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EFL Educator



Joined: 17 Jul 2013
Posts: 975
Location: Cape Town

PostPosted: Mon May 18, 2015 11:32 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thailand is truly amazing....some of us are actually earning amazing salaries here.....on top of receiving our Baht 30,000 Monthly pension! Very Happy Very Happy
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hdeth



Joined: 20 Jan 2015
Posts: 583

PostPosted: Tue May 19, 2015 7:12 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

[quote="AKChina"]
suphanburi wrote:

The way I see it - all the things that make Thailand an amazing country are only amazing if you've got the money to experience them. 30k baht a month isn't getting you anywhere near. Relative to its neighbors, Thailand is an expensive country to live in.


I've had some nice vacations in Thailand, and done some expensive things there, but probably the parts I most enjoyed were not expensive. Chill at the beach, grab a bite at a night market and a mango smoothie....just relax. Going on treks, SCUBA, snorkeling, etc., are nice but you just get tired if you do it for weeks on end.

Again, I would not do it for 30k/month, but I understand why some people would, at least for a year or two. I would have a good time but no savings to show for it which isn't really acceptable to me. Especially working 40 hours/week. Especially especially knowing that I could pretty easily get a job where I could save 60k baht per month in China and have 3 months for vacationing in Thailand (or wherever). I never have the motivation to do much on the weekend anyways when I'm working 40 hours/week.
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AKChina



Joined: 29 Apr 2015
Posts: 52

PostPosted: Tue May 19, 2015 7:28 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

[quote="hdeth"]
AKChina wrote:
suphanburi wrote:

The way I see it - all the things that make Thailand an amazing country are only amazing if you've got the money to experience them. 30k baht a month isn't getting you anywhere near. Relative to its neighbors, Thailand is an expensive country to live in.


I've had some nice vacations in Thailand, and done some expensive things there, but probably the parts I most enjoyed were not expensive. Chill at the beach, grab a bite at a night market and a mango smoothie....just relax. Going on treks, SCUBA, snorkeling, etc., are nice but you just get tired if you do it for weeks on end.

Again, I would not do it for 30k/month, but I understand why some people would, at least for a year or two. I would have a good time but no savings to show for it which isn't really acceptable to me. Especially working 40 hours/week. Especially especially knowing that I could pretty easily get a job where I could save 60k baht per month in China and have 3 months for vacationing in Thailand (or wherever). I never have the motivation to do much on the weekend anyways when I'm working 40 hours/week.


But EFL teachers aren't generally getting to chill at the beach outside of vacations (and you can chill on a beach in Thailand during your vacation no matter where in the world you work). In that sense, there's no difference between Thailand and country X except country X pays at least twice the salary.

Even going for a night out in Thailand isn't that cheap. And I don't just mean the kind of night out where you get some Thai hookers from a bar and take them back to your hotel (but while we're on the subject, you won't be doing that on an ESL wage either). I just mean a standard night out where you have a few drinks at a bar then go to a nightclub for a few hours. Drinks at late night entertainment venues in Thailand will be 160+ baht for a small beer. If you go with a girlfriend that'll be 320+ everytime you order drinks. Do that 3 times, plus a few more drinks at a less expensive bar before the nightclub, then add in transport home...it comes to a fair amount of money.

The place is fairly expensive relative to other countries in the same area. Cambodia, Burma, Vietnam and China are all cheaper countries to live in. All of them pay more than Thailand.

40 hours a week = 180 hours a month. At $900 a month that's $5 an hour. Doesn't anyone find that sort of wage to be personally insulting? We're talking about someone who has invested 3 or 4 years into a university education, getting $5 an hour...
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hdeth



Joined: 20 Jan 2015
Posts: 583

PostPosted: Tue May 19, 2015 7:49 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

[quote="AKChina"]
hdeth wrote:
AKChina wrote:
suphanburi wrote:

The way I see it - all the things that make Thailand an amazing country are only amazing if you've got the money to experience them. 30k baht a month isn't getting you anywhere near. Relative to its neighbors, Thailand is an expensive country to live in.


I've had some nice vacations in Thailand, and done some expensive things there, but probably the parts I most enjoyed were not expensive. Chill at the beach, grab a bite at a night market and a mango smoothie....just relax. Going on treks, SCUBA, snorkeling, etc., are nice but you just get tired if you do it for weeks on end.

Again, I would not do it for 30k/month, but I understand why some people would, at least for a year or two. I would have a good time but no savings to show for it which isn't really acceptable to me. Especially working 40 hours/week. Especially especially knowing that I could pretty easily get a job where I could save 60k baht per month in China and have 3 months for vacationing in Thailand (or wherever). I never have the motivation to do much on the weekend anyways when I'm working 40 hours/week.


But EFL teachers aren't generally getting to chill at the beach outside of vacations (and you can chill on a beach in Thailand during your vacation no matter where in the world you work). In that sense, there's no difference between Thailand and country X except country X pays at least twice the salary.

Even going for a night out in Thailand isn't that cheap. And I don't just mean the kind of night out where you get some Thai hookers from a bar and take them back to your hotel (but while we're on the subject, you won't be doing that on an ESL wage either). I just mean a standard night out where you have a few drinks at a bar then go to a nightclub for a few hours. Drinks at late night entertainment venues in Thailand will be 160+ baht for a small beer. If you go with a girlfriend that'll be 320+ everytime you order drinks. Do that 3 times, plus a few more drinks at a less expensive bar before the nightclub, then add in transport home...it comes to a fair amount of money.

The place is fairly expensive relative to other countries in the same area. Cambodia, Burma, Vietnam and China are all cheaper countries to live in. All of them pay more than Thailand.

40 hours a week = 180 hours a month. At $900 a month that's $5 an hour. Doesn't anyone find that sort of wage to be personally insulting? We're talking about someone who has invested 3 or 4 years into a university education, getting $5 an hour...


That's basically what I just said....I work in China and vacation in SEA. Beijing at the moment, which is reputed to be one of the most expensive places in China.

Vietnam this summer though, not Thailand.

Alcohol in Thailand was really expensive when we were there last summer...must be some sort of special tax on it. That's the only thing I can think of.

I get a Baijiu here in China that basically tastes like a smooth vodka (35%) in a ornamental 2.5l glass bottle (with cup!) for about $6 USD. Some things in China are just so freaking cheap...so that's basically a bit under $2/fifth. Skyy is about $5/fifth. Jim Beam White Label is about $7/fifth. (Skyy and JBWL prices are ordering online...shops gouge you).

Western bars can be expensive though...but still better than Thailand I think. I go to one with some co-workers now and then and it's about $6 USD for a 1L mug of Qingdao beer I think. Been a while since I've gone. Either $5.50 or $6.50. That's expensive for here. At a normal place maybe $2-3 for a pitcher. Maybe 2l or 2.5l? Chimay is not too expensive but micro-brews are, compared to the US. Maybe $6-7 for a pint of either?

My girlfriend's dad would break her legs if she went to a club so can't comment on that. Doesn't drink either (gets fall-down drunk off a small glass of wine). Cheap date (and she pays most of the time).
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sigmoid



Joined: 21 Jan 2003
Posts: 1254

PostPosted: Thu May 21, 2015 1:54 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

It's quite simple, really.

Schools in countries like China, Vietnam, etc have no choice but to pay EFL teachers a bit more. Otherwise, they simply wouldn't come. Can they fill all of their vacancies? Not by a long shot.

Thailand, on the other hand, is a much more enjoyable place in terms of dating, tourism, entertainment and dining out and isn't as famously polluted as China, so schools can get away with low-balling across the board. They also can't attract enough folks though, so teachers in Thailand can at least look for schools that offer a good atmosphere, location, opportunities for extra work, etc.

In the end, money isn't everything. Enjoying where you live and teach goes a long way.
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EFL Educator



Joined: 17 Jul 2013
Posts: 975
Location: Cape Town

PostPosted: Thu May 21, 2015 11:28 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

One can enjoy life in the Land of Smiles, save money teaching English here and enjoy one's pension too. Thailand is truly an amazing country to live and teach in!!! Very Happy Very Happy
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AKChina



Joined: 29 Apr 2015
Posts: 52

PostPosted: Fri May 22, 2015 4:33 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

sigmoid wrote:
It's quite simple, really.

Schools in countries like China, Vietnam, etc have no choice but to pay EFL teachers a bit more. Otherwise, they simply wouldn't come. Can they fill all of their vacancies? Not by a long shot.

Thailand, on the other hand, is a much more enjoyable place in terms of dating, tourism, entertainment and dining out and isn't as famously polluted as China, so schools can get away with low-balling across the board. They also can't attract enough folks though, so teachers in Thailand can at least look for schools that offer a good atmosphere, location, opportunities for extra work, etc.

In the end, money isn't everything. Enjoying where you live and teach goes a long way.


It's not a 'bit' more though, it's a lot more when you look at hourly rate.

Tourism and entertainment require cash - cash that Thailand doesn't provide. Who cares if there's a full moon party on the nearby island when all you can afford to do is sit in your apartment? It's as irrelevant as Siam Paragon shopping mall is to a Thai earning 8000 baht a month. Dating requires cash too, especially in Asia where it's expected the guy pays for the dates, and even when you get a girlfriend it's highly unlikely she's going to contribute a full 50% to the bills (I'm not just talking about hooker girlfriends, but even among 'normal' girls it's going to be rare for them to pay 50% on a night out, or pick up 50% of the restaurant tab etc).

Is Thailand a much more enjoyable place, really? Working 40 hours a week for 30,000 baht vs working 14 hours in China for the same (and getting an apartment and flights thrown in too...), or working 20 hours in Vietnam for nearly twice the money. Does lots of extra free time not contribute to having an enjoyable life? Plus they make you wear a shirt and tie, sometimes a suit. A frickin suit in that climate.

I fully agree Thailand is a nicer country than Vietnam and China, with the caveat that those things that make Thailand nicer cost money to enjoy. If I had unlimited income, you bet I'd choose Thailand. But if I had unlimited income I'd never teach another class in my life anywhere on the globe.

Isn't it just depressing being surrounded by all the 'nice' things in Thailand, but not being able to afford any of them? I'd imagine it's like being a janitor in Beverly Hills.
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kurtz



Joined: 12 Mar 2008
Posts: 518
Location: Phaic Tan

PostPosted: Mon May 25, 2015 5:29 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

AKChina wrote:
suphanburi wrote:


Strange... but I have done this in many places in Asia and the picture for gap year EFL teachers (entry level stuff) isn't that much better elsewhere any more. Come to think of it.... has been like salaries... and not changed much in the last 15 years (in Asia).

30k for a gap year isn't so bad. Life is an adventure and that is what backpacking and EFL used to be all about.

Staying at 30k for 10 years is just foolish.

Get some professional development and move up through that gap year glass ceiling. 60k is certainly on the table for EFL teachers with just a modicum of pro-D.
Remuneration packages of up to 130k (plus benefits) is certainly there for those who want to stay in the game and become legitimate teachers.


Entry level EFL'ers do much better over here in Vietnam, where pay is $20 an hour. They'll earn about 50% more money on average and work a LOT less hours.

As pointed out as well, entry level in China for a 40 hour work week (so we compare apples to apples here) is at least 2x that of Thailand.

In Korea one earns double the salary of Thailand at entry level, and will also get flights and accomodation provided.

You can get professional development anywhere and move up to increase salaries, without the need to *beep* yourself out for 40 hours a week at 30k a month to do it.

The way I see it - all the things that make Thailand an amazing country are only amazing if you've got the money to experience them. 30k baht a month isn't getting you anywhere near. Relative to its neighbors, Thailand is an expensive country to live in.


I agree with what you are saying, but what are you earning in Vietnam if I may ask?

I had a lengthy, if a bit tedious discussion on this topic in another branch. Basically, some folks think that as long as they are living in Asia, then that is ok and money is not an issue - because it's better than living in the expensive West.
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AKChina



Joined: 29 Apr 2015
Posts: 52

PostPosted: Mon May 25, 2015 11:23 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

kurtz wrote:
AKChina wrote:
suphanburi wrote:


Strange... but I have done this in many places in Asia and the picture for gap year EFL teachers (entry level stuff) isn't that much better elsewhere any more. Come to think of it.... has been like salaries... and not changed much in the last 15 years (in Asia).

30k for a gap year isn't so bad. Life is an adventure and that is what backpacking and EFL used to be all about.

Staying at 30k for 10 years is just foolish.

Get some professional development and move up through that gap year glass ceiling. 60k is certainly on the table for EFL teachers with just a modicum of pro-D.
Remuneration packages of up to 130k (plus benefits) is certainly there for those who want to stay in the game and become legitimate teachers.


Entry level EFL'ers do much better over here in Vietnam, where pay is $20 an hour. They'll earn about 50% more money on average and work a LOT less hours.

As pointed out as well, entry level in China for a 40 hour work week (so we compare apples to apples here) is at least 2x that of Thailand.

In Korea one earns double the salary of Thailand at entry level, and will also get flights and accomodation provided.

You can get professional development anywhere and move up to increase salaries, without the need to *beep* yourself out for 40 hours a week at 30k a month to do it.

The way I see it - all the things that make Thailand an amazing country are only amazing if you've got the money to experience them. 30k baht a month isn't getting you anywhere near. Relative to its neighbors, Thailand is an expensive country to live in.


I agree with what you are saying, but what are you earning in Vietnam if I may ask?

I had a lengthy, if a bit tedious discussion on this topic in another branch. Basically, some folks think that as long as they are living in Asia, then that is ok and money is not an issue - because it's better than living in the expensive West.


I'm making $3000 a month in Vietnam. It needs to be said I've gone a bit beyond just the standard entry level stuff though - when I first started I was making $2000 a month which is achievable for anyone with any sort of work ethic (and still requires less hours than Thailand for double the pay).

I'm hoping I'll surpass that amount in China eventually. I've run the maths, none of what I'm planning seems to be unrealistic. $32 USD per hour privates (200rmb) at 15 hours a week is $1900 a month, plus the $1000 a month uni wage which is 14 hours a week and includes apartment.

So let's round it up to 30 hours total working. 10 hours less than a Thai school, for 3x the money and all rent paid. Let's not forget the 14 hour a week uni job only actually has classes for 7 months of the year, so for 5 months you're running an extremely slack schedule.

Even if one has no work ethic - in China you get $1000 a month PLUS apartment for 14 hours a week. In Thailand you get your $1000, have to pay your own apartment, and they have the nerve to tell you that you must keep office hours and sign in during school holidays a lot of the time. For those peanut wages!
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LifterMan



Joined: 26 Nov 2013
Posts: 28

PostPosted: Mon May 25, 2015 5:23 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Sometimes its not about the money. You can't take it with you when you die.

Many people teach in Thailand for the lifestyle. Some people like the expat communities, culture, people, and for many.....its about the girls. The younger guys will gladly relocate to make peanut wages just to mingle with Thai ladies everyday. Good weather can be found all over, so I would probably say most of us choose Thailand because of the culture or the girls.

Its like Michael Jordan once said "Do what you love and the rest will fall in place". I guess most of us are loving it here and waiting for things to fall into place lol. The moment you disregard money and chase paradise, suddenly places like Thailand, Brazil, and Costa Rica look very enticing.
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currentaffairs



Joined: 22 Aug 2012
Posts: 828

PostPosted: Mon May 25, 2015 6:28 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

AKChina, that looks like an extremely tedious schedule you are planning to work to me: 14 hours uni work plus 15 hours of privates.

On the face of it, it doesn't seem that much, but you can almost never bunch privates together so easily, and private students are notoriously slack and prone to cancelling the world over.

You would be working 4-5 nights a week plus your 5 day uni job? You could maybe teach three students per night. You might want a break one night so that would leave you teaching 3 students over the weekend.

I know that the university work isn't all year but that is still a hectic schedule for 7-8 months of the year.

Maybe having 4-5 private students would be more manageable but then your income would fall quite a lot.
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EFL Educator



Joined: 17 Jul 2013
Posts: 975
Location: Cape Town

PostPosted: Tue May 26, 2015 12:06 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thailand is paradise...some of us are on great salary packages as teachers...on top of receiving our pensions! Very Happy
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AKChina



Joined: 29 Apr 2015
Posts: 52

PostPosted: Tue May 26, 2015 1:17 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

LifterMan wrote:
Sometimes its not about the money. You can't take it with you when you die.

Many people teach in Thailand for the lifestyle. Some people like the expat communities, culture, people, and for many.....its about the girls. The younger guys will gladly relocate to make peanut wages just to mingle with Thai ladies everyday. Good weather can be found all over, so I would probably say most of us choose Thailand because of the culture or the girls.

Its like Michael Jordan once said "Do what you love and the rest will fall in place". I guess most of us are loving it here and waiting for things to fall into place lol. The moment you disregard money and chase paradise, suddenly places like Thailand, Brazil, and Costa Rica look very enticing.


With regards to lifestyle, wouldn't you say working half the hours for twice the pay would equate to a better lifestyle? Let's not act like money and working hours have no effect on quality of life - they're both huge when determining such things.

If you want to play the field with Thai women, well that requires money. Going out socialising, dating, going to nightclubs etc all requires cash. And there's available women in Vietnam and China too.

currentaffairs wrote:
AKChina, that looks like an extremely tedious schedule you are planning to work to me: 14 hours uni work plus 15 hours of privates.

On the face of it, it doesn't seem that much, but you can almost never bunch privates together so easily, and private students are notoriously slack and prone to cancelling the world over.

You would be working 4-5 nights a week plus your 5 day uni job? You could maybe teach three students per night. You might want a break one night so that would leave you teaching 3 students over the weekend.

I know that the university work isn't all year but that is still a hectic schedule for 7-8 months of the year.

Maybe having 4-5 private students would be more manageable but then your income would fall quite a lot.


My uni will bunch the classes into 3 days of work, and then I plan to spend 2 other days in a primary school/high school/kindergarten/whatever to make up the difference. With maybe some privates or language centre hours in the evening but it sure wouldn't be every night.

Even if one has no inclination to do privates or outside work, we're talking about getting the same salary as Thailand, with an apartment thrown in, more holidays, and only working 14 hours a week. Does that not instantly give you a better quality of life than working for 40 hours a week and having to pay for your own apartment?
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currentaffairs



Joined: 22 Aug 2012
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PostPosted: Tue May 26, 2015 1:29 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Yes and no. Bunching 14 hours of university lessons into three days is not particularly good for the teacher or the students other than from a financial perspective. Of course doable, though.

Yes, the university lifestyle is good but when you start adding in the 'extra work' like privates, second or third jobs, then it becomes something different.

I guess it really depends how flexible you are and what you are willing to accept in the end. It does sound like you can make a fair bit extra in China if you are willing to work more.
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hdeth



Joined: 20 Jan 2015
Posts: 583

PostPosted: Tue May 26, 2015 1:51 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

currentaffairs wrote:
Yes and no. Bunching 14 hours of university lessons into three days is not particularly good for the teacher or the students other than from a financial perspective. Of course doable, though.

Yes, the university lifestyle is good but when you start adding in the 'extra work' like privates, second or third jobs, then it becomes something different.

I guess it really depends how flexible you are and what you are willing to accept in the end. It does sound like you can make a fair bit extra in China if you are willing to work more.


You can easily earn 2-3x more in China than Thailand for the same work.

Some places in China are pretty crappy as far as the local environment goes, so I understand the draw of other countries. I'm visiting Vietnam for the first time this summer so it will be interesting to see how it compares. Thailand just doesn't offer the salary necessary to draw me to it, even though I love the country in many ways. It's a fairly expensive country to live in and the salary is rock bottom because so many people want to live there.
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