Photo: Canals of Ca Mau, Mekong Delta.

Vietnam forum

Working in South East Asia

Posted by sarah7196 on 14/4/2011 at 15:09

Hi Everyone

My partner and I are planning a trip to SEA and we really wanted to stay for around 9 months (Just enough time for Oz to come into Spring) but after researching travel costs and day to day living it isn’t even remotely achievable on our tiny budget (£3000 each – who were we kidding) soooooooo we are going to take a course called TEFL so we can teach in SEA. I was wondering if anybody knows of any useful websites/links that will help us get jobs, Does anybody know roughly how much it pays – if anything?
Also are there any other type of work out there that people could advise of as I’d love to work in the bars or with animals, we are quite open to all sorts

Thanks ever so much

Happy travelling xx

#1 sarah7196 has been a member since 18/3/2011. Location: United Kingdom. Posts: 12
 Send sarah7196 a private message 

Posted by daawgon on 16/4/2011 at 11:08

The Newhanoian expat site has a job listing page

and you should contact this American who does this work in Saigon

#2 daawgon has been a member since 17/4/2007. Posts: 1,151
 Send daawgon a private message 

Agoda coupon: Get an extra 7% off selected properties with the coupon code

Posted by vietnamrum on 19/4/2011 at 22:37

In veitnam etc a lot of the bars will pay you to hand out leaflets for the bar and talk westerners to come into their bars. In laos in vang viene they pay the staff to go rafting and drinking to bring other travelers to the bars.

Been told some teachers can get $25 an hour teaching english. In Nha Tran your would be lucky to get $10.

Diving instructors is the other big western recruitment.

In nha trang in vietnam i pay $150 a month of a guest house with all facilities except cooking.
Eating and drinking in a western run place is $5 to $10 per sitting as in breakfast / dinner.

Eat at local place for a dollar or less. I drink inox local beer. 2 liters for a $1.

Hanoi and Saigon add 30 percent

You can live on that money if you budget.

good luck

#3 vietnamrum has been a member since 21/1/2011. Posts: 39

Posted by DLuek on 20/4/2011 at 07:34 TF writer


Vietnam and Thailand are basically the only countries in the region where you can really make money, with Vietnam being the better option in terms of wages. For Thailand a good website is In Saigon it seems the best thing to do is talk to expat teachers in the Pham Ngu Lao area and just take your resume to a bunch of language schools and see what happens.

However, if you don't have a 4 year college degree it will be harder to find work, and many schools ask you to sign a 9 month to a year contract. You can definitely find more casual work as a private language tutor, but this would probably take you some time. If you're just looking to stop off somewhere for a few months to teach it could be hard for you. Most schools/students want some sort of longer commitment. Also, most quality TEFL courses run at least $1000 US. From what I understand the cheaper online TEFL courses are not taken very seriously. I'm not trying to deter you, but from what I understand it's not always so easy if you're not really committed to being a long-term teacher.

That said, have you considered volunteering instead? There are quite a few schools, orphanages, farms and other institutions throughout the region where as a volunteer your expenses are either paid for, or you may have to pay a small monthly fee but your meals and housing are taken care of. In terms of teaching, most of these opportunities don't require a TEFL certificate or college degree. It may be another (and perhaps better) option for you if you want to spend 9 months in the region but are tight on budget. For a host of volunteer opportunities try a search on Another post asking for volunteer suggestions here on Travelfish and lonely planet's forum might not be a bad idea either.

Good luck,


#4 DLuek has been a member since 19/6/2008. Location: Thailand. Posts: 1,298
 Send DLuek a private message   Website   Twitter 

Please login to add a reply

You need to be a Travelfish member to be able to add a reply to this post. Please use the button below to log in. After logging in you'll be returned to this page automatically to add your post. Not a member? Join up here.