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


Martin

Q1. Where did you move to and when?

I moved back to the UK earlier this year.

Q2. How long did you work in Thailand?

I was there for just over three years.

Q3. What was your main reason for moving?

I loved every second of my time in Thailand and I lived well by earning between 35,000 up to 50,000 in a good month, but in a moment of clarity I suddenly saw myself earning the same kind of money ten years down the line. Then my mom became ill and my dad found a subtle way to ask me if I would go back and join the family haulage business. I think he sensed that I was at a crossroads and needed to make a decision. So I decided to go back home to wintry England.

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

I'm only in my late 20's and I have the luxury of being able to work in the family business on a decent wage. I realise that not everybody has that opportunity though so I know I'm lucky in that respect. Other than that I can't really think of one single advantage.

Q5. What do you miss about life in Thailand?

Where do you start? The food, the weather, the women, the smiles. For me, it was the glorious simplicity of life. Life seems far less complicated in Thailand than it does in the UK. I can't put my finger on why. One thing I do regret is that I spent most of my time in Bangkok and got to see very little of the rest of the country. I made a couple of trips to Chiang Mai and did a weekend in Pattaya but that was about it. I would urge anyone to see as much of the country as they can when they get the chance.

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

Oh for sure. I think it's an amazing place to spend a few years but I'm certainly not sure about it long-term. I noticed how teaching jobs became more difficult to get - even in the short time I was there - and that was another reason that made up my mind to leave. But Thailand's a cool country. A lot of these 'great escapes' are a bit negative and I find myself scratching my head and wondering where the hell people went wrong.

Q7. Any plans to return to Thailand one day?

I will definitely come back for a holiday and I would never rule it out as a retirement destination (even though that's a long way off) But as a place to work? No. There just aren't enough opportunities for young foreigners to build a future.

Q8. Anything else you'd like to add?

I live in one of those miserable northern towns where almost every shop in the high street is either boarded up or an Asian-run pound shop. There are hoodies drinking cheap cider on every corner and that's when they're not vandalising bus shelters. You go to work, you come home, you watch TV and you go to bed. That seems to be the existence for the majority of the population. Living and experiencing Thailand or any country in Asia for that matter is another world. Everyone should do it!


Joe

Q1. Where did you move to and when?

I returned to America this summer and am re-evaluating my options in the global teaching market.

Q2. How long did you work in Thailand?

1 year

Q3. What was your main reason for moving?

Pitiful pay, extremely corrupt politics, difficult immigration policies, awful schools with despicable administrations, rampant poverty, a general disdain for education, inferior healthcare, lousy teachers, inferior students, contemptible expats, shall I go on...?

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

Better pay with benefits and better working conditions.

Q5. What do you miss about life in Thailand?

The delicious food, the beautiful geography, the good-hearted Thai people.

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

No way. A new teacher should learn how to properly teach in an environment that values its childrens' education. Thais do not place much value on education,

Q7. Any plans to return to Thailand one day?

Only for vacations.

Q8. Anything else you'd like to add?

Thailand is a fool's paradise.


Chris

Q1. Where did you move to and when?

I first visited Thailand in 2008 and fell in love with the country. On the same two month trip, I also visited Laos, Vietnam, and Cambodia. I decided Thailand was the superior of the four. Since I had been an English teacher in USA for ten years and I was frustrated with public education in America, I thought it would be nice to experience teaching in Thailand. I returned to Thailand a second time in July 2009 for two months and interviewed at several schools. I returned to the states with my mind made up to get my affairs in order and return a third time to Thailand to try teaching there. I arrived in Thailand for the third time in February 2010 and found a job and got my work permit.

Q2. How long did you work in Thailand?

I worked in Thailand for 14 months.

Q3. What was your main reason for moving?

My main reason for moving was that I had a motorcycle accident that left me badly injured. I learned the hard way that traffic laws and roads and safety, etc. in Thailand are extremely inferior compared to the USA. I would have left after 14 months of teaching in Thailand anyway because schools are not well administered there. I also was unhappy with the daily drama of working in the foreign languages department with my unhappy colleagues. The students act as if they understand basic English when in fact they do not, and they are easily bored with any teacher who tries to actually teach them to speak, read, and/or write English. I also might as well add that the salary is far too low for the amount of work that is expected of teachers. Though the Thais seemed to feel that we foreign teachers are overpaid, they do not take into account many financial facts.

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

Much higher pay, good air conditioning, better regulated government (read: less corrupt), better social programs, etc. It is also nice to be around people who can speak English.

Q5. What do you miss about life in Thailand?

I miss the beautiful islands and beaches, the mountains, the temples, the physical and cultural geography, the delicious food, and the gorgeous, friendly, and available women. Not to mention all the wonderful massages.

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

No, I would not advise a new teacher to seek work in Thailand. I would advise a new teacher to acquire teaching experience in a better developed country in order to learn appropriate teaching methods and gain positive experiences. Thailand is not a well educated country, and its schools reflect this.

Q7. Any plans to return to Thailand one day?

I would love to return to Thailand one day, but not to teach. The best reason to come to Thailand is to have an excellent holiday.

Q8. Anything else you'd like to add?

In conclusion, Thailand is an excellent country to visit for a nice long vacation, but I would not want to live and/or work there.


Alan

Q1. Where did you move to and when?

Back to a place that isn't full of people who don't want you there. I moved back to the UK 2 years ago.

Q2. How long did you work in Thailand?

10 years

Q3. What was your main reason for moving?

I got sick of Thais and Thai politics and the whole loss of face thing. I also got tired of many of the expats I came into contact with. My work was great though and I got paid over 60,000 baht a month, which was a decent wage.

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

Decent food, real friends, a nice place to live, articulate and intelligent conversation, women who actually care about your personality more than your wallet, no coups and airport closures, the list goes on and on.

Q5. What do you miss about life in Thailand?

My work and my students

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

Work in the west and take holidays in Thailand.

Q7. Any plans to return to Thailand one day?

No

Q8. Anything else you'd like to add?

Be careful in Thailand, life is cheap there!


John Fowler

Q1. Where did you move to and when?

I went to China In 2009. 30th of October to be exact.

Q2. How long did you work in Thailand?

I taught in Thailand for about 3 years.

Q3. What was your main reason for moving?

I got fed up. Burnt out. Too many hours. Large noisy classes and I just had enough of the lifestyle. Oh, and it all went downhill after the split with my girlfriend. haha.

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

I've got a nice 3-bedroom house with a kitchen. I also work fewer hours for a similar salary. And I get a teaching assistant.

Q5. What do you miss about life in Thailand?

I miss the lifestyle and the Thai smiles. I miss the fun students (but not the large classes) I miss the food and I miss the buzz of Chiang Mai. If I could have the Chinese working conditions and the Thai lifestyle. WOW! that would be a great combination.

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

Do your homework and ask as many questions as possible. Check the exact position of where you are working. Maybe I'm stupid, but I just trust what people say. I've had employers tell me I would be working in a city, only to drop me off in some tiny village in the middle of nowhere.

Q7. Any plans to return to Thailand one day?

Yes. If I can get suitable employment. I have gained more expereience in China now. I even make songs and sing for the younger ones (I never did that in Thailand) Also I have gained experience at college and university level.

Q8. Anything else you'd like to add?

China is better for the working conditions (from my experience). The culture and Chinese habits take some getting used to though. It's not Thailand! but it's getting there.


Showing 5 Great Escapes out of 328 total

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