Cassie Lahmann

The lowdown on Chonburi

A perfect fit for a teacher who wants to be near Bangkok and beaches.


I have noticed several job postings for Chonburi on ajarn.com. Just like I once did, you might be wondering what the hell Chonburi is.

Before I moved to Chonburi for the English teaching job I was placed in, I tried to research the city. After bullying my teaching placement agency into placing me by the ocean, I found that Chonburi was indeed located by the sea. But all I could really find about the city itself was that it was an industrial city, read: lots of factories and smog.

Convenient

Having lived in Chonburi for two months, I truly appreciate it here and I am glad to have gotten the chance to immerse myself in this cultural, yet convenient city. For those of you considering a job here in Chonburi, I'll give you the lowdown.

First of all, there are two Chonburis in Thailand. There is Chonburi city or meung Chonburi (but be careful using meung; with the wrong intonation it can also mean a very rude "you!"). And there is the Chonburi province within which Chonburi city is the capital.

As for the industrial side of Chonburi, the smog is, of course, considerably less potent here than in Bangkok. As of 2006, the population was a total of 180,000 people (wikipedia), so the city itself is rather small. The factories are all an hour's drive away from the schools, totally avoidable.

Nightlife and beaches

The nightlife in the city is nonexistent. There are a few scattered bars around, but there isn't much happening. However, getting to Bang Saen is an easy 30-40 minute, 20 baht song-thaew ride. This is where bars and night clubs breed. Try getting a Thai local to take you instead of ganging up with exclusively foreigners. Otherwise you may find yourself in a club full of high school students.

Bang Saen is also the closest beach to Chonburi. No, it is not a pristine, island beach. But if you're craving sand, sea and sun, it's there. However, if you are hypercritical about your beaches, Koh Lan, Koh Si Chang and Koh Samet are within an hour, two hours, and three hour drive via white van.

Getting to Bangkok is an hour to two hours, 70-100 baht white van ride, depending on the insanity level of your driver combined with the level of traffic (avoid rush hour). You can go to Bangkok every weekend if you want to. Basically, Bangkok is yours without the added expense of living in it.

There are plenty of teaching jobs in Chonburi. I have already picked up three different extra tutoring jobs on the side of my day job without really trying.

Apartment living

Lumpini Condotown, where I live, is infested with foreigners, compared to the rest of Chonburi. You'll probably see at least one new foreigner each week. This is a good place to live if you're looking for a teaching job because the other foreigners will help you with job connections.

At 5000 baht a month, you get your own studio apartment with balcony, bathroom, bed and mattress, couch, desks, wardrobe, TV and chairs. If you're lucky you might also end up with a microwave and mini-fridge. The resort-styled complex has a pool, gym, restaurant and laundry service. There are security guards on duty 24/7. However, there are many other cheaper places to live in Chonburi.

I grew up in Suburbia and went to college in a small college town, so I really don't expect much out of my city. I found an awesome yoga class (the best yoga I've ever done even though it's all in Thai), two pretty parks for running, a health-food store and a restaurant that serves macaroni and cheese and I feel set.

Friends and travel

I also love my school and have made a good community of friends here, both Thai and foreign.

I have a vast selection of destinations I can easily travel to every weekend which include national parks, historic sites, temples, beaches, islands and more. There is a gigantic, westernized mall a ten-minute song-thaew ride away and there are Thai night markets within every mile.

Chonburi is not a tourist destination for a reason. There just isn't much to do here. You will find yourself frequently stared at as one of few foreigners. However, you can experience a very "real" side of Thailand. On the east coast of Thailand, you will be immersed in a unique Thai culture but you will also have access to more than enough tourist destinations and amenities.

Cassie


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Comments

Hi Cassie Are you still in Chonburi? I have a Thai friend in her mid 20s who has recently gone back home to Chonburi after learning English in Sydney - she is worried she will lose what English language she has picked up - and is wanting to meet up socially with English speaking people her age so she can keep up her language skills. Any advice?

By Steven Andrew, Killarney Heights (12th April 2018)

Roseminder is correct, Chonburi has everything you will need to live and work, it is also a great place to visit other areas from.
Learn some basic Thai and the customs is my only thought as this is real Thailand and a little goes a long way. It is not Pattaya or Bangkok so don't expect people to speak your language. You will find plenty to entertain yourself, if you look for it, the choice of food is excellent and Bang Sang Beech on a Sunday has street cafes which are the best anywhere. Accommodation can be cheap and is plentiful, your going in deposit may be part of your rent so calculate that in the monthly amount as sometimes it is used to repaint the rooms, quite a normal situation not being returned. I will be going again later this year for a month with view to retiring there also seeing all my good friends again, Good luck with your move.



By Francis Keating, UK/ Now Germany (23rd August 2017)

I love Chonburi. In addition to your details about Chonburi, further from the main city, there is this a place "Angsila" seaside ... where you will enjoy the freshest seafood. Alongside , you will appreciate the villagers at their Oyster/ Mussel/ clam farm and fishing boats. Enjoy the seaside seafood restaurants.

By Roseminda D. Timbreza, Chonburi (5th August 2017)

Hi there

I am looking at relocating with my family as my husband has been offered a job in Chon buri - I have been looking at schools and they are WAY out of our affordability, Do you have any advise on what schools are affordable and would be good for 3 Aussie boys Aged 14, 10,11.

Also would we need a car to get around or is there a lot of public transport?

Any advise would be wonderfull (Im a nurse and hope to get a part time position so if you have any insight in to that please share :) )

Many thanks

Nat

By natalie , Australia (10th July 2017)

Hi Cassie,
I've just moved to Chonburi and am looking for accommodation. What is the location of the condo you mentioned?

By melannie, Chonburi (14th May 2017)

Hi Cassie
I am considering looking in Chonburi for an English Language teaching position. Any language school recommendations would be a help.
When I Google language schools in Chonburi I mostly receive information on Pattaya.
I am over 60 and enjoy interaction with the Thai people.

By David , Chanthaburi (3rd December 2015)

Thank you for writing this article Cassie. I am currently considering working in ChonBuri, and, as you mentioned, little is to be found on the internet about what it is actually like. Thank you for remedying this!

By Phoebe, Krabi (16th June 2015)

"Okay you have to be 60 plus to say something like that." ... "Unlike urbanman the whole bar scene does nothing for me" ... No. And I'm not a big bar scene person. The comment of 'local night-life is non-existent' is what I responded to. Meet some people and make your own local scene is my point. The scene can be at a bar, beside a swimming pool, or as Jim mentioned a Thai BBQ. Repeatedly going to a destination 30+ minutes away, for the nightlife - to people watch, to soak in the party vibe at a night club, etc - does nothing for me. I realize a lot of sheep-like expats settle into this rhythm - don't settle for it, get out of your comfort zone, break from the crowd!

By UrbanMan, near an aircon (21st January 2015)

"every single one is locked in their homes plugged into technology"...... Okay you have to be 60 plus to say something like that. I live in Chonburi, actually live in the same apartment, dont know the author but found everything 100% correct. Great location but you have to travel, all be it close by, to nearest places of interest. Unlike urbanman the whole bar scene does nothing for me, Pattaya is only down the road mate. I love interacting with the locals and find that if I try to interact with them in the slightest with my limited Thai they will do as much as possible to help you. Life in Chonburi is easy.

By Gavmur, Chonburi (21st January 2015)

Good article. Hope to see you down at Chonburi Stadium in 2015. http://www.clubwebsite.co.uk/chonburifc/113109/Home

By Dale, SriRacha (18th January 2015)

I agree with urban man, you really need to go outside and talk with people. Chonburi is so much more. There are literally hundreds of bars and nightclubs. Sorry they are not all foreign tourist bars, but bars run by Thai locals. What about all the Thai BBQ'S . I mean after all didn't you come to Thailand to experience a foreign way of life
Jim

By Jim, Chonburi (17th January 2015)

Must have read this 1000 times now. The blogger lives in a complex full of foreigners, population of 100K+, yet the nightlife is non-existent. A statement of boredom. Where are all these foreigners at 8pm? Every single one of them is locked in their rooms plugged into technology? Expats don't congregate poolside with a drink as the sun sets? None of the scattered bars are worth a try? A little more exploration and expansion of thinking seems in order. Step outside, say hello to someone and expand your experience.

By UrbanMan, Near an aircon (16th January 2015)

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