Known as ‘The Land of Smiles’, Thailand is well-known for having a relaxing and joyful atmosphere. Thai people tend to be friendly and approachable, and the chance of encountering violent crime is low, especially towards foreigners. Thailand provides a wonderful escape from the fast-paced life and daily stress.
Thailand can be best described by three phases that are spoken often in Thai conversation:
- “Mai bpen rai” = No problem / No worries
- “Jai yen yen” = Keep calm / Cool heart
- “Alai godai” = Doesn’t matter / Anything is okay
This is the attitude of most Thai people; they tend to be very relaxed and laidback. As mentioned previously, Thailand is often referred to as ‘The Land of Smiles’ and you’ll discover that Thai people, especially those in Esan, are very friendly towards foreigners and try to make them feel welcome and respected. Teachers in Thailand are regarded highly in the community, and you’ll find that you become well-known in your placement area and become something of a local celebrity.
There’s many different ways to experience the country. Many see it from the amazing beaches and islands, though living in touristy locations can be expensive and jading. Bangkok is an exciting city that accounts for a large number of expats in Thailand – but it is very expensive, pressured, and one big traffic jam. Many teachers prefer to lead relaxed lives in smaller towns in the provinces.
The most interesting and authentic way to experience the country, even for a year, is living among the locals in the more the more authentic countryside or provincial towns. Think of yourself cycling through lush green rice paddies on your way to school, living in an old teak house, the site of a sparkling Thai temple from your balcony, or the lines of monks in the early morning on their alms rounds.
Under the TAP program you are fully legal to live and work in Thailand. The paperwork is all done for you, and a long list of competitive benefits adds to the comfort. The best part about teaching English in Thailand and living here is the low cost of living. There’s not much you can’t afford in a daily routine. As a TEFL teacher you will be living well above the national average income.