Shadowing a DoctorAugust 16, 2012
Thailand is a popular destination for medical students looking for gap-year work. This is no surprise, when you consider the quality of and professionalism of Thailand’s medical services. Many of the hospitals in Thailand’s major cities are world renowned for their advanced services and quality of care. Furthermore, Thailand offers unique advantages for medical students from the west, such as learning about tropical diseases. Thailand is also an enchanting country. Travellers to Thailand can experience a rich and diverse culture and undertake some unique experiences.
Travelling to Thailand
Thailand is a fairly easy country to get to, with regular flights from many UK airports. Foreign visitors are advised to avoid some areas of Thailand due to political unrest, but the majority of the country is warm, welcoming and safe. For a UK visitor, Thailand offers very good value for money too, thanks to an advantageous exchange rate and inexpensive food and accommodation.
Because Thailand is a tropical country, vaccinations against communicable diseases are recommended before travel. Even for medical students planning to work in a hospital of healthcare setting, health insurance should ideally be taken out before travel. For UK citizens, a visa is not required to enter Thailand for short-term visits. However, if you plan to stay longer than 30 days, the Thai consulate should be contacted before you leave to arrange for an extended visa.
Thailand has some of the most scenic landscapes in the world. The beaches around Thailand are world famous for their beauty, while the jungles and forests provide the unique opportunity to go on safari and see some incredible wildlife. If cities are your thing, Thailand has some of the most interesting and diverse in the world, such as the chaotic Bangkok or the cultural Chiang Mai.
Thailand is an easy country in which to get travel. In the cities, by far best form of transport, and most fun, is the famous tuk tuk. These three wheelers are inexpensive and much cheaper than taxis, although travelling in the back as the driver navigates the often chaotic and frantic busy streets, is not for the feint hearted. For travelling farther afield, Thailand has an extensive rail network, although their bus service is often a better choice of transport, particularly in getting to some of the more mountainous regions.
Things to do
Regardless as to whether you are visiting Thailand for just a month, or plan on staying for a year, there is so much to experience, fitting it all in is impossible. However, there are certain things every traveller to Thailand should experience.
Thai boxing may seem quite a brutal sport to the westerner, but the atmosphere at the Thai boxing centres, which are located in most major towns and cities is electric. While no visit to Thailand would be complete without visiting at least some of the ancient temples and monuments, or experiencing an elephant trek through the jungle. Of course, the country is famous for its food too, and every visitor should sample some of the street food that is unique to Thailand.