Ang Thong

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 them it doesn't exist. In fairness, Angthong is pretty small.

In general, what are the pickings like for an EFL teacher?

Slim. Most schools work through agencies, and those offer only B30 000 or slightly more. The schools that hire directly pay the same. On the plus side they're not sticklers for degrees, if this is your affliction, provided you have a white face.

There are some language schools that provide work after hours and some teachers pick up another 15,000 baht per month this way. As of the time of writing, there are no schools offering high salaries in Angthong.

How far from Bangkok or civilization?

Angthong is around 2 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 Mueng 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. No nightclubs, no Go-Go bars. There are a heck of a lot of ladyboys though if you're into that. Most foreigners here who want to party go for to Bangkok or Ayyuthaya for a weekend.

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.

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 single room it's B3,000 fully furnished with air-conditioning and hot water. For 2-3 rooms of the same it's B3500.

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.

Shopping malls, department stores?

There's a medium sized Big C 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'll probably have to go to Ayyuthaya or Future Park Rangsit.

How is mobile / internet coverage?

Not the best internet at the apartment unless you organize your own. No problems with anything else.

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 is about 50% African 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 as well but as long as you don't mess with them or sleep with one of their girls you should be okay.

Taxis, buses....or horse and cart?

There are a few motorcycle taxis. That's it. If you live here, you need to have your own transportation. There are plenty of motorcycles for hire.

Main advantages of living there?

Angthong is a really relaxing place to live in. The area is beautiful and the roads are well maintained. Traffic is minimal and there's a lot 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 you favourite things on the weekend, this might be your dream home.

And what are the downsides?

You have to travel to do or see anything. Even eat. If you don't drive a motorcycle or car this isn't the province for you.

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.

Any local attractions?

The giant Goldent 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 farangs here tend to keep to themselves and the footballers mostly run in their own circles. That said there aren't all that many in the first place. Those that are sociable tend to meet at a bar/restaurant locally known as P-nom's, it's just outside the apartment block where all the foreigners stay.

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