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and many Burmese are forced to enter Thailand illegally. The Shan. Mae Hong Son is the economic and political focal point for the many different ethnic groups that live in the surrounding mountain valleys. Karen. UNICEF supports two huge refugee camps in the province of Mae Hong Son. Lahu. To the south lies the Gulf of Thailand and Malaysia and to the east. particularly the Shan and Karen into an ongoing brutal war as they try and preserve the integrity of their way of life and the boundaries of their homeland against the brutal repression of Burma’s military junta. Lisu. and Maew are separated into countless subgroups that have each managed to retain their distinct language. The serene atmosphere existing in Mae Hong Son is unfortunately in stark contrast to the fate of those living on the other side of the border in Burma. wet season (June-October). Mae Hong Son is an ideal destination for those attracted to cultural and natural wonders and for those interested in trekking. rafting and bird watching. Akha. Cambodia Capital: Bangkok Climate: Tropical climate with three seasons. The political and economic hardships existing in neighbouring Burma have forced several groups.Mae Hong Son Introduction The sleepy town of Mae Hong Son is nestled among the sharp slopes and valleys that characterise Thailand’s northwestern border region. This has led to a steady stream of refugees crossing into Thailand in order to escape the violence. cold season (November-March). Hmong. living off of a very small salary as migrant laborers. The towering limestone mountains have been weathered overtime to create amazing waterfalls and cave formations. Country Facts Location: Northern Thailand is bordered Burma and Laos. dress and way of life in the face of global cultural homogenisation. The area consists of densely forested mountains much of which is protected as a National Park. hot season (April-May) .
Options are as follows: Two/Three month single entry tourist visa (1. Ethnic Make-up: Thai 75%.6%.approx.953 Currency: Thai Baht. If you are flying from Europe the US or Australia then and planning to stay for longer than 30 days please ensure that you have a visa issued before leaving your home country.723. This can be arranged in advance at any Thai Consulate/Embassy. Hinduism 0. Muslim 3. Please note you can only have three free one month visa stamps in any six month period. One month tourist visa (free) This is valid for 30 days and is granted free on arrival in Thailand by air.1%. Other 11%.org .5%. Chinese 14%.8%. English literacy rate: 69% can speak basic english Volunteer Information There is in average of 1 to 3 volunteers on placement in Mae Hong Son per month. Government: Parliamentary democracy and Constitutional monarchy Literacy: 7. Pre-Departure Checklist Criminal Record Check or Police Check Volunteers are not required to provide evidence of a police check-up prior to starting their placement.200 Baht .5% of Thai men and 5. For a list of Thai Embassy's around the world see www. Religions: Buddhism 95%. Visa There are many options for your visa depending on the length of your stay. If you leave the country during this time your visa will become invalid. 24€) This is valid for two/three months after your arrival in Thailand. Other 0.Population: 63. Christianity 0.thaiembassy. If you arrive at a land border you will currently only be given a 15 day visa.1% of Thai women cannot read or write.
gov http://www.cdc.com. Most importantly the insurance needs to include medical treatment and repatriation in case of unforeseen accidents or illnesses. A typical day teaching at a camp involves two/three hours of English lessons followed by an . Volunteers should purchase insurance independently and bring a copy of their insurance certificate with them for their local coordinator to check before starting their program.au Insurance One of the conditions of entry onto our programs is that volunteers have travel insurance.scot.nhs.netdoctor. The trip takes 6 hours each way.net/destinations www. Health & Vaccinations For independent vaccination advice take a look at: www.uk www.travelvax. Placements Where will I work? You will work with one of several schools around Mae Hong Son and will also have the option of teaching Buddhist monks at a local temple. The schools are also closed for holiday in October.tmvc. Your Mae Hong Son coordinator will be able to help to with more information.Revalidating your Visa To re-validate or get a new visa you will have to travel to the Burmese border to a town called Mae sai. English Camps and Restoration Projects Thai schools close for school holidays in Mid February and do not resume until Mid May.co.fitfortravel. During this time your placement will be at various English camps in and Mae Hong Son and possibly around Chiang Mai.uk/travel/asia www. Every semester we try and improve the structure and quality of these camps.
with often games set in the afternoons. family etc. The rooms are simple. What can I bring? Most kinds of teaching material will be welcome. What will I eat? In the evening there is a food market on the banks of the central lake opposite the guesthouse. During the holidays. clean and comfortable. Where will I live? Volunteers will stay in a comfortable and quiet guesthouse located in the centre of Mae Hong Son town. Monk teaching is in the evening for 1. The aim of these camps is to allow students to practice their English skills in a fun and interesting way. Western food is also available as there is a small community of westerners. We also encourage people to bring photos and maps etc of their country. When will I work? During school term. The central location allows volunteers convenient access to all parts of the town and is adjacent to the large lake and park that acts as Mae Hong Son’s aesthetic crown jewel.afternoon of games and activities.2 hours. house. There are of course also many options for Thai food including traditional northern dishes like Kao Soi and Miang Kam. Students are curious about that kind of information and it’s easy to make conversations around them. mainly connected to UNICEF. International Rescue and other relief organizations that work in the area. volunteers will go to English camps. you will be teaching two to three hours a day at the local schools. Working time will vary from 3 to 5 hours of teaching depending on the camp. hometown. .
Excessively tight clothing is not normal.nokair. How do I get there? You will be based in Mae Hon Song but your orientation will be in Chiang Mai. If you are flying with Air Asia you will be able to fly straight from Suvarnabhumi. . Arriving by Air: The fastest and most convenient way to get to Chiang Mai is with one of the low-cost carriers from Bangkok. since some Thais find this to be offensive as well. Not wearing a bra is not acceptable especially in a teaching situation. For Thai women.com International flights arrive in to Suvarnabhumi International Airport and most Thai Domestic Flights depart from Don Mueang Airport. There are a number of budget airlines flying this route and flights cost approximately 1. Once your orientation is over your coordinator will help you to arrange a bus/ flight to Mae Hong Son. To get there you can take an airport taxi for approximately 500 Baht or you can take a local bus for 35 Baht (approx 45 mins depending on traffic).th . The rules for men tend to be more relaxed. There are lots of information kiosks should need assitance. Silk shirts are traditionally reserved for formal occasions.co. It is also important not to overdress on a regular basis. a bra is always necessary (most Thai women even wear them to sleep). You can book a flight online at www. while cotton shirts are more appropriate for daily wear. once you are inside your home the rules change. Anything is acceptable short of walking around naked outside the porch. Don’t worry.What is the dress code? Thailand is more conservative than most western countries. Shorts are not appropriate attire for teaching.500-2.airasia. but for Nokair and Thai Air you will have to get to Don Mueang. Outside of class there is no need to dress formally unless it is a special occasion.com or www. buses leave from the ground floor of the Suvarnabhumi terminal building. www.000 Baht. This is quite evident in the manner in which Thai people dress.thaiair.
(1) Dep. 11.30 am Arr. . 06. You have the choice between 1st and VIP class.40 2nd class sleeper trains which arrives in Chiang Mai early in the morning. (13) Dep. 20. 19.25 am Arr.30 am Arr.aspx?language=1 (There is an airport bus direct to the train station from the ground floor of the Suvarnabhumi terminal building) Arriving by Bus: Government buses leave the Northern and Northeastern bus terminal in Bangkok several times a day.Arriving by Train: There are several trains leaving from Hualamphong train station in Bangkok throughout the day. Avoid the private night buses leaving from the Khao San area.55 am Special (51) Dep.thairailwayticket. 14. tickets range from 500-600 Baht. bus or train station in Chang Mai by one of the coordinators with a placard that says Travel to Teach. 08.50 am We recommend the 19.40 am Arr. 19. 18.55 pm Sprinter (9) Dep.00 pm Arr.50 am Sprinter (11) Dep. 08. You will be picked up from the airport. 06. Rapid train (101) Dep.45 pm Rapid train (109) Dep.00 am Arr. Theft is more common on these buses. 05.20 am Special. 22.00 am Arr. Train reservations online can be made through http://www. 19. 07. Should you not see anyone just phone one of the coordinators.com/Default. Expr.35 am Special Expr.
the Mhong or the Lisue tribe. the Karen. There are also a few tuk-tuks that can bring you to points of interest. Volunteers often rent bicycles or motorbikes as well to be more independent. The local coordinator will go through a Thai culture orientation as well as a Thai language introduction. Preparing for the placement When arriving in Chiang Mai. There are also national parks and caves that are . the Chinese. Should you get sick a Thai member of staff will come with you to assist and translate. There are also several laundry places in Mae Hong Son as well as a coin-Laundromat.How will I get around? Downtown Mae Hong Son only consists of a few crossroads and can be easily biked around. For more serious cases we recommend that you consult a doctor.80 Euro) What if I get sick? There is a hospital and several pharmacies in town for minor problems. What is expected from you will be explained and teaching resources will be shown as well as past lesson plans. The cost of doing a kilo laundry is approximately 35 Baht (around €0. A Thai cooking class will also be organised and you will have a small guided tour of the area of Doi Saket as well as Chiang Mai for you to have enough information to be comfortable enough to go exploring the city. Where can I wash my clothes? There is a laundry service at the guesthouse. What can I do during my free time? You can visit hill tribe villages such as the long neck tribe. volunteers will go through a training day with the teaching intern or the field coordinator which will encompass a teaching orientation with tips and advice.
m. The cooler climate has many advantages. making the days far less humid during the day and discouraging mosquitoes. If your appliances plug has a different shape. and above 30 degrees during the March and April. If you are ever given a glass of water with your meal then please rest assured that this is bottled water and safe to drink. Although still hot during the day (17 to 25 degrees in the November to January. . During week ends. the hot season) temperatures will often drop up to 10 degrees at night particularly in the cold season.located around Mae Hong Son.m except on holidays. volunteers can easily go on a two day trip in the surroundings and the jungle. Money There are many banks in Mae Hong Son with ATM-machines taking Visa and Master cards. to 3. If you travel to Thailand with a device that does not accept 220 Volts at 50 Hertz. Weather Due to its elevation.a. you will need a voltage converter. There are a few sport and fitness centers as well as yoga studios. the cool season. MHS is considerably cooler than most of Thailand. Water Drinking water is readily available. Outlets in Thailand generally accept 2 types of plug. you may need a plug adapter.30.30 p. alternating at 50 cycles per second. Electricity Electricity in Thailand is 220 Volts. Banks are open from Monday to Friday 8. the flat blade plug and the two round pins.
25 Going out .City bus: $0.5 .€2 per hour. There are internet-cafes in that cost €0.7 .50 per hour.Soft drinks: $0.Cost of Living Meals .Taxi/tuk-tuk: $1-2.Thai Food: $1 per meal . .5 .Beer: A large bottle of Chang beer costs $2 . Phone If you have a mobile phone you can buy a Thai sim card for around 100 Baht.5L):$0.Soap: $0.Internet cafe: 1 .Coffee: $1 .Water (1. You can also make overseas calls from the post office and many internet cafes.Western Food: up to $4 per meal Drinks: . . If you don’t have a phone you can buy a used mobile phone for about 600 Baht. Going around .Sunscreen: $8 Other .Sim card: $2 How can I keep in touch with family and friends? Internet Free Wifi is provided at many of the restaurants in town.Shampoo: $2 .Cocktail in a bar: $6 Toiletries .Toothbrush:$3 . .Beer in a bar: $3 .
org) For additional information -http://www. your coordinator will teach you how to do this during your induction weekend. your status within that will be determined by your age.chiangmainews.http://www.Post The Thai postal service is very reasonable and reliable should you buy too many souvenirs to carry. Your coordinator will explain this in more detail when you arrive. Open 8.php?id=1341 . education clothing and general appearance. And Saturday 9-12 close on Sunday and public holiday Cultural Tips ● ● ● The Wai is the common form of greeting in Thailand. genial demeanour and self-control in order to maintain harmonious relations.com/ecmn/viewfa.) Thai people place great emphasis and value on outward forms of courtesy such as politeness. Appropriate gifts are flowers. Thailand is a hierarchical society. Never touch a Thai person on the head or point the soles of your feet at someone.com/ .30 Monday till Friday. Try to dress smartly at all times (especially when in school. respect.com/thailand/chiang-mai-province/chiang-mai . the head and feet are very significant in Thai culture. The monarchy is revered in Thailand DO NOT disrespect the Thai royal family.chiangmai-guideline. although it will be appreciated.http://www. you can contact the local Coordinator Jim on 0892747014 or email her (jim@travel-to-teach. Be mindful of your body language. Always attempt to reciprocate these values and never loose your temper in public If invited to a Thai household a gift is not expected. good quality chocolates or fruit. job.lonelyplanet.30-4. ● ● ● Contact details If you need any additional information.