Posts Tagged ‘Thai Language’

You Won’t Believe The Degree Of Cunning Used To Steal Our Watercolour Prints Just To Get A Few Baht

Big Time Art Thieves Could Learn A Thing Or Two From This Heist

If I was disenchanted with retiring in Thailand before we discovered this rip-off last night then I hate it now! And Kanyah knows this.

I just couldn’t believe how low ‘people’ will stoop and what tricks the will play just to get a few Baht in their pockets.

This episode disgusted me and Kanyah also. Please read the story below exactly as it unfolded last night (Saturday 14 Sept 2013).

Background To The Picture Thieves Story

A few years ago in a small local pub in Derbyshire, U.K. Kanyah and I marveled at a display of water colour paintings of typical Derbyshire country scenes signed by a J Manning. His address was shown on the display so we went to see him.

He showed us his prints taken from the originals he had painted himself and the degree of realism and detail was stunning.

Here is an example of one of the prints. Note that this is a scan of a photocopy of a print off the original master so much of the detail and realism is lost.

Photo showing J Manning Water Colour Derbyshire U.K. Winter Photocopy Scanned

J Manning Water Colour Derbyshire U.K. Winter Photocopy Scanned

We bought three of the prints all signed J Manning 2006  and I kept them at home while Kanyah came to Thailand to build our retirement house in Pakchong (Pak Chong) where we now life.

I bought the prints to her on a previous visit and she had them framed. I put them on the wall on this visit and you will see them in the photos below.

Kanyah Casually Mentioned That The Print Looked Smaller Than She Remembered

So, last night we were sitting in front of the TV. We weren’t watching it – it was switched off since although we can get 400+ channels they are all in the Thai language and just show trivial stuff.

Photo of Thai Retirement House Pak Chong TV and Two Paintings

Thai Retirement House Pak Chong TV and Two Paintings

Above a photo of our TV and two of the three pictures.

When Kanyah made that remark I took a closer look at the picture. I recalled that when I hung the pictures on the wall a couple of weeks ago I did notice that they seemed not to have the depth of quality that I remembered. (I have learned not to raise difficult issues though so I said nothing at the time.)

This time, however, I could see the lack of detail but I noticed something else. It seemed that behind the glass there was no board frame around the picture.

Normally when you have a picture framed they cut a rectangle of the correct size in a piece of board and your picture is framed within it. The board frame and the picture are then mounted in the wooden frame you have chosen.

I was positive that what I was looking at was a single sheet of paper like a photocopy of the picture and the frame.

Looking at the other two pictures I noticed that the pictures were all different sizes whereas the prints had all been exactly the same size.

I Opened The Picture Frame To Reveal The Photocopy

I persuaded Kanyah to let me open the frame and as I suspected out came a photocopy of our original prints.

Photo of J Manning Water Colour Derbyshire U.K. Winter Print Copy and Frame

J Manning Water Colour Derbyshire U.K. Winter Print Copy and Frame

Above is a photo of the picture frame and the photocopy of the print. You can see that the ‘print’ is integral with the border – it’s all one sheet of paper.

Kanyah Was Ripped Off In  Front Of Her Own Eyes

It was clear to me that the prints had been swapped for photocopies and that this all took place on Kanyah’s watch.

I was furious and Kanyah when she eventually believed me was also upset.

Complaining To The Framing Shop Was Out For Starters

I wanted to go back to the shop where she had the prints ‘framed’. (Hah! We’d been framed not the prints!)

No can do.

Kanyah explained that it was well over a year ago when she sent them to the shop.

Notice what I just said? “she sent them to the shop.”

She then explained that she had given the prints to our neighbour who took them to the shop. So Kanyah didn’t even know which shop it was.

The Three Week Waiting Trick

Kanyah go the frames and ‘prints’ back after three weeks, she told me.

Then it all clicked into place. The shop had photocopied our original prints, framed them and that is what our neighbour delivered back to Kanyah.

The three week wait was obviously so that Kanyah would forget what she had just handed over to be framed. She never noticed the difference.

You can get prints framed immediately in Thailand. I never heard of a three week wait before.

What the shop or the neighbour did with the original prints we have no idea.

We have no idea if this was just a trick by the frame shop and the neighbour had no knowledge of it or whether he was an accomplice in the heist.

The Other Two Pictures Are Also Fakes

If you look closely at the other two pictures below you will see that there is no border or shadow-line between the picture itself and the white border. Clearly these two pictures are also photocopies of the original prints.

Photo showing J Manning Water Colour Derbyshire U.K. Summer Bridge Photocopy in Frame

J Manning Water Colour Derbyshire U.K. Summer Bridge Photocopy in Frame

Above is a close up of one of the other two pictures of typical countryside scenes in Derbyshire, U.K. by J Manning.

Photo showing J Manning Water Colour Derbyshire U.K. Spring Bridge Photocopy in Frame

J Manning Water Colour Derbyshire U.K. Spring Bridge Photocopy in Frame

I’m Sick Of Living Here In Pak Chong

This episode sickens me. I was fed up already of living in Pak Chong and Kanyah and I have discussed this and discussed returning to England. This just adds to my disillusionment with retiring in Thailand.

She is refusing to go and I can’t afford to keep two people in two different houses in two countries.

Perhaps things will pick up here. I certainly miss all the things about England I have listed out previously.

If I had my full workshop machines and tools here it would be better. I’m limited what I can do with the tools I have and it’s not easy to buy the stuff I need in Thailand.

Perhaps The LU Project Will Let Me Off The Hook?

If you can believe LU that contract I spoke about before I came hear might materialise. Then, if it’s awarded to me, I can go back to U.K. to do it. At least some of the time.

PS They Stole The Telephone Wires From Len And He Had No Communications For A Week

This is a separate story but it just shows that they’ll steal anything to get a few Baht.

They stole 100+ meters of telephone cable and the telecoms to the village were out for a week.

Read the story here:-

http://retiringinthailand.net/passed-the-thai-driving-licence-test/comment-page-1/#comment-62274

 

 

 

 

 

Frantic Day At The Thai Driving Test Centre – And It’s Not Over Yet

Having obtained all the documentation required to apply for a Thai Driving License (http://retiringinthailand.net/getting-thai-driving-license-part-1/) by taking the Thai Driving test I spent today on Round 1 of the Thai Driving test along with about twenty Thais.

Taking The Thai Driving Test is Not So Easy As People Think

It was a fraught and daunting experience – not the least because all the instructions were in the Thai language and I hand’t much of a clue really what to do or what was coming next!

That was the worst part, not knowing what was the step. Let me tell you up front this is no breeze in the park!

Different people were telling me different things plus I was sometimes misunderstanding what they said when that was in Thai.

I was nervous, apprehensive and confused.

I basically blundered through as best I could relying on deduction and limited knowledge of the Thai language.

But let me tell you this. When and if I finish this training and testing regime and get my driving license I will know more about the process than anyone who has not been through it. Forget all the rubbish and half truths you read on Thai Forums – I will have the complete truth. Possibly the only source on the Internet where you can discover and understand the exact process for obtaining a Thai driving licence as a Farang.

To be continued…

I May Be Getting A Thai Driving License – Part 1

Getting A Driving License In Thailand When You Don’t Have One In Your Own Country

Optimism Follows A Visit To The Thai Driving Licensing Office in Pakchong (Pak Chong), Thailand

Wednesday 21 Aug 2013

For me obtaining a Thai driving license is an obsolete necessity.

I don’t have a U.K. driving license nor an International driving license.

I had heard that with a Non O Visa you can take a Thai driving test and get the Thai driving license. That’s is what we are trying to do and here is our story.

I’ll tell the story exactly as it happened and then give a summary of what documents are required so that people wanting to obtain a Thai driving license know what to do without needing to read the novel.

Visit To The Driving License Office

Time 1010 AM

We stared off here which in Pakchong (Pak Chong) is about a two mile drive out of the town.

No waiting in queses when we got these just went to see the officer at the desk and he asked a few questions and gave us the instructions (only Thai Language):-

Question: Have International Driving License?

Answer: No

Question: Have U.K. Driving License?

Answer: No

Question:  Have House Papers?

Answer: Yes

Question: (Farang’s – me) name on house papers?

Answer: No

Advice: Go to the Amphur and get the documents. Also get the Medical Certificate. Come back here at 09 AM Tomorrow with the documents. Take driving test 2 days.

Leave for Amphur

Time 1015 AM

First Visit To Amphur

(Bet you knew there would be more than one)

Time 1045 AM

Kanyah spoke to the Amphur No.2 and told the story.

She had most of the necessary papers with her but not the marriage certificate.

Also need copies of :-

  • Our marriage Certificate
  • My Passport and visa pages
  • Kanyah’s ID Card
  • Kanyah’s house papers

Go to home to get these.

Done, including scanning in on the computer and printing the copies.

Back to Amphur.

Time 1140 AM

Kanyah didn’t want to go because she said they close at 1300. Let’s try I insisted.

Time 1152 AM

Arrived at Amphur and saw the No. 2 again.

“Come back at 1300″.

Seems Kanyah had not been clear that they don’t close at 1300 but 1200 to 1300 is the lunch break.

Kanyah wants to wait in the car park.

I suggested we go to the Clinic to get the Doctor’s Certificate.

Much to my surprise she agreed and even more surprisingly she suggested we walk. She knew exactly where the clinic was since she had to get a similar doctor’s certificate for her own driving license.

Expectations and Trepidations Of A Medical For A Thai Driving License

A lot of thoughts were running through my mind as I recalled the medicals i had to endure in the U.K. for my London Underground Contract and to regain my driving license which i failed to do.

Blood test for drugs and alcohol. Blood test for liver function. Test of balance function, eye test and hearing tests and etc. What would the Thai test be like? I wasn’t looking forward to it at all.

Also, though not so important I was wondering:-

  • Would we have to make an appointment and maybe come back later today or another day?
  • How long would it take?
  • What would be the cost? 1,000 Baht, 300 Baht or what?

Half an hour later we arrive at the clinic in the centre of the market are of Pakchong (Pak Chong). It was closed.

We walked up and down the back streets of Pakchong (Pak Chong) market area and found a clinic that was open.

Getting The Doctors Certificate Was a Complete Surprise

It was open in more ways than one!

It was completely open to the streets. The seats were on the pavement and the reception/desk was too.

Photo of Doctors Clinic Pakchong Market Thailand

Doctors Clinic Pakchong Market Thailand

Kanyah approached to desk and stated her business. (Doctor’s Certificate for driving license)

“Passport please” one lady said as another bought out a blood pressure test machine.

The first lady took a huge pre-printed pad of forms and started to copy my passport details onto the top form. No questions asked, no eye test no checking if I could walk or bend down without falling over!

The blood pressure test and the completion of the form both were completed at the same time in a couple of minutes.

The price? 50 Baht.

We spent longer waiting for the change than the medical had taken.

(Back home I checked the ‘Medical Certificate’ and that’s what the headline said at the top of the page. it was an official document from a registered doctor and es, it was a doctor’s certificate. It didn’t say that there was anything wrong with my medical condition so I guess that’s good enough!

We walked back to the Amphur and bought a few bits and pieces from the market stalls on the way.

Arrive at the Amphur Second Time

Time 1315 PM

We had missed the 1300 slot so had to wait until 1400 for the second Amphur to see us.

I was called to give my details, and he asked me if I could speak Thai. I have the usual ‘Dai Khap, Noi’ response and the reminder of the exchange was in Thai. I managed to answer all the questions which were like, how old was I, mother and fathers name, place of birth and suchlike.

Most of this was what the Amphur’s are trained to do but what my father’s name has to do with getting a Thai driving license beats me.

There was much typing in Thai into two computers and signing of the documents we handed over plus some documents he printed out from the word processor.

Then he had to fill out a big Ledger with what I assume were the documents produces since they were all neatly numbered. Then he had to take some documents into the No. 1 Amphur for her signature.

That obtained, a document was printed out. He stamped it and signed it.

We Sawatee’d and then had to go upstairs where the document was stamped with the big red Thai seal.

Why that couldn’t be done by the Amphur beats me. Perhaps that’s just the ‘seal stamping’ place where all documents have to go?

At 1430 it was all over and we departed for home.

Rough Translation Of The Documents

Doctor’s Medical Certificate

Here is the Medical Certificate:-

Image of Pakchong Clinic Doctors Certificate Driving License

Pakchong Clinic Doctors Certificate Driving License

I didn’t need Kanyah’s help wit his one after i had translated the headline myself using a Thai dictionary.

Fundamentally it was a a Doctor’s Certificate to support an official application. No medical conditions were entered.

Document From the Amphur

This is the document we received from the Amphur. Click on the document to download the original as a pdf file)

Image of Amphur Thailand Address Confirmation Letter

Amphur Thailand Address Confirmation Letter

My synopsis of Kanyah’s reading of the document. Note that she didn’t translate it she just read the Thai. I interpreted the Thai as best I could. (With limited Thai)

The first part of this stated my name and passport details including visa type and entry/exit dates.

It then went on to say that I was married to Kanyah (details given) and living at our house in Pakchong (Pak Chong) – address given.

There was no mention of a driving license.

I guess this ‘certificate’ could be used in any situation where I had to demonstrate my residential address such as when opening a Thai bank account. (Although when I did that I didn’t need to produce a document of this kind but I have heard of cases where it has been asked for)

So will it suffice for the Driving License Office?

We’ll see tomorrow morning.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I Open A Bank Account In Pakchong (Pak Chong) Thailand

 Post Added Wednesday 7th August 2013

I Couldn’t Believe How Easy It Was To Open A Bank Account In Thailand

For my retirement in Thailand it was essential that I obtain a Thai Bank account. I had already bought the land and built a retirement house in Pakchong (Pak Chong), Thailand, and had moved there to retire just over a week ago

After years of worrying, waiting, researching and preparation I finally took the plunge and went into the Kasikorn Bank in Pakchong (Pak Chong) and asked to open a Bank Account.

Photo of Kasikorn Bank Pakchong Branch

Kasikorn Bank Pakchong Branch

Above, I’m just about to enter this bank, the Pakchong (Pak Chong) branck of Thailand’s Kasikorn Bank to open a bank account. I’m a bit apprehensive.

Why We Chose the Kasikorn Bank

Kanyah had always had a bank account with the Thai Farmers bank, but somehow in the distant past it was closed.

When living in the UK and Kanyah was preparing to go to Thailand (this is quite a few years ago) we wanted to open a bank account for her in Thailand that would be easy for me to send money to from my U.K. Lloyds bank account.

Lloyds recommended the Kasikorn bank as it was their reciprocal bank in Thailand. So she opened an account with Kasikorn bank.

As it turns out the Kasikorn bank used to be called the Thai Farmers bank. It appears that “Thai farmer” is pronounced Kasikorn the Thai language. So it seems they just changed the name to be more recognisable with the Thais.

Image of the Translation of the Kasikorn Bank Branch Logo

Translation of the Kasikorn Bank Branch Logo

Anyway here are the reasons then why I chose the Kasikorn bank:-

  • Kanyah had a bank account there. I thought that would make it easier for me to open an account.
  • Reciprocal bank to my Lloyds bank in U.K. – easier to send money.
  • I already had set up bank transfers from my Lloyds U.K. bank account to Kanyah’s Kasikorn bank. (Including a Standing Order transferring my pension) It would be easy to change these over to my account.

Tips On How To Get A Thai Bank Account

I had heard so many stories on various Thai forums about foreigners (farangs) being refused a bank account or being required to have various documents like a letter from the foreigner’s Embassy in Bangkok, the Thai wife’s house book and more.

I had read various tips on what you need to do to improve the probability of being granted permission to open a bank account in Thailand.

One tip I did take up was to dress smartly. Yes, I was wearing a neatly ironed white shirt crisply pressed black trousers and polished black shoes. Kanyah also dressed up for the part with smart trousers, proper shoes and a neat top, I was taking no chances!

Another tip I took up was to take plenty of cash with me for the deposit. the idea is to look as though you intend to do serious business with the bank. So I had 30,000 Baht in fresh 1,000 Baht notes to deposit into the account.

The last tip I had read about and which I also followed was to take a letter written by Kanyah with our house address on it English and Thai stating that I lived in the house and asking the bank to open an account for me.

It took me days to prepare that letter – including getting the address translated from Thai and getting it written on paper in neat Thai writing. I’ll show you the letter later.

Opening this bank account was a do or die thing for me. I simply MUST have one if I am to stay retired in Thailand.

Lets see how we got on at the bank.

How I Opened A Bank Account In Thailand

Close-up Photo of Kasikorn Bank Pakchong Branch

Kasikorn Bank Pakchong Branch – Close-Up

On entering the bank we were approached immediately by a bank official and asked what we wanted. Kanyah told her that I wanted to open a bank account. Kanyah had already taken a waiting ticket from the ticked machine so the bank official invited us to sit down and wait until our number came up.

A minute later our number was called and went to sit at one of the Customer Service desks. The bank lady behind the counter was quite young and I wondered to myself if she would know what to do.

As soon as Kanyah had stated our business she asked for my passport (speaking English) and turned to the non O multiple-entry visa page. I also showed her the letter from Kanyah. She glanced at it but wasn’t interested really.

She seemed satisfied with that and what followed was a loot of her clicking on the computer keyboard and organising a few forms. Seemed like everything was going ahead!

At one stage she asked about my address and I showed her Kanyah’s letter. She seemed to compare the two versions of the address I had put at the top of the letter – the English and Thai versions. it didn’t look as though she was typing my address into the computer though and I couldn’t see the screen so I can’t say that categorically.

When she asked if I wanted an ATM card I naturally said yes and had to pay 500 Baht for that.

The bank lady certainly knew exactly what to do and what forms to use. It was as though she did this all day every day.

At one stage she asked for my telephone number and not having one in Thailand we used Kanyah’s, that seemed to be quite important.

I had to put my signature on a few Forms – I have no idea what they were for being entirely in Thai – I handed the 30,000 Thai Baht over and suddenly it was all over – almost.

She handed over a few documents:-

  • Bank Book just like Kanyah’s. This you can update at the machine by pushing it in the machine.
  • An ATM card
  • A Receipt for my 30,000 Baht deposit
  • A PIN number in a sealed envelope

But we weren’t finished. She asked us to go over to an ATM in the bank where there was another Thai lady bank official. This time the conversation – or at least part of it was in English. The lady at the desk had spoken 90% in Thai – when she spoke – because she said very little.

Anyway the lady at the ATM put my ATM card in the ATM machine, opened the PIN number and entered it into the ATM.

After pressing a few buttons I was asked to enter my own PIN and presto the PIN was changed.

Next we had to enter a telephone number and to sect the telephone company. There was a bit of confusion there because Kanyah gave the wrong name for the telephone company, but eventually we got it right again using Kanyah’s phone number.

Then it was all over! I had my Thai Bank Account.

The whole process had taken just about half an hour from start to finish. A few Sawatdee’s and we were outside.

Checking My ATM Card and Bank Book

Back home I inspected the ATM Card and the Bank Book.

Security Feature

The following images are scans of the genuine articles. However the numbers have been digitally altered for security reasons.

The Thai Bank ATM Card

Image of Alan's Kasikorn Thai Bank ATM K - Debit Card Scanned

Alan’s Kasikorn Thai Bank ATM K – Debit Card

The ATM Card came in a little plastic wallet and both were 95% in the Thai language.

On the front of the card was a green sticker with a Headline and a message in a ‘Window’.

Kanyah translated these roughly as;-

Headline:- “Read Before Use”

Window:- “You can watch a movie using this card for 100 Baht, normally 140 Baht.

There was also a web address where it said you can check your account:-

www.askkbank.com/kdebitcard

I tried that but there was a hitch – see below.

It had a place to sign your name on the back so did that.

The Thai Bank Book

Scan of Alan's Kasikorn Thai Bank Account Book

Alan’s Kasikorn Thai Bank Account Book

This had my name, my account number and the balance – 30,000 Baht.

My address did not appear.

Registering A ATM Card At The Kasikorn Website

I went to the website at www.askkbank.com/kdebitcard and looked for a “Register” link.

There wasn’t one but there was a “Log in” link in English. This took me to a log-in page but it was clear that this was for people already registered.

Underneath the Log-In Form there were two links, both 100% in the Thai language. I could read the “Click Here” on both links and tried the first one.

Screenshot of Thai Kasikorn Bank K-Card Website - Registration Form

Thai Kasikorn Bank K-Card Website – Registration Form

Sure enough this took me to a registration page and I started to fill in the Form.

One mandatory field was a telephone number. It seems that a telephone number is a vital piece of ID in Thailand. Guess I’ll have to get one.

One field asked if I was Thai or Foreign. As soon as I clicked foreign another Field can up “Passport Code” and a message saying “Please fax certified copy of passport to number 0 2562 8714″.

Screenshot of Thai Kasikorn Bank K-Card Website - Registration Form - Passport Field

Thai Kasikorn Bank K-Card Website – Registration Form – Passport Field

At this point the process obviously stopped because I didn’t have a certified copy of my passport and what’s more I don’t know how to get one in Pakchong (Pak Chong). Maybe I’ll go back to the Kasikorn bank and ask them…

… so watch this story.

Other Facts About The Thai Kasikorn Bank ATM Card

Kanyah said the there are other benefits you are entitled to as a holder of a Kasikorn ATM Card (which the bank seems to call a K – Debit Card, or just a K-Card).

For example, she said you automatically are insured for hospital treatment up to (200,000? Baht) in case of accident.

Also you can use it in shops to buy things. (Well it is a debit card!)

This is the K – Debit Card features page but it’s all in Thai:-

https://mycard.kbankcard.com/TH/KDebitCard/Pages/KDebitCardFeature.aspx

I’ll get it translated so again, watch this space.

 

 

 

Gardening Contract For Our Retirement House In Pakchong (Pak Chong), Thailand

Thailand Landscaping And Garden Design Contract For Our Retirement House In Pakchong (Pak Chong), Thailand

Thoughts, ideas and a plan to make a beautiful Thailand garden design based on other Thailand gardens.

As I write this the house itself (except for the second floor kitchen) is finished but the Thai garden is still rough and needs landscaping and planting after.

My  15,000 Baht Landscaping And Gardening Budget.

I agreed with Kanyah that I would pay for a Thai gardener to produce the Thai garden design and undertake the gardening etc, thinking it would cost a few hundred £. (£= Great British Pounds – Sterling), say maximum £500 = 15,000 Baht. I was prepared to pay for a professional Thai landscape design rather than let Kanyah struggle with the Thailand garden design.

When I retire to Thailand I want a nice cool and beautiful Thailand garden, somewhere to really relax after a morning in the workshop making my models.

One thing we wanted was a “covered terrace” for want of a better word – an area with some wooden posts that climbing plants grow over it and make a shady and cool place to sit in the hot weather.

The main areas of the land, front and back to be lawn (grassed) and planted with trees. Small climbing plants to go around the perimeter fence to hide it. I did not want any water features because they need a lot of maintenance.

Enter The Thai Gardener

Our neighbour, Noi, introduced us to a Thai gardener and he came to visit us.

The scope of the gardening work was discussed and I caught hold of a few pieces of the conversation which was taking place in the Thai language like ‘clearing the land’ is not included and ‘putting the new soil is not included’. When I heard a price of 200,000 Baht I said we would do the Thai gardening ourselves.

I just couldn’t understand why Kanyah can’t hire the labour and organise them to do the Thai gardening work.

There was also some discussion that there was currently no “Malaysian Grass” available. The gardener got on the phone to “head office” and that was confirmed. Also he said that “Malaysian Grass” cost 30 Baht per square metre. We had about 1,200 m2 to be covered by lawn so that would amount to 36,000 Baht. I wondered what the other 164,000 Baht would be spent on.

It seemed that the grass would be put down in pre-grown roll form. I suggested that Kanyah could simply get the labourers to place grass seed and that would be far cheaper. The gardener said that “They won’t sell you grass seed in Thailand”. I replied that I would send it to Kanyah by mail. That started a whole lot of conversation about send parcels by mail, import duty and so on.

Exit The Thai Gardener

I had heard enough and walked away. There was no way I was interested in that kind of rip-off.

After about an hour or so of noisy discussion between Kanyah, the Thai gardener and Noi, Kanyah explained that the Thai gardener would include the land clearing and put the soil for 120,000 Baht all-in price.

I Demand A Thai Landscape Gardening Contract

I kind of agreed to the revised offer for the gardening design and work but said I wanted everything written down into a contract. Having been stung by our first builder I was not prepared to agree to a deal based on a noisy conversation in the Thai language with a 120,000 Baht price tag attached to it and nothing written down.

The Thai gardener went away and said he would come back another day with the contract.

He did come back a couple of days later but without a contract. After much discussion between Kanyah, the Thai gardener and our neighbour, Noi, he went off and return an hour later with a pre-written “Form of Contract” such as you can buy in stationery shops and places like Tesco Lotus here in Thailand.

From what I gathered the intention was to simply enter the names of the two parties (the Thai gardener and Kanyah), put the date and the cost and bingo! You have a contract.

Not The Kind Of Thai Landscape Gardening Contract I Had In Mind

That was not at all what I had in mind. I wanted a proper description of what was to be provided for the Thailand garden. If possible with sketches and the type and quantity of plants itemised. I wanted to know – in written form – exactly what kind of Thailand garden design was being provided for my money.

Kanyah kind of understood what I was driving at – particularly when I said a wanted to see a list – she knows what a list is – and she took out an exercise book and got the Thai gardener to write a list of what he was to provide. The list came to me for agreement and I sent it back to have more details added. After this repeated itself a few times Kanyah complained that I was making her (and presumably the Thai gardener and Noi) do “hard work”.

In no kindly manner (you’ll understand what I mean) I explained that it was I who had to do a thousand times more hard work back in the U.K. to earn the money to pay for the garden than she was doing in Thailand to make the list.

Eventually the list was agreed and signed by the Thai gardener.

There were still some omissions to which Kanyah said something like “Never mind he has to do that”.

Below is a copy of the list from the exercise book and a rough English translation made by Kanyah as I sit typing this out. Click here or on the image to see the full size version as a .pdf file.

Image of Pakchong Retirement House Gardening Contract

Pakchong Retirement House Gardening Contract

Gardening List English Translation

Below is the rough translation into English of the gardening contract written in Thai in the exercise book

Date: 30/12/2011

1. Put the soil 5 trucks in front

2. Put the soil 8 trucks in the back

3. Put the sand 3 trucks in front

4. Put the sand 6 trucks in the back

5. Grass – Japanese 350 Talang metre in front

6. Grass Malaysia – 16 Talang metre

7. Grass Malaysia – 500 Talang metre in the back

8. “Mai Brob” Growing the tree 50 “ton” (50 trees about 3 m high).

9. “Tiang Tong 1,000 ton”. Small tree plants 1,000.

10. Little and small plants grow around all the fence.

11. Put in the pot “Daily Ga-Tang” (Plants)

12. Four Post “covered terrace” to grow the plants. The posts to be hard wood. He will put the plants.

Everything 120,000 Baht. (£2,500 or $3,750)

Take time 3 months.

Start 10 Jan 2012

Finish 10 March 2012

Signed: Surapon Chua Ngang

Warranty people: Jalan Mea Na Lu Ji (Noi – our neighbour)

Payment Schedule:-
10 Jan 20,000 Baht
10 Mar 40,000 Baht
10 Apr 60,000 Baht
Total 120,000 Baht

Included but not written down is:-

Clearing the ground.

3 Months guarantee. i.e. after 3 months all the plants have to be healthy or the Thai gardener has to replace them. The Thai gardener is responsible for looking after the plants in this period.

What Do You Think?

Our land is 80m X 20m = 1,600 m2 (one Rai). About 600 m2 is taken up with the house and Terrace and about 200 m2 by the drive leaving around 800 m2 to be landscaped. The total in the Contract is 850 m2 – see above)

So 120,000 Baht / 800 m2 = 150 Baht/m2. Is that a fair price?

Before giving your opinion in the Comment Box below, please quickly review the Scope of Work (i.e. The Contract) above which includes 22 trucks of sand/soil, 850 m2 of turf, 50 trees about 3 m high and 1,000 small tree plants, little and small plants grow around all the fence plus the Terrace.

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