The surprise package so far...

Trip Start Jan 09, 2013
Trip End Aug 01, 2013

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Flag of Vietnam  , Phu Yen Province,
Tuesday, February 5, 2013

ahhh. Tuy Hoa, i didn't know what to expect here but was more than pleasantly surprised... it was just like Qui Nhon!! a non touristy, coastal beautiful place and extremely friendly too.

When i arrived and was looking for a hotel i saw a building with a sign saying 'English for Kids' so i made a mental note to come back and continued to find a nice little hotel and pretty cheap too at around 3 or 4 quid a night. Like Qui Nhon there is nothing to do here as far as tourist trail type sites but with Lunar New Year still in full swing, the place was buzzing and it just seemed like an eventful small town with some beautiful beaches; one i didn't make it to called Coconut Beach too, but maybe next time... i say next time because i went back to 'English for Kids' and spoke to An who founded and ran the place and she generously told me about the place and after showed me a few local sites and even bought me lunch at a flash restaurant to show me some local delicacies. Its custom in Vietnam that if you are invited out for food, coffee etc that you don't pay, its happened a few times now and its a part of the culture i really like. Next day i went back to ask a few questions and she invited me in for dinner too with her husband and 2 kids, constantly feeding me and insisting i drink more and stay longer.... they are very hospitable in Vietnam...

Anyway, she operated this centre here in Tuy hoa and also in Da Nang where she originally comes from. The way it works is that people who can afford it go to this centre and pay for tuition and then native English speakers can work there as teachers but get paid a half decent salary. She also told me that in places like Tuy Hoa, getting a job as an English teacher in a public school is very easy because no foreigners come by this way, and at present there was only one Australian guy teaching covering the whole town. Now at a public school you only work around 22 hours a week and the pay is approx $700 a month so about 450 GBP but then with working at the center and doing a full time set of working hours a week, you can earn around 1K GBP. It doesn't include accommodation but you can find somewhere for about 100 GBP a month here no problem and living costs in a small town don't get much cheaper so effectively you can save around 600- 700 GBP a month, plus schools break up  around June for about 2 1/2 months so rather than having random holidays, which you still get anyway, you can take a huge holiday or you can then work at one of these centers on a  private contract for the 2 and 1/2 months.

I'm applying for the South Korea job at the moment and there i can earn approx 1200 GBP/month with free accommodation but with higher living costs so perhaps save 800-900GBP/month so not much difference really, plus Korea is a 12 month contract with about 3 weeks holiday so its a full year there and the climate aint much better than the UK, they have a viciously cold winter apparently.... but i've seen much of SE Asia already and Korea would be a new experience. As you can see there are many if's and buts. The Korean government use selected agencies for their applications and mine offers placements in other countries too including Vietnam, Thailand, Nepal, India etc so i have asked for average salaries for those too to see what i can expect. At the moment i still think ill try the Korea job out but basically the idea is to get a well paid job for my first years teaching so i have some back up cash and then work in public schools and offer more free teaching to people who cant afford to come to places like the 'English for Kids' centre in Tuy Hoa... plus i can move around and teach for a few days or weeks at a time on a food and accommodation only basis and my savings cover an extra costs along the way. I've been thinking about what to do after the years teaching and have a few ideas buzzing around and i'll update you when i get a clearer picture but for now its a case of finalising my placement country for August this year...

So i made a useful contact in Tuy Hoa and got some valuable information so i decided it was time to move on and take this apparently beautiful scenic route up in to the highlands and then drop down to Buon Ma Thout... coffee capital of Vietnam..!!! 
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Carrie McKenzie on

You have been fortunate to meet someone so informed about teaching opportunities - well at least you have options to consider. Photos are great, look a lovely calm place, with beautiful sea, I can almost hear the waves xxx love n hugs xxx

katie on

Hey Lee,
Wow, sounds like you're having an amazing time and making the most of everything. Photos are great - it looks beautiful there. Good luck with the teaching; you'll be a natural!
Take care and be careful on that bike!
Katie xxx

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