Southeast Asia & Absolute Oz Jobs
An epic gap year experience
Book now for £99
Group Size: Avg 10-28
Trip code: SEAB
Duration: Up to 1 year
This epic combo tour brings together two of our fave trips, to create the ultimate gap year experience. Explore the best bits of Thailand, Laos, Cambodia and Vietnam over 33 days, before spending up to 12 months living, and working Down Under. You’ll meet elephants in Thailand, go river tubing in Laos, cruise Ha Long Bay on a private boat and watch the sun come up over Angkor Wat in Cambodia. Then jet south to Australia where we’ve lined up an awesome week of activities in Sydney and Port Stephens before you launch yourself into your working life in Oz with the full support of our jobs team, and access to our mega jobs database! With salaries ranging from £15 - £25 per hour, and up to 1,900 jobs available all over the country, it’s an incredible way to travel without breaking the bank!
- Feed and bathe elephants at an ethical sanctuary in Thailand
- Spend a day cruising the emerald waters of Ha Long Bay
- Discover the splendour of Angkor Wat at sunrise
- Enjoy an action-packed intro week of activities in Australia, including a stay in our Port Stephens beach camp
- Have the flexibility to live and work anywhere in Australia for up to 12 months
- Enjoy the full support of our Aussie employment team and access to our jobs database
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Download more trip information and detailed itinerary
This trip is a combo of two of our most popular trips – Southeast Asia Adventure (33 days including pre/post night) and Absolute Oz Jobs (up to 12 months).
Southeast Asia Adventure
Day 1: Bangkok, Thailand. Spend the day easing into Southeast Asian life. Meet your guide and group this evening and then hop on the sleeper train to Chiang Mai!
Please note, as the welcome meeting for the trip is at 5pm, after which you will leave for Chiang Mai, we have included a pre-night accommodation for you.
Day 2: Elephant sanctuary & homestay. Arrive in Chiang Mai, and then take the bus to a local elephant sanctuary. Feed the elephants and trek through the jungle to the river (no riding), where you’ll give them a wash. Stop at a waterfall before arriving at your homestay this evening.
Days 3 - 5: Chiang Mai. Trek to a local hill tribe village on the morning of day 3 before heading back to Chiang Mai. As well as visiting a local temple and dancing the night away in a popular nightclub, you’ve got lots of optional activities to choose from over the next couple of days, including watching Muay Thai, learning how to cook Thai dishes, rafting, trekking and taking a trip to a local waterfall.
Days 6 – 8: Luang Prabang, Laos. Take the flight to Luang Prabang - a charming colonial city with a dreamy atmosphere. We’ll visit the fairy-tale Kuang Si Waterfalls while we’re here. We’ve got a number of exciting optional activities too, from night markets, and a Takbat Lao ceremony, to volunteering with children at a local bookstore and visiting the ethnic villages around the city.
Days 9 - 10: Vang Vieng. Stop for a dip at the crystal clear Blue Lagoon 2 on our way to picturesque Vang Vieng. Spend the next couple of days chilling by the river, hiking into the lush surrounding countryside, or book one of our optionals, including bike rides, rock-climbing and tubing.
Days 11 – 12: Hanoi, Vietnam. Fly to the Vietnamese capital. Dump your bags and head out for dinner, followed by an optional bar crawl. On day 12, visit Hoa Lo prison, or just explore the Old Quarter at your own pace, sampling Vietnamese coffee at one of the street side cafes.
Day 13: Ha Long Bay. Take an unforgettable day cruise through the emerald green waters of Ha Long Bay. With stops at floating villages, epic snorkelling and a picnic lunch, it’s a day you’ll remember for a long time to come.
Days 14 – 15: Phong Nha. Nestled at the base of soaring limestone cliffs, Phong Na is surrounded by lush forest and is still mostly undiscovered. We’ve got some great optional activities from a coffee tasting trip, to a bike ride to Bong Lai Village and a day in pristine Phong Na-Khe Bang National Park.
Days 16 – 18: Hoi An. Hoi An is an ancient town, with yellow-toned buildings and Chinese shop-houses, lit up by hundreds of colourful lanterns at night. It’s an amazing place to chill and soak up the atmosphere, but we’ve also got trips to the Vietnamese ‘Disneyland’, a coconut basket boat experience, a lantern-making workshop, a local farm visit and a day at the beach on offer.
Days 19 – 21: Ho Chi Minh City. Fly from Da Nang to Ho Chi Minh City - a throbbing powerhouse of a city, where the scooters never sleep! Take a walking tour of the city, visit the night market, go on a bar crawl and visit the Cu Chi tunnels or the War Remnants Museum to learn about the impact of the Vietnam War.
Days 22 – 23: Phnom Penh. Tick another country off your list as we head across the border and to the capital city of Cambodia - Phnom Penh. We’ll take a walking tour, visit the infamous S21 Prison and the Killing Fields to learn about the country’s tragic history, and spend a night bar hopping.
Days 24 – 27: Koh Rong Samloem. Leave the city behind and head to the beautiful island of Koh Rong Samloem. We’ll swim with luminous plankton, take a snorkelling trip round the marine park, and spend a night camping under the stars – bliss!
Day 28: Koh Rong Samloem to Siem Reap. This afternoon, take the boat back to the mainland, arriving in Sihanoukville at 5pm in time for the sleeper bus to Siem Reap.
Days 29 – 30: Siem Reap and Ankor Wat. Arrive in Siem Reap in the morning and relax by the pool before taking a walking tour of the city, pampering yourself with a spa experience and touring the city on a peddle pub tour. Day 30 starts with a real bucket-list moment – watching the sun come up over Angkor Wat! Celebrate with your travel buddies this evening over a final group dinner.
Day 31: Bangkok and trip end. Hop on the bus back to Bangkok. It’s a long journey so sit back, relax and maybe catch up on some zzzs after last night! We’ll drop you off at Ratchathewi Road and included one post night in the accommodation so you can travel onwards at any time tomorrow.
Absolute Oz Jobs
Absolute Oz Jobs is the ideal introduction into the world of living and working Down Under. Before you begin your job search you’ll enjoy a week of fun, settling in and making new friends, including amazing activities in Sydney and at our gorgeous Beach Camp in Port Stephens. Once your first week is over you’ll kick-start your job search with the expert advice and assistance of our Sydney jobs team.
Week 1: Sydney & Beach Camp adventure
Day 1: Welcome to Sydney! Take the shuttle to your hostel in the city. Today is yours, so relax, catch up on some zzzs, or explore Sydney at your own pace.
Day 2: Discover Sydney. Meet your guides and the rest of your group this morning and then head out on a guided walking tour of stunning Sydney. We’ll start with lunch (not included) at Darling Harbour, before hitting Circular Quay for the Harbour Bridge, Opera House and Botanical Gardens. This evening, get to know your group better with a welcome meal and drinks.
Day 3: Info session & harbour cruise. Your day kicks off with an info session on working and travelling Down Under. Then we’re off for a private catamaran cruise around the harbour. Take in dazzling views, swim in the sparkling water and enjoy a classic Aussie BBQ lunch on deck. Tonight, hit the bars again with your new friends! Some travellers like to go out in the evenings for a meal and then carry on the party but there is no expectation to do so. If you prefer to chill and wake up with a clear head, then there are plenty of great options too!
Day 4: Head to Beach Camp. Today we’re off to our beautiful Beach Camp in Port Stephens. Nestled in the pristine Aussie bush, 5 minutes from the beach, it’s the perfect escape from the city. Take a wander down to the shore, keeping an eye out for the tame camp kangaroos. Then share a pizza dinner with your buddies before some star-gazing on the beach.
Day 5: 4WD tour, sandboarding & bushwalk. We’re up early to see the sun rise over the ocean, before hopping into our 4WD trucks for an exhilarating tour of the local sand dunes – you’ll be able to try sandboarding too! After lunch, take a guided bushwalk through Tomaree National Park, working up a good appetite for tonight’s BBQ. Tonight you will get a chance to learn more about Australian wildlife and reptiles.
Day 6: Dolphin cruise & return to Sydney. We’ve got one last treat in store before we leave - cruising the bay looking for bottlenose dolphins! Sun yourself on deck, or sit in the water-skimming boom net while dolphins swim underneath. There’s time for one last swim before we travel back to Sydney. The rest of the afternoon is yours.
Day 7: Job advice session & Sydney bar crawl. Today you’ll can make your appointment for your one-on-one advice session with our jobs team. Tonight we’re going ‘out out’ in Sydney with an epic bar crawl of some of the city’s hottest nightspots!
Day 8: Bondi to Coogee walk. Breathe in the fresh ocean air on the coastal walk from Coogee to Bondi. Comfy shoes and swimmers are a must! We end our afternoon chilling at the famous Bondi Beach - the perfect way to unwind after your first week in Australia!
Beyond week 1 – the job search
After your first fun week of Australian adventures are over you can kick-start your job search properly! We’ve got work available all over the country in numerous different fields, so you’re sure to find something to suit you!
The most common types of employment for working holidaymakers are in hospitality, au-pair / nanny roles, customer service, construction and harvest / farm work (see our downloadable trip notes for full list). Salaries will vary dependent on role and location, but you can expect to earn between £10 and £15 an hour.
The job support programme includes:
- Dedicated jobs coordinator (Mon-Fri)
- 12 months’ access to the online jobs database
- CV review service
- Aussie mobile phone SIM card
- Tax File Number
- Medicare application assistance
- Advice about Australian bank accounts
- Office-based PC and Wi-Fi access
- 12-month mail holding service
- Accommodation advice
2nd and 3rd Year Working Holiday Visas
If you wish to stay and work in Australia for an additional year after your first visa expires then you just need to do 88 days of specified regional work during your first year in Australia. This programme can help you apply for regional jobs which would qualify you for the 2nd year visa!
Furthermore, if you qualify for a 2nd year working holiday visa and then spend 6 months during your second year doing regional work, you can also apply for a 3rd year working holiday visa!
Ask a travel advisor for further details.
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Most expensive: £1,554 July, 2023
Southeast Asia Adventure
As you will see from the itinerary, you would need to arrive early in the day on day 1, and leave late on day 31. To avoid any issues with flight delays, we have automatically included one pre-night accommodation and one post-night accommodation in this trip - making your Southeast Asia Adventure 33 days long.
The nearest airport is Bangkok Suvarnabhumi (BKK). You will need to arrive into Bangkok on your start date listed, however this day is purely an arrivals day with no activities planned as we have included a pre-night. You will meet your guide at the welcome meeting on day 2.
The Southeast Asia Adventure ends in Bangkok. We have included one post-night accommodation, so you can leave at any time on the end date listed on your booking confirmation.
Absolute Oz Jobs
You should arrange your flights to arrive into Sydney Airport (SYD) on your start date. Our shuttle company meets every new arrival, regardless of time or flight delays. Go to the shuttle desk and let them know you’ve arrived and the greeter will direct you to the shuttle bus. The shuttle bus runs to the city centre every 15 minutes.
If you want to arrive a few days earlier into Sydney, we’ll be happy to help you organise any additional accommodation you may need (at extra cost). Please contact us for further details.
Southeast Asia Adventure
32 nights of simple accommodation are included on this tour. Most nights will be spent in multi-share mixed-sex dorms. The dorms sizes vary between 6-12 beds. Some nights will be spent on overnight buses and trains and you’ll even have a night camping on a beautiful island in Cambodia (weather dependent)!
Absolute Oz Jobs
Your first week is all about sun, fun and adventure. You’ve got 7 nights’ accommodation included as part of your package. For nights 1, 2, 3, 6 and 7 you’ll be based at Wake Up! Hostel in the centre of Sydney and for nights 4 and 5, you’ll be in our Beach Camp in picturesque Port Stephens.
Sydney – Wake Up!
Wake Up! is an award-winning hostel with bright, modern rooms and a sociable vibe. The historic hostel building is in a great location, directly opposite Sydney Central Station and within walking distance of Darling Harbour and many other world-famous attractions. You’ll stay in mixed-sex dorm rooms with up to 10 people. Sharing in hostels is the best way to meet a lot of new people very quickly, and by the end of the week, you’ll have heaps of new mates to discover the land Down Under with! However if you would prefer a private room, you can upgrade at additional cost. Please contact a travel advisor for more information.
The hostel is a hub of exciting city action, with its own backpacker bar where you can hang out with your new friends and stock up on tasty local tucker and enjoy a few drinks. The onsite café serves breakfast and there’s also a kitchen with fridges and storage. If you need some chill out time, there’s also a communal TV lounge.
Wake Up has all the facilities you could possibly need as a new arrival to Oz, including 24-hour reception, a travel and information desk, phone booths on every floor, security lockers, laundry facilities, Wi-Fi and a postal service.
Port Stephens – Beach Camp
Our Beach Camp is a hidden coastal gem. A stone’s throw away from a stunning empty beach and surrounded by wilderness and an abundance of wildlife – it’s the perfect contrast to buzzing Sydney. Being off-the-beaten track really allows you to bond fully with your group and gives you a proper taste of the natural beauty of Australia. With nights spent star-gazing on the beach and days taking in the humbling beauty of your surroundings, you’ll leave fully recharged and ready for that job-hunt!
While at Beach Camp, you’ll stay in multi-share dorm rooms of 6 people!
Accommodation beyond week 1
After the first week, most of our travellers choose to rent an apartment, often sharing with the new friends they have made in the first week. Our team in Sydney will be able to help you explore possible accommodation options either in Sydney or elsewhere in Australia.
Our team works with a local Sydney accommodation supplier who offers fully furnished accommodation in the CBD, Eastern & Western suburbs. Participants can make an appointment through the job team to be shown available properties.
Please be aware that accommodation costs in Sydney can be high due to the desirability of the city as a location to live and work, but it's worth it for the experience! Alternatively, you can apply for jobs further afield in Australia.
You can expect to pay at least £150 per week on average for rent in Australia (costs in Sydney can be a little higher). The minimum contract is normally 3 months but some agencies will ask you to commit to six months.
Alternatively you can extend your stay in a hostel - a great option for those that want to travel around. Hostels offer cheaper rates for those that want a long term stay. You can often walk in and get a room that day but we recommend that you make a reservation the night before. Depending on where you stay in Australia, you can expect to pay around £140-£175 per week in a hostel.
Please note that when you are working in Australia, you are likely to earn enough to cover any living expenses such as rent, food and bills. If you would like any more information about costs and accommodation please contact us for more details.
- Southeast Asia Adventure: 1 breakfast, 6 lunches and 3 dinners
- Absolute Oz Jobs: 3 dinners, 2 breakfasts and 2 lunches (first week only)
Please let us know at the time of booking about any dietary requirements you may have.
You’ll have to be the rest of your meals yourself. This allows you maximum flexibility. Dietary requirements can be catered for but please inform us of these at the time of booking.
This trip is designed for travellers aged 18-30.
- Thailand: British passport holders arriving by air or land can enter Thailand for 30 days without a visa (a ‘visa exemption’). Your passport must have at least 6 months’ validity remaining from your date of entry into Thailand.
- Laos: Visa on arrival and e-Visa are available.Your passport should have at least 6 months’ validity remaining on your date of entry into Laos.
- Cambodia: You will need a visa to enter or travel through Cambodia as a visitor. Tourist visas can be applied for online or obtained on arrival.Your passport should have at least 6 months’ validity remaining on your date of entry into Cambodia.
- Vietnam: Vietnam has introduced visa waivers for the nationals of 13 countries including the UK. Visa waivers allow for visits to Vietnam for up to 15 days without needing to apply for a visa. Your passport must have at least 6 months’ validity remaining from your date of entry into Vietnam.
- Australia: You’ll need to apply for a Working Holiday Visa for your stay in Australia. Gap 360 can apply for your visa on your behalf. To be eligible, applicants need to meet the following requirements:
- Hold a passport issued by an eligible country or region that is valid for the proposed duration of your stay
- Be aged 18-30 (inclusive) at the time of applying
- Not be accompanied by dependent children at any time during your stay in Australia
- Meet health, character and financial requirements
- Not have previously entered Australia on a Working Holiday visa (unless applying for a second visa)
- Be outside Australia when they apply and when their visa is granted
- Apply within 12 months of intended travel to Australia.
- Have sufficient funds to cover your expected living/trip costs during your stay
- Have funds for a return or onward ticket to depart Australia (or an actual ticket)
- Have health insurance
Please note: Visa rules are subject to change. Please check for the most up to date information before you travel.
This trip is designed with your safety and wellbeing in mind. As a result of Covid-19, many of our suppliers and partners around the world are introducing new policies and procedures surrounding health and safety in response to the Coronavirus outbreak. As the state of travel is evolving these new safety measures will adapt over time, and will be different for each trip. Here are some of the changes you may see on your trip:
Arrival safety meetings
Most trips have an arrival meeting on the first day where the guide or local team will run through the trip, the safety protocols, and to answer any questions you may have. Now more than ever it is important you arrive in time for these meetings.
Proof of vaccination or negative covid test
For the safety of all travellers, at the start of some trips you may be required to show evidence that you are fully vaccinated (14 days after your second dose) and/or show evidence of a negative PCR test taken within 72 hours of the tour start date in order to join the programme.
Updated hygiene and safety procedures
Our suppliers and partners have health and safety procedures in place on all of our trips. These protocols will be updated and adapted as a response to the Coronavirus outbreak, dependent on local restrictions and laws.
Transport and accommodation choices
Our suppliers and partners choose the accommodation and transport on our trips very carefully, and you may see a change to what would normally be used as a response to the outbreak. This may involve such changes as enhanced use of private transport or quieter accommodation.
Trained and knowledgeable staff
Our staff in the UK are trained to help you with your trip before you depart and answer any questions you may have. In addition, the local team and guides on our trips are there to help with any health and safety concerns and to ensure our trips run safely and smoothly.
Reduced group sizes
Some trips will run with reduced group sizes to start with. You may find that trips are more intimate and chilled, whilst still being packed with fun and adventure.
Your guide or the local team will be on hand to help you seek medical attention should you require it during your trip. As medical facilities and standards can vary around the world, you should ensure you have adequate travel insurance in place before you depart to cover you for any medical emergencies.
24/7 emergency support
We operate an emergency phone line for our travellers abroad. This is operated by a UK based member of staff 24/7 if you have a genuine emergency or urgent matter that you need attending.
It is important that you take measures to make travelling safer for yourself and others around you. Ensure you frequently wash your hands, cover your face when you sneeze and cough, bring and use your own hand sanitiser and facial coverings/masks, and enable social distancing where necessary. You should also ensure you listen to the instructions and guidance of the local team at all times, and follow all local laws and restrictions.