Peter Clarke

Thailand teaching stuff - October 2013

Sorting out the good stuff so you don't have to.

Hi, every so often I'll be trawling the internet to find good blogs and articles that should be of interest to those who teach in Thailand and those who are thinking of coming to teach in Thailand. Hopefully there'll be something for everyone. If you are a regular follower of's Facebook page, then you will have probably read the links below already. All the blogs, articles and stories have featured on the Facebook page over the past month or two. OK, here we go.

It's a dream for many English teachers to live and work in Chiang Mai, if only because it's quite possibly Thailand's most liveable city. However, you often hear teachers moaning about the shortage of jobs and the generally low salaries. But is it all doom and gloom in The Rose of the North? Amy Burbridge and her partner both teach in a Chiang Mai school so who better to ask? Amy writes a blog called 'Chiang Mai Everything' and this month she's written a useful overview on the pros and cons of working in Thailand's second city.

One of my favorite Thailand 'blogging couples' on the web are Chris and Angela, who run the 'Tieland to Thailand' website. The site got its name because both guys used to work in the corporate world but jacked it all in for a life of adventure and travel. Chris and Angela also live and work in Chiang Mai (what's the attraction guys?) but blog on all manner of topics - not just teaching in Chiang Mai. To get a flavor of their writing, have a look at this blog simply titled 'Requirements to Teach in Thailand". Many of their blogs also get good responses in the comments section. 

I'll be getting off the topic of Chiang Mai in a moment hopefully, but possibly another worry for anyone wanting to live up there is the air pollution. I've never had a problem on my several short trips to Chiang Mai but I do have a couple of good friends who have settled there and both say that during the 'slash and burn' farming season - and I've forgotten exactly when that is - you can barely see your hand in front of your face. Lani Cox lives and teaches in Chiang Mai and she writes a good blog too! What are her thoughts on the topic of air pollution? It can't be any worse than Bangkok surely Lani! 

One of the real drawbacks of being a teacher in Thailand can be those dreaded visa runs and if you're thinking of doing a visa run to a neighboring country, then up-to-date information is more than welcome, if not essential. How much are things like accommodation going to cost? How many days are you going to have to wait while the Thai consulate processes your visa application? The list of questions can be endless, so my blogging heroes are always those who document a visa run in the minutest detail. Step forward Eric Kuns and take a bow. Eric has put together an amazingly detailed blog on making the visa run from North Thailand to Vientiane in Laos. Enjoy the read and enjoy the photos too! I haven't been in sleepy Vientiane for well over a decade but it doesn't look to have changed much.

While we're on the topic of visa runs, did you know that foreigners are now allowed to use the land crossing between Thailand and Burma at Myawaddy, as well as the old favorites, Tachilek and Kawthaung. Want to know more? Check out this article on the Travelfish website.

Here's a blog I found on the 'Blog about ESL' website. It offers a general overview on teaching in Thailand. How much of it do you agree or disagree with?

Let me introduce you to Cody Gohl. Cody has come to Thailand to teach English for a year in Kalasin and teaching in The Land of Smiles probably doesn't get any more rural than that. Not so much a blog as more of a diary, you can keep up with Cody's lifestyle and adventures as his Thailand teaching career unfolds. He looks as though he's having a good time of it so far anyway.

One of the fastest-growing groups of teachers arriving in Thailand are gap-year students. Their numbers are apparently increasing rapidly year-on-year, but what are the reasons why Thailand is such a good gap-year choice? Well, the Elite Daily website has put their own top ten reasons in a brand new article

I'm always on the lookout for fun articles as well, especially if they would appeal to your average Thailand teacher, and in this short-but-sweet rant, Molly Lanscombe asks why it's so diifficult for a single girl to find a good man in Bangkok? (Hmmm, I'm stuggling with that one Molly)

Finally, don't forget that has its own blog page too with regular contributions from its growing number of writers.

See you all again soon.


Hey Peter,

Thanks for the mention! Just found out today, and wanted to stop by and check out all this info you put together.

Cheers :)

By Lani, Chiang Mai (12th December 2013)

Useful links, it's all Chiang Mai. One note, before you join the bandwagon of hype rubbishing the city because of the smog, consider that there are fewer unhealthy days (ie 100+) per year in Chiang Mai than Bangkok. If you eat at a noodle shop beside a busy road daily you're breathing more harmful particulars than a few weeks in March in the North where you may or may not escape to an a/c room. The mountain disappears so you get this boring flat central Thailand atmosphere, but when the cooler whether comes you wonder what all the fuss was about. So, there you have it.

By Andy, Chiang Mai (20th October 2013)

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