Hi everyone, it's Peter Clarke, back again with another selection of blogs and articles that I hope will be of interest to teachers working in Thailand or perhaps those who are just living here in this great country. So what have I managed to dig up for you from the last three months in cyberspace?
Let's start off with two of my favourite bloggers - Chris and Angela up in Chiang Mai - who run the terrific Thailand to Tieland blogsite. As I've probably said before, Chris and Angela are a young couple who gave up on the hurly burly of corporate life in their homeland to move to Chiang Mai in Northern Thailand. In mid-December, the guys put together a blog on what it's like to be two young expats in Thailand, including topics such as fulfilling personal goals and the challenges they face on a day-to-day basis. Well worth a read and a great way to start a round-up of my favourite blogs.
One blog with a real feel-good factor is 'Unexpected Lessons from Teaching in Thailand'. Eric Vukicevich left his home in America at the age of 25 to come and teach in Thailand for a short period. Before he left home, he did a lot of research on the Thailand TEFL scene, so how did things work out for him and where did he end up teaching?
We can't get enough of teaching in Thailand survival guides can we? - those wonderful articles that cram as much information as possible in one sooper-dooper overview. Here is one survival guide that really caught my eye. Written by Chabli Bravo, it includes stuff like how to prepare for your new life in Thailand, overcoming culture shock and things Chabli wishes he had known already.
Laura in Wonderland is the title of a cute blogsite written by a young lady who spent six months teaching in Bangkok. Laura put together a decent blog titled 'How to Teach English in Thailand' I'll be totally honest and say that I don't think all of the information is 100% correct - Laura was only in Thailand for a relatively short time anyway - but the info is nicely presented and still gives you a good overview of living and working in the capital. There are plenty of comments to read at the end of the blog also.
If I had to give out a prize for the funniest blog I've read recently, it would go to Colin Cotterill. Colin is a well-known author and cartoonist in Thailand and I've long been a fan of his writing style. Nothing to do with teaching but this blog of Colin's on booking budget airlines in Asia is just too hilarious for words.
Let's get serious for a moment and consider one of the real negatives of living in Thailand and something that gets many an expat's goat - dual pricing. You know what I mean, that situation where a foreigner finds himself having to pay four times the price of a Thai (often more) to enter a national park or a museum or whatever. Ryan Zander has written a blog on the whole unsavoury practice of dual pricing in Thailand. What do you think of his opinions?
OK, time to meet Marissa. Marissa describes herself as 'a British expat eating, drinking and exploring her way around Bangkok' She also runs the very popular 'Bangkok Girl' blogsite. She's also something of a self-confessed 'love-a-holic' and her experiences of living in Bangkok as a single woman and finding love on an on-line dating site make for some interesting reading. Check out Bangkok Voices: Discovering and finding love in Bangkok.
Is the word 'farang' racist? It's an argument that will continue forever and a day. Bangkok Coconuts recently tackled this rather sensitive issue. And as you would expect, there were plenty of comments from various blog readers.
Looking for more teacher experiences? Here's a short on-line interview with a teacher called Emma, who taught in Thailand for 9 months of last year.
How about some no-nonsense, practical advice from the always reliable Travelfish website? this time - How to avoid paying ATM fees in Thailand.
And last but certainly not least - five teachers talk about their experiences working at schools in the more rural areas of Thailand. What were the biggest challenges they faced at their rural school? What advice would they give to first-time teachers in Thailand, etc.
OK, that should keep you busy for an hour or two. See you all again soon for another blog-tastic round-up.