Oh - "I've got a dream."
Regarding your plan. Pattaya is definitely cheaper to hang out in than Bangkok. I have been in the office at Text and Talk. It is on the Day Night 2 (named for a 10 story apartment block). A good accomidation can be had at the Guest House Ban Moon (or something similar) just up the street 60 meters and across from .com (Tucom computer and mobile phone center) and around the corner is Dolphin Guest House. Both are in the 500-800 Baht range and the rooms are nice cable TV, air, etc. Cheeper in the area is Pima Mansion at 400 baht a night. Several other options nearby. No reservation needed. Come and stay at one for a night, look around, then decide.
Meals can be had at the local food stalls for 30-40 baht. More westernized options in the area include SP bakery (think of a Denneys sort of) with meals at around 160 baht and Chesters chicken second floor Tucom at about 90 baht. Downstairs Tucom is a supermarket and foodcourt. The area has a lot of cafes European stlye with evening dinners at about 300 baht.
Disadvantage is that Pattaya is not really in the loop and you won't make many contacts for a job. The local schools all hire through an agency and the international schools in Pattaya and I use the term loosely, pay crap. Same with language centers. Too many drunk expats that fund their drinking and whoring on Soi Six by pretending to teach. Also, the word Pattaya on your cv doesn't look too good when applying to most jobs in Thailand. You end up putting things like Chonburi (the province) or Nongprue one of the local districts instead. Its and image/appearance/respectability thing.
If you want a beach, forget Pattaya, it's crap except to Russians from nowhere near a beach who escape the dreary Russian winters and by British soccer hooligans (yobs I think) who come over to whore in cheep open air beer bars and be entertained by 500 baht short timers. The yobbs also like to get drunk and start fights--you have been warned. The water quality is crap, and a dip in the ocean will probably give you a good case of the runs and possibly some dermatological condition. Some go to Jomtien for a beach about 5km south but really the nearest beach where I wade into the water with at least a faint idea that I might not be swimming in a sewer is Ban Sarae about 19 km south. A better beach option would probably be in near Rayong but that place has a whole host of other problems.
What ever you do, don't take a jet ski on Pattaya Beach, it will be about 50,000 to 100,000 baht when you bring it back because of the 'damage' you caused. (Google pattaya jet ski scam). I have rented jet skis in Jomtien without problem. If you want to see the jet ski scam, walk outside the Royal Garden hotel about 1 hour before sunset and have a seat and watch the fun begin. Usually the 'mark' is a young adult to middle aged middle easterner and groups of 2-4 are the preferred targets. Look for the jet ski with the name 'CASH'. How many people have paid for that one square inch chunk out of the front right bumper, I wonder?
But if you like to look at the ocean from the deck of a rooftop bar, Pattaya provides a passable backdrop.
You will make better connections for future employment if you train in Bangkok. Plus you will get an idea of Bangkok that will be useful if you want to get a reasonable salary and decide which district you want to live in. In Bangkok I favored living on Petchburi Soi 5, and worked at Siam Center and in the Sukhumvit area. Also lived on Sathorn which is the Financial District. In Bangkok stay near the BTS skytrain. The thing about Bangkok is to not get your apartment until you decide where you will work as the commutes are a bitch if you are more than 3 or 4 km away from work.
For employment, the Assumption College about 20 km north of Pattaya has an English Program School and it frequently needs Math Teachers and if you can Teach Calculus probably has an opening. Rayong English Program School located in Ban Chang about 40 km south of Pattaya is another option and also has an international school.
Pay at Assumption could be around 40k and Rayong around 50k baht a month. Regents might have openings out about 15 km from Pattaya and also try Asian Institute of Technology aobut 30 km out.
If you want to challenge the world's most powerful factions, you're going to get attacked in all sorts of ways. That's the nature - the essence - of power: it is capable of exacting a cost for defying it.--Glenn Greenwald
Thank you my friend!
The brave do not live forever, but the cautious do not live at all.
Been in LOS a week, currently in Hatyai with plans to search here and move north if its not the right fit. no plans for a TEFL as I have a degree and over a year of ESL teaching experience. Any suggestions? I got my suit pressed, thai phone charged, stack of resumes, and comfy shoes.
If you're going to spend 6 weeks on a TEFL, they better only teach you 4 hours a day, otherwise in that amount of time, might as well pursue the CELTA.
Everything you need exists in the present moment, and the present moment is all that exists. - Ken Carey
Welcome aboard, have a great stay here.