Archive | August, 2014

10 Key Thai Phrases Needed in Improve your Stay in Thailand

Posted on 30 August 2014 by ABPC

Sadly, as predominantly English speakers we are often lazy at learning new languages.   Not only would be helpful to speak another language (especially if you are staying in the country for a considerable amount of time) but would been seen as more polite by those around you.  English is widely spoken in Pattaya but not always to a sufficient standard and often things get misunderstood or translated incorrectly. If you live or even stay in Thailand it is always an advantage to speak a little bit of the language and below are 10 stock phrases that will help you during your stay here.

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  1. Sawadee Ka/Khrap – This is ‘hello’ in Thai. The Sawadee part is the initial greeting with Ka (if you are female) and Khrap (if you are male) added at the end to make the sentence more polite.

  2. Sabai dee mai? – This literally translates to ‘comfortable no’ but would roughly be translated to ‘how are you?’  The response is likely to be ‘sabai dee Ka/Khrap’.  Sabai dee literally meaning ‘comfortable good’.  Again Ka/Khrap are added to add politeness.

  3. Koon chue a-rai – This is literally translated to ‘your name what?’ or ‘what is your name?’  The response would be Pom/dichan chue________ with pom being for the male and dichan being for a female.

  4. Kawp koon Ka/Khrap – This means thank you again with the male and female to add politeness.

  5. Kaw Toht – This literally means ‘request punishment’ although it’s more useful meanings are ‘Excuse me’ or ‘I’m sorry’.

  6. Poot pah-sah angkrit dai mai? When all else fails you can always ask the person ‘Do you speak English?’

  7. Mai Kow jai – This literally means ‘not enter heart’ but in reality means ‘I don’t understand’.  This is the opposite to ‘Kow Jai’ meaning ‘I understand’.

  8. Nee tow-rai? This translates to ‘this how much’ or ‘how much is this?’

  9. Pom/dichan dtawng-gahn_____. This translates to ‘I would like______’ again with Pom being for a male and dichan for a female.

  10. Mai-ow ka/Krap – This translates to ‘not want’ with the ka and khrap being used to add politeness, again in the female and male tense.

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Thankfully the employees at Alan Bolton Property Consultants have a good grasp of English (they are English) so if its taking you some time to get familiar with these phrases you will still be able to sort out your properties  needs easily and conveniently from them!

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5 Reasons to live in Pratamnak

Posted on 27 August 2014 by ABPC

Pratamnak is widely regarded as being one of the most prestigious locations within the Pattaya area.  Away from the hustle and bustle of downtown Pattaya but literally just a few moments away Pratamnak is seen by many as the ideal place to live and stay. Below we look at 5 reasons why you might want to live there.

  1. The Beaches

The many beaches in the Pratamnak area are probably the finest in the Pattaya and Jomtien area.  The beaches are generally clean with small restaurants close by selling traditional Thai food and drinks.  They have long stretches of golden sand overlooking the bay across to Koh Larn making this an ideal location to sit back and relax after a busy day.

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  1. The Restaurants

Pratamnak has an abundance of quality restaurants catering for every taste and every budget.  These restaurants can be found in almost every soi meaning that you never have to travel too far from home before you come to a superb choice of both Thai and International cuisine. Some recommendations include Tara Court, the lounge and the Chow Box

  1. Quiet

Although the area is getting increasingly developed, Pratamnak is still one of the quietest areas of the city.  Loud bars and nightclubs are certainly out in this part of the city so this makes it an ideal place to live for couples and families.  The sois are relatively quiet in comparison to other areas of the city again increasing the appeal of the area to families, especially those with young children.

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  1. Quality places to live

There are a number of quality condominiums and houses in the Pratamnak area. The condos range from some small, boutique style condos to elegant high rise accommodation.  Again these condos can cater for any budget ranging from the cheaper end to the height of luxury meaning that they are accessible to everyone.  Houses are generally towards the higher end of the range and budget. For properties details in the pratumnak area click here http://bit.ly/1vIzF8g

  1. Close proximity to everywhere

Although Pratamnak is situated on the outskirts of the main city it is literally a 5 minute drive to both Pattaya and Jomtien.  Taxis are readily available if you don’t have your own transport.  The excellent road network means that the 7 and 36 Highways are easy to get to for those looking to travel further a field.

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Adding artificial grass to your garden could be a good idea

Posted on 20 August 2014 by ABPC

Everyone wants the perfect lawn, it completes the look and feel of a home and it offers a lawn that looks good all year round. A real grass lawn requires constant maintenance throughout the summer and can be severely affected by the weather as well as chemicals that may work its way onto the lawn. In effect, a real lawn is not guaranteed to look good all of the time. So why is it a good idea to add artificial grass to your garden?

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Artificial grass offers a level of durability that real grass cannot offer. This means that it is not affected by heavy use, especially in areas where there may be heavy traffic and after wet weather there will be no muddy areas that are slippery which means no more muddy shoes or muddy animals. Sometimes a real lawn can become patchy which means that repairs have to be made, but with artificial grass it is perfect all of the time.

Maintenance is one thing that really puts people off having a real lawn, during the rainy months the grass needs a weekly cut and weeding on a regular basis and this can be hard work. Lawn mowers can be heavy and cumbersome for some people and the thought of having to get on their hands and knees to weed fills them with dread. An artificial lawn saves on the cost of having to keep a lawn looking good whilst also making life a lot easier if it isn’t possible or even practical to maintain.

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As there is no requirement to water the grass or mow it as well as apply pesticides or even fertilisers there is a significant saving in cost as well helping the environment.  In those areas where there is a shortage of water or even a hosepipe ban, artificial grass is the perfect solution. Those people who are on water meters will also see huge savings as during hot weather it is believed that 75% of residential is used on lawns.

An artificial lawn will offer benefits that will make the lawn extremely desirable, turning the garden into a place that can be enjoyed and appreciated without the required work or maintenance. A garden can take a lot of time to get looking right, and even it requires constant upkeep in order to keep it looking good but with an artificial lawn this will be a thing of the past. With savings in time and costs there are more reasons to have an artificial lawn than there is to have a real lawn. It can be left for years with very little care which means all year round it will keep the garden looking bright and attractive, something that is not associated with a real lawn.

 

 

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5 Things you didn’t know about driving in Thailand!

Posted on 16 August 2014 by ABPC

Driving in any foreign country can be a daunting prospect regardless of where you are in the World and Thailand is certainly no different and perhaps more daunting! The Thai’s usual polite, reserve demeanour if left behind upon entering a motor vehicle and an every man for themselves and aggressive manner takes control!  So long as you are aware of a few potential pitfalls and peculiarities you will be fine, so here are 5 points that can help you along the way!

1. Flashing lights means I am coming through!

In many western countries, the flashing of headlights meanings ‘after you my good man’ in a polite, friendly manner.  Sadly in Thailand it has a completely different meaning that basically translates to – ‘get out of my way I am coming through!’ Don’t expect someone to let you pass because it seems like the sensible thing to do – this is likely to lead to an accident or at the very least vigorous horn blowing and more flashing of lights!

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2. Lots of people don’t have a license!

Most people assume that holding a valid driving license is a pre-requisite of driving a car, sadly in Thailand although it is illegal not to have a license many people decide not to bother getting one!  Not only do many drivers not have a license, they won’t have had any lessons to boot – so beware, anything may happen and usual does!

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3. Odd and Even parking days in some areas

Parking can be restricted in Thailand.  Often this is linked to times of the day but can also be connected to the day of the month.  For example on even days in the month you can only park on the right hand side of the road or perhaps not at all.  Signs SHOULD be around to advise you of this, but a good rule of thumb is to do what everyone else does and don’t be different from the crowd!

4. Free left turn at traffic lights

At many (but not all) traffic lights you are free to turn left regardless of the colour of the lights.  The etiquette should be give way to the right but is often down to who has the larger vehicle!  Again try and be aware of the situation and proceed with caution.

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5. Undertaking IS illegal!

Regardless of how people drive, undertaking (passing on the inside) is illegal in Thailand.  It is never advisable to undertake anyone but be careful of those budding Lewis Hamilton’s looking to try the manoeuvre on you!  Check your mirrors and blind spots repeatedly before changing between lanes.

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Regents International School

Posted on 15 August 2014 by ABPC

Regents International School Pattaya, formerly known as The Regent’s School Pattaya, Thailand, is a British International School located on the Gulf of Thailand which offers British and international education to students age 2 until the age of 18 (Nursery to Year 13).

Founded in 1995, it began as a small school with 40 students but has since grown to possess a student body of over 1,000 pupils, with over 100 of those boarding on site. The school began as a response to cater for the growing number of expatriate families whose jobs were based in Pattaya or on the outskirts of the city.

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Regent’s is located about 25 minutes from Pattaya Klang, right off of a main highway.  This makes access in and out of the school extremely convenient.  Parking is a slight issue if you’re a parent wanting to park right in front of the school but there are plenty of parking options available around that aren’t more than a 100m walk.

Though most of its students are day students, there are many students that reside on campus as it is also a boarding school. As a boarding school, Regents has a strong sense of community seven days a week. The boarders, who come from Thailand and across the world, are cared for by a professional team of boarding specialists.

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Within the gigantic campus the school includes a 25-metre swimming pool, a full sized rugby and football pitch, a double gymnasium, and a 430-seat theatre. The school offers a unique approach to education in Thailand, it’s named High Performance Learning. As a result, their students develop into advanced thinkers. They become confident, curious, and open-minded, prepared to take risks and persevere.

The way teachers are interested in a child’s individual progress really attracts a lot of parents and quickly made the Regent’s school a popular choice here in Pattaya.

Regent’s School of Pattaya is definitely one of the better schools available in the area assuming it’s within your budget. A Year 1 (UK) student is approximately 150,000/term with three terms per year.

Campus

The Regent’s campus itself has a very classic look that’s very fitting with the name and British origins of the school.  Everything is clean and well kept with red brick construction.  All of the basic facilities you could expect such as a swimming pool, large athletic yard, and decent quality playground equipment for younger students are located on-site in a central area.

Arrival at the Regent’s Pattaya, even unprompted scheduled, is a good experience.  There is no problem getting a campus tour and introduction to the early year’s headmaster.  All of the staff are very involved with prospective parents

Three years ago the school opened their new Early Years/Admin Center.  This building primarily contains classrooms for Pre-nursery, Nursery, Reception, and Year 1 (UK) students.  The entire building is climate controlled so no matter what the weather there outside, the students are always able to play in the indoor play area.

Use of the physical fitness facilities are also built into the curriculum so students definitely get an opportunity to use it.  Physical fitness features highly into the early year’s program and the swim instructors are very patient when working with children during their weekly lessons.

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Classes

Regent’s Pattaya Early Years classes are small with approximately 12-15 students in each class.  All of the classes have native English teachers as the primary instructors who do an excellent job of laying out a course structure that keeps parents and students involved.  Each class also has a Teacher’s Assistant who can be either English or Thai.  Having a Thai TA was an initial concern of mine, but the school does a good job of ensuring that students only speak English during school hours.

Instruction Quality

Instruction at Regent’s Early Years is very traditional.  There’s group reading, individual art activities, and class plays.  Technology such as computers is utilized, but does not even begin to replace the child/teacher interaction.  This is a very big plus to many parents who send their children to regents.

Another thing which is unique about Regent’s is the large mix of nationalities in the classes.  The brochures don’t lie about this.  Often classes are made up of Chinese, Japanese, Korean, British, Russian, and Italian children.  Thai students are actually in the minority, so it really is an international experience.  Parents also come from all walks of life and classes, so there’s a great mix for the parents also.

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Review of the Royal Cliff

Posted on 10 August 2014 by ABPC

The Royal Cliff Beach Hotel was one of the pioneering hotels to open in Pattaya back in 1974.  Located in the prestigious area of Pratamnak, close to the Royal Palace, the hotel fast gained a reputation for being one of the finest hotels in all of Asia.  In 1986 the hotel expanded with the development of the exclusive Royal Wing Suites and Spa which is regarded as a 5 star plus resort.  In 1992 the hotel expanded further taking the whole complex to well over 1000 rooms split between 4 separate buildings with differing names although all are under the Royal Cliff Hotels Group brand.

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In 1999 the group developed the superb convention centre known as Peach.  Peach is a multipurpose, stand alone venue that has the formidable capacity to seat 8000 delegates.  With its state-of-the-art facilities, PEACH is ideal for conventions, exhibitions, product launches, gala banquets, weddings and concerts.  Peach has a fantastic reputation globally and has held both national and international conferences with some notable, historic meetings taking place there such as the signing of the Cambodian Peace Treaty in 1999 and the 2009 ASEAN summit which unfortunately is better remembered for the wrong reasons when the conference building was stormed by protestors resulting in many global leaders being airlifted to safety.

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The Royal Cliff boasts an incredible 11 restaurants that cater for literally every taste so it is little surprise the location is popular with Bollywood stars, Korean idols and international movie stars who choose the venue as an ideal location.  A brief overview of the restaurants is given below:

  • Breezeo – This is the newest restaurant at the Royal Cliff and is located on the private beach.  It is open from 11:00am until 12:00am and offers an international style tapas selection.

  • Caprice – This is an award winning fine dining restaurant that is a perfect choice for couples wanting to enjoy a romantic meal.  The menu is stylish and modern and open from 6:30pm until 10:30pm.

  • Chamu – This is a traditional Japanese restaurant that is open from 11:00am until 10:30pm.

  • Chrysanthemum – A superb restaurant offering Chinese and Cantonese cuisine and is open from 6:30pm to 10:30pm but is closed on Thursdays.

  • La Ronde – This is poolside restaurant that is opening for snacks, lunch and afternoon tea.  It is open from 11:00am to 5:00pm.

  • Larn Thong and Terrace – This is restaurant offers fine Thai dining as is open from 7:00am until 10:30pm.

  • Maharani – This is an Indian restaurant serving authentic Indian dishes.  The restaurant is open from 11:00am to 2:30pm and 6:00pm until 10:30pm.

  • Panorama – Open round-the-clock, the Panorama restaurant serves international favourites and fusion dishes.

  • Rossini – The restaurant is open from 6:30pm to 10:30pm and is glorious Italian restaurant.

  • Royal Grill Room – This restaurant offers imported meats and seafood as is open from 6:30pm to 10:30pm

  • Terrace @ Caprice – The restaurant al fresco international dining and is open from 7:00am until 22:30pm.

The Royal Cliff is located in the Pratamnak area of Pattaya

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Learning Muay Thai

Posted on 06 August 2014 by ABPC

Muay Thai or Thai kickboxing is the Thai martial art sometimes known as “the art of eight limbs” due to the fact it uses fists, elbows, knees, shins and feet.  It has become practiced throughout the world since the twentieth century and has excellent health benefits and is often seen as the complete workout.

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Muay Thai is something that is now extremely popular with many people choosing to travel to Thailand to visit specialist training camps.  These camps offer specialist training away from distractions by some of the leading trainers in country.   The facilities are usually second to none and fighters can learn the whole ethos not just the physical side of the sport.

There are a number of gyms around Pattaya that offer Muay Thai training but perhaps the best known and arguable the best gym is Fairtex on North Pattaya Road.  The facilities include 4 Olympic sized rings, a large bag area with several world class coaches who offer one on one training.  Training sessions are offered on daily basis in the evenings and the club is able to cater for everyone from beginner to professional fighters.  There is an in house equipment shop where you can buy anything that you need.  Fairtex is slightly more expensive than many other gyms in town but the facilities do warrant this.  Tony’s Gym also offers good facilities in South Pattaya and is considerably cheaper. Smaller gyms are available but the levels of training are not on a par with Fairtex.

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Regular competitions are held around Pattaya with 2 professional boxing stadiums in the city.  Fairtex again offers regular, well organised competitions for all age groups and abilities.  These competitions are an excellent way to get started and you can be comfortable in the knowledge that your safety is of paramount importance.

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Muay Thai is an excellent way to build stamina, burn calories and de-stress.  Like all martial arts it encourages discipline in many aspects of your life.  The training involves both aerobic and anaerobic workouts and also requires fighters to retain a healthy lifestyle.  The sport is highly addictive with many people who take it up taking it very seriously and naturally feeling the benefits.

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The Benefits of Learning Thai

Posted on 02 August 2014 by ABPC

Whenever we moved to a new country we really should make the effort to learn the language and adapt to the culture.  Sadly as Brits we are probably the worst in the World at learning new languages and are generally quite lazy because so many people speak English. There are a number of benefits to learning a new language and of course Thai is no different.
One of the main advantages of being able to speak the native tongue is that you will be able to converse with the locals.  This may not be such of an issue in tourist hotspots and places that have a large expat community such as Pattaya but can be a major benefit if you travel elsewhere.  Being able to have a conversation, even if it is a broken conversation will make your whole experience all the more enjoyable and hopefully less stressful!
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If you can speak the local language you will be able to order what you want.  This is a big advantage in shops but also in bars and restaurants if you can say a little more than chicken fried rice or a bottle of Heineken! Not only will you feel more confident, but there is also a greater chance of getting what you actually want rather than having to make do with what you are given!  There is nothing worse than eating something you don’t like just to be polite or indeed going hungry because you simply can’t stomach what has been put in front of you!

Speaking the language will also gain you more respect.  Many Thais are still frightened of foreigners or farangs as they are scared that they won’t be able to understand you or lose face.  If you can speak their language they will feel far more comfortable and you will then reap the rewards.  If they see that you are making the effort they are usually more than happy to try and help you.

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Being able to understand Thai also has the benefit of knowing what people are saying about you! I think we have all been in shops and other areas where we have known that we have been the topic of conversation but not known what was being said.  I can’t imagine that there is one person who doesn’t have some level of interest!

There are a number of language schools around the city that can help you to learn Thai.  It is always an idea to speak to other people and they can advise you which ones are the best.

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