Category Archives: Languages

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Visakha Bucha Day – วันวิสาขบูชา

Each year on Visakha Bucha Day, Buddhists all over the world commemorate three great events on this full moon of the sixth lunar month: The birth, enlightenment and the passing away of Gautama Buddha.

Devout Buddhists rise early to visit temples to make merit and listen to sermons on the Buddha’s teachings.

After sunset, candle-lit processions will take place at major temples throughout the country, with devout Buddhists walking clockwise three times around the principal chapel while clasping three incense sticks, a lighted candle and lotus buds. During the “wiang tian” candle processions, the air is filled with burning incense and smoke from the candles as the faithful complete this most sacred of Buddhist celebrations.

On Saturday, most government offices on the island will be closed, including Phuket Immigration Office, the Employment Office, the Land Transport Office, and the island’s three District Offices. Also, most local consulates will be closed.

All main bank branches will be closed, but branches in shopping centres will remain open.

All Royal Thai Police and Tourist Police stations will remain open.

As Visakha Bucha Day is a holy day, all shops, bars and restaurants are barred from selling alcohol for 24 hours from midnight to midnight on Saturday (00:01hrs-23:59hrs).

However, there is no ban on the sale of alcohol next Monday.

Rainy season

What to do if it rains and you not visiting the school.

On the lovely Phuket Island, although mostly sunny during the high season, you are likely to experience some heavy downpours if you visit between May and October.

1. Phuket Aquarium

Phuket Aquarium is one of the main tourist attractions on the island and it is a great place to visit regardless of whether it is raining or not! It boasts an amazing display of tropical sea life and takes you on a journey through different habitats. From mangroves through coral reefs and down to the deepest sea – you’ll see it all here. The main attraction at the Phuket Aquarium, is the ‘underwater tunnel’, a large cylindrical tank with a tunnel cut through the center that enables visitors to walk ‘in the sea’ while fish are swimming all around.

2. Thai Cookery Course

Thai cookery is an art form in itself, needing a fine balance of fresh ingredients, blending and a balance of flavors. There are many Thai cookery courses available across the island, from taster sessions to intensive courses for adults and children. Ask our school if they already have been scheduler a course only for the students of the school.

3. Shopping

Go shopping! Phuket is a paradise for all kinds of shoppers and whether you are after vintage items, souvenir shops or high street stores, you will find it on the island. One of the biggest and best places to go shopping is the Central Festival in Kathu. The mall is an air-conditioned and fully equipped one-stop shopping center!

4. Treat Yourself

Professional spas and treatments are available in most areas of Phuket. Once you are at the spa, taking advantage of the decent prices for treatments such as manicures and pedicures are an added feel-good treat. If you are extra lucky, you might even find an all in one salon, where you can get a haircut in the same facility! Ensure that the spa is recommended by a friend or ask our school if they know one with a guaranteed positive experience.

5. Go to a Museum

Phuket Trick Museum is a fun place to experience in Phuket. The museum will keep you busy for a couple of hours and it’s definitely a place to bring your camera along to. There is a collection of 3D pieces for the guests to interact with and as long as you let go and let the child inside you out – you are sure to have an enjoyable time.

6. Watch Live Sports

Don’t miss out on a live indoor Muay Thai Boxing fight. It is an increasingly popular spectator sport for adults. Muay Thai matches are often hosted in the evenings and buying tickets in advance is recommended. To ensure you are paying fair prices, ask an official guide for the details and tickets.

7. Do Sports

Learn Thai at our school and learn Muay Thai to exercise the brain and the body. Both are great to experience. The best school and some of the best camps are located on Phuket.  Go for Muay Thai to an introduction lesson and regardless of your fitness level or age, it is sure to be an enjoyable experience. If you want to simply watch while others train, that is also an option.

Phuket is also known for its holistic retreats. If you want to learn how to do yoga and meditation, there are numerous retreats available across the island where you can learn from scratch.

8. Indulge in food and beverages

There is something truly satisfying about sitting inside in a cozy location indulging in great food and drinks while watching the rain outside. Whether you prefer cooking at home or going to a nice bar or restaurant, comfort and treats are the perfect rainy day companions. There are plenty of great restaurants and bars in Kathu which are sure to satisfy both your food and beverage preferences.

There are numerous attractions that are worth experiencing, and although they may not all be equally suited for the rain, things like the Upside Down House are suited for all weather conditions!

Renting a motorbike

One of the most exciting things about coming to Thailand is the opportunity to rent and ride a motorbike. It’s an excellent way to independently explore Kathu and Phuket. We are not associated with any motorbike shop, but like to tell you everything you need to know about how to rent a motorbike in Thailand.

The variety of motorbikes available for rent in Phuket is fantastic. From scooters, comfortable cruisers, to powerful motorcycles. .

What to bring to rent a motorbike in Phuket

  • Passport
  • Contact information, such as your Thai telephone number or address, or your hotel
  • Cash. Budget roughly 150 to 450 baht ($5 to $15 USD) per day, depending on your motorbike preference. Credit cards are rarely accepted.
  • At least a little motorbike riding experience

Most motorcycle companies don’t ask to see proof of a driver’s license, and some don’t even ask if you’ve ever ridden a motorbike before. As long as you can drive away from their shop without toppling over or crashing into something or someone, you’re as free as a bird.

Keep in mind, though, that you are driving at your own risk (and others on the road) if you don’t have much experience!

What to expect from motorbike rental shops

  • Rentals are in 24 hour increments for daily use
  • Discounted rates are given for weekly and monthly rentals. You can expect to pay about 2,000 and 4,000 baht, respectively.
  • Basic helmets are provided (most often they are visorless and not full-faced)

Once you’ve chosen a motorbike, all it takes is a few minutes to fill out a contract with your name, passport number, and address of where you are staying in Thailand. The shop will take note of the return date and how much you paid up front.

Then you’re handed the keys, a helmet, and are ready to go.

What to expect from really good motorbike rental shops

In addition to the above list, excellent motorbike rental shops will also provide:

  • Motorbike Insurance: We don’t recommend driving around without it! Although some repairs can be cheap, serious damage may not be within your budget.
  • Health Insurance: Health insurance should cover both the driver and passenger(s).
  • Copy of Passport: In lieu of handing over your passport, some places will only ask for a passport photocopy and/or a cash deposit.

Before Zooming Off

  • Inspect the motorbike before getting on. It is wise to take pictures of or take note on the original contract of any existing dings, scratches, or broken bits. This is especially important for newer motorbikes.
  • Hold on to a copy of the contract so you know exactly where the rental shop is and when the drop-off date and time are.
  • Ask were the nearest gas station is and immediately fill up on either gasohol 91 or 95 (just ask the rental company)

TIP: There is no need to return the motorbike with a full tank of gas, but it is cheaper to do so.

Motorcycle Rental Insurance

We highly recommend renting from a company that offers insurance. Look for motorcycle insurance that covers loss or damage and accident insurance if the driver or passenger gets hurt. We do not recommend driving a motorbike without insurance. Ask for this upfront, and if the motorbike rental company does not have it, politely decline and look for another one.

Do I have to surrender my passport to rent a motorbike?

If you want to rent a motorbike in Thailand, some rental companies ask for your passport while others don’t. Shops located along the main touristy roads seem adamant about handing over your passport. Smaller businesses on the less traveled side streets are more accepting to a passport photocopy or a cash deposit instead.

NOTE: Be aware that no matter what happens, your passport cannot be withheld from you. Some rental shops ask for it as leverage if there is damage to the motorbike, or worse, the motorbike is lost or stolen. However, a motorbike rental shop cannot legally withhold your passport.

Motorcycle Safety

  • Wear your helmet! The majority of motorcycle deaths can be prevented if drivers and passengers wore helmets.
  • Cover up! Wear more than just a sleeveless Chang beer t-shirt, cargo shorts, and flip-flops. This does not save you from disfiguring road rash.
  • Take a songthaew, taxi or tuk-tuk if you’ve been drinking. Don’t risk wobbling down the road and crashing into something.

That’s it! Now you’re on your way to visit our school and exploring Phuket