So if you fancy teaching English over in Thailand, or if you’re just heading over there for a bit of travelling. Here are our top three picks for things to do in the first of those three areas – Chiang Mai and the North. There’s one touristy place, one slightly intrepid place, and one place where you’ll probably need a little help from Ray Mears!
Chiang Mai and the North
There are loads of TEFL jobs in Chiang Mai. Just take a look on any internet TEFL jobs board, or just ask around when you get there. The far north of the country attracts the more intrepid traveler to Thailand. You can go trekking up near the Golden Triangle, cross the border into Northern Laos or just kick back in Chiang Mai – a city so beloved by Thai’s that wherever you go in the country, the first thing many locals will ask you is… ‘Have you been to Chiang Mai yet?’
If there’s one thing that Chiang Mai is famed for other than it’s plethora of stunning temples, it’s the Night Market. Whether you’re spending some time teaching in Chiang Mai, or you’re just passing through, you will end up at the night market at some point. It’s packed with stalls selling everything from po piah and pad thai to Chinese silks, Hill Tribe crafts and the ubiquitous dodgy DVDs. Just remember that all the bartering, badgering and bargaining is part of the fun!
Akha Hill village
This is a great choice if you want to get away from the (relative) hustle and bustle of teaching in Chiang Mai for a weekend of relaxation. The Akha are one of Thailand’s hill tribes and the laid back Akha Hill village has a few huts available for rent scattered around the hillside. It’s not luxurious, but the stunning views, jungle walks and general feeling of calm relaxation are well worth the bumpy journey in the back of a pick-up truck from Chiang Rai. Just Google Akha Hill Village and you’ll find it.
Despite the fact that Aung San Suu Kyi has been released from house-arrest and you’re unlikely to get shot for venturing across the border these days, there’s something distinctly adventurous about trekking along the Thai-Burmese border. You can book some great treks from the travel agencies in Chiang Mai, but if you’re over there teaching English, you’re probably best off doing this during a week off school – a weekend trek really doesn’t do the area justice.
About The Author: Helen Hargreave is one of the TEFL Experts at i-to-i TEFL