Published 16th November 2019
Thailand is every TEFL teacher’s dream destination. It has oodles of jobs, good salaries, a low cost of living, and beautiful towns and cities where you can teach. Basically, you won’t have difficulty finding a well-paid job that will allow you to live a life of luxury in one of the most beautiful places on earth. What’s not to love? Having said that, Thailand is a big country so it can be difficult to know where you should look for jobs. If you haven’t been there before, the similar-sounding names can be a bit confusing and you might be misled by the experiences of tourists. Living in Thailand is far different to being a tourist, so you may want to reconsider getting a job in a touristy town. Instead, here are our top picks for where you can teach in Thailand.
The obvious choice for TEFL teachers is Bangkok. Many people find Bangkok hot, sweaty and smelly, but there is so much to this city – and TEFL jobs for days! If you’re looking for culture, you can visit one of the thousands of temples in the city. If you’re looking for a party, Bangkok has legendary nightclubs. If you’re looking for luxury, look no further than 5 * hotels and fine dining restaurants. What’s more, Bangkok is able to offer you tourist-friendly options or an authentic Thai experience, depending on your mood. In terms of teaching you can work in government schools, international schools or language schools.
Chiang Mai is the other capital of Thailand. In the north, this city is known for its culture, jungle trekking and hill tribes. Chiang Mai is seriously relaxed so it suits teachers who prefer a more laidback lifestyle. There are shopping malls and clubs and all that jazz, but the mountains or the jungle are a very quick motorbike ride away. It’s possible to find a job at a school in Chiang Mai but more likely you’ll end up in a language school.
Krabi is still quite undiscovered on the tourist track, which is really surprising. Krabi has all the island vibes with city conveniences. Krabi Town is not an island, but a coastal town. It boasts the gorgeous beaches of Railay and Ao Nang and is just a 45-minute boat trip to Koh Phi Phi. At the same time, the town itself is a hop, skip and a jump away from the beaches, and there you’ll find restaurants, nightlife, shopping and everything else you’d expect from a city – only smaller and a lot more chilled. In Krabi Town you can expect to work in a government or private school.
If you’re lusting after island vibes, Koh Samui is where you want to look. Because of its size, there are a fair number of schools on the island. As an island you can expect picture-perfect beaches, and as a tourist destination it also offers hotels, restaurants and nightlife. Salaries aren’t that high while the cost of living is higher than in other cities because of the tourism, but if you live and work two minutes from the beach what do you really need money for anyway?
For those looking for a more authentic Thai experience, you should head to the region of Isaan. Situated in the north-east, the cities of Khorat, Khon Kaen, Ubon Ratchathani and Udon Thani are where you can find a TEFL job. Isaan is so far off the beaten track most tourists have never heard of it but it holds a special place in Thai people’s hearts. There are plenty of government schools that would offer you a job in a heartbeat but don’t expect to get rich working there. On the other hand, Isaan has the lowest cost of living in Thailand.
There are many reasons Thailand is, and always has been, one of the more popular destinations for TEFL teachers. But you don’t have to take our word for it – hop on a plane and see for yourself. Just don’t forget your suncream!