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  1. #1
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    question Thinking of moving to Thailand for a year

    Hi everyone,

    This is my first post and my first step into seriously considering moving to Thailand next year. I'm a 21 year old Australian male and have nearly completed a degree in Television Production. Whilst studying at uni I picked up a job at a local Thai restaurant and decided it would be fun to start learning to speak Thai.

    Now although we're pretty much gurenteed a job in the Australian TV industry at the end of the year, i don't want to get stuck and 'settled in' without having lived a little. Moving to Thailand seems as good an idea as any.

    My problem is that i don't want to move to Thailand and do the 'tourist thing.' What i would like to do is move to Thailand in order to experience a different way of living, this means speaking Thai, getting a job (if possible with Visas, if not i could save up) and going to places that Thai people go to for fun. (As opposed to all the tourist spots).

    I would be travelling alone and have never been to Thailand before. My Thai language skills are pretty basic, but are getting better. I have at least 6 months before i would be leaving, so plenty of time to learn. (I will be learning to read as well)

    In a perfect world i would love to get a job working on a thai movie, it wouldn't matter what the job is, this is an 'experience' thing for me. But i know that that would only be possible if the Visa permits and if i was able to speak fluent Thai.

    I'm also an experienced waitperson and have plenty of fast food/retail experience.

    Based on all of this, is there any general advice or thoughts on what i should do to get started, things i should consider or how i shoudl go about doing this?

    Obviously if i end up deciding to do this, i will be asking my friends at the local Thai restaurant for help. But at this stage, they don't think i'm very serious yet.

    Any help or suggestions would be greatly appreciated.

    Cheers

    Andrew

  2. #2
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    Well, you won't be the first person on these forums who fell in love with Thailand before even coming here. I think for most people, after a year or so the honeymoon period ends as you start to see a different side of Thailand. I call it "beneath the Thai smile". At this stage you either love Thailand or hate it. I would strongly suggest you don't destory any bridges and make sure there is something for you back in Australia if things don't work out. However, if you can afford the time, it is well worth taking a year out from your career to "find yourself" in Thailand. I did much the same when I was younger when I went to Australia. Back then, I was keen to move Australia to live. But, then I discovered Thailand.

    Firsts thing first, you won't find a job here as a waiter. The only jobs open for foreigners is as a teacher. Or working for an international company. You don't need to be fluent in Thai but of course it does help if you know some.

    Feel free to post your questions on the forums and we will try to help you.

  3. #3
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    Not sure it will work but if you want to try, let's contact these companies. I listed only big/ high potential ones for you.

    1. Prommitr Production - The company is famous for producing the epic phenomenon "Suriyothai"
    52/25 Moo 8 – Mooban Sriwara, Srinakarin Rd., Sapansoong, Bangkok 10250
    Tel : (662) 7362300-3
    Fax : (662) 7362304
    email : kuna@bkk2.loxinfo.co.th

    2. Sahamongkol Film International - Producer of "Ong-Bak" and "Tom Yum Kung"
    SP (IBM) Bldg., 338 Room 3B
    Phaholyothin Rd. , Phyathai
    Bangkok 10400
    Tel: (662) 2730930-9
    Fax: (662) 2730989
    (No email address found)

    3. R.S. Film & Distribution
    419/1 Chetchotisak Building , Ladprao 15, Jatujak, Bangkok 10900
    Tel : (662) 5110555
    Fax : (662) 5115325
    email: aree@rs-promotion.com, pornruedee@rs-promotion.com

    4. GTH (Gmm Tai Hub)
    92/11 Soi Taweesuk Sukhumvit 31
    Klongton Nua Wattana
    Bangkok 10110
    Tel: (662) 6623404
    Fax: (662) 6623405
    email : phailin@gmmtaihub.com , pheerada@gmmtaihub.com

    5. Five Star Production
    61/1 Soi Taweemitr 2, Rama 9 Rd., Huaykwang, Bangkok 10310
    Tel : (662) 2469025-9 , [662] 2472013
    Fax : (662) 2462105
    email : info@fivestarent.com , amy@fivestarent.com

    6. Mahagan Films
    916/10 Sukhumvit 55
    North Klongton
    Wattana
    Bangkok 10110
    Tel: 662 7141656-7
    Fax: 662 7141655
    Email: contact @mahaganfilms.com

    7. Mangpong Public Co Ltd
    Mang Pong Bldg
    636/14 Moo 1, Pracha-utit 40
    Bangmod, Thungkru
    Bangkok 10140
    Tel: (662) 8729595
    Fax: (662) 4276399
    email : mangpongpr@yahoo.com

    8. CM Film
    399/21 Soi Nanglinchee 9, Nanglingchee Rd. , Chongnonsi, Yannawa
    Bangkok , 10120
    Tel : (662) 6780728-36
    Fax : (662) 2854195
    email : info@cmfilm.com , cmfilm@hotmail.com

  4. #4
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    HI White Rabbit:

    Sorry, but there is very little chance of a foreigner getting a job working for a Thai TV/Film company.

    The only Thai TV company to my knowledge employing foreigners on a full-time basis is BEC Tero. They are 'Andrew Biggs' and 'Tony'. Tony is a fine actor and Andrew Biggs is famed for teaching English, both of them are fluent inThai.

    You can try contacting these foreigners through the BEC Tero website:

    http://www.bectero.com/2006/main.htm

    Most foreigners who get work on Thai TV do so because they mostly need actors/actresses. I have been a main actor on a few TV soap operas in the past so i know a lot of the behind the scenes stuff.

    For big Thai movies, some very experienced/skilled foreigners are invited. They are in a different league though.

    I have worked as 'Production Assistant' on three Hollywood movies in Thailand and this is your best bet of getting a job on movies here.

    Hollywood always need foreigners on the team who can speak Thai fluently. As for Thai TV, speaking Thai and even reading it well/fluently is virtually 'a must'.

    A lot of people would like to have a shot at entering the world of movies so you are going to have to have a quality which makes your face stick out in a crowd! Thai langauge skills are a huge plus.
    www.thai-blogs.com - Stories and Photos about Life in Thailand
    www.bangkokscams.com
    www.thaicolumn.com

  5. #5
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    If you have TV Production background, it's easier to start with TV station. Nation Multimedia Group will be one of your choices, if you wanna try, let's contact: hr@nationgroup.com

    It is one of media congromorate companies in Thailand. There are a lots of foreign journalists and staff working for its English media eg. The Nation Newspaper, Nation Channel (TV), Nation Radio etc. Andrew Biggs has worked there before too.

    In addition, Nation Group also organize the annual "World Film Festival" event. It will be your chance to know many movie directors, if you can be a part of this project.

  6. #6
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    Hey thanks everyone,

    I think i may have placed the emphasise on the wrong things in my first post, getting into TV or film in Thailand was really a side thought, a kind of 'perfect world' or 'lucky coincidence' chance. I realise it is unlikely for all the reasons mentioned, just as it would be equally unlikely for a Thai visitor to Australia to get a job in our industry.

    What i am more interested in is how i would go about meeting people and getting to know people on a level other than that of a tourist?

    If i go, i would like to go in order to obtain a deeper cultural experience, rather than a superficial tourism experience. (Hence the desire to learn to read & write fluently)

    Special thanks to Richard however for the 'burning bridges' comment, that's a very good point and one that i tend to forget at times as i tend to act on impulse and instinct when it comes to major life decisions. I'm now thinking about things in a slightly different way.

    Anyway, my point is...

    How would i go about getting a 'real' cultural experience in Thailand?
    I think i should try and get one of my Thai friends here to set me up with a family over there, but i'm still not sure where to start. And if that's not possible or doesn't work out, what should i do?

    Cheers,
    And thanks again,

    Andrew

  7. #7
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    I think you're on the right track. I believe that if you want a "real experience" in any country you need to be confident enough to have mostly local friends. Otherwise you might as well stay at home or just go for a holiday. It is much easier in an English-speaking country, yet you see NZers and Australians congregating together in London, for example. If you don't speak the local langage well it's much harder, and you have to really make an effort, which you seem to be prepared to do.

    Having local contacts (such as a family) would be great, as long as you can arrange it so that you're not imposing too much on them. The details of this will depend very much on the particular situation.

    I'm sure you'll have a great time, whatever you do!

    PS you can read about some of my experiences in some blogs that start here: http://www.thai-blogs.com/index.php?m=20060502
    Not that I am advocating the same thing, but it is possible to visit Thailand and just talk to Thai people
    ไมค์

  8. #8
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    If you are really interested in doing what you say,

    And you sound quite a bit like me in my younger years, Here is what I would do, but you see, I never worried about the future.

    Get your ducks in somewhat of a row.
    Get your passport in order, buy a plane ticket, and come to Thailand, or what ever country you would like to see, It was easier when I started as there was mostly sea shipping of most goods and ships were running all over the world and a workover was easy to get.

    Go into a country, get a bus ticket to an upcountry town of smaller size, but get away from the touristy areas, get a room in a guest house and move amoung the locals.

    Won't be long til you find out if you are cut out for the life that you say you are wanting to live. and it shouldn't be to hard on you as you say that you do speak some of the language and learning how to move around should not be much of a problem.

    Marco Polo had no pre intro to a family when he came and he seemed to do alright, I have made it and I never went to someones home when I started, but thats just my idea if you want to do it.

  9. #9
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    Thanks FaranginPhetch, that's very much along the lines of what I was thinking, but I don't really have the experience to say it, since on my trip I was completely looked after, so I've still no idea whether I could do it on my own.

    But I will add that I've had the experience of living as an expat in Hong Kong where I mostly had expat friends and spoke only a little Cantonese. And though it was enjoyable and interesting, I really never developed a proper appreciation for many aspects of the local culture (sorry, for FiP I mean: "the way people lived" ).

    So, my advice is "do as I say, not as I did...". Good Luck!
    ไมค์

  10. #10
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    Get a job teaching, you have a degree it will be easy, look on http://www.ajarn.com. The school I'm at had 2 Aussie girls last year and they were only 19, so you're not too young, besides the kids have so much energy and like being entertained as well as taught. You've got nothing to lose, the best times to come over are Oct during the semester break and Mar/Apr during the end of year break, they also happen to be rainy season and hot season.
    We came to Thailand on hloiday and are now in our 2nd year of teaching

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