Top 5 Gap Year Destinations in Southeast Asia
You’ve worked long and hard, and now it’s time for a well deserved break. But where do you begin? How do you decide where you want to go to when the world is your oyster?
A typical Gap Year destination is of course Southeast Asia. There is no better place for backpackers to find themselves and have the time of their lives. Here are our Top 5 Gap Year Destinations for Southeast Asia.
One of the most popular holiday destinations ever, Thailand has such a large range of things to do you will be spoilt for choice. Try a kickboxing class, attend a full-moon party on the island of Koh Phangan or visit bustling Bangkok . Perfect for partygoers, you can party hard at night and relax on the beach during the day. What could be better? If you’re not into the nightlife, visit the Grand Palace in the heart of Bangkok, find one of the stunning waterfalls or check out a food market.
Malaysia is a multicultural mix of diversity, and a great way to begin a Gap Year trip. Although Kuala Lumpur, with the Petronas Towers and Batu Caves in the photo above, is the starting point for many when visiting Malaysia, the islands should not be forgotten and are the ideal destination for those on a Gap Year. If you are looking to eat your way through Asia, you have to go to George Town on the island of Penang. Try local street food such as asam laksa, a spicy noodle soup full of favour, or char kway teow, a fried noodle dish with onions and prawns.
If you want to go to paradise, visit the beaches on the island of Langkawi. You can also go island hopping or get a boat to Thailand from here. There are many backpackers travelling around Malaysia, so whether you are are a solo traveller or a group, you won’t want to leave!
Vietnam has been growing as a destination for budget backpackers for years, and is starting to rival Thailand. Check out Hanoi, the capital, rich with culture and history. For spectacular beauty head to Ha Long Bay, a UNESCO World Heritage Site where you are guaranteed to be mesmerised by the emerald waters and unique limestone islands. Vietnam is the ideal place for a road-trip or even hiking. You will be blown away by the spectacular scenery, but also the friendliness of the locals.
Top tip: surprisingly Vietnam has some of the best coffee in the world, so don’t miss it!
Full of life, vibrant and colourful; the Philippines is somewhere you shouldn’t miss. It’s not a traditional Gap Year destination, but you will regret not going. Ideal for those on a budget, you can still afford to try scuba diving or even swimming with whale sharks on the island of Cebu. For those not so adventurous, think relaxing on an empty beach, coconut in hand, enjoying the view. Perfect right? Although the islands are awesome, don’t miss out on life in Manila. A mix of modern architecture along with relics of the Spanish colonial past, it’s an interesting combination.
5. Sri Lanka
Trek through the rainforest, go on a safari tour or hire Tuk Tuks and go on an adventure; there are plenty of things to choose from. An island close to India, Sri Lanka is a natural beauty and the size means you can take a few weeks to really explore the whole country. Are you an animal lover? Then this is the place for you as there are many national parks to visit. Need a break from the wilderness? Head to the capital Colombo. Influenced by the Portuguese, Dutch and British, the port city is culturally intriguing. Foodies take note; the food is incredible. Enjoy a flavour rich curry which will (literally) set your taste buds on fire. You can even have it for breakkie if you want!