6 weekend destinations for TEFL teachers in Thailand
TEFL teachers in Thailand are rarely stuck for choice when it comes to things to do and place to visit on the weekend. No matter if you’re based on the sandy stretches and palm-fringed islands of the Thai Gulf, between the sun-scorched mountains that rise to meet Myanmar in the north, or even amidst the throbbing city streets of Bangkok, you can rest assured there’s always something new and interesting to see in the Land of Smiles. What’s more, with all-new budget air connections now crisscrossing the skies of Southeast Asia thanks to bargain carriers like AirAsia, there’s even plenty of scope for leaving Thailand behind for those long and lazy weekends in the sun.
Just check out this uber-eclectic menu of six worthy destinations on offer to TEFL teachers in Thailand…
Mystery and history ooze from every pore and crack and crevice of the onetime grand capital of the Sukhothai Kingdom. Moss-spattered, lichen-spotted Buddha effigies tower high above crumbling peristyles; the looming silhouettes of chipped and chiselled stupas dominate, and countless wats (temples) represent some of the most revered examples of the Khmer and Thai artistic traditions. Take the tops of Wat Sa Si, its needle-like pagoda topping above Traphang-Trakuan Lake, or Wat Si Sawai: a testimony to the deep Hindu roots of the nation. Sukhothai is perfect for exploring by bike or tuk-tuk, and boasts an accessible locale midway between Bangkok and Chiang Mai – two of the hotspots for TEFL teachers in Thailand.
Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia
With the likes of Krabi, Phuket, Bangkok and Chiang Mai all served by regular budget air connections into Kuala Lumpur, it’s easy to see how the Malay capital is considered one truly fine spot to go and explore on those weekends off from the classroom. Spiked in the center by the unforgettable dual spires of the Petronas Towers, this global metropolis is a multicultural hodgepodge of Chinatowns and Little Indias, all concocting everything from world-class dim sum to Gujarati thali platters. There’s also a throbbing nightlife scene in the sky bars of Bukit Bintang (as if you didn’t get enough of that in Bangkok!), enthralling Hindu caves at Batu, mosques, museums and temples aplenty!
Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam
Although erstwhile Saigon might just be a short 1.5-hour hop across the Indochina Peninsula from Thailand, the colossal metropolis – the largest in all of Vietnam – is a world apart from the Land of Smiles. Laced with interesting little Francophone touches (not least of all that curious replica of Notre-Dame Cathedral!), the downtown here is a maze of alleys and side streets, pulsing with the smells of pho soup and the occasional baguette stall. Visitors can also trace the sobering and still visceral history of the Vietnam War, in the Cu Chi Tunnels and the War Remnants Museum. HCMC is now easier than ever to reach for TEFL teachers in Thailand too, with budget flier AirAsia offering accessible connecting routes from all of Krabi, Bangkok, Phuket, Surat Thani and Chiang Mai!
Encircled by soaring walls of rock in the very heart of the Andaman Coast, the laid-back little beach enclave of Railay offers the perfect escape from the rigmarole of Thai life, not to mention a fine alternative to the manicured and much-trodden touristic sands of the gulf. A favourite with rock climbers (thanks to those gravity-defying cliff faces) and left charmingly alone thanks to its place behind the karst mountains of the coast, this one promises to be a chilled weekend away from the classroom. Expect nights spent flitting between Rasta bars in the forest and days sunbathing on the empty sands!
Ah, Pai – the land of smiles within the Land of Smiles. Set to a backing track of Rasta reggae and off-beat steel drums, the occasional Ayurvedic chanting of that local hippie ex-pat everyone knows, and the unceasing chatter of friendly backpackers and travelers, this town of the north is a real favourite on the classic Banana Pancake circuit. It’s surrounded by the dusty hills and canyons of Mae Hong Son, and comes complete with oodles of Parisian-esque coffee bars and smoothie joints, a great municipal pool (you know, the spot everyone gathers to cure the hangovers from the night before), and countless art galleries and evening craft markets. Oh, and it’s just two hours by bus from TEFL teacher favorite, Chiang Mai.
A perfect choice for those TEFL teachers in Thailand who don’t mind traveling just a little longer to their destination after finishing for the weekend, Bali is now connected to on regular four-hour budget flights from Bangkok. There’s no question that the extra time spent in the air will be worth it mind you! Think: steamy jungles loaded with vine-dressed Hindu treasures in Ubud; rolling surf to rival anywhere on the planet around Kuta and the Bukit Peninsula; soaring volcanoes just waiting to be climbed; aromatic warung eateries touting everything from gado gado to peanut satay – the list goes on!
Are you interested in joining those TEFL teachers in Thailand? Fancy exploring these top weekend destinations yourself? Then be sure to check out our offering of online courses and internships, which could get you on the ground in no time!