Thailand Backpacking

Thailand backpackingThailand backpacking trips from Xtreme Gap Year cram as much in to our exciting action packed itineraries as you could possibly handle! Thailand is probably the most popular backpacking destination, and it has many faces, the lush beach resorts, mountain hill Tribes, vibrant cities, seedy night life and of course Xtreme Gap programmes!

Some of our best backpacking trips are in Thailand, and we even have a base there. From exciting Thailand group backpacking tours, cultural experiences, the full moon parties, adrenaline inducing Martial Arts programmes (Muay Thai Kick boxing is the national sport), to Diving, freediving, rock climbing adventures. There is plenty on offer if you’re considering going backpacking in Thailand.

Discover the land of the smiles with our fun adventurous group trips, or get fit and healthy at our fitness camp. How much fun can you handle?

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The most popular Thailand backpacking trips.

backpack Experience Thailand (42)We have several very popular group Thailand backpacking tours, and these represents some of our most popular Thailand backpacking trips. The Xtreme Thailand experience is one of the most popular trips we run. It is a pretty comprehensive 25 day trip with plenty of different activities included, set over four different themed weeks. This means you get to spend quite a bit of time not only on the mainland discovering places off the backpacking trail, but you also have plenty of beach time on the tropical paradise island of Koh Tao. Because this is a popular group tour, it doesn’t matter if you’re planning on travelling on your own. We will make sure you have a good time and introduce you to other backpackers who will be travelling around with you during the month.

Another popular trip is the Thailand Xplorer This is less activity-based than the Xtreme Thailand experience, and goes to different places as well. For example the Thailand Xplorer heads to Koh Phi Phi where you can visit the beach, one of the most popular backpacking locations. Of course we are referring to the beach from the movie, not just any old beach it is certainly one of the most beautiful beaches in the world.

If your travel budget is tight check out the Thailand adventure.

If your budget is going to be stretched, we have a great value option in the Thailand adventure, this is a cutdown version of the Thailand experience, you will still be in a group but there aren’t as many included activities. We are great believers in doing exciting activities as you travel, as we genuinely believe this makes the trip even more special, but we know that not everyone has the budget to go diving, or experience some of the more popular backpacking options.

Check out some of our videos to get inspired and see what happens on some of our Thailand trips.

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Diving in Thailand a great place to get your PADI licence when you are backpacking.

One of the staple activities of most backpackers in Thailand is learning to dive.  Xtreme Gap Year has some superb diving programmes which you can do whilst you are travelling. Whether it’s going for your basic open water course or going all the way up to Divemaster Thailand is a great place to learn. Every year thousands of people had the island of Koh Tao, which is one of the top Thai island on the backpacking route, where they learn to dive in one of the many dive shops on the island. On Koh Tao we have an office and every month lots of backpackers join our groups to discover what it’s like 30 m below the ocean.

diving and backpacking in Thailand

Top locations to visit when backpacking in Thailand.

We are often asked where the best places to go to during a one-month tour of Thailand. Whilst many of our different group tours take you to some of these places you may want to research some other places as well.  The reality is there are so many different places to head to, some are popular for different reasons so a lot depends on what style of travel you are. There are some major backpacker hotspots though, that just keep attracting travellers again and again, so this is the Xtreme Gap Year guide to Thailand’s best backpacking locations.

Koh Phanang & Koh Tao and the islands.

Koh Tao Gap Year (13)The number one location for backpackers in Thailand is without a doubt on the islands around the Gulf of Thailand.  The legendary full moon party draws up to 40,000 people every month so if you are adding this to your itinerary, you are certain to be with thousands of other backpackers around that time. Most of our trips include the full moon party, although we also offer a shorter full moon party trip as well. Other popular places for Thailand backpacker’s include Phi Phi which is another island in the Andaman Sea (the other side of the elephants trunk-look at a map Thailand is said to look like an elephant with an elephant’s trunk).

Phuket and Phi Phi

The popular holiday destination of Phuket is not really that popular with backpackers, however it is the location of our Thailand fitness Bootcamp which is also a very popular activity. Many backpackers will head through Phuket on their way to Koh Phi Phi. This is definitely worth seeing as it is a great place to chill for a couple of days, although don’t stay any longer as it will get to you in the end! With lots of beach bars is definitely got a great atmosphere, needless to say amazing beaches and good night life.

Many people also head back through the coastal town of Krabi, the beach is not so nice here but it’s still an interesting place to be.

Chang Mai the Thailand backpacker jungle paradise

On the mainland if you had to the North be sure to visit Chang Mai which is a stopover on our Laos backpacking program, a great bolt on to add to any Thailand trip. The mood is very much a different affair in the north of Thailand, dominated by Hill tribe’s and jungles it is a stunning place to be. Many people also recommend Pai, the perfect tonic to the headonsim nightlife of the islands.


Bangkok is definitely on the list, whilst many will tell you two days is more than enough because of the hectic nature of it, it is definitely worth a visit. Boss most backpackers stay and go out in one particular area, the Khao San Road, there are attractions located all over this massive city. The secret to a successful Bangkok visit, is to get the timing right for the places you want to visit. For example if you want to check out the kings Palace, then it’s best to arrive in the morning, as it shuts in the afternoon.

One of the best ways to see the city, without breaking the bank or subjecting you to a knee shaking Tuk Tuk ride is to take the riverboat for a couple of cents which takes you past some of the most incredible temples and scenery in Bangkok.


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What type of VISA is required if you’re going Thailand backpacking?

The answer to this depends on how long you intend to stay in Thailand, and also your nationality. Most nationalities who travel to Thailand backpacking are able to get a 28 day visa exemption certificate, also known as a VISA on arrival. This allows you to stay in Thailand for up to 28 days. This means if you are on our Xtreme Thailand experience, Thailand Explorer or Thailand adventure programme you are not actually required to prearrange a VISA. If you are travelling longer, then you will need to pre-arrange a visa before you travel, but are detailed predeparture packs give you all the advice and assistance you need. You can also read up on everything you need to know about travelling in Thailand on our blog.



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