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


Scott

Q1. Where did you move to and when?

Vietnam, but have accepted a contract to move to China this summer

Q2. How long did you work in Thailand?

10 years or so

Q3. What was your main reason for moving?

Career advancement and higher wages

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

I have accepted a position as a professor, US wages, summers off, research support. This just isn’t available in Thailand, I wish it were.

Q5. What do you miss about life in Thailand?

So much, I really do love Thailand and will still spend time here and maintain a home here. I guess like most, I have a love hate relationship with the country.

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

It depends, what is right for me might not be right for someone else. What was right for me at a different point in my life is not the best option now.
In making a very broad generalization, Thailand is a great place to teach English for a 20-something without spectacular prospects to spend a few years enjoying life and getting some international experience. It is also a great place for those changing careers into teaching later in life.

However Thailand does not offer a large number of opportunities for those seeking advancement and a professional career. I am not saying professional “success” can not be found in Thailand, but there are limited opportunities for foreigners, at least as far as paid work goes for those wanting a career outside of being an English teacher. Thailand is what it is and has the opportunities it has, if this fits your career plans and opportunities than it is a great place to live.

Q7. Any plans to return to Thailand one day?

Oh yes, I will maintain a home here and expect to spend my summers here "researching" and doing other stuff. Right now I expect to retire in Thailand.

Q8. Anything else you'd like to add?

Working in Thailand has been a great experience, but so has working in Vietnam and Japan and I am looking forward to this new chapter in my life in China.
I am not sure it makes much sense to compare one place with another, instead it is better to enjoy what each location has to offer. My advice is to take all advice, including mine, with a grain of salt and realize the “right” place to work is an individual matter based on personal preferences, opportunities and career plans.


Stevie G

Q1. Where did you move to and when?

Korea - last year

Q2. How long did you work in Thailand?

5 years

Q3. What was your main reason for moving?

restlessness

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

kimchi? Being openly despised instead of passively-aggressively?

Q5. What do you miss about life in Thailand?

-ridiculous immigration rules
-ridiculous paperwork
-double pricing
-involuntary "deposit" donations
-farang management that think they are now Thai - so they treat other lesser farang accordingly..
-being talked about in not-so-pleasant fashion continuously - everywhere.
-fruit
-sun
-getting laid
-pathetic wages
-the sense of knowing that you are NEVER hearing the truth - ever!
-the dream of one day being able to afford the same mobile as my kids....
-being treated like a low-life sex tourist - really miss that.....
-driving to a national park and being told it costs 800 baht to enter....and 20 baht for a Thai!.....awesome.
-Employers choosing alcoholics/sex-slavers over "real" teachers - cos they can understand and trust their mind set better. Great role-models too.
-Priests/nuns that have gone over to the dark side...... hehehehe

How could you leave?

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

Definitely Thailand - enjoy what is on offer - pensions are good too......

Q7. Any plans to return to Thailand one day?

to work? Miss the fruit though.

Q8. Anything else you'd like to add?

Dont get excited - this section was crying out for some humour.
I love Thailand - we all do. Working for Thais is a slight challenge though!
Peace.


Stanislaus Moss

Q1. Where did you move to and when?

Moved to China, In Jiangxi Provence to the capital of Jiangxi called Nanchang about three years ago

Q2. How long did you work in Thailand?

About five years

Q3. What was your main reason for moving?

The children i was teaching were more in it for the social status rather than the value of English and secondly there was too much color discrimination....and the misunderstood phrase, "Native Speaker"

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

Here it is a hassle free enviroment
Teaching university students in China is a lot more fullfilling than teaching students in Thailand...Chinese students have a genuine want and thirst for the language. No lesson plans and unit plans no signing IN and OUT....Teach your class and then you are free ..no need to stay at work till 17:00hrs...all overtime is paid and on time....not much interference from the Chinese teachers or management...just 100% class teaching 45 min periods and only 16 periods per week. Anything above that is overtime and even English Corner is paid...nothing you do is for free...so financially it is more profitable
....

Q5. What do you miss about life in Thailand?

Everything except the teaching as I am married to a Thai national and she is also enjoying herself more her in China than in Thailand...also much cheaper!!!!

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

I would advise them to teach here in China

Q7. Any plans to return to Thailand one day?

Yes as my wife's family lives in Thailand

Q8. Anything else you'd like to add?

If you do decide to come and teach in China then remember this....you are a guest here...don't try to change China..accept her ...good and bad...she is employing you so respect her .... do in Rome as the Romans do... If you want it to be like back in your home town then you are not ready for China or Thailand


Paul Rogers

Q1. Where did you move to and when?

Oman, Qatar, 2008

Q2. How long did you work in Thailand?

6 years

Q3. What was your main reason for moving?

Three reasons: Firstly, I wanted to attain more experience of teaching nationalities other than Thais. Secondly, I became a father and suddenly realised that there wasn't only myself to think about anymore. Therefore, the far higher salary that I earn here would help secure some financial security for both myself and my child. Finally, after 6 years in Thailand, I started to go through a complacency stage, one which I never thought i would experience. On paper, I had a very good job teaching full-time at an international hospital. The pay was very reasonable by Thai standards, but I felt that 6 days holiday a year were not quite enough. Now I get full university holidays which enable me to spend all my holiday time back in Thailand, including a nine-week break in the summer. I was also starting to tire of the same old night spots. Coming here has helped me to appreciate my life in Thailand again.

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

Salary, holidays and nothing else.

Q5. What do you miss about life in Thailand?

Everything - the chilled way of life, MOST of the people, the students, my condo, the food, the beaches. The list goes on. However, I don't miss Songkran. That is something I am glad to be away from.

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

Well, I can only speak for myself, but as the old saying goes... if I had the chance to change the past, I wouldn't change one second of it. I will always love Thailand and have no regrets.

Q7. Any plans to return to Thailand one day?

Definitely, though maybe not in a working capacity. I have done my time there and it would have to be a good job to tempt me. However, as I have previously stated, I come back about four times a year on my vacations.

Q8. Anything else you'd like to add?

Live the dream, but if the magic starts to fade, then don't just start whining like some folks. Do something about it. Thank you Thailand for opening my eyes. And a big thanks to Text and Talk for giving me a start.


Dave Provan

Q1. Where did you move to and when?

Hong Kong in 2008.

Q2. How long did you work in Thailand?

10 years man and boy.

Q3. What was your main reason for moving?

Financial. I earn a government salary that is the same as what I'd be earning in the UK and is around twice what I was making at the Mickey Mouse "International" school where I was previously employed.

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

With the UK level salary comes a free campus apartment with lightning fast internet and no bills. The government paperwork process is quick, respectful and you can bring your Thai wife over on the same type of visa (please note you need to be a certified teacher AND have a TEFL). You also attain permanent residency after 7 years. There is political stability and a decent police force. I occasionally tutor rich kids twice a week for 2 hrs and that can add another 30% to my wages. The students are motivated to succeed and there is support from family and management.
The office girls at my school are hot, friendly, helpful and don't want to screw up my marriage. I don't wear a tie. Jesus, I often go to work in jeans and a T shirt (they only care about results here... weird eh!). The MTR underground is fast, as are the minibuses - so you don't need a car. There is no VAT on wines and spirits and supermarket prices are a lot cheaper. Oh, and your contract is worth more than the paper it is written on.

Q5. What do you miss about life in Thailand?

The nightlife, the open spaces, jumping in our truck and racing down to Pattaya for the weekend. The size of the shopping malls, the bigger and better bookstores and sports equipment outlets. Eating Pad Ka Pow on the barges down Klong 3. Riding the bus into the city during the mid afternoon lull in traffic and absorbing the sights, sounds and surprises of the greatest city in SEA. The quietness of the Thais (the Chinese are possibly the loudest people on Earth) and above all their sense of humour.

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

HK for its stability and money-making potential. If you are a fully certified teacher in your own country, I don't know why anyone would want to work for as little as 15K a month in some village up the back arse of nowhere. HK can be just as exciting and Bangkok and is only 2 hours away, so you can always pop over to Thailand for the beaches.

Q7. Any plans to return to Thailand one day?

I'll retire there with my wife and open a small business with her but will keep some interests in HK as well.

Q8. Anything else you'd like to add?

Some people might tell you that the Chinese are unfriendly, this is simply not true. They are not as instantly welcoming as Thai people but once you get to know each other they are as warm as anyone else.


Showing 5 Great Escapes out of 303 total

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