But it is Thailand which is the true star of the show. Start your adventure on the famed Khao San road, backpacker central, from where all traveler trails lead. Bangkok’s an incredible city, let it be your playground, just waiting to be explored.
Then there are the incredible beaches and islands; Phuket, Krabi, Phi Phi, not to mention the full moon parties of Koh Phan Ngan. Imagine renting a bungalow on a secluded beach for less than $20 a night, lazing around as you order another bottle of cheap Chang beer. Think: soft sand underfoot and turquoise waters.
Up north it gets mountainous, and budget travelers love Chiang Mai for its ancient old city and the soft adventure. You’ll get a taste of this laid-back town during your one-month training, but it’s the trekking and zip lining, whitewater rafting and mountain biking that raises the adrenalin.
Getting around is easy and affordable, a well-worn and slick network of overnight buses and trains, budget flights, tour agencies and chilled guesthouses have been laid out before you. On a teacher’s salary it’s realistic to save sufficiently over the year to travel for a six or eight weeks in the region.