10 Reasons Why You Should Teach English in Thailand

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Introduction - Thailand Rocks!

As an English language tutor in Thailand, I can honestly say that this country rocks to live in and there are many reasons for this. Too many reasons to list but in this hub I have compiled the top 10 reasons why teaching in Thailand is a wonderful experience both for new teachers just setting out and seasoned veterans.

So if you have ever contemplated teaching English in Thailand then my advice to you is 'do it' because there is something for everyone in this country from the delicious food to the cheap alcohol. This country caters to every taste. Anyway, let's get to the 10 best things about teaching in Thailand. Enjoy!

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Sunshine!

Forever illuminated by sunshine, Thailand is one of those wonderful places where you could permanently walk around in shorts (apart from the times you are teaching, of course!) if you so desired. Thailand is known to have 3 seasons - hot, hotter and hottest! There is of course the rainy season as well where you get to see some impressive storms and lightening if you are in to that sort of thing. So for those of you who are fed up with the 'weather' in your own country, teaching in Thailand is definitely a good option to consider.

Thailand - The Hub of South-East Asia

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Thailand - The Hub of South-East Asia

Thailand, because of it's central position, is surrounded by all the other south-east Asian countries which means it has naturally become the hub for not only Asian travelers but travelers from western countries as well. This makes Bangkok an extremely fun place to live, not only for shopping and eating out but also for the night-life. Being the hub of south-east Asia means that Bangkok receives travelers from all over the world, in all seasons and this is great if you are someone who loves meeting other people from other cultures. Quite often, travelers will stay here for 6 months to teach English and make a little more money before continuing on their travels throughout Asia. This is one of the main reasons that so many choose to teach English in Thailand first before moving on elsewhere.

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Delicious Thai Food

When I first came to teach English in Thailand, I was amazed by the quality and quantity of Thai food. Every where you look there is a street stall selling food, from curry to fried fish or my favorite, grilled pork! Not only is the food extremely cheap when compared to western prices, there are so many different tastes catered for. Spicy, sour, sweet, salty - you name it, they got it. A plate of curry costs around $1.20 which is unheard of in the west and where ever you look, there is food so it is both delicious and abundant in supply.

Teach English in Thailand with these Sweet-Faced Kids!

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Lovely Students

One of the main reasons I love teaching in Thailand is that the students are so lovely here. Granted, they can be naughty in a cheeky way, but otherwise they are such lovely children and great fun to teach because all they ever seem to want to do is play games and have fun. This means that teaching in Thailand is far easier and much more fun than teaching somewhere like let's say Japan. Lessons are not serious affairs and as a teacher in Thailand you should concentrate more on games that while fun, also allow the students to improve their English skills.

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Cheap Food, Accommodation and Transport

As I mentioned earlier, food in this country is extremely cheap and that in itself is a huge positive, but accommodation and transport are also very very cheap when compared to western standards.


Accommodation


In Bangkok which is where most teachers are based and where in my opinion it is best to start teaching, the majority of people, Thais included, live in apartments or condominiums. The average price of a room is around $160.00 a month give or take for an okay room with air con in most cases, and when you consider the average salary here for an English teacher is around $1200.00, that leaves you with $1000.00 which is more than enough to get by in Bangkok. Bear in mind though, that at the above price, you might be located a fair distance from the center where all the action is. Transport, thankfully, is cheap so this shouldn't be too much of a problem!


Transport


Like food, transport in Bangkok is both cheap and abundant, for example, there are around 6 forms of public transport you can use to get around, all cheap. There are:

  • Motorcycle taxis
  • Songtaos (Small open backed passenger carrier)
  • Taxis
  • Minivans
  • buses
  • Tuk-tuks (Like a songtao but much smaller)

Motorcycle taxis seem to be everywhere. You can either wave one down or you'll find motorcycle taxi stations at various points in every street. Cost wise they are extremely cheap. You can expect to pay 20-40 baht ($1.30) for a 5 minute journey and they can zip through traffic which is notoriously bad in Bangkok.


Songtaos drive along the roads picking people up and each one has a designated destination which you check by asking the driver. A songtao will cost about 6-10 baht which is next to nothing.


Taxis in Bangkok are a dream compared to those in the west, in that they exist in abundance and can be waved down. All taxis use meters although there will be the odd time that a driver may give you a flat rate with no meter. In these cases just say no and wait for the next one because they usually overcharge in that case. Once again, taxis are ridiculously cheap. I once traveled 25 Kilometers and paid only $6.00!


Minivans stop at the bus stops and are also very cheap. They usually charge around $1.00 for the average commute.


Buses cost about the same as a minivan and come with both air conditioning and non-air conditioning as well as being abundant in supply. Once you get used to the numbers, traveling by bus becomes easy peasy and cheap as chips.


Tuk-tuks are a joy to travel in because of the added thrill. They zip around Bangkok like little race cars and tourists often love taking a ride in them, just for the thrill of it. Tuk-tuks however, are a little more expensive because you usually have to haggle with the driver as he'll offer a price. It is best to always haggle and bring the price down because they are used to tourists not caring about the price and will therefore add on a little extra.



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Some of the Best Beaches in the World

Thailand has some of the best beaches in the world, both in terms of beauty and diving locations.

Did you ever watch the movie 'The Beach' starring Leonardo Di Caprio? Well that was all filmed in Thailand and if you want to good idea of what Thailand is like, I recommend you watch that movie as it is filmed in both the city and on some of the most beautiful islands. When you teach English in Thailand you quickly realize national holidays are in abundance. This gives you lots of time to explore those island paradises a hop, skip and a jump away.


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Hospitable Thai People

When I first began to teach English in Thailand, I was amazed by the level of hospitality shown towards me and as a result I fell in love with the place. Thailand is traditionally known as 'the land of smiles' and for good reason, because where ever you go here people are always smiling and friendly towards you. Of course there are exceptions, but for the most part Thai people are always willing to help and usually greet you with a warm smile. I have lived here for 6 years and not once have I ever had any kind of dispute with a Thai person. They frown on fighting and arguing in public, so during your stay here you will rarely ever see angry Thai people.

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Bangkok Shopping Malls and Markets

If you love shopping, Bangkok is the place to be as there are shopping malls literally everywhere you go. The shopping malls here are huge and beautiful to behold. I often enjoy just taking a walk through a mall to kill time because there is so much to look at. The markets here are extremely cheap and abound all over the city. There is even a multi-floor shopping mall dedicated solely to electronics, from computer hardware to DVDs and games which are incredibly cheap.

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The Songkran Water Festival

This must be one of the most fun festivals in the entire world because for 1 week from the 12th April - 17th the entire country comes to a standstill to celebrate Thai new year, by throwing water over each other and basically just having a ball.

Pickups roam the streets during this celebration filled to the brim with Thai people armed with water guns, barrels of water and ice which they happily unload on passers by so be ready for this if you happen to be working through this period!

It's fun just to pick a point at the side of the road where you can spray these pick-ups trucks as they pass by but beware, you will get a get good soaking in the process. Staying dry isn't an option!

Kaosan road is an awesome place to enjoy this tradition as the entire road is filled with tourists, drinking beer, spraying water and making new friends. Definitely the place to be during Songkran.


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Public Holidays Galore!

One of the perks of teaching English in Thailand is the incredible amount of public holidays. I don't know exactly how many they have but it is at least double that of the U.K!

This gives you a chance to take a long weekend break to one of those beautiful Thai beaches in the south.

Are you Convinced?

So now we come to the end. I hope I have at least peaked your interest in Teaching English in Thailand. I have taught here for 7 years and I'm still not bored of it. It has become a second home to me and when I do eventually return home, I'll be homesick for my second home, for all the reasons I mentioned above!

So why not give teaching in Thailand a go?

I hope you enjoyed this hub.

Thanks for reading.

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Have you ever thought about teaching English in Thailand? 25 comments

Paul Kuehn profile image

Paul Kuehn 4 years ago from Udorn City, Thailand

richawriter,

This is a very useful and interesting hub for people who are considering living and teaching EFL in Thailand. I have been teaching EFL in the Bangkok area for over five years for the same reasons that you state in this hub. I settled here primarily because my wife is Thai and because I enjoy the lifestyle here more than the States. You mentioned $160 a month or around 5,000 baht a month for housing. For this amount you won't be in downtown Bangkok, and if you are, you probably will have a small room with maybe air-conditioning and probably no hot water heater. Yes, $1,000 a month is enough to get by in the Bangkok area, but you certainly won't be able to do any partying or have a girlfriend here. You are right on in saying that the schools expect all of its foreign teachers to be primarily entertainers in the classroom. Voted up and sharing.


Faith Reaper profile image

Faith Reaper 4 years ago from southern USA

Wow, Rich, this is excellent! I love sunshine, hospital people, lovely students, great food and all the rest at a low cost. Thank you for being a great tour guide and taking us along on the journey. I am in the legal field, so no teaching for me, but I would love to visit. It is not at all as I would have thought it to be, which is great. This is very well-written and detailed. Voted Way UP In His Love, Faith Reaper


Doodlehead profile image

Doodlehead 4 years ago from Northern California

I'm so glad Paul has shared this hub. How many classes does the typical teacher teach per day? What are your hours? Do you get a lunch break? Are you a contractor or employee?


justgrace1776 profile image

justgrace1776 4 years ago

Thanks for all the information! I've always wanted to teach English in a foreign land. It sounds so rewarding, and educational. Voted up!


Richawriter profile image

Richawriter 4 years ago from On Top of the World Author

Hey Paul, once again , thanks for the interesting comment.

I understand what you mean about the accommodation, but I only said that because the area where I live in Rachadapisek road is rather cheap. A room costs 5000 or thereabouts per month and comes with hot water. The rooms are also decent sized.

And I also survive on about 12,000 baht a month and the rest of my salary goes in the bank so although you are right, I manage to do it just fine, and I like a party every now and then.

However, your second point is especially valid because when you first get over here, you naturally spend more money, experiencing and enjoying the place so $1000 a month would be a struggle.

Thanks Paul. Goodnight and peace.


Richawriter profile image

Richawriter 4 years ago from On Top of the World Author

Hello Faith Reaper my dear friend!

Once again you have blessed my hub with fine words and compliments and I am flattered!

Yes, Thailand is a wonderful country. Please come and visit one day and you will no doubt have the time of your life.

I'm going to pay you a visit now. Peace! :)


Richawriter profile image

Richawriter 4 years ago from On Top of the World Author

Hey Doodlehead!

Thanks for commenting.

We usually teach about 22 hours a week, so around 4-5 a day which is very small.

Whatever school you work in, you usually get free lunch and of course there are lunchbreaks too.

working hours are usually the typical 8:30-3:00 but with some companies, they allow you to go home early if you have finished all your classes!

You can work directly for a school or work for them through a language school.

Are you thinking of teaching here? Welcome to Thailand!

Peace to you! :)


Richawriter profile image

Richawriter 4 years ago from On Top of the World Author

Thank you justgrace1776.

Why not give it a try. It really is rewarding to see your students using the language you have taught them.

Thanks for stopping by. :)

Peace and have a good day!!!


justgrace1776 profile image

justgrace1776 4 years ago

So how do I find the gig? :)


mejohnson profile image

mejohnson 4 years ago

This sounds great...I'm packing my bags as I type. Lol. Great hub. Voted up.


Thundermama profile image

Thundermama 4 years ago from Canada

Fantastic hub, you make Thailand sound irresistible. A few of my friends have taught there and loved the experience. Maybe I'll give it a whirl once my children have grown.


Richawriter profile image

Richawriter 4 years ago from On Top of the World Author

Well, Grace, the info is all online.

The best place for you to start would be Ajarn.com where they advertise work for English Teachers in Thailand.

Just upload your resume and send it to a few employers and you should get some responses.

Go for it. It is a very rewarding experience!

Peace. :)


Richawriter profile image

Richawriter 4 years ago from On Top of the World Author

Hey Mejohnson.

Thanks for commenting.

I hope I got you interested in teaching over here as Thailand needs all the teachers it can get now that the Asean community is about to be formed.

Peace. :)


Richawriter profile image

Richawriter 4 years ago from On Top of the World Author

Hey Thundermama! Loving that name!

Thank you. Yes Thailand is a wonderful place to teach and you would be most welcome here by the hospitable Thais.

Speaking of Thunder, the storms here right now are incredible. The lightening and thunder are truly terrifying!! But still, I love it!

Take care. Peace.


justgrace1776 profile image

justgrace1776 4 years ago

Thank you, Richawriter! Have a wonderful day.


Richawriter profile image

Richawriter 4 years ago from On Top of the World Author

Grace, you are very welcome!!

Goodnight!

Peace. :)


Tealparadise profile image

Tealparadise 4 years ago

Sounds like Thailand is a lot of fun! I'm currently teaching English in Japan, and it is much more structured and the kids are bit afraid to speak. I definitely want to vacation in Thailand while I am so close - but I hadn't thought of teaching there!


StegToDiffer profile image

StegToDiffer 3 years ago from New York, NY

This is very compelling--you make Thailand sound like a great place to be! I wish I was such a worldly person. Up-voted and followed!


Shalice 3 years ago

Hi Rich,

I am new to this thread and have been considering going abroad for a Masters degree as it is way cheaper and the state of politics here (US) is getting a bit distressing. Can you tell me, for a single mother, I have an 11 year old little girl, could we survive there on this income as I read the comment from the gentleman at the beginning of thread. I so want to travel the world but am apprehensive due to not being certain that I can, one, survive on the wage and two, it is scary with all of the comforts of home to leave to a whole other country. When I was 19 I backpacked across Europe and it was the greatest experience of my life. I wish I still had the nerve!!! Am I crazy to think I could take my daughter to see the world with me? Any ideas about this?


Richawriter profile image

Richawriter 3 years ago from On Top of the World Author

Hey Shalice,

I wasn't going to get back to the comments here for a while as I have been busy but I want to just reassure you that you 'can' live on a thousand dollars a month.

Although the gentleman in the first comment was right that you wouldn't be able to live in the more expensive area of central Bangkok which is similar in cost to back home in regards to apartments and such, you can survive on $1000.

I do, and have very often spent much less than that per month.

At the moment I stay in a nice room with a bathroom, small kitchen and bedroom for roughly $315 a month including extras. I also have a swimming pool and a gym - all free. So you see, that is the major cost out of the way. The rest is for food and whatever else I want to do.

Oh, I forgot to mention, I am a ten minute walk from the subway too! Good for the price!

Trust me, you can live here on that, as long as you aren't interested in partying and going to expensive restaurants etc. Cinema is cheap AND at the same if not better standard as back in the west, subway is better and cleaner, safer, they have skytrain for traveling and seeing the city - also cheap.

Food is the cheapest I have seen.

You can live here. Feel free to ask for more info if you want. I am happy to help.

Good luck.

Richard


Purpose Embraced profile image

Purpose Embraced 3 years ago from Jamaica

This is a useful hub, I've learned some interesting things about Thailand from your experiences, Richawriter. Thanks.


fastfreta profile image

fastfreta 15 months ago from Southern California

This hub caught my attention for two reasons. One, my daughter is in Thailand on a solo trek, (Chaing Mai, 8/17/2015). Two, the bombing in Bangkok, 8/16/2015. Hope you're okay.


Richawriter profile image

Richawriter 15 months ago from On Top of the World Author

Hey fastfreta,

Thanks for your concern.

I'm actually back in UK now so I'm alright thanks. Feel for those poor people though.

On a solo trek. Wow, there is no better place to do that in. She'll have a wonderful time!

Thanks for stopping by.

Richard


Liz 15 months ago

Thanks for all your wise, warm words. I have been teaching in Los Angeles for the past 17 years and I'm desperate for a change of pace. I would be coming with my two daughters--ages 13 and 15. Are there reputable schools for them to attend? Thanks again!


wiserworld profile image

wiserworld 2 months ago

Thanks for sharing your experiences teaching in the land of smiles. Cheers!

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