It's a town and a province bordered by Lopburi, Suphanburi and Saraburi. It's also not that far from Bangkok. Are many foreign teachers enticed by its charms?
The Lonely Planet guidebook says......?
Nothing. According to Lonely Planet it doesn't exist. In fairness though, Ang Thong is pretty small.
Chrissy says "I worked in Ang Thong for nearly 2 years as an English teacher. I loved it there and the people! If you want a real experience in Thailand, go there. I made many friends with the locals and the kids are just wonderful!"
In general, what are the pickings like for an EFL teacher?
Slim. Most schools work with teacher placement agencies. Education Center offers 32,000 baht a month or slightly more with free accommodation. The schools that hire directly pay considerably more for native English speakers (40K+). On the plus side, employers are not always sticklers for degrees so if this is your affliction, provided you have a white face, you might be in luck. In conclusion, there are only a few schools offering high salaries in this neck of the woods.
How far from Bangkok or civilization?
Angthong is around two hours north of central Bangkok, one hour from Rangsit. It's 30 minutes north of Ayyuthaya and 1 hour south-west of Lopburi. It has a bus station and there are train stations in Lopburi and Ayyuthaya. The nearest airport is Don Muang in Rangsit.
Ang Thong is just off the main highway, so it's not hard to get anywhere.
While it is possible to get to Ayyuthaya via the highway, there is also a quiet road that goes directly there and most people on motorcycles are comfortable taking it.
What's the place like for nightlife, eating out etc?
There isn't too much in the way of nightlife in Angthong, just a few bars where people just sit around drinking. There is one nightclub named The Best it is pretty country style but not too bad . No go-go bars or naughty nightlife of any description. Most foreigners here who want to party go for to Bangkok or Ayyuthaya for a weekend as it’s only around one hour from Bangkok
There is good Thai food to be had, surprise surprise, and if you know where to look you can also get some decent Western food. Flamingo restaurant has a decent selection, though its quality is mostly in between ‘good' and ‘Thai imitation'. They do an excellent macaroni and cheese though, and their spinach and cheese is also good. They have an updated Facebook page if you do a search.
There is a great cafe lunch / breakfast place called Edu Cafe. They sell an English breakfast, bacon sandwiches and lots of other Western delights along with a great coffee, and have Western products for sale like teabags and HP sauce.
The best Western food to be had though is in a restaurant called AT Pizza. It's located in Pa Mok, a district 15 minutes south of Angthong and halfway to Ayyuthaya. Their pizzas and burgers are excellent, even by Western standards. If you're anywhere near the area, you should make the trip to check it out!
How much to rent a house or basic apartment?
Almost all the foreigners in Angthong rent at one particular apartment block. For a studio apartment it's about 4,000 baht a month fully furnished with air-conditioning and hot water.
There's little to be had at the higher end, unless you want to rent a town-house, but plenty on the lower end if you're prepared to dispense with comfort and slowly roast during the hot season.
Shopping malls, department stores?
There's a full-sized Big C and Tesco Lotus and a selection of smaller stores. Angthong is a market town so you'll never lack for a selection of fresh Thai food and fruit. But for the western products you want from a mall, you can choose from Robinson Centers in Suphanburi and Lopburi, both are newish and include many other stores. As an alternative, you can go down to Ayyuthaya or Future Park Rangsit.
How is mobile / internet coverage?
Not the best internet at the managed apartments unless you organize your own. Outside of that, all areas in the city and in the heart of Wiset Wang Chai to the west, fiber internet is available, fast, and reliable.
Will you be stared at? and what's the likelihood of a good beating?
You might be stared at because there are not too many foreigners here and most tend to move on. There is the Angthong FC football team which always includes plenty of African players and the rest from all over the globe so they're not entirely unused to seeing foreign nationalities.
There are a few biker gangs around, and the area is absolutely filled with boy racers on their 125cc motorbikes racing up and down the streets at all hours of the day and night. There just isn't anything for them to do, and they put their time into racing their bikes.
It's highly unlikely you irritate anyone so much that you find yourself in a fistfight, but you may end up in an accident if you don't watch what is behind and in front of you. In general, automobile drivers are more considerate. Probably because they are used to driving around such chaotic motorbike traffic.
Taxis, buses....or horse and cart?
There are a few motorcycle taxis and that's really it. If you live here, you need to have your own transportation and there are plenty of motorcycles for hire.
Main advantages of living there?
Angthong is a really relaxing place to live in. Ideal for families, but singles invariably leave quickly because there is little in the way of nightlife and available partners. Most young people have moved on to greener pastures.
The area is beautiful and the roads are mostly very poorly maintained. Traffic is only congested in the center of Ampur Muang where they have been doing road maintenance at the major interesections for over a year.
There are lots of things to do and see in the districts surrounding Angthong.
There is an excellent sports centre and an Olympic-sized swimming pool. If you're looking for a chill place far from city life, but still close enough that you can pick up your favourite things on the weekend, this might be an acceptable home for a year or more if you're tolerant.
And what are the downsides?
You have to travel to do or see anything. Even eat, unless you live close to one of the many markets. If you don't drive a motorcycle or car this isn't the province for you because things are spread out.
A lot of teachers here end up doing crazy long hours at language centres or getting drunk every evening because they have nothing better to do.
If you are a single guy, dating is difficult because most of the young women in the area work in factories with the weirdest hours. Few teachers stay past a semester or two.
Foreign restaurants are non-existent. For good pizza you'd need to go to Ayuddhya or Bangkok.
The roads are in horrible condition. Motorbikes and cars swerve randomly to avoid potholes and large bumps in the road.
The air is dirty with vehicle pollution and crop burning, but is far better than Bangkok's air quality.
No Makro, so the few foreign food items they do have are unavailable. Lopburi has a Makro as does Suphanburi.
No mountains, no forest, no beach. The river water is murky brown and certainly not good for swimming or fishing.
The main city park has tennis, badminton, basketball, and a typical short track. There isn't any safe (without dogs) area for long walks or cycling.
Any local attractions?
The giant Golden Buddha is Angthong's only real attraction. However if you like exploring there is plenty to see in the areas around. Ayyuthaya especially has an excellent selection of ruins and temples.
Where's the best place to meet other farangs or are they best avoided?
Most foreigners here tend to have families and keep to themselves as a result of a lack of time for recreation. Football players mostly run in their own circles.