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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Marigolds for the King

Today is the Royal Cremation of Thailand’s most beloved King. Thais all over the kingdom swarmed ceremonial places to show their love and bid King Bhumibol Adulyadej their final goodbyes. It is truly an emotional time, people may it be young or old queued and waited in line for hours amidst heat and rain. The Royal Cremation was meticulously prepared with huge support from Thai volunteers and support from establishments in the form of food, drinks, raincoats, or cutting business hours to give employees time to join the ceremony like Tesco Lotus, 7 11, and some gas stations, just to name a few.

Aside from the incomparable show of devotion and the lavish royal crematorium (yeah lavish US$ 90 million), another prominent feature is the use of countless Marigolds. In every corner of the kingdom may it be residences, business establishments, schools, offices, or images of the late king, Marigolds are displayed.

 

Let us take a closer look at this flower.

 

Marigold flower belongs to the genus Tagetes which are native to North and South America but which are now widely cultivated in Asia, including Thailand. Marigolds are used as decorations for weddings, garlands, or as offerings for rituals and religious events. It is regarded as the flower for the dead in pre-Hispanic Mexico.

In light of King Bhumibol Adulyadej’s burial, this bright yellow flower is chosen as yellow is his official color. He was born on a Monday.

King Bhumibol Adulyadej, forever you will stay in our hearts.

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Explore and Experience

It was Visakha Bucha,  a Buddhist holiday where Thais visit temples to pray, when we decided to visit Nakhon Sri Thammarat, the largest city in the South of Thailand. This one day trip had been educational since our kids hadn’t only gotten to experience a Buddhist religious practice, they also explored some ancient artifacts in the temple’s museum dating back to Bangkok period.

This is Wat Phra Mahathat Woramahawihan, the main and oldest buddhist temple in Nakhon Sri Thammarat.  Directly in front of the temple’s right wing entrance is the museum.  Inside, you’ll find three large chambers where ancient artifacts that date back to Bangkok period were exhibited. There were hand painted metal cabinets of varying sizes, brasswares,  copperwares, glasswares, and chinas.  Aside from these, there were weapons,  textiles, a few preserved sea creatures, and numerous sea shells.  It is a great place to explore and a good reinforcement for kids studying history and marine life. Taking of photos are not allowed here.

This was taken just outside the museum.  A row of seating,  golden Buddhas outlined the entire length of this side of the temple. On the same chamber,  were displays of huge whale remains and other marine life.

Summer and Derick offered incense and flowers, and said their prayers.

 

Despite the scorching heat of the sun, exploring Wat Phra Mahathat Woramahawin was a great experience.

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Spelunking Phu Pha Phet Cave

Derick and Summer were the youngest in the group of tourists in Phu Pha Phet cave. I thought they won’t survive the two hour walk inside the cave, well I thought wrong. As a matter of fact they enjoyed it, Summer got so fascinated by the things she saw and Derick, oh well, because it’s so dark and he gets to use a flashlight.

We came as a side trip since the cave is within the vicinity of the waterfalls we went to earlier that day. Although unprepared it turned out successful. They love it and are looking forward to spelunk again.

This time though we have to prepare some things before-hand like.

  • Face mask especially if your kids are asthmatics. It might be dusty inside from loose soil or bat droppings.
  • Tiny backpacks for water bottles, face towel, and the likes
  • Comfortable rubber shoes are definitely better than open loose slippers
  • Long stretchy pants would be comfortable and it would be easy to crawl or duck if there is a need to.
  • Wear mosquito repellent lotion for protection.

For more details about Phu Pha Phet Cave Satun Thailand.

Here’s a slideshow of them in the cave

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You’ll Be Forever Remembered H.M. King Bhumibol Adulyadej

 

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The night of 13th October 2016 is the quietest in Thailand history.  The King so loved and revered not only by Thai people but also by foreigners, has died.  People are mourning, and those who have been praying outside the hospital where he was admitted, cried their hearts out upon knowing.  My family and I are one with our Thai friends, colleagues and the entire kingdom in this mournful time.  His Majesty King Bhumibol Adulyadej will forever live in our hearts.  May he forever be remembered by his kindness, good deeds, and love for his people.

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How Do Majorettes Dress Like In Your Country?

Majorettes are dancers doing a choreographed movement, baton twirling.  They perform this during parades together with marching bands.  I remember as a grader I used to envy how great they look in their glossy, skimpy dresses and how awesome to see those tricky baton twirls.  All were always excited to see them. Young girls dreamed of becoming one but were told that only selected few could become one as there are qualifications to meet like one must be tall, slim, fair-skinned (oh so discriminating!) and must be pleasant looking.

Now living in Thailand, it’s amazing to know that anyone could be a majorette.  Qualifications? Nothing like what were mentioned above. Anyone who’s interested is welcome to join.

Amazing Thailand.

And totally amazing costume!

Majorettes here look like Moulin Rouge dancers.

FotorCreated

 

How do majorettes dress like in your country?

 

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A Month for Dads

December is finally here. On the 5th is the  88th birthday celebration of Thailand’s beloved King, His Majesty King Bhumibol Adulyadej.  In this light, there are three big and exciting things lined up in this part of the world.

Father’s Day is celebrated on the King’s birthday and participated by locals and foreigners alike.  In schools, children give their fathers a “Wai” to show their love and respect.

11

 

Bike for Dad is a nationwide event which will be held on the 11th December 2015 from 3.00 p.m. onward. Unsurprisingly, Bike for dad shirts have been on display in stores as early as November. This is the second time Thailand is holding this kind of event.  Back in August, Thailand hosts Bike for Mom to celebrate the Queen’s birthday, Her Majesty Queen Sirikit; and to pay respect to all moms.

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Krathong Making

Here are the materials needed in making a krathong.

  • Banana trunk
  • Leaves
  • Pins
  • Flowers

Procedure:

  1. Cut banana trunk into 2 to 3 inches chunks.

    chunk of banana trunk wrapped in leaves
  2. Wrap it with leaves. It could be banana or some other kind will do. You may also fold strips of banana leaves into triangular shapes resembling a lotus to cover the chunk of banana trunk with.
  3. Use pins to secure the decoration into the banana trunk base.
  4. Decorate it with different kinds of flowers.
  5. Finally, stick in a candle and incense sticks.

 

Thai people add in the krathong lock of their hair and pieces of trimmed nails.  This is to symbolize that they are want to drive off misfortune and bad things in the past.

 

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Krathong Making Contest

Loy Krathong is celebrated on the month of November.  The word “loy” means to float in English.  Krathong, on the other hand, does not have an exact English equivalent as far as I know.  If you have any idea please let us know in the comment section below.  It is somewhat like a floral “float” made from either banana trunk or bread, with a candle and incense sticks. They then float this on a river, lake, or pond.

Some schools run a contest to make krathong making even more exciting and memorable.  In the university I work with, students majoring in English were responsible in running the entire program, which started with a brief history of the celebration; followed by the krathong making; and finally the contest.  Students and staff were welcomed to participate.  Everyone gathered in the faculty hall, took the materials, and made their krathong for an hour.

 

Here are this year’s beautiful krathongs (2015)

Happy Loy Krathong!

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Thai Insurance: Batprakansangkom (บัตรประกันสังคม)

Thai Insurance: Batprakansangkom
Thai Insurance: Batprakansangkom

Batprakansangkom is a government insurance of Thailand. It comes as one of the benefits for working here.  There are private insurance of course if you opt for it, or if the company you’re working for is affiliated with one. Personally, though, I’ve been with the government insurance since a came almost ten years back. It may not be the best. There are better ones somewhere in the world for sure, but as a Filipino I can’t help but compare it with Philhealth.

Last month I was hospitalized, got in with nothing but my health  insurance card  and driver’s license. Meals were served. After 5 days, I walked out of the hospital with my medicine, and without paying a dime. This is totally awesome! Any Filipino who have had experience of some sort with the Philippine government insurance would totally say the same.  I wish something like this for the Philippines. Anyway, what are the benefits I got from Prakansangkom so far.

Medicine and doctor’s fee are FREE in designated hospitals and clinics.  Clinics usually open after working hours until 8.00 in the evening. Which makes sense, right? One doesn’t have to skip work or school to do a simple medical consultation or a follow-up check up. You can use it as many times as you need it.

Maternity compensation is given by Prakansangkom on the month(s) you are on maternity leave. This is given aside from the monthly salary you receive from your employer as part of the company’s maternity benefit. What is so awesome about this is that compensation is given in lump sum, without delay and without further ado, the moment you present the child’s birth certificate.  You just sit and wait for 5 to 10 minutes depending on how busy the insurance office is, and voila! You walk out with your money. For foreigners, additional documents like a copy of your passport, visa, and work permit are needed.

There are other benefits, I will talk about them in my next post.

 

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