A Gap Year in Thailand

Why go backpacking in Thailand?

Backpacking in Thailand, one of the most popular countries in South East Asia, is just one of those things you have to do. The country is an absolute magnet for travellers and it’s easy to see why: paradise islands, exciting jungles, amazing food, phenomenal nightlife and an incredibly friendly population. Oh, and it’s cheap. Like, really cheap.

Whether you’re a first time traveller or an experienced backpacker who’s been through here numerous times before, you’ll always find something new to greet you in Thailand. It’s well-established tourist infrastructure makes it the perfect destination to begin a gap year, before moving on to the likes of Vietnam, Cambodia, and Laos.

That’s if you can bring yourself to ever leave, of course.

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The cities

Most international backpackers arrive in Thailand through Bangkok, a wild, hectic capital, which can be a bit overwhelming for the first time visitors to Asia, but people quickly learn to love it. The city has some of the most impressive architecture and cultural treasures in South East Asia, including the Grand Palace, Wat Arun and Wat Pho, home of the enormous reclining Buddha.

Thailand Grand Palace

Almost every backpacker finds themselves around the Khao San Road area, a legendary hub full of bars, clubs, restaurants, street hawkers and cheap accommodation.

The other major city in Thailand is Chiang Mai, mainly used as a base for people going to trekking adventures into the surrounding mountains, but a city well worth some exploration in its own right. It has one of the best night markets in Asia and offers a much calmer experience than its southern counterpart.

The scenery

Thailand has some of the most beautiful scenery in the world. In the south, the country tails off into a blissful haven of perfect beaches amidst stunning karst formations on islands so beautiful you simply have to see them to believe them.

Thailand beach karsts

In the north, the country rises up into impressive mountain scenery, where you’ll find traditional hill tribe villages, impressive waterfalls and fascinating wildlife.

There’s a reason Thailand is one of the most popular gap year destinations in the world. You really have to experience it for yourself.

For more inspiration, check out these 101 things you need to do in Thailand, or browse the articles below.

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