Ajarn Street

Nonthaburi Oh Nonthaburi

Is it truly 'the teacher's graveyard'?

Someone said to me the other day that if you're too old, too unqualified, and you're sick of constant interview rejection.....there is always Nonthaburi. Nestling north of Bangkok and overlooking the delights of Kred Island, it's a suburb that generally tucks itself up in bed at 9pm with a milky Horlicks. And yet so many jobs are up for grabs there. We want to hear from all you Nonthabrians out there. Does Nonthaburi rock till the early hours or is it the domain of the shuffling undead? Here's what people said

I taught at st. francis xavier a few years back. Its in Nonthaburi, near pakkred in a place called muang thong thani (muang thong sam). its wonderful for sports, as the asian games were there in 98 i believe. Nonthaburi doesnt rock, like you said, its quiet, and i really liked it. just a hop skip and jump to bkk, which was 25 min by mini bus. Dave (Currently in the USA)

Further to the rather sleepy little email I sent you a couple of weeks ago, below is a rather sleepy little poem I wrote while I was living in Nonthaburi, while residing in a peaceful branch of Soi Rong Nam Khaeng, Ice Factory Lane. (For other poems, including those set in Thailand, there's my website: markwyatt.net)


My ceiling fan flaps its arms energetically
as I lie beneath it on a king-sized bed
hand-carved with elephants

wading across a river beneath a waterfall
and deer cavorting in the jungle happily.
An ice factory cools and recools itself

humming thoughtfully all night
an endless cascade visible in its external plant machinery
seen beneath a tall coconut palm

beyond the canal, beyond my balcony.
"I go swimming in the swimming canal"
a smiling face told me in the refrigerated air-conditioned

language school where I teach dressed in tropical white.

Mark Wyatt
March 1991

Dear Phil,

I am writing in response to your request for Nonthaburians to speak out about our fair province.

It's not actually that bad a place to live, nor is it that boring. It is, however, a big pain in the proverbial to get from Nonthaburi to the city centre of Bangkok. Traffic is horrendous. Especially where i live. Right on Rattanathibet Rd across from the Carrefour, not that far from the Bangkok border.

Having said that. It is easy for me to get to school in the morning. I work at a near by Thai government school, in the bilingual programme. I am fortunate enough that my apartment is a short motorcycle taxi ride away, through the back sois.

I am usually home before 4 pm. If i have a quick shower, i can be on a bus and on my way to The Mall, Ngam Wong Wan in no time. My gym is there and the food and shopping is as good as any in the centre of Bangkok.
I am one of 14 foreign teachers who are aged between early twenties to mid fourties, me being 25. We regulary go out as a group and have a great time. Whether it be at foreign owned restaurant or the local down the road.

If you know people in the area, you will find that there is plenty to do, even into the wee hours of the night or possibly early morning. An example. On Thursday night i went out with a few of my collegues for a bite to eat and a few drinks at one of the thai owned places down the raod from my school. We ended up at the bar next door playing drinking games and singing with the local talent, who encourages us to get up on stage and sing with him.

Then last night, (Sat 30/07) We all met up for a few frames at the bowling alley in The Mall. We left just before mid-night. A few of us continued on at a foreign restaurant on Chaeng Wattana Rd. I got home just after 3am. So you see, it is not all about knitting and an early night with a cuppa tea and a good book.

I am not sure what this half closing day thing is though. Where did you hear that?
Best regards and keep up the good work

Hello Philip
My name is Matthew Cottrell from the land of OZ. I am a co-ordinator at a suburb in the Nonthaburi province. It's a pleasure to introduce myself to a man that has kept me constantly side tracked from my work over the last few {7} years.This is in response for the request you made to all those people that live and work in this far and dull area to speak up and defend it.
So, in it's defence........let's see.

I don't live in Nonthaburi myself. I live in Suparn mai near the airport. I have lived and worked all over Bangkok and found sanity far away from those strange fulang that give us good, hard working people a bad name. In all honest truth I think it's very strange to stay in Thailand for more than a year or so and still be attracted to Sukumvit and all the semi useless bums that float around the area. If people miss fulang so so much, go the f home and come here on holidays with a pocket full of money. There is a much better chance the girls will look better and show you a little respect again. The last comment I have to make is if you have been here a while and still haven't worked out that all the decent working girls {bargirls} don't live and work in this area! If a girl is dead ugly this is where she will most probably end up. I don't want to be too rude but the only worse place I have seen is the area around Suk soi 3. This is the so called low of the low. Only one and a half steps from soi 4.

Now for Nonthaburi. There are disco's with real women who want to have fun. So far I have spotted about 4 on the main road. I believe it's called Ruttanatibet road. The music is so loud in these discos the lack of speaking Thai won't be a problem and we all know that if you see one shop/business that is doing well there must be 10 more in the same vacinity. As for small discrete karaoke bars with fine young women who will take care of all your needs without a bar fine. mmmm I also love the fact they don't speak English. Come on, who needs cheap compliments to know a women likes you and your money. Just giggle a bit, get me a beer and rub my back please.

Back to self disiplined thoughts again. My teachers{ 2 girls} travel from Bangkapi near The Mall. They say the bus is about an hour or so. Not bad, because they go against the flow of traffic. For me coming from the airport it's about 40 to 50 minutes by motorbike, depending on the amount of adreniline pumping thru my body from the near misses.

So for a the summary, it ain't that far mate. According to most Thai people it's the other side of the world. They think it's near the country called Fulangland. Get a map, get a bus and be a brave little cookie because there are some good jobs and good schools. Don't ask your bargirl now fiance is it far from sukumvit rd. She probably puts on make up and gets a taxi just to go to 7/11.

Back to work now because my bloody silly American didn't come to work today. He forgot it was Wednesday. Then said he was to busy to come in. He is a resident of this fine suburb. I'm sure his neighbor would love to see some more white handsome males around. Good luck Teacherrrr Matt

My first ever teaching job was in Nonthaburi, working at a little language school near a crossroads, I remember, on the main road going North, a few kms outside town. Back in 1991, very little traffic came through, and it really did seem a rural backwater. Durian gardens abounded and most of the houses were wooden ones on stilts. Suburbia was spreading, though, and through that year the volume of traffic greatly increased. Entertainment was definitely limited, but I have fond memories of trips with students to Sampran Elephant Ground and Zoo, to a waxworks museum, as well as being treated to various banquets in riverside restaurants.

In 1992, I felt the need for a bit more stimulation (it would have been good to have had a colleague) and moved to Bangkok. Teaching and management positions with several schools in several countries followed, and I am now a teacher trainer in the Middle East, doing a PhD. So there is life after Nonthaburi. My year there, though, was very pleasant.

Best wishes,


I have lived in Bangbuathong for two years working at a bilingual school.
I am 35 years old (not that old yet), been with the same employer for five years (no interview merry-go-round), no graduate degree (so, unqualified, maybe). I have parts of three different degree programs, never completed, and a swag of certificates and diplomas. I got my work permit five years ago before the government started seriously enforcing the degree and tefl agenda. I am married with one child of 2 and a half.

I find Nonthaburi to be an easy going place, definitely not party central by any means unless you like karaoke. Living here without a car would make things difficult. With a car northern and western Bangkok are easily accessible, and trips out of town to everywhere but south are easy. In heavy traffic I can get to Silom road in 50 minutes. Public transport takes about an hour and a half if you use the BTS.
I like it here, it's a good place for my family and I don't go out to the tourist or girl bar areas more than once every two months.
Nonthaburi rules. The air is cleaner and the traffic's better.
Oh, the extension to the MRT due for completion in 2009 (believe that when it happens) will really open up this area. I'm planning to buy a house out here.


My wife and I owned our condo in Bangkok for about 15 years. During that time we lived in Korea for two years and China for three years. When we returned from China last year, it was time for me to retire.

We sold the condo in Bangkok and rented a condo in Nonthaburi while we looked for a house in Isan to buy. The MRT Purple Line made living in N'buri very convenient. We were a two minute walk from an MRT station. My part time job and shopping centers were one or two MRT stops away. Getting to and from my embassy, the airports, and our prior home was easy. The immigration office in N'buri was an attractive alternative to CW. People were nice. I have early stage Parkinson's and once fell into some thorny bushes and could not free myself. A motorcycle policeman freed me and seemed concerned only about my health. The MRT staff were very helpful on days I used a cane.

We seriously considered moving to N'buri instead of Isan.

We're now settling down in our new home near the Buriram-Surin border. Nonthaburi was a wonderful stepping stone from Krung Thep to Isan.

By James, Krasang, Buriram (30th May 2019)

Hi my partner and I have just completed and passed a CELTA course here. We are not degree holders and have no formal teaching experience and but have lots of relevant work background and a chance to stay in Nonthaburi with a friend while we search for work as EFL teachers. We would be really grateful for any advice, where the best areas for English schools are located, all info would be welcome. Thank you

By Phil Moore, Brighton, UK (20th March 2015)

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By hejingjoy, (7th July 2011)

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