Thailand Gap Year
Perfect for first time travellers, Thailand has everything. A friendly culture (nicknamed the ‘Land of Smiles’), delicious food, stunning beaches, world famous parties and endless things to do. It is one of the most popular gap year destinations, and it’s easy to see why! Around 17 million people visit Thailand every year from all over the world and there are so many incredible gap year trips and programs available.
Gap Year Jobs, Trips & Programs in Thailand
Plan a Gap Year to Thailand
Looking for the best things to do on a gap year in Thailand? The following pages will help you book the ultimate experience:
- Study Abroad
- TEFL Courses
- Teach English
- Scuba Diving
- Muay Thai Lessons
- Thai Language Schools
Guide to Taking a Gap Year in Thailand
Thailand attracts thousands of travellers because of its beautiful beaches, rich culture and party scene. Taking a gap year in Thailand is a fun way for you to enjoy something different and see more of the world. There are no specific reasons why you might want to visit Thailand, maybe you are are finishing your studies, possible want to travel and see places you've heard about or you just want to experience one of the worlds greatest parties the Full Moon Party.
If you have never visited Asia before then Thailand is a great country to start, a lot of people speak English and travel can be organised very easily. Starting off your travels in the bustling city of Bangkok you can embrace the culture face on with busy markets, incredible street food and temples. Heading south your travels will be rewarded by beautiful sandy beaches and a laid back vibe. For those after a bit of adventure you can trek through jungles, learn to dive and kayak in Marine National Parks.
Visiting Thailand is a great opportunity to become attuned to how other countries live and it is undoubtedly a culturally rich experience. Many gap year travellers choose to book experiences through our website during their travels because there are few better ways to ingratiate yourself into the cultures and customs of the country. Whether on your trip you spend time soaking up the sights, meeting new people or you want to return home with some skills you never thought you would acquire, there are plenty of experiences available to book all year round. Popular adventure ideas include joining an overland adventure, going off the beaten track hill tribe expedition, going sea kayaking in Koh Chang, joining mountain walks in Chiang Rai and going rafting in the North.
Thailand is very well placed to travel around or take a gap year South-East Asia. Bangkok is an easily accessible city to get to from anywhere in the world and can be incorporated into most round the world tickets. This is a top destination for a reason, the food is delicious, there are friendly locals many of which speak English whilst there is also good infrastructure and also so many things to see and do. Highlights include partying in Koh Phangan, seeing the famous 'Maya Bay' from the film the Beach, visiting the Elephant Nature Park in Chiang Mai, doing a trek up to the Burma border, island hopping, hiring a moped and exploring an island like Koh Chang & more.
Start planning your dream trip today.
Thailand Gap Year Jobs
We list gap year jobs and programs for students, graduates, career breaks and for people seeking the adventure of a lifetime. There are so many options from paid work, gaining experience on an internship or voluntary work. A lot of people work as TEFL teachers which is a great way to live and work in Thailand.
Top Tips & Advice for Taking a Gap Year in Thailand
There are so many different gap year programs and packages available, here are some options and recommendations:
- Don't ride elephants, volunteer with them instead
- The Full Moon party in incredible
- Phi Phi is one of the best islands to visit but also one of the most expensive and most touristy
- Trekking in Northern Thailand is a must
- Chiang Mai is a lot more relaxed than Bangkok
- If you would like to get paid becoming an English teacher is recommended
- Visit the Sky bar in Bangkok for incredible views
Thailand Gap Year Reviews
If you would like to share your experience, advice or reviews please get in touch.
"I spend part of my gap year volunteering at a wildlife sanctuary in Thailand which was an incredible experience. Seeing and helping elephants was the highlight of my trip." - Jess, UK
"I spent last year on a gap year traveling around Thailand and have been a keen traveler ever since. I love adventure so try and tried to fit in as many exciting activities and cultural experiences as I could." - Charlotte, UK
"Go in search of the best island, there are so many to choose from. The full moon party is wild, if you are looking for culture and something more relaxing head to the north of the country." - Paul, UK
"Visit Chaing Mai on your gap year. There is literally so much to choose from including jungle treks, zip line adventures, cooking classes, animal conservations and everything in between. Chiang Mai is special, and I will be back there again one day. It was the most amazing experience and simply put: it is one of the best places I have ever visited and it has given me some memories that I cannot see being beaten anytime soon." - Jack B, UK
"I spent a year in Thailand with Project Trust and it was amazing and I wish I could re live the experience over again" - Bethany, UK
Gap Year in Bangkok
If you are going to spend your gap year in Thailand the chances are you will fly direct into Bangkok which is connected to a number of worldwide airports. If you are wondering what expect or need ideas for things to do when visiting Bangkok for the first time check out some top tips from Kali Mason below...
As soon as I got off of my plane at Don Mueang Airport I anticipated a wide array of things, including when my taxi driver sniffed a line of white dust in front of me before taking me to my hotel, but all in all Bangkok is a unique experience.
In Bangkok a lot of things are more spread out though, meaning it's much more convenient to grab a taxi to your desired destination. Be wary: many taxis are not metered and are out to scam you... example I had: "200 bhat to your hotel" ($5 for a 3 mile commute is actually quite expensive here). It's always safe to have a taxi driver that has a meter, minimum charge will be 35 bhat ($1). Under no circumstances take a tuk tuk unless you want your wallet to feel lighter by the end of your journey. Many drivers will take you to a gem store or you will be ripped off severely; it's probably nicer to walk the whole way home. But, saying that, you can avoid taxis and tuk tuks altogether by using the Sky Train or bus services. These are very cheap starting at 20 bhat for two stops and are incredibly efficient.
I visited the temples during my stay in Bangkok. I couldn't afford to visit the Grand Palace (500 bhat, $16/17!) but I could visit the smaller ones which were just as nice: Wat Pho (100 bhat entry) and Wat Arun (50 bhat entry). Wat Pho contains the ever-so famous Reclining Buddha, a fantastic sight in itself and the main attraction, as well as various temples and shrines that take your breath away. Wat Arun was across the river from Wat Pho, pay 3 bhat each way for this, then follow the pathway to the Wat where you have the chance to climb the sides to the top of Wat Arun.
At the top you're also able to sign your name on the silk banners left up there as well as taking in the view of Bangkok. If you're short on money and want a close enough view of Bangkok as the Sky Tower then this may float your boat. State Tower Hotel (where Hangover 2 was filmed) is also a good place to see the skyline as well with many references to the iconic movie there. An experience like no other is Bangkok. I believe it's worth visiting if you're after something eccentric, but be wary of scams and things that may be out of your comfort zone. - By Kali Mason, UK
Health & Safety
There are no specific vaccinations needed to enter Thailand but please check with your local GP to see what they recommend a couple of months before departing. Malaria is only a problem in really rural areas around the borders with Cambodia and Laos in the North, please ask locals and fellow travellers for advice on this. The changes of catching malaria in Thailand are slim but if you want to be on the safe side get tablets before departing.
Drink lots of water during summer, Thailand gets hot and its important to stay hydrated also be careful when drinking alcoholic buckets on the islands and beaches, usually these are really strong! Try the local food which is very tasty and usually includes fresh ingredients. Try to avoid eating fast food everyday as it might make you feel lethargic and tired. Avoid having sex without a condom, problems with HIV and Aids are a big problem in Thailand and there is a very active sex tourism market.