Enter Nick:Like most international students, I arrived and followed the instructions of the student life counsellor "staying in the dorm for the first semester is mandatory, after that you can move out if you wish."
What I didn't know at the time but would soon learn, most "mandatory" things at Payap are not.
Paradornparp International House houses 2 bed dorm rooms with air-conditioning (you'll want this to sleep in the hot season), a cafeteria, a 7-eleven, and large bodies of still water for attracting mosquitoes to play with you at night.
Payap Dorms, the bad:
Expensive. 18,200 Baht per semester. And though breakfast and dinner is included Monday thru Friday, a comparable place off-campus would be cheaper.
Location. It sucks. Located at the rear of the university opposite the ring road, you'll want a motorbike or car. But there is a university shuttle for getting around on campus. Most taxis have no idea about this part of the university and will drop you at the front. (Note: red trucks can't fit under the underpass.) Why would PIH management not draw a map with directions in Thai?
Access. University gates close at 10pm weekdays and midnight on weekends. So if you plan on going out you'll be walking home.
No kitchen, no refrigerator. This was a problem for me as I like cooking. There are two refrigerators for several hundred people on the second floor, but they are dirty and what goes in doesn't come out the same...
No linen. No linen is provided. No sheets, pillow or pillow case. You'll have to go to Carrefour ... if you arrive during the day. If you arrive after 10:00 PM you'll be without your first night.
Dry campus. Maybe an issue if you like a drink - you’re not supposed to have alcohol anywhere on campus.
To be fair, there are good points.
Payap Dorms, the good:
Super international. You can talk to students from Europe, the US, Thailand, China, Korea and elsewhere every day.
WiFi. Not great, but it's good to know that they have it, although when it gets too hot outside, you'll probably go to the library (read: walk-in refrigerator with books)
Cafeteria. Although it might get a little monotonous, and the quality of the buffet largely depends on the day, the cafeteria has good typical Thai food.
|Payap International Dorm - Beds|
|Payap International Dorm - Study Area|
So there you go, PIH in a nutshell. Just remember that it's not really mandatory and there may be better options for you.