How Do You Pay Bills in Thailand

Paying bills in Thailand is easy peazy. It does not feel like it is an errand. Flashback, years back in the Philippines paying electricity and water bills were tedious. It was something I hoped I did not have to do. And also it costs extra money as offices oftentimes are kilometers apart. Fast forward, it was a little over 10 years ago when we had our first business transaction with a Thai company wherein we had to pay a gadget for an eight -month instalment. That was when I realized what a breeze it is to pay bills here.

Aside from paying in a company’s bills and payment department, here are other places where one could pay bills-electricity, water, credit card, car loan, and etc. 

  •  The ever ubiquitous 7 11, so one can pay bills anywhere, any time of the day.
  • Lotus Express is a 24 hour convenient store affiliated with Tesco Lotus.
  • Tesco Lotus service….
  • Big C
  • pay at post
  • CenPay
  • Affiliated Banks (almost all banks) krung Thai Bank
    bangkok Bank
    Krung Sri
    Siam Commercial Bank
    Bank of Ayudhaya
    Government Saving Bank
    Thanachart Bank

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To Have or Not to Have a Nanny

From a previous post, I enumerated three options expats could choose from with regard to who will take care of a child after the one month maternity leave. These are:

  1. Hiring a nanny
  2. A daycare center that accepts infants
  3. Mom and/or Dad looking after your baby

In our case, the first two options were the most plausible. Option 3 was out of the question. Hiring a nanny may not be the best especially if we take into consideration child psychology 101, fundamentals of education and whatnot but truth be told this is the most convenient, easiest, and practical option there is.  And putting our son in a daycare was the other probable option.

 

How’s the nanny?

Our first born was with a Thai nanny most of her infancy and Filipino nanny during her toddler years. While our second child was with a Thai nanny during his infancy and spent most of his toddler years in a daycare. We could say that we experienced the best or even the worse of both worlds.

We were lucky our kids had caring nannies.  We never had nanny-related problems similar to those horrendous news or videos of babies and kids abused by their nannies. However, the biggest challenge we had, since the Thai nannies we had do not speak our language, was communication gap. Explaining your preferences and the do’s and don’ts is extremely difficult.  This oftentimes lead to miscommunication, misunderstanding, and a possible strain in the relationship.  Another problem that could arise from having a nanny whether communication is a problem or not, is the differences in child-rearing practices. Parents have visions as to how their kids should grow and what values they want to re-enforced. On the other hand, parents and nannies may not be in the same spectrum.

And so, if you have no other recourse than to have a nanny for your dear kiddies and more especially if you are an expat, you have to choose your nanny with utmost care after all you are placing your kid’s safety on her hands.

 

A care from a Daycare

After moving to a new place due to job relocation, we were left with no choice but to send him to a daycare center as we were new to the place and knew no one to take care of him.  A daycare is cheaper but it is crowded. There were 20 sometimes more toddlers in one room with only two adults to look after them.  Due to this, he was sick most of the time. The worst thing he got from there was Foot and Mouth Disease.  It was such a trying time for us.

 

The choice is yours

As parents, we gotta do what we gotta do, right?  Our decisions could either break or make our kids.  It’s hard, but it’s something that comes with parenthood.  Depending on your present circumstance, whether you are an expat, single parent, working mom or dad, the choice is yours.

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Maternity Leave is Over: What Now?

Prior to having kids I had been adamant and vocal about the need for mothers to take care of their babies themselves.  It was my intention and it is an ideal thing to do.  Reality bites though,  I have to work, as the case with many moms and dads out there.

Our kids grew up with nannies.  They spent most hours of the day five days a week with a nanny.  Our first child had a Filipino nanny.  She was loving and motherly.  She took care of the kids very well.  Yes,  she had three toddlers under her care.  Our second child on the other hand had a Thai nanny.  She had two babies to take care of.  She was a grandmother and also motherly.  I say we got to experience the best and the worse of both worlds. Both are similar in some ways yet so different in many ways. I will talk about this in length in my next post.

Anyway,  would we have it in any other way?  Well,  I don’t  think so.  We did not have much choice.  As both of us have to work full time (for the visa) , so looking after our then toddlers was simply out of the question.  I think many expat parents share my view on this.  In as much as we want to be there especially during this stage, we can’t,  and all we can do is choose the best option there is.

For Thai expats there are several options to choose from.

  • One is to ask a relative especially your mom and/or dad to look after your kid (for other culture this might be preposterous but for Asians this is acceptable and practical). They could apply for Non-O visa to be able to stay.  Siblings however are not eligible. This is the kind of set up particularly preferred by those whose parents are retirees or are just not working.
  • Second is sending your child to a day care that accepts infants and very young toddlers.
  • Third is hiring a nanny.

If you would like to know more about our experience regarding this please click here.

For expats out there,  which of the following choices above would you prefer?

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UPDATED Thai Insurance: Batprakansangkom (บัตรประกันสังคม)

Thai Insurance: Batprakansangkom

In a previous post, I talked about my personal experience using Thai Insurance: Batprakansangkom (บัตรประกันสังคม)  

It has been almost two years since I posted that. Many things have happened. Now I’m making an update on medical services covered by Batprakansangkom based on my experience.  So aside from free outpatient doctor’s fee, medicines, and maternity compensation this Thai insurance also covers the following:

  • Annual pap smear and other gynecologic tests and medicine
  • Urinalysis
  • Blood test
  • Ultrasound
  • CT scan
  • X-ray
  • Echocardiogaraphy
  • Surgery
  • Oral Prophylaxis (teeth cleaning)
  • Tooth Filling and extraction

I’ll keep this post updated every now and then, so keep on checking.

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Cost of Living in the Land of Smile

Living in Thailand, generally speaking, is not pricey. Although prices have definitely gone up in the past ten years, it is still decent.

Prices may differ though from place to place depending on the density of foreign visitors the place have. The likes of Pattaya, Koh Samui, Koh Lipeh, Koh Phi Phi, and Phuket are expensive unless you know the right places that sell meals at a local rate. Major cities like Bangkok, ChiangMai, ChiangRai, and Hatyai have fairly minimal rate per meal. The province of Songkhla has surprisingly higher rate at about 10 baht more. For instance, a 50-55 baht meal in Hatyai is about 60-65 baht in Songkhla. Even items on sale in grocers and thrift shops are 10 baht more expensive than Hatyai. Well they say, the oil rig companies are to be blamed for this.

Speaking of oil, gasoline prices had been a roller coaster. It fluctuated greatly in the past seven years or at least since I got conscious of oil prices due to necessity. Sixteen baht was lowest so far and that was in 2008 to 2009, I just couldn’t be certain of the date but it was definitely within these years. It was a  great time but a short lived one. After that, it has gone up and down, with 27 baht as the priciest so far in 2016.

We have gone to several places, eaten at restaurants, and shopped at local market and grocers, one important thing we observed, once sellers know that you are a foreigner they would jack up the price. So friendly tips, it is best to buy at places where prices are displayed. It happened to us countless times and we saw it happened to “Phalangs” right before our eyes.

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Thai Teaching License

Do you need to get or renew your Thai teaching license?

Working expats in Thailand especially English teachers have to acquire a teaching license from the Teachers Council of Thailand (คุรุสภา), and regularly renew this every five years.  It is necessary to have a Thai teaching license as this is one of the requirements for non-B visa extension (working visa) which is done annually.  For first-time getters, attending a seminar on Thai culture is a must.  This Thai culture seminar is regularly scheduled by the teachers council.

Download these forms, comply all requirements,and follow the procedure.

KS 02 Professional License renewal application Form

KS 02.10 Qualification Declaration Form for License Renewal Applicant

Teaching license requirements

Pay to post payment form

Send these papers to
Mailing Address
Teaching License
Professional License and Registration Bureau
Professional License Services Unit
Secretariat Office of the Teachers’ Council of Thailand
128/1 Nakhon-Ratchasima Road,
Dusit Sub-District, Dusit District
Bangkok 10300

To get the teaching license card, you can either go there yourself or authorize someone to collect it for your.  You may need to send an authorization letter and a copy of the information page of your passport duly signed.

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Registering Your Thailand Born Child

Here are the steps you need to do before registering your child in your respective embassies.

Steps
1. Have pertinent documents like your child’s birth certificate translated  to English and passport of parent(s) translated to Thai by an English translator authorized  by MFA, Ministry of Foreign Affairs.
2. Fill in necessary forms at MFA . At this moment there are no updates on the downloadable documents.
3. Bring these to the MFA office  at

Legalization Division , 3rd floor
Department of Consular Affairs
Ministry of Foreign Affairs
123 Chaeng Watthana Road
Bangkok 10210

or by mail

It would take 2 working days to process this.

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Maternity Preparation: Expat’s Concern

Being a working expat we have limited support system.  Technically we’re on our own. With a child on the way my husband and I needed to have all things covered.

Both my kids were born in a hospital. I wouldn’t probably have it any other way since there were possibilities of Caesarian Section specially with my second child. Luckily though I had normal delivery for both despite the risks.

Here are some preparations we did.

  • Days before the delivery schedule, we mapped out the route to take from the house to the hospital taking into consideration time and traffic conditions.
  • Necessary things were all placed in one big bag to prevent cases of things getting lost or forgotten.
  • Pack only the essentials like mom’s going home clothings, sanitary napkins and toiletries (although these are provided), enough new born necessities – clothes,  diapers, baby wipes.
  • It would also be great to have hot packs to warm your mammary glands,  otherwise milk won’t come out and breastfeeding is painful (my nipples were bruised). Government hospitals are strictly implementing breastfeeding program. So formula milk is not allowed. But we sneaked in some,  no milk was coming out and my daughter was bawling her eyes out of hunger.  What can we do we’re parents.
  • Secure pertinent documents like passports,  work permit, and insurance card (I’ve got Prakansangkom, government insurance). And also a copy of house registration  (สำเนาทะเบียนบ้าน) is needed . Secure this from the house owner.
  • Prepare your baby’s name written in Thai letters on a piece of paper. Birth certificates are in Thai which require name written in Thai. So you would have to have it translated to English or your countries language for registration. Here’s how.

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Free SMS Philippines

 SMS-20day

Homesickness is nothing new to an expatriate like me.  To most Filipinos living and working overseas, it is inherent.  Being able to communicate or express concerns to loved ones is the only consolation to ease up this homesickness.  That is why mobile phones and laptops are expatriates and OFW’s best friends.

Just recently, I came across free SMS Philippines.  It is a new SMS portal, which allows sending of text messages to any mobile network, take note, any mobile network in the Philippines.  Registration is not needed. All you need is an internet connection, open the website and send UNLIMITED messages FOR FREE.  Yes, that’s right. For free! No hidden charges or fees.  Plus, you can send messages in any language.

It is easy and very simple to use, it works and it’s for FREE! Messages are received almost in an instant.  It is an uncomplicated and honest app.  If you need to send a quick message to your relatives back home or you are out of load, this is the right app for you.

For an expatriate like me, this is heaven sent.  It could not get any better than this.  It works.  Most of all it’s FREE

 

 

 

 

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Our Family’s Precious weekend

Baby #59

sewage baby

This is the incubator name where the Chinese sewage baby boy is now recuperating.

He incurred minor bruises and cuts. But generally speaking, he is Ok.

As I was watching the video two days ago, I felt a lot of mixed emotions.  My first reaction was ” OMG, if you don’t like to rear the baby have him/her for adoption”. I pity the little, helpless  angel so much. My goodness, I can just imagine the dirt and germs around. This is very degrading.  He is a human being for crying out loud, not some kind of insect.

On the lighter side, when the divine, supernatural force intervenes nothing is impossible.  The baby survived this ghastly, horrible ordeal unscathed. He could have died of asphyxiation, or could have been contaminated by whatever bacteria in that sewage.

This is a sad reflection of humanity’s profanity and weaknesses as a whole.  This should not be treated as of the Chinese community alone because reality bites, this is rampantly happening all over the world across all races and religions. STOP RELIGIOUS HYPOCRISY! World leaders and religious people alike should look at this issue of sex and abortion with open mind. Set aside political and religious agenda, and just deal with the problem head on with logic and humanitarian disposition.

 

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