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  1. #1
    Thailand Expat
    Simon43's Avatar
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    Teach in Laos or in Phuket?

    Decisions, decisions....

    I've been teaching in Myanmar since early 2012 and generally enjoy working at my school in Yangon. The salary is good (ish), the kids are great, but there's just something inside me that says 'I don't really like Yangon'.

    I'm not sure if it's the constant retching and spitting by every man, woman and dog. Maybe I'm too used to the laid-back Thai way of life. Myanmar people tend to push, shove and shout.

    Actually, it's probably that I'm pissed off with being unable to enjoy my hobby (amateur radio). Despite trying for more than 8 months to get a radio licence, I've got nowhere - zilch - and the recent telecoms minister who issues the licences is now under house arrest for corruption.

    So I've been considering pastures new, and this is what I've come up with.

    1 - Teach in Phuket at a tier 2 international school. Salary is 60,000 baht before tax/work permit etc.

    Now Phuket is my 'home' since 2002, and where my wife and ex-wife live, and where they have their small but successful hotel businesses that I provided them with.

    The main issue is that my wife insists that I rent somewhere to live away from her (don't even think to ask why - see other threads), and my dear ex-wife is a little loopy.

    I'd be fine in Phuket, but would I really enjoy it now after the big influx of Ruskie tourists?

    2 - Teach in Laos at a tier 2 international school, probably in Luang Prabang, where said school is opening a new site.

    Now I have to say that I really love Laos, and especially the area around LP. (Actually, most areas outside of Vientiane are my kind of place). Since both my 'wives' are Issan-Lao, I already understand spoken Lao and my reading/writing ability is only one level below my good Thai. I've travelled throughout the country and love it!

    But the net salary on offer is only 33,000 baht

    I could no doubt, earn more in overtime/private tuition.

    Either decision would not have to be a permanent move. I could always do a year or two and then move on if my circumstances change.

    So what would you do?

    I'm not into the bar scene etc, so laid-back Laos suits me. Despite the low salary, I'm sorely tempted to opt for Laos, especially because I'm doing the PGCEi from Nottingham University later this year, and would appreciate some quiet study time away from my wives and hangers-on.

    Confused of Yangon
    Groping women when you're old is fine - everyone thinks you're senile

  2. #2
    Member cheekyman's Avatar
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    Phuket seems your best bet - keep an eye on the businesses, earn more cash, more chance of meeting a lady if no 3 goes south

    Good luck

  3. #3
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    I was going to say Laos. Mainly because it would be a nice change and it's easy to get back to Phuket if you need to. I've lived in Phuket and I go there every year, and I know that even if you earn more money there, there are many more ways to spend it too.

    Also Phuket is stressful to live in now, with the traffic, crowding and people aren't friendly there. With the sheer number of Russians there too, you can really see and feel the tension between them and the Thais and it often feels like something is going to happen.

    I've never lived in Laos, nor even been there, but from what I've heard, it would be a nice change from both Thailand and Burma, from what you've mentioned.

    The money looks lower, but again, it's far cheaper to live there than in Phuket. You've said that you can pick up private work easily too, to suppliment your income.

    AND, since you speak the language, you can easily meet a nice Laos woman if you so desire.

  4. #4
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    Take 30% from each of YOUR hotel businesses and teach in Laos. Sorted.

  5. #5
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    Best reply MtD

    I'm quite surprised how low the Laos salary is - really just a TEFLer's salary. I know (from living in Laos some years ago), that it's not really that cheap a place anymore.

    Even in poverty-stricken Myanmar I get about 60,000 baht net plus a free apartment.......

    I would definitely like to spend a year or two teaching in Laos. That's my heart talking. But if I ask my head (that's my big head, cos the little head ain't got no say in the matter, especially in Laos), then I have to say 'no way'.

    A salary of 50,000 baht might just do it, but that isn't on offer...

  6. #6
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    How much do you need the money? If you only need the income to support yourself, and have other money behind you, follow your heart. Otherwise, follow your head.

  7. #7
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    60,000 always sounds better to me than 30,000 and you should be able to control the spending. Just don't let either of you wives near your bank account and ignore the sob stories.

    Phuket must have some people who are into radio and there may even be a club you can join to fulfill your hobby desire. Also, a lot more English speaking people and maybe you can live in an area where the Russkys do not dominate.

    Good luck with either decision.

  8. #8
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    Sabang, I need more than 33,000 baht a month I have to finance my PGCEi course later this year and 33k will not cut it. Guess I will have to pass on Laos until I'm rich and can affords to work for a low salary.

    Rick - all my radio gear is already in Phuket, so no issues there. I like Phuket very much, but was hoping for a change of scene. Myanmar is OK, but I do not appreciate locals gobbing betalnut juice on my feet all the time

  9. #9
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    Go further a field and teach in North Asia. Earn more cash and pastures new, abound

  10. #10
    ding ding ding
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    Why not just build a hotel for yourself, should only take you a few weeks seeing how you're an expert at it already.

    You won't need to teach then.

  11. #11
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    LP sounds ok.
    It's a bit boring but you're there to work.
    Has an airport, it's cooler, nice golf course, food sort of ok, and I got 2 free shags there in 4 days... not too bad.

  12. #12
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    Why teach at all? U got 2 hotels and 2 wifes working them and 2 incomes from both. Go to Lao and then you can understand what Issan is truly all about.

    Reality is that another depressed state, Lao would just about put you on the Sainthood list by the new Pope. forget the money, as Sabang says, do it for love.

  13. #13
    My kind of town
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    Go to Laos and send for me too!

    Phuket blows......

  14. #14
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    Laos is not new to me. I spent about 6 months living in Vientiane, and then another month motorbiking around the country (checking on potential hotel build sites promoted by EcoTourismLaos). So I know what to expect.

    But 33,000 baht really does sound a shitty salary....

    Itnt - I do not take any income from the 2 hotels for good business reasons. The 'wives' use the profit to build extra rooms and facilities, so as to increase the profit in the future. Right now, my ex has built a restaurant, a new family room, air-coned 2 fan rooms and is just starting to build 3 more rooms. Whenever she has a good week of business, she drops some money into my bank account without me asking.

    So she's doing the right thing...

    As for my dear wife .. er .. as another thread details, she ain't built nowt!!
    Last edited by Simon43; 26-03-2013 at 06:47 PM.

  15. #15
    euston has flown

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    By the sound of it the question you need to get the answer too is can you get a ham licence in both thailand and laos

  16. #16
    Thailand Expat
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    By the sound of it the question you need to get the answer too is can you get a ham licence in both thailand and laos
    Yes! I've held a ham licence in Thailand since 2003, and all my ham gear is in Phuket at my hotel. Laos is also OK for a licence.

    Myanmar and North Korea are the only 2 countries in the world where ham radio is banned - I specifically moved to Myanmar to try to convince the authorities to give me a ham licence, but to no avail.

    If I try to 'push' them any harder on this issue, they'll probably kick me out the country

    A quick reply to Rocksteady. Unfortunately, northern, colder climates are not a possibility. I have Aspergillosis (fungal spores in the lungs), and cold climates only exacerbate that illness. Normally I never have a problem in places like Thailand, but Korea, China would be a no-no.

  17. #17
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    Marmite the Dog's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Simon43
    all my ham gear is in Phuket at my hotel.
    Whose hotel?

  18. #18
    Member cheekyman's Avatar
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    ^
    Mine - in the new hotel he is building for me

  19. #19
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    Eliminator's Avatar
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    Still trying to figure out how you can have 2 hotels and not have enough money to do what you want to do education wise or for anything else. Seems you need to sell out and start a new BIZ.

  20. #20
    Thailand Expat Dillinger's Avatar
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    So what's the long term plan with the ex wives and hotels.?

    You don't wanna be living on the same island as the ex wives after you've staked your claim to their livelihoods

  21. #21
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    Simon you're not Mormon are you? Perhaps you can marry 5 more?

  22. #22
    Thailand Expat
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    Still trying to figure out how you can have 2 hotels and not have enough money to do what you want to do education wise or for anything else.
    I just answered that question. These are small hotels, not the Hilton.

    Both hotels make a net monthly profit of between $2,000 - $3,000. To build a new room - fully furnished etc, is about $10,000. So that is where the current profit is (should be) going. More rooms ==> greater profit in the future. Both hotels are full every night of the year.

    Note that one is my ex and one is my current, legal wife. It's the ex who is using the profits wisely, building new guest rooms, sharing the profits with me and generally being OK about everything. My wife is not being so good. Her hotel documents are all in my name only, but since we're married, she legally owns 50%.

    Back to the original question, It's no problem to live in Phuket. I've applied to Kaj. School to teach on their international program (60k+ salary), and I'm in discussion with them. BIS will not take me because I do not have QTS - British teacher's licence. There really are not many choices for schools in Phuket...

    Simon

  23. #23
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    Simon, you've answered your own question now haven't you? Actually you did before running this post. You can't stay away from Phuket, the wife and the ex-wife pure and simple.

    You also have new options in Burma as well Laos, but as you say money is the driving, defining course of action. Why dally about, get your gear together today and catch the next lorry to Phuket!

    I passed by your places or wives places yesterday and they seem to be full occupancy. No room at the inn it seems. Had to stay at the local knock shop sadly. You may enjoy that as well...?

  24. #24
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    So Simon, whats it gonna be? Don't start a thread and then evacuate when the unanswerable is answered?

    I had a thread about folks who ask questions on these threads and then when the replies come they evacuate from the thread or call you names for giving it to them straight.

    Perhaps your feeling poorly and can't access the net at present, I;ll give you the benefit of the doubt. Hang in there Simon more quality posts left in you for sure.

    Perhaps on the wifes, namely good, bad and the fugly? Hotel Simon and his three wifearoos?

  25. #25
    I am in Jail
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    Laos is actually quite nice and booming,

    whoring there is terrible though,

    great French food and the place is quite small so you get to know everyone very quickly, at least in Vientiane

    from there as a base, you could do other things and get paid more eventually

    you can always divert the funds from the hotels to you only, maybe you should kick out the new wife since she has already a new boyfriend to take care of

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