It doesn’t take much researching to learn that Thailand is a very popular TEFL destination…and we know why! From its stunning beaches, world famous parties and mouthwatering cuisine, this fascinating country has so much to offer. All you need is a degree and an i-to-i TEFL course and you could be living the life in Thailand.
If you are really willing to get involved with the Thai way of living then it is very possible to keep your expenses to a minimum. The average TEFL salary (monthly) in Thailand is around 35000 Thai Baht and this is more than enough for you to live very comfortably. Also, quite often schools will give you an accommodation allowance or even provide your housing and this enables you to keep your cost of living even lower.
Rob, one of our expert advisers TEFLed in Thailand for a few years so he has very kindly put together this list of how much he would roughly spend in a month (give or take!). Hopefully it will give you more of a feel of how much things will cost. Thanks Rob!
Monthly Rent – Bangkok I paid 7000 Baht a month. However, up in the countryside I was paying 5000 Baht but it was a big, nice house with a big garden. (3500 – 10000 BHT depending on what you want)
Bills – Depends on how much you hit the aircon. If you don’t use it a lot then you can keep your bills very low. The most I ever paid was just over 1000 Baht and that was a frigging hot month! Landlords can charge what they like per unit so you’ll find in Bangkok you have to pay more for your bills. When you rent an apartment it’s always good to negotiate this (500-2000 BHT)
Transport – In Bangkok I used to spend 65 baht a day which covered a motorbike taxi to and from school every day. I could’ve walked it but I’d have been tired and sweaty when I got to school which was about a mile and a half away. When I moved out of Bangkok I rented a motorbike for a 550 BHT a month, it was a bit temperamental though. A good one you could rent for about 1000 baht a month. This is based on me driving everywhere – if you like walking you could spend almost nothing on transport.
Travel – Varies wildly from place to place. If you go out of tourist spots you’re talking nice hotels for anything between 800-1600 baht per night or not so nice ones for about 270 baht p/n. Obviously if you go to tourist spots you’re talking nice hotels at Western prices but for backpackers you’ve always got the budget hostels, huts, etc. Again, for these you’re looking at anything between 550-2000 baht per night depending on location, quality etc… As for getting around the country, you’re best off renting a car but buses cost very little. You can get a ‘first class’ bus from almost any point in the country to another for anything between 380-1000 baht. Local services cost next to nothing. If you want to splash out you can get taxis for miles and miles. We spent 4342 baht in total for a journey totalling about 180 miles. Taxis are so cheap you won’t believe it.
Alcohol/Food/Essentials – You can get good meals for 27-65 baht outside of tourist spots. All freshly cooked, good ingredients etc… If you eat like a local you’ll spend absolutely nothing and it will always be good, hot, fresh etc… If you start eating like you would at home you’ll be bankrupt. Western food is expensive but KFC does deliver… It’s a poisoned chalice. Again with drink, if you drink like a local you’ll save a tonne. By that I mean buy a full bottle of whisky and mixers in a bar, even if you go to some of the top clubs in Bangkok you’ll only spends about 20 quid.
VISAs – Can vary massively. Always good to research this yourself as people take different VISA routes.
Insurance/Flights etc… – All this can be bought overseas for a little bit cheaper but generally my advice is to get all of that sorted when you’re at home. I had to book a flight home off my Thai account and it was nightmare. If I’d sorted that stuff at home it would have been a lot simpler and it wouldn’t have cost me a penny.
Toiletries – Just, a bit cheaper than they are at home. Stuff like shower gel and aerosols aren’t much cheaper than at home as they’re pretty new. I just used a bar of soap because I’m a cheap skate. I probably spent 542 baht a month on stuff like this but again, I’m pretty disgusting!
Clothes – Fakes are amazing, 1000 baht for a genuine fake mulberry… Rolexes, Ralphs and even electronics can be picked up for very little. They look pretty good too at times. The ‘beats’ headphones they have out there are as good as the real ones…
So, we hope Rob has given you real insight into the cost of living in Thailand. If you have any questions request a free call back from him at: http://www.onlinetefl.com/contact-tefl-team/tefl-consultation.html