Today brings part three of an interview I carried out with local Bangkok lady Khun Kasinee Silapee. In part one Khun Kasinee gave us the benefit of her Thai food skills and knowledge and in part two gave some unbelievable travel tips. See the link below to enjoy these again or for those of you who missed them the first time around. In Part Three Khun Kasinee gives her views on living in Bangkok/Thailand, the cost of living in Bangkok, adjustment to Thai life for new arrivals and much, much more.
Trevor: Sawat dii krap Khun Kasinee and great to have you here. I know I am fortunate to catch up with you as you are such a busy lady. I know you have a few names people call you by so could you tell us what you prefer to be called and tell us a little bit about yourself please.
Kasinee Silapee (Nickname Kade)
Kade: Usually, my foreign friends will call me “Ke-si” as it is easy for them but for my Thai friends, they usually call me “Kade”.
My name is Kasinee Silapee, Thai single female. I was born in Bangkok 47 years ago. You can tell that I am a real Bangkokian, and I have seen a lot of changes and developments in Bangkok. I graduated my 2nd Master Degree in Communication Arts from Chulalongkorn University since 1997. I love traveling, music, arts and movies as well as books.
My hobbies, besides watching movies and playing sports are taking photographs. I love to do handicraft works as well and my favorite ones are knitting and costume jewelry designs.
Currently I am working as Creative Group Head for Net Genius Co., ltd., this company does website development, marketing on-line, SEO strategy and also event organizing.
I can speak Thai and all native Thai, English, fair French and Japanese, Khmer and Bahasa Maly.
I love singing and playing guitar. If I could turn back the clock, I would learn how to be a good chef, as I absolutely love cooking food for people as well as love to invent new recipes.
Trevor: I hope you don’t mind and although I am not Thai I still like the Kade variation of the name, so I hope you don’t mind if I call you Kade. Congratulations also on all your achievements and I am massively impressed with your language ability, excellent.
- Incidentally all the fantastic photos on this blog post have been kindly provided by Kade.
Living In Thailand/Bangkok
Trevor: Can you offer any money-saving tips with regards to living in Thailand that perhaps you use, which may help others?
Kade: For any visitors who come to Thailand, the best way to save your money and ensure survival is to split up your money. For instance your transportation fees in one part; accommodation in another part; food in another part and spare money for any extra expenditure or emergency cases. The emergency funds should be kept safely with you and should not be used until necessary. Try to study how to use the public transportation system more than taking a taxi, this will save your cost. Eat at the food court or side-walk restaurant. Food in Thailand is very cheap compared with other countries and is all perfectly edible. We all eat the same as you do. Don’t worry about the hygiene as I never heard any visitors die because of eating Thai food, I guarantee. Try to learn how to bargain whenever you buy things, it’s quite a fun game in Thailand, and you will feel proud with yourself when you make it and count your change every time.
Food In Thailand Cheap And Delicious
Trevor: I think it must be my Englishness Kade, but I have never been any good at bargaining. I have however watched some tremendous bouts between buyers and sellers before. Sometimes the sessions seem to go on forever before reaching a conclusion, but I must admit it is all carried out in a light-hearted manner and does look fun. I will have to get over my hang – up that I am always offending somebody by bartering. Some good money-saving tips here.
Trevor: If you were to split life in Thailand by living 4 days a week in one place and 3 days a week in another where would it be and why? Of course one of those places might well still be Bangkok?
Kade: If I have to split life in Thailand I would live for 4 days a week in Bangkok and the other 3 days my decision would depend on the climate and the season at the time that I am in Thailand. For example, if I arrive Thailand during the summer time, going to stay in the South like Phuket, Krabi, Phang – Nga or Koh Samui might be the best choice to relax on the beach before flying back home. If I arrive in Thailand in winter time, Chiang Mai, Chiang Rai, Mae Hong Son will be my alternative choice for me to stay another 3 days whilst living here. But there are a few provinces in the North eastern part that I would like to recommend for anyone who loves to sample Isaan life and those are Khon kaen, Udon Thani and Ubon Ratchthani. These provinces are very convenient and have everything that you could want including natural places for visiting, historical sites and long stay homes.
Beautiful Pang Ung Lake: Mae Hong Son
Trevor: Good points Kade, follow the climate. I am very interested to spend longer periods of time in the North East. I have sampled shorter spells in Nakhon Ratichima and Buriram, but not much more, but the North East is certainly an area I intend to explore.
Trevor: What would you say as a Thai national were the three most important tips for new arrivals with regards to adjusting to life in Thailand?
Kade: As I am a Thai national; there are three important tips that the visitors should know to adjust yourself for spending your life here; those are Thai culture, Thai language and Thai food. For Thai culture, you should learn the Do’s and Don’ts for being here to avoid creating any conflict with the local people. With regards to the language if you try to learn some Thai words, it is very useful for you in communicating with Thai people in their own language and you will notice that they will welcome this and they can be a good teacher and advise you whenever you make any mistakes. Thai people are very kind and generous, they always love to teach if you are willing to learn and will never offend you when you make mistakes. The last thing is Thai food, many visitors know about the reputation of Thai foods before they come to Thailand. Most of Thai foods have a lot of herbs and spices, so you should inform the chef if you cannot eat the spicy food. Try to learn the names of the foods and their ingredients; it will make your life easier when you are living here.
Gaining Knowledge Of Thai Culture And Traditions
Trevor: What would you say the crime rate was like in Bangkok, is it quite a safe place to live?
Kade: In my opinion, the crime rate in Bangkok is not really high and it is quite a safe place to live, as I have to work and get home very late many nights per week. I use public transportation to go to the office and back home. Most of the time, I can trust the public transportation in Bangkok. Only when I am on the congested MRT or BTS am I much more aware with my bag. I am not saying that it doesn’t happen but shootings and bank robberies are rare in Bangkok. You can access the policeman and the tourist police very easy. So I still think, Bangkok is a safe place to live. I have been living here since I was born.
Times that you have to be more careful when there was the incident like the protest or mob. I just avoid those areas.
Trevor: I must admit I have always felt safe walking around Bangkok and in fact far safer than walking around in the UK, especially at nights. I know things do change, but aside from as you say mobs and political movements I still consider Bangkok a relatively safe place to live in the world. However where ever you live in the world these days there is always some mad man with an axe to grind.
Trevor: What about the cost of living in Bangkok, have you found things more expensive in the last couple of years. On the other hand what is still great value?
Kade: Basically, the cost of living in the big cities not just in Bangkok is rather higher. Truly though in the last couple of years, the prices of consumer products have risen, because of the prices of fuel and the production budgets are higher. But the government tries to help the lower-income people by providing the free buses and trains for them. Reduce the electricity fee and water fee to help them economise their budget.
Obviously, people in Bangkok spend money carefully and they will spend their money on necessary things only. Many of them try to save their money in the bank for the unpredictable phenomenon or as contingency plans for the future. The luxury items are hardly sold.
The real estate such as Condominiums and houses are still great value for sales in Bangkok, you will notice the new constructions of condominiums around Bangkok, particularly, Sukhumvit and Lad Phrao areas.
For me, I am still happy with the fees of public transportations such as MRT and BTS. Both services remain the same price and they are worth paying for and save travel time.
Thank You Kade
Trevor: Thank you once again Kade, good solid tips here to help anyone thinking of spending time in Thailand. I hope to catch up with you soon for one final light – hearted chat about Thai lifestyle and find out a few of your favourite Thai songs, books and Thai proverbs. Kade I thank you and it has been a pleasure reading your tips and advice.
Postings might be a bit irregular for the next month as they will be coming from Thailand. I will try to keep you all up to date with the travels and intend to embark on some of Khun Kade’s great travel tips.
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