The 2017 Symposium will be hosted by Faculty of Education at Chulalongkorn University, Bangkok, Thailand. Sessions will take place in one of the Faculty of Education Buildings (see MAP).
To get to the conference site from the conference hotel, cross Soi Chulalongkorn and head South (away from MBK/BTS National Stadium) on Phayathai Road for about 600m. Faculty of Education buildings are on the right just before the second footbridge on Phayathai Road.
- The registration desk is located in front of 101 Lecture Hall. Keynote, plenary and some colloquia in the morning will take place in 101 Lecture Hall.
- Concurrent sessions and exhibits as well as refreshments and lunches will be on the 4th floor of Building 3, which is across from 101 Lecture Hall.
- The opening reception will be on the 3rd floor of Building 2. (Look for orange walls.)
Around the conference site, there are two coffee shops (True Coffee and Amazon Café).
From Suvarnabumi International Airport to the Conference Hotel:
By Airport Rail Link. Airport Rail Link City Line provides an inexpensive way of getting to downtown Bangkok between 6 am and midnight. Go to Level B and follow the sign for Airport Rail Link. At the vending machine, buy a token to the terminal station, Phaya Thai Station (N2). The fare is 45 Baht for the 30-minute trip. At Phaya Thai Station, exit the gate and take BTS Skhumvit Line toward Bang Wa to Siam Station (CEN). The train will stop on U3 level platform. Go up one level and transfer to BTS Silom Line (Platform 4) toward National Stadium Station (W1).
By Taxi. Taxis are available on Level 2. For the best fare, ask the driver to use the meter before getting in the vehicle. The fare for metered taxi will be around 300-400 Baht plus airport surcharge (50 Baht) and highway toll (50 Baht). Tipping is not customary.
Shuttle Services. There are other vendors offering shuttle services to the city for around 2,000 Baht. Some of those venders have a booth inside the baggage claim area. If you are traveling with a large group or have many pieces of luggage, it is an option.
From Don Mueang International Airport to the Conference Hotel:
By Taxi. For the best fare, ask the driver to use the meter before getting in the vehicle. The fare will be around 300-400 Baht plus airport surchage (50 Baht). You can also take the taxi to BTS Mo Chit or MRT Chatuchack and take public transportation into the city (taxi fare is around 200 Baht, including the surcharge, and the fare to BTS National Stadium is 35 BHT).
Chulalongkorn University is conveniently located at the heart of downtown Bangkok, within walking distance from BTS Siam Station, BTS National Stadium Station, and MRT Sam Yan. There are many hotels near BTS Siam and BTS National Stadium.
Communication. Chula Guest WiFi username and password will be available in your registration packet. Free WiFi is available at hotels as well as many restaurants and bars around the city. SIM cards for travelers are available at Suvarnabumi International Airport and at various mobile stores. (The phone must be unlocked.) Major carriers are dtac, AIS and True, and value can be added to the account at convenient stores. The country code for Thailand is +66.
Electricity. Electricity is rated at 220V 50Hz; most power adapters for laptops and other portable devices as well as other travel electronics (hair dryers, shavers, etc.) should be able to handle it. The electrical outlets in Thailand usually take two-prong parallel blades (similar to ones used in Japan and the US); some hotels may have outlets that take European style round pin plugs (type C) or even three-prong grounded outlets. If you don't have an adapter, you can find all kinds of cheap adapters and cables in the MBK.
Currency. The local currency is Thai Baht. Currency exchange and ATM are available at the airport and throughout central Bangkok. Exchange rate for buying Thai Bhat is better in Thailand than outside the country, and banks in the city tend to have better exchange rates than those at the airport. There are several branch offices of major Thai banks in MBK and along the BTS line.
Tipping. Tipping is not customary, but appreciated. At restaurants, people often leave small change.
Weather. June-July is the end of the hot season and the middle of the monsoon season. It will be hot and humid during the day, and it often rains in the evening. Sunscreen and umbrella are highly recommended. (Available at convenient stores throughout the city.)
What to Wear. Thai people are still mourning the loss of the late King Rama IX. To show respect, please avoid bright colors. If you are planning to visit temples, avoid tanktops, shorts, short skirts and sandals.
Dining. Bangkok is a food heaven. You will find restaurants of all kinds, from local street food to some of the world's best restaurants. You will also find bars and clubs of all kinds in various parts of the city. If you wish to try street food in clean and safe environment, there are cafeterias serving local food at MBK (near BTS National Stadium) and Terminal 21 (near BTS Asok). More upscale restaurants are located in department stores (e.g., Paragon, Chamchuri Square, Central World). Siam Square, with is connected to MBK with a pedestrian bridge also offers many local restaurants.
For local dining experience, try some street food along Thanon Skhumvit or one of the side street (Soi) (e.g., Skhumvit Soi 38 near BTS Thong Lo). Just a few blocks west of Chula campus, there are many local restaurants in Sam Yarn, an area along Thanon Banthat Thong. (Try tom yum noodle soup at Jae Oh on Chulalongkorn 16.) If you can't handle spicy food, ask for "mai ped" (not spicy) or "ped nit noi" (a little spicy).
Shopping. At MBK, you can find a wide-variety of street market gift items at a reasonable price in air-conditioned environment. (Bargening is appropriate and expected.) There are shopping malls along BTS Skhumvit Line, such as Siam Paragon (BTS Siam), Central World (between BTS Siam and Chit Lom), Terminal 21 (BTS Asok), and Emporium (BTS Phrom Phong).
Emergency. If you encounter problems, you can call the Tourist Police at 1155. (If you don't have a phone, ask someone nearby to make the call for you.) You can also contact the embassy or consulate of your country.
Streets in Bangkok are organized around major streets (Thanon) and side streets (Soi) that branch out from Thanon. Bangkok is famous for its heavy traffic, especially in the morning, around lunch time, in the evening, and when it is raining. Plan your trips accordingly.
Transit Bangkok provides comprehensive information about public transportation in Bangkok, but here are some highlights:
BTS Skytrain and MRT provide convenient and inexpensive transportation around the city. They do not reach some key areas, such as the old city (where some of the most famous palaces and temples are located). During rush hours, trains can get crowded and you may have to wait a few minutes for the next one. (Tip: If you don't want to stand in line for tickets, you can buy prepaid cards or charge cards, though BTS and MRT use different systems and require separate cards.)
Taxis are readily available throughout the city. Most taxis are air-conditioned. In downtown Bangkok, taxis sometimes try to charge much higher prices (200-300 Baht). You can ask them to use the meter, but some of them will refuse to do so. Negotiate the fare before getting into the vehicle. If you have a mobile device that works in Thailand, you can use mobile apps such as Grab to alleviate the problem. Tipping is not customary but appreciated.
Tuk-tuks (three-wheeled motor-bike taxi similar to rickshaws in India) are also commonly seen along Thanon Skumvit. They can be more versatile than taxis during rush hours. The fare is similared to metered taxi, but due to their popularity among tourists, drivers in the downtown area tend to ask for a much higher price for customers who do not speak Thai (especially during rush hours and in the evening). Negotiate the price before hopping on.
Motobike Taxis are faster in heavy traffic, but safety can be an issue, and not all of them provide helmets for passengers. Use your discretion. The fare is somewhat lower than Taxis or tuk-tuks.
Thailand offers many tourist attractions and resorts. Some of the populat destinations include Pattaya, Phuket, Changmai, and Hua Hin. Thailand is also known for beautiful islands and beaches as well as great dive spots. Enjoy!
Here are a few recommended apps (personally tested by Paul on iOS and Android devices):
- Bangkok Thailand Transit (by NAVITIME) helps you plan the use of BTS and MRT.
- CityMaps2Go (by Ulmon GmbH) is a great map for off-line use.
- Google Maps allows users to download maps for specific areas for off-line use with limited functionality.
- Grab allows you to find a ride (taxi and private cars) and know the appropimate fare in advance. (It's the Southeast Asian version of Uber/Lyft.)
- Learn Thai—Phrasebook for Travel in Thailand is a good start if you want to know some words and phrases in the local language. Available for iOS and Android devices.
- LINE is the social media of choice in Thailand. Facebook is also popular.
Did you know?
The name "Bangkok" is actually a nickname; the official name of the city is: "Krung Thep Mahanakhon Amon Rattanakosin Mahinthara Ayuthaya Mahadilok Phop Noppharat Ratchathani Burirom Udomratchaniwet Mahasathan Amon Piman Awatan Sathit Sakkathattiya Witsanukam Prasi."