Just 40 kilometres north of Bangkok, Rangsit can be rich pickings for an English teacher looking for a good choice of schools without being too far from the bright lights of the capital.
The Lonely Planet guidebook says......?
In general, what are the pickings like for an EFL teacher?
Pickings are rather good. There are plenty of schools of all variety: government, private, international and all the well-known language school mills. Pay is 30K- 150K (top tier internationals can be found in Rangsit), but I would say that 38K is the average for this area. It's also very easy to pick up private students or take on extra weekend work if you're that way inclined.
James - Plentiful, I'd say your best bet would be the private schools of which there are many. Unless the previous poster was thinking of Harrow International School (which isn't in Rangsit) there are no 150,000 baht a month jobs here.
How far from Bangkok or civilization?
Bangkok is only 40 kilometres away and there are a variety of transport options to get there. My favourite are the commuter vans because they are relatively cheap and use the elevated toll way.
There is also the 538 bus, which is cheap but it can take up to two hours to get into town. There is also a train that is super cheap and frequent. I think it takes about 40 minutes or so for a ludicrously low price.
What's the place like for nightlife, eating out etc?
A night out in Rangsit tends to be rather sedate. There are discos and Thai pubs, but most of the locals tend to prefer a good restaurant to load up on food and booze.
Eating out here is one of life's pleasures and I tend to do it a few times a week. Some excellent Thai food can be found in Rangsit and some of the restaurants are stunning in terms on décor and setting. Nothing like sipping a cold one and tucking into a veritable feast with just the sound of nature around you. For those that crave the wild nightlife of Bangkok, it is less than an hour away
How much to rent a house or basic apartment?
If you are on a budget, you can find apartments for as little as a couple of thousand baht, but I would recommend spending around 4-5K baht for something a little nicer.
I myself rent a townhouse for 4,500 baht and am very happy with the standard of living that it gives me as I like my space.
James - My first apartment 'Baan Ing Naam' in klong 1 was 5,000 baht per month, my first 3-bedroom town house was 5,000 baht per month (Klong 3). My last rented house was a semi detached with garden for 6,500 baht per month.
Shopping malls, department stores?
You have Future Park, which is bloody massive and expanding and should be more than enough for most people's shopping needs. There are also Tescos, Big Cs, Macro and some impressive local markets. Future Park / Zpell has it all. There are markets everywhere too.
How is mobile / internet coverage?
Fine, you can get internet packages easily if you rent a house and most apartments have Wi-Fi or ADSL you can pay for.
Will you be stared at? and what's the likelihood of a good beating?
You will be stared at but a beating is not likely to happen. Folks here are very friendly.
Taxis, buses....or horse and cart?
The best way to get around is to have your own wheels. Other than that, there are plenty of taxis, motorcycle taxis, songtaews and a few buses.
Main advantages of living there?
The pace of life is lot more relaxed than Bangkok but we do not lack for amenities here . The cost of living is also much lower. Out here in Khlong 4 the air is clean and that is a massive bonus if like me, you suffer if it's polluted.
The local people also really make this area what it is. I have yet to find a place in Thailand as friendly as this. Expect to be invited to a few parties by the locals.
It's much cheaper to rent a house compared to Bangkok.
And what are the downsides?
Rush hour traffic along Thanyaburi road can be a pain but it is improving. Lack of western style nightclubs and pubs, if that's your thing.
Any local attractions?
I suppose Dream World deserves a mention as it can be a fun day out with the right crowd.
Rangsit is less than 30 mins from Ayutthaya, so that's the best place to go if you want to see ruins and old temples.
There are plenty of temples in Rangsit and they make for an excellent day of exploring on the bike with a camera.
James - Thai Wake Park in Klong 5 definitely deserves a mention, it is a lot of fun and a great day out. There is now an ice rink at Zpell (Future Park). Also the Leo Stadium in Klong 4 is the home of BG Pathum FC.
Where's the best place to meet other farangs or are they best avoided?
Your workplace is a good place to meet other farangs. There are many farangs living here but most seem to have families and keep themselves to themselves.