Are you a teacher who once taught in Thailand but decided to seek out pastures new? Has the grass been greener on the other side? Maybe you swapped Thailand for the financial lure of Japan or Korea? Read about those who have left Thailand, and their reasons for moving...

Submit your own Great Escape


Kris Kincaid

Q1. Where did you move to and when?

Vietnam. Better money, I'd never been and always wanted to go, and the location was right on the beach. Sounded perfect.

Q2. How long did you work in Thailand?

One year.

Q3. What was your main reason for moving?

I was a little fed up with Thailand and wanted to move on. Also wasn't getting any interest in having me stay from the administration at my school. They didn't have a high teacher retention rate.

Q4. What are the advantages of working where you are now compared to Thailand?

I'm not in VN currently. The advantages of working in Vietnam were, for me, that the pay was higher and the students significantly sharper. Ineptness and crookedness in administrative positions there was on par with Thailand, though.

Q5. What do you miss about life in Thailand?

The Vietnamese are in general a lot less pleasant than the Thais. Coming from Thailand Vietnam can be a tough transition: it's significantly less-developed, more chaotic, and harsher in many ways. I had a friend come in from Thailand to work in VN who loathed the place for a solid six months and constantly bemoaned the wonderful paradise he'd given up. My initial feelings about Vietnam were more ambiguous. I never hated the place but it took me awhile to be quite sure I liked it (whereas I loved Thailand from Day One). I never met anyone who moved from Thailand to Vietnam who made an initial favorable comparison of the latter.

Q6. Would you advise a new teacher to seek work in Thailand or where you are now?

Thailand over Vietnam for a first-timer in a heartbeat.

Q7. Any plans to return to Thailand one day?

Here now. Just on vacation. Teaching here again is unlikely, if not 100% off the table.

Q8. Anything else you'd like to add?

If a new teacher wants to live in a remarkably laid-back and nice place for a year or so, I've never been anywhere that beats Thailand. If one is looking for something a little more... "challenging," Vietnam is worth a go. My feeling about Thailand is that there are a wonderful array of superficial pleasures but there isn't terribly much depth. Vietnam takes a lot of getting used to, but the rewards, I think, are of a more lasting variety. Thailand isn't a place that prizes education, and the "mai ben rai" attitude that I initially found so refreshing became grating by the end of my year here. Vietnam is much more serious, much less immediately genial, but if you're willing to give it time and patience it has a lot going for it. It certainly ain't everyone's cuppa tea.


Bob Todd

Q1. Where did you move to and when?

I went back home to the UK, screaming and kicking I hasten to add, way back in September 1997

Q2. How long did you work in Thailand?

About 3 and a half years in total. Although I can't really call it work as much as voluntary entertainment. Most days I would slip on the invisible clown's outfit and amuse the class, any class, with lame jokes, funny faces, and stories that were so full of egotistical exaggerations that even the lies weren't true! All this for loose change which barely paid for a pie and a pint down at the Ole Ship Inn!

Q3. What was your main reason for moving?

Near death! Thailand is full of thrills and frolics for the better balanced members of society, but for a chronic alcoholic and borderline pharmaceutical drug addict, it's a free ride to hell.

Q4. What are the advantages of working where you are now compared to Thailand?

I don't really work any more. I ended up with a bit of a job allergy! Plus I've been back here (Thailand) for a few years now. There were no real advantages of working in the UK for those few years that I went back. I was employed as a slave in one of those modern day sweat shops. What do they call them now? Oh yeah, Call Centers!

Q5. What do you miss about life in Thailand?

Nothing cus I'm back! But when I was at home, I dearly missed the grub, the heat, the humidity, the pollution, the heckling, the hassling, the scamming, the Soi dogs, the pretty gals in dingy bars, and all the shattered people on the broken footpaths along the Sukhumvit road. Why? Because all this matches my insides, that’s why, and this makes me as happy as a pig in muck!

Q6. Would you advise a new teacher to seek work in Thailand or where you are now?

If they are young and just want to chill out or use Thailand as a training ground, then come here without further ado. If money is your thing, then sod off to where the cash is. You won't strike it rich over here in the teaching game, but you will get by so long as you don't have too many expensive habits or vulnerabilities.
If you're a near down-and-out coffin dodger, then you'd best find one of God's waiting rooms a little closer to home, wherever that is, or you may well end up as a physical, mental, and spiritual wreck before you can say 'Nana Plaza'. If you're over 55 and want to launch a Teaching career, go somewhere, how can I put it……………less suicidal!

Q7. Any plans to return to Thailand one day?

See 4 above.

Q8. Anything else you'd like to add?

No


Nick Scholfield

Q1. Where did you move to and when?

I moved to Tokyo 7 months ago.

Q2. How long did you work in Thailand?

For three years and four months.

Q3. What was your main reason for moving?

Personal development. After a while I felt like i was going backwards and needed to get back into the first world as my ways were becoming rather relaxed. I mostly love the Thai way of doing things, but when I felt myself developing too many of the local habits I felt that it was time to hit the road.

Q4. What are the advantages of working where you are now compared to Thailand?

Better money of course although i did manage to save a fair bit in Bangkok. I have enjoyed the four seasons and related activities as well as seeing how first world Asia works (which gets dull quick). After over three years in Thailand it was great to get out of the Thai bubble for a bit but having been there that long there is some indescribable force compelling me back there.

Q5. What do you miss about life in Thailand?

Everything - my daughter, the food, the people, the weather (kind of), the islands, chaos, smiles. I just got back from two weeks in Thailand and realised how much I have missed everything.

Q6. Would you advise a new teacher to seek work in Thailand or where you are now?

My advice would depend upon the character of the person of course. Easy going, fun loving, relaxed, simple - Thailand. deep, complex, intellectual - Japan.

Q7. Any plans to return to Thailand one day?

I would love to but I don't think I can teach ESL for too much longer. I would like to become a qualified teacher back in New Zealand then head back so I can be a part of my daughters life.

Q8. Anything else you'd like to add?

If resentment starts to set in - get out quick.


Oliver Franks

Q1. Where did you move to and when?

I returned to the UK in November 2005

Q2. How long did you work in Thailand?

I was actually working from early 2003 right until the time i left, so about 2 and a half years.

Q3. What was your main reason for moving?

Like some of the other people on here, i really loved working in Thailand and it was a hard decision to leave, but i came to realise that the job i was doing would eventually bore me to death, and i didn't want to reach that point. Now i am pursuing other lines of work and i can still remember Thailand in the fondest of lights.

Q4. What are the advantages of working where you are now compared to Thailand?

Since i am not really doing a comparable job, it is difficult to compare, but i would say simply the levels of professionalism are often low in Thailand and the prospects for future progression are also limited. In terms of life style / friendships / fun Thailand is the best.

Q5. What do you miss about life in Thailand?

The life style / friendships / fun. The entertaining students. Also talking to happy go lucky thai people and travelling around in buses to different beautiful beaches and mountains etc etc.

Q6. Would you advise a new teacher to seek work in Thailand or where you are now?

I always advise new teachers to go to Thailand, it's all i know and i have only good things to say about it. From what i hear of some other TEFL places you will have a much more memorable time in Thailand.

Q7. Any plans to return to Thailand one day?

Definitely, but it is somewhat pie in the sky in terms of the actual logistics at the moment.

Q8. Anything else you'd like to add?

Don't develop a distaste for Thailand / Thai culture / Thai people, it's a complete waste of a truly great country.


Doc McCoy

Q1. Where did you move to and when?

Moved to China in August, 2007 for a position at a University.

Q2. How long did you work in Thailand?

Worked in Thailand for 4 years. Both at a private school and government schools.

Q3. What was your main reason for moving?

There is no one, singular reason, but instead a combination of reasons. Teaching in a private school sucks the life out of a person. Teaching in a government school also sucks the life, motivation and desire to teach out of a person as well. Money is virtually non-existent, given all the time that one does not work, and hence does not get paid. At the end, government schools were hiring non-native English speakers at a fraction of what they were paying native speakers, and were putting too many demands on all of the teachers, such as remaining on campus during all school hours, even if one had only two classes a day. The biggest dissatisfaction came from the Thai education system in general, and the expectations that were being put on foreign teachers. The expectations were unreasonable, and could not be met, especially in classes of 50 to 55 students, most of whom had no desire to be in an English class

Q4. What are the advantages of working where you are now compared to Thailand?

Initially, fewer hours - 10.5 per week - and more money and benefits. (Medical, significant travel allowances, housing, etc.) Of course, with fewer hours, the possibility for extreme boredom is prevalent, but can be combated. The teaching conditions are better both in the classroom and the expectations of the University. Here, foreigners are certainly making more than the native teachers, but there is very little resentment. Many of the native teachers will regularly attend foreigner's classes trying to improve their own level of English.

Q5. What do you miss about life in Thailand?

Hard to say what I miss about life in Thailand. The weather is probably the main thing. I am very adaptable, to a degree, and China is similar to Thailand in many respects.

Q6. Would you advise a new teacher to seek work in Thailand or where you are now?

I would advise a new teacher to work in Thailand first for a few reasons. Initially, and assuming that the new cultural course requirements are worth the paper it is written on, that would be a benefit for anyone wishing to teach in Asia. A second reason would be the new teacher can get some experience and hone his/her skills before moving on elsewhere in Asia. The expectations on teachers for actual teaching abilities and skills are much lower in Thailand than in other Asian countries. On a personal note, and purely selfish, the more incompetent teachers that a country starts to entertain, the stricter the regulations are going to become for everyone. This is what Thailand is experiencing now. More of my views on teaching in Asia can be found on my blog: www.oldcodger.org/blog/?p=20

Q7. Any plans to return to Thailand one day?

For a visit, most likely. Have many friends there yet. To live there - probably not. The government is too unstable now, and the requirements for visas are onerous and ridiculous, in my opinion. Here in China, I can have a residency visa in just a few years, without any financial requirements. Given my advanced age, that is going to work out quite well.

Q8. Anything else you'd like to add?

I could probably add quite a few things, but that might offend quite a few of your readers. So, I will save you the unpleasant task of having to censor my comments.


Showing 5 Great Escapes out of 263 total

Page 50 of 53



Featured Jobs

Non-NES Math/Science/English Teachers for August Start

฿30,000+ / month

Thailand


Math, English & Science Teachers for November Start

฿40,300+ / month

Thailand


Social Studies Teacher

฿90,000+ / month

Bangkok


Full-time Filipino Primary Teacher

฿27,000+ / month

Chaiyaphum


EFL Teacher

฿50,000+ / month

Bangkok


Full-time Native English Teacher

฿50,000+ / month

Bangkok


Featured Teachers

  • Carlee


    Canadian, 25 years old. Currently living in Canada

  • Osama


    Italian, 28 years old. Currently living in Thailand

  • Michael


    American, 77 years old. Currently living in USA

  • James


    American, 70 years old. Currently living in USA

  • Miraflor


    Filipino, 26 years old. Currently living in Thailand

  • Dr.


    British, 55 years old. Currently living in Thailand

The Hot Spot


Need Thailand insurance?

Need Thailand insurance?

Have a question about health or travel insurance in Thailand? Walter van der Wal from Pacific Prime is Ajarn's resident expert.


Contributions welcome

Contributions welcome

If you like visiting ajarn.com and reading the content, why not get involved yourself and keep us up to date?


Can you hear me OK?

Can you hear me OK?

In today's modern world, the on-line interview is becoming more and more popular. How do you prepare for it?


Will I find work in Thailand?

Will I find work in Thailand?

It's one of the most common questions we get e-mailed to us. So find out exactly where you stand.


Renting an apartment?

Renting an apartment?

Before you go pounding the streets, check out our guide and know what to look out for.


Teacher mistakes

Teacher mistakes

What are the most common mistakes that teachers make when they are about to embark on a teaching career in Thailand? We've got them all covered.


The dreaded demo

The dreaded demo

Many schools ask for demo lessons before they hire. What should you the teacher be aware of?