I am looking to head out to Thailand/Australia around November-December 2013 and to be honest I want to only visit the one country for a full year but I can't decide.
I believe Thailand to be a great place with different varied culture and lifestyle and would be a fantastic new experience. However I see Australia as the pinnacle of destinations to visit, and is viable to visit all year round, but I see that as similar to UK but with a better climate.
The question is which country should I choose, I have a budget of around £8,000 to start with and I am not afraid to work to earn money once I'm there and settled.
Any advice, experiences would be appreciated.
[ Edit: Edited on 16-Apr-2013, at 06:17 by paul067 ]
Geez, that's a tough decision! I've travelled Thailand for just over a month and I live in (and have travelled some of) Australia. Thailand first off is by far cheaper, almost ridiculously so. Thailand is probably better if you're into beautiful beaches, tourists, partying, and culture. We loved our trip to Thailand and we did a bit of everything. Australia also has its fair share of beautiful beaches, but I have to say I much more enjoyed the beach atmosphere in Thailand. Australia will be harder to get around without your own transport, flights between states are pretty cheap though. Our winters can get quite miserable down south, so spend them up north or far west. A whole year gives you plenty of time to see a lot of Australia. It's certainly enough to see all of Thailand a few times over! We have fairly cheap flights or package deals to Thailand if you were interested in seeing it if you choose Aus. We've also got cheap deals for New Zealand and Fiji. It all depends what you want to see and do the most. Do you want to see Thailands famous beaches, party hard for full moon, emmerse yourself in a new culture, see temples and waterfalls, elephant trekking, cheap scuba diving etc. or do you not want to miss uluru, the great barrier reef, camel riding on cable beach, tasmanian wilderness, sydney harbour, koalas etc.
If I can assist with anything specific you'd like to know about either country, let me know can't wait to see where you choose!
I plan to stay based in a city for say 3-4months which would you recommend? Factors taken into account are vibrant social scene, nightlife, natural beauty and if needed plenty of opportunities for work.
for english speakers there are always teaching jobs in thailand. if you have a degree, it will be not hard to get a teaching job here.
if you only want to travel, 1-2 months in thailand is enough. you can visit all interesting places all around thailand but you cannot see a true lifestyle and culture. if you want to discovery what the real thailand is and you have one full year, i recommend you to choose thailand due to the variety in each part of thailand. your budget around £8,000 is more than enough to stay without working in thailand. the normal salary for thai ppl is only around £300 -£400 a month. anyway i recommend you to take volunteer work as english teacher for community. on remote areas of thailand still need a lot of volunteer teacher. thai ppl is very kind and always feel highly appreciate with the foreigners who sincerely come to help. you can get a free accommodation and free local food that save some for your living cost. moreover, you can also travel around the area you stay with local guidance to see the unseen hidden wonderful place which is rarely visited by common tourists. you should stay in each area for 3 months and change to other areas. i think 3 months is not too long or too short for learning about thai ppl and having your good time with thai ppl. who know...you will fall in love with thailand more than you could imagine.
I've been to both but only for a month each.
I think you already have it figured out per your statements below...
a. "I believe Thailand to be a great place with different varied culture and lifestyle and would be a fantastic new experience. "
b. "However I see Australia as the pinnacle of destinations to visit, and is viable to visit all year round,
but I see that as similar to UK but with a better climate."
( In many ways like UK, not the least of which is the language,... but Aussis are much less formal and inhibited.)
Thialand has a really different climate. It is also Buddhist...with all the ramifications. ( This is a good thing.)
Their familiar saying and attitude is " my pen raie" ( sp) means "No Big Deal".
It also is much much cheaper.
You might consider splitting your time.
I'd recommend Melbourne for staying in a city in Aus. It's got great nightlife, plenty of job opportunities, backpacker friendly, easy transport system, plenty of renting opportunities and in general I think it's a much better place to live than Sydney. Nearby is also the Great Ocean Road, Phillip Island/Peninsula etc. I've got an American girl sharing my house at the moment, been here 9 months on a working visa and she loves Melbourne.
Can anyone from past experiences state how hard/easy it is to get a job once in Australia/Thailand?
Can they recommend any agencies, websites? I've seen firms like realgap that offer to set you up with bank accounts once your there and so on but I wish to travel independently and the fee that the firms offer are quite expensive.
Also travelling I may be naive in asking this but transport links? I'm presuming that there are regular bus services taking people from certain towns/cities daily?
Thank you for all feedback it is appreciated.
Hospitality jobs will be fairly easy to get. Plenty of places also put job opportunities up in their windows (for restaurants and retail).
Transport: http://ptv.vic.gov.au/ for Melbourne transport. Trains, trams, buses, very well connected. You'll need to buy a "myki". http://www.vline.com.au/ is for transport around regional victoria.
"I am looking to head out to Thailand/Australia around November-December 2013 and to be honest I want to only visit the one country for a full year but I can't decide."
Thailand is cheaper than Australia. No problem visiting Thailand but to stay a year will take some juggling with visas. You can't just walk around Thailand looking for a job like you can in your own home country. No work visa - no job!
If you are over 50 with money in the bank or a verifiable pension you may qualify for a retirement visa. Under 50 extremely difficult to get a job in Thailand for a year. Some teaching jobs open up but salaries are less than what you get working in a fast food restaurant in your own country. Thai wages are low. Teacher standards have improved over the past few years - they are more picky now!
Take a 2 month holiday and split the time between Thailand and Australia. You work opportunities might be better in Australia.