One of our favourite topics of discussion on ajarn.com is the cost of living - roughly what does it cost to maintain a decent standard of living if you are working as a teacher?
Two blogs appeared on the net recently comparing the cost of living in Thailand's two major cities - Bangkok and Chiang Mai - both cities a hotbed of teaching jobs.
The first blog was put together by our old friends Chris and Angela up in Chiang Mai. Chris and Angela have outlined their monthly expenses in past blogs, but this time they decided to approach things from a slightly different angle. Tired of hearing bloggers talk about how they manage to survive in Thailand on a couple of hundred bucks a month, Chris and Angela have made a list of the things they feel are not so cheap in Thailand - the 'unexpected shocks' you might say.
The list includes stuff such as electronics, alcohol, cars and western clothing (and a few other expenses that can easily be left out of a teacher's budget) As is always the case with blogs from these two guys, it's well worth a read.
For the second cost of living blog, we're moving down to Bangkok to meet up with Manfred and Miu. As a couple, they spend 72,000 baht a month to maintain their lifestyle and while I've seen a few comments saying that these guys spend far too much money or you simply don't need to spend that sort of cash in Bangkok, I really don't think 72,000 baht for a couple is excessive.
OK, they rent a nice condo in an expensive part of the city, but apart from that the rest of the budget is spent on everyday stuff like coffee shops and foot massages. Have a read of the blog and you be the judge.
Have you ever wondered what it would be like to teach Buddhist monks in Thailand? Well, let Dr Will be your guide. On his blog site, Dr Will describes himself as a former journalist who never really wanted to become a teacher. However, he seems to be doing great work at a Buddhist university in Thailand and now considers teaching to be 'the most rewarding job he's ever had'. Well into his 70's but still in good health, Dr Will's story will inspire you.
Xplore Asia have put together a list of ten tips for teachers to make the most of their time in Thailand, including finding inspiration, releasing expectations and developing healthy habits
On-line Gusto have also compiled a list for teachers - so according to them, this is what you need to know if you want to teach English in Thailand.
Let's take a laughter break shall we? Here's an article that really had me laughing out loud. Ever wondered why Bangkok restaurants open and then fold with alarming regularity? Well, here are the 15 steps to opening a restaurant in Bangkok. Great stuff!
OK, back to the travel stuff and here are six unique things to do in Chiang Mai according to Expique. Getting massaged by a prisoner? Hmmm....interesting.
Brandon Fergig runs a blog site called The Periphery. He's recently been teaching American football to Hmong hill-tribe children in the rural areas of Northern Thailand. Brandon has put some great photos on-line and it looks as though they even had to clear a football field before play could commence.
When Bangkokians are looking to do a weekend trip to the beach, Bang Saen is often near the top of the list if only because you can get there in little over an hour. Richard has written a good blog about what goes on in Bang Saen and also his own thoughts on the place. There's actually a lot of good stuff on Richard's 'Life in a New Country' blog site such as this excellent guide to teaching English on-line (which seems to be becoming more and more popular)
Happy reading folks!