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» Welcome to This Is Thailand - The Ajarn Forum

Established in 2000 with continuous archives since 2004, we are one of the oldest forums in Thailand.

We are best known for being a "Teaching in Thailand" forum, though we have attracted all walks of life through the years.

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Thai libel laws are very strict. Please do not create legal problems for yourself by treating this site as a name and shame service. This includes naming school's, teachers, agencies, course providers, law firms, and any other Thailand based business. Please note that Thailand law can perceive ANY negative opinion publically stated as libel. This can then be taken both to criminal and civil prosecution with very little warning given. Both the site owner and the poster can be subject to such action.

We are also fairly conservative in terms of being a site that we want teachers to be able to enjoy at work in schools in Thailand and so operate a strict "Safe For Work" images policy.

Please exercise extreme discretion when discussing the Royal Family in Thailand and be respectful to the Lese Majeste laws.

A free month-long MOOC for English Teachers

Jul 18, 2014 - 12:24 AM - by Matthew
Matthew's Avatar
Hello Ajarners,

Just spreading the word about a MOOC I've involved in:


Here's the full schedule of presenters and presentations (webinars). Massive indeed!


Mine 60 min place at 2pm GMT on Saturday July 26th.


Totally free, easy to sign up, I believe all webinars get recorded too. Why NOT sign up.

Lots of great sessions. Somethings bound to connect to your interests and/or practice.

SIGN UP RIGHT HERE: bitly.com/iTDiSummerSchoolMOOC


  365 Replies | 10,181 Views

Malaysia Airlines plane shot down in the Ukraine

Jul 17, 2014 - 11:03 PM - by cluezo
cluezo's Avatar
Malaysia Airlines plane crashes on Ukraine-Russia border - live

A Malaysia Airlines passenger plane has reportedly crashed in Ukraine, on the border with Russia. All the latest details here

Malaysia Airlines plane crashes on Ukraine-Russia border - live - Telegraph
  138 Replies | 5,285 Views

Whoís afraid of the big bad Trolls?

Jul 22, 2014 - 1:39 AM - by pathumseb
Seems that of late everyone newbie that comes along is labelled a troll. So why do we fear trolls? Itís not like they impact on our real day to day life. Perhaps itís a sign of taking forums a little too seriously and to heart. There is after all, a whole big exciting world to explore out there. It can hardly fill newbie to Thailand with mirth and happiness if the forum locals go on a witch hunt every time they post.
  119 Replies | 4,060 Views

Common Sense

Jul 25, 2014 - 8:38 AM - by tomcat
tomcat's Avatar
...the article has limited applicability locally, but may start a few of the less-disciplined to thinking:

The Secret of Saving Less for Retirement: Work Until 70
By Allison Schrager (Bloomberg)

More than half of all Americans still aren’t saving enough for retirement, according to the latest National Retirement Risk Index from the Center for Retirement Research. This is not a new problem, though it’s gotten worse since the recession. It’s also not hard to see why we continue to fall short.

The report claims the average 35-year-old needs to save 15 percent of his income each year to ensure a comfortable retirement. Lower income people need to save less, higher earners more, but regardless, that savings must be devoted just to retirement. Most people are also trying to save for emergencies, education, down-payments, home improvements, etc. According to the 2010 Survey of Consumer Finances, only 53 percent of Americans save anything at all, let alone 15 percent for retirement.

But the 15 percent recommended saving rate assumes retirement at age 65. Work until age 70, and you only need to save a far more manageable 6 percent.

Delaying retirement means more years of saving and fewer years of retirement to finance from savings, all things being equal. The bigger factor, though, is Social Security. As of today, taking Social Security benefits at 70 instead of 65 makes a tremendous difference. Let’s take as an example a 35-year-old earning $49,000 per year, the median income for his age. If he retires at age 65, he can expect about $18,200 a year from Social Security. If he waits until he’s 70, he’ll get... [Read More]
  103 Replies | 2,903 Views

Bangkok Thais are rude, or...

Jul 17, 2014 - 9:26 PM - by NokYai
NokYai's Avatar
is it something else?

I've noticed that during my time living here in BKK, though I live outside the city center, that Thais here seem very cold and appear quite miserable. I find that there is quite a noticeable difference in the attitudes of Thais living in my area, in particular, and Thais living in the villages, towns, and other cities across Thailand.

I moved back to Thailand because of my first experience working out in the sticks of one of the quieter and out of the way provinces. That was about 10 years ago. I worked for about a year in a non-school related job and loved my time there. I remember thinking that Thais were the friendliest, happiest, warmest, and most welcoming people I've ever come across. When I moved to BKK a few years ago to try my hand at teaching science, there was a new honeymoon period where everything was new and exciting again.

But as the honeymoon period has since worn off and I've gotten into my routine of the daily grind, I've really noticed the difference between BKK Thais and their countryside counterparts. Still now, when I head off out of BKK, the local people are very warm, friendly, smiling, and hospitable. Then, when I come back to my BKK neighborhood, the locals are cold, non-smiling, miserable-looking people.

Not only are BKK Thais very unhappy looking, they show very different reactions when I am in their presence compared to folks outside of BKK. Like the title of the post suggests, many BKK Thais seem to be a bit rude. And surprisingly (to me at least) it's the females that show this the most. Some examples: while walking on a sidewalk, Thai males will notice the farang in front of them and usually stare blankly for a... [Read More]
  76 Replies | 3,299 Views

Body of American teacher (BKK based) dumped on garbage pile in Cambodia

Jul 18, 2014 - 8:32 AM - by KG Sue
An American teacher, William Bryan Glenn, who was based in Bangkok for many years traveled (some say escaped) to Cambodia 2 months ago. He reported that people were after him and wanted to kill him. He went to the US Embassy to get more pages added to his passport so he could flee to China. His Thai wife, whose sister apparently had him charged with theft and had a pending court case due, said that she sent him the money to flee to China.

The US embassy declined his request, confiscated his passport because of 12 year old warrants in the States for DUI and meth offenses. With no passport and no way out, his body was found 24 hours later, allegedly he had his hands and feet bound, was beaten and strangled, then wrapped in a curtain which was wrapped in duct tape and dumped on a pile of garbage.

RIP William Bryan Glenn.

Did the U.S. Embassy in Cambodia Betray Murdered American William Bryan Glenn? | Khmer440.com


American English Teacher William Glenn Murdered in Cambodia : General Chatter

Sounds like a colourful character, and an awful way to go. Anybody know him?


Cambodia Forums • View topic - American... [Read More]
  70 Replies | 3,530 Views

Thousands flee the United States.

Jul 28, 2014 - 2:46 PM - by 1stworldview
Thousands flee the United States. According to the web siteEscapingAmerica.org, each year thousands of Americans leave the U.S. fora new home aboard. According to the main contributors of the site, thereare many reason for this, including economical issue such as wagescontinuing to decline. Also crime is on the rise. The cost of health carein the US is a big problem, too. Americans pay more for health care thanany other country, yet America ranks only 38th in the world in terms ofhealth care. Lastly, education in the U.S. is extremely expensive. Andgetting in to a college can be very difficult even if you can afford it.[Name] is a 30 year resident of the U.S.. He moved his family back toJapan due to the cost of health care and education. Health care in Japanis free and the education is extremely high quality. Why should thisconcern us? He took his high income and his company back to Japan.Meanwhile, America continues to allow many immigrants in to the country,and most are primarily poor. When Americans leave they take their socialsecurity, their retirement benefits and IRAs with them. And many timesthe company jobs.

Education: Each year thousands of students travel abroad for education.Again this is a case of U.S. dollars flowing out of the country. One suchstudent we talked with told us he was not able to get into medical schoolhere, even with a 4.0 GPA and an IQ of 185. But he was able to getstudent loans totaling $250,000 and he qualified for medical school inthe Dominican Republic. That's more money flowing out of the U.S.. Moreand more Americans now travel abroad for education. Each year thousandsof doctors come from India because America cannot educate doctors fastenough for the growing demand of an... [Read More]
  52 Replies | 1,329 Views

Teaching position in Phitsanulok - Native speaker

Jul 23, 2014 - 4:33 PM - by Mark Francis
Hi all,

I have decided to return to the UK to continue my education. So there is a position opening up in 2 weeks for a NATIVE SPEAKER i.e. English.

They already have 2 Filipinos so I don't think they need any more here, but they really value me for my accent.

So if you want to be contacted BY ME, then reply to this comment.

The head of department is very good at English and she will check your degree by ringing your university that you graduated from, so don't bother with dodgy Kao San Rd. fakes. And you also need a TEFL.

Experience will be advantageous. I really want someone to take over from me who knows what to expect. You will have classes of 50 kids etc etc etc, if your experienced you will know the deal and hopefully be more prepared for that shit than I was. TEFL may not work in these situations, but you still need the paper. They are very thorough here with paperwork.

So, only reply if you have lot's of energy, you are actually English (as I said I want them to have another English teacher as I am their first ever truly native speaker and they are really excited to have me) you have experience (so I know your not going to bail like I am lol) andddddddd your certificates are legit (or else it's just a waste of time because you will not get a contract signed).

by the way I am mixed race so being a native speaker doesn't mean you have to be white, it just means you have a British accent and English is your mother tongue.

So yeah, if you reply, I will skype you briefly. If you pass, then I will give your details to my head of department next week. I will be leaving this place in 1-2 weeks and they have an... [Read More]
  41 Replies | 1,617 Views

Where should I go in September?

Jul 25, 2014 - 3:27 PM - by pathumseb
Where do you think I should go on holiday in September? It'll be rainy season, so I guess that will have to be taken into account. I want to get away from it all, so perhaps an Island, but then...the rain. Is there anywhere around Chiang Mai that isn't infested with wanky hipster types? Despite living in Thailand for over three years I never went down south! So I guess that is also an option, but where? Any suggestions welcome!
  31 Replies | 1,143 Views

Issues with international schools?

Jul 23, 2014 - 5:10 PM - by pathumseb
Thought I would offer something that is not based around defending trolls. Would really appreciate some input here, and indeed, a good dose of judgement as I have a feeling I may being rather naÔve and misguided. One of the reasons I did this M.Ed was so I could have a crack at getting into an international school; now that I am almost done, Iím not so sure I want to go down the international school route. Sure, they pay would be better, but thatís not what teaching is about,is it? It would be hard to debate that a real genuine international school does not offer good schooling. Clearly such schools do and thatís why they have a great rep. These are they types of school I donít think I have a look in, I lack home country experience and the small matter of a PGCE due to me stuffing that math test up twice; it was hard OK? The grammar test was a piss take,though! Anyway, back on topic. Another issue that I have with international schools is the cultural and linguistic dominance that they harp on about. Sure English is important, Iím not saying itís not, but so is Thai and indeed Thai culture. Iíve heard that some international schools fine the students for speaking English. This seems questionable, it could lead to these kids having a negative association with their native language. Presuming Thai is their L1, of course. I guess what Iím say is that I lean towards bilingual schools/ English Programs as they seem a little more balanced. Teaching should be culturally relevant; thatís just good teaching! Are international schools just a thinly veiled excuse for neo colonialism or am I reading too deep?
  31 Replies | 1,081 Views

What are my options?

Jul 23, 2014 - 6:01 PM - by djwheat
I have a job, I have a degree etc so I could get the necessary paperwork to get the proper non-b visa etc. Problem is, my school is shit, I don't want to stay here. If I get the non-b and sign the contract I'm tied to this school for however long.

I'm in Thailand on a double entry tourist visa, I have about 6 weeks left with the second 30 day extension stamp, doesn't really give me enough time to find another job and sort out the paperwork.

With this big crackdown on border runners it seems like my only choice may be to stay at this school...

  31 Replies | 1,172 Views

Heavenly Chopped Tomatoes

Jul 17, 2014 - 2:50 PM - by tomcat
tomcat's Avatar
...This is the pasta sauce I prepared for our dinner this evening:

What you need:

1) 1kg ripe tomatoes (chopped)
2. 2+ cloves of garlic minced (to taste)
3) 1 lemon, juice and zest
4) 1 teaspoon salt (to taste)
5) 1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
6) .5 cup EVOO
7) 3 tablespoons wine vinegar
8) 5 tablespoons chopped herbs (I used sweet basil)
9) 1 finely chopped local red chili

What you do:

Mix and cover all of the ingredients (except half of the olive oil) hours before serving to allow marinating (outside the fridge). Cook pasta (I'm using penne), drain and mix the remaining olive oil with the hot cooked pasta (prevents sticking). Before serving, mix pasta with about half the sauce, reserving the liquid at the bottom of the bowl. Serve the pasta with the extra sauce in a separate bowl to be added as required. Sprinkle with ground parmesan.

...I vary recipes a little every time I cook: this time I added 5 sliced green olives. I've also prepared this recipe with a parsley/cilantro/dill herb mix and sliced black kalamata olives. Next time I'll add half a finely chopped red onion or maybe some shallots.
  29 Replies | 680 Views

Apartment Deposit

Jul 22, 2014 - 7:58 PM - by ellengrace
Hi All,

long story short, I signed a two month minimum lease with a deposit 10,000 baht for a 5000 a month apartment on July 4th. Basically I got f**** by a teaching agency and need to leave my town on the 29th July, my rent and bills (5,200 baht) is due on the 31st.... Having enquired and admittedly fairly been declined my deposit back, I think it's clear what I'm tempted to do. I've lost a lot of money taking up this opportunity that didn't exist and 6,200 would come in really handy right now....

but it they have my passport details and being grabbed by the ear at immigration for what I've done is much less appealing than 6,200.....

any advice?
  27 Replies | 1,000 Views

Canadian teacher arrested in Indonesia

Jul 24, 2014 - 12:56 AM - by russellsimpson
russellsimpson's Avatar
This might act as a bit of an eye opener for some folks considering teaching internationally.

This guy was originally a state witness against the cleaning staff at the school. During the course of the trial the tables were turned and he was accused of being himself a perpetrator. He was taken from the trial and has been in custody ever since.

Hell of an experience.

It's a reminder that in terms of how one should behave while teaching internationally. Bottom line is that you should always maintain the highest professional standards but these kinds of situations can and do happen.

Anyway just passing it along. I have no idea whether he is guilty or not but I do know that testifying against members of the local population can have unforeseen and serious consequences.


The wife of a Canadian teacher detained in Indonesia on allegations of child sexual assault is pleading for her husband’s release.
Neil Bantleman, 45, who worked at the prestigious Jakarta International School, was arrested last week during a police investigation into the alleged sexual assault of three kindergarten students.
His wife, Tracy Bantleman, who also teaches at the school, said the week since her husband’s arrest has been a “horrific nightmare.”
“He is using every ounce of energy he has to keep it together,” she said in a phone interview from Jakarta.
Tracy Bantleman, 42, said the prison conditions are “reasonable,” and include a clean cell area with a
... [Read More]
  20 Replies | 1,005 Views

hrudaymitru - who dat?

Jul 27, 2014 - 1:12 PM - by 3leggedkitty
3leggedkitty's Avatar
i've received a friend request from this person twice. anyone else? probably isn't a person but some bot thing.
  20 Replies | 541 Views

Irish cafť bans 'loud' Americans

Jul 23, 2014 - 6:58 AM - by cluezo
cluezo's Avatar
Are we worse than Russians?


An Irish pub in Waterville, Ireland is being criticized for a sign on its door reading, "No Bus/Coach tours or loud American's (sic). Thank you."

Last month, Twitter used Maurice Campbell tweeted a picture of the sign he said was hanging in the window of Peterís Place Cafť --which is in County Kerry, home to the famous tourist route, Ring of Kerry.

Campbell, who is from Northern Ireland, says the sign is in poor taste.

"I thought it was out of order. It seemed nasty," Campbell told CNBC. "It's in an area that's very dependent on tourism."

FoxNews.com reached out Peterís Place Cafť for comment but so far have not heard back.

The Waterville Business Association has responded to the incident, claiming that the sign in Peterís place ďin no way represents the views of the Waterville business community as a whole,Ē according to ... [Read More]
  20 Replies | 737 Views

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