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Phuket Gardening: Dangers in the Garden of Eden

Legacy Phuket Gazette

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PHUKET: Everyone knows that some plants are poisonous, and we gardeners in Phuket know that Thailand has more than its fair share. In truth, the Kingdom also has more than its fair share of edible species – as this column has frequently documented.

Although you are hardly likely to attempt to eat any part of the following toxic plants, do wash your hands after handling any of them.

The list includes some of the most beautiful shrubs around: most of the apocynaceae family such as oleander and thevetia, allamandas and euphorbias (including the crown of thorns), the shade plants diffenbachia (dumbcane) and caladium (elephant ear), the adenium or desert rose, the angel’s trumpet (brugmansia) and, deadliest of all, the castor-oil plant (ricinus).

Most of these plants have toxic sap which is whitish, sticky and latex-like, but in the case of the castor-oil plant, it is the seeds that are deadly. At least only the castor-oil plant has tempting-looking berries to attract the attention of curious children.

Other dangers in your personal Garden of Eden have more to do with its fast moving inhabitants. We all know about mosquitoes. What makes them so irritating (in more senses than one) is the fact that the female anopheles tends to be most active in the early morning, or before the sun starts to go down. And these, of course, are the coolest times for watering your garden, or for undertaking more strenuous tasks, such as an evening stroll.

Moreover, since mosquitoes tend to hide behind vegetation, any disturbance tends to arouse their blood-sucking desires. And they are, so recent research reveals, especially attracted by the odors emanating from feet!

Any water plant pots should also provide a home for fish such as swordtails: they will ensure that none of the mosquito eggs dropped into the water develop into larvae. Stagnant water without fish will rapidly become a breeding ground.

At the expense of a few fish, you might even encourage dragonflies. Their larva are vicious aquatic predators with a retractable claw, but if you have a few brilliant-hued adults quartering your swimming pool, you can be sure that they will mop up most mosquitoes in the vicinity.

Ants are maybe worse than mosquitoes. They seem to patrol any number of plants, often protecting the aphids, which suck sap from plant stems and produce a sweet substance called honeydew, much beloved of their guardians.

If you happen to disturb other species, (some red ants nest in trees and large shrubs), they are liable to attack without warning. I once attempted to knock one of their football-sized nests from a tree. The result? I was dive-bombed by hundreds of angry ants and got at least twenty stings for my pains. And some people, myself included, are allergic to the formic acid in ant stings. Bring on the anti-histamine tablets.

Finally a warning about leaf litter. If you need to collect the dead leaves which are now steadily accumulating in the current dry season, make sure you either use a rake, or wear gloves if you intend to pick them up by hand. Why? There may be all sorts of nasties lurking underneath the foliage.

Centipedes can deliver a very unpleasant bite – millipedes will not, but they are full of cyanide, and should not be handled. Nor should you pick off hairy caterpillars, which can bring you out in an unpleasant rash.

One furry larval creature, bright green in color, blends with the underside of a leaf so as to be almost invisible. What it turns into, I have yet to discover, but one touch and the resulting rash will last a long time.

And remember, there are scorpions and serpents in Eden.

Phuket Gardening is Phuket Gazette columnist Patrick Campbell’s feature of all things flora.

If you have a question or a garden that you would like featured, you can email Patrick Campbell here.

Keep checking our online Phuket Lifestyle pages for regular gardening features and tips.

— Patrick Campbell

 

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Archiving articles from the Phuket Gazette circa 1998 - 2017. View the Phuket Gazette online archive and Digital Gazette PDF Prints.

Thai Life

Top 5 international schools in Thailand

Cita Catellya

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There are many excellent international schools in Thailand, but finding the right one can be difficult. One of the biggest challenges about moving to Thailand, or any new country, will be finding the best school for your children.

For the parents, choosing a good school in a new place can be a hassle. There’s always a fear of making the wrong choice, and end up sending your kids to a bad school.

For the children, there’s all the trouble of adjusting to different education systems and languages. They also have to deal with the hassle of having to make new friends. Thus, an international school is a better option for expats kids who live in Thailand. Instead of forcing them to follow the local education curriculum, they provide an international curriculum. They also use English as the language of instruction.

In addition, international schools also offer numerous advantages. These institutions provide a high quality of education. Therefore, parents can watch their children get the best education with no worries. Below, we have compiled some of the better international schools in Thailand to help you with your search! It’s not a definitive or graded list…

1. NIST International School, Bangkok

NIST International School first opened its door in 1992. Many considered this school as one of the best of Tier 1 international schools in Thailand. Furthermore, it is one of the few schools in Thailand that offers the full International Baccalaureate (IB) Program, as well as a variety of programmes ranging from kindergarten to high school graduation. Furthermore, NIST was the first school in Thailand to receive triple accreditation – CIS, NEASC, and ONESQA accredited them.

Students in NIST International School can enjoy the top-of-the-range facilities that the school offers. The facilities include a creative arts building, counselling lounges, science labs, a sports complex (with a FIFA-standard pitch), theatre, tech centres, and more.

NIST also offers 300+ extra-curricular activities (ECAs). ECAs consist of drama, sports, art, music, language, technology, and many more.

Curriculum: IB.

Address: 36 Sukhumvit Soi 15, Klongtoey-nua, Wattana, Bangkok 10110.

Contact Info: +66 (0) 2017 5888

Website: https://www.nist.ac.th

NIST International School. Top 5 International Schools in Thailand.

NIST International School.

2. British International School, Phuket

Founded in 1996, British International School Phuket (BISP) is Phuket’s largest international school. It now offers a wide range of education from pre-school (18 months old) to Year 13 (18 years old). The school offers the National Curriculum for England with an international slant. Moreover, it has consistently achieved high results in both IBDP and IGCSE exams.

BISP is also known for its Aspirational Curriculum. The school runs five sports academies, including football, swimming, tennis, triathlon, and golf. In addition to sport, the Aspirational Curriculum also includes Art & Design Academy, Business Academy, and STEM Academy. Students can take part in numerous extra-curricular activities in this school, such as movie making, Thai cooking, street dancing, and touch rugby.

BISP has one of the most beautiful campuses in Thailand. The 44-acre campus includes eight boarding houses, as well as primary and secondary schools. You can also find science labs, a refectory, art and music centres, and a 300-seat auditorium within the campus. In addition, the school is highly praised for their sports facilities, including swimming pools, football pitches, tennis courts, and a golf centre.

Curriculum: IB, UK Curriculum.

Address: 59 Moo 2, Thepkrasattri Road, T. Koh Kaew, A. Muang, Mueang Phuket District, Phuket 83000.

Contact Info: +66 (0) 76 335 555 / info@bisphuket.ac.th

Website: https://www.bisphuket.ac.th/

British International School Phuket. Top 5 International Schools in Thailand.

British International School Phuket.

3. Regents International School Pattaya

Since its opening in 1994, Regents International School Pattaya has built up a reputation as one of the top international schools in Eastern Seabord. This all-through day and boarding school offers the British curriculum, IGCSE, and the IBDP.

Regents International School Pattaya is popular for its well-rounded education. Collaborating with MIT, the school is particularly known for its innovative teaching of science, technology, engineering, arts, and mathematics (STEAM).

Aside from its focus on academic excellence, it also emphasizes global citizenship, leadership, languages, and music. The school has ICT rooms and a music technology suite, along with fully-equipped art studios. Their music curriculum is based on a repertoire curated by Juilliard. Furthermore, students can join the school choirs, orchestra, tuned percussion ensemble, and rock bands.

This fully inclusive school has a nursery, primary school, and secondary school. Additionally, it also provides boarding to students from Year 3 upwards.

Curriculum: IB, UK Curriculum.

Address: 33/3 Moo 1 Pong, Banglamung Chonburi Pattaya, 20, 20150.

Contact Info: +66 (0) 38 418 777

Website: https://www.nordangliaeducation.com/en/our-schools/pattaya

Regents International School Pattaya.

Regents International School Pattaya.

4. Bangkok Patana School, Bangkok

Bangkok Patana School was founded in 1957, making it the oldest international school in Thailand. Until today, the school still maintains close ties to its British heritage. Therefore, the majority of teachers here are British, as are the students.

Patana is mainly known for its excellence in the arts and sports. It has a huge art centre, with a 300-seat black box, 600-seat Rosamund Stuetzel theatre, an orchestra practice room, multi-media production studios, drama studios, and more.

In addition to the arts, the school also excels in sports. It has frequent swimming galas, inter-class tournaments, sports days, an “aquathlon” run and swims challenge, as well as record-breaking competitions. The sports facilities are, without a doubt, excellent and their students can take advantage of sports fields, a sports hall with a climbing wall, mini tennis courts, dance studios, swimming pools, and many more.

Curriculum: IB, UK Curriculum.

Address: Bangkok Patana School, 643 La Salle Road (Sukhumvit 105), Bangna Tai, Bangna, Bangkok 10260.

Contact Info: +66 (0) 2785 2200

Website: https://www.patana.ac.th/

Bangkok Patana School. One of the top 5 international schools in Thailand.

Bangkok Patana School.

5. United World College (UWC) Thailand, Phuket

Like NIST International School, United World College Thailand (UWCT) is one of only a few schools in Thailand to offer the complete IB program. Thus, the school is an excellent choice for parents looking for international education for their children. The school was originally Phuket International Academy in 2009 then changed to UWC school in 2016.

UWCT is acknowledged for encouraging its students to flourish intellectually, physically, and emotionally. The school is also recognized internationally for its focus on embedding mindfulness and Social-Emotional Learning (SEL). That is to say, it stands out for its holistic educational program that covers academia, service, mindfulness, and outdoor education.

Sitting at the foothills of a national park in Phuket, UWCT boasts a stunning green campus. The campus includes a performing arts centre, black box theatre, sports hall, and multi-purpose hall. It is situated near the Thanyapura Health & Sports Resort. Therefore, students have access to the resort’s beach volley pitch, fitness centres, sports pitches, sports courts, athletics track, and swimming pools.

Curriculum: IB.

Address: 115/15 Moo 7 Thepkasattri Road, Thepkasattri, Thalang, Phuket, 83110.

Contact Info: +66 (0) 76 336 076 / info@uwcthailand.ac.th

Website: https://uwcthailand.ac.th/

United World College Thailand.

United World College.

If you’re looking for the best international school in Thailand to send your children, you can consider and reach out to some of the schools listed above. Some of these schools usually hold open houses to give you a closer look at how the schools run. However, in the middle of the Covid-19 pandemic, many of them have to close down temporarily, so they host virtual tours.

 

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Thai Life

Top 5 classes to take in Thailand

Cita Catellya

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Looking for great classes to take in Thailand for 2021? Then you’ve come to the right place!

Thailand is one of the most popular tourist and expat destinations in the world, and it’s easy to see why. It is known for its beautiful beaches, gleaming temples, delectable cuisine, and natural beauty. It boasts stunning beaches, gleaming temples, delicious food, and natural beauty. The country, undoubtedly, is the go-to place for everyone who wants to enjoy a tropical holiday or have a relaxing lifestyle. Travelling or living in Thailand is also an excellent opportunity to learn new skills and get a closer look at the country’s culture. In fact, the country is teeming with classes you can take to get a taste of the real Thailand or to simply acquire a new skill.

Besides learning more about Thailand, many people also take classes for the sole purpose of obtaining a Non-Immigrant O Visa (ED) or Education Visa. This type of visa allows them to stay in the country long term, but they need to study or participate in the training of some kind. However, with so many courses and schools to choose from, it can be difficult to pick the best one. That’s why we’ve compiled a list of the top 5 best classes you can take in Thailand.

5 Best Classes to Take In Thailand

Whether you want to be productive during your stay in Thailand or you simply want to take classes to obtain an ED visa, let’s take a look at our pick of the top five classes to take in Thailand.

1. Duke Language School – Learn the Thai Language

The first class on our list is Thai language class because there’s no better way to understand Thai people and their culture than learning the language. If you’re determined to improve your Thai language skills, make sure you learn from the best. Based on our research, Duke Language School is one of the top Thai language schools. Even during this Covid-19 pandemic, their classes often sold out!

Located in Bangkok, Duke makes learning Thai fun, interesting, and engaging. The teachers are highly trained and will teach you in an enjoyable and interactive way, so you’ll never get bored in class. Their learning process is broken down into 9 modules, which depend on your level of Thai. Each module lasts 4 weeks.

Instead of adopting the typical 90 minutes, once-a-week format, this language school has a different timetable. With Duke Language School, you’ll learn Thai 5 days a week, from Monday to Friday, for 3 hours per day in the morning or afternoon. Alternatively, you can also choose to have night and weekend classes, with slightly different timetables, but still as extensive. If you need a more flexible schedule, you can also enroll in their private lessons.

Duke Language School offers Education Visa packages. By enrolling in their 8-month or 14-month program, you will obtain Education Visa.

Pricing:
INTENSIVE GROUP LESSONS – ฿8,000 per course (60 hours of class).
PRIVATE LESSONS – ฿600 per hour (2 hours per session), with no minimum booking.

Address: 10/63, Trendy Building, 3rd floor, Sukhumvit Soi 13, Wattana, Bangkok 10110. 5 minutes walk from Nana BTS station.

Contact Info: info@dukelanguage.com / +66 2-168-7274 / +66 8-2444-1595

Website: dukelanguage.com

Thai Class in Duke Language School

Group lessons in Duke Language School.

2. Tiger Muay Thai and MMA – Learn Martial Arts

Muay Thai, also known as Thai Boxing, is Thailand’s national sport and cultural martial art. It is the most famous form of boxing in the Land of Smiles.

There are numerous gyms and schools around Thailand offering Muay Thai. However, one of the most famous is Tiger Muay Thai & Mixed Martial Arts. In this Muay Thai school, you can learn how to transform your body into a lethal weapon as a way to protect yourself and to box in the ring. You will be taught numerous techniques to utilize your arms, legs, shins, elbows, and knees as a way to box. Most certainly, you will train and fight with some of the most experienced Muay Thai Trainers.

The Muay Thai training in Tiger Muay Thai & Mixed Martial Arts is divided into 3 levels: Beginners, Intermediate, and Advanced. In addition to Muay Thai Training, you can also combine the classes with Mixed Martial Arts (MMA) Training to further hone your skills. If you prefer to have private lessons, then you can consider their 1-on-1 Muay Thai Privates.

If you’re looking for Muay Thai and ED visa packages, Tiger Muay Thai & Mixed Martial Arts offers courses for 6 months and 12 months. Each option includes the ED visa and immigration extension fees.

Pricing:
MUAY THAI TRAINING – ฿3,900 (1 week), ฿12,500 (1 Month), ฿32,500 (3 months).
1-ON-1 MUAY THAI PRIVATES – ฿700 (1 session), ฿6,500 (10 sessions).

Address: 7/35 Moo 5, Soi Ta-iad, Ao Chalong, Muang, Phuket 83130.

Contact Info: info@tigermuaythai.com / +66 (0)76 367 071

Website: www.tigermuaythai.com

Muay Thai Class in Tiger Muay Thai and Mixed Martial Arts

Muay Thai Class in Tiger Muay Thai and Mixed Martial Arts.

3. Hua Hin Thai Cooking Academy – Learn How to Cook Thai Dishes

Thai cooking classes have become a staple for those visiting Thailand. Various culinary schools can be found all around the country, and Hua Hin Thai Cooking Academy is among the best. They tailor their menus and styles to cater to all dietary needs. Therefore, vegans, vegetarians, and picky eaters can all take part and have fun here.

The professional, English-speaking Thai chef in Hua Hin Thai Cooking Academy will teach you authentic Thai cooking in enjoyable and easy-to-follow ways. First, the chef will demonstrate how to make each dish. Then, you will have the opportunity to duplicate the dish with their help. Each class usually includes 5 – 10 dishes. The best thing is, you have the freedom to pick the dishes you want to learn. After each class, you can enjoy what you cook and get a taste of authentic Thai food.

Hua Hin Thai Cooking Academy offers half-day and full-day classes. They also provide a 90-day student visa cooking program. This program allows you to complete the 4 weeks, 6 weeks, and 7 weeks Advanced Cooking Course.

Pricing:
REGULAR COOKING CLASS – ฿1,300 (half-day class) and ฿2,200 (full-day class).
1-ON-1 PRIVATE CLASS – ฿2,650 per 4 hour class for 1st student, ฿1,550 for each additional student.

Address: 210/4 Phetkasem Road, Soi 82, Hua Hin 77110.

Contact Info: Ron@HuaHinThaiCookingAcademy.com / +66 86 004 0839 (domestic calls) / +66 860-040-839 (international calls)

Website: huahinthaicookingacademy.com

Cooking class in Hua Hin Thai Cooking Academy. The best cooking class in Thailand.

Cooking class in Hua Hin Thai Cooking Academy.

4. rumPUREE Dance Studio – Learn Thai Dance

Want to dance like a Thai? Learn how at rumPUREE Dance Studio. Established in 2006, rumPUREE means “City of Dances,” which comes from “Rum” (Thai word for “dances”) and “Puree” (Sanskrit word for “city”). At this dance studio, you can learn all about Thai dance while improving your posture and balance. You may even be able to reduce stress by learning the dances.

There are several levels of dances in rumPUREE Dance Studio, starting from introduction to advanced level. There is also an “All Level” class, which is open to everyone with or without previous dance experience. With the all-level class, the dance instructor will adjust the lesson to fit the participants.

In addition to Thai dances, rumPUREE Dance Studio also offer classes for numerous world dances. You can choose to take part in pole dancing, belly dancing, Tango, Hip Hop, and even Bollywood dances.

Pricing:
FIRST TIMER – ฿400 per 1 hour and ฿600 per 1.5 hours.
PAY PER VISIT – ฿650 per 1 hour and ฿900 per 1.5 hours.
1 WEEK – ฿1,500 for 1 hour.
1.5 MONTHS – ฿3,000 for 6 hours.
3 MONTHS – starting from ฿5,000 for 10 hours.

Address:
ASOK – 2nd Fl, Jasmine City Bldg., Sukhumvit 23 Alley, Khlong Toei, Watthana, Bangkok 10110. BTS Asok (Exit 6), MRT Sukhumvit.
SAMYAN – Samyan Mitrtown 3rd floor, 944 Rama IV Rd, Wang Mai, Pathumwan,
Bangkok 10330.

Contact Info: +66 92-204-9677 (ASOK) / +66 92-204-9655 (SAMYAN)

Website: www.rumpuree.com

Thai Dancers at rumPUREE Dance Studio. The best Thai dance class in Thailand.

rumPUREE Thai Dance Class.

5. The Thai Massage School of Chiang Mai (TMC) – Learn Thai Massage

Although sometimes painful, Traditional Thai Massage can induce comfort and does wonders for your nervous system. Therefore, taking Thai Massage classes is an excellent opportunity while you’re staying in Thailand.

The Thai Massage School of Chiang Mai, also known as TMC, is a very well-known Thai massage school in Thailand. Founded in 2001, this Thai massage school offers a wide range of Thai Traditional Massage classes. They also have a teacher training program.

The courses at TMC Thailand ranges from short courses (30 hours) up to comprehensive courses (150 hours). If you prefer to take part in shorter classes, you can choose to learn chair massage, foot reflexology, table massage, and more. Each course in this Thai massage school is taught by high-quality teachers.

Pricing:
SHORT COURSES (LEVEL 1-2-3) – ฿8,500 (30 hours – 5 days).
COMPREHENSIVE COURSES (COMBINATION OF LEVEL 1-2-3 COURSES) – ฿25,500 (9 hours – 15 days).
THAI FOOT REFLEXOLOGY – ฿6,900 (12 hours – 2 days).
THAI TABLE MASSAGE – ฿7,500 (12 hours – 2 days).
BASIC THAI MASSAGE – ฿7,500 (18 hours – 3 days).

Address: 203/6 MAE JO ROAD (Across Ruam Choke Market), Moo 6, T.Faham, Chiang Mai 50000.

Contact Info: +66 53-854330 – +66 53-854331 (domestic calls) / +66 53-854330 – +66 53-854331 (international calls) / info@tmcschool.com.

Website: www.tmcschool.com

Thai Massage Clasess at TMC

Massage classes at TMC.

We hope that this list of top classes you can take in Thailand motivates you to challenge yourself to learn new skills!

 

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Thaiger app sending you too many notifications? Quick fix here

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We all hate it when our phone buzzes and the endorphins start firing, only for the excitement to be crushed as you realise it’s just a notification for an article about Tuk Tuk drivers having a fight somewhere off the Sukhumvit Road! Too many notifications can be really frustrating, which is why The Thaiger App lets you specify exactly what notifications you want to receive and what ones you don’t. All you need to do is find the Settings button in the bottom-right of the screen, click that, and set up your notifications – all done in less than 5 seconds.

Only want notifications for the latest Covid-19 updates? Toggle all others off and leave Coronavirus (Covid-19) on.

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We’ll always welcome your feedback, whether something’s broken and not working as expected, or it’s something you think we should include that we don’t currently have. Just remember though, our sole intention for the app is to deliver the news to your mobile phone in a cleaner, more convenient way. We’re not quite ready to implement any groundbreaking tech enhancements just yet!

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