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American TESOL Institute Series

  • Pre-Thailand Chores; Informations and Vaccinations
  • Visa Run, Chicago
  • Back to Bangkok – the American TESOL Institute (ATI)
  • American TESOL Institute Review – Pre-Course Experience
  • American TESOL Institute Review – In-Course Experience
  • American TESOL Institute Review – Post-Course Experience
  • American TESOL Institute Review – Overall
  • Moving to Work in Thailand
  • First Day of School, Thailand

Another sleepless sleeper train night.

So it seems that I simply cannot sleep on any sort of overnight transportation, I decided after yet another sleepless night aboard a reasonably comfortable sleeper train.  I pulled into Bangkok around 8:00 am from Udon Thani and caught a cab back to Silom to retrieve the items I had left in a locker.  Not knowing where in Silom to have him drop me off, as the hostel is a bit unknown and hidden, I told the driver near Pat Pong, to which I received a, “Oh ho ho, Patpong!”

Thankfully, all the items were still there in the locker, so I threw them in a large stuff sack rather messily instead of trying to fit them into the backpack.  I was able to get a metered cab, a better deal any day than a prepaid cab or tuk tuk.

The area of Bangkok where the American TESOL Institute (ATI) course takes place is a significant distance from the center city and took over 20 minutes by direct taxi to get there.  It would have taken even longer by public transit, though the bus lines do go there.  I got out at the J.L. Bangkok and apparently was one of the first to check in.

The J.L. Bangkok, where we stayed and where the ATI course took place.

The J.L. Bangkok, where we stayed and where the ATI course took place.

Our room at J.L. Bangkok.

A little over an hour after I showed up, I received knock on the door and it was a hotel staff member letting my roommate in because they didn’t have a key for him yet for some reason.

The two of us spent a decent amount of time walking around the immediate area and checking out “The Mall”, a multi-building shopping center just down the street.  It doesn’t contain anything too impressive, and is dwarfed by the shopping centers in the more central part of the city.  However, it does provide something small to do in the area.

A common sight down the major street, Ramkhamhaeng, through the area.

Otherwise, despite being right down the road from a university, this area of Bangkok seemed completely devoid things to do, less the night market that makes the sidewalks nearly impassable.  After walking through a number of main and side streets, there is not many social hangouts I could find and nothing that even resembles a shred of nightlife.  I found a few things farther off, but not easily accessible without a good deal of exploring.

This was not the first day of the course, but the first day that we could actually check into the accommodations.  Over the next 24 hours, a few more showed up, but we didn’t really get to meet everyone until the first day of class.

Benjamin Williams

Hi all, my name is Ben. I’m a native Michigander with a passion for human culture and new places, and more than that, new experiences. I have degrees in archaeology and writing, pursuing a career in the latter. However, I never quite lost that fascination for archaeological theory. For the past 11 years, I’ve been living and travelling between Asia, Europe, and North America, documenting ancient sites and the peoples who built them, and then adapting them into practical archaeological travel information at

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