A graduate's guide to living at Harrow Bangkok
Having completed my first year at Harrow Bangkok, I thought I'd share what I have so far discovered about living here. In no particular order, here are my tips. You are welcome to contribute more, if you have any, using the comments section. I will be adding to this post as I get more information. These tips are written with (impecunious) interns in mind:
- Online groceries - For western-style food and consumables, Honest-Bee are very useful. They deliver right to the door, usually within hours of having made an order. There is an app - make sure you have your 'phone on though once you've ordered because someone invariably rings up in halting English to let you know that they've needed to make a substitution. It's cheaper, of course, to forgo home comforts and go local.
- Nightmarket - if you walk out of the back of boarding, there is an excellent night market. You can get incredible food here for less than 40THB/meal and there is a wide selection of fresh produce.
- 7-11 food stand - opposite Sienna House there is a 7-11 and in front of this 7-11 is a food stand. This seems to be open most nights and you can get a very filling meal for under 50THB.
- Taxis - Grab is the lazy man's option, but excellent. Cabs are nearly always available - you're only likely to have trouble getting one when it's raining(!) or if you choose to leave the campus when children are being picked up dropped off (it gets busy). Double up with people to save costs.
- Songtaews - You can get a 'songtaew' (Thai for two benches) from the road outside the main gate. Stand on the school side of the road, facing away from the school (so that the songtaews are passing you right to left) and hail one when it comes along. Hope on and pay when you get off (always 7THB, no matter how far you go). This is an excellent way to get to 'IT square'. To come back from IT square on a songtaew, stand
- Trains - there is a station at Don Muang (cf motorbike taxis) from where you can get trains into central Bangkok (Hua Lamphong) and out to Ayutthaya. To get the station you could walk from the school (about 25, hot minutes) or get a motorbike taxi (50THB). But the cheapest thing to do is to get a songtaew to IT square and walk over the road to the Lak Si station. From Lak Si you can get into Hua Lamphong, but you can also get off earlier at Bang Sue from where there is a Skytrain interchange.
- Motorbike taxis - these can be used for short local trips (though I once got one to Mo Chit for 200THB). They are commonly used to get to IT square (50THB); but I don't see why you would use them when a the songtaew gets you to the same place for 7THB and is considerably safer.
- Buses - I spoke to someone who had been at Harrow for 10 years and never taken the bus. One word: nuts. Once you have installed Moovit on your phone you can get pretty much wherever you want and rarely have to wait more than a few minutes; most are air-conditioned. Buses are easy to pick up from IT square (Moovit tells you where to stand). Most trips cost less than 30THB - at least 70% cheaper than taxis (and more fun!) Not being able to read Thai is no barrier to using this method of transport, because buses are numbered and the conductors are used to having mobile phones waved at them indicating where people would like to get off. At some stage, you inevitably get the A1 back from Mo Chit to school. You need to ask for 'Jai Leng' - don't go all the way to the airport!
More to be added shortly...