Review by teacher Kacey Andreotta for TEFL Heaven Mexico

Living and teaching in Bangkok! By Amber Parker

As a Program Adviser at TEFL Heaven I often get asked about my own experiences of living and teaching in Thailand. Obviously there are lots of factors to consider when choosing where to live. But for me Bangkok really stood out as a place I wanted to experience for myself! So I thought I would share my experiences to provide a little insight to those considering Bangkok as an option...

Once I completed my TEFL course on Koh Samui, I was placed in a school called Rojirapa Kindergarten School in Thon Buri Bangkok. 

After taking the shuttle coach from the Island back to Bangkok one of TEFL Heaven’s Assistants in Thailand helped my friend and I look for places near our school. He drove us to several different areas such as Udom Suk, Thong Lo and Chong Nonsi. But I didn’t want to commute to and from school every day, as rush hour in Bangkok is crazy!

We decided on a condo apartment called Nature Place just off a BTS stop called Talat Phlu. The building was really nice, safe and clean and it had a small reception area downstairs where you would collect your mail and communicate with the receptionist (although he spoke 0 English!). We were billed monthly for the apartment. 

Our bills were around 8000-1000 Thai Baht a month and included room rental, a cleaner,  water, electricity and WiFi. So this worked out as really cheap.  Another reason why we loved this area - it had lots of good pharmacies, banks, 7/11s, Tesco Lotus’ and it was so close to the BTS stop that we could travel to the airport and fly to Bali, Cambodia or Laos for weekend mini break!  Our condo was also close to a few Thai bars which were a great way to meet locals and a Western style Coffee Place with free WiFi, where we could go to relax and plan our next travel adventure!

Our condo was on the second floor and came furnished with a bed, wardrobe, table and chairs,  a desk, air conditioning and a mirror. There was also a balcony area overlooking Bangkok and a nice sized en-suite shower room. My friend and I quickly fell in love with the place and paid a deposit of one months rent, so 10000 Thai Baht, so that we could move in straight away!

As soon as  we were unpacked we went to MBK, a huge shopping  centre that sold bedding and everything else that we needed to move in. But to be honest it is so hot in Thailand I mainly slept on top of my duvet/quilt!

The great thing about my condo was I was so close to a western style shopping mall called The Mall Ta Pra. In the Mall there was a huge movie theatre showing English films. There were also Thai events in the mall such as traditional Thai dancing, entertainment and a food court, which was really helpful if you wanted to a break from eating street food. Every now and then I would go there to indulge in home comforts such as steak and chips, homemade soup or even a McDonalds!

Just opposite the Mall,  every night, locals would set up street markets with amazing authentic street food. With an amazing selection on offer, as so cheap, this is a great way to experiment with Thai food.

Here are my top tips for living in Bangkok: 

Top 3 Places to go socialise at night:

  1. Sukhumvit
  2. Khoa San Road
  3. Silom

Top 3 Places to shop:

  1. JJ Market (Chatuchak Weekend Market), I cannot describe how big this market is! It goes on for miles and miles! With such great bargains such as art work, fashion, books, antiques and collectables, there is something  for everyone here!
  2. MBK, Siam. MBK is like an indoor version of JJ Market but more central in Bangkok.
  3. Terminal 21. This is a more upmarket,  expensive area to shop in and it has “western style” shops but is still an amazing mall to visit!

Top 3 Places to visit:

In Bangkok there is so much to see and do but these were my top 3 places to visit:.

  1. Wat Pho: no words to describe how stunning this place is. It has a giant reclining gleaming golden Buddha, it honestly took my breath away when I saw it.
  2. Wat Arun: one of the most stunning temples in Bangkok
  3. The Grand Palace: breath-takingly beautiful, an absolute must see!

Top 3 Helpful websites to look at:

  2. this website provides all the information you need about getting a Rabbit card! Rabbit Card is the first e-money service in Thailand that functions across transits, retail networks. If you get this card it costs 200 THB and your travel will average out as for 15 trips if you use it within 30 days it will cost around 25 baht per trip !!
  3. this is a really useful website, which is also available as an app, it converts Thai Baht into your own currency when you are out and about shopping. 

Top 3 events in Bangkok

  1. Songkran: Songkran, the Thai New year,  is so fun and happens the second week of April. There is no excuse to take part in a huge national water fight! Prepare to buy water guns and get soaked with water by the Thai locals and tourists. 
  2. Loi Krathong: This festival was beautiful, it celebrates the Water Goddess for a years worth of rice. Thousands of people gather around lakes, rivers and canals to pay respects to the goddess of water by releasing beautiful lotus shaped rafts, decorated with candles, incense and flowers onto the water.
  3. Loi Krathong:  The same festival, but locals and tourists release lanterns up into the night sky and it is beautiful. 

If you want to talk to me about Thailand, or any other program please get in touch to find out more!

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