After all the studying and hard work of university, it’s natural to dream of a gap year and in many cases, it’s completely achievable as long as you’re sensible. Taking a year out from the humdrum of everyday life to explore and appreciate faraway lands can be found on many a bucket list and while some may think that the experience is a pipedream, those serious about the adventure will be equally serious about saving for it.
During a gap year, the possibilities are endless. You could choose to hop between destinations to ensure you can tick off as much as possible or you could choose to spend a little longer in specific places. Either way, you will undoubtedly have the time of your life and an experience that you will never forget.
While many choose to head towards Australia and New Zealand for the majority of their gap year, others will opt instead for South East Asia. It’s a completely different way of life over there and with Thailand adventures and bespoke Vietnam tours available through companies like Trailfinders; you will be able to see for yourself.
The plethora of destinations in South East Asia can guarantee a full itinerary for the duration of your time on the continent. Here are some of the top destinations that are perfect for the budget gapper.
Vietnam has gone from strength to strength over recent years and nowadays, is a major addition to any gap year schedule. From the pandemonium of Ho Chi Minh to the serenity of Halong Bay, Vietnam has something for everyone.
Cambodia used to be ravaged by war but recently, has shown stability and boasts tremendous natural beauty. Hop on the bamboo train from Battambang and head for the temple complex of Angkor Wat for an awe-inspiring sight, or explore its unspoilt landscapes that haven’t succumbed to tourists like its neighbouring countries have.
Thailand isn’t for everyone and its capital, Bangkok, can be incredibly overwhelming due to the sheer volume of people and traffic within, but the sights in and beyond the city are well worth seeing. From the hustle and bustle of Khao San Road to the majestic temples of Wat Pho and Wat Saket, the city provides a flawless fusion of modern and classical influences.
When visiting the area, include a few days or more in the Gulf of Thailand and the Andaman Sea; home to hundreds of islands begging to be explored. From the largest, Phuket, with its unrivalled nightlife to the incredible beauty of Koh Phi Phi, island hopping is completely achievable and an absolute must.
Of course, this list certainly isn’t exhaustive. Laos, Malaysia and Borneo are incredible places to add to your gap year adventure too – all of which are worlds apart from everyday life and offer an unforgettable experience.
Photo by cristinabe on Flickr