Recommended for: Backpacking
Living costs: £
Peak season: November to March
UK government travel advice: Thailand
Visa requirements (for UK citizens): Up to 30 days visa-free

A favoured stop on the “Banana Pancake Trail”, Thailand is a haven for backpackers. Between cheap hostels, wide-spread English and those delicious banana pancakes, it’s certainly one of the easiest (and cheapest) countries to visit.

As a general rule of thumb, head south for islands, north for jungles and to Bangkok for fun travel stories to tell your friends. Its popularity with backpackers means that there’s plenty of public transport around, but renting a motorbike is becoming one of the most popular ways to travel.

Of course, not all tourism has been good, and that means there’s a need for volunteers as well as travellers. One big issue with the tourist trade in Thailand is the mistreatment of elephants.

Riding an elephant has become a “bucket-list experience” for many travellers, and Thailand is known as the place to do it. What a lot of these travellers don’t know is that many of the elephants they’re riding have been captured illegally from the wild, and undergo a brutal taming process aptly known as “the crush”. Wildlife sanctuaries need volunteers to help them care for rescued elephants, and to raise awareness of their plight.

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