Where to Stay and What to Do on an ED Visa Trip to Penang

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An Introduction to Penang

An ED visa trip from Koh Samui to Penang shouldn’t be viewed with exasperation; Penang is an island rich with history, culture, diversity, and cuisine. Penang has long been a haven for traders of all kinds dating back to the first trade routes from the Middle East, India, and Asia. Penang was particularly influenced by the British since it was first colonized back in 1786 when the British East India Company came ashore to claim it, their influence today is seen in the continued prevalence of the English language and the imposing colonial administrative buildings dotted around the capital of Penang in Georgetown. Prior to British colonization and in the postwar era there have been multiple migrant waves of ethnic Indians and Chinese to Penang. These ethnic and cultural groups came to dominate certain types of trading goods such as spices and gems. Nowadays you can see the legacy of the Indian and Chinese diasporas in Penang through the use of Chinese in certain business circles and most prominently on shop signs. Whereas the Indian legacy is encountered in the Little India district where most locals are of Indian heritage, elaborate Hindu temples stand side by side with older mosques and Buddhist temples, not to mention the Indian food market in this area. Quite simply, Penang is rich in culture and worth exploring. With that in mind, here are some recommendations on where to stay and what to do.

Where to Stay

As the Thai consulate is located in the capital of Penang, Georgetown, it makes sense to book accommodations in this area.  Just as Koh Samui is brimming with top quality accommodations, so is Georgetown. Not only that, Georgetown is rich in culture and cuisine for those looking to get out and explore their local surroundings.

Budget: If you’re staying on a budget there are a multitude of hostels to choose from in the downtown Georgetown area. A typical dorm bed in Georgetown should cost about 300 baht and private rooms at these hostels range from 600 baht and up. The Ryokan Muntri Boutique Hotel, Magpie Residence, and Tipsy Tiger Party Hostel are three of the most highly rated hostels in the downtown Georgetown area and only a 5 or 10 minute drive to the Thai consulate.

Mid-range: Again, you’re spoilt for choice in the Georgetown downtown area. Mid-range hotels start from 600 and go up to a couple thousand baht. That is not to say there aren’t cheaper hotels that are not hostels, you just have to do your own research to ensure the price you pay is worth it! Personally, on my ED visa run I stayed at a new boutique hotel called Ink Hotel which was situated not far from the embassy and within walking distance of food markets, McDonalds, shopping malls, cinemas, and bars. I paid 700 baht but it seems you can get a slighter better deal when you book online. For around 1000 baht a good choice seems to be the Red Rock Hotel which is located a mere 3km from the Thai consulate and has pool free of charge for guests. At slightly more luxurious and twice the price at around 2000 baht is the Berjaya Penang Hotel, which again has a pool to relax in, and is within 1km walking distance of the Thai consulate.

No Limit: If price really isn’t a concern then you will have no problem from choosing among the top hotels in Georgetown. These hotels range from 3000+ baht up to 9000+ and include the Hotel Penaga, Eastern Oriental Hotel, and the Eight Rooms – McAlister Mansion, all within a 10 minute taxi ride to the Thai consulate and all with a pool to while away the hours if you should choose to simply relax and soak up some sun from the comfort of your hotel.

What to Do in Penang

As an island rich with culture from the various ethnic groups that have traded, colonized, conquered, and de-colonized, there is lots to see and do.

Architecture: If you’re one to marvel at the record of the past left behind by the British, Chinese, Indian, and Islamic influences, look no further! The city is dotted with grand and imposing white colored British colonial architecture including City Hall, Fort Cornwallis, the Queen Victoria Diamond Jubilee Clocktower, and the Eastern Orient Hotel to name a few. Chinese and Islamic architectural legacies can be seen in the form of the many buildings, temples and mosques around Penang, most notably the Chinese Khoo Kongsi clan hall, the Blue Mansion, and the Kapitan Keling Mosque.

Eat: Penang is a foodie’s paradise with Indian and Chinese culinary influences being most prominent. For Indian food look no further than the area of Little India in the downtown heart of Georgetown. Delicious Indian dishes for a fraction of the cost back home! Similarly, Chinese food can be found in abundance in Chinatown, not far from Little India or Little Armenia. If you’re a fan of street food in Thailand and wondering what they have on offer in Penang, head to the Sunway Hotel. Just out front on the right side of the hotel every night is a gathering of food stalls selling delicious food at bargain prices. Failing that, Western fast food places such as McDonalds, Burger King, and Dominos are common and at the several large shopping mall food courts you’ll be spoilt for choice. Premium dining options can be found online, at the malls, or in the luxury hotels.

Drink: Downtown Georgetown has more than its fair share of bars for all tastes. Most of the reputable establishments can be found either on the coast or near it. These include Hong Kong Bar, Georgetown Wines, and Beach Blanket Babylon. If you go to Times Square at the base of the mall you will see a big bar called Beer Factory complete with a large outdoor patio, they typically have specials when you order more than one beer and have a wide selection of local, international, and craft beers.

Shopping: Again, you’re spoiled for choice. Just as there are in much of the rest of Southeast Asia, Penang has more than its fair share of markets. Some of the most prominent night markets in Georgetown are the Macallum Street Night Market, Cecil Street Market, and the Little Penang Street Market. At these markets you should expect to see similar trinkets as you would in Thailand but with a local twist. If you wish for a more familiar shopping experience, check out the Penang Times Square or Prangin malls, they’re within walking distance from each other and contain a multitude of top designer boutiques, restaurants, cafes, bars, cinemas, and much more.

Excursions: If you can arrive in Penang on a Thursday, a great option would be to drop your paperwork off at the embassy early Friday morning and then hop on a ferry to Langkawai; Malaysia’s premier tropical island destination. That way you can have a half day there on Friday and stay even until Monday morning, getting to the Thai consulate in the afternoon. You could even substitute a ferry for a bus and head to Kuala Lumpur for the weekend. For those that would like a beach day without the hassle of ferries, look no further than Batu Ferringhi, the widely considered the best beach on Penang. You can reach easily reach Batu Ferringhi via public transportation. If you’re adventurous there are half day treks through Penang National Park or snorkeling trips to Pulau Payar Marine Park. Half or full day trips out to small local islands can also be arranged. Traveling with kids? How about Escape Adventureplay! It is described as a huge outdoor playground in a natural environment with a variety of attractions for all ages. More interested in learning about Penang and its vibrant history and culture? Try the Kek Lok Si temple or the Penang Colonial Museum. Whatever your interests are, Penang will surely have something for you.

Our Intermediate Class

 

Remembering and Forgetting

…hopefully our students don’t do much of the latter!

 

 

In our intermediate class we have been learning about ‘memory’.

Have you ever thought about how our minds create new memories, store them, and then are able to recall them when they are needed? The fact that we can do this is pretty spectacular. It’s this process which allows us to learn about the things around us and interact with the world.

Think about how many times we rely on our memory to help us in everyday life, from remembering the pin to your phone to recognising the person you met in the supermarket last week.

The study of human memory is a major topic of interest within science, specifically cognitive psychology. But what is memory? How are memories made? Let’s find out…

The Stage Model of Memory

Many models of memory have been proposed over the years, but we like ‘the stage model of memory’ (Atkinson and Shiffrin, 1968) due to it’s simplistic approach to the basic structure and function of memory. The theory proposes three separate stages of memory: sensory memory, short-term memory, and long-term memory.

How can we remember better?

We want you to ‘have a memory like an elephant’ not ‘like a sieve’. Here are some tips and tricks to help you store all the information we throw at you during class.

 

Talking about personal memories

‘Take a walk down memory lane’. What kind of event was it and why do you remember it? When did it happen? Where were you? What was the background to the event? What were the main things that happened? How did it end?

Our intermediate class answered these questions in class. Here is some of their work…

 

For a link to the idioms used in this blog, click on the button below.

 

 

Krabi Language School

 

NEW SCHOOL

 English and Thai classes

 

 

K

oh Samui Language School are proud to present our sister-school, Krabi Language School, which will be opening soon!

Our new language school provides up to date, affordable courses in Thai & English for both children & adults, using a combination of conversational and textbook teaching.

Due to our excellent relationship with the Ministry of Education we can help you attain an Education Visa, also known as a ‘non-immigrant ED visa’, which can allow you to live in this beautiful country for up to 5 years.

 

Thai and English Partnership

Having both Thai and English owners, we get the best out of both mentalities in their approaches to school management. Which can be felt in our style, values and interaction with our students.

Easy Enrollment

Unlike our competitors, having both Thai and English management & staff makes dealing with us that much easier. Have your pick of a native Thai or English speaker to help you through the enrollment process.

Relevant Courses

At our school we keep our resources up to date by using the latest Longmans, Oxford and Cambridge textbooks, while following the official European recommended language course framework.

More information coming soon. Watch this space!

Thai Conversation

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Thai Conversation Class

Learn to speak the local lingo at Koh Samui Language School

Thai people are very friendly and would not hesitate to start a conversation with international travellers or expats living in Thailand. Whether you want to order food or ask for directions, this is the course for you to get started.

Make the most of your time in Thailand by attending our new Thai Conversation Class.

Our Thai Conversation class is taught by our native Thai Teacher, Khun Kae. She uses a variety of instruction and activities to teach you tips and tricks about Thai-tones, important words, and useful phrases.

Here is a sneak peak at one of our conversation classes earlier this week.

Why not come along and try one of our classes for FREE?  Please see our school timetables below.

 

 

New courses

 

New courses, new books, new knowledge!

 

Don’t miss out on your chance to improve your language skills and open a world of opportunities.

Koh Samui Language School

 

Koh Samui Tutor and Vocational School is Samui’s oldest licensed Thai and English Language School. With Thai and English owners, we take the finest aspects from both cultures and combine them to provide an unforgettable educational experience.

 

Our ability to provide education visas has helped us to create a stable learning environment for our students. Stable and secure working and learning environments are almost just as important as the teacher you have.

 

Our triple award winning educational institute is the most accredited, long running, successful language and vocational school in Samui. With almost 10,000 satisfied students to date, affordable courses, no hassle education visa service, and highly trained professional staff, we really are the first choice language school on Koh Samui.

Our Courses

 

Our brand new courses start in July.  Whether you’re looking to improve your conversation skills, study for IELTS, or start leaning Thai, we cater for all your educational needs.

Please browse our courses on our website for more information. You can then click the “Register” button to sign up for the class. Or, feel free to call in to our Maenam office to discuss your options in more detail and meet the teachers.

Cutting Edge Third Edition

 

We use the brand new Cutting Edge Third Edition for our English courses. Engaging texts, new video content, and a comprehensive digital package are just some of the new features that make the new courses even more effective. New features of the course include ‘Language Live’ and World Culture lessons that actively encourage students to expand their knowledge of global issues and participate in classroom discussions.

 

Keep motivated with a striking design and fresh new content

 

  • New ‘World Culture’ DVD lessons encourage the discussion of global issues and provide greater international perspective.
  • New writing lessons help with emails, letters, reports, etc.
  • The ActiveTeach with interactive whiteboard tools, DVD, audio, transcripts, dictionary and additional resources aid learning.

 

Improve quicker with more practise and better reference tools

 

  • The new ‘Study, Practise, Remember’ section at the back of the book provides integrated language summaries and practise exercises.
  • The ‘Student DVD’ with audio and video plus transcripts allows you to review the lessons and catch up if you miss a class.
  • The new feedback functionality and exercises in ‘MyEnglishLab’ give you greater control of your learning.

 

MyEnglishLab

 

MyEnglishLab is an online tool, provided for free with our new course books. You complete your face-to-face instruction at school to introduce new topics and ideas then complete extra learning outside class using the online tools.

 

You practise the content you have learned at school in an interactive environment, with instant feedback and tips to scaffold your learning.

 

Each activity is built into a lesson plan and helps you practise speaking, listening, reading, and writing.

 

MyEnglishLab builds assessment into each activity, so you don’t need to take sit-down tests every week in order to monitor your progress and performance.

 

You can use the MyEnglishLab gradebook to see where you need improvement and it helps us as teachers personalise your learning journey. With a quick look at the gradebook or common error report, teachers can ensure that we target your weak areas. MyEnglishLab will show us how you are performing, so we don’t need to guess what you’re finding difficult.

 

Don’t hesitate. Contact us today!

Dinner time with KSTVS!

Dinner time!

Calling all students!

It is time again for a FUN and ENJOYABLE evening with great food and great company! We like to invite YOU to join as well on Friday the 31st of this month, so keep your calendar free!

More details about time and place will follow. So keep a close look on our Facebook page and website for updates!

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Pancake Day at KSTVS

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Pancake Day at KSTVS 
pancake day
Last Tuesday it was Pancake Day or Shrove Tuesday which we celebrated at our school. This traditional feast day is before the start of Lent,  a time of abstinence that lasts 40 days and ends at Easter.

Our great students in the pre-intermediate English class brought some delicious pancakes to class, which made studying ever better! Doesn’t it look delicious?!

Teacher Mike and his pre-intermediate class.

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For more information about our classes please contact us!

office@kstvs.com

Telephone

077-248228

086-9472883

Summer school Koh Samui KSTVS 2017

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Children's Classes

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Summer School Koh Samui

 

Our popular summer school is back and as great as ever! This 2-month all-inclusive ‘English Camp’ course is fun, enjoyable and educational.

Our success is due to our ability to teach children English, we make our camps fun with arts and crafts, games and once a week we go on a class trip. Our past trips have been to zoos, swimming pools, the beach, temples and many other fun places.

We use the Cambridge YLE (Young learners for English) ‘Kids Box’ textbook, which covers 3 levels. The idea is to create an environment for children to relax, have fun and enjoy learning.

For students 3-18 years old.

  • Fun and active learning
  • Easy to understand
  • Native speaking teachers

Activities

  • English conversation
  • Arts and crafts
  • Music classes
  • English movies

Weekday Children's Classes

Children's Classes

 

Monday to Friday

10:00 am to 15:00 pm

* BOOK NOW! *

office@kstvs.com

Telephone

077-248228

086-9472883

Thai Class Schedule

Beginner Monday & Wednesday 10:00 ~ 12:00
Intermediate Tuesday & Thursday 10:00 ~ 12:00
Elementary Monday & Wednesday 13:00 ~ 15:00
Advanced Tuesday & Thursday 13:00 ~ 15:00
Pre-beginner Tuesday & Thursday 16:00 ~ 17:00

English Languages Course

Lower Intermediate English Classes

Our English courses cover the 6 levels corresponding with the European level of languages and so are broken up according to skill level. Those levels are

  • Beginner
  • Upper beginner
  • Lower intermediate
  • Intermediate
  • Upper intermediate
  • Advanced

When you enroll in your courses you will be invited to take part in our placement test. This comprehensive test will take roughly 1 hour long and provide us with enough information about your current ability and skill, therefore placing you in your best suited level.

Each class is split between conversational work and textbook work with 4 hours per week spent on each. The text books we work from are Pearson Longman published ‘Cutting Edge’ language book series.  The ‘Cutting Edge’ series works as a wide-ranging, European quality syllabus with a wide range of well-made teaching resources.

We do not give out these books but rather work from them however we strongly recommend you purchase this book from us or from the publisher directly as they are extremely useful to use when out of the classroom.

Our courses genially work on 1 level for 6 months, so a 200 hours would cover one full language level. We recommend you take part in one full course but taking smaller, 3 month 100 hour course is possible. However due to new rules the 100 hours would not prove adequate for 8 hours per week learning if you plan on staying here for 6 months or more.

We are fully committed to give you what you paid for. If you enroll with us when we are half way through a course then you are most welcome to join the current course and then overlap onto the next one for your paid for hours. For example if you paid for 100 hours and join 50 hours through the previous course, you will still be entitled to your remaining 50 hours in the next course.

Class Times:

Monday to Friday – 10am to 12pm and/or 1pm to 3pm

Price list:

100 hours (3 Months) – 19,500 TBH

200 hours (6months) – 29,000 TBH

400 hours (1 year) – 40,099 TBH

 ‘Cutting edge’ textbook – 1000 TBH

English for Everyone

Here at KSTVS we unfortunately do not provide an ‘English for everyone’ class at this point in time.