Although I teach at a normal Thai school we have an international reputation due to our large presence on the internet. The school has been featured in prestigious magazines such as Time Magazine and AsiaWeek and online news sites produced by the BBC and Newsweek. During the making of the Hollywood movie ‘The Beach’ in Thailand the world press and moviemakers looked to us for daily updates. We also have a worldwide reputation for providing tourist information. Lonely Planet, who produce the number one guidebook for Thailand, contacted our students to ask for their help in updating their Bangkok edition. The school and our associated web sites have been featured in countless newspaper and magazine articles around the world. We receive literally thousands of virtual visitors every day and our counter has long since whizzed past the three million mark.

The Bangkok Post did a full two-page colour article about our internet project and all our web sites. “The reason they are popular among web surfers is easy to explain. They are very good, easily the best Internet web sites produced by any school in Thailand. They are also largely in English, making them accessible to an international audience.” Click here to read more.

Here are some more quotes from the international press:

  • “The largest and most comprehensive web site of all the schools in Thailand.” Bangkok Post
  • “Has taken the lead in preparing its students for the era of e-commerce.” The Nation
  • “More unbiased information on Thailand travel than any site we’ve seen.” Lonely Planet
  • “Visit this famous site with its strong student journalism.” Learning Alive, UK
  • “This brilliant school website is both informative and visual.” TES, UK
  • “It has the best school virtual tour we have ever seen.” Eduweb, UK
  • “Be sure to check out this great site from Thailand!” Gigglepotz, USA
  • “A very useful, well-developed, extensive site for students.” Studyweb, USA
  • “A clear insight into what life is like for children in Thailand.” Education Index, USA
  • “This clever collection of homepages by students (and teachers) from Thailand is not just for kids.” Time Magazine

“This site tries to give you ‘a clearer insight into what life is like for children in Thailand,’ complete with a chance to ask questions of Thai students. There’s lots of information, in word and picture, on the country’s language, culture, and economy. This fun site also lets you visit a Thai school and a Thai home, learn about scouting in Thailand, and more.” Education Index

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“Sriwittayapaknam School in Thailand has a huge website – in fact it’s grown into one of Thailand’s biggest websites. Visit this famous site with its strong student journalism.” Learning Alive, a UK educational web site.

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“A very comprehensive student-generated website that is full of information. There are also a series of cyberhunts — questions you can find the answers to on the site. You’ll have fun, learn a lot, and get to know some Thai students, too.” Bangkok Post Educational Services

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“A huge site with more than a thousand pages on many aspects of Thai culture and history, written and compiled by students and teachers from Sriwittayapaknam School in Samut Prakan.” Lonely Planet guidebook upgrade for Thailand.

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“This school in Thailand is very much an international site with a lot of cultural information about life at school and home in Thailand. There are hundreds of pages and over 2000 pictures in the school’s main site. New pictures are being uploaded every week and you can also see live pictures from the 7 web cams. In addition, the school runs a further 28 dot com web sites (such as www.Thaistudents.com and www.LeoFans.com). They have won a lot of international praise from publications such as Time Magazine, Newsweek and the BBC for their web sites on the movies The Beach and Anna and the King. Be sure to check out this great site from Thailand!!” Gigglepotz.com, Voting us as Cool Site of the Week.

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“Samut Prakan boy, puts his life on the Web. At the age of 14, Nattawud Daoruang manages at least four web sites, one of which receives frequent hits from teenagers around the world.” Bangkok Post

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“Sriwittayapaknam School has taken the lead in preparing its students for the era of e-commerce by making the computer central to the way its students study, learn and communicate – beginning at the primary level.” The Nation

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“A couple of years ago this column took note of a fledgling Thai website called Thai Students On-Line, created by the students and teachers at the Sriwittayapaknam School in Samut Prakan. At the time the site, which was intended to introduce students of other countries to Thailand and to Thai student life, was already quite comprehensive. But in the time since then it has developed into perhaps the most comprehensive website devoted to Thailand that I have seen.” Netscope, Bangkok Post

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“Here’s the fruit of the labour of one 14-year-old Thai student from Paknam who has been called “Thailand’s youngest ambassador”. The web site is called Thailand Life http://www.ThailandLife.com and you’ll be impressed by its depth of information. Webmaster Nattawud Daoruang has already received a lot of media attention abroad and the site has had over 120,000 visitors.” Internet Site of the Week, Bangkok Post

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“Inspiration for Young Web Designers. Have you ever thought about setting up your own web site, but thought you didn’t have enough ideas to make it interesting or thought that only professionals could do it? If so, then a brilliantly informative web site set up by 14 year old Thai boy is all you need to inspire you.” The English Channel

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” Probably the most acclaimed web site in the world on Leonardo DiCaprio and The Beach, Thai Students Online (www.thaistudents.com) is actually much more than a fanzine. It’s a virtual gateway to Thailand, with articles on Thai lifestyle, history and culture. Apart from comprehensive coverage of The Beach and all things Leoine, the students of Sriwittayapaknam School, in Samut Prakan, have also posted commentary and articles on Anna and the King.” Bangkok Metro Magazine

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“Showing just what can be done around a topical theme are the teachers and students at Sriwittayapaknam School, who have built up a comprehensive site around the Hollywood movie “The Beach” featuring Leonardo DiCaprio and filmed extensively in southern Thailand.” Bangkok Post, Database, voting “Footsteps on the Beach” Internet Site of the Week.

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“Not just another shrine to Leo on the web. In fact, it’s a virtual compendium on the movie and includes current articles on the battle between environmentalists and 20th Century Fox. For those of you who don’t know, the site is run by students from Sriwittayapaknam School in Thailand and is an example of how amateurs can go head to head with the big boys. A good starting point for travellers, and Leo fans interested in making the pilgrimage to Phi Phi Le Island.” BBC Movies, voting “Footsteps on the Beach” as website of the week

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“Thai Students On-Line: The website aims to assist students living in other coutries who wish to learn about the culture and heritage of Thailand. It is an enormous site with extensive information about Thailand, quick facts, history, geography, religion, food, important dates, Thai festivals, and much more. Offers a variety of links. You can even make a start in learning Thai language here. A very useful, well-developed, extensive site for students.” studyweb.com

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International Cool School Award: “This brilliant school website from Thailand can be read in Thai and English and is both informative and visual. A very comprehensive site which is not just restricted to the confines of the school walls – it’s a “virtual” cultural experience. Learn about the buddhist festivals pupils participate in – all illustrated with the aid of beautiful photos of temples and processions. A lot of effort has been put into this site and one student from the school has even created his own spin-off website about his life in Thailand. Other spin-off sites produced by this innovative school include a site which debates the historical accuracy (or inaccuracy) of the controversial new Hollywood film Anna and the King which has been banned in Thailand.” – TES (UK)

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“Congratulations on your extraordinary website, which I have accessed often in my own effort to cover the issues surrounding The Beach.” – Rolf Potts, Columnist for salon.com

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“Let me congratulate you on the presentation of your site. It’s one of the most detailed sites I’ve ever seen and I have spent hours looking through it over the last few days.” – Scott Rosser from Dario G, a popular UK band.

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“The school’s ‘The Beach’ web site reflects tireless and comprehensive efforts; it features massive amounts of written materials in the English language and photos about the movie and related issues, including a lot of tourism information on Thailand.” – The Nation

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“When DiCaprio was filming [The Beach] in Thailand, such was the site’s authority that the world’s media looked to it to provide information on filming dates and locations.” Empire Magazine

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“The website – thaistudents.com – updated daily, is run by a high class Thai private school, and has a huge section on ‘The Beach’, including pictures and video.” BBC News

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“Talk about being self-sufficient — Thai Students Online is a Web site made by students for students. The main purpose is to promote the cultures and heritage of Thailand to those living in other countries, especially visitors of school age. Under a section called “Project Thailand,” a student can pick up interesting snippets of information for use in a class project — anything from sports and hobbies to the various ethnic groups in Thailand. After viewing crystal-clear photos in an online album, one can find out more about a Thai school or make friends with Thai students by visiting their home pages. And for recreation, click into a section that covers movies currently showing or filming in Thailand. Read how heart-throb Leonardo DiCaprio “narrowly” escaped death while filming “The Beach.” Orientation Asia

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School Site of the Week “The school’s site is written in English and designed to show people what life is like at school in Thailand. It has the best school virtual tour we have ever seen — try it out. You can navigate round it very easily as the pages are centred round the playground and the lifts in the two school buildings. It’s a fascinating look at how different life in Thailand is. How many schools have you seen with a Buddha Shrine? We also liked the pictures of the Snack Shops and the Recycle Area. There is also information from students themselves, especially 14 year old Nattawud Daoruang who has written a whole site about his life in Thailand. Look at his description of the month he spent as a novice monk after his grandfather died. Finally, you mustn’t miss the pictures of special events, such as Wisakha Puja Day, the most sacred day in the Buddhist calendar, Chinese New Year and Wai Kru Day, which is when students pay respect to their teachers.” – Eduweb (UK), Voted .

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“The largest and most comprehensive web site of all the schools in Thailand. This is the only place to go to find out about school life for Thai children. There are also terrific pages about Leonardo DiCaprio’s movie The Beach, FAQ and interactive pages too.” – Bangkok Post, Educational Services

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“This clever collection of homepages by students (and teachers) from Thailand is not just for kids. The movie page for instance, provides a useful listing of showtimes and reviews for films in Bangkok and beyond, plus links to students’ websites on the controversial plan to film the Alex Garland novel, The Beach, on Phi Phi island. Another website discusses the indelible mark left on Thailand by the filming of two James Bond flicks. Good for tourist info, too.” Time Magazine

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“What a wonderful job you’ve done with your website. It’s incredibly vast and a goldmine of information about The Beach as well as many other films made in Thailand (or made about Thailand).” Carl Parkes, author of Thailand Handbook

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“When filming for DiCaprio’s new movie “The Beach” began in Thailand in January of this year, Internet-savvy students at the private Sriwittayapaknam School outside Bangkok created an extensive Web site dedicated to the film. The site includes details about the film’s production process, Leo’s life in Thailand, and exclusive photographs from the movie locations, some of which were taken by the students themselves. Just a few days after DiCaprio’s arrival in Thailand, the site began receiving almost 3,000 visitors every day. In a gesture of gratitude, the actor sent the students 100 videos, among which were profiles of himself and copies of Titanic.” Newsweek.com

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“I thank you and your students. Without the information from your wonderful website, it would have been impossible for us to meet Leonardo. You made our dreams come true! I can’t thank you enough!” Mami Shimomura, author of ‘Catching Leonardo DiCaprio in Thailand’

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“Leo was pleased with the Thai students hard work”. Irmelin, mother of Leonardo DiCaprio.

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During the four months when I was Media Consultant to Leonardo DiCaprio, from January to April 1999, I logged onto the Thai Students’ Beach Website every day to hear from fans here in Thailand and around the world, and see what various publications were reporting about the exciting work Leonardo was doing. The information, website layout, and fans’ comments available on The Beach Website make it a fascinating and easy place to find all the latest news and views. Now that I have reverted to my usual profession as a Bangkok-based foreign correspondent covering news in Southeast Asia, I still keep The Beach Website linked to my own homepage so I have easy access to it and also to ensure that anyone else interested in news from this part of the world can also be led there for a look at what dynamic students in Thailand are doing by following their imagination into cyberspace.” Richard S. Ehrlich, Media Consultant to Leonardo DiCaprio for The Beach

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“We here at Birken had no access to Leonardo when he was in Thailand, so as a result the Thai students’ site was our only source of accurate information during the filming of “The Beach”. As many people know, Leonardo is environmentally active and if we had to rely on the press for the truth we would have gotten a horribly distorted version that seemed based on Leo’s celebrity and not on the relationship between Thailand and Fox. I feel the Thai students helped the world focus on the issues at hand and not on tabloid journalism which causes so many false illusions and impressions. If Leo had seen any problems we would have heard about it in a big way, believe me.” Chuck Smith, Director of Production, Birken Interactive Studio.

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“Congratulations to you and your students on your great site. I’ve enjoyed following the progress of the filming of “The Beach,” and some of the info on the site came in very handy when I made my first trip to Bangkok in February.” Don Willmott, Executive Editor, PC Magazine Online

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“As Leo headed for a remote island in southern Thailand, the media juggernaut gathered upon nearby Phuket. Paparazzi jetted around in speedboats and buzzed by in helicopters. Reporters disguised as tourists stalked Leo’s hotel. Tabloids detailed Leo’s dining habits, his phone calls, his every move. Internet lines pulsed with frenzy as millions of frantic fans logged in for the latest word on Leo. But all of them, TV shows, magazines and the webcasters alike, were scooped on a daily basis by a bunch of Thai school kids.” Silk Road, in-flight magazine for Dragon Air

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“A wonderful chronicle of journalistic integrity from the Sriwittayapaknam School in Thailand, a kindergarten through Junior High, details the controversy surrounding the filming of the “The Beach”. It looks as though this project started as documentation of famous film star Leondaro DiCaprio’s time in Thailand. It evolved into a neutral, impartial look at the amazing publicity machine that can erupt around people’s passion – fame, environment, and money.” Ellen Scott, Ecotourism

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“Many thanks to Richard and the Thai computer students for the elaborate and informative website. It was always a pleasure to visit during the filming.” Dave Walker, Production Consultant to Leonardo DiCaprio for The Beach

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“Great web site.” Joe Cummings, author of Lonely Planet, Thailand

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“We would like to thank the Thai students for their support.” the official web site of Leonardo DiCaprio

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“To the students of Sriwittaypaknam School. On behalf of the entire cast and crew of The Beach, including Leonardo DiCaprio, we would like to thank you for all your support and goodwill messages, which we have been reading on your web site. We appreciate all the time and hard work that has gone into the site.” Andrew Macdonald, producer of The Beach

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“Richard Barrow has followed filming of The Beach from the very beginning and recently visited Maya Beach in late March to check on Fox’s much reported but little known about actions. All his findings are included on the website via photos and in-depth commentary on the restoration of the beach thus far, providing an informed view of what exactly is going on.”Empire Magazine (UK)

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“I’ve been pointed at what I consider to be one of the best (non-Star Wars) film fan sites for a film not yet in theaters. It seems that ‘leo-mania’ has produced a website in Thailand that… well, it just goes them extra nine yards ya know?” Ain’t It Cool News

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“During the months of filming, DiCaprio and the film’s crew were attacked by environmentalists and, most recently, even Mother Nature. Many locals stood steadfastly by The Beach team through it all, especially students at the Sriwittayapaknam School, who maintain a Beach-related Web site.” Mr. Showbiz

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“Updated daily, the site is crammed full of gossip, cast lists, photos and shooting schedules. Changes are posted in real time, almost before the film company changes its mind. Hollywood is famous for flip-flops. In fact, film representatives later try to quiet the site, even as other reps enthusiastically refer reporters to it.” Ron Gluckman, Asiaweek Magazine