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Posts posted by Ajarnbrian

  1. Find the nearest Asian food store & getting my wife to know other Asian women who have moved here in Australia (not necessarily Thai) was a good start. She started using Line social media to communicate with far away friends. She has worked hard at her already pretty good English language. And we manage a trip back to Thailand once a year with our two kids, who we`re trying to bring up bilingual. Sure, cultural differences and homesickness on top of the usual challenges of having a new baby made it a bit hard at first. 

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  2. I taught in a pretty good bilingual school in Bangkok some years ago. With my limited Thai language I  worked with the Thai teachers in the school to try and teach on this program. It was hard work and only partially successful. In a provincial school where local teachers and their students have rather limited English, it is hard to see how this courageous initiative can succeed.

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  3. I`m all for railways, where there is a clear need and strong potential demand. Hard to see that it is jusyified here. Consider train from Suvarnabumi airport to Pattaya train station, then taxi. The train fare would need to be competitive with bus or taxi fare from airport but to do that large passenger volume is needed. What passenger/fare figures are being assumed for this project?

  4. Chiang Mai is perhaps not the fascinating small city it used to be when I first visited 30 years ago. Sure, there are now shopping malls, many restuarants, markets aimed at tourists. But for peaceful, quiet and charming places within the city it`s harder to find than ever. Much of the city is not distinctive any more and of course there are more alternatives in the region, with Laos and Vietnam opening up. But plenty of westerners still stay in Chiang Mai. The immigration office is far busier than the one room office I remember back in the day!

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  5. Exchange rates change over time. Retirement plans should not be based only on what is current. Also, as more foreigners with money move in, higher prices are to be expected. And if you have kept plenty of funds in Thai baht, you have probably done well over the past couple of years. Take a long term view, while being prepared for fluctuations that are sometimes favourable, sometimes not.

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  6. The new sleepers are comfortable and clean. Lower berth bigger and more comfortable. Of course nobody would take the sleeper train for speed, aircon buses are faster but not so safe. And budget airlines fares are often not much more than the train. But views from the train are worthwhile an hour or two before Chiang Mai. Train for the journey, plane for speed but overnight buses no thanks.

  7. Thakek is actually a fine place to stop overnight. Regular but slow bus from NP bus station over the bridge and thru Thai and Laos immigration. Nice small restaurants around the old town by the river and a big new restaurant overlooking the river back to NP. The central Thakek old town is a couple of kms from the town bus station. 

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  8. If you want to be with lots of foreigners, you probably know the places to try. If you don`t need to be with many foreigners then attractive smaller provincial towns by the coast to consider are Songkhla, Trang or Prachuap Khiri Khan. 

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  9. If school-parent communications were good this news would not come as a surprise. Of course it also depends what criteria were used (if any) to determine the grades given. Again the school should be able to tell you. In my experience some schools have not developed good assessments that meet acceptable standards of validity and reliability. If the school does not give you a clear basis for the grades, hunt around for other schools.  

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