Venue

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 the MAP).

Around the conference site, there are two coffee shops (True Coffee and Amazon Café) as well as a student canteen.

Accommodations

The conference hotel is Pathumwan Princess Hotel, which is connected to Mahboonkrong [มาบุญครอง], commonly known as the MBK Center. Special conference rate will be available until March 15, 2017. More information is available on the hotel information page.

Airport Transportation

Bangkok has two major airports—Suvarnabumi International Airport (BKK) and Don Muang International Airports (DMK).

From Suvarnabumi International Airport to Pathumwan Princess Hotel:

By Airport Rail Link. Airport Rail Link City Line provides an inexpensive way of getting to downtown Bangkok. 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.

From Don Muang International Airport to Pathumwan Princess 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).

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Local Information

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. 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. Major carriers are dtac, AIS and True. The country code for Thailand is +66.

Language. The official language of Thailand is Thai (aka Siamese). For basic phrases for travelers, see Thailand: Important Phrases and BBC Guide to Thai—Thai Key Phrases.

Currency. The local currency is Thai Baht. Currency exchange and ATM are available at the airport and throughout central Bangkok.

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 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 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.)

Shopping. At MBK, you can find a wide-variety of street market gift items at a reasonable price in air-conditioned environment. 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).

The name "Bangkok" is actually a nickname; the official name of Bangkok is: "Krung Thep Mahanakhon Amon Rattanakosin Mahinthara Ayuthaya Mahadilok Phop Noppharat Ratchathani Burirom Udomratchaniwet Mahasathan Amon Piman Awatan Sathit Sakkathattiya Witsanukam Prasi."

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.

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Getting Around

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.

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. Tips are not neccesary.

Tuk-tuks (three-wheeled motor-bike taxi similar to rickshaws in India) are also commonly seen along Thanon Skumvit and near Pathumwan Princess Hotel. They are much move versatile than taxis during rush hours. The fare is similared to metered taxi, but due to their popularity among tourists, drivers in downtown area tend to ask for a much higher price for customers who do not speak Thai. Negotiate the price before hopping on.

Motobike Taxis are faster in heavy traffic, but safety can be an iissue, and not all of them provide helmets for passengers. Use your discretion. The fare is comparable to Taxis and tuk-tuks.

Local residents also use water taxis for transportation. Chao Phraya Express along Chao Phraya River and Khlong Boats along canals that run throughout the city, and fare is inexpensive.

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Beyond Bangkok

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.

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