Living on a Teacher’s Salary in Thailand: 20 Things You Can Do for Under $10
By Julia P.
Before leaving for Thailand to teach English, one of the biggest questions I had was what my quality of life would be like living on a teacher’s salary. My monthly salary was 28,000 Thai Baht (about USD $860), which wouldn’t get you much in the U.S.
However, the teacher’s salary is generous, my school covered rent, and Thailand is unbelievably cheap! I was thrilled to learn upon settling in that it’s possible to not only pay for necessities (food, laundry, etc.) on a teacher’s salary, it’s also possible to travel, save, treat yourself to the occasional shopping spree or fancy meal, and take advantage of all the amazing cultural experiences that your area will doubtless have to offer.
I quickly learned the best places in town to spend my bulging pocket of Baht. Here is a list of 20 things under $10 to do in and around the city where I lived, Chiang Rai:
Go to the Balloon Festival in Singha ParkImage courtesy of Julia Pike
Sip some fresh green tea at Choui Fong tea PlantationImage courtesy of Julia Pike
Take a pottery class with a local master at I’m So Clay Pottery StudioImage courtesy of Julia Pike
Get an intricate gel manicure at Flamingo SalonImage courtesy of Julia Pike
Buy a refreshing peach iced tea with cream cheese whipped cream at Fluffy Cheese TeaImage courtesy of Julia Pike
Visit the Buddha in a Cave TempleImage courtesy of Julia Pike
Purchase a used book from Orn’s Bookshop (and enjoy it alongside a bowl of delicious beef noodle soup!)Image courtesy of Julia Pike
Spend a night dancing to live Thai music at Tawan Dang ClubImage courtesy of Julia Pike
Catch a 100-baht movie on Wednesdays at City Plaza in Chiang RaiImage courtesy of Julia Pike
Spend a day at beautiful Mae Sai WaterfallImage courtesy of Julia Pike
Take a ride on a manually operated ferris wheel in PaiImage courtesy of Julia Pike
Visit Chiang Rai’s famous Blue TempleImage courtesy of Julia Pike
Take a 90-minute Muay Thai (kickboxing) class at Pound Boxing GymImage courtesy of Julia Pike
Spend a day by the pool of the Pimann InnImage courtesy of Julia Pike
Rent a bicycle and spend the day biking around Singha ParkImage courtesy of Julia Pike
Enjoy an organic, all-natural smoothie bowl at Full Moon Wellness CaféImage courtesy of Julia Pike
Taste the best latté in town at Baker BoyImage courtesy of Julia Pike
Play the bells and take in the view at Doi Tung TempleImage courtesy of Julia Pike
Watch the Clock Tower lights show every hour on the hourImage courtesy of Julia Pike
Taste Thailand’s classic Chang beer while taking in the sunset at Chivit Thamma DaImage courtesy of Julia Pike
Visitors to foreign countries may be distracted by expensive tours or fancy gifts. However, veteran travelers know that the most rewarding experiences are little, intimate connections with local culture. And these connections are often cheap or free. Of course, there are never just twenty things to do in any city; who knows what experiences I’ll uncover next in Chiang Rai!
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