Volunteer in Thailand with Volunteering Solutions

By Volunteering Solutions Reviewer Verified   Reviews (20)   94% Rating

Join one of Volunteering Solutions' many volunteer programs in Thailand! Thailand is a great travel destination full of beautiful landscapes with beaches, delicious food, ancient temples, and a welcoming local population. Volunteer projects are located in Chiang Mai, Bangkok, Surin and Koh Samui, in Thailand. With a large range of projects, volunteers can do anything from elephant conservation to health care work to working with and teaching children in schools and orphanages. Visit the Volunteering Solutions website to learn more!

*Looking for a great summer program? Check out the Volunteering Solutions Thai Summer Volunteer Adventure!

View Program Information
Location: 
  • ThailandChiang Mai
Program Length: 
2-4 weeks
1-3 months
3-6 months
Cost: 
See site for details.
Volunteer Types: 
Service Learning
Age Group: 
18-22
Language: 
English
Housing: 
Volunteer House
Application: 
Online Application
Age Requirement

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Program Reviews (20)

94%
Positive
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  • Impact
    88%
  • Support
    90%
  • Fun
    92%
  • Value
    86%
  • Safety
    92%
  • Kelly
    Age: 19-24
    Female
    Annapolis, Maryland
    8/10
    The Best Souvenirs are Stories
    12/27/2015

    The best souvenirs are stories, and this trip definitely left me with many of those. I participated in the Summer program where I got to spend time in Bangkok, work in a childcare center in Surin, and work at an elephant camp. When people ask me about my trip when I got home, I tried not to go on and on about it, so I limited myself to telling about five things.
    1. The friendliness of the locals--during free time one night, our group decided to go out to a local hangout and a few of us got unbelievably lost, we asked a local to take us to the place, knowing that she couldn't understand us. She left her place of work and walked us thirty minutes in the opposite direction so we could reunite with our group. She hugged us and sent us off on our way, all on her own time. People were constantly trying to help us, talk to us, and even take pictures with us.
    2. The elephants are amazing. They really have amazing capabilities and seem almost human. One of the elephants even picked flowers from a tree and handed them out to the girls.
    3. The kids are so sweet. They hated going down for naps, and not getting to play with us when we needed to do clean up work around the child care center. Even though we didn't speak the same language, we still made strong bond with the kids.
    4. On this trip you are never treated like a child. We were given free time to explore and do what we would like to do. One day while working in the elephant camp, after making lunch for everyone, the group decided to walk down to a local park and play a pickup game of soccer with some locals. We played for hours, making friends with the kids on the sidelines and getting shown up due to our lack of skills in soccer. We then walked down to the river and went swimming where the elephants usually bathe. One weekend, we had free and we planned our own trip to Cambodia. We had the free time to bond with one another, experience the real culture, and take advantage of everything the area had to offer.
    5. The staff was always in good spirits. I won't lie, our group caused some trouble, but the staff was extremely helpful. I'm not saying they were always the most organized, and we occasionally felt like we had no idea what was going on, but they would always come through, and they needed to. I had the unique experience of breaking my ankle during the extended beach week. I had to have surgery while I was on the island, and the staff was extremely helpful in getting my things to me, assisting me in finding a good hospital, and making sure I eventually got home ok.

    It's been four months since I've gotten home, and I'm still going to physical therapy and recovering from my ankle surgery. People see me still struggling and ask me all the time if the trip was worth it. I always have to smile, think back at my many experiences and consider all of the great stories I now have to tell.

    Photos:
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  • Rachel
    Age: 19-24
    Female
    Seattle, Washington
    Pacific Lutheran University
    10/10
    Volunteering Solutions Review - Thailand
    12/10/2015

    When I decided that I wanted to travel to Thailand, I did hours worth of research to find the perfect program. When I found Volunteering Solutions, I realized that they offered trips during my timeline, were affordable, and had a variety of different trip experiences to choose from.

    I decided on the Summer Special, which is 3 weeks of volunteering and traveling throughout Thailand and added an extra "beach week" at the end of my trip.

    I am fortunate to have traveled to many different countries throughout my lifetime with many different programs and I admit, I was a little skeptical about this program at first because I had never met anyone who had traveled through them before. My best friend and I decided to go to Thailand together, just in case things didn't go as planned, so that we could go off and travel on our own if need be.

    I am happy to say that our trip to Thailand was everything we hoped it would be and more.

    We spent time on Khao San Road (the backpackers hub), toured famous temples in Bangkok, and taught students at the Wat Pho Temple. We traveled to Surin by 7 hour train ride, bathed elephants in the river, and cut down sugar cane and palm fronds to feed them. We had the chance to experience Buddhist Lent in Surin, which educated us so much about Thai culture and beliefs. We volunteered at a preschool in Surin where we taught children in the mornings and completed various school improvement projects in the afternoon.

    On a free weekend, many members of our group traveled to Angkor Wat Temples in Cambodia. It was an absolutely breathtaking addition to our trip and our Thai guides helped us plan our excursion so it was both safe and affordable.

    We trekked through Khao Yai National Park where we saw exotic wildlife and were truly immersed in the jungle. For those of us who stayed for the beach extension, we stayed at a beach side resort with private beach bungalows and a private beach and pool. We explored multiple islands during our stay including Koh Phangan, Koh Nang Yuan, and Koh Tao. We hiked, snorkeled, and lounged on the beach. We went to a Black Moon Party where we enjoyed bumping music, neon body paint, and delicious food.

    This trip literally encompassed almost everything that Thailand has to offer. Our Thai guide was extremely knowledgeable about everywhere we traveled and all the experiences we took part in. The trip was very organized and I felt safe at all times.

    Another part of the program that I really enjoyed was that it included volunteers from the US, Canada, and Europe. Having diversity among our travel partners made our exploration of Thailand more fun and always allowed for interesting conversations and opinions. By the end of the trip, we were like family and it was so difficult to leave each other after an entire month of bonding experiences.

    Overall, I would HIGHLY recommend volunteering and traveling through Volunteering Solutions, especially to Thailand on the Summer Special. My best friend and I who traveled together enjoyed the program so much that we are already looking at trips for next year through VolSol.

    If you are questioning whether or not to take the next step of traveling, I say go for it. Educating yourself through travel is one of the best life decisions you could ever make! :)

    How could this program be improved?

    I wish Volunteering Solutions would have recommended backpacking backpacks for traveling to Thailand, as I brought a suitcase and at times it was inconvenient to have to roll around a huge bag rather than having a bag perched on my back! A backpacking backpack would have also limited the amount of stuff I brought with me! :)

    Photos:
    Volunteering with students at Wat Pho Temple in Bangkok, Thailand
    Bonding with elephants in Ban Ta Tit, Surin, Thailand
    Offering food to the monks during Buddhist Lent in Ban Ta Tit, Surin, Thailand
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  • Caroline
    Age: 19-24
    Female
    Stillwater, Oklahoma
    Oklahoma State University
    9/10
    Volunteering Solutions Review
    12/09/2015

    This was my first time traveling so far away from home by myself. I was really nervous at first but once I arrived I lost my nervous feeling.The other volunteers staying in the house were so inviting and tons of fun to be around. During the first weekend we learned about the Thai culture and went on tours of the city. After that we started our volunteering program (mine was the Children's Home) and it was amazing! I couldn't have picked a better program for myself. The children were so happy to have new people to play with and warmed up to us really quickly. They sang and danced for us and we taught them new games to play. On our free time we were able to do all of the tourist activities you would want to do as well as travel to other cities and see more of Thailand than just Chiang Mai. One afternoon we went to an old quarry that was turned into a lake they called the Grand Canyon. It was the most beautiful place I have ever seen and we spent all afternoon swimming and enjoying the amazing weather. It was an experience of a life time and I would do it all over again if I could!

    Photos:
    One of the kids from the Children's Home
    Craft with the Kids
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  • Jiné
    Age: 25-30
    Female
    The Hague, Netherlands
    9/10
    Thailand Summer program 2015
    11/04/2015

    I did the Thailand summer program for one month. It was one of the most rewarding experience one could have. I recommend everyone to join this program or any other program provided by Volunteering Solutions. Thailand was my third time with Volunteering Solutions, so I knew for a 100% sure everything would be perfect and it sure was. When I arrived at the airport I was immediately met with pick-up and given information on what would happen in the coming days. I had probably one the best guides during my stay in Thailand. Our guide was always there for us and made sure we were taken care of.
    What I loved most about the summer program is that they integrate childcare in Surin and Bangkok, plus the elephant village for a week. So you really do get the best of everything. Everyone should volunteer at least once in their lifetime, and I highly recommend they do this through Volunteering Solutions.

    How could this program be improved?

    Ive been with Volunteering Solutions 3 times already (2008, 2010 and 2015) They have improved so much (from programs to even the website), so I'm having a hard time thinking of improvements.

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    Useful 5 Inspiring 2
  • Leonor
    Age: 19-24
    Female
    Lisbon, Portugal
    9/10
    Great Experience on holidays
    09/08/2015

    When I went to the water riding one not very big male he started playing with others screaming with his trunk inside the ears of the other just for fun. So all of the sudden I was among many elephants that decided to join to play, all screaming in the ears of each others and spraying water.

    How could this program be improved?

    Better accomodation. It was to hot really and there wasn't mosquito nets in Surin.

    Photos:
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  • Ravin
    Age: 19-24
    Male
    London, England
    University of Hertfordshire
    9/10
    Thailand Summer Program The Best Volunteering Program Out There !
    08/26/2015

    The Thailand summer program 2015 was honestly the best travel experience I have ever done so far in my life. It had the right balance of volunteering and being able to explore the land of smiles. Compared to other volunteering programs I felt that you got the best of both worlds, being able to volunteer with the awesome elephants and the fun to play with kids, and also being able to explore Thailand on your own. Being as this was my first time doing any volunteering I felt it was perfect because we got to sleep in different types of accommodations, such as hotels and hostels in peoples houses, so you get to have a nice sleep and experience how the Thai people sleep. I was lucky because I came with my best friend, but if you are coming by yourself don't worry cause the tour guides are always there for you and the people that you meet from different parts of the world make you learn so much that you could never have learnt if you stay at home. Everyone is friendly there even the locals. If you go there with a positive attitude then you will love your trip and love the people around you. Don't look at the negatives of a country cause every country has there good and bad points. The food was so nice there as well and the best part is your not forced to eat Thai food, so if you feel like you can't hack their food they have loads of western food places such as McDonalds. (P.S their Burger King is better than the UK's). All in all I loved my experience and hopefully next year I will be do more volunteering work cause I learnt, being stuck at home your eyes are closed to seeing how wonderful the world truly is.

    How could this program be improved?

    Not really Much I can say here apart from I wish would could have stayed longer with the kids. And during our weekend off I think they could have been a little bit more helpful in terms of what hotels to stay at and what to do at the two options the give because you were pretty much by yourself, which wasn't that bad. But other than that nothing else to say.

    Photos:
    The Wonderful group.
    The group with all the Elephants.
    Teach the Kids.
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  • Akua
    Age: 18 or younger
    Female
    Londom
    University of York
    8/10
    The world is your oyster
    08/13/2015

    This trip was truly an amazing experience ,one that am I greatful for. In the space of 3 weeks this programme enabled me to do things I could only dream of doing and provided me with the opportunity to meet people from all around the world ,some of who I am proud to call friends for life. Most importantly this trip inspired me to pursue an adventurous life ,one that could be achieved by travelling and exploring the world around me, so thank you VolSol!

    How could this program be improved?

    There was quiet alot of free time in this trip ,which had both its ups and down. I would recommend that volunteers are given more advise and tips on what they could do in their spare time or perhaps provide more group activities for them to do.

    Most volunteering groups bonded very well , with our group however ,it took a longer time to bond well as a group which resulted in there being a lot of separation. This may have been down to the size of our group and so I would recommend there to be a group orientation for the volunteers at the beginning of programme. A session which allows each volunteer to introduce themselves and perhaps share facts about them selves which would allow other group members to know them a bit better.

    I would also suggest that volunteers are given the opportunity to spend more time with the elephants at the elephant camp , as we only got to spend two days with them.

    Also perhaps restructure the proggrame to enable more time to be spent in Bangkok. This is recommendation alot of thev volunteers in my group had wished for.

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  • Ayla
    Female
    New Orleans, Louisiana
    University of South Alabama
    10/10
    I fell in love with Thailand while traveling through Volunteering Solutions!
    08/05/2015

    The entire trip helped me get the most of my short time in a wonderful country. Volunteering at the elephant camp in Surin is an experience like no other. I will probably never get to have such a real one to one connection with those magnificent animals ever again. No tourist gimmicks can compare. While caring for an elephant of your own by helping gather the food, feeding it, walking it, and bathing it in the river just down the road, you are fully immersed in the life of an elephant caretaker, or as they're called in Thailand, "Mahouts." The first time you ride your elephant into the river is such a surreal moment it won't even feel real at the time. I still look at pictures and can't believe I got the chance to do that!

    How could this program be improved?

    Since we were so close to Cambodia while staying in Surin, a few of us wanted to visit Siem Reap for the weekend. While the guides had sent volunteers across the border before, they seemed very unorganized in telling us what we would need to prepare ourselves for. I think Thailand program itineraries should include a section on explaining the best way to safely travel to Siem Reap and visit the Angkor temples and it would be really great if it provided a check list of what to bring like a Visa photo and your departure card given to you in the Thailand airport.

    Photos:
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  • Debbie
    Female
    San Francisco, California
    San Francisco State University
    9/10
    Childrens' Home Project, Nimit Asia: Thailand
    08/03/2015

    When I committed to volunteering abroad I knew that I would experience a life transforming journey. I didn't realize how much impact this experience had on me until I had some time to reflect and process it when I returned home. I am grateful.

    How could this program be improved?

    During our assignment logistically we had to take a taxi to and from the children's center. The travel time usually was about 30-45 minutes from the volunteers' accommodations to the children center. I wished we had more time with the children.

    Photos:
    Group photo of the wonderful children at the Children's Home Project, Nimit Asia.
    This little angel, Eilleen, brought so much joy and laughter to my volunteer assignment at the Children's Home Project, Nimit Asia.
    My first kiss from an elephant.  Day trip to Thai Elephant Home.  I had the opportunity to feed, bathe, and ride on an elephant at the sanctuary.
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  • Joseanne
    Age: 19-24
    Female
    Quebec, canada
    University of Ottawa
    9/10
    thailand; the land of smiles
    01/30/2015

    I've just spent the best 4 months of my life in Chiang Mai, Thailand volunteering in a Children's Home and one week at the elephant camp. Every after noon i would go in the mountains, where the children's gome was and spend a few hours hours with them. We did homeworks, we cooked, we played together, we were teaching each other the other one's langage. Basically we just had a blast and loved each other very much. Everyine is lovely and smilingt here and they made me feel like a part of this big and wonderful family.

    How could this program be improved?

    Not a lot actually. Since everything is great. Its just not accessible to everyone who would l because of the cost.

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  • Jessica
    Age: 18 or younger
    Female
    Alicante, Spain
    10/10
    An amazing experience
    10/06/2013

    Really this summer has been one of the best I've had, above all been through Volunteering Solutions staff , who I wanted to thank you for the good work you do.
    Thailand has been always a destination that has caught my attention, when I found the summer program to Thailand I thought , " This is certainly a fantastic opportunity for meet this country , the country's culture , the food , the people there , ... " I will not deny that I was afraid when I boarded the plane , I was completely alone at the time , but when I get there and I met the rest of my fellow travelers and the staff all that fear became joy.
    A normal day in Thailand at the Elephant Village was like waking up in a dream , ride elephants, take them to the river , playing with the village children , nights talking and laughing with the rest of the group ... In Bangkok walking down Kaho San Road was the most bizarre I've seen insects for food vendors , hundreds of markets with a lot of variety of things, night bars where there were lots of partying , just incredible . To all adventurers to venture all the way into an experience like this , really recommend it . You will not forget it ever , I will not forget it . Thanks Volunteering Solutions.

    How could this program be improved?

    Nothing, I think is very good

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  • Claudia
    Age: 18 or younger
    Female
    Chicago, IL
    10/10
    Speechless
    09/24/2013

    There aren't enough words to described the impact this experience can leave on a person; when I left Thailand, I was matured, humbled, and absolutely inspired. I never imagined myself wading into a river on the back of an elephant, climbing trees in a national park in Thailand, or simply sitting around playing cards and listening to stories in a little village, let alone with such incredibly diverse, amazing people. From the trip leaders to your peer volunteers, everyone is genuine, open-minded, and easy to get along with. I, honestly, could not have asked for a better group, and it is with ease that I say I have made life-long friends while on this program.
    Thank you, from the bottom of my heart, Volunteering Solutions, for providing me with an unforgettable summer!

    How could this program be improved?

    There were moments that felt slightly disorganized within the program, such as our arrival in Bangkok and finding the hostel, but I didn't feel that this compromised the overall quality of the experience.

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    Useful 4 Inspiring 1
  • Keenan
    Age: 19-24
    Male
    Miami, FL
    University of Miami
    10/10
    Amazing Trip
    09/04/2013

    My time in Thailand was simply breathtaking. So much happened and I met so many great people. The children were fun and the elephants were as well. I loved my time there very much! I highly recommend this trip to anyone who is not sure just yet and to those who already are planning to go, get ready for a trip of a lifetime.

    How could this program be improved?

    More medical resources available.

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    Useful 3 Inspiring 1
  • Katie
    Age: 19-24
    Female
    United Kingdom
    University of Portsmouth
    9/10
    Brilliant trip!
    09/04/2013

    This programme was such a great 3 weeks and great value for money! Working with elephants was definitely the highlight of the trip and the staff were so helpful with everything, including ideas for what to do in our free time. Would definitely recommend this programme to anyone!

    How could this program be improved?

    Project information did not mention outdoor work at children's centre when i applied so this should have been advertised.
    And would have been nice if the volunteer group did not split in two.

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  • Devon
    Age: 19-24
    Female
    San Diego, CA
    San Diego State University
    10/10
    Thai Summer Volunteer Adventure
    09/03/2013

    The unique thing about this program was that my day to day experiences were all so different. Every day we did something new. One day we were cutting sugar canes down with machetes for elephants the next day we were pouring cement down to build a porch for a school house. The language barrier was not the biggest difficulty, but I saw a lot of people lose their patience with this challenge.

    How could this program be improved?

    The schedule of day to day events could have used more specific details.

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About the provider

Volunteering Solutions started its operations in 2007 and has sent over 11500 volunteers abroad, and now has projects in more than 30 destinations across Asia, Latin America and Africa. Volunteering Solutions is dedicated to providing authentic, reasonably priced and meaningful volunteer programs around the world.

Volunteering Solutions aims to promote volunteer work in countries that need it the most by connecting the right people with the best projects abroad. With such a wide variety of projects around the world, there is sure to be something for everyone. At the end of the program, volunteers and interns are awarded with an internship or volunteer certificate.

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