lunes, 24 de octubre de 2016

Listening test: Holiday in Thailand

In this week's listening test we are going to practise the heading-matching type of task.

Listen to a person talking about different aspects of his holiday in Thailand and choose the heading A-H that matches each extract. There are two headings you do not need to use.

A - Extreme weather
B - Places to avoid
C - Preconceptions
D - Religion everywhere
E - Tourist route
F - Unknown facts
G - Why Thailand
H - You may need to change some habits

source: Teacher Luke

These days we like to go abroad more and see new things. It was just a break and a chance to get away from it all. We’d never been to Thailand before. I have been to Vietnam, Cambodia, Laos, Indonesia. And also we like food, the two of us, we like eating good and tasty food and Thailand is famous for its good food. And also Thailand’s just a good destination. It’s quite diverse in terms of the things you can do. For example, there’s the city, you know, Bangkok, you can explore this extremely busy, huge city and all the things that’s got to offer. There’s also there is sort of the culture, the food and the arts, particularly in the north, where there are a lot of temples and things like that and then in the south there are these beaches, these islands have got beautiful sunny beaches and stuff like that and also at the moment Thailand is not too expensive.

So we started off in Bangkok, which is obviously the capital city, and it’s sort of in the center-ish in terms of sorts like from north to south, it’s kind of in the middle, basically, and we went there for a few days, and then we went north to Chiang Mai, which is another city but in the north and we stayed there for a few days, and then we travelled down south to one of the islands, called Koh Samui, and we stayed there for a few days and then we went back to Bangkok for a few days and then we went home!

Now we didn’t go to the islands on the west because generally there are sort of islands on the west and a few islands on the east. We didn’t go to the islands on the west, places like Phuket, because of the climate in August, it’s kind of monsoon, rainy season in August, and the western islands get a lot of rain, so we avoided them, we stuck to sort of the eastern side. Also, just before we left and even while we were there, there were some explosions, some attacks, some bombings, which is a bit worrying. In fact, the first bombing took place just a day or so before we were due to leave and we did consider not going, and we thought, well, then we thought, we live in Paris, so we’ve got as much chance of being blown up here as in Thailand.

Whether or not they’ve been there it seems certainly in sort of places like the UK there’s a general view of what people expect about Thailand. So that it’s busy, it’s crowded, there’s amazing food – specifically green curry and pad thai noodles, there’s also the idea that there’s weird sex tourism in Bangkok, also lady-boys, bizarre sex shows involving ping pong balls, full moon beach parties, buckets full of ridiculously full cocktails, kickboxing, temples, buddhist monks in orange robes and western people being locked up in prison for drug possession, scooters, Sagat from Street Fighter 2, snakes, golden buddha statues, amazingly friendly and smiling people and the movie  “The Beach” starring Leonardo DiCaprio.

Thailand, the country name, or I think in Thai  that’s “Prathet Thai”, that’s how they say it, Thailand actually means “land of the free”… Thailand has never been colonised by a foreign power, that’s why they call themselves “the land of the free” because they’ve never been colonised by a foreign power, unlike other neighbouring countries which were colonised by European nations like Britain, France and the Netherlands. Thailand had a few wars with Burma, but was never successfully invaded and it was never colonised by any other country. So, well done Thailand.

In Thailand the feet are considered to be very unclean, both clinically in terms of cleanliness and spiritually as well, and so it is very rude to reveal the soles of your feet to anyone. So, don’t sit with your feet facing outwards, or put your feet up on the table when you’re relaxing like we do in the west sometimes. It’s also rude to point at people with your feet, which is fine, isn’t it, really because I literally never do that anyway. I’m never pointing at people with my feet. So that’s fine, it wasn’t a problem.

1G 2E 3B 4C 5F 6H

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