Now considered a hotbed of teaching jobs and it's not far from Bangkok either. But is it a decent place to live as well as work?
The Lonely Planet guidebook says......?
We don't have a full guide online for this place yet so we've pulled together the advice from in and around the area that we think may be helpful. Nonthaburi is most certainly not a 'tourist hot spot'.
Nonthaburi Market has become somewhat trendy with those who want to see some real Thailand and it is very real (and hot) with old style, pedal-powered rickshaws and cheap stuff.
There is also Koh Kred, an interesting little island known for its ceramics, although that might be classed as in Bangkok.
In general, what are the pickings like for an EFL teacher?
There are lots of English programs and mini English program schools in this province and most of them employ a number of foreign teachers as well as a small number of “International Schools”, which are basically more expensive English programs but with better marketing.
There are a few language centres out this way if that is your thing. Just hit the shopping malls to find these. But most of this work is in the evenings and on the weekends.
In terms of salaries, up to 50K is available at English program schools and there is a lot of opportunity for private teaching with the booming middle classes in this area.
There are now two legitimate "international" schools, with real teachers drafted in from overseas, with Denla British School and Ruamrudee appealing to well off Thai parents. Also lots of private work preparing kids to learn at the schools the parents are paying top money to attend.
How far from Bangkok or civilization?
Nonthaburi is Bangkok in all honesty. The border just isn’t marked and just seems like a continuation, The MRT to Bang Yai is working to the new Central Westgate, IMPACT Arena sits within it, too.
There are still some pockets of greenery further out, such as Sai Mai, and also areas with very few foreigners. A lot of farangs who teach out here will live in North-west Bangkok and commute to work from there.
What's the place like for nightlife, eating out etc?
As Bangkok is so close, there is no need for much farang style nightlife. If you want that sort of thing, go to Bangkok. There are however plenty of Thai style clubs and “pretty girl karaoke bars’ galore.
Food as always in Thailand is excellent, with every road having somewhere very good. There is no real speciality other than Japanese food, which seems to be everywhere and always middling in quality.
There are some Thai-style restaurants that cater to farangs, such as Maria restaurant, but generally if you want western food, you get to know the best places quite quickly.
There are now a number of international restaurants of a fairly high standard. French, Italian, Spanish, Indian and others are all represented as well as more Japanese and Korean restaurants than you can ever visit.
How much to rent a house or basic apartment?
Some smaller condos with a pool go for 5-8k a month. Some nicer Bangkok-style condos are opened on the MRT route and coming in at 6-8k for one-bedroom and double that for two bedrooms. (maybe more).
Renting a house depends on the size and shape and whether it's furnished or unfurnished. There are lots of Thai 'moobarns' (housing estates) with houses to rent and prices run the whole spectrum from 10,000 a month to 40,000 baht a month and more.
Nitchada Village is in Nonthaburi and is home to many super rich expats.
Shopping malls, department stores?
Central Westgate is the newest swanky shopping mall to open in the area but there are quite a number of shopping malls and 'community malls' around. You won't be short of anywhere to shop.
There is Central Rattanthibet (Robinson, Tops) and The Mall Ngamwongwan not so far away, either. There is Esplanade at Khae Rai to watch movies in style and work out at the gym.
How is mobile / internet coverage?
As good as True internet is on that particular day.
Will you be stared at? and what's the likelihood of a good beating?
Being a foreigner is a benefit rather than a curse around here. Chatting to foreigners still provides excitement for Thai girls too shy to go to Bangkok to work, and locals are grateful that you live out here rather than in the bright lights of the capital city.
If you're looking for trouble, then Khao San Road or Soi Cowboy in Bangkok would both be a far better bet.
Taxis, buses....or horse and cart?
Minibuses, vans and public buses are everywhere and it's an easy place to get a taxi. That's because a lot of the taxi drivers live out here. Don' forget the MRT train either. There is also the boat to take you into Bangkok.
Main advantages of living there?
It is Bangkok without being Bangkok. There are no stupid tourists, there are no tourist prices and no Thai vendors hassling tourists - yet if you want the high life, Bangkok is just a 200 baht taxi fare away or even cheaper if you can get to the MRT station.
Salaries are decent as there is little competition and costs are lower.
Some people love living in Bangkok itself while some people prefer the suburbs.
And what are the downsides?
The traffic can be heavy at times because there is always a lot of construction and road development going on. Prices of things are rising due to 'Bangkokisation' and with the extension of the public transport system.
Any local attractions?
Koh Kret is a popular “island” on the Chao Phraya River and a nice place to escape the hustle and bustle of city life for a few hours.
It's relatively easy to get to Impact Arena (which is Thailand's biggest concert and exhibition venue) And if you're a football fan, you can cheer on SCG Muang Thong Thani, who are one of Thailand's biggest premier league teams.
There are also some smaller-scale floating markets dotted around.
Where's the best place to meet other farangs or are they best avoided?
You are so close to Bangkok that you are spoilt for choice really.