Reasons Why You Should Visit Thailand (and Why You’ll Love It!)

May 20, 2022
by BKKFamilies
Activities, Local Attractions, Special Events

From our recent poll at Bangkok Expat Families fb page, we learned that there are a A LOT of reasons to love Thailand. If you’re looking for the best places to visit (or maybe, live!), good food, and lovely people, one country you should not miss out on is Thailand.  Thailand is also known as the “land of the free” since they are known as the only Southeast Asian country not colonized by a foreign power. There are a lot of things to do and visit!

Here’s what to expect when you go there:

What You’ll See

Thailand is comprised of a variety of amazing places to visit. You may choose from temples, beaches, lagoons, forests, and even wildlife parks. You can also check out their floating markets and city life. From our recent Bangkok Expat Families’ poll, here are some of the top attractions in Thailand you may go to when you visit:

  • Damnoen Saduak Floating Market
  • Khao Sok National Park
  • Similan Islands
  • Pak Khlong Talat
  • Doi Inthanon National Park
  • Simon Cabaret Show
  • Maya Bay
  • Ko Phi Phi Le
  • Phang Nga Bay
  • Khao Phing Kan
  • Grand Palace Bangkok
  • Railay Beach
  • Coral Island, Phuket
  • Monkey Beach
  • Pileh Lagoon
  • Big Buddha Phuket
  • Chao Phraya River
  • Safari World
  • Mu Ko Ang Thong National Park

What You’ll Feel

Thailand’s Tropical Climate

Thailand’s tropical climate has three seasons, with changes brought about by monsoons. From March to mid-May, Thailand experiences the hot season, and it’s really hot (and humid)! Southwest monsoon comes from mid-May to October, making these rainy months. November to February, the northwest monsoon brings a cool and dry season. The coasts and the south part of the country still experience hot weather during winter. 

Fun-loving nature of Thai People

Thailand isn’t called “The Land of Smiles” for no reason! Though the Thai smile can mean many different things, it does help to make things more comfortable on the surface. You’ll always feel at ease because you’ll see everyone wearing a smile. They are also helpful and accommodating, from asking for directions to different recommendations. You can also feel their genuineness and hospitality during your stay. In Thai, as they would say, mai pen rai (don’t worry about it)! You’re in good hands. 

You will also enjoy their taxis that can bring you to different places. You’ll see them everywhere you go, just when you need a lift!

What You’ll Taste

Thailand is rich in flavorful dishes and tropical fruits. If your palate is looking for something exceptional, tropical, and Asian, Thailand is one of the right places to go. The combination of sweet, spicy, sour and salty is one that can’t be beat!

Amazing Dishes

Thailand is famous for its traditional dishes. Though a lot of people associate Thai food with the world-famous Pad Thai, Thai cuisine offers you a really wide variety of options and flavors. You can check out the top recommended dishes below:

  • Spicy Shrimp Soup (Tom Yum Goong)
  • Spicy Green Papaya Salad (Som Tum) 
  • Chicken in Coconut Soup (Tom Kha Kai) 
  • Red Curry (Gaeng Daeng) 
  • Thai style Fried Noodles (Pad Thai)
  • Fried Basil and Pork (Pad Krapow Moo Saap)
  • Fried Rice (Khao Pad)

Bountiful Tropical Fruits

You may have heard of durian and mangosteen, the king and queen of fruits in Thailand. Aside from those two, Thailand is also home to many exotic fruits you may love. You should never miss a chance to try and taste them! You can try these tropical fruits (with their Thai names in parenthesis):

  • Jackfruit (kanoon)
  • Lychee (linjee)
  • Mangosteen (mong-kut)
  • Durian (toorian)
  • Rambutan (ngaw)
  • Longan (lumyai)
  • Dragonfruit/Pitaya (gaeow mung-gon)
  • Guava (faraang)
  • Pomelo (som-o)

Similarly,  here are some of the more exotic fruits that find Thailand as their home:

  • Rose Apple (shom-poo)
  • Custard Apple (noi na)
  • Langsat (longong)
  • Snake Fruit (salak)
  • Sapodilla (la moot)
  • Coconut (ma prow)
  • Passion Fruit (sawa-rod)
  • Rambai (ma fai)

These are only some of the few dishes and fruits that will welcome you to Thailand. I am very sure there’s more to look forward to!

What You’ll Experience   

Aside from good food and lovely people, there’s more to experience in Thailand. Don’t miss the opportunity to try their fun festivals and relaxing massages!

Festivals

If you visit Thailand, you’ll quickly learn that they have a lot of famous and fun festivals. Thailand is a culture-rich country, and their festivals show many of them. Most of their festivals are based on Buddhism and the lunar calendar, but Thais are happy to embrace festivals from other countries as long as fun and food are involved! Below is a summary of some of their rich festivals:

  • Songkran (The Water Festival) – April 13 to 15
  • Loy Krathong (Festival of Lights) – the 12th month of the Thai lunar calendar, usually in November, and the exact date varies from year to year.
  • Yi Peng Festival – celebrated on the same day, somehow similar to Loy Krathong.
  • Magha Puja (Buddhist Festival, which honors the third lunar month) is celebrated on the full moon day of the third lunar month.
  • Visakha Bucha (Buddha’s Birthday)- mainly falls in May or June (usually based on the lunar calendar)
  • Royal Plowing Ceremony – beginning of the rice-growing season, typically falls in April or May (also based on the lunar calendar)
  • Bun Bang Fai Rocket Festival – held on the full moon in May,
  • Phuket Vegetarian Festival- the first day of the ninth month of the Chinese lunar calendar and runs for nine days; 
  • Lopburi Monkey Banquet – to honor macaque monkeys that are believed to bring the locals good luck, usually held last Sunday of November
  • Chinese New Year or Spring Festival – based on the Chinese lunar calendar, but it generally falls in January or February

Massages

If you’re looking for something relaxing to do after your day tours, Thailand offers locals and tourists their very well-known “Thai Massage.” 

One of the most famous places for a Thai Massage in Bangkok is Wat Pho –  the Temple of the Reclining Buddha on the Rattanakosin Island in the older part of the city. This place is also considered to be a very traditional massage and medical school in Thailand.

I am sure that you will deserve a Thai massage after a very long day. At the end, you might want to say, “Sabai Sabai!” (I feel chilled and relaxed).

Why You’ll Love Thailand

Mentioned above are only some of the reasons you should visit Thailand, or even live there! They are just sneak peeks, and first-hand experiences are always the best. Some people might say, “there is no place like home,” but after visiting Thailand, I know you’ll get yourself thinking, “Why not Thailand?”  

See you there! 

July 12, 2020

Which International School is Best For You?

by BKKFamilies
Special Events

The lush growth of education centers in Bangkok is simply undeniable. International schools alone are now dominating the academic landscape at a staggering 76 schools in Bangkok alone. Perhaps the number will keep swelling as more people come to the city to make it their new home.

We know some of you do not have the luxury of time to check much less visit all these schools for the upcoming enrollment. But we do. As a matter of fact, we’re done sifting through enormous data to produce our very own “master list.”

In choosing the best international schools in Bangkok, we used a parameter which we believe reflects the preferences and financial capability of most expats and locales. So we only tried to include international schools falling in the following categories: charges somewhere between 8,000 USD to 30,000 USD  or that’s around 248,000 Thai Baht to 930,000 Thai Baht;  offers British, American or IB curriculum; and, last but not least, accessible with only light to moderate traffic.

A little caveat: It was mighty difficult to find international schools that fit all the categories, especially the last one. So we added a few with some traffic issues but these are otherwise great schools. You’ll see why.

Ready for the list? Here it is.

KIS Bangkok Reviews

KIS INTERNATIONAL SCHOOL (KIS)

For only THB347,400 – THB731,300 per year, KIS offers excellent education while following the International Baccalaureate curriculum from The Early Years to Grade 12. For young learners, it practices play-based learning all in a early-learner’s center. It puts premium on innovation, creativity and friendliness.

Conveniently located along Pracha Utit Road, Huay Kwang, it is far enough away from Sukhumvit and its hustle and bustle. If you live in the neighborhood, you can probably kiss your worries good bye.

HARROW INTERNATIONAL SCHOOL BANGKOK

With fees ranging from THB499,000 to THB949,800, you can enjoy a brand of education that have been tried by “many nationally and internationally influential leaders.” At Harrow, emphasis is on creating effective leaders because the times “appear ever more challenging.” The school is serious about teaching leadership under the IB curriculum all “for a better world.”

 You can reach Harrow’s in about 30-minutes from the Sukhumvit/Silom area with little to no traffic. A problem is it lacks a connection to mass transit in 2018.

PAN-ASIA INTERNATIONAL SCHOOL (PAIS)

PAIS provides international services based upon American standards while highlighting eastern culture. It is the repository of information for more than 470 students coming from over 41 nations.

PAIS is nestled in Prawet District, 20 kilometers from the city’s center. Here the traffic is manageable and the school can be reached through various city arteries.

Brighton College Bangkok Reviews

BRIGHTON COLLEGE BANGKOK

The No. 1 education center in UK is also here in Bangkok! Brighton sets to achieve here what it has done elsewhere: provide “unmatched” education. It boasts, for one, of having a much-coveted record of turning out graduates who enter into the leading universities around the world.

The school offers the British curriculum with fees ranging from 331,000 ฿ to 702,000 ฿. This school is on the outskirts of the city (Krungthep Kreetha) where traffic is low!

VERSO INTERNATIONAL SCHOOL

New. Progressive. The largest in Bangkok.

This is what VERSO is about. Here, you can avail of a personalized educational experience under an American-based curriculum. VERSO seeks to prepare children with facing a rapidly changing world.

Located in the outskirts of Bangkok, traffic leading to VERSO is manageable.

CONCORDIAN INTERNATIONAL SCHOOL

Concordian provides IB curriculum for all its learners, meaning primary, middle and diplom It is also said to be the one and only international school using Thai, English, Chinese as main media of instruction. You also might love to read this statement from the school: “(Concordian) promotes academic excellence while nurturing young people to become moral and intellectual leaders, people of dignity, integrity and compassion, who want to make a difference in the world.” It added that this is not a mere mission statement written on paper. “It is at the heart of everything we do at Concordian.”

You can get these services for a budget ranging from 530,900 ฿ to: 816,500 ฿. That’s not all. Nestled along Bangkaew, Samutprakarn, the school is 10 minutes away from central Bangkok — away from the heavy traffic.

As has been pointed out, we included schools that have traffic issues. Some of them have got proven track records, education services that could take your traffic worries away. Besides, if you’ll take the BTS Skytrain, you would be able to beat the traffic just the same. These international schools include …

CHARTER INTERNATIONAL SCHOOL

For only a fee within the THB270,000 to THB510,000 range, you can get a British and International curriculum offer at Charter — and a family!

Charter has been dubbed as “the family school,” because, here, students from youngest to oldest work happily, closely. What’s more? It has a pupil-teacher ratio that allows individual learners to receive sufficient academic attention as well as social support. The school envisions its clients to mature into responsible, independent citizens who respect others’ cultures and points of view.

We’ll, that’s a one big family you want to come home to, heavy traffic or not.

ST. ANDREWS INTERNATIONAL SCHOOL BANGKOK

Each child is unique. This is why at St. Andrews they provide learning opportunities that’s best for a wide range of learners. This is one of the factors that has set St. Andrews apart from other international schools.

For 331,000 ฿ to 702,000 ฿ you can try its unique learning opportunities. The school employs the IB and British curricula.

THE AMERICAN SCHOOL OF BANGKOK – GREEN VALLEY CAMPUS

With a budget ranging from 350,000 ฿ to 673,000 ฿, the American School of Bangkok aims to transform you into a critical thinker, independent learner, effective communicator, a global citizen.

It promises to deliver education services holistically that is based on an American curriculum.

The American School of Bangkok is a member of Thailand’s International Schools Association.

It is located in the city’s Metropolitan Area.

KING’S COLLEGE INTERNATIONAL SCHOOL BANGKOK

For a yearly fee ranging from: THB508,000 to THB795,000, you can experience an education that values kindness first then wisdom and good manners. Aside from offering a value-led British curriculum for both boys and girls, Kings uses the child-centered approach. It takes pride in having a fourth of its graduates going on to attend Oxford or Cambridge each year. If you are scared of traffic though, be prepared. King’s is in the Ratchada–Rama 3 area right in the middle of the city.

MAGIC YEARS INTERNATIONAL SCHOOL

Magic is among the schools which put premium to nurturing the body, the mind and the soul.

“They are of equal importance,” Magic says in a statement.

Its greater goal though is to get its learners to “contribute to the betterment of the world.” Magic aims to do this through a “challenging program” framed under the IB curriculum.

All that for only a cost within the 343,800 THB to 549,800 THB range.

NIST INTERNATIONAL SCHOOL

It is a leading choice of more than 1,600 students from scores of different countries. It offers IB programs for primary, middle and senior high school. IB curriculum schools like NIST are chosen by more students and parents because, for one, their programs conform to high standards set by the IB organization. Programs are devised by teachers not governments and hence are relevant to students regardless of country.

NIST, the first IB school in Bangkok, charges between 533,700 ฿ to 961,400 ฿.