Why Choose Phetchabun?

A lesser known but by no means unworthy province, Phetchabun is a beautiful place to call home. Surrounded by national parks and with a vibrant culture, it is somewhere that you can find peace whilst having a truly authentic Thai experience.

Off the tourist trail and far from the bright lights of Bangkok, choosing Phetchabun is choosing a life of calmness and natural beauty. You will have the opportunity to make a deep connection with a truly special place that most people have never heard of, let alone visited. If you want to experience the real Thailand then Phetchabun is the place for you.

As the province is infrequently visited by western tourists, it has not been tainted and remains true to its unique identity and history. This gives you a brilliant opportunity to make friends with the locals, your Thai and foreign colleagues, and your fantastic students that will leave a lasting impression on you. And being surrounded by nature and unrivalled natural beauty creates serenity in all those that live there, watching the sun set over Khao Kho national park every night is a real privilege.

But by no means is Phetchabun all about relaxing, there are plenty of things to do, and so many great people to do them with. Enjoy your weekends at packed bars where you can party into the night, amazing restaurants and markets that you will never leave hungry, and so much culture to soak in. The real magic of Phetchabun is that it is not catering to westerners, it is as Thai as you can get, and we think that’s what makes it so special.

Location and Climate

About a five hour drive north of Bangkok, a little longer on the bus, Phetchabun sits proudly in the centre of the country. To its east is the fascinating Isaan region, which we can thank for many of Thailand’s most delicious dishes, such as som tam and larb. To its northwest, around the same distance from Bangkok again, are the famous cities of Chiang Mai and Chiang Rai. And to the west are the beautiful provinces of Phitsanulok, Sukhothai, and Tak, to name but a few. But there’s much to explore in Phetchabun first, especially the stunning national parks of Khao Kho and Nam Nao on either side.

Hop on a cheap night bus to Bangkok and you land in one of the world’s most exciting cities. Many of our teachers head down on a Friday night for a weekend of partying and delicious food. And from Bangkok, you can reach the south of Thailand with all its breathtaking beaches. Take a short flight that costs less than a train from London to Manchester, or discover the rest of Southeast Asia. With plenty of holidays, there’s lots of exploring to do.

Just like the rest of Thailand, Phetchabun is hot all year round. There are three main seasons that consist of rain, hot, and cool. The rainy season comes during what we would call summer, the rain can be heavy but comes in short bursts, then dries as soon as the sun comes out. The cool season, our winter, isn’t that cool at all. Expect temperatures far warmer than an English summer, but cool for Thai standards. And the hot season, which is when schools break up for their longest holiday, takes place in our spring. From March to May it is incredibly hot, staying inside or a beach holiday during this time is advised.

Is Phetchabun Right for You?

We must be honest, Phetchabun isn’t for everyone. People who crave bright lights and city life may be left feeling disappointed, although trips to Bangkok are doable several times a month. Phetchabun is for real adventurers who want to leave their comfort zone behind and develop as more rounder world citizens. Living in Phetchabun gives you a greater appreciation for the real Thai way of life, which may not be as easily achieved in the capital or tourist areas like Phuket.

If you are truly interested in the culture, people, food, nature, history, and religion of Thailand, then Phetchabun is for you. You can find everything you need there, but the pace of life is slower, and you must embrace it to get the most from the experience.

If you are curious, resilient, open-minded, and passionate, then Phetchabun will welcome you with open arms and you will thrive there.

5 Things to Do in Phetchabun

Explore the Local Lakes

Feast at the Markets

Watch Sunrise at Khao Kho

Drink With the Locals

Watch Sunset From the Pool

Daily Life

Monday morning, you wake with the sun already beaming down but appreciate the coolness of the early hours. After getting ready you hop on your moped and weave out of your village, past the sleeping street dogs and grandmas sweeping their drives. Your first stop might be the coffee lady at the front of the village, after a conversation consisting of broken English and Thai you have successfully secured your ice coffee, time for school.

Before flag raise you order breakfast on Foodpanda, maybe some pad krapow with a fried egg, the best way to start the day. Students greet you with a giggle or wai as you walk to flag raise with your fellow foreign teachers from the Philippines, the UK, and the US. After the national anthem, school anthem, and morning prayers, it’s time to pick up your breakfast from the driver at the gate. You appreciate the air conditioned office as you tuck into your food and catch up with the latest gossip.

The day flashes by with a combination of lessons and a free periods, that you use to scoot off to your favourite som tam restaurant, then head back to the office for some planning. After your final class you chat to your Thai co-teacher about how your day has gone, any feedback, and your plans for future lessons. Before you know it it’s time to sign out and head home.

Once you’ve showered and had a rest, you may meet up with some of your other foreign teachers or new friends. You cook together as the sun sets over Phetchabun and you plan your trip for the weekend. Where will it be this time? Khao Kho, Khon Kaen, or maybe Bangkok. The choice is yours.

3 Must Try Foods in Phetchabun

Som Tam

Grilled Chicken


School Life

Our partner school in Phetchabun is fantastic, it’s full of Thai and foreign teachers that will support you to thrive and be the best you can be. Our teachers always leave with strong friendships and happy memories. But most of all, they make long lasting impressions on their students, as do their students on them.

The quality of English among students varies greatly depending on age group and which part of the school you’re in. In essence, there is a state school and private within one. Behaviour amongst students can vary too, but there are rarely serious issues, and teachers are supported to deal with them should they arise.

A weekly schedule usually consists of 22 lessons and around 14 free periods. There might be some days where you have 6 lessons and others where you have 3, for example. But the school day is always manageable, and if you use your free periods wisely then you won’t have to take work home, apart from during exam periods.

The atmosphere at school is very laid back. Students are usually happy to see the foreign teachers, talk with them, and play sports like football, volleyball, and badminton. There is minimal pressure from co-teachers compared to that found in other countries such as China. One example is that students cannot get lower than 60% in a test, so even if they get every question wrong, they pass. This is a hard concept to grasp, but one that must be accepted. Like many other unfamiliar elements of Thai culture, it’s best just to go with the flow.

Cost of Living

The whole of Thailand seems cheap to anyone coming from the UK or US, but Phetchabun is particularly cheap. The monthly cost of renting a 3 bedroom house with a garden, and all the bills, is unlikely to be more than £200. Split this between a few people and you’re laughing.

Food and transport are cheap too, monthly rent for a moped is around £50 and you hardly notice the cost of petrol. A delicious local dish can cost less than £2, but of course there are more expensive restaurants and other places if you’re feeling lavish. In general, if you live somewhat like a local, you can get by on around £500 a month.


Depending on the conversion rate, you’ll earn around £725 a month (33,000 THB). This may not seem like a lot, but is far more than most people across the country make, and is more than enough to live a great quality of live and save for a holiday or whatever you please.

This salary allows you the freedom to not worry about money, a privilege that most graduates in the west do not have. Extra online or in-person tutoring during your free time can be pure profit or saving. The salary of a foreign teacher in Thailand may seem low, but it’s a fantastic opportunity, especially in Phetchabun.