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Tonsai Beach, Krabi | © Seth Mazow/Flickr
Tonsai Beach, Krabi | © Seth Mazow/Flickr
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11 Reasons To Have Your Gap Year in Thailand

Picture of Iona Proebst
Updated: 14 December 2017
Considering a gap year in the Land of Smiles? Here, we give you 11 reasons to turn those potential plans into a reality. Thailand is a beautiful fusion of delicious food, friendly people, warm weather – need we say more!

Friendly locals

Thais are known to be some of the friendliest people on the planet and for good reason. Thai’s are excellent hosts and will do their utmost to make sure you have a safe, comfortable and happy time. Learn a few Thai phrases so you can immerse yourself more in the local culture and mingle with the locals.

Land of Smiles
Land of Smiles | © jenny downing/Flickr

Affordability

Thailand is backpacker wallet friendly. If you’re planning to be on the road for the full year Thailand will enable your money to stretch that much further than many other popular gap year destinations. Food, accommodation and travel can all be covered very cheaply especially if you set yourself a daily or weekly budget.

Ease of travel

There are plenty of options to get around Thailand, all of which are super easy. Plan ahead and book transport in advance as this will likely save you time and money. If you are travelling by bus it’s advised that you do your homework and pick a reputable company like Green Bus or Nakhonchai Air. Unlike many other countries, national flights are very cheap and there a plenty of low-cost airlines to choose from.

Easy transport
Easy transport | © Gavin Firkser/Flickr

Safety

Thailand is widely considered a safe country to travel in even for solo female travellers. Taking precautions, practising common sense and travelling responsibly are always advised.

Convenience

Hungry late at night? There will be someone selling a comforting bowl of noodle soup nearby. In need of a pharmacy? There will be one open. Trying to sort how to get from A to B? Within a number of minutes, you can have it sorted.

Thailand street food
Thailand street food | © Göran Ingman/Flickr

Personal development

Travelling can teach you what no classroom setting can. Living, breathing and experiencing different cultures and countries is not only fun, it’s great for personal development. Travelling encourages you to practice different life-skills, like adaptability, open-mindedness and patience, to name but a few, and Thailand is the perfect place to learn and practice these vital skills.

Natural beauty

From the rugged mountains of the north to the picture-perfect beaches in the south, Thailand is home to an array of natural beauty and diverse landscapes. Head off the beaten path and explore remote hill tribe villages or trek through some of Thailand’s stunning National Parks, wherever you roam you’ll be impressed by the unique wildlife, lush jungles and mesmerizing underwater world.

Green sea turtle
Green sea turtle | © Dean Croshere/Flickr

Thailand’s location

Embrace your wanderlust and make the most of being in close proximity to other Southeast Asian countries. See the magnificent temples of Angkor in Cambodia, float in a hot air balloon above the temple-studded plains of Bagan in Myanmar or see the karst formations of Halong Bay in Vietnam – there is so much to explore and discover on Thailand’s doorstep.

Get involved

Tired of schlepping your backpack about? Why not set up a base somewhere for a few months. There are plenty of things to get involved in from volunteer opportunities working in wildlife conservation or community development to Muay Thai and yoga training courses.

The weather

Thailand’s tropical climate not only provides that “endless summer” feeling it also makes for light packing. From scorching hot temperatures to epic monsoon downpours there is never a dull moment. Thailand is ideal for those who prefer to be in warmer, more temperate climates.

Tick on your CV/resume

Having travelled, particularly to “exotic” countries, will likely impress your future bosses. Having worldly experience is often an advantage as people see that you are up for a challenge and embrace new experiences.