Multiple Locations +3
  • Thailand
  • Cambodia
  • Vietnam
4 - 12 weeks
Program Tags
Adventure Travel Cultural Immersion Volunteer Abroad
Financial Support
Payment plans
Health & Safety

Program Details

Animal Viewing Backpacking City Exploring
Year Round
Primary Language
Age Min.


Starting Price
Price Details
4-weeks: £3850.00
8-weeks: £5450.00
What's Included
Accommodation Activities Airport Transfers Meals Tour Guide Transportation
What's Not Included
Airfare SIM cards Travel Insurance Visa
Apr 12, 2023
May 29, 2023
13 travelers are looking at this program

About Program

Volunteer and backpack your way through Southeast Asia’s most sought-after destinations!

Travelling to Thailand, Cambodia and Vietnam, and encompassing both wildlife & community-based volunteering projects alongside traditional backpacking, the Southeast Asia Explorer is perfect for first-time travellers and solo adventurers looking to set out on one of the world’s most iconic adventure travel routes!

Video and Photos



We are committed to exert a positive impact on the regions, countries and communities which we visit. For us it is paramount that the local organisations and communities benefit from our cooperation by working with trusted local businesses and project partners who align with our sustainability objectives.

Ethical Impact

We are passionate about travel and the positive impact it has on young people’s outlook and future prospects. Our mission is to help people become global citizens through authentic, socially and environmentally responsible travel experiences which aid self-discovery and personal development.

As a small team, we are committed to providing a highly personalised service from your initial contact right through to your chosen adventure. We achieve this through our dedicated team of program leaders and support staff, all of whom are passionate travellers united by a common purpose to help young people explore the world.

Program Highlights

  • Explore Bangkok & Chiang Mai.
  • Volunteer at an elephant sanctuary & relax on paradise Thai beaches.
  • Watch the sunset over amazing temples of Angkor Wat.
  • Assist on a vital house-building project in Cambodia.
  • Marvel at the spectacular Halong Bay!

Program Reviews

4.75 Rating
based on 32 reviews
  • 5 rating 75%
  • 4 rating 25%
  • 3 rating 0%
  • 2 rating 0%
  • 1 rating 0%
  • Housing 4.2
  • Support 4.85
  • Fun 4.85
  • Value 4.8
  • Safety 4.8
Showing 1 - 8 of 32 reviews
Default avatar
Yes, I recommend this program

SEA Explorers Trip!

I chose this trip because of my initial worries about being a solo female traveller with no experience. The description of the expedition in the brochure detailed a mixture of volunteering, exploring and relaxing and I can confidently say the trip ticks all three boxes. You truly get an authentic experience as you volunteer at the amazing elephant sanctuary (a real highlight of the trip), explore temples or visit waterfalls, celebrate local traditions and appreciate a new culture and cuisine. For someone who wants to gain proper travelling experience and exposure to an entirely different way of life whilst simultaneously staying safe, with the guarantee of making friends and lifelong memories, I really can’t recommend this trip enough. Our team leader Magnus really made the trip, consistently making everyone feel at ease and comfortable, and often going over and above to make you feel reassured in nerve wracking situations that will naturally come with being in an entirely new and different country. His support and knowledge was the best safety blanket as a first time traveller, whilst also a good insight into how to manage mix-ups and what to do when things go wrong. Overall, the trip is the perfect springboard for those looking to gain confidence and experience proper backpacking travel, and by the end of it, you’re ready for the freedom to lean away from a tight group itinerary and embrace the spontaneity of solo travelling that you’re impatient to start it all over again by yourself, or even with the friends you made along the way!

  • gaining proper travel experience in a safe but fun environment
  • great balance of volunteering, exploring and relaxing
  • group travel means a tighter, less flexible itinerary
  • budget doesn’t always take into account higher prices in capital cities or touristy areas so prepare to spend a little more for some meals
28 people found this review helpful.
Default avatar
Yes, I recommend this program

South east Asia 8 week trip

I had a wonderful time on the south east Asia 8 week trip, I’ve met some amazing people that I will continue to stay in touch with. There were lots of adventurous activities led by our leader, Magnus, who would always ensure our safety as well as support us when we were ill. It is an amazing first trip to introduce travelling if you are nervous, but it has a rigid and set schedule with not much room for leeway. I really enjoyed the time and the people I met so I would enjoy for any first time travelers.

  • Good for first time travels
  • Meet lots of people
  • Take part in lots of adventurous activities
  • Not much room for schedule adjustments
27 people found this review helpful.
Default avatar
Yes, I recommend this program

South east Asia explorer

I had a fantastic time on the sea 8 week program!
Had the most amazing experiences, meeting many new friends and doing stuff I would never have done if traveling on my own. From spending a week at the elephant sanctuary, building a house for a family in need, to hiking in the most magnificent caves.
Our leader Magnus organized everything for us, which made the trip stress free.
This trip had a great mix of cities, beaches and hikes in the mountain, so would definitely recommend this trip for any one in their gap year looking for an adventure, you won’t regret it!!

  • You meet a lot of likeminded people
  • Volunteering
  • Everything is organized for you
  • Not a lot of flexibility
  • Food budget wasn’t enough for most days, so be prepared to spend about €60 a week extra
30 people found this review helpful.
Default avatar
Yes, I recommend this program

SEA 8 week trip

The SEA 8 week programme is a great trip full of activities to experience new cultures, foods and people! I have thoroughly enjoyed every moment, especially because I have been surrounded by a great group of friends and an amazing leader, Magnus. He has been very organised and supportive whilst providing us with the freedom to do what we want in our free time. If any one of us were ill, he was quick to respond and provide the necessary measures to support us. I would highly recommend this trip to anyone wanting to travel and be adventurous in their gap year- you definitely won’t regret it!

  • Meeting new people within similar age range
  • Volunteering to help the local communities
  • Having a leader as support in case you are sick/something goes wrong
  • No flexibility in the itinerary
28 people found this review helpful.
Default avatar
Yes, I recommend this program

South east Asia explorer

I loved the 4 weeks ! It was an amazing once in a lifetime adventure and the perfect way to spend a gap year. You feel young, wild and free :) being in a group made it a lot easier, because you know someone and have an itinerary that gets you to the best places in a certain amount of time. I liked the amount of free time, but sometimes it didn’t feel quite flexible enough. For instance if you would have liked to stay in one place for a bit longer that wouldn’t have been possible. But overall there is really not much negativ to say. I loved it and I would totally recommend.

  • Meeting new people
  • Experiencing a new culture
  • Easy especially for first time backpackers
  • Not too independent
36 people found this review helpful.
Default avatar
Yes, I recommend this program

South East Asia Explorer

I had never thought of traveling in Asia until my friend invited me join him on this trip. It turned out to be one of the best decisions I’ve made.

I would have been very stressed about planning everything because it was my first time backpacking or doing any travel of this kind. Gapforce and my great guide Stefan took all of the stress out of this for me and allowed me to fully enjoy the trip.

I bonded with one of my great friends and made other friends that I will have forever.

Thank you Gapforce

  • Food
  • Friends
  • Exposure
  • Flexibility
34 people found this review helpful.
Default avatar
Yes, I recommend this program

Best trip!

My decision to go on the Southeast Asia adventure was very spontaneous and out of character for me, and it ended up being the best decision I’ve ever made! I wanted to experience other cultures, meet friends from around the world, and gain perspective away from my little bubble at home. All of that was achieved and more! Genuinely, from the moment I stepped off the plane and met up with a few of the participants, I knew I was in the right place and that I was going to have a couple very transformative months.
One of my favorite things was house building in Cambodia. It was extremely humbling and eye opening to work alongside the locals in the village, and to see how quickly we could get a house up when we all worked together! I also loved the gorgeous scenery and beaches on the island Koh Tao, hikes through the jungle in Thailand, and the stunning boat ride through Halong Bay in Vietnam.
If you are on the fence, you should do the trip!! You will be challenged, and sometimes uncomfortable, but mostly having the best time and making memories you will never ever forget.

What was the most nerve-racking moment and how did you overcome it?
Probably navigating the streets in the major cities. No vehicle will stop for you. By the end of the trip I was having nightmares about my friends getting crushed my motorbikes. It’s fine as long as you have your wits about you all the time but the problem is that I don’t!
88 people found this review helpful.
Default avatar
Yes, I recommend this program

My advice- Take a Gap Year!

The day that I clicked the button to confirm that I was going with Gap force to South East Asia I felt sick.... I was worried about being away from home, flying by myself, not knowing anyone, the food etc but as soon as I was greeted by Terence in the airport in Thailand I felt as ease! And from that moment on I just sucked up every aspect of adventure within Thailand and Cambodia and I have to say I don’t think I stopped smiling!
The dynamics of our group were so lovely and I felt that after a couple of days we became so comfortable around each other and truly became good friends. This also applied to our leaders Callum and Terence who became very close to us ,along with being super protective of the group, energetic and being able to give advice under all circumstances!
The food, hostels and areas we visited were all unique and met everyone’s tastes. Our hostels sleeping arrangements varied from location to location yet we always slept well and had access to a bath room even if this included having to get up early to get the first slot in the shower! There were also some cases where there were strangers in the room as-well which was slightly strange and was always tried to be avoided.
The food took me awhile to get used to. Especially when we had to have noodles/rice for breakfast! But now I’m back home I crave the Thai food so much and despite bringing my own spices home I can’t seem to replicate the food to anywhere near the quality that it was.... so embrace it while you are there!!!
Every location we went to was different from the last and therefore contained both positives and negatives. My favourite places were Pai which felt very small and safe aswell as Bees elephant sanctuary which consisted of very simple living in the countryside, with the company of the most amazing people and creatures which I loved! I didn’t like Bangkok which is dirty, busy and very smelly! Sadly Bangkok is a focal point during the course of the trip which means that despite its negative connotations we had to revisit it quite a lot which was a downside to the trip as no one was ever looking forward to the return!
The trip contains a lot of travelling such as overnight buses which last on average about 10 hours. These are not incredibly fun to travel on so make sure you have a neck pillow and some good snacks as you never really know when your next stop is!
Also if you are considering doing this trip I advise you to review your fitness level as some of the hikes ie to view points and waterfalls are quite physically challenging for some. However don’t let this hold you back as there are sometimes alternative activities such as a cooking class which can fill your day if your not up for a hike!
During my time on the trip I was surprised yet I enjoyed the amount of independence and free time we were given. We could utilise our free time in whatever way we wanted even if that was just a day of chilling or perhaps going to explore a new temple. We were allowed to go out to the local shops whenever we wanted and could eat when and with who suited us!
All in all if you are reading this review then you must be somewhat interested in joining Gapforce to go to South East Asia and I urge you to do it! It was one of the best decisions I made and I was supported the whole way by my team leaders who were such great guys and from my family at home (there is WiFi everywhere). As a result of this trip (the first time I travelled alone) I feel like I have developed so much as an individual and I am much more independent and capable of travelling alone in the future. So my advice to you is to just go for it and you will soon get the travel bug too! X

What was the most surprising thing you saw or did?
I feel like the whole trip was full of surprises and laughter so it is hard to narrow such a question down to a single event but I loved- pushing myself on the hike to the waterfall, taking part in a fire show, building a fence for the elephant sanctuary, sleeping on a overnight train, eating noodles for breakfast, white water rafting and realising that centipedes are infact super dangerous (so take a torch) etc etc etc .....
89 people found this review helpful.

Questions & Answers