Phrae, a beautiful corner of Thailand that always seems to have a friendly welcome. But is it English teacher friendly?

The Lonely Planet guidebook says......?

Not much in all honesty and that was unsettling for me before I came here. As a province, Phrae only had a tiny paragraph saying how it's known mostly for making the famous blue shirts that are worn by older gentlemen all over Thailand. And Phrae is famous for its teak houses apparently.

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

There is plenty of choice here. I live in the city and there seems to be language schools everywhere you look these days. There always seems to be someone looking for an EFL teacher. Knock on a few doors and I'm sure you would get positive results.

How far from Bangkok or civilization?

It's a long, long way from Bangkok and you are talking a bus journey in excess of eight hours. It will take you several hours to get to Chiang Mai as well.

What's the place like for nightlife, eating out etc?

It depends what you are looking for. There are many pubs dotted around and there is one nightclub (which will not be to everyone's taste but is good for a dance!)

There are no cinemas as such but one pub does have a free pool table. There is a Tuesday night market which is worth a look and on the first Sunday of the month, there is a huge street market running along the main road.

How much to rent a house or basic apartment?

Renting accommodation here is dirt cheap. I actually stay in a hotel-cum-apartment and it costs me just 3,500 baht a month for rent. Add on a hundred baht for water and electricity and the whole deal comes to less than 4,000 baht. Now that's what I call a bargain.

Shopping malls, department stores?

What have we got? There's a Big C, a Tesco Lotus and also a department store. And for those looking for a fast food fix, we can even boast a couple of KFCs.

How is mobile / internet coverage?

Very good. Most schools have wi-fi for teachers to use and my accommodation also has free wi-fi.

Will you be stared at? and what's the likelihood of a good beating?

The locals here are very friendly and you will often get looked at or shouted at - but never in a negative way. It's just their way of being friendly and trying to communicate with a foreign face. I once got stopped by the police just because they wanted to say hello and have a chat. It's all quite nice once you get used to it!

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

There are buses to just about anywhere in Thailand. There are a few songthaews and rickshaw bicycles around that ply local routes but you would never describe them as 'in plentiful supply'. I've only ever seen one taxi in all the time I've been here. Scooters are very cheap to rent (1,800 baht a month) and generally they are the best way of getting around.

Main advantages of living there?

As you will have already gathered, it's a cheap place to live and work and you get to experience the real Thailand, but you can still have some home comforts.

There are hundreds of temples if temples are your bag and some of them are truly beautiful. There are also a few farangs around town so you are not completely on your own.

And what are the downsides?

It's going to seem awfully quiet if you're a city person. I think the lack of a cinema is also a huge downside.

Any local attractions?

Loads! There is Phrae's 'Grand Canyon. There are many temples as I've said. There is also a massive reclining Buddha. We've got waterfalls and caves nearby as well if you like exploring.

Where's the best place to meet other farangs or are they best avoided?

I think all the farangs are lovely here and we all get on well. Usually, foreigners can be found in one of the local pubs at the weekend but you can also see them around town from time to time. Why not come up and say hello to us?

Back to the region list

Featured Jobs

Shadow Teacher

฿20,000+ / month

Pathum Thani

Early Years Teacher

฿70,000+ / month


NES English, Science and Math Teachers

฿42,300+ / month


English Teachers for December Start

฿35,000+ / month


Full-time Native English Teacher

฿45,000+ / month


South African Online English Teacher (Adults)

฿213+ / hour


Featured Teachers

  • Richard

    Filipino, 26 years old. Currently living in Thailand

  • Baijeany

    Filipino, 27 years old. Currently living in Thailand

  • Nicole

    Filipino, 22 years old. Currently living in Philippines

  • Norma

    Filipino, 35 years old. Currently living in Philippines

  • Pascal

    Swiss, 43 years old. Currently living in Thailand

  • Anooj

    Indian, 46 years old. Currently living in Oman

The Hot Spot

Air your views

Air your views

Got something to say on the topic of teaching, working or living in Thailand? The Ajarn Postbox is the place. Send us your letters!

Need Thailand insurance?

Need Thailand insurance?

Have a question about health or travel insurance in Thailand? Ricky Batten from Pacific Prime is Ajarn's resident expert.

The dreaded demo

The dreaded demo

Many schools ask for demo lessons before they hire. What should you the teacher be aware of?

Contributions welcome

Contributions welcome

If you like visiting and reading the content, why not get involved yourself and keep us up to date?

The Region Guides

The Region Guides

Fancy working in Thailand but not in Bangkok? Our region guides are written by teachers who actually live and work in the provinces.

Will I find work in Thailand?

Will I find work in Thailand?

It's one of the most common questions we get e-mailed to us. So find out exactly where you stand.

The cost of living

The cost of living

How much money does a teacher need to earn in order to survive in Thailand? We analyze the facts.

Teacher mistakes

Teacher mistakes

What are the most common mistakes that teachers make when they are about to embark on a teaching career in Thailand? We've got them all covered.