Thailand is a country that is really welcoming of its guests. In fact 20 million visitors a year to be precise, so it’s well set up to cater to foreigners who prefer a few comforts now and then. Wherever you are in Thailand you’re never too far from some sophistication, and of course other foreigners for company.
You gap year here will be one of surprises, discovery, friendship and enchantment. Occasionally infuriating, but mostly enjoyable, Thailand is a country that is really welcoming of its guests. In fact 20 million visitors a year to be precise, so it’s well set up to cater to foreigners who prefer a few comforts now and then. Wherever you are in Thailand you’re never too far from some sophistication, and of course other foreigners for company.
There’s many different ways to experience the country. Most see it from the amazing beaches and islands, though living among the heavy touristy places can be expensive and jading. Bangkok is a heady city that excites some and accounts for the largest number of expats, but it’s expensive, pressured and one big traffic jam. Many teachers prefer to lead relaxed lives in smaller towns in the provinces.
The most interesting and authentic way to experience the country, even for a year, is living among the locals in the more rural countryside or provincial towns. Think of yourself cycling through lush green rice paddies on your way to school, living in an old teak house, the site of a sparkling Thai temple from your balcony, or the lines of monks in the early morning on their alms rounds.
Live the fun life in Thailand
Wherever you end up, the Thais around you will be dedicated to living a fun life, where leisure and enjoyment are usually part of your routine. Meals are taken in restaurants, sumptuous meals for a dollar, so you never have to cook, then there’s the massage at the end of a long week, a few Chang beers enjoyed in the balmy weather at sunset, or friendly Thai neighbours, always inviting you out with them.
Under the TAP program you are fully legal to live and work in Thailand, the paperwork is done for you, and surprisingly good state health care is part of a typical employment contract. The best part about living here is it’s cheap, there’s not much you can’t afford in a daily routine. As a TEFL teachers you will be living well above the national average income.
Thailand is also a very pious Buddhist country and this just adds to the wonder of the whole place, there’s always some colourful religious festival going on, and the temple is at the heart of the community, with saffron-robed monks a common site. Everything gets blessed periodically, and the net result is a passive, forgiving and generally soft character.