South East Asia is an emerging study abroad destination, and for good reason.
Thailand is an interesting blend of ancient and modern cultures. The blend of ancient temples, with outdoor market, and bustling cities, there is so much to see and do. The culture of Southeast Asia is very different from westernized countries, making the time studying abroad a completely unique experience.
2. Amazing food
If you travel to Thailand, stay away from western food! There are so many great places to get cheap street food and even restaurants are very affordable. There are so many different dishes to try from curries to stir fry, and noodle to rice dishes. The food is generally healthier and was served in smaller portions. Tropical fruit is very common and with the hot weather, a smoothie or fruit shake was always welcomed. The food is delicious with a variety of tastes: Khao Soi (a dish made with wide rice noodles and curry) being a personal favorite. If you are not a fan of spicy food (like me) “Mai Pet” meaning not spicy is a great phrase to learn.
A big part of learning about Thai culture is learning about Buddhism. Chiang Mai, for example, has several different temples called wats where you can learn about Thai history. Doi Suthep was one of the main temples that has a 300 step climb to top where there is a beautiful golden spire. Visiting the wats, you can have the opportunity to get blessed by a Buddhist monk. Seeing Buddha statues becomes a daily experience.
If you love animals, Thailand is a great place to study abroad. You can ride elephants and there are even some places that allow you to help wash, feed and take care of them. In Chiang Mai, there is the Tiger Kingdom where you can see and pet beautiful Asian tigers. There are some places in Southern Thailand where you can also see monkeys but watch out, they like to steal!
5. Friendly people
Thai people are very friendly. They are a very calm and peaceful group of people. They are raised to not show anger and avoid confrontation. They are very open to travelers and were always willing to help.
Thailand is incredibly affordable once you get there, especially compared to destinations such as Europe or Australia. In Europe, you could spend at least 10 euro on a meal, whereas, in Thailand, you would only spend $1-$3 on amazing local food. Getting around and staying in hostels also didn’t hurt your wallet. You can stay in hostels or hotels for as little as $5-$10 per night depending on where you are.
7. Easy travel
There are so many great destinations to visit but the language barrier was a concern at first. The fear quickly went away when I realized how easy it was to get from place to place. Reserving a bus, getting a train ticket, or navigating the ferries between islands was never difficult. Most people knew English and were always willing to help.
8. Great destinations
Thailand has some of the most amazing destinations to offer. Northern Thailand has the city of Chiang Mai but also many rural areas with rice fields and hill tribes. In the middle of the country, there is the vibrant city of Bangkok. Southern Thailand has amazing beaches with warm, clear, blue water. With island destinations like Phuket, Koh Tao, Koh Samui and Koh Phangan you could spend weeks island-hopping and exploring the beautiful, tropically scenery.
9. Good location
Thailand itself is in a great location within Southeast Asia if you want to venture out to other countries. Cambodia, Vietnam, Singapore and Bali are all relatively close and easy to get to. Each city and country has it’s own unique experience to offer. You could also go further to Asia to places like Japan and China on the way back home.
10. It’s a challenge
Studying abroad is the one time where you get to completely experience something new, something you probably wouldn’t get the chance to do. So why not challenge yourself? Go somewhere very different that’s out of your comfort zone and find out what an amazing place Thailand is!
Travel tip shared by College Tourist