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About thedan663

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  1. thedan663

    Best option for flying to Phnom Penh or Siem Reap

    People always complain about AirAsia, but I've never had problems. Tickets are in the low 1000's one way. It's a short flight, so it's really not too bad. Of course, you deal with no entertainment and no refreshments on the flight with AirAsia, and slightly cramped seats, but bring a book. and snuggle in for an hour and you're there. Easy peasy.
  2. Non-B doesn't count at all? I have an odd passport, due to moving around a couple jobs and employer messing up paperwork. It rotates between non-B and SETV. So I have 4 SETV and 4 Laos stamps over the course of 1 year and 8 months. Takes a bit of flipping in the passport. SETV (Chicago) + extension - 90 days non-B (Savannakhet) - 90 days SETV (Kuala Lumpur) + extension (90 days) non-B (Savannakhet) - 90 days SETV (Vientiane) + extension - 90 days non-B (Bangkok) - 90 days non-B extension (Bangkok) - until end of contract SETV (Vientiane) - 50 days before leaving I'm now returning home for at least a year. Might visit in a year, but only visit for sure. Need to work back home a couple years and do Master's, but could have interest in working here again, just boosting qualifications now. If I ever want to visit again, will this complicated passport/history be bad? Never been questioned much except the last entry, just 10 minutes, but he was suspicious. Showed flight ticket home and told him I was finished working so that was satisfactory of course. Just wondering if the non-B and SETV history might be something if I visit in a year?
  3. Lack of standards is certainly an issue. However, many of the teachers here simply aren't real teachers an don't know how to teach. They don't understand pedagogy, classroom management, how to teach effectively, etc. It is a skill that a simple one-month TEFL/CELTA course can't teach. Qualified teachers in our home countries often have a minimum Bachelor's in Education and/or content area. Most teachers here do not. However, I don't think students here are hung up on different spelling and grammar between Australia/UK and USA. The grammar is not that different, anyhow. We are in the age of global English - proper English is not so important. The issue is that many students cannot even converse with a native speaker in English, and believe me, it's not because of grammar and spelling differences in native countries. That is so far down the list of issues. It's because the teachers here don't speak English well and the native teachers don't know how to teach.
  4. Tons of people come to Thailand to see things other than hookers. It's not the top scam. And it takes far more common sense to not be victim to that scam than others.
  5. Thanks for the answer. I've heard that not cancelling the extension of stay could have problems in the future if I return and get employed. Is this true?
  6. I have an extension of stay based on employment dated until March 31 with work permit. I am not renewing my contract. The school said I need to return the work permit to them Friday (March 30) for cancellation and then I can leave the country Saturday (March 31). I am going to Laos for a SETV and then returning to my home country in May. They thought I would fly out, but I want to leave by land at Nong Khai on March 31 and I've read that I may be turned down without cancelling my extension of stay at immigration. I was going to cancel my WP at Labor, get my receipt and go to immigration and cancel my extension of stay, and then be all good to go. But if I cancel my WP and extension, I want to ensure I can still leave March 31. I've asked for a termination letter to be dated March 31 from my school so I can do it myself but it's been over a week and I still haven't received it. I have only two work days left. They are prefer to cancel the work permit themselves. HR seems to think the employer must be the one who cancels it (which I know is untrue, but it's less for me to do). So I have a couple questions: 1. Can I cancel my extension of stay at immigration with only a termination letter dated for March 31? Or do I NEED a WP cancellation receipt? Like I said, the school seems to want to handle cancellation on the final working day (or after, if that's allowed). 2. If I have to buy a plane ticket out, do I need to cancel my extension before as well? I've read extension of stay will cancel automatically at the airport. I would prefer to leave by land, as I already have a ticket to Udon Thani and was going to mini-bus it to VTE, but it seems much more complicated. Any help is appreciated! Thanks! I also already have hotels in VTE so I'd prefer to just keep it as my destination for SETV after this.
  7. The whole premise of this - that temperatures are cold up north now - shows a complete lack of understanding on the difference between climate and weather.
  8. Interesting responses. The school is reputable, but still a government school. While my visa does end February 27, the plan is to extend it until March 31 per the contract. We just cannot do that until there is a month left apparently. The school has already got the non-B and work permit, I don't know how much of a hassle (if any) to simply extend it for the remainder of the contract. It's a sad state of affairs when the decision to lie or tell the truth depends on the school's honesty. Will try to ask other teachers at the school, though only one has been there for awhile.
  9. I signed a contract at a school in October to work until March 31. The school processed the paperwork and I got my 3-month non-B ending February 27. Then I got my work permit. The next step is to extend the non-B to March 31 based on employment. I'm told that can happen next when there is under 30 days left on the visa. The school does all of this in Bangkok. They gave a form out today asking if we will return or not next year. I have to go back home, so I will not return. I need to answer by Friday, January 25. My concern is that if I tell them I will not return, they will terminate employment early to get out of paying me and getting my non-B visa. The problem is that the actual teaching ends February 16, grades must be in by February 23. In March, we basically come in to school and do any extra work they need. But I've heard it's usually just coming in and doing nothing, so I'm concerned the school will try to get out of it. Is it common for a school to cut a contract early due to a teacher not returning? Is the process for extending the non-B for the remainder of the contract costly or complicated for the school? Are there any legal means to prevent a school doing this? All the other teachers were on 11-month contracts so they have their extended non-B's. I'm alone in that I can't quite receive the extension yet. I would love some input as this affects my plans. I planned on travelling a bit around SE Asia after March 31 and then going home, so the school ending the contract early would affect all of that.
  10. Excellent. Apparently it is mail service too? Or is it better to pick up?
  11. Brief summary. I am trying to get a non-B visa from my school. Apparently, there are some new requirements. I went to the USA embassy to certify my degrees and have my affidavit form stamped. Now, I need to take my affidavit and degrees to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs at the Department of Consular Affairs to get "certified" by a Thai office. This is apparently to certify the embassy stamp is valid. However, I read here that the MFA doesn't legalize documents issued outside Thailand. All I need is a stamp apparently. My school seems just as confused and rolling with the changes as well. 1. Is this MFA stamp needed to get a non-B visa and working permit, or is the USA embassy affidavit sufficient? Is this step necessary? 2. How long does it take to get a stamp at the office? It says Legalization takes 2 days, but will a stamp take shorter? 3. Is any translation needed? 4. What is the cost?
  12. Hello all, I have a very convenient bus that can take me straight from home to work. It's Bus 44, normally a yellow, air-con bus. Today, a red, non-air con bus came with the number 44 on the outside. I figured same number, same route. Instead, everyone got off at Mo Chit BTS and the bus ride finished. Do the buses in Bangkok operate on both color and number? Do I need to make sure I take a yellow bus rather than red bus?
  13. It's hard. 1. Get a pickup truck direct to the border. It cost me 180 baht, but some will ask for 300. If in a rush, no time to negotiate though. It will take 45 minutes to an hour. 2. At the border, stamp out of Laos, catch the bus across the bridge (or pay a driver to make it quicker but it will be pricey), stamp into Thailand. Time can vary based on the bus and lines, but just have a pen ready to fill in the card and hope for the best. 3. Once through immigration, get a taxi to the airport. One solo person would be 600-1000 baht. Plan for one hour ride. It's hard and everything needs to go perfectly. If you're willing to pay up for direct rides, it's more likely to work, but I'd never leave it up to public transit here.
  14. I don't recommend but if you pay, it's possible. I was #512 last week pickup was fast, got it at around 14:30-15:00. Ride to the border is about 45 minutes, plus immigration, plus ride to Udon Thani airport is about an hour. You are really pushing it and it's highly likely you miss the flight. It's possible, however, you'd need to pay a ride on a pick-up to Nong Khai from the embassy and then pay a taxi after clearing into Thailand. That won't be cheap, you don't have time to negotiate. I recommend the 22:00 flight. Sure it's late, but you can save money on transportation and relax easy. Or just stay in Udon Thani or Vientiane one more night. I think that's the best option.
  15. Hi all, Looking for a teaching gig to start the next term (or late-September/October if possible). I am qualified and NES and would prefer to teach English (not certified in Math or Science). I've seen Ajarn.com, Craigslist, and Facebook have jobs, but not many. Thought there would be more at this time. Really looking to teach only in Bangkok at the moment. Does the hiring process pick up come October? And are there any other useful places to look other than where I listed? Thanks!