Moving to Bangkok (questions) PLEASE

Moving to Bangkok (questions) PLEASE

Postby DexpatWife on Fri Jun 20, 2014 9:54 am

Hello all,

First post here, glad i found this forum. My husband got an offer to move to Bangkok (same company he currently works for), we will be accompanying him. We are Americans and have three kids all school age. We were told we can pick any school and the company will cover the expenses. We would like to keep them in the American System so we would like to enroll them in an American school unless the American school there is horrible, is there a long waiting lists? Suggestions and feed back are highly appreciated. We have lived and visited many countries, never been to Thailand though, so excuse my ignorance in advance :)
What kind of a house budget should we be looking for? We would like something nice in a decent area, 4 bedrooms maybe? Are there expat compounds there? How's the medical system there, decent doctors/hospitals? They said they will provide a car and a driver so i am assuming driving there is a bit of a challenge.
How's the expat community (events, play dates....etc)? We have been living in Houston for 3 years and we will be leaving many beloved friends behind but are very much looking forward to making new friends and be exposed to a new wonderful culture :)
Anything we should bring with us we may not be able to find easily there?
All your feed back is greatly appreciated as i am a bit nervous about all of this, thank you :)
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Re: Moving to Bangkok (questions) PLEASE

Postby modsquad on Fri Jun 20, 2014 11:39 am

Information on international schools here:

viewtopic.php?f=29&t=79


Perhaps answers to your other questions if you look around this forum.
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Re: Moving to Bangkok (questions) PLEASE

Postby davidbon on Sun Jun 22, 2014 11:03 am

[i am assuming driving there is a bit of a challenge.] don't worry about driving in Bangkok thailand its all same easy just make sure you don't drunk and drive..also driving in Bangkok is always traffic jam. so you must use the motorways or skyway and learn the way back to your place. this can help you get back home fast...just pay extra 25-60 baht. last thing before you open the door of your car make sure you look back and check if no car specially Motorbike....

Note:Prepare for right hand drive!!!

Welcome to Bangkok in advance :P
David Bon
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Re: Moving to Bangkok (questions) PLEASE

Postby nativevter on Mon Jun 23, 2014 7:15 pm

I am an American currently living in Bangkok and have truly enjoyed the experience for the most part. Most Thai people are warm and friendly and I have made many friends here. However, there is a stark contrast between life in an American city and life here in Bangkok. I cannot offer much in the way of schools or housing but perhaps I can offer guidance on other areas of concern. In my view, the best hospital is the Bumrungrad International Hospital on Soi 3, Sukhumvit area. I have an American insurance company so payments to the doctor or drug store are paid in advance and I bill the insurance company. Prescription drugs may not be available here under the same name. Often, you will only have the Thai equivalent available to you here. Most drugs here do not require a doctors prescription and you can purchase over the counter.

Bangkok is a very dirty city and the air quality is poor. A child with asthma or other respiratory issues may have a difficult time here. Traffic is nightmarish! Motorbikes often zoom about on the sidewalks, which are already overcrowded. I've had many a near miss! Scams and crime is rampant here so be careful when approached by scam artists (and they are good at what they do). The police have a bad reputation but I've never had an interaction with them.

Lastly, my experience here has been 98% positive. I am returning to the states soon but hope to be able to come back to Thailand. It is a beautiful country and the people are wonderful.
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Re: Moving to Bangkok (questions) PLEASE

Postby ravbrat on Mon Jun 23, 2014 8:19 pm

Your time in Thailand will be an adventure for and your family without doubt. I have lived and worked here for 3 years now, teaching in an international HS here and I am moving back to California in 3 weeks. Thailand is a most unique place but do not be fooled by the brochures and promises made to you by anyone. It can be more expensive living here than in the USA unless you adopt a totally Thai lifestyle, which is not an easy thing to do. I cannot get specific in this posting, so allow me to state the the grass is 'not' greener on the other side and whatever your dermal pigmentation status is, it will be a challenge for you on a daily basis, remove your rose colored glasses as they will cause constant consternation for you.

Words of advice, get GOOD health insurance and make sure it is for a HIGHLY rated hospital like Bhumrungrad or equivalent, be very up to speed on first aid & CPR because there are no paramedics here, you are the fastest transport in an emergency.
For school, you MUST make sure that it has a WASC accreditation to their name so the children's credits can be transferred back to USA otherwise any diplomas are effectively useless back home. 'Religious' based schools should be avoided and vigorously inquire about their demographics. Thai law limits international schools to not more than 50% students be Thai citizens and some schools easily exceed that just for profit (my 'international' school runs 83% Thai students), also inquire into the teachers, make sure that they are Euro/USA with licenses FROM their HOME COUNTRY. Schools with many Indian or Filipino teachers are most often using just Thai teaching licenses and usually have no licenses or even teacher training from their home countries (most countries do not have a teacher licensing system like USA/Euro). My school teachers: 48% Filipino teachers, 24% Indian teachers, 23% Thai & only 5% Euro/USA and next year they will have only ONE teacher from USA (not I).

There is a lot that can be said against living in Thailand just as a lot can be said FOR living in Thailand. Don't let the rhetoric of people be your guideline, use your head and you might survive the experience, let go of prejudices and you might do OK here, don't take things personally and it can be good here, be able to roll with punches and you will be fine; but always watch you back and develop an ear for those with 'forked tongues' (understand the concept of "saving face", it is HUGE here).

Best of luck with your decision and enjoy your new 'adventure', for that is what it will be....
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Re: Moving to Bangkok (questions) PLEASE

Postby TheLobster on Tue Jun 24, 2014 1:02 pm

What a fantastic opportunity. There is plenty to do in Bangkok, the main issue for me is getting around.
You should find out where your husband will be based and where the schools are as traffic in Bangkok can be extremely congested. If you don't like driving in traffic then taxis are relatively cheap but the best option is the excellent BTS sky train system.
There tends to be a lot of apartments in Bangkok for rent so you may want to consider apartments as well as this increases your options and the better ones tend to have facilities such as swimming pools and gyms.
There are some good hospitals in Bangkok but they are not free so you need insurance or you will have to pay.There seems to be a lot of choice regarding international schools as well although I don't know how good the standard of schooling is.

Good luck!
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Re: Moving to Bangkok (questions) PLEASE

Postby K.Peter on Tue Jun 24, 2014 3:10 pm

Hi there..
We stayed in Bangkok a few years back and kids went to a US international school, called ISB (International School Bangkok). The school is within a gated community in the North of Bangkok in Nonthaburi. There is also shops, supermarket, pool, gym, restauarants and Bumrungrad Hospital clinic, so all very convenient. We were pretty happy with the school and its mixed curriculum catering to kids from all over the globe
It is situated within the Nichada Thani community so suggest check out both on google. Nichada has houses or apartments to rent from 35K baht per month up to B300 per month! Depends what u prefer!
Lots of shops and restauarants and things to do in the surrounding areas, and about 25-40 mins on the elevated expressway to city - on a good day!
We had a car and driver, but I also drove a lot, traffic is hectic but relatively calm!, and considering u cant go too fast when in a jam, its not too bad!
So worth a look, but also lots of other choices down town and in the South

enjoy!
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