All About Teaching English in Thailand
You have made the decision to take the road less travelled, to alter the path you were on and venture abroad. With so many countries providing teaching opportunities and the experience of a lifetime, why choose Thailand? This is a question I’m frequently asked by my students; “Teacher Richie”, they will say, “why did you choose to teach in Thailand?” So here are the reasons why I chose to teach English in Thailand and why I think, if you’re even just an iota like me, you will love teaching in Thailand too….it has something for everybody!
No article about Thailand would be worth its salt if it failed to mention the tantalising food the Kingdom has to offer. You will certainly never go hungry here; the food in Thailand is cheap, around every corner you will turn and, most importantly, delicious. Whether you’re sampling the simple delights of Thai street food or the taste sensations available at countless night markets and restaurants, there’s no end to the incredible mouth pleasures. My personal favourites are the various curries; Green, Red, Panang and Khao Soi – these are about as spicy as I can handle. If you like your food as hot as pure fire, you can always go for the somtum, a favourite amongst Thais and renowned for its unforgiving heat. When I’m in the mood for dessert, mango sticky rice is always the order of the day; for those of you with a sweet tooth, this one’s for you! Bangkok also boasts some superb coffee shops so you won’t have to wander too far to get your caffeine hit! Not only do they serve great coffee, many of them also have co-working spaces.
Standard of living
While prices have risen steadily since I first arrived in 2015, Thailand remains one of the cheapest and liveable countries for people to teach and, depending on your spending habits, offers you the potential to put some money aside for a rainy day. From accommodation to food and everything in between, your money can stretch far and wide. Take, for example, renting an apartment in one of Bangkok’s stylish condominiums, most of which are fully furnished and come with their own security, a fitness suite and a swimming pool overlooking the cityscape. Who doesn’t want a pool on their doorstep? Love the sun? – get your sunbathing on or relax with a good book; Feeling the heat? – take a dip and cool off – all bases covered here.
If you’re a fan of Game of Thrones (the first seven seasons, anyway) you will be familiar with the House Stark motto “Winter is coming.” I’m from the UK, whose equivalent motto would be “Summer is coming”, only unlike in GoT, it never actually does; it’s not uncommon to feel like you’re in the depths of winter…all of the time. So, coming to Thailand was a no-brainer. Sure, Thailand has a rainy season, but for the majority of the year, the skies are blue and the sun is out basking you in all its glory. Even the rainy season isn’t a constant rain like the UK – maybe 30-60 minutes of rain 3-5 times a week during the peak of it.
In the event that it does get a little too hot, Thailand yet again provides an answer, this time in the form of an epic, three-day-long water-fight a.k.a Songkran Festival. Thailand’s New Year Songkran Festival conveniently coincides with the height of summer and, as a result, everyone stocks up on super-soakers and prepares for battle in the streets. Not only is it a great way to stay cool, but it also offers an experience that will make memories that last a lifetime.
Bangkok’s nightlife is diverse in a number of ways. For example, you may choose a venue due to the atmosphere it offers or due to how much of your hard-earned money you’re willing to part with. You might like relaxing in a bar listening to acoustic offerings of the live band, or maybe you want to take in the views from atop one of Bangkok’s classy rooftop bars. If neither of these is your idea of a good night, then there are places like Khao San Road or Soi Cowboy. Regardless of what kind of nightlife you prefer, Bangkok is full of hidden gems.
Something for everybody
It is not difficult to understand why so many teachers, who often come here with the intention of staying only a year, end up staying much longer; it has something for everybody.