Readers' Submissions

Cambodia or Thailand- Which is “Better”

  • Written by Anonymous
  • May 4th, 2007
  • 5 min read


China Hotel Guide
• Sheraton Shenzhen Futian Hotel
• 999 Royal Suite & Towers Hotel
• Century Plaza Hotel Shenzhen
• Days Inn Shenzhen

Considering that Stick actually designed his website as a method to give us valuable knowledge about living in Thailand, I thought I might offer some of the knowledge I have gained from living in both Thailand and Cambodia. Without intimate knowledge of Asia we may find ourselves running around like the proverbial chicken with his head cut off. Actually, I have been known to cluck while flapping my wings simultaneously pecking my beak in a very awkward manner on an occasional Friday night despite my intimate knowledge of Asia…so perhaps the knowledge I do have has allowed my head to be saved from the chopping block that it was so apparently destined for.

Well, since these are subjective valuations because each of us is a bit different in our tastes, I will offer a brief article contrasting the two places. Since things change here rapidly I will try to keep this article reflecting the current situations in both places. I will try to keep things in the order of importance I would expect the average person would need to adhere to, (the average person in this case meaning someone that is not filthy rich).

1) First and foremost

Work (where the hell can I get some money)

This is exceptionally relevant because in South East Asia change is constant. While there are variations and exceptions to the following information-such as teaching private classes, getting jobs through patronage networks, teaching at schools that have no need to follow the rules etc., I offer the following as a basic guideline:

* Additionally, every school is different, every administration is different…hell every day is different. Sometimes I actually wake up in hell instead of the usual location of which Hell is clearly visible but I am not actually in it.

a) The short version, for people wishing to teach:

Requirements:

Thailand:

Generally: Bachelors, TEFL, clean appearance, white face, ability to keep students entertained.

Worst case scenario: same as above, plus: native speaker of English, resident of either the US, UK, Australia etc., possession of business visa before getting the job, criminal background check, less than 50 years old, and sometimes… Female preferred, because it is common knowledge that men are sexual deviants and women are not.

Cambodia:

Generally: Must show up for work, any face will do, if you speak some English you are a native speaker. Ability to somehow convey course materials to students.

Worst case scenario: You will have to take ten minutes of your time to write a completely fictional resume (inks not dry yet). This might actually be ethical in the sense that you may be describing a former life you had. Perhaps you were Albert Einstein that time. Add enough former lives to the resume and it should be quite good.

Show me the money

(how much will I get paid for my efforts?)

Thailand:

The short version:

Generally between 16K and 80 K baht per month

The slightly longer version: because… no money no eat

Thailand:

Entry level: probably about 30K baht a month for at least 20 contact hours a week. This may actually work in your favor, because as the baht continues to grow in strength your salary may actually allow you to enjoy the luxuries of life like food. Of course the prices of things will rise as well so…

I will use the following two friends of mine to offer insight into the non standardization of everything in Thailand.

Trent:

He has a Bachelors in business from Cambridge, a CELTA, 7 years teaching experience in Thailand, a teachers license, a work permit, doesn’t drink & doesn’t smoke. Never purchased female company of any sort, he is married, he is one of the most dedicated and professional teachers I have ever met, he dresses impeccably and speaks eloquently, he is very easy to get along with, he never misses a day of work.

His workload is 23 contact hours a week, plus he must write his own course materials, and stay on campus from 7:30 till 4:30 Monday to Friday.

He makes 33 K baht a month

Basil Hambone

I like Basil (not his real name) he is loads of fun. Jolly, and a bit like Santa Claus on Librium, this is his story:

He also has a BA from a University in England and an ordinary TEFL, his clothes look like he slept in them and the last time I walked into his class was on the day of Loi Kratong and he was asking his adult students (age 18-45) “when did they lost their virginity”.

His advice to me was, “keep the students entertained and then when you have an opportunity, try to get them to learn. That’s the system here, if you stick to the curriculum and course materials, the students won’t like you and you will be let go”.

In all fairness, despite Basil’s slovenly appearance and impromptu repertoire, he is a very very effective and competent teacher. His students actually learn because they are having fun. They are Thai.

Khon Thai mai mi sanuk…mai ao.

His workload is about 20 contact hours a week and his salary is over 60 K per month.

Cambodia

The short version:

About 10 US dollars an hour

The long version:

15 US dollars an hour if you teach classes as University, and you may need a real degree for this option.

______________________________________________________

Gee, what about the cost of living?

Since that has been done in regards to Thailand by Stick and Ajarn Philip (who looks completely different than he did when his name was Ian – he even seems to have more hair! How he got taller I will never know?!?

Amazing what a name change can do, perhaps I will change mine. It probably won’t help.

Cambodia:

Renting a flat:

The short version:

About 30%-50% cheaper than Bangkok

The long version:

Much newer, cleaner and more solidly constructed shop houses, but nothing in the posh high-rise category you find in BKK. Usually minimum 3 months deposit to move in. Think about 150-200 US for a nice/new two story shop house with vaulted ceilings, 2 bathrooms, full kitchen, usually fully furnished. 60 channels of Cable TV at 8 US a month.

Look man: This is part of a six part series, with each series having U guessing which is the better place for U.

Each article will seem to make one country seem perhaps more favorable. That’s was their design.

On the last installment you will be able to decide.

Stickman's thoughts:

As many people look at heading over to Cambodia, this series is going to be popular.