You are moving to Bangkok, Thailand with your kids! Welcome! It’s going to be a fantastic experience. Bangkok is a big, vibrant, and fascinating city that’s surprisingly kid friendly. For the purposes of this article let’s assume you have found your job, and that your visas are all sorted along with your living situation (if not, that’s a whole topic unto itself!), so we can focus on your daily life here in Southeast Asia’s own City of Angels, especially in regards to your kids.
Education – Yes, it’s the first thing on your mind because it’s so critical to the health and well-being of your children, to them, their school is everything, and you want their experience to be the very best possible. The answer to this question is simple, look no further than the British International School in Bangkok Thailand, an august institution celebrating 60 years of educational excellence that has prided itself in staying relevant in today’s world, adapting its approach to learning by implementing the finest modern teaching techniques, thus ensuring your kids not only learn, but enjoy doing it! International schools as a whole are famed for providing children with a wider window to the world, so consider this to be a real perk to your new life in Bangkok!
Language – Some Thais speak English, but most don’t, it shouldn’t really be a surprise. So, what to do? learn some Thai, of course! I have found that even rudimentary attempts are greeted with warm smiles and earnest efforts to help you satisfy whatever needs you are trying to communicate. I recommend listening to some language learning tapes or the equivalent before you arrive, and preparing a small vocabulary of useful words and phrases, your own personal cheat sheet for “hello, good-bye, thank you, where’s the bathroom?” -Oh yes, did you think I had forgotten about the kids? Don’t worry, they will be jabbering away with the locals in nothing flat, while you’re still making a valiant attempt to just order some khao pad for lunch.
Customs – The Thai people are remarkably friendly and laid back, the first phrase you will probably learn is “mai pen lai”, their equivalent of “no worries!” Even so, there are a few things you and your kids should know that will stave off any potentially awkward moments. First off, please don’t point at or touch anything, especially someone else’s body, or even just the furniture, with your feet! Nor should you ever touch someone else’s head, even a small child. The reason is, the feet are considered to be unclean, the part of our body that meets dust and dirt, while the head is the home of the mind and spirit, a place of purity. Those are the big ones, the rest? Mai pen lai!
Don’t forget to check out your friendly consulate for more useful info. I hope this helps, Thailand is a wonderful place to live, but it might take some getting used to!