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Finance and money forum

Getting a job in SE Asia!

Posted by anelson_82 on 12/7/2009 at 17:45

Hi ya'll!

I'm travelling round Indochina and Thailand next year and I was wondering how easy it was to get a job out there? I'm more than happy to do pretty much anything! I'd also love suggestions for good volunteer projects.

Many many thanks!


#1 anelson_82 has been a member since 12/7/2009. Location: United Kingdom. Posts: 12

Posted by mattocmd on 12/7/2009 at 17:55

If you are a native English speaker then you can teach English in any of the SE Asian countries. Salaries vary (best for pay is Vietnam followed by Thailand). Laos and Cambodia are mostly volunteer but I have read about people getting paid a few bucks an hour.

If you don't need the money and want a rewarding experience consider volunteering in Laos or Cambodia. Don't pay to do it through some shady website, seriously just show up and contact schools. ANY school would be happy to have you especially if you committed to one month or more. You could also volunteer to teach English/play with children in probably any orphanage in SE Asia. Just go there and contact/visit local orphanages, trust me you'll find one that will have you in a day or less.

Other jobs....hmmm

You could probably score some kind of bar tending gig in some laid back foreign owned bar. Pay wouldn't be much, probably just in exchange for a free room and/or food/drinks.

If you are an excellent writer you could get lucky and get some kind of travel writing job. Probably pretty competitive for paid positions though.

#2 mattocmd has been a member since 13/6/2007. Location: United States. Posts: 366
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Posted by anelson_82 on 12/7/2009 at 18:15

Thanks for the information, I've actually looked at doing a TEFL and working my way round Asia like that. Unfortunatly I don't have a university degree and most jobs stipulate that you have one.

I like the idea of volunteering in an orphange though, I'm sure that would be a tough but rewarding experience.

Are there any particular areas that you would recommend for this?

Ta very muchly!


#3 anelson_82 has been a member since 12/7/2009. Location: United Kingdom. Posts: 12

Posted by mattocmd on 12/7/2009 at 18:25

Yes and to volunteer you don't need a university degree. Conversation practice with a native speaker is great for them!

Areas I would recommend...guess it depends, if you are volunteering then you can find work anywhere. Which country did you have in mind?

Phnom Pehn would be the easiest place (IMO) to find a volunteering gig (at an orpahange or a school). There are probably 100s of organizations there that you could contact.

#4 mattocmd has been a member since 13/6/2007. Location: United States. Posts: 366
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Posted by anelson_82 on 13/7/2009 at 18:57

I'm planning on starting in Siem Reap and then travelling round the majority of Cambodia before I head to Vietnam and Laos, I have no time constraints either which I'm sure will come in handy!

I'm going to try and do the majority of my travelling overland to reduce cost which is why it would be handy to get the odd job here and there. Actually, it's not just to reduce cost, I wanted to travel overland because that way you get to experience both the high and the low points of the country your visiting and you get to meet the people that make the country. Amazing.

I've still got 10 months to go until I leave and I can't wait!

#5 anelson_82 has been a member since 12/7/2009. Location: United Kingdom. Posts: 12

Posted by BruceMoon on 14/7/2009 at 07:34


I suggest it would be to your advantage to get a TEFL qualification before you leave. It's a bonus that may pay nicely.

On the subject of teaching English, also look at:

- - -

Also, depending on your skills, some English speaking firms/aid agencies sometimes hire English speakers for computational or similar work.

- - -

On the top of the Cambodia Forum page is:

Somtam made it 'sticky' (ie doesn't move down the page) cause of the various informative discussions.

Before you leave, you may like to email Amanda (of post #1) and discuss the ideas you've expressed here.


#6 BruceMoon has been a member since 27/12/2008. Location: Australia. Posts: 1,941

Posted by idreamofdurian on 14/7/2009 at 13:24 TF writer

For ESL teaching jobs you can also check out: (Global - usually a 1 yr contact though) (Thailand - you can sometimes find short-term jobs)

#7 idreamofdurian has been a member since 5/9/2008. Location: Singapore. Posts: 576
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Posted by arrian on 6/2/2010 at 18:55

Hi my friend and I are currently volunteering for SAELAO Project in Vang Vieng , Laos. Its a great way to learn new skills, boost your confidence and really get involved in the local Laos community. No skills are needed. You just help wherever you can.

Below is an email we sent to Lonely Planet. If you need any more tips please let me know. Thanks, Arrian/ James.

If you'd like to contact the project organiser directly, his name is Sengkeo (Bob) Mob. 0202 928 630

Dear Ms D,

I am writing to enquire as to the possibility of you and your associates within the Lonely Planet looking into a project in Vang Vieng Laos, concerned with sustaining the river, and jungle surrounding Vang Vieng. The project is aiming to build a community centre/school to both teach English and educate people about sustainable logging and farming techniques so that the area can be preserved for the future.

Sengkeo ( Bob) the director of the project was raised in Vang Vieng and lived in Canada for 12 years He has returned to the town to see a completely different place to the one he left He then spent some time working with the 'Organic Mulberry Farm' (see Lonley Planet for details) just to the north of the town and is still in frequent contact with Mr. Thi the owner of the farm. S.A.E LAO is based in Nathong a village 7km west of the town, 500m from the Blue Lagoon and Phoukham cave. The project is offering volunteering spaces where you can stay at the site in a communal style. You can eat traditional Laos food and learn tradditional building techniques and farming that are both sustainable and long lasting, you also have the opportunity to teach English to local children and the staff at the project in the evenings Monday through to Thursday.

Sengkeo also runs a guesthouse in Vang Vieng with his wife Kappet. It is away from the hustle and bustle of the town, yet 5mins walking distance from the centre. It is on the main road running through Vang Vieng, although rooms are set back in a tranquil garden setting. Rooms are immaculate with fresh linen and towels daily, with fans and en-suite bathrooms throughout. At 50,000 Kip/ night, we feel is one of the best value guesthouses in Vang Vieng. Money generated is used to support the S.A.E LAO project.

In recent weeks, whilst I have been involved on the project, progress has slowed due to a lack of volunteers and consequently funds, therefore the few of us left have come back into the town in order to find ways of raising more funds. We have teamed up with Z Bar and the owners Jac and Si have kindly let us organise fund-raising nights in return for management, advise and help from the volunteers. This relationship is one we hope to keep up as both sides are benefiting from the arrangement. We have managed to increase custom for the bar whilst raising money for the project.

#8 arrian has been a member since 6/2/2010. Posts: 5

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