Q1. Where did you move to and when?
I moved to Saigon, Vietnam in August 2020
Q2. How long did you work in Thailand?
For three years, from Summer 2017 until Summer 2020, working at a mid-tier international school in Bangkok.
Q3. What was your main reason for moving?
Three main reasons: Better pay, a better international school and I enjoy living in Vietnam more compared to Thailand.
Q4. What are the advantages of working where you are now compared to Thailand?
Overall, I am just a big fan of Vietnam. Vietnam is cheaper to live in so with better pay and a lower cost of living, I am able to save a good amount of money here. The atmosphere in Vietnam is just more relaxed than in Thailand (or at least compared to Bangkok). There are friendly and unfriendly people in both countries, but I just find everything to be more mellow and relaxed. The government is a bit more sensible as well. They actually make (mostly) logical decisions here, compared to the Thai government coming up with crazy new ideas or communicating something weird every other month. Especially last year there was a lot of eye rolling whenever the health minister said something, but unfortunately, it isn't just him.
Q5. What do you miss about life in Thailand?
Not that much really. I miss the kids at my previous school but other than that, there is nothing I miss. Before I started living in Bangkok, I must have been to Thailand 20 times, but my conclusion is that it is a nice country to visit and Bangkok is a nice break for a few days, but as for living there, I was just not that big of a fan.
Don't get me wrong, life is fairly easy, especially working for an international school, and you can basically eat, get or do anything you want in Bangkok, but I was never as comfortable there as I am now in Vietnam. To each their own I guess.
Q6. Would you advise a new teacher to seek work in Thailand or where you are now?
I would say that if you have educational degrees and are able to work at an international school, both Thailand and Vietnam will work just fine. There are obviously more international schools in Thailand compared to Vietnam though. For English teachers, Vietnam is definitely better. The salary you can get is almost double the amount compared to Thailand and the cost of living is a lot lower.
Q7. Any plans to return to Thailand one day?
If the world returns to normal, I would really like to visit my old school and say hi to many of the kids (because of Covid we ended the year online). Other than that, there are a number of places I enjoy visiting, whether it is Bangkok for a few days or one of the islands. To me Thailand is perfectly fine as a tourist, but I did not enjoy living there that much. I would return for a holiday though.
Q8. Anything else you'd like to add?