Capital City Bangkok
Population: 66,500,000
Currency: Baht (฿)
Language: Thai
Calling Code: +66

A gap year in Thailand is something that no traveller should miss. Backpackers flock to this south-east Asian paradise in their millions every single year, yet there are still many places off the beaten track to explore if you want to see the “real Thailand”. Of course, beach parties, hedonistic nights and great food are there too, if you simply want to have a good time instead! In fact, Thailand is so good that many travellers don’t ever bother to leave!

Bangkok is the place most travellers will start, and there is nowhere quite like it on earth. A sprawling metropolis with bars, clubs, restaurants, markets, hostels and everything else you could possibly need – all done with the distinctively friendly and welcoming Thai manner. What’s more, you’ll find accommodation available here for absolutely tiny amounts of money, meaning this is the perfect place for backpackers on a budget! It would be a massive mistake to only visit Bangkok while on a gap year in Thailand though, as there are many other great areas to explore as well!

So what is the highlight of this country, outside of the capital city? While the temples are awe-inspiring, the countryside is breath-taking and the other cities are incredibly interesting, it is the islands that will really leave a lasting impression. Thailand has loads of picturesque and virtually deserted islands to visit, set in pristine blue waters and underneath the heat of the beating sun. Not visiting at least one of these islands – such as Koh Samui, which is one of the larger islands – is like not visiting Buckingham Palace while in London.

Working in Thailand

There are options for working while on a gap year in Thailand, however the process of getting a visa is something that can be quite off-putting. That being said, those with the persistence to work with the system will find a number of really great opportunities, with two of the most popular being teaching English and becoming a diving instructor. Of course, there is also the option of finding some casual work without a visa, although this is done at your own risk.

Where Next?

There is also something else that makes Thailand the perfect choice for a gap year: the fact that it is perfectly placed to visit many other different countries. You can easily move on to places such as India and Vietnam, plus it is the perfect launching pad to continue your gap year in Australia, one of the most popular gap year destinations for travellers. Most flights arrive in and depart from Bangkok, although there are other international airports in the country too.

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