HI there! My name is Ami Blackwelder and I have worked as a teacher for eight years in Asia. I wanted to share some of my experiences with you so that you could consider if traveling as a teacher is right for you. Or perhaps you just wanted to take a vacation in the great Eastern Orient?
I taught a year in Korea and one thing I can say for sure is that the country is very exotic. The people and culture are very different from anything here in the states. They use their eyes to speak and many Korean women look like models. I made many friends who took me out to eat. Kimchi and Kimbop are two popular Korean dishes. The first is very spicy, while the later is like a vegetable sushi roll. There are many, many churches in Korea and the country is built vertically since the land is so small. This means everything is very TALL. They drive like mad, but once you get to known them you will discover a world hidden from tourists. The salary is about $2,000 a month, so if you are having a hard time finding work…perhaps Korea will help. Say hello - "An Yang ha say yo?" Which actually means something like "Are you feeling happy?"
I spent six years in Thailand. Thailand is warm and friendly. Very easy-going people who are often helpful. I loved my time in Thailand. Some of my best memories. Some of my best friends. Thailand is very affordable and buying property there is also frugal. There are islands to visit and sunbathe on while Thais will offer massages, fresh corn and other goodies. Transportation is fun since you can go on motorbike or Baht-Bus, or an air-con bus, taxi, sky train if in Bangkok, and more. To say hello "Swadee Ca" or if a guy "Swadee Cup" Thai salary is not as much as you'd make in Korea, maybe somewhere between $500-$1500 depending on where you work and your experience. You could work at an international school and make close to $4000 a month, but then your teaching credentials have to be up to par and you will be competing with many others.
I also travelled into Nepal, Tibet, Cambodia, North Vietnam, Japan, and China. One of the most beautiful landscapes was in Nepal/Tibet/North Vietnam. I took a tour bus from Tibet into Nepal. Very scenic route. As we passed waterfalls the bus began to rattle until stopping completely. We had to walk the rest of the way and down the side of a mountain to get into Nepal. The Nepali children climbed up the side of the mountain to help all us foreigners into the city of Katmandu. It was one of the coolest experiences I ever had. (And lived to tell;)
I would recommend visiting, if not working, in North Vietnam. Picturesque landscape and simple village people. I traveled with a village guide and saw some of the most interesting places. We walked hiking trails and off the beaten path a few times. We walked into a poor village/ school area. The area is called SAPA. This is very different from the main cities of Vietnam which are not that interesting to me.
Well, I hope you enjoyed learning a bit about the countries of Asia. Perhaps one day you will see them for yourself?
In the meantime, please check out my books at http://amiblackwelder.blogspot.com
I write with a unique-social voice and unusual, unpredictable plot twists.
BYE for now!