Things to do

Sports & recreation

sports1There are a number of fitness enthusiasts at KIS. Many use the gym in the Esplanade mall or at other locations around the city. Esplanade is quick and easy to get to, and the gym also has a yoga studio. Another good gym in many locations around the city is Fitness First. We also have a wonderful yoga instructor coming to school, offering yoga classes for teachers twice per week after school for a small fee.

The swimming pool at school is available for staff on certain times and days during the week, the schedule will be announced at the beginning of the year. You can also join the Kesinee Health Club inside Kesinee Village just around the corner from school, if you like to swim regularly after school. KIS teachers are usually offered a discounted rate at the Kesinee Club. A number of teachers use the school facilities to play tennis and badminton in the afternoons at school.

Thailand is great for Scuba Diving, especially in the south around the islands of Koh Tao, Phuket, Koh Phi Phi, the Similan islands and many other places. There are many dive shops around the islands near the dive sites and a number of KIS teachers are certified divers. If you are interested in learning how to dive or going for some fun dives, ask around to get some personal recommendations.

sports2If you like to play golf, you will have the opportunity in Bangkok as well as in many other tourist destinations around Thailand. Some even describe Thailand as a Golfer paradise.

Running: Bangkok does offer some public parks and areas for running but not a great deal. If you like running, you may want to join one of the several Hash House Harrier groups around Bangkok. Check www.bangkokmondayhhh.com for more information.

If you enjoy exploring the city by bicycle, check out Co van Kessel Bangkok Tours and if mountain biking is your excuse to get out of the city, you might want to check out the Hash House Bikers.

In the malls close to KIS you can also go trampolining and rock climbing at Bounce, and ice skating at The Rink.

Bangkok is the home of one of the finest Ultimate Frisbee teams in Southeast Asia, the Bangkok Soi Dawgz. Several KIS teachers play Ultimate Frisbee every week and also compete internationally. Ask around after your arrival if you are interested in joining.

Netball is also a popular activity on Monday nights for some of the female teachers. Check for information and speak to some teachers if you would like to join. The Southerners Sports Club also offers rugby and cricket. They have social events and it’s a good place to make new friends.

sports3Muay Thai or Thai boxing is Thailand’s national sport No.1, closely followed by football (soccer). It is possible to learn Thai boxing at many places around Bangkok or you can enjoy being a spectator at one of the many stadiums around town. Watching how locals get excited during a fight is sometimes just as exciting as the actual fight.

Bangkok has too much to offer to list it all here. The sports and health guide on bangkok.com is by no means complete but it will give you a good idea.

Leisure

leisure1Music and concerts: Thai Ticket Master (subscribe for email updates to stay informed) is a good way to keep up to date with coming concerts and attractions. Major international groups and singers frequently tour through Bangkok, including the Black Eyed Peas, Gwen Stefani, Beyonce, Maroon 5, Harry Connick Jr, Kylie Minogue, Green Day and many more.

For many of the smaller venues and events, Ticket Melon provides information about the arts and festivals around the city.

Visual Arts: Bangkok Art and Culture Centre (BACC) has free exhibitions on a regular basis.

Performing Arts: Bangkok Community Theater, The Comedy Club Bangkok, Zing choir

Young Professionals Networks (open to all nationalities): Amcham Young Professionals.

Volunteering is possible at Soi Cat and Dog Rescue, Bangkok Museum Volunteers and so many other places. Our current grade 5 students visit orphanages and organise a children’s day for 250 – 300 orphans in Bangkok as part of their PYP exhibition. KIS also supports two Learning for Healing Centers in Khao Lak for children affected by the tsunami. In the past few years many teachers have volunteered a weekend at the centers. Just keep your eyes open or ask around when you have arrived if you would like to volunteer your time for a good cause.

leisure2Treating yourself to a massage is a good way to unwind. The traditional Thai massage is quite unique and different to sports or Swedish style massages that we are used to in the west. It combines elements of yoga, shiatsu and acupressure and is in fact the manual medicine branch of 2500 years of traditional Thai medicine.

A Thai massage costs around 200 Baht for 1 hour. This is the low end of the scale and may be double or triple that price at the more upmarket spa type places. Massage shops are literally everywhere and it’s worth trying a few and comparing the quality and styles of the massage.

A special treat is a massage inside Wat Po. This temple is not only the home of the famous reclining Buddha, it also houses Thai massage pavilions at the far end of the compound. The temple is still considered the the best place of learning for the ancient Thai medicinal art.

Shopping

Bangkok is shopping heaven. From street markets with designer knock offs to glitzy malls with the real deal. Bangkok has it all. Shop ’til you drop? On Chatuchak (or Jatujak) market it could easily happen. 15,000 stalls on over 1 km² with something between 200,000 and 300,000 visitors per day on weekends. And just when you remember where your favorite stall is, it usually moves to a different spot! And that’s only one market (but it’s said to be the biggest in the world; only open at weekends)!

leisure3Esplanade is worth highlighting because it is so close to KIS. It has a bowling ally,  a movie theater, a B2S book shop with a selection of English books, the Project Zen Spa with English speaking staff, Tops Supermarket which stocks imported food, Boots pharmacy and lots of cafes and restaurants. The Thailand Cultural Center subway station is right outside, which makes it convenient.

There is also an excellent market behind Esplanade that is open in the evenings from Wednesday to Sunday. It is called the train market because of an earlier location. It is a great place to go for shopping, outdoor eating and people watching.

Central Plaza Grand Rama 9 shopping mall on the opposite side of the road has everything you will need including an international supermarket, department store, boots and Watson pharmacies, Asia Book store,  to name a few. Several British High Street stores are also here including Dorothy Perkins, Accessorize, Top Shop, and M and S.

Close to Esplanade is Big C supermarket and a little further along are Tesco Lotus supermarket and Fortune Town IT mall. All of these places have food courts and house cafes and restaurants, such as Starbucks, KFC, Pizza Company, McDonald’s, Mister Donut etc.

 

News, TV & cinema

News
There are two major daily English language newspapers in Thailand: The Bangkok Post and The Nation.

The Thai news agency, MCOT,  also has an English news website.

BK magazine is a free publication about arts, travel, lifestyle, dining etc. that you will usually find in the staff lounge and the school library.

TV
The leading digital satellite TV service provider in Thailand is True Vision. Channels that are available include CNN, BBC World, HBO, ESPN, MTV, National Geographic, Discovery and many more. Which channels you will get depends on the arrangements in your apartment building as there are different kinds of packages to choose from. Check out the different subscription options on the True website with a detailed listing of the TV channels.

You can also buy movies and TV series on street stalls and in malls such as MBK or Panthip Plaza for 100 Baht per DVD.

Cinema
Bangkok has lots of modern movie theaters showing the latest Hollywood blockbusters (in English with Thai subtitles) as well as Thai or other Asian movies (with English subtitles). Movie theaters are often air conditioned to arctic conditions. Many people bring a jacket or even a blanket. In fact, it may be the only time you ever freeze in Thailand.  Newspapers and websites can be easily found thatlists the films that are now playing around the city. The Esplanade Cineplex is the closest cinema to KIS located inside the Esplanade mall on Ratchadapisek. Ticket prices start from 100 – 120 Baht, depending on movie theaters.

The more upmarket movie theaters offer VIP tickets for reclining seats or couple seats, which are like a small sofa with a low table, for that special occasion or the extra comfort during a long movie.

Radio
Bangkok also has several English language radio stations, although the choice is rather limited. You should check with your favorite radio stations from home if they broadcast over the internet. Many radio stations  have a web-player.

Weekends Away

Bangkok is a big city and it’s nice to get away for the weekend sometimes. Luckily there are many wonderful places to visit that are just a few hours away and are very doable for the weekend. here are just a few ideas…..

Khao Yai national Park:       

KY1      KY2

Kho Samet Island:

 KS2          KS1

Hau Hin Beach:

HH1       HH2

Kanchanaburi:

Kc2                   Erawan