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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hello everyone - long first post....hope you don't mind!

My partner and I are flying out to BKK on March 7th, and will be in CM for six months from March 9th, then returning to the UK for a week or so at the beginning of September, before heading off somewhere else for another few months (I'm hoping to be able to go home to Italia for a little while); however, it's entirely likely that after that, we'll spend some time in Laos or Cambodia, and then return to Thailand for a longer period (assuming we loved it during our stay!).

I've looked around the fora here to see if I could find some answers to our inevitable questions but in truth, I don't have an awful lot of time to go through everything, so I wondered if you'd be kind enough to help me out?


1) Do you generally get mossies in the house/apartment at night if the windows are open? Is it a case of sleeping with the aircon on and the windows closed?

2) Do the aircon units on balconies hum? I've stayed in hotels where they make a terrible racket, so if this is the case in general, then we need to be looking at properties which don't have the units next to the bedroom!

3) What happens about rubbish collection? Presumably if we rent a condo there is a chute or an area we take rubbish bags to but what about if we rent a house? Is there a municipal collection service, and if so, is there a monthly fee or is it on an ad-hoc basis?

4) Water: I've seen houses with tanks at the side of the property - do these get filled automatically via a plumbing system or is there a tanker which comes to fill them? And to whom would we pay water rates? The local authority or the housing agent/landlord?

5) We've looked at lots of ads for properties but are a little confused as to what is meant by ‘hot water – 2’ (for example). Does this actually mean there are two electric showers, or that there is hot water in only two rooms (e.g. two bathrooms but not the kitchen)? Is it usual to have hot running water in the kitchen, and for the bath (if there is one)? I cannot imagine that there would be a bath which had no hot water, but stranger things have been known to happen!

6) Which rates can we expect to pay, aside from utilities?

7) Electricity supply/internet etc. - how long does it take to set up accounts?

8) Sim cards – can we get data as well as texts and calls? To be honest, we're only likely to be texting or ringing each other; however, when we're out and about, using the maps on our iPhones will be pretty essential, so we'd need a decent data package.

9) Are there classes we can take to learn some Thai? I tend to pick up languages pretty quickly but with Thai, I think there's probably a lot of scope for mistakes, so we'd both like to have some kind of grounding before we completely embarrass ourselves...or worse, inadvertently cause offence!

10) Taking medication in hand and hold luggage - what are the restrictions? I get very bad headaches and frequent migraines, will I be able to take over-the-counter medication (Migraleve/ProPain/Syndol) in my carry-on luggage without a doctor’s note? I’ve had no problem with this flying elsewhere in the world (even the US!) but I can’t seem to find much info on Eva Airline's website, other than if you have prescription meds, you need a note from your doctor. I assume it’s OK to pack supplies in my checked luggage though?

11) What are the roads like from a safety point of view? If we get bikes (as in cycles, not scooters or motorbikes), it widens our housing options somewhat, as we're both happy to cycle everywhere, or almost everywhere. However, if the roads are too dodgy, then biking it may not be viable. We really don't want to have to hire a car unless it's absolutely necessary (e.g. if we want to head up to Chiang Dao), and we don't want to get motorbikes or scooters.

There's no real reason for us to be living in the city; we're very quiet, we don't do 'nightlife', although we do enjoy dining in a quiet restaurants. We don't go to pubs (my partner is a lifelong teetotal, and while I enjoy a glass or two of wine, neither of us are keen on pub atmospheres in general). We're absolutely not into shopping, and we don't want to be living on takeaways and restaurant food, no matter how cost-effective they may be - we're very health-conscious! What we do enjoy is going for long walks, temples, museums, galleries, theatre etc. :D

As long as we have access to a fresh food market, we don't need to be in the city, and I suppose that actually, if we're more than about 10km away, we could get a taxi in when we felt the urge to be 'civilised'! It would be nice to be able to cycle along the roads though at other times, so any advice would be most welcome!

12) How long does the rental process take? For example, if on a Monday, we found a house we wanted to rent, how soon would we be able to move in? We're booked into a hotel in the city, and we can always extend our stay (or book into somewhere else) but we'd like to get settled ASAP

Thanks in advance (and please forgive me if the questions seem silly)! :D
 

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Hello everyone - long first post....hope you don't mind!

My partner and I are flying out to BKK on March 7th, and will be in CM for six months from March 9th, then returning to the UK for a week or so at the beginning of September, before heading off somewhere else for another few months (I'm hoping to be able to go home to Italia for a little while); however, it's entirely likely that after that, we'll spend some time in Laos or Cambodia, and then return to Thailand for a longer period (assuming we loved it during our stay!).

I've looked around the fora here to see if I could find some answers to our inevitable questions but in truth, I don't have an awful lot of time to go through everything, so I wondered if you'd be kind enough to help me out?


1) Do you generally get mossies in the house/apartment at night if the windows are open? Is it a case of sleeping with the aircon on and the windows closed?
Most houses/apartements do have mozzie-screens. If your apartment is 5th floor up, chances of getting mozzies in your home are low. Otherwise it will be sleeping with windows closed + aircon.

2) Do the aircon units on balconies hum? I've stayed in hotels where they make a terrible racket, so if this is the case in general, then we need to be looking at properties which don't have the units next to the bedroom!
That won't easy. In some cases, the outer-units are mounted on the floor and in other cases they are mounted on to the wall. Point is to get the outer-unit as close to the inner-unit as possible. To be sure.......check the sound when you check properties, although the sound of an aircon at night is different from the day-sounds (annoying vibrations).

3) What happens about rubbish collection? Presumably if we rent a condo there is a chute or an area we take rubbish bags to but what about if we rent a house? Is there a municipal collection service, and if so, is there a monthly fee or is it on an ad-hoc basis?
Where ever you will stay, there will be some kind of rubbish collection. In most cases the collection-fee is included in the rental-fee (service-cost). If not, the rubbish collection will cost you approx. THB 40-THB 50 per month

4) Water: I've seen houses with tanks at the side of the property - do these get filled automatically via a plumbing system or is there a tanker which comes to fill them? And to whom would we pay water rates? The local authority or the housing agent/landlord?
Watertanks are part of the water-supply system. Usually they will fill up automatically using automatic floaters and valves. In order to get some pressure in-house, a waterpump is used. Fee for water should be paid to either: village-management, condo-management or government. In the first 2 cases the price per unit (m3) can be THB 5 up to THB 30. In case of the latter, the fee is usually THB 7-9 per unit (m3).

5) We've looked at lots of ads for properties but are a little confused as to what is meant by ‘hot water – 2’ (for example). Does this actually mean there are two electric showers, or that there is hot water in only two rooms (e.g. two bathrooms but not the kitchen)? Is it usual to have hot running water in the kitchen, and for the bath (if there is one)? I cannot imagine that there would be a bath which had no hot water, but stranger things have been known to happen!
"Hot water" usually means; hot water in the shower. You will not easy find hot water in the kitchen and there is no real need to have hot water in the kitchen. For washing up you'll use the detergent which is developed for cold water cleaning. If you have a bath-tub, you will also have a hot-water-unit for that.

6) Which rates can we expect to pay, aside from utilities?
I don't have experiences in that area, but I've heard of THB 5,000 - THB 10,000 for 2 story houses, 3-4 bedrooms, nice garden and fitted kitchen. apartments and condo's are more expensive but are situated more in the city.

7) Electricity supply/internet etc. - how long does it take to set up accounts?
Electricity and water are usually already set-up. Cable-TV/Satellite-TV and/or internet connection should be set-up. Depends on how long the property has been NOT-occupied. True Corporation offers satellite TV, internet, mobile internet as packages. Not cheap, but quality is ok. Depending on your future location you should ask around for other providers.

8) Sim cards – can we get data as well as texts and calls? To be honest, we're only likely to be texting or ringing each other; however, when we're out and about, using the maps on our iPhones will be pretty essential, so we'd need a decent data package.
Most providers offers all-in sim-cards. Please visit one of the provider-agencies or visit ?????????????????????????????????? ??????????????????????????????? | AIS ?????????????, dtac - feel goood, True Corporation

9) Are there classes we can take to learn some Thai? I tend to pick up languages pretty quickly but with Thai, I think there's probably a lot of scope for mistakes, so we'd both like to have some kind of grounding before we completely embarrass ourselves...or worse, inadvertently cause offence!
There are numerous language centers on hand.

10) Taking medication in hand and hold luggage - what are the restrictions? I get very bad headaches and frequent migraines, will I be able to take over-the-counter medication (Migraleve/ProPain/Syndol) in my carry-on luggage without a doctor’s note? I’ve had no problem with this flying elsewhere in the world (even the US!) but I can’t seem to find much info on Eva Airline's website, other than if you have prescription meds, you need a note from your doctor. I assume it’s OK to pack supplies in my checked luggage though?
To be sure, get a note from your doctor and/or a medical passport. Especially if you are about to take a bigger supply with you. Usually there is no problem to get what ever medication in Thailand

11) What are the roads like from a safety point of view? If we get bikes (as in cycles, not scooters or motorbikes), it widens our housing options somewhat, as we're both happy to cycle everywhere, or almost everywhere. However, if the roads are too dodgy, then biking it may not be viable. We really don't want to have to hire a car unless it's absolutely necessary (e.g. if we want to head up to Chiang Dao), and we don't want to get motorbikes or scooters.
I do have a car and a motorbike, but I don't live in CNX. The traffic can be very dodgy and bigger/faster traffic-colleagues usually don't have a lot of respect for slow traffic. There are not really special lanes for bicycles or motorbikes, so crossing roads can be a pain.

There's no real reason for us to be living in the city; we're very quiet, we don't do 'nightlife', although we do enjoy dining in a quiet restaurants. We don't go to pubs (my partner is a lifelong teetotal, and while I enjoy a glass or two of wine, neither of us are keen on pub atmospheres in general). We're absolutely not into shopping, and we don't want to be living on takeaways and restaurant food, no matter how cost-effective they may be - we're very health-conscious! What we do enjoy is going for long walks, temples, museums, galleries, theatre etc. :D

As long as we have access to a fresh food market, we don't need to be in the city, and I suppose that actually, if we're more than about 10km away, we could get a taxi in when we felt the urge to be 'civilised'! It would be nice to be able to cycle along the roads though at other times, so any advice would be most welcome!
You should try your luck in the Hang Dong-area. I've a friend living there. There are some nice villages, markets, nearest shopping-mall on 5 km and a Western-focussed convenience store (Rimping) nearby.

12) How long does the rental process take? For example, if on a Monday, we found a house we wanted to rent, how soon would we be able to move in? We're booked into a hotel in the city, and we can always extend our stay (or book into somewhere else) but we'd like to get settled ASAP
Book a hotel for a week or so and use this time to find a nice place to stay. DO NOT book long term housing online. If you find the place of your dreams, you can usually move in after signing the contract, pay the guarantee money and the first month rent in advance.

Thanks in advance (and please forgive me if the questions seem silly)! :D
Good luck and there are no silly questions, only silly answers.
 

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Good patient and thoughtful response from Joseph

Goktor the problem is that is very difficult to answer your questions because there is no one rule or answer for all of thailand, or even all of Chiang Mai. There are hundred rules (or interpretations of rules), that's just the kind of place that thailand is. You only have to follow some of the discussion threads about how to open a thai bank account to get an insight into what I'm saying. This drives some people crazy, and it will drive you crazy too if you are not flexible, and can't let go of the UK/Euro way of thinking and doing things. With some issues - for example personal safety - the Thais exist in some different parallel universe! Dont get me wrong - it's a great place, but it's a different place for sure.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Joseph and Bruce, thank you so much! So much really helpful information, which is great.

I absolutely appreciate that there's not going to be a one-size-fits-all answer, and that's cool. Very cool actually. We can definitely be flexible (we both work in the videogames industry, so flexibility is our middle name!). As for letting go of the UK thing....only too happy to! I'm half Venetian, and never felt really at home in the UK even though I've lived here for most of my life. My partner is from the Bahamas but has lived all over the world, so neither of us are committed to a UK lifestyle, despite it actually being a very good country to live in (apart from the weather)! :D

One of the reasons we chose Thailand is because it is so different (rather, this is what we are hoping). My partner has been to BKK/KT for work but I've never been at all, so it's all going to be shiny and new....although possibly in a dusty and hot kind of way!

By the way, what is the correct form - Krung Thep or Bangkok? Some people have told me KT because BKK is actually a different place altogether, while others have told me only western t***ers call it KT! :p

We're trying really hard to form very few preconceptions, and completely accept that at times there may be just as many frustrations and annoyances as there are in the UK, but we're not going in search of paradise, so hopefully the niggles won't be too bad. I don't think we'll need to open bank accounts there, at least I hope not. If we decide we want to stay longer than half a year it might make sense to but I think that for the time being we should be fine with HSBC. Certainly, we've already informed them of our travel plans. We can play it by ear though; really, the only things we need absolutes for are the flight bookings and visas...and we have those, so we can go with the flow for everything else!

By the way Joseph, regarding Q6 - I meant rates as in local government taxes (here in the UK it's council tax, which pays for rubbish collection, emergency services etc.) but thanks for the heads-up about rental costs!

(By the way, we don't need satellite TV - we don't have a TV service here, won't need one out there!)

We've been looking at properties online for 15,000-20,000 per month: we want something really cool, not just practical; it has to fit in with our aesthetics, after all, we're going to be spending a lot of time there. We've short-listed four or five houses and five condos, but of course, are open to other options too.

Having said that, we've actually seen what looks like themost perfect house! It originally went into the 'this looks interesting' folder, and has since crept up into the 'we really, really like this' folder! Each time we've come back to it, we've liked it more and more.

It's on a very small resort (only five houses), and seems to be pretty secluded but without being isolated, and with access to taxi and bus services. I emailed the owners to see if we can come and view it, and they've been really helpful and welcoming, so perhaps we'll get lucky! Of course, the reality of the place may be very different (we've found this so many times in the UK!), so yes, I agree about not booking anywhere until we've seen it!

We've booked a hotel for five nights in the Old City, so that should give us enough time to go house/condo-hunting, and if we have to extend the booking for a bit while we wait for the contracts to be drawn up, that's fine, we can do that - it won't be a problem.

Once again, thank you both so much for your help - if we ever meet, I'll buy you a beer! :D
 

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Rates aside from uitilities are usually included in the rent:
- tax on renting out the property
- service charge for the village of condominium (pool, garden, cleaning, garbage, communal use of water and electricity [lamp-posts])

You as an Italian will like it in Thailand. In my opinion, Italy is more or less the "Thailand" of Europe; regarding way of life, the balance between work and relaxation, the laid-back attitude of the Italians (in a positive way).
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Rates aside from uitilities are usually included in the rent:
- tax on renting out the property
- service charge for the village of condominium (pool, garden, cleaning, garbage, communal use of water and electricity [lamp-posts])
That's great, thank you Joseph! I realise we can't know everything before we've actually lived out there (and different people will have different experiences) but as much knowledge as possible beforehand is a good thing, I feel. It certainly means less donkey-work to do when we get there! :)

You as an Italian will like it in Thailand. In my opinion, Italy is more or less the "Thailand" of Europe; regarding way of life, the balance between work and relaxation, the laid-back attitude of the Italians (in a positive way).
Absolutely! We are both very laid-back people (although, my partner is incredibly driven and dynamic at work. I'm much more relaxed however!) - I don't even own a watch!

In Venexia, we have a saying; "Viver felice!", which means, "Live happy!" It's a great attitude to have, in my opinion; there is too much misery in this world, which sadly for some, is unavoidable - there's no need to bring it on ourselves. For me, good food, good wine, good company, and sunshine - perfetto! Everything else is just extras! :D
 

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"Krung Thep" is the name Thais use for the city of Bangkok. They are the same place. Farangs call it Bangkok and only local expat farangs will understand if you use the name Krung Thep , while tourists will just give you a blank look. All Thais understand "Bangkok" of course.

Using "Krung Thep" in speech of course doesn't make you a t***** but if you stick to Bangkok everybody will understand where you're talking about !
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
"Krung Thep" is the name Thais use for the city of Bangkok. They are the same place. Farangs call it Bangkok and only local expat farangs will understand if you use the name Krung Thep , while tourists will just give you a blank look. All Thais understand "Bangkok" of course.

Using "Krung Thep" in speech of course doesn't make you a t***** but if you stick to Bangkok everybody will understand where you're talking about !
Thanks Mweiga - much appreciated! :D
 

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Thanks Mweiga - much appreciated! :D
If you really have the time: "Krungthepmahanakhon Amornrattanakosin Mahintharayutthaya Mahadilokphop Noppharat Ratchathaniburirom Udomratchaniwetmahasathan Amonphiman Awatansathit Sakkathattiyawitsanukamprasit" and that's the official name of Bangkok - The City of Angels.

Both farang and Thai will look puzzled.

As said, Bangkok is most common and understood by most farang and Thai.
 

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It's fun to look at rental properties over the internet before you arrive but do not under any circumstances commit to renting a place before you get here and drive around. Understand that if a place is adveritised in english on the internet then the asking rate will almost certainly be SUBSTANTIALLY more than you might pay by driving around and calling phone numbers on signs etc. And by that I mean at least double the price. Then there is also the issue of finding out your new neighbours breed puppies or like to burn plastic waste etc etc.
 

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It's fun to look at rental properties over the internet before you arrive but do not under any circumstances commit to renting a place before you get here and drive around. Understand that if a place is adveritised in english on the internet then the asking rate will almost certainly be SUBSTANTIALLY more than you might pay by driving around and calling phone numbers on signs etc. And by that I mean at least double the price. Then there is also the issue of finding out your new neighbours breed puppies or like to burn plastic waste etc etc.
Not to mention karaoke-bars, pop-n-mom-shops and motorbike-repair-shops.
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
Not to mention karaoke-bars, pop-n-mom-shops and motorbike-repair-shops.
I once lived opposite a pub which occasionally had karaoke nights in the summer...it made me chuckle a lot. Since moving to the house we are currently in (until Saturday - yay!), I have grown to loathe karaoke, noisy neighbours, and people (idiots) who think it's perfectly acceptable to drive up and down the street in the small hours, with boom-boom music (and I use the term in its loosest sense) blaring out. Having lived in rural areas most of my life, living in a large town came as something of a shock!
 

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I once lived opposite a pub which occasionally had karaoke nights in the summer...it made me chuckle a lot. Since moving to the house we are currently in (until Saturday - yay!), I have grown to loathe karaoke, noisy neighbours, and people (idiots) who think it's perfectly acceptable to drive up and down the street in the small hours, with boom-boom music (and I use the term in its loosest sense) blaring out. Having lived in rural areas most of my life, living in a large town came as something of a shock!
Haha yeah, rural areas in Thailand:
- 5 a.m. the village -speaker starts with his daily announcements
- followed by the local cock (presumably living next door) waking up all the hens
- and chased by the annoyed (and annoying) dogs

If lucky (well luck), you live near the local temple and its inhabitants start their morning duties with a monotone morning-prayer.

Advantage of this morning-ritual: it takes approx. 10 minutes, although the chickens and the dogs don't have watches. :tongue1:
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
Haha yeah, rural areas in Thailand:
- 5 a.m. the village -speaker starts with his daily announcements
- followed by the local cock (presumably living next door) waking up all the hens
- and chased by the annoyed (and annoying) dogs

If lucky (well luck), you live near the local temple and its inhabitants start their morning duties with a monotone morning-prayer.

Advantage of this morning-ritual: it takes approx. 10 minutes, although the chickens and the dogs don't have watches. :tongue1:
I can deal with animal noises! My friend and I used to run a 5-acre permaculture farm... cockerels are infinitely preferable to the idiots who live next door to me here, waking me up at 3am when they get home from clubbing (it's a very good job that thoughts cannot kill - there'd be considerably fewer people around here if they could)! :p

In Turkey, we had the Imam calling people to prayer - was lovely to hear in the mornings, floating across the town! And of course, being Venetian, I am more than used to the campanile (I miss the sound of the bells sooo much!) in the mornings. :D
 

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^^ 5am?

Lived rural for a year with 6am announcements Mon/Wed/Fri, but not an issue as everyone was up and about by then, local schoolkids had to be ready for the pickup/bus at 7am to get them to school, partner's b-in-law is a farm contractor and would work every hour of daylight at the various planting or harvest times . . . so the big tractor was often warming up before 6am; the roosters would cock-a-doodle-doo at any time of day or night, dawn had no meaning to them, often disturbed my afternoon siesta nap. Only rarely a barking dog though, any strays/dumped dogs would be collected by a local and traded to the 'dog-man' who came collecting every 10-14 days.

That's farm life.

We have been in our current house almost 12 months now and very happy; on the edge of town (approx 5000), about 80m along a no-exit street of less than 20 houses spread among orchard properties. One dog I wouldn't be sad to see go away, a well-looked after Golden Labrador that has a habit of sitting mid-road about 100m away and barking for no apparent reason some nights around 3am. Lonely perhaps.

Two monks do their walk-by most mornings, very regular time-wise usually within +/- 5min of 7am.

We'd visited this district 4 times previously, when we made the move it was to a beach resort 20km away and spent days here asking about local rentals - none were openly advertised - found people willing to help, one woman with a food-stall seemed to know everyone, she and a fireman we met gave us lots of places to call and it's worked out well from there.

****
Still in contact with former neighbours in Phuket; what was a fairly quiet area changed a few months after we left, when a small bar setup opened in an otherwise residential area, now often opens till 2am depending on customers, owned by an Englishman with the bright idea that another bar was just what Phuket needed. No thanks. No planning permission or neighbours' consent required it seems.
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
^^ 5am?

Lived rural for a year with 6am announcements Mon/Wed/Fri, but not an issue as everyone was up and about by then, local schoolkids had to be ready for the pickup/bus at 7am to get them to school, partner's b-in-law is a farm contractor and would work every hour of daylight at the various planting or harvest times . . . so the big tractor was often warming up before 6am; the roosters would cock-a-doodle-doo at any time of day or night, dawn had no meaning to them, often disturbed my afternoon siesta nap. Only rarely a barking dog though, any strays/dumped dogs would be collected by a local and traded to the 'dog-man' who came collecting every 10-14 days.

That's farm life.
Yep! I'm always awake as dawn is breaking, and I have to say that it's my favourite time of day to go for a run too. I'm definitely a morning person...trouble is, by dusk, I'm ready for bed! :D

When you say 'traded' with the dog man...did he use the dogs for food?

We have been in our current house almost 12 months now and very happy; on the edge of town (approx 5000), about 80m along a no-exit street of less than 20 houses spread among orchard properties.
I've read some of your other posts, and have to say that I've really enjoyed reading about your home. And I loved the photo of the elephants sign (dear gods, I sound like a mad stalker person)!

One dog I wouldn't be sad to see go away, a well-looked after Golden Labrador that has a habit of sitting mid-road about 100m away and barking for no apparent reason some nights around 3am. Lonely perhaps.
Aww poor thing - perhaps he needs a friend?

Two monks do their walk-by most mornings, very regular time-wise usually within +/- 5min of 7am.
Great time of day to go for a walk. I expect that on non-run days, I'll be doing similar!

We'd visited this district 4 times previously, when we made the move it was to a beach resort 20km away and spent days here asking about local rentals - none were openly advertised - found people willing to help, one woman with a food-stall seemed to know everyone, she and a fireman we met gave us lots of places to call and it's worked out well from there.
Sounds wonderful, and so cool that you were able to go to the locals rather than a property agent. And a great way to get to know people too, I should imagine.

I've volunteered for a project helping disadvantaged kids for a month in April. I figured it would be a great way to get to know people (particularly ones who have similar ethics to me), to learn some of the language first-hand, and to do something useful. And if I'm honest, for selfish reasons in that I miss working with kids (I left the education system after 13 years to go into the videogames industry). I'm really looking forward to getting all messy with clay and paints!

Still in contact with former neighbours in Phuket; what was a fairly quiet area changed a few months after we left, when a small bar setup opened in an otherwise residential area, now often opens till 2am depending on customers, owned by an Englishman with the bright idea that another bar was just what Phuket needed. No thanks. No planning permission or neighbours' consent required it seems.
That sounds truly awful. I'm all for people making a living but not at the expense of the peace and quiet and comfort of others. I loathe inconsideration, I really do. I can't wait to get away from that kind of thing!
 

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Hi again - try to answer your questions:

When you say 'traded' with the dog man...did he use the dogs for food?

Indirectly; understand he was an agent who collected the dogs, was told he on-sold them in Nakhon Sawan (north). A pic I took one day when he passed me when i was out cycling; the 'trade' involved swapping dog/s for plastic bowls, buckets etc.

Aww poor thing - perhaps he needs a friend?
The Golden Labrador. One night I decided I would like to sleep and chased him away, very late. I thought I was the only one up at that hour, but next day our neighbour, between laughs, suggested I should wear more than a bath-towel when dog chasing, whatever the hour! Hope I didn't shock her too much.

go to the locals rather than a property agent
I did similar with the first place I rented in Phuket, in that case I asked the caretaker/cleaner of the place I was renting short-term, her sister didn't work one day a week and agreed for 1000 baht (nothing's free in Phuket!) to find suitable places for me; great deal, she asked around and had a selection for me to view on the day, none of the owners spoke any English so having her was invaluable and I found the little house that I was happy with till I moved the following year. I've found asking for help is an easy way to meet people, often see the fireman we first met a year ago, he and his friends always call out when they see me and I've done some fitness training with them too.

I've volunteered
fantastic; I've been involved in rugby fitness/coaching, also water safety training, school volleyball, and great way to meet the parents, pick up some language from the kids - who often want to practice their limited English too. I did some helping out at a school (not teaching/classroom) when we were on the farm till a year ago, and yesterday was so good to see many teachers/parents again as they made a school trip here to Chanthaburi and I was the 'lifeguard' at the beach (no losses got the same number of kids on the bus as had arrived). For many of the kids it was the first time they had seen the sea, nice experience for them despite it not being the best weather.

 

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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
Hi again - try to answer your questions:

Indirectly; understand he was an agent who collected the dogs, was told he on-sold them in Nakhon Sawan (north). A pic I took one day when he passed me when i was out cycling; the 'trade' involved swapping dog/s for plastic bowls, buckets etc.
Gosh, those dogs look rather unhappy. Still, needs must, I suppose, and better they get made into food than have unhappy, starving, disease-ridden lives. At least the villagers can get something useful out of it too. We are so fortunate in the West, to have the luxury of not having to make decisions like that, and to have the luxury of choosing a diet according to our moral compass.


The Golden Labrador. One night I decided I would like to sleep and chased him away, very late. I thought I was the only one up at that hour, but next day our neighbour, between laughs, suggested I should wear more than a bath-towel when dog chasing, whatever the hour! Hope I didn't shock her too much.
At least the bath towel stayed on! :p


I did similar with the first place I rented in Phuket, in that case I asked the caretaker/cleaner of the place I was renting short-term, her sister didn't work one day a week and agreed for 1000 baht (nothing's free in Phuket!) to find suitable places for me; great deal, she asked around and had a selection for me to view on the day, none of the owners spoke any English so having her was invaluable and I found the little house that I was happy with till I moved the following year. I've found asking for help is an easy way to meet people, often see the fireman we first met a year ago, he and his friends always call out when they see me and I've done some fitness training with them too.
Sounds great - I must admit that we've been thinking along similar lines if the house we're viewing next week turns out to be not quite as we're hoping. The way we see it, if we are going to be living amongst the locals, then we should get to know them as soon as possible, and give them a chance to get to know us. The last thing we want to be is big stompy westerners! Plus, I don't think there is any substitute for local knowledge (whether it comes from the Thais or from seasoned farangs!).


fantastic; I've been involved in rugby fitness/coaching, also water safety training, school volleyball, and great way to meet the parents, pick up some language from the kids - who often want to practice their limited English too. I did some helping out at a school (not teaching/classroom) when we were on the farm till a year ago, and yesterday was so good to see many teachers/parents again as they made a school trip here to Chanthaburi and I was the 'lifeguard' at the beach (no losses got the same number of kids on the bus as had arrived). For many of the kids it was the first time they had seen the sea, nice experience for them despite it not being the best weather.
Sounds wonderful (esp. re. no mortalities, heheh!)! There's just something magical about kids and the sea, particularly if it's their first time. :D

Great pics, by the way! Do you have a photo blog anywhere? I'd love to see more of your images.
 

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Great pics, by the way! Do you have a photo blog anywhere? I'd love to see more of your images.
follow the link in my signature file; don't rate my pics as 'great', taken either with a mobile phone or cheap camera as I cycle the roads . . . salt water and bumps haven't had a camera last a year yet.
 
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