Category Archives: Stephen Cleary

Thailand’s Top 50 High Schools


The following list of Thailand’s Top 50 high schools are based on 2012 successful admission to Thailand’s top universities, national O-net results and other official student academic achievement. The list includes both public and private high schools, but does not include international schools.

Topping the list is not surprisingly Mahidol Wittayanusorn School which is the only school in the country which specializes in developing students who are regarded as ‘exceptionally gifted’, especially in maths and science. There are no school fees to pay, but admittance is the toughest in the country.


Once upon a time, the capital’s Christian/Catholic schools were the crème-de-la-crème of elitist education. However, except for St Gabriel College at #11, all have dipped in prestige and educational academic success over the years. Many of which do not even get into the Top 100 these days, let alone the Top 50.

So, if you are a foreign parent in Thailand or a wanna-be teacher to the country, we hope this list (from the Ministry of Education) will be of much interest.

1. Mahidol Wittayanusorn School; Nakhorn Pathom
2. Triam Udom Suksa School; Bangkok
3. Suankularb Wittayalai School; Bangkok
4. Hatyaiwittayalai School; Songkhla
5. Samsen Wittayalai School; Bangkok
6. Bunyawat Witthayalai School; Lampang
7. Bodindecha (Sing Singhaseni) School; Bangkok
8. Patumwan Demonstration School; Bangkok
9. Debsirin School; Bangkok
10. Kanaratbumrung Yala; Yala
11. St. Gabriel’s College; Bangkok (Private)
12. Benjamarachutit School; Nakhorn Sri Thammarat
13. Satriwithaya School; Bangkok
14. Montfort College; Chiang Mai (Private)
15. Benjamarachutit School; Ubol Ratchathani
16. Satit Chiang Mai Demonstration School; Chiang Mai
17. Prince Royal’s College; Chiang Mai (Private)
18. Udon Pittayanukool; Udon Thani
19. Demonstration School of Prince of Songkhla; Songkhla
20. Satit Chulalongkorn Demonstration School; Bangkok
21. Yupparaj Wittayalai School; Chiang Mai
22. Sathya Sai School; Bangkok (Private)
23. Nakhon Sawan School; Nakhon Sawan
24. Mahawachirawut School; Songkhla
25. Dusitaram Secondary School; Bangkok
26. Kasetsart University Laboratory School; Bangkok
27. Suratthani School; Surat Thani
28. Khon Kaen Wittayayon School; Khon Kaen
29. Satriwitthaya 2 School; Bangkok
30. Piriyalai School; Phrae
31. Ratchasima Witthayalai; Nakhorn Ratchasima
32. Satit Demonstration School of Khon Kaen University; Khon Kaen
33. Prommanusorn School; Phetchaburi
34. Phuket Wittayalai School; Phuket
35. Princess Chulabhorn College; Trang
36. Samakkhi Wittayakhom School; Chiang Rai
37. Ratchaniwit Bang Kaeo School; Samut Prakarn
38. Yothinburana School; Bangkok
39. Benjamarachutit School; Ratchaburi
40. Bangkok Christian College; Bangkok (Private)
41. Chakkamkanatorn School; Lamphun
42. Nareerat School; Phrae
43. Suratpittaya School; Surat Thani
44. Suankularb Wittayalai Nonthaburi School; Nonthaburi
45. Kaen Nakhon Wittayalai School; Khon Kaen
46. Suranaree School; Nakhorn Ratchasima
47. Assumption College; Bangkok (Private)
48. Suksanari School; Bangkok
49. Chalermkwansatree School; Phitsanulok
50. Satit Prasarnmit Demonstration School; Bangkok

Top Thai Language Google Search 2012: TV Program


No other Thai TV series in recent years managed to clear half the traffic off Bangkok’s main roads, as millions dashed home to eagerly await the latest episode in the top Thai TV program of 2012, Channel 3’s soap opera, ‘Raeng Ngao’ (Power of the Shadow).

As we all know, Thai soap operas, or Lakhorn Nam Nao as they say in Thai (directly translated into English as ‘insanely depressing tear-jerking drama’) have been the happy communal centre of family-friendly homes for donkey’s years. When the family’s favourite soap opera comes on the box, it’s time for everyone of any age to gather around; and that includes half the village too if you live in the middle of the countryside.

Raeng Ngao 2012, the fourth televised remake of this story, jumped on to our homely TV screens late in 2012 at peak hour times, twice a week. Perfect timing for grandmums, granddads and grandkids to soak up the sordid action. So, for you foreigners out there who would like to read the lowdown on Thailand’s top soap opera in recent memory, in English…. well, here it is..


First, there is Mr Jenpop, a high-ranking government officer. Even though Jenpop only receives a government salary of no more than $1,500US a month, he is somehow able to drive around in the latest state-of the-art imported Benzs and BMWs. And since Jenpop seems to have more money growing out his ears than hairs, he decides to spend some of his well-earned money on other women that are not his wife. After Jenpop gets bored of playing around with more women than Howard Hughes, Jenpop settles down with the lovely Miss Mutta, a true northern virginal beauty with skin whiter than a baby’s bottom. At first, the delightful Miss Mutta had played hard to get, but after Jenpop managed to have her in a short-time hotel against her wishes, Miss Mutta is love-stricken. The only problem is, is that Jenpop already has a wife, the powerfully-possessive Mrs Nopnapa.

Besides spending a million baht a month shopping at Siam Paragon, Mrs Nonnapa’s other hobby is spying on her husband via his secretary. Making sure her husband isn’t following in the footsteps of Bill Clinton, Nopnapa has his secretary keep at look out for any naughty goings-on in his office between him and some sexy sales rep. And soon, the wicked-wife finds out about her husband and the now very seductive, Miss Mutta. The TV audience of now ten million plus is split, it’s Major Wife vs Minor Wife. Take your pick who you want to cheer.


Stomping into her husband’s workplace, like an elephant on methamphetamine, Nopnapa throws a frenzy when she sees Mutta at the top of the stairs. One slap, two slap, three slap, four slap………… Nopnapa’s footwork is amazing as she manages to smack and rip Mutta at every angle. Unsatisfied at seeing Mutta still standing, Nopnapa, from behind, pushes Mutta down 20 flights of stairs. “That was the best bitchy fight scene I seen in a long time; I hope Mutta steals a knife and gets her revenge” says Ajarn Achiraya a monk from a local temple. As for Somying, a seven year old schoolgirl, she reckoned, “Mrs Nopnapa is my idol. When I grow up if I any county-bumpkin tries to steal my husband, I’ll cut out her eyes and throw her to the crocodiles”.

The pitiful Miss Mutta, feeling such an idiot, gives up her job and goes back to her country home. And it is there that she meets up with her Twin sister, Miss Munin. Even though Munin is her twin sister, Mutta and Munin have totally different personalities. The hard-hearted wife-eater Munin is outraged when she hears the story of her once-virgin sister being deceived by a wicked womanizer and beaten senseless by some big-mouthed bully. As for Mutta, she decides that life is too cruel for her, and kills herself.


Absolutely furious, Munin decides it would be a wicked idea to dress-up as her sister and go hunt down Nopnapa and Jenpop. The nation’s TV soap opera fans are, by now, glued to Raeng Ngao and the action is about to begin. Even though, Raeng Ngao has an “Over 18yrs old” parental guidance warning, this gets completely ignored; and so it should, as Raeng Ngao is shown on-air at the prime-time of 8:30pm. Perfect timing for a family-friendly feast.

On the arrival of Mutta’s twin, Miss Munin in Bangkok, the temperature of the soap opera heats up to boiling point. Besides just womanizing, adultery, bitching, slapping, screaming and slander, Raeng Ngao now adds robbery, drink-driving, guns galore and gay-bashing to put more spice into this already fabulously fun show. After threatening to chop off Jenpop’s mojo and throw it to the ducks, Munin takes the soap opera a step further and kicks Nopnapa down fifty flights of stairs. Even though she lands head first, Nopnapa manages to survive the ordeal with her hair-do intact.


Just as the soap opera comes to an end, folks at the Ministry of Culture are flabbergasted at the lack of morals on a prime-time TV soap opera with a 20 million average audience. The ministry is also suspicious that persons under the age of 18 have been watching the show alongside grannies and mommies. And goodness-gracious-me, even nine year olds seem to be playing copy-cat. A leading Thai newspaper headlines “Nine year old schoolgirl punches and kicks her teacher and pushes her into swimming pool – Raeng Ngao Style!” The Cultural Ministry is furious that Thai society is portrayed so negatively, and decides that what Thai TV needs instead of Raeng Ngao, are programs on how proper Thai women actually behave in real life, that is…. keeping their virginity till the day of marriage, keeping their patience under control, praying to the monks everyday, and refraining from spreading gossip and talking nonsense.

And finally, Mrs Lappa a leading cultural crusader from the Ministry of Culture had this to say, “I have informed the censors to delete any unacceptable Thai-lady scene as hugging and kissing a man she is not married to. However, a woman can still be gang-raped on TV, so long as she deserves it.”

You know you have been in Thailand ‘too long’ when……..

You’ve been in Thailand a few years now and beginning to wonder, “Have I been in Thailand too long?”. So, to find out whether you have or not, read through the following facts and compare to yourself…..

You know you’ve been In Thailand ‘too long’, when…..

  • on meeting a fellow Westerner, you ask “Where are you come from?”
  • ………. and next, ask him/her before you even know their name, how much salary they earn and why they aren’t married yet.
  • you have an attention span of approximately 11 and a half seconds (unless that is… you are watching a Thai soap opera)
  • your favourite hobby is putting half your family on the back of your motorbike; and only you, as driver, wears a helmet.
  • you think that showing up half an hour late for a job interview is acceptable.
  • on being stopped by a traffic cop, you immediately reach for some hundred baht bills, before your driver’s license.
  • start to think that corruption is just a social normality.
  • use a pseudonym on Facebook like “Hot Snowy Bear” instead of your actual real name.
  • cant’ be bothered to walk even if it’s only one hundred meters; better to wait half an hour for the bus.
  • you drink everything with a straw, even a large bottle of beer.
  • ……….. and you expect your waitress to be at your beck and call and put ice in your drinks every three minutes.
  • try to get on a packed Bangkok bus before anyone has had the chance to get off.
  • at the beach, you wear a long-sleeved shirt and splash on the strongest possible anti-suntan lotion.
  • enjoy scaring the wits out of foreigners who are trying to cross a zebra crossing, especially elderly ones.
  • hope that your young daughter grows into a good-looking young woman; and so, look forward to a receiving a bigger dowry.
  • ask the local monk to forecast the lucky number for you, hocus-pocus style, in the forthcoming Government Lottery.
  • are flushed at the sight of a farang woman wearing ‘no-bra’.

PSY from Gangnam Style Comes to Thailand

Gangnam Style Flash-mob Event, Siam Paragon: Even though I may not be the biggest fan of Korean star PSY, I wasn’t going to pass the opportunity to grab one of “500 Free Tickets to Gangnam Style Thailand Extra Live” (courtesy of Coca Cola). Advertised as “Biggest Gangnam flash-mob ever”, all we had to do to get free tickets was dance, or should I say straddle along, to Psy’s mega youtube hit at Siam Paragon.

Well, even before I got off the bus at Central World just down the road from the event, it bucketed down of rain, Thailand-style. But certainly not cool season style; it isn’t supposed to rain that bad in late November. Disappointment: Number One. Arriving at Siam Paragon, later than planned and in soggy socks, I wasn’t surprised that the activities had been postponed. I did, however, have no problems signing up for free tickets as everyone else had obviously got stuck in the rain along the way….

Now, this event was advertised as a ‘flash-mob’ – but according to my Internet definition, a flash-mob is supposed to be an unofficial/kinda illegal dance. One similar I imagined to thousands of yellow-shirts bopping away to some concert during their storming of Bangkok International Airport a few years ago. Of course, this was none of the sort, instead there were more than a hundred plain-clothed dancers rehearsing, an hour or so, before they appeared again at the event in either hot Coke outfit, sexy-nurse outfit or strange looking janitor outfits… Very luckily the sun come out… thank Godness ; and the crowds, of which many were university students who were jumping afternoon lectures, began to appear. And so did hundreds of crates of free Coke for all the participants and on-lookers.

Even though the turn-out was disappointingly low due to the damp weather, Coke did nonetheless manage make a television commercial out of the event. And to add a bit of flavor, they nicely mixed in a bout of Loy Krathong dancers… Because of my awesome Gangnam moves, Coke even gave me a leading dance part in the television commercial…. about 2 seconds worth! Unfortunately, none of were paid for dancing Gangnam-style for 15 or so minutes….. but were instead all given a free ticket to PSY’s concert at SCG Stadium (Muangthong Thani Football Club) on the 28 November. Richard Barrow also managed to scoop a free ticket, even though the closet he got to dancing was waltzing around the spectators trying to get the best pics….. as seen in this blog.

PSY Gangnam Concert, SCG Stadium: On the morning of the concert, all of us in Bangkok wake up to the freakiest cool season rain of the year. It had literally poured down all night, so much so, that our roof was leaking and our unclosed rubbish bin was overflowing with stench! Disappointment: Number 2. By this time I had a spare free ticket for the open-air concert, and even though it was free, I couldn’t find a single friend who wanted go. By lunch, due to the continuous rain, I had Richard Barrow ‘tweet’ the ticket to anyone who wanted to go; fortunately within an hour I was on my say to SCG Stadium with a new Russian buddie. Which, in fact, isn’t far from Bangkok Immigration, yes that place most folk go to extend their tourist/non-immigration visas. But, Bangkok Immigration, isn’t actually in Bangkok itself, it’s in Nonthaburi province.

The concert itself was to start at 7:30pm, but all the sponsors had promised “Fun and exciting activities starting at 3pm!”Instead, at 4pm at SCG with the rain still drizzling, the only fun thing we saw worth enjoying the sight of were AIR ASIA promo girls stood at the gates in wet-shirts! Apart from that, all the afternoon activities had been delayed. Disappointment: Number 3. Not wanting to get any more wet, we headed to Muang Thong Thani’s huge food court for a couple of bevvies before having a super cheap steak at Easy Steak restaurant nearby; two big steaks for 200 Baht ain’t easy to find these days.

Hooray! After 18 hours of continuous rain, it disappeared as quickly as it arrived. And before the crowds could arrive at the gates, the ticket touts had already secured their place. With wads of tickets in their hands, the touts were selling ‘FREE’ concert tickets for 500Baht! Just for a laugh I haggled the price down, and sure enough, within 10 seconds the real going rate was 200 Baht a ticket. It was totally pointless to buy a ticket from these touts as sponsors as AIR ASIA were handing out Free tickets left, right and center inside the gates. All one had to do to get a ticket was dance a bit of Gangnam-style with an Air Asia girl for the sponsor’s photograph – as easy as pie! Then, as the the AIR ASIA presenter girls were even better-looking than most of their air-hostesses’, I soon had so many free tickets in my hand that I just returned them!

As my ticket was ‘standing’ (personally, much preferred) I had no problem getting right to the front of the stage, right in front of the projector cameraman actually. For my front row efforts my mug-shot face was on the big screen for the 20,000 audience for the rest of the night! Not surprisingly, I was surrounded by screaming girls who just loved the imported Korean DJ and singer (before PSY came out). Being surrounded by junior high school girls bopping about, I pictured myself alongside Jimmy Saville on Top of the Pops!

Nearing 10pm, the concert had already been running for more than two hours – PSY finally appeared (after another 20 minute floor-mopping session in between!) PSY tried to cheer the lower-than-expected audience in attendance with plenty of banter. He also knew quite a bit of Thai language to my, and everyone else’s surprise. He put on a good show though, even though it was quite short; about half an hour. Climaxing his performance of course with the one-and-only, Gangnam-style. Altogether, however, it was an enjoyable day out