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Live, Work & Travel in Southeast Asia


Top Sites - Originally written travel intelligence covering Southeast Asia that includes anonymously written reviews by their researchers on over 4,500 places to stay and over 500 destinations in the region. We're off to Southeast Asia again ourselves soon and I'm repeatedly turning to this site. Travelfish also hire 'under paid and over appreciated' writers living in the region.

The Safari Park Volunteer Initiative - We loved the couple of days we spent working at this Thai zoo: feeding leopards, giving back rubs to Chutney the gibbon, and taking lions and tigers for a walk. The volunter programme was set up by two backpackers who persuaded the zoo to let them help improve the conditions of the animals. Highly recommended. - An excellent guide to living and teaching in Thailand. The site includes information on jobs, TEFL courses, red tape, accommodation, schools and many other issues of relevance.

Bodega Hotels - Bodega is run by three American brothers who have expanded their operations from Phuket to Bangkok and, most recently, to Chiang Mai. There is both a party and arty vibe that includes showcasing local aspiring artists and musicians and we have seen them using their social media to offer a free stay for artists and the occasional staff member. Mostly though they want red cups to keep the beer pong going.

Teach English in Thailand



Employers, Agencies & Placement Services

Amari Hotels - Hotel chain in Thailand. Some jobs, such as Italian chefs and general managers are available to non Thai nationals.

AUA Language Center - Earn a SIT TESOL Certificate in Thailand. AUA has 18 branches throughout Thailand requiring teachers.

Bar Ice Samui - An ice bar in the tropics, they got in touch with is indicating they needed PR people to do flyers and meet and greet.

Chiang Mai Lanna Business Services - Visas and work permits are arranged for English, German, French and other European language speakers looking for call centre jobs in Thailand.

Chiang Mai Montessori - Montessori trained teachers and experienced kindergarten teachers and assistants, both Thai and non Thai, are employed.

ECC (Thailand) - The largest English language training institute in Thailand with over 50 branches throughout Thailand (both Bangkok and upcountry). Teachers should be qualified (CELTA/Trinity) and have a bachelor's degree.

Flight of the Gibbon - An adventure tourism company operating in Chiang Mai and Chonburi. Though we have seen a classified ad for sky rangers, to guide customers through the trees on a zip line, placed by them requesting Thai nationals, the sentence 'if you speak or want to learn Thai' on their employment page suggest non Thais may sometimes be hired. We have also seen them looking for sales and call centre staff.

Krama Yoga - Occasionally employ yoga teachers to teach for at least three months in Phnom Penh. As well as teaching expatriates, teachers will have an opportunity to become involved with their programmes teaching yoga to disadvantaged or vulnerable Cambodians.

St Stephen's International School - Thai school.

Thailand Experience - Native English speaking students and graduates are required to teach English in Asia as part of the Teach Thailand program. A placement fee is required but the placement comes with a realistic salary. Placements are offered in either Bangkok, Chang Mai or Hat Yai: working with children, teenagers or professionals, you may be teaching at primary or secondary schools, community or business colleges. All these places offer a different living experience and you may have the opportunity to exchange with another student after three months of your program. Programs are also now available in Vietnam and Cambodia.

Employment Resources

Advice & Useful Sites for Finding Work - An excellent guide to living and teaching in Thailand. The site includes information on jobs, TEFL courses, red tape, accommodation, schools and many other issues of relevance.

Badladz Adventure Resort - Two resorts - dive and beach - in Puerto Galera, Philippines. Long term accommodation available. The site includes a blog including information on living and starting a business in the Philippines.

City News Chiang Mai - A well established Chinag Mai travel and news website. They have a classified ads section that includes jobs and also occasionally recruit editorial staff and bloggers themselves (usually via their Facebook page).

IALF Bali - Earn a teaching qualification in an exotic local from an approved centre for the delivery of the Trinity College London Certificate in TESOL.

Island TEFL - Located on the island of Koh Samui, Thailand, Island TEFL offers a rather pleasant location to gain a TEFL qualification. They offer two separate packages: either a four week TEFL certificate course or the course plus a one month volunteer placement on Samui.

ITC - TEFL certificate courses in Bali.

John's Life in Thailand - A series of short articles about John's experiences, thoughts, and feelings of living in a foreign country.

KoHub - A tropical island coworking community on Koh Lanta, ideal for entrepreneurs, digital nomads, workations and work retreats.

Phuket - For living and working on Phuket, Thailand. Offers resident insider information on EFL employment, costs, housing, shopping, the best beaches and restaurants and more. Includes a section on teaching English and about TEFL schools in the area.

Sandbox Advisors - A career management and human resource consulting firm in Singapore that empowers people to achieve optimal levels of enjoyment and success in their careers.

The Stickman's Guide to Bangkok - Living, teaching English and naughty nightlife in Thailand jumbled up with banner ads for ladyboy services and property.

Teaching Thailand - A job board for expat teachers in Thailand. Be careful with some of the most recent (non teaching or Thailand) ads on the board as they appeared to us to be scams. There were none further down the board suggesting they are cleaned up after a few hours and an irritating consequence of offering free job postings that I’m sure the site owner is aware of.

TEFLAsia - A site devoted to the acquisition, training, and placement of skilled teachers in SE Asia.

TEFLPlus Teacher Training - TEFL Certificate Courses in Patong Beach, Phuket.

TEFLWorld - Long established private school providing fully accredited TEFL / TESOL courses and teaching job opportunities in Koh Samui, Thailand. Graduates are given guidance in securing teaching English jobs.

Text and Talk Academy - Thai school offering a recognized TEFL/TESL certificate. Teaching work is also available to TEFL course students.

United Language School - A division of United Educational Consultants offering TEFL training all year round in Bangkok, Pattaya, and Phuket. They help their students with job placement in Thailand.

Gap Year & Voluntary Work

Unpaid Positions & Adventure

Asia Internship Programme - The Asia Internship Programme connects organisations based in Asia and talented young professionals who are looking for internships, including in hospitality, marketing, business development, finance, entrepreneurship, and engineering.

At Home Sukhothai - Located in Sukhothai town, one of Thailand’s historical world heritage sites, this hostel looks for a multiskilled person to work in the garden and reception area for a period of up to two months. We stayed here in 2013 and recommend the breakfast and loafing about in the garden.

Baan Nokkkamin Foundation - I met a representative and a volunteer from this organisation during Chiang Mai’s Songkran celebrations and invited them to send over some information on what they do. They have a number of orphanages around the country, including Chiang Mai, and welcome help from volunteers with teaching English to the children at Baan Nok Kamin and also to their Thai employees. Other roles include building houses out of mud, organic farm projects and coaching sports. Volunteers pay 300 to 500 baht, depending on how long they stay, towards lodging and two meals a day.

Bansabai Hostel - Stay at a discounted rate in exchange for teaching English in and around Bangkok. Minimum stay one week. No fee to volunteer. We were told personally about this programme and one of our readers also had good things to say about volunteering here.

Care for Dogs Foundation - Travel volunteers are welcome to help out around the Care for Dogs' shelter near Chiang Mai.

Children with Hope for Development - A grass roots Cambodian NGO based in Po Village, Takeo Province. They provide a free education programme to the poor children in the village and welcome the help of volunteers to aid their efforts. Volunteers pay for their own food and accommodation but costs are reasonable.

Concert Cambodia - A not for profit social enterprise based in Siem Reap, Cambodia, providing responsible volunteering information. Potential volunteers in or heading to the city can look through their member projects or use their volunteer matching service.

Development and Education Programme for Daughters and Communities - A non profit community based NGO working in Thailand on the prevention side of the trafficking of women and children into the sex industry. There are approximately six foreign volunteers at any one time who stay for six months or more. In the past DEPDC has had volunteers who taught English, handicrafts, origami, basic computer skills, run activities for children and dealt with English correspondence.

Dog and Cat Rescue Foundation - Volunteers are welcome to help out at this Koh Samui animal shelter, whether it is for an hour or a year. They have two shelters: a small one in Chaweng and a larger one in the south west of the island. Accommodation is sometimes available.

Elephant Nature Park - This nature park in Thailand needs experienced volunteer vets but also offers opportunities to student vets and to animal helpers with no previous experience. Tasks include assisting elephant keepers with bathing the elephants and general duties around the park.

Father Ray Foundation - A home for 850 orphaned, abused and disadvantaged children in Pattaya. Volunteer tasks include teaching English at the Vocational School for the Disabled, accompanying blind students on a trip to the beach, teaching English, daily walks with the elderly, spending time with the street kids at the Drop-In Center, arts and crafts at the Children’s Village. A six month commitment is expected, no fees are requested and accommodation and meals are provided.

Good Earth Agriculture - A sustainable agriculture project to the northeast of Bangkok that welcomes volunteers. A small fee covers accommodation, three healthy meals a day and use of the swimming pool. Teaching English at a local school is also a volunteer option.

Green Gecko Project - At Green Gecko, Siem Reap's street kids can eat a hot lunch, attend an English class, play and get a hug, get their hair combed and receive medical attention. Volunteers with skills, experience or ideas that they are willing to impart to the Khymer staff are most valuable. Minimum one month commitment.

Indonesia Organic - News on what is happening in the Indonesian organic movement. Includes a small page of volunteering opportunities.

Juara Turtle Project - A conservation and research effort to protect the enviroment of Tioman Island, Malaysia. The main turtle season is from mid-March until the end of October, but volunteers can help out all year round. Short term volunteers stay a minimum of four days and support the project by paying for their accommodation. Around November of each year, JTP start to screen for experienced interns to fill positions such as hatchery manager, volunteer coordinator, gardener, semi-skilled laborer. These longer stay volunteers stay for at least four months, preferably six, and need not make a financial contribution.

Lanta Animal Welfare - A non-profit organisation which aims to relieve the suffering and pain of the animals on Ko Lanta island through sterilisation and care. LAW do not charge volunteers who go to help and those who stay a minimum of one month will have free basic but comfortable accommodation, subject to availability.

Learn In Asia - Scuba diving internships in Thailand for the professional and seasonal scuba diver looking for dive work. Also information on travel and diving in Thailand.

Life and Hope Association - Have a number of active programmes which aim to improve access to education for the vulnerable and disadvantaged youth of Cambodia. Volunteers can help by teaching English or at the head office or onsite at their projects. There is also the option of donating the funds needed to build a house and, if you want to, help build it too.

The Mad Monkey Phnom Penh - Free eats, commission on bar sales, and a bed are offered for tending bar at this hostel. Previous bar experience is required.

The Mad Monkey Siem Reap - Same as above, except in another part of Cambodia.

Marine Conservation Cambodia - This small non profit asks for $200 per week to cover your food, shared accommodation in a water front bungalow) and diving equipment. Volunteers are expected to stay a minimum of two weeks and participate in marine conservation and research, coastal management, teach English or conservation education, or provide health care. .

Mekong English Center - MEC now offers its own volunteer programme in Luang Prabang, where those with a decent knowledge of English and a sincere will can assist in their classes. There’s no fee to volunteer.

Neary Khymer - Neary Khmer, which means Khmer Women, was founded in 1999 to help educate and empower Khmer women in the poorest communities of Siem Reap, Cambodia. The website carries no information on volunteering but they are partnered with the Omprakash Foundation who state: "Individuals with experience and training in issues of health, nutrition, and/or sustainable agriculture are encouraged to consider volunteering at Neary Khmer. Proficiency in the Khmer language is ideal but not necessary".

New Life Foundation - A mindful recovery community in northern Thailand for those who would like to work on self improvement and personal development. They offer low cost short term volunteering opportunities, along with a few opportunities for committed long term volunteers with professional building, architectural, and therapeutic skills.

Openmind Projects - Volunteering programme. Teach English, computer and other skills at schools, orphan homes or eco resorts in Thailand, Cambodia and Laos.

Orangutan Foundation - This charity is uniquely involved in the protection of the Orangutan and it's Southeast Asian rainforest home. Their volunteer programme sends volunteers to the Lamandau River Wildlife Reserve in Indonesian Borne and lasts for six weeks.

PhaNgan Animal Care - PAC provides nursing and veterinary care for the island’s stray and unwanted animals and always welcome an extra pair of hands.

Rainforest World Music Festival - Volunteer in Sarawak, Malaysia, with the Rainforest World Music Festival, Borneo Jazz Festival, and Asia Music Festival. Volunteer roles include liaising with the performing artists and schlepping about with the musical instruments.


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