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Laza 45

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About Laza 45

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  1. may/june vs sept/oct

    Nearing the end of Sept the monsoon moves south... Kalasin becomes dry while Bangkok gets soaked. The big typhoons that come from the Philippines are getting stronger with rising ocean temperatures. These typhoons usually hit Vietnam around Da Nang and then turn northward into China. Occasionally they come straight across and dump rain in northern Isaan. We were flooded last year. Old people in the area say it is at least 50 years since they had had a flood like that. Who knows what this year will bring?
  2. may/june vs sept/oct

    I think it depends a lot where you are.. but very hard to predict these days with climate change. Where I live (north central Isaan).. the rains usually start in May.. but as someone above said ..usually just brief showers... although they can be heavy. I quite like this time of year as the rain washes things down and it it is a bit cooler than April. There can be similar rains in Sept but by late Sept the rainy season comes to an end.. quite abruptly.. a nice time of year too as it enters the cool season.. Down south things are different.. I think..
  3. I guess it depends on how well off the parents are.. There are certainly a lot of people who depend on children sending money home... and certainly a privileged class that can afford to help their children and live a comfortable life style.. In both cases it is family helping family.
  4. I find this statement really offensive and totally lacking in understanding of Thai culture. Yes, many do send money home to help support parents or grandparents who often are caring for children while the mother.. father or both are away scraping together a living. This practice goes back a very long way. With little or no social security many depend on this help for survival. The family unit is the center of Thai life and there is an expectation that children will help the older generation when they are able to. The younger generation always have a home to go to if things go wrong and they need a place to stay. There is always a place to sleep and eat if they need it. My wife has a large extended family and her 4 sisters all send a bit of money to their father to help him get by. In our family there are a couple who drink too much but in terms of percentage it is very low. Also, in the community where I live there are many families in the situation I described above and I don't see many of them drinking too much.. yes there are a few but probably no greater percentage than you would see in a western community.. I see people working very hard long hours to get by with very little opportunity to rise above their social position. I see children who love and respect their elders and are happy to help if they can.
  5. Help, buy Phone is USA or in Thailand?

    Good advice.. I had the same problem in Australia.. I wanted to buy a phone to take back to Thailand with me and found that it was hard to find one that wasn't locked. I ended up buying a Huawei in Thailand on Lazada.. $250 Au.. love it..
  6. How family friendly is Khaosan Road area?

    That has been my experience over many visits as well.. I never take one of the taxis that hang around the guest houses.. always flag one down on the main road and as you say ask for meter.. 'no meter.. no ride'.. but my feeling is that taxi drivers work hard for their money.. driving all day in Bangkok traffic.. so I generally give a tip if they don't mess me around. ...I tip the chamber maids as well.. they work hard for very little and have families to support..
  7. How family friendly is Khaosan Road area?

    Right on... I have stayed at the Rambutrie Inn many times over the last 10 years.. always good.. many good restaurants along Soi Rambutrie and Rambutrie Road (across the main rd from Soi Rambutrie)... the Chao Phraya Express boat is a great way to get around and see the river life.. and very cheap.. as you mention.. it can drop you off at the Grand Palace.. Good too if you want to go into the center of the city... take the boat down to Taksin Bridge and get on the BTS there.. into the city for 30Bt.. There is also a nice park by the river just up from where you catch the river boat... good in the evenings with a few buskers and often some music.. I would say the area is totally family friendly and safe.. Khao San Rd can get a bit rowdy in the evening but no need to go there.. a walk down Khao San during the day would be ok too.. I often see families in the area enjoying themselves..
  8. UK state pension going same way as Australian ?

    Where does the idea that Australia is restricting its pensions come from? Australia has a very generous old age pension that is portable. Once you have it you can live anywhere you want. There are some losses of supplements if you are living outside the country but this doesn't amount to much of a loss. ...and you can loose medi-care if they decide you are a non-resident after 5 years away. Those from the UK would be much better off if the UK moved to the Australian system. Disability pensions have become restricted but that is a different story..
  9. UK state pension going same way as Australian ?

    Where does the idea that Aussie pensions have been slashed come from?? I have been on the Aussie Old Age Pension for 8 years now.. no slashing here.. The Disability pension has been tightened up so those on it can only be out of the country a very limited time but no change to the old age pension.. When out of the country for a few months an old age pensioner does loose some supplements but this is a minor loss.. about $40 or $50 a fortnight.. and if an Ozzie expats gets married and his wife is of working age he can loose part of his pension.. I'm not sure exactly but about $100 a fortnight a friend in that situation tells me.... not disastrous.. on a pension of $850 to $1,000 a fortnight still enough to live on in Thailand.. There have been changes to indexation but pensions are still adjusted according to the Consumer Price Index which is designed to maintain a pensions value over time..
  10. UK state pension going same way as Australian ?

    Good question.. the original question makes a lot of assumptions.. but not stated.. First there a 2 main types of OZ pension.. 1. a disability pension for people with permanent injury or condition that prevents them from working.. the rules for this pension have tightened up a lot in the last few years.. I don't know all the details but a few years ago a person on a disability pension could leave the country and collect for 6 months.. return and go away again.. Not so now.. I am not sure exactly how long a person could go away for now but I believe it is only 1 month a year.. I could be corrected on this.. 2.. the Old Age Pension.. the age you can get this pension has gone up from 65 to 67 in the last few years.. The rules regarding eligibility have changed a bit but still basically is related to how long you have been in the country.. and your pension can be reduced depending on your level of asserts.. Once you get an Australian Old Age Pension you are free to travel and collect it out of the country.. You can lose residency after 5 years away.. you can still collect your pension but you can loose medicare-cover.. which can be a big problem if you are in advanced years and unable to get private insurance.. An old age pension is made up of several components.. the basic pension ..which is most of it... and supplements.. for various things .. you can loose some of the supplements when out of the country.. I'm in Australia at the moment renewing my visa.. I get about $50 more a fortnight while I'm here.. I don't get a full pension because I have a small private one, a small investment and a small Canadian pension but I don't loose a lot for that.. I get about $830 a fortnight when out of the country and about 870 or 80 when here.. it varies a bit from month to month..
  11. I live in a town in Isaan.. going into my 12 year now..
  12. Mae Sot

    Well said! It is a few years since I was there but thoroughly enjoyed it.. yes.. the road is a white knuckle ride.. long steep downhills with van drivers pushing it! ...nice mix of Thai and Burma in the town.. not so nice for the many hundreds of Burmese (Shan & Karen mainly) in the refugee camps.. Lots of good cheap hotels..(4 years ago..).. If you want to get a little bit off the beaten track well worth a visit..
  13. I don't believe it... I have never been asked... in and out of the country many times..
  14. ....I think you can get a single re-entry for 1,500...
  15. ..you have kind of answered your own question.. it depends if you want to park 800K in a bank here or are happy to travel back to OZ every 2 years for re-renewal.. either way there are documents to sort out.. I have friends & adult kids to visit so don't mind the trips back..