriculum, custom school textbooks, daily news as well as videos from the internet.

Learning Thai at ALA

Learning Thai at ALA

What is more, ALA also offers an ED-visa course that can allow students to stay in Thailand studying Thai with the school while traveling around Thailand or visit the Bangkok area with the 6-months or 1-year programs available. This might be very valuable since it allows them to immerse themselves in the language during their learning experience.

Nice atmosphere at Asoke Language School

Nice atmosphere at Asoke Language School

Finally, we may say that it is really recommendable to visit the Asoke Language Academy when you want to learn Thai in Bangkok while travelling or for work. There you have the opportunity to get a personalized curriculum as well as an ED-visa course which might be of interest to many foreigners not only from Western countries but also from Asia.




A Short Guide to Koh Larn, Thailand’s Coral Island

Escape Pattaya’s crowded and touristy beaches and head over to Koh Larn or Coral Island. This paradise island is only 7.5 km away from the nearest shore in Pattaya and is a popular day-tour destination. While the island itself is only 4 km long and 2 km wide, the beaches are pristine and surrounded by crystal-clear turquoise waters.

How to Get There?

There are a two of ways of getting to the island. The cheapest option involves riding a ferry, which costs 30 Baht per person and takes about 40 minutes. On the other hand, you can opt to ride in style on a speedboat, which costs between 300 and 2,500 Baht. The cost may be higher, but it slices the travel time in half.

You can rent the speedboat at the many shops in the Bali Hai pier. However, if you want to get the best price, it’s best to shop around and negotiate. As for the ferry, you can choose between the ferry that goes to Tawaen beach pier or the one that anchors at Na Ban pier. Either way, the ferry begins its journey from the same Bali Hai pier.

Koh Larn island, photo by Alex Voinich, wikimedia commons

Koh Larn island, photo by Alex Voinich, wikimedia commons

 

Where to Stay in the Island?

Due to the rising number of tourists visiting the island, there are quite a number of new places to stay on Koh Larn. Different accommodations are available such as hotels, resorts, bed and breakfasts, and even homestays. Checking in at one of these เกาะ ล้าน  Koh Larn accommodations instead of the ones in Pattaya means you can save on fares if you plan to fully explore the island.

What to Eat in the Island?

If you like seafood, you’re in for a treat at Koh Larn. It’s best to sample the fresh seafood from the downtown market, especially if you’re staying at an accommodation with a kitchen. For day-trippers, restaurants and cheap food stalls dot the island. Aside from serving world-class Thai cuisine, they also have western, Asian, vegetarian, and halal foods.

Fresh seafood in Thailand

Fresh seafood in Thailand

Main Beaches of the Island

The west side of Koh Larn is where the best beaches can be found. That said, all beaches in the island feature white sand and tropical blue waters, so you can’t go wrong wherever you chose to stay.

Tawaen Beach

Tawaen is the most popular beach with daily visitors numbering around 2,000 to 5,000. Luckily, it’s also the longest with 685 meters of pristine sandy shore accommodating vacationers. Guests have an assortment of water activities to choose from such as jet ski rentals, banana boat rides, and parasailing. What’s more, it’s also very commercial, with restaurants and souvenir shops lining up the shore to cater to every visitor’s whim.

Samae Beach

With a 530-meter shoreline, Samae is the second-longest beach in the island. The sand is not quite as fine, but the beach is still worth the visit, as it features some of the classiest resorts in the country. You’ll also be glad to know that you won’t go hungry with the number of restaurants on Samae Beach.

Tien Beach

Take your Instagram shots in Tien, as it’s one of island’s most beautiful beaches. It’s got a respectable 400 meters of beach front with plenty of Thai and western restaurants as well. The vibe at the beach is more relaxed, but you can still engage in aquatic activities like in the larger Koh Larn beaches.

Koh Larn beaches, photo by pongwit wikimedia commons

Koh Larn beaches, photo by pongwit wikimedia commons

Nual Beach

Nual Beach or Monkey Beach gets its name from the group of monkeys that live on the hillside. In the past, very few tourists ever ventured out on its 350-meter shoreline, but now, the beach has become even more popular. Catering to this rise in visitors are makeshift restaurants and food stalls serving different Thai dishes and western fare as well.

Tonglang Beach

This 215-meter beach used to be one of the most challenging to access. However, a new concrete road makes the commute faster and safer. As one of the smaller beaches on the island, you’ll find less tourists and a more relaxed ambiance. That said, you could still find resorts and food stalls that cater to visitors.

Tayaiy Beach

The smallest of the main beaches in Koh Larn is the Tayaiy Beach with only 140 meters of shoreline. If you want the most secluded beach hideaway with the least crowd, you can spend your time here. Keep in mind that there’s only one restaurant and limited accommodation in the area.

Are you excited to go on a holiday to Thailand? Consider staying in Koh Larn and experience for yourself why many vacationers are choosing it over Pattaya.




4 Ways You Can Start a New Life in Thailand

Many people dream of one day cashing in their life in their native country for the adventure and excitement that comes with immigrating to a foreign country. In recent years, people have changed in more traditional choices of country, such as the USA and Canada, for more obscure and differently cultured locations across the world. One such location that has received recent popularity is Thailand, mostly due to its legendary status as a fantastic holiday destination. However, the situation in Thailand for non-native long term residents is far from straightforward and can be very confusing for the uninitiated, so it is best to do a substantial amount of planning before making the leap to your new life in Thailand.

Living in Thailand, Thai flag

Living in Thailand

However, for those that have their hearts set on Thailand as a destination to make a new life, you need to be aware that many jobs in Thailand remain reserved exclusively for Thai nationals and are completely inaccessible for foreigners. Meaning your options are rather limited in terms of employment and you may have to consider an industry or profession change, and if this is something you are prepared to consider then read on to see a few suggestions of how you could do this.

1.     Teaching

Now it really wouldn’t be an article about relocating to Thailand if we didn’t at least mention teaching English as a potential career choice. Certainly, this is the stereotypical job that foreigners in Thailand work and most Thai people will assume you are an English teacher once they find out you live here, regardless of your actual job. This is because most long-term backpackers living in the country will usually fund their travels by teaching on the side. However, this option has become less accessible in recent years due to some quite sweeping changes made to the education system in Thailand.

Whilst there are some exceptions to the rule, pretty much every teaching job in Thailand now requires their foreign teachers be educated to a university level, with most jobs requiring at least a bachelor’s degree (usually in any subject) in order to be eligible for the working Non-B Visa and Work Permit required to live and work in Thailand. Unless you have these qualifications then it is better to consider another approach if you are serious about starting a new life in Thailand.

2.     Starting your own business

Now Thailand is known for many things, stunning mountainous regions, beautiful beaches, and more recently, big business. This is due to Thailand having the strongest economy in South East Asia, and it has in recent years become a business hub for the entire region, with corporations and international; businesses flocking to Thailand to take advantage of the comparatively low employment and startup costs of establishing a business. If you have a strong idea for a business and a little cash in reserve to get you going, this route could be good for you.

Westerners in Thailand (photo credit: Siwaphong Pakdeetawan, Instagram@knack66)

Westerners in Thailand (photo credit: Siwaphong Pakdeetawan, Instagram@knack66)

With the economy in Thailand being so strong, the potential scope for new businesses is very broad, but here are a few suggestions to get you started:

  • Import/Export
  • Bars and Restaurants
  • Digital Marketing Agency
  • Website and App Development
  • Graphic Design
  • Coffee and Beverage

However, as with any of these suggestions, there are some drawbacks. Thailand has a reputation for bureaucracy, particularly when dealing with business and immigration procedures. As such, you can expect to require the services of an experienced lawyer to set everything up and deal with the legal side of things.

3.     Diving

As a location world renowned for its beautiful and crystal clear waters and remarkable coastline, Thailand services around 32 million tourists a year. The majority of those will be attracted to one of Thailand’s many seaside locales in order to soak up the sun, go on boating trips and, on a more relevant note, diving, and snorkeling excursions. Anybody that has qualifications in SCUBA diving can consider making a relatively easy living for themselves doing something they love. Koh Tao, an island just off the coast of Thailand, has become something of a centralized diving hub and is a great place to start when prospecting for potential work.

Beach and boats on Koh Phayam*

Beach and boats on Koh Phayam

Most dive centers require you to be qualified up to a certain level, usually Divemaster, to be able to work for them. Some centers even offer what are known as “diving apprenticeships” which allow you to work, earn money and learn the skills necessary to progress to the level of Dive Instructor, which is an avenue to getting even better work within the industry.

4.     Freelancing

While this can be a slightly legally grey area, Thailand has always been known as a freelancer’s paradise, allowing those who choose this route cheap living expenses and a large market for which to advertise your skills. However, do be aware of the potential legal pitfalls of this option, make sure that you properly consult with a legal expert in order to ascertain what is and is not illegal to do whilst in Thailand. Generally speaking, the problem starts to arise once you begin receiving money and performing the work in Thailand. As far as immigration is concerned, any foreigner working in Thailand, for payment in Thailand needs to hold a valid work permit.

Ensuring that everything you do in Thailand is legal and above board in all respects is crucial. The rules in Thailand regarding immigration requirements are notorious for changing rapidly, suddenly and without warning. Naturally, working as a freelancer usually for your own clients will pose some tricky legal challenges for you to overcome. But this has become such a popular route that companies have even set themselves up as freelance collaboration companies in which they set you up with everything you need to work, like a work permit and visa, in exchange for a portion of your earnings.

Moving to Thailand can be an exciting, refreshing and fun change of pace from your old life in your home country, however, as with any big move, it requires the proper amount of research and forethought to execute properly.




Discover a different side of Thailand: “One Night Stay with Locals”

From Southern provinces that you may already be familiar with such as Phang Nga and Chumphon, to the more remote Northern provinces of Lampang, Nan and many more, 13 destinations have been carefully chosen by the Tourism Authority of Thailand as part of this newly-launched “One Night Stay with Locals” project.

Not only are these villages very remote (meaning you will beat the crowds even in high season), there is also a huge variety of community-focused activities available, such as getting your hands dirty picking fruit in orchids with the locals, taking tractor rides through the jungle to waterfalls or heading out on fishermen’s boats to find the catch of the day!

One Night Stay with Locals

Spanning across four provinces (Lampang, Chiang Rai and Nan) there are four different communities to visit in the North of Thailand as part of this One Night Stay with Locals program – each one as fascinating as the next. Tucked away in the mountains of Lampang, there is the chance to go miang leaf picking with the locals at Baan Pa Miang, as well as to learn how to make (and eat) the popular dish using this produce.

ป่าเหมี้ยง-Lampang-One Night Stay with Locals

ป่าเหมี้ยง-Lampang-One Night Stay with Locals

ป่าเหมี้ยง-Lampang- learn how to make (and eat) the popular dish

ป่าเหมี้ยง-Lampang- learn how to make (and eat) the popular miang leaf dish

Neighboring Chiang Rai province has two destinations to choose from: the laidback Pangha Homestay near the border to Myanmar where you can learn all about the Tai Lue people and the old-age craftsmanship, or Baan Tha Khan Tong, a thriving community next to the Mae Kong River that combines elements of Isaan and Lanna culture. To truly get away from it all, Nan province’s Sila Petch village feels like it is in the middle of nowhere, yet there are still plenty of friendly locals to show you around the area and guide you through the forests to a waterfall.

ท่าขันทอง-Tha Khan Tong Chiang Rai

ท่าขันทอง-Tha Khan Tong Chiang Rai

ท่าขันทอง-Tha Khan Tong Chiang Rai

ท่าขันทอง-Tha Khan Tong Chiang Rai

In addition, Baan Khiri Wong Kot in the northeast of the country (Udon Thani) lets you experience a true taste of Isaan – especially the deliciously spicy food, rural countryside and famously friendly Isaan hospitality from the locals.

คีรีวงกต-Udon Thani

คีรีวงกต-Udon Thani

คีรีวงกต- Udon Thani

คีรีวงกต- Udon Thani

Tourists also flock to Thailand’s Southern provinces for the beaches, boat rides and adventure activities. In the southern communities, you can experience all of this and more – but still far away from the crowds. For example, at Phang Nga’s hidden Baan Sam Chong Nuea community there’s a chance to explore swamps and mangrove forests with a local fisherman while helping to afforest the area. At Pa Tew (Bang Son) in Chumphon, most of your time will also be spent on the water while eating as much seafood as you can, rafting and spotting fireflies in the evening.

ประทิว-Chumphon

ประทิว-Chumphon

ประทิว-Chumphon-Seafood

ประทิว-Chumphon-Seafood

Other local communities waiting to be discovered are located in the less-frequently visited provinces of Phatthalung and Yala. These include the stunning Tamod Community where you can join in with a range of sufficiency economy educational activities, as well as kayaking and taking in the sunset over the reservoir, while Yala’s Chulaporn Pattana 9 Tourism Community is famous for its gorgeous combination of forests, mountains and rivers.

จุฬาภรณ์พัฒนา-Yala

จุฬาภรณ์พัฒนา-Yala

Phatthalung

Phatthalung

Last but not least, other choices of local communities that you can visit includes Bo Hin Farm Stay in Trang, Phrom Lok in Nakorn Si Thammarat, Laem Pak Bia in Petchaburi and Laem Klat in Trat.

แหลมกลัด- Trat

แหลมกลัด- Trat

Food at Nakorn Si Thammarat

Food at Nakorn Si Thammarat

For more information, please visit ‘One Night Stay with Locals’ and check out Facebook and stand a chance to win free trips with locals.




A Complete Guide to Beach Weddings in Koh Samui, Thailand

With their stunning and romantic scenery and the chance to make some long lasting memories, a beach wedding in Thailand is popular with couples who are planning to tie the knot. The large and lovely island of Koh Samui is a great place to get married as it boasts a large number of stunning sandy beaches, excellent resorts complete with luxurious spas and honeymoon suites and plenty of activities for the happy couple to enjoy while they unwind and enjoy this piece of paradise. Here are some things to take into consideration if you are thinking about getting married in Koh Samui.

Beach Weddings in Koh Samui, Thailand

Beach Weddings in Koh Samui, Thailand

 

Choosing the Right Time of Year

Thailand features three distinct seasons; the winter season, the summer and the monsoon season. The winter runs from November until February and this is typically the most popular time of year to arrange a beach wedding in Thailand as couples are treated to plenty of dry days and the weather is typically cooler at this time of year. While there are plenty of dry days from the end of February until the end of June, temperatures soar at this time of year and April and May in particular tend to be very hot and humid. While temperatures fall at the end of July, rainfall is common until the middle of October. Couples who want to beat the heat without paying inflated prices during the height of the tourist season will find that there are plenty of great deals to enjoy in October and March.

 

Selecting the Perfect Beach

There are several stunning stretches of golden sand on the island that make ideal locations for Samui beach weddings. While Chaweng is the largest beach on the island, this is also the most popular area of the island among tourists and the bars that line the beach pump out loud music long into the night. Just to the south of Chaweng, Lamai features a number of upmarket beachside resorts that offer luxurious services, although the nightlife scene here aimed more at party people than those who want to unwind in style. For a more romantic experience, couples are sure to love the quiet northern shore beach of Choeng Mon. Couples who choose to tie the knot here can be almost certain that the beach will be deserted, while a few luxurious hotels can be found on the cliff top overlooking the beach, providing a stunning setting for a tropical wedding. The northern coast is also home to Mae Nam, which is a narrow stretch of powdery golden sand that boasts stunning sunsets and a laid back atmosphere.

 

All Inclusive wedding Packages

Many of the leading Samui wedding planners such as resorts and hotels off all inclusive wedding packages. People who opt for one of these wedding packages will find that everything is taken care of for them, from the wedding itself to the reception, the Samui wedding photographer and accommodation for the happy couple and their guests.

 

Planning Your Budget

Of course, before you can select a wedding package or start planning your beach wedding in Thailand, you will need to work out how much money you are willing to spend. Important considerations include the cost of accommodation and flights, activities in Thailand and the wedding reception. It is possible to cut costs significantly by choosing to get married in the low season when there are plenty of deals and discounts to choose from and couples can also save money by shopping around and booking their beach wedding in Koh Samui far in advance.

by Wassana Lampech




Dreaming of Lotus Flowers

Recently I’ve had a vivid dream about a beautiful light mansion with a pool of white lotus flowers in front. I had the feeling that this place was somewhere in Thailand. I often dream of landscapes and particularly of those in Southeast Asia. I guess this is why I long to see all these amazing places in reality. Thus, I’ve wondered what the meaning of the lotus flower is and in the days following this dream, I’ve done a bit of research about lotus as symbol.

Lotus Flowers

Lotus (credit: Love Krittaya, wikimedia.org)

Lotus (credit: Love Krittaya, wikimedia.org)

First of all, I’ve learned about the spiritual and religious meaning of the lotus flower in different cultures. In ancient Egypt, for instance, the lotus was a symbol of rebirth and hence it was commonly used for wall and tomb paintings. The lotus has the power to renew itself since it loses old blooms and adds new ones in a daily cycle.

The lotus is also a symbol in Hinduism and Buddhism. In Hinduism, this flower stands for eternity, purity and peace. Hence, it is also the flower of the Gods for Brahma, the ultimate creator of the world, arises from a lotus. It is very interesting to note that in Buddhism the lotus flower has even more, i.e. a variety of meanings. For example, it symbolizes self-awareness, love and compassion of all beings and things, emptiness from desire, enlightenment, victory over attachments, overcoming suffering and spiritual development. Thus, the lotus also stands for patience, purity and mysticism.

Graceful 2014 painting by Narongrit Galajit

Graceful 2014 painting by Narongrit Galajit

You certainly know the lotus position which is a way of sitting during meditation. It is an important position in Buddhist meditation but also in yoga practices. The lotus has a deep spiritual meaning and in the lotus position the legs are crossed and tucked in a way that makes the bent knees look like the petals of a lotus. It is important that the soles of the feet are tucked away so that it is a respectful position to sit in when visiting a temple where exposing the bottom of your feet is considered rude.

In fact, there are lotus flowers and water lilies of different colours. Since I saw white lotus in my dream let me focus on the meaning of this paritcular colour: The white lotus symbolizes awakening, representing spiritual perfection and purity. Hence, it also stands for peace and a peaceful mind.

Well, how to interpret this dream now? Maybe I’m a person who is lucidly dreaming but the mansion and the lotus flowers surely symbolize a way to realize my longing and a path to awakening, in a worldly but also in a spiritual sense. How about you? Have you ever dreamed of water lilies or other flowers?

Yours, Sirinya

Reference: https://www.lotusflowermeaning.net/

http://www.flowermeaning.com/lotus-flower-meaning/

 




Tha Maharaj: Life at the River

‘Tha Maharaj’ is a community mall located on Maharaj Road in the Rattanakosin area, thus in walking distance of Thammasat University. The Rattanakosin Island was built in the early Rattanakosin period. Hence, Tha Maharaj tries to capture the charm of the old town’s architecture.

Tha Maharaj (photo credit: Amporn Konglapumnuay)

Tha Maharaj (photo credit: Amporn Konglapumnuay)

This community mall is thus in close proximity of the Chao Phraya River and there is also the Tha Maharaj Pier. What is more, it is surrounded by some important cultural attractions of Bangkok including The Grand Palace, Wat Arun and Wat Pho. Nearby this place are also Silpakorn Fine Arts University and Siriraj Hospital.

Tha Maharaj Pier at the Chao Phraya River (photo credit: Amporn Konglapumnuay)

Tha Maharaj Pier at the Chao Phraya River*

Of course, due to this location, Tha Maharaj has become a tourist attraction as well. However, locals also love this place because there are specialists of antiques and one of the greatest Thai amulet markets in the country.

At Tha Maharaj*

A community mall with many shops and restaurants*

Tha Maharaj aims at bringing the beauty of the Chao Phraya River near to the visitors. In addition, people should get to know and enjoy the local culinary specialities which can also be referred to as the Taste of the River. What is more, the place surprises the visitor with some colourful details 🙂 Thus, there is also a community garden and a riverside promenade.

There a numerous shops and a community garden*

There a numerous shops and a community garden*

Colourful details for a good mood*

Colourful details for a good mood*

Tha Maharaj includes seven buildings in total and a parking building. There are more that 50 restaurants, retail shops dedicated to fashion and beauty. You can reach this place by road but also via Chao Phraya Express Boat. Other options to get there are Chao Phraya Tourist Boat, Long-Tail Boats and Private Boats.

Reach the Tha Maharaj by road or by boat*

Reach the Tha Maharaj by road or by boat*

Summing up, Tha Maharaj is certainly worth a visit since there are not only numerous interesting shops, facilities and restaurants but also special events and activities like weekend market.

A colourful place for special events and friends of the Chao Phraya River*

A colourful place for special events like the weekend market and friends of the Chao Phraya River*

For more information check out: Tha Maharaj

Yours, Sirinya

(All photos in this post, credit: Amporn Konglapumnuay)




Retirement in Thailand

Thailand has become a popular country for retirees from Western countries. The best places for retirement in Thailand are considered to be Chiang Mai, Pattaya and Bangkok. Today, there are also retirement villages and homes for those who need assisted living.

Even though the options for retirement homes are still limited in Thailand, there are three facilities that admit expats in need of daily assistance. For instance, there are the Thailand Retirement and Long Term Care Communities in Pattaya. This institution has been known for assisting disabled foreigners.

Retirement in Thailand

Retirement in Thailand

Retirement in Thailand

Pattaya is a nice location for all retirees who like to enjoy the beach, sun, entertainment and fast life in a transcient place. Nevertheless, there are also two main hospitals that offer great healthcare. These are Pattaya International, a private hospital, and there is Pattaya-Bangkok International which is located a short distance outside of Pattaya.

What is more, in Bangkok you can find the Golden Years Hospital which also take care of elderly expats. They also offer special tour programmes for elders in which the elderly are accompanied by a personal caregiver. There are many advantages of being nursed in the Golden Years Hospital because the doctors and nurses provide warm and close care.

Another well-known facility is the Mc Kean Rehabilitation Centre in Chaing Mai which has a complete nursing home for the elderly. It is a Christian Centre which wants to provide good life quality to seniors so that they can live in a caring and supportive community with dignity.

Thailand is a popular place for retirees from Western countries

Thailand is a popular place for retirees from Western countries

If you do not necessarily need a retirement home, there is also the possibility to buy or rent a small condo. Particularly, these kind of small condo units can be found in Pattaya where there is a large expat community. If you want to buy such a condo of around 50 square meters, the price is commonly around 900,000 Baht.

These condos for expats are usually in close proximity to immigration facilities. For instance, in Pattaya, Thai Immigration Building is in Jomtien, where you can find numerous condo units for senior expatriates. Hence, Jomtien has become a hot retirement spot and thus there are also many facilities for expats like clubs.

Actually, many of the Thai expat retirees in these areas live off their government pension. This is important because a government pension is a requirement for a retirement visa. Do you want to find out how much you need to live well in Thailand? Try the Thai Retirement Calculator found on my website.

Finally, we may say that Thailand is a very popular place for Western retirees because of the excellent weather and the generally stable economy. Thus, many Western seniors consider getting a Thai retirement visa for expats. In addition, the living costs in Thailand are much lower than in Western countries like the USA, the UK and Europe in general.

Yours, Sirinya




Muay Thai Live: The Legend Lives

Today I’d like to present you the outstanding stage culture performance ‘Muay Thai Live: The Legend Lives’. This show takes place in Bangkok at The Stage Asiatique The Riverfront, from Tuesday to Sunday, 8PM onwards.

Muay Thai Live in Bangkok

Muay Thai Live: The Legend Lives & Warrior Rising Boxing

Muay Thai Live: The Legend Lives 

The show was created by acclaimed director Ekachai Uekrongtham. It is a special and spectacular event not only for Muay Thai lovers. The performance is about the history of Thai Boxing, dealing with its origins and its development until today.

A performacne about the history of Thai Boxing was created by acclaimed director Ekachai Uekrongtham

A performacne about the history of Thai Boxing, created by acclaimed director Ekachai Uekrongtham

Hence, the show has five thrilling acts which trace the story of Muay Thai. Thus, the first part starts at the very beginning of the history of Thai boxing, namely in the Ayutthaya Kingdom in 1699 where the ‘Tiger King’ appears. He is not only charismatic but shows extraordinary kickboxing skills.

Ancient Thai Boxing techniques at The Stage Asiatique The Riverfront

Ancient Thai Boxing techniques at The Stage Asiatique The Riverfront

The second act, set in 1767, deals with the ‘Prisoner with Eight Limbs’. After the downfall of the Ayutthaya Kingdom, many Siamese soldiers are confined by their ememies. Among them is a warrior with amazing skills in Muay Boran which is an ancient form of Thai Boxing.

The Prisoner with Eight Limbs

The Prisoner with Eight Limbs

The third act takes place in 1773, a time when the Kingdom is again in fierce war with enemies. Swordsmen are recruted from all over the country to fight against the opponents. General Pichai is a warrior of the double swords. Hence, he is known as the ‘Warrior with broken swords’ because in battle one of his swords is broken. Eventually, he is left to fight with only his body and soul.

Scene from 'The Warrior with Broken Swords'

Scene from ‘The Warrior with Broken Swords’

Fighting with swords and with body & soul

Fighting with swords, body & soul

Act four might be the most dramatic part of the show because this part is about the most dangerous and lethal methods of ancient Muay Thai. These techniques have not been performed over a 100 years. It is also about the ‘Modern Action Hero’ whose fight is reinforced by the combination of stunt techniques and other martial arts.

Modern Action Hero at Muay Thai Live BKK

Modern Action Hero at Muay Thai Live BKK

The dangerous and lethal methods of ancient Muay Thai

The dangerous methods of ancient Muay Thai

Finally, in the last act, the cast performs the ‘Wai Kru’, thus paying respect to the great Thai boxing masters of the past. The Wai Kru is known as Thailand’s unique and most beautiful boxing dance moves.

Wai Kru - Thailand’s unique and most beautiful boxing dance moves.

Wai Kru – Thailand’s unique and most beautiful boxing dance moves

The show is followed by Live Muay Thai boxing as an added feature. In ‘Warriors Rising’ there are two Thai boxing matches that are mentored by Muay Thai Grand Master Kru Sane Tubtimtong.

Summing up, Muay Thai Live: The Legend Lives is a special event for everyone interested in Thai culture and the history of Thai boxing. For more information, please visit Muay Thai Live and their FB page. I’m also giving away four tickets for this show on my Facebook page! Thus, head over to Sirinya’s Thailand Blog and participate 🙂

Yours, Sirinya




In loving memory of H.M. King Bhumibol Adulyadej

His Majesty King Bhumibol Adulyadej of Thailand (Rama IX) has died on Thusrday, the 13th October 2016 at the age of 88. He was the longest reigning King in Thai history and the world, having reigned since 9th June 1946.

King Bhumibol Adulyadej, portrait from 1946 (photo: wikimedia.org)

King Bhumibol Adulyadej, portrait from 1946 (photo: wikimedia.org)

In loving memory of H.M King Bhumibol Adulyadej

King Bhumibol the Great is the father and the soul of the Thai nation and Thai people. Hence, the King stood above the law, being revered and immensely respected by Thai people. Thus, in the last days, Thais have payed touching respect to their King in many ways. H.M. King Bhumibol Adulyadej may truly be called the ‘King of Hearts’ and ‘Father of the Nation’ in Thailand.

In loving memory of King Bhumibol of Thailand

In loving memory of King Bhumibol of Thailand

There is now one year of mourning for government officials in Thailand and as a sign of respect all festivities are banned for a month. Hence, Thai people are in mourning, wearing black or white clothes and tourists are also supposed to be respectful and behave and dress decently. There are many ways, Thai people pay tribute to their King, may it be through art and music but also by doing good deeds. For instance, artists have uploaded their tributes to the King on social media. Here is an example:

Students from Silpakorn University have painted large memorable pictures from the King’s life which are very impressive.

Memorable pictures from the King's life at Silpakorn University (credit: Silpakorn University FB Page)

Memorable pictures from the King’s life at Silpakorn University (credit: Silpakorn University FB Page)

Students have painted great pictures of H.M. King Bhumibol's life (credit: Silpakorn University, FB Page)

Students have painted great pictures of H.M. King Bhumibol’s life (credit: Silpakorn University, FB Page)

Similarly, students from Khon Kaen University have worked day and night to create a work of art for their King, capturing the spirit and soul of the Father of the Nation.

There are also Thai singers who have paid tribute to the King by singing the King’s Anthem. This one is particularly touching, she is singing and crying at the same time.

Finally, there is to mention a man who collected more than tousand pictures of the King for future generations to remember.

Summing up, we may sadly say the the era of H.M. King Bhumibol Adulyadej has come to an end and that Thailand as we knew it is now at an end too. However, we must look positively into the future, accepting that time changes everything. Nevertheless, I am convinced that the King will remain revered and unforgotten.

Yours,

Sirinya