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Thailand, Malaysia, Singapore ...rate 1-3 please

Discussion in 'Teaching abroad' started by hairdo, Apr 20, 2019.

  1. hairdo

    hairdo Occasional commenter

    Tempted by jobs in all 3 places. At the moment I would be thinking
    1) Singapore
    3) Malaysia

    Any thoughts? How would you rate them and why?
  2. lucyrose50

    lucyrose50 Occasional commenter

    We had the same order of priority when applying for jobs, but the first offer I got was in Kuala Lumpur and we decided to go for it. Best thing we ever did - it's a fantastic place to live and having spent time in both Thailand and Singapore we have no desire to move to either of them. Both great places, I'm sure we'd be happy in both if we did move, but overall we prefer KL and are very happy with our life here. Feel free to send me a private message if you'd like specific info.
    There was a thread on here recently about the pros and cons of Singapore, which I think gives a pretty fair summary of it.
    Aim4Jannah likes this.
  3. wrldtrvlr123

    wrldtrvlr123 Occasional commenter

    As previously discussed at length, ranking will vary according to what different people value and/or are looking for, if/where they have previously lived and taught overseas, etc.

    Also, Singapore is generally considered a specific location while Thailand and Malaysia are larger countries and living conditions will vary wildly by city/area of the country etc.

    That being said, having visited 2 of the 3 on your list, mine would be:
    1b- Thailand (Bangkok)
    2-Malaysia (Kuala Lumpur)
  4. SPC2

    SPC2 Occasional commenter

    Agree completely.

    FWIW, as someone who's lived and worked in two and visited the other a few times:

    1. Singapore
    2. Malaysia
    3. Thailand
  5. sid1913

    sid1913 New commenter

    Can't speak for the other places although I can't wait to leave Bangkok. The wages elsewhere in Thailand aren't worth it and Bangkok is getting more and more expensive and more congested and dirtier by the week.
  6. gulfgolf

    gulfgolf Established commenter

    KL first. Best cost of living.
    Bangkok next.
    Singapore last. Live in the other places and visit Sings. It has more stuff and flashier stuff but you’ll go broke if you try to do it all.
  7. makhnovite

    makhnovite Established commenter

    'As previously discussed at length, ranking will vary according to what different people value and/or are looking for, if/where they have previously lived and taught overseas, etc.'


    Having worked in two out of the three it would be,
    i) Thailand
    ii) Malaysia
    iii) Singapore

    But this choice has absolutely nothing to do with the money or the schools, its just a personal preference for Chang over Tiger :cool:
  8. ToK-tastic

    ToK-tastic New commenter

    I've lived and worked in both Malaysia & Thailand, and visited Singapore many times. My preferences are:
    i) Thailand
    ii) Singapore
    iii) Malaysia

    This is based on my experiences, and the aggregate benefits and downsides of each country, as I see them. Obviously as stated above, everybody will have a different take based on their values, likes, experiences, situation etc. Personally, national & local culture is absolutely key. I just like theThai approach to life, I love wandering down my soi, after a day at school, watching the world of soi-life go by: street food stalls, people enjoying time with each other passing the daily chews of soi life etc etc
    I like to feel that I live in the city. Wherever you choose it's probably best to know what you like before you go.
    TeacherMan2019 likes this.
  9. nemo.

    nemo. Occasional commenter

    Singapore used to be called Asia lite now its just a mini part of the west. KL is Asia lite now.

    Bangkok though is very dusty and dirty but so is KL these days. Singapore has the best public transport. Malaysia outside of KL is very Asian.

    Bangkok for the experience.
    Singapore for the cleanliness ( note chewing gum is illegal)
    KL for the food.

    If single..... all 3 great but KL and Singapore better imho especially as English widely spoken.

    I like all 3 myself and lived in KL and Bangkok for many years.
  10. worlo24

    worlo24 Occasional commenter

    Have visited all three and lived in Bangkok for a few years. It all depends on package. Bangkok is great but mainly focused on eating and drinking and I would personally find it tricky to live there with a family. It is also getting more and more expensive but is still a great city to live and work in. KL I didn't find too impressive although my last visit was years ago. Singapore is great but very clean cut and I would imagine you would need a very good salary to enjoy it in all it's forms. Based in great packages in all three, I would go for: BKK, Singapore and then KL. Obviously depends on school, package and whether you are going as a family, single, both working etc.
  11. hairdo

    hairdo Occasional commenter

    Any other parts of Thailand or Malaysia that are good for working/living that are not BKK or KL?
  12. migratingbird

    migratingbird Occasional commenter

    Penang is a lovely place to live. Work life depends on the school. Pay is not so great, tricky to support a family on one income.
  13. worlo24

    worlo24 Occasional commenter

    Have visited the main international school in Phuket. Lovely grounds and away from the seedy side of town I believe. Looked like a nice school with nice grounds and I have heard good things about it. Would probably be expensive accommodation though unless they provide it. Penang is a lovely island but only visited on holiday - Georgetown is great and the beaches good too.
  14. audemunday

    audemunday New commenter

  15. frogusmaximus

    frogusmaximus Occasional commenter

    As always it depends on your priorities.

    For example, Jakarta in Indonesia is a **** hole yet I know many who have worked their quite happily. If you like order and options, Singapore is a great place to live really. Great public transport, great eats out and a great base to travel to other places. I will say that I find the people very cold though and lacking personality; money is king. Probably the worst option for saving money though. Kuala Lumpur is a scaled down version of Singapore. Good options and good transport but much cheaper. Have been to Thailand for vacation but don't know as much about it; more of a third world feel like Indonesia and Vietnam and you have to be more willing to adapt than expect to replicate your UK life.
  16. TeacherMan2019

    TeacherMan2019 New commenter

    Complete international rookie here. How would Taiwan and Hong Kong stack up vs these options? I know that HK is substantially more expensive than even Singapore right?
  17. ToK-tastic

    ToK-tastic New commenter

    I can compare HK, KL and Bangkok:
    HK is great if you like cities, it's got great public transport, it's compact, and there's lots going on. You also have a great choice of different types of schools. One of the hidden gems of HK is the ease by which you can access wonderful hiking up in the hills, HK is a very green place, you can walk from the urban sprawl into the hills in a few minutes from most downtown city areas. Accommodation is expensive, but if you don't have kids you'll be able to live centrally. Your apartment will be small, but imo this is not the place to go if you want to sit in your apartment all day. Most schools pay well, you should get a wage which will easily cover the cost of a 1 bedroom in a central location. I really liked the Cantonese HK culture, it's straightforward, honest and productive - a great culture to work in.

    I found KL to be a very suburban city, I found it difficult to walk around, I found that I was constantly getting in the car to go from one area to another. There seemed to be a lack of streetlife, with most activities centred around shopping centres. I just found it boring. On the plus side accomodation is fairly cheap, we had an amazing apartment in Bangsar (a central upmarket area) , a teachers wage allows you to live in large luxury in KL. I guess if you have kids, and you like shopping centres, then KL is probably a great option.

    Bangkok is by far the most vibrant of the 3 cities, the colourful life of Bangkok is energizing (indeed it can often be a little overwhelming !). There's heaps to do and see, we're never short of things to do and see (unlike KL). If hanging out at shopping is your thing then you can also do this in BKK, but there's so much more to see outside of the shopping centres ! The city is getting easier to navigate as the Skytrain and subway expand. There's the full range of accommodation options available, and it's far cheaper than HK. On a teachers wage you can afford a flashy downtown apartment in a central area (e.g. Phrom Phong or Silom), or a much larger apartment just a few BTS/MRT stops further away. IT wages vary immensely depending on the school: the big name schools will pay 150-200k THB/month, whilst the lowest paying schools will pay 50k thb/month, with lots of choice in between this range.
    I can't really comment on Taiwan nor Singapore having never lived and worked in either.
    TeacherMan2019 and frogusmaximus like this.
  18. worlo24

    worlo24 Occasional commenter

    Bangkok is getting more and more expensive - we noticed a huge difference in just two years, particularly for western comforts and groceries. I didn't personally think there was lots to do in BKK, although I did enjoy my time there. Mostly centered around eating out and drinking so might be difficult with a family for things to do in the city. Amazing for weekends away though on the coast and the local population are incredibly friendly. Been to both Singapore and HK and found Singapore to be more expensive in terms of food and drink and shopping but cannot comment on accommodation etc. I would choose HK over Singapore, although I would work in Singapore too. One of my friends worked in Taiwan and loved it - received a good package and said the island was great for hiking, walking, nature etc outside Taipei.
    TeacherMan2019 likes this.
  19. krakowiak6

    krakowiak6 Occasional commenter

    Which schools pay 200k a month???? I highly doubt this.
    worlo24 likes this.
  20. TeacherMan2019

    TeacherMan2019 New commenter

    Thanks @ToK-tastic appreciated that. If you could send me a PM, that'd be excellent.

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