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Laos 2014
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bluetortilla



Joined: 18 Apr 2006
Posts: 674
Location: Fukuoka

PostPosted: Sun Jun 22, 2014 8:35 am    Post subject: Laos 2014 Reply with quote

Don't see much on Laos from 2011. The last thread, simply titled 'Laos,' was last posted in that year.

I was planning to go to Myanmar but think I'll hold off on that for a while. Now I'm planning on going to Laos. How is it these days? Has anyone taught in Louangphrabang?

Boring? Yes sir, that's what I'm looking for!
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EFL Educator



Joined: 17 Jul 2013
Posts: 421

PostPosted: Sun Jun 22, 2014 4:02 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Laos is fine..but not many EFL jobs to be had and the pay is on par with Thailand. However it is more expensive to live there as a tourist than in Thailand as Vientiene and Luang Prabang both have become a real tourist trap.k! Nice for a weekend getaway from Thailand though..especially for Thai visa runners from the LOS! Good luck Smile
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bluetortilla



Joined: 18 Apr 2006
Posts: 674
Location: Fukuoka

PostPosted: Sun Jun 22, 2014 11:27 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

EFL Educator wrote:
Laos is fine..but not many EFL jobs to be had and the pay is on par with Thailand. However it is more expensive to live there as a tourist than in Thailand as Vientiene and Luang Prabang both have become a real tourist trap.k! Nice for a weekend getaway from Thailand though..especially for Thai visa runners from the LOS! Good luck Smile


Sounds like a bummer. But then again, my expectations are not high. What about Savanmakhet? It doesn't seem like many people go there. Really want to avoid tourist traps...how about on the fringes of Vientiene ('suburbs' as it were), around the uni., or further afield for way less money?

Which is easier do you think? Myanmar or Laos? (Just getting a reasonable job. All other things being equal.)
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likwid_777



Joined: 04 Nov 2012
Posts: 296
Location: NA

PostPosted: Mon Jun 23, 2014 5:19 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Was there 6 months ago, and Vientiane and LP are definitely horrifying tourist traps. Vang Vieng was even more horrifying, but I found the shameless party goers there somehow less offensive than the "yuppie/hippie" types in the other places. If you want to experience Laos, get in quick. I suspect that it's already too late, really. Probably the fact that it's quite cheap is the biggest problem. If boring is what you seek, then you should be happy. For a few months... Then you really will be bored out of your mind hehe.
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bentanddisfunctional



Joined: 19 Oct 2010
Posts: 83

PostPosted: Mon Jun 23, 2014 7:12 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I've taught in both Luang Prabang and Vientiane.
Opportunties are limited in the former but its a pretty cool place to live if you want to chill,ride a bike around,explore etc.

You wouldn't catch me living in Vientiane these days though- they stuffed up the lovely riverside and with the increased traffic and development,inflated rental prices etc it's not a pleasant place to live in for me unless you're an NGO with a villa.

I saw jobs in both these towns and Savannakhet recently advertised by Panyathip school and Kiettisack school.

Boring-depends what you're into.
That's what beer lao is for right?

Obviously Yangon having twice the population of the entire Laos there are more jobs there...


You're welcome
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bluetortilla



Joined: 18 Apr 2006
Posts: 674
Location: Fukuoka

PostPosted: Mon Jun 23, 2014 7:28 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

likwid_777 wrote:
Was there 6 months ago, and Vientiane and LP are definitely horrifying tourist traps. Vang Vieng was even more horrifying, but I found the shameless party goers there somehow less offensive than the "yuppie/hippie" types in the other places. If you want to experience Laos, get in quick. I suspect that it's already too late, really. Probably the fact that it's quite cheap is the biggest problem. If boring is what you seek, then you should be happy. For a few months... Then you really will be bored out of your mind hehe.


Well 'really' I'm taking a sabbatical to study languages, so I'm not worried about being bored. Can you avoid the tourists by living in the North Side of town or something? Man, I'm thinking then of some dusty place that really nobody wants to go to but needs teachers. What about Udon Thani?
Well, if I end up going to Laos I'll try to be local. That always works out better wherever you go.
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likwid_777



Joined: 04 Nov 2012
Posts: 296
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PostPosted: Mon Jun 23, 2014 8:25 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I don't know, I was only there for about a month. Udon Thani is populated mainly by ethnic Laotians anyway, as that parcel of land was traditionally Lao, but Thailand took it after a period of war. So you could perhaps get a "Lao" experience there. As far as I know, most Laotians with money will go to Thai hospitals when they need proper treatment, and Udon Thani has a cinema, whereas Vientiane doesn't. Vientiane isn't as backwater as this picture may paint, but the "central" area is definitely tiny. Seriously though, sooo many tourists are going through there, and I think there is a pretty serious wanker vibe among many of them. Haha. Then there are the visa runners, who I assume were the sleazier or wilder types (as there's not so much of that in Laos due to a much stricter government, regarding not only prostitution but on liaisons with locals). In another 20 years, the place will surely have changed beyond recognition. Additionally, while Lao people are quite friendly and less rip-off or scammy at face value (than other South Asian people can be), there are still large teeth simmering below the surface. A false sense of security could be had due to the apparent warm nature of many Laotian folk.
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bluetortilla



Joined: 18 Apr 2006
Posts: 674
Location: Fukuoka

PostPosted: Mon Jun 23, 2014 1:06 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

bentanddisfunctional wrote:
I've taught in both Luang Prabang and Vientiane.
Opportunties are limited in the former but its a pretty cool place to live if you want to chill,ride a bike around,explore etc.

You wouldn't catch me living in Vientiane these days though- they stuffed up the lovely riverside and with the increased traffic and development,inflated rental prices etc it's not a pleasant place to live in for me unless you're an NGO with a villa.

I saw jobs in both these towns and Savannakhet recently advertised by Panyathip school and Kiettisack school.

You're welcome


Thanks. Sounds like it requires a lot of patience. I'd rather live outside Vientianne too. Not worried about being bored like everyone says! : D
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EFL Educator



Joined: 17 Jul 2013
Posts: 421

PostPosted: Mon Jun 23, 2014 4:13 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Sometimes I think I am in Laos in Northern Thailand and other times I think I am in Thailand when I am in Laos...a lot of Thais speak Lao too as they share a similar language and culture. Frankly Laos to me is what Thailand used to look like some twenty years ago..and salaries for EFL teachers average $1000/Month...same as in the LOS. The real only benefit to living in Laos is that there is a lot of beautiful nature to explore. Just stay away from the tourist traps of the capital Vientienne and Luang Prabang where prices are much higher than Thailand for food and accomodation. Good luck! Smile
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bluetortilla



Joined: 18 Apr 2006
Posts: 674
Location: Fukuoka

PostPosted: Mon Jun 23, 2014 5:21 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

EFL Educator wrote:
Sometimes I think I am in Laos in Northern Thailand and other times I think I am in Thailand when I am in Laos...a lot of Thais speak Lao too as they share a similar language and culture. Frankly Laos to me is what Thailand used to look like some twenty years ago..and salaries for EFL teachers average $1000/Month...same as in the LOS. The real only benefit to living in Laos is that there is a lot of beautiful nature to explore. Just stay away from the tourist traps of the capital Vientienne and Luang Prabang where prices are much higher than Thailand for food and accomodation. Good luck! Smile


Sounds fabulous. I generally spend less than $200 a month for everything here in Guangzhou, a place where you can easily spend a heap more than that. My apartment and utilities are included though. Anyway, I want to study the language, and I definitely would love peaceful, lovely nature around! Snakes and all!
What is the LOS btw?
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Steinmann



Joined: 17 Mar 2009
Posts: 254
Location: In the frozen north

PostPosted: Wed Jun 25, 2014 4:59 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

That would be the Land of Smiles.

Smile
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EFL Educator



Joined: 17 Jul 2013
Posts: 421

PostPosted: Thu Jun 26, 2014 2:46 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Smile Smile Smile
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bluetortilla



Joined: 18 Apr 2006
Posts: 674
Location: Fukuoka

PostPosted: Thu Jun 26, 2014 6:04 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

LOS- Thanks.

Despite the tourist trap news (not surprised) I'll take it as a good sign that nobody teaching in Laos now has posted so far. Maybe that yuppy tourist money will result in some good ol' wealth distribution throughout the land until eventually all the kids will get a chance to have an education.

Although I'm sure population does matter, it is also relative as far as demand goes. It doesn't sound to me that teachers stay on for long in Laos or are attracted in droves to go there to teach for more than some months. Rather, it sounds like they teach for a while and move on. Like a battery recharger spot.

Just guessing.

Yes, Myanmar on the other hand is a vast country with equally vast resources and though poor at the moment and still beset by a lot of problems will probably be a big presence in Asia before too long. But while demand for teachers is high, I've also heard that caution is necessary as employers can be nasty.
I'd like to live in Mandalay, don't think Yangon sounds appealing- at least for me. Wouldn't even want to live Chiang Mai, much less Bangkok. But...
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EFL Educator



Joined: 17 Jul 2013
Posts: 421

PostPosted: Thu Jun 26, 2014 1:49 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hello there,

Myanmar is booming now and there are literally droves (thousands) of EFL teachers looking for work there..especially in Yangon where most language schools are located. Consider this wherevwer you want to teach in SE Asia you will always see backpackers everywhere who are willing to extend their stay by teaching English. A lot of these tourist backpackers pose as English teachers and have ZERO teaching qualifications. They will keep teaching wages low everywhere in Southeast Asia...and I mean EVERYWHERE...there is no escaping this sad reality...my advice is teach where you want to teach with the proper TEFL qualifications it's a big, big world out there. Good luck! Smile
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bluetortilla



Joined: 18 Apr 2006
Posts: 674
Location: Fukuoka

PostPosted: Thu Jun 26, 2014 2:36 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

EFL Educator wrote:
Hello there,

Myanmar is booming now and there are literally droves (thousands) of EFL teachers looking for work there..especially in Yangon where most language schools are located. Consider this wherevwer you want to teach in SE Asia you will always see backpackers everywhere who are willing to extend their stay by teaching English. A lot of these tourist backpackers pose as English teachers and have ZERO teaching qualifications. They will keep teaching wages low everywhere in Southeast Asia...and I mean EVERYWHERE...there is no escaping this sad reality...my advice is teach where you want to teach with the proper TEFL qualifications it's a big, big world out there. Good luck! Smile


Thanks for the kind heads up EFL ED. and duly noted. I'm aware of the situation and while I refrain from any negative or whiny comments I will say that tourists of almost every stripe tend to make great places crappy. That's why I've spent over two months in Yunnan and never set foot in Dali or Lijiang.

I'm not worried. Things take time. It takes time to find a place you love. Guangzhou was very interesting but now it's time to go. I still have my proofreading contacts if times get hard! I'm dedicated to finishing my MA in the LOT (land of tones- SE Asia and China). Do what you love eh! I really can't understand why one would not. Smile
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