Written by Zoe Faulkner on 25 / 04 / 2023
Gap Year Advice
Thailand is fascinating and beautiful country. It is a land of contrasts, from the hustle and bustle of Bangkok to endless stretches of rich-green rice paddies in the provinces and, further north, a mountainous landscape inhabited by hill tribes down to the famous stunning beaches and world class diving in the south.
It is easy to backpack on your gap year on a budget in Thailand. As a traveller no doubt you will be drawn to the full moon parties and backpacking hostels, but beyond all that there is a whole allure to Thailand that is rarely appreciated in its entirety. Try the incredible street food, head to the lush jungles in the north, or explore the side alleys in Bangkok. Thailand will be what you make of it.
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Thailand’s hectic capital. This is a busy bustling city that has much to offer:
This area with its rolling hills and lush farming climate which produces a vast array of fruit and vegetables is also known as Little Switzerland.
This is just three hours north of Bangkok en route to Chiang Mai. The uphill drive is exhilarating, but the park itself is mainly flat.
Chiang Mai is an hour’s flight from Bangkok (or a 12-hour sleeper train if you want to enjoy the changing landscapes as you head north).This is a very different feel to Bangkok, there are no high-rise buildings, it is and old city that has a laid-back pace and still maintains its authenticity. The historical, yet surprisingly cosmopolitan walled city is surrounded by jungle and amazing hillside landscape.
Phuket is the gateway to the Andaman Sea in Southern Thailand. Although it is touristy, Phuket has things to do for everybody: amazing beaches, boozy nights, and Buddhist temples galore.Relax and enjoy the warm sandbanks and beaches, with its crystal-clear waters. Here, the limestone karsts jut out into the ocean and its is very pretty.
This is the best national park in Thailand, a 3 hour drive from Phuket.There are caves, jungles, rivers and gorgeous limestone scenery.You can explore the park by using its hiking trail, raft, canoe, or kayak through the Sok river.You can visit Elephant Hills sanctuary, which offers a genuine conservation and education experience. See the elephants in their natural habitat. Learn how to care for the elephants, help with their feeding and bathing under their Mahouts who train them.
Here will find some of the most epic and exhilarating climbing routes in all of Asia. If you’ve never climbed before, this is a great place to start! You can go deep water soloing (climbing without gear directly over the ocean). Krabi is the main hub of the region. You can stay at Railay or Tonsai, (Railay is calmer).
Thanks to the The Beach, these famous islands are worth visiting but they can be very busy.There are beautiful beaches, epic nightlife and awesome places to stay.
Heading east across to the Gulf of Thailand are these three small islands. The full-moon parties are huge on Koh Phangan whilst Koh Tao is great for diving.Koh Samui is the resort island, more expensive.
In 1942 Kanchanaburi was under Japanese control and it was here that Asian forced labourers and Allied POWs were made to build the infamous ‘Bridge on the River Kwai’ as part of the ‘Death Railway’. You should also take a look at the JEATH Museum. It does a really good job of putting the war in perspective even all these years on.This sobering experience and point of reflection is an important reason to take the trip out here. But, it’s also located near to some truly stunning waterfalls.While you’re in town, you can also check out the Khmer ruins on the edge of town. It’s a nice contrast of history to see the distant with the more recent.
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on 25 / 04 / 2023