6 Ways to Experience Thailand Like a Local

Thailand is home to many expatriates (people who live in a country outside of their own) who have come to work. The country is a great place to get a teaching job, as the Thai schools will assist you until you get relocated and settled. No matter what may bring you to Thailand, the best way to experience this amazing country is to see it through the eyes of a local.

Here are six simple ways you can do that:

Eat Like a Local

Thai cuisine is globally renowned, so we suggest you eat what the locals love. You can start with the tom yum gung, which is described by CNN Travel as a masterpiece. It is made of mushroom, shrimp, tomatoes, lemongrass, galangal and kaffir lime leaves. It is flavorful, and you can get the best at Tom Yum Goong Banglamphu.

But to truly eat like a local, you must venture out of Bangkok. Thailand’s northern region serves some of the most delectable som tam, or spicy papaya salad. The Taling Chang food market just outside Bangkok, meanwhile, has some of the best Pad Thai and prawn dishes in the country. Here you’ll be eating authentic Thai food with the locals themselves.

Remember, if you’re unsure about eating at a certain restaurant or street cart, judge it by how many locals are there. If there’s a line of locals, it’s probably a safe and delicious choice!

Get Soaked during Songkran

Thailand is a country of festivals, and taking part in a couple of them is a great way to experience the country. But if you can only enjoy one let it be Songkran. This Buddhist celebration welcomes the Thai New Year and is observed throughout Thailand, usually in the month of April. Here the locals douse one another with water by having massive water fights. This is because water symbolizes a clean start. Needless to say you must take part in these water fights, and get soaking wet — just like a local would (but you can’t really avoid it even if you try!).

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Catch Some Muay Thai Action

An excerpt from Thailand Thailand: Traits and Treasures describes Muay Thai as the “most favorite martial arts of the Thai,” and being “in existence for almost as long as the Thai themselves.” The sport itself is rich in history, dating back to the Ayutthaya Period.

Catching some live Muay Thai action, therefore, is like watching years of Thai history and culture unfold in front of you. Most high-level Muay Thai matches are held at the Rajadamnern Stadium and Lumpinee Stadium. As you watch we suggest you soak in everything. That includes the Wai Kru, a ritualistic dance that marks the beginning of every fight. It is a big part of the Muay Thai experience, and is both exciting and enlightening.

If you really want to feel like a local you could also make some wagers on a fight. The overall experience is heightened by Thai bookmakers who offer prizes on the outcomes of the contests. If you are unsure who to follow, this is a good way to mingle with the locals and get some insider knowledge. Watching elite level martial arts, betting on fights, and having an enjoyable time is a very common thing to do on fight nights, but you should keep in mind that gambling is technically illegal in Thailand so take precautions!

Visit the Temples

experience thailand like a local

Thais are known for their spirituality. You can experience this by visiting Thailand’s temples, notably the historic golden temple of Wat Phra. It has for years been one of Thailand’s most spiritually significant venues. That’s because according to legend it was specifically built to house a bone from Buddha himself. You ought to visit Wat Pho, too, as it is the largest and oldest temple in Bangkok. You can even get a soothing massage here, as it is home to traditional Thai massage schools.

Explore Thonburi in a Hang Yao

The hang yao is Thailand’s version of Italy’s famed gondolas. It is a popular mode of transportation among the locals of Thonburi. Here they have hang yaos for rent, along with an expert navigator. While cruising the waters of Thonburi we suggest you start a conversation with the local manning the boat. It’s a great way to learn about Thai life and culture.

Watch Local Performers

experience thailand like a local

Thailand has its own version of Broadway in the Siam Niramit. This state-of-the-art theater in Bangkok hosts various stage productions, many of which feature local artists. Then there’s the Calypso Cabaret in Asiatique. Here you can watch top performers put on a burlesque show while you have dinner. Watching such shows, whether at Siam Niramit or the Calypso Cabaret, is an excellent way to experience the popular pastimes the locals love.

We hope this list will help you see Thailand in a different way. Living like a local will open up new doors and experiences, and give you a greater appreciation of Thailand.



An Insider’s Guide to Teaching English in Thailand for Beginners

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The hardest part about teaching English in Thailand is leaving.

Trust me, I know.

Over six years ago, when I was first diving into the Google-sphere in search of information about teaching English abroad, I was so overwhelmed. Where do I start? How do I choose a country/program/training course? What if I’m scared to commit to a full year? Continue reading

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Is it possible to teach English abroad without a degree? The short answer is YES, you can!

The long answer sometimes includes stipulations like lower salaries, and even extra up-front cost, but there is ample opportunity (and plenty of money to be made) for teaching English without a degree.

The hard truth is that earning a TEFL certification will greatly increase your chances of finding work (in some cases, it’s your only chance). But just because you don’t have a bachelor’s doesn’t mean your work isn’t valued!

While many of the following locations may prefer a bachelor’s degree, it’s up to you to put your best foot forward in the application process and to show that a degree isn’t everything.  Continue reading

Best Places to Teach English Abroad in 2019

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Each year, we like to compile our list of the best places to teach English abroad and this year is no different…though our list is.

If teaching English abroad has recently crossed your radar as a likely opportunity, then you’re probably already asking yourself the hardest question of all — where? Will you head to Latin America? Asia? The Middle East or maybe Europe?

No matter which corner of the world interests you most, each has an experience of a lifetime awaiting you. As the demand for Native English speakers continues to climb, more countries are entering the scene and each year different countries make our list for the best places to teach English abroad.

We know that choosing a country is often the hardest part of teaching English abroad, so we hope this list will help you narrow it down. To compare 60 countries around the world, download our Country Comparison Chart here. 

So, without further adieu, we introduce the top places to teach abroad in 2019:
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Is Teaching English in Thailand Right for You?  

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Full-time travel is something many only dream of doing but are often too scared to for so many reasons.

Two years ago, I decided that’s what I wanted to do — and so I did. I moved to Thailand to become an English teacher! Since then I’ve been using Thailand as a home base for traveling around Southeast Asia.

Although teaching was a way for me to be abroad and still make an income, I quickly fell in love with the job (and everything that comes along with it) and decided to stay longer than the six months I originally intended.   Continue reading

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Exactly one year ago this month, I boarded a plane to become an English teacher in Thailand.

Originally, it was supposed to be a six-month experience,. A year later and counting, it’s become my life.

Six months prior to boarding that plane, I was graduating university and becoming a teacher had never even crossed my mind, nor was it ever something I really wanted to do.

But with graduation ahead of me, and the pressure to find a full time job and begin my career like everyone else around me, I knew I needed something different. I knew I wanted to travel.

So one of my best friends and I decided we should go teach English abroad. Continue reading

10 Reasons to Take Your TEFL Certification Course in Thailand  

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Moving overseas to teach English abroad is something that most people often dream about — and taking a TEFL certification course is an easy way to get you started.

But with so many options available — like getting certified online, or at home, or in your country of choice abroad, it’s hard to narrow down your decision. I’ve been teaching English in Thailand for the past year, and I love it! But narrowing that down wasn’t easy. 

Deciding you want to move overseas to become a teacher is hard enough already; now just imagine deciding WHERE you should go. The world’s a big place, and picking a destination can be very overwhelming.

Which is why I’m here to tell you that teaching English in Thailand should be at the top of your radar, and it starts with taking a TEFL certification course in Thailand! Here’s why…   Continue reading

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Teaching English abroad is without a doubt one of the best decisions I’ve ever made for myself.

I remember staying up late, getting lost in the Google-sphere of options for various programs around the world, and going to sleep giddy with excitement. But how to choose one?

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I like to set challenges for myself.  Most of my challenges have always been based around health and fitness. It just goes to show that it is something that I have always struggled with. After University, I spent two years backpacking through Australia, New Zealand and South East Asia. Although I loved every second of it and would not change my experience for the world – I completely lost any sense of being healthy along the way. That is, until I moved to Thailand to teach English abroad. Continue reading

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On the daily, people at various stages in their lives inquire about short-term teaching English abroad programs, and most are surprised to find they actually exist.

The beauty of the teach abroad industry is that there really is a country and a program for everybody, whether you’re a high school graduate, college student or recent graduate, working professional or retiree. Continue reading