Pacific Discovery | Thailand Summer Program

Video and Photos

Goals while rock climbing and caving!
Soaking it all up, Being present, loving it while volunteering at Elephant Nature Park!
(Thats me in the purple t-shirt) Doing that I love while volunteering at Elephant Nature Park with these gentle giants!
One of my favorite parts of the trip was spending time with the Elephants.. This is Mae Boon Ma and she's the highly revered part white Elephant at ENP. White Elephants have 11 characteristics that make them a White Elephant, whereas Mae Boon Ma only has 5.
There aren't just Elephants at the Elephant Nature Park. There are hundreds of cats and dogs, as well as lots of bugs! So many beautiful butterflies to choose from, but I picked the Leopard Lacewing Butterfly. At the end of my trip, Kevin Connelly, my group leader set up an "award ceremony" at our last dinner. We all got our PD Crew T-shirts and were awarded with a photo of ourselves and a caption. Can you guess why I was named the Shutterbug?
Side view of Wat Mahathat in Sukhothai National Park, Sukhothai. Sukhothai is a UNESCO World Heritage site.
There's nothing quite like repelling into a cave and walking around in COMPLETE darkness except for your headlamps... seriously, you couldn't see your hand in front of your face. It was the coolest.
We stayed at floating bungalows for an evening or two and they were blissful. Freshwater swimming and kayaking was so so fun.


Experience the exotic and varied landscapes, tastes, wildlife and culture of Thailand. Be inspired by the magnificent and majestic elephants you will get to know and cherish while participating in conservation volunteer work at the award-winning Elephant Nature Foundation.

Explore the bustling markets, and intricacies of Thailand's most fascinating cities which are brimming with unique and colorful cultural heritage. Adventure into the jungle where you will have an unforgettable hiking and kayaking experience, wander across pristine beaches and snorkel among islands. Immerse yourself in Buddhist meditation, Thai cooking, yoga, Muay Thai, rock climbing, caving and scuba diving. You will be inspired by your summer journeying through authentic Thailand.

For an incredible summer experience, you can combine this program with the Vietnam & Cambodia Summer Program for an inspirational 8-week educational travel experience in Southeast Asia.

  • Rewarding week-long conservation service-learning project working with elephants at the award-winning Elephant Nature Park
  • 3-days hiking, tubing and boating in the amazing jungle, rivers and lakes of Khao Sok National Park
  • Thai cooking course and Muay Thai (Thai Martial Art) class
  • 2-day rock-climbing and caving adventure (no experience needed)
  • 3-day Buddhist meditation retreat run by Thai Monks

Questions & Answers


9.87 Rating
based on 15 reviews
  • Housing 9.3
  • Support 9.9
  • Fun 9.9
  • Value 9.6
  • Safety 9.7
Showing 1 - 8 of 15
Yes, I recommend this program

Best summer with PD

Traveling to Thailand with Pacific Discovery was everything and more that I could've imagined! It was the most courageous summer of my life! I was so out of my comfort zone I'm never going back. Everything from the volunteer projects, global citizenship and the impact you have in the world,expeditions, amazing cities,the cultural immersion, inspiring leaders, the food, the group, the adventures made this experience unforgettable. I’ve learned how to challenge myself physically and mentally, conquer my fears and not letting them stop me. It was the best 30 days where I lived in the moment, challenged myself and made life time friends! I highly recommend PD! <3

Yes, I recommend this program

10/10 would recommend.

Traveling with Pacific Discovery to Thailand was hands down one of the best experiences of my life. So much was packed into just thirty days of travel that by the time the program finished, we all felt like we had been gone for months - our itinerary was well-planned and varied, and no two days were alike. The group leaders were extremely knowledgeable about Thailand's history, customs, and the like, which allowed us to interact more meaningfully with the locals. Additionally, instead of following the typical tourist routes around Thailand, we went off the beaten path, allowing us to experience so much more of what the country has to offer. The sheer range of activities you would get to take part in on a Pacific Discovery trip is, in my opinion, reason enough to sign up.

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Yes, I recommend this program

Best Experience Ever!

One of my favorite experience of this entire trip was during the Climbing and Caving Adventure. We repelled down into the cave and only using head lights we were able to see the crystallized stalagmites and stalagtites which our guide told us all about. But the best part was when we got so far in to the cave that there was no light and we all turned off our headlamps. It was the darkest I've (n)ever seen and all you could hear were the bats flying around you! Coolest experience ever!

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Yes, I recommend this program

Just do it!

One of the most rewarding trips of my life! Great people, amazing opportunities, and an overall wonderful trip! The trip was incredibly organized, I never had to worry about logistics. We did everything I had hoped to do in Thailand. It was very smooth. The only thing we changed from the itinerary was that we didn't go scuba diving. While unfortunate, I never felt like this impacted my experience. No complaints. The company is great and I highly recommend it. I would definitely go on another trip through PacDisco.

What would you improve about this program?
Honestly I wouldn't have changed a thing
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Yes, I recommend this program

Best trip of my life

I have been on a lots of trips to different places around the world. It is always the case of some things turning out better than expected and then a lot of things really letting you down. However with Pacific discovery they have already found out all the amazing things to do, so the trip is just constant highs. I wish I could do the whole thing again and plan to save up to go on another trip if with brilliant company.

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Yes, I recommend this program

Thailand changed my life in so many different ways.

I had the unique experience of staying away from the group for a night in Pai for personal reasons, and during that time, I took a really long (20 kilometer) walk up to an amazing waterfall. During this walk, I came across so many different people and I always got looked at.. well, I had green hair.. Although I may have looked strange, I always got smiles. The natural loving vibe that was in the air really helped me push myself to get to the waterfall and I found my peace. It was a very cherished moment of my life. Right after the group met back up in Pai, we traveled to the Elephant Nature Park, and that was the most eye-opening, impacting moments on my life. I found a passion for Elephants that I didn't know was in me, and I can't wait until I get to go back again! Pacific Discovery has encouraged me to travel more and experience as much of the world as I possibly can and I plan on doing so.

What would you improve about this program?
There was one day that we did a Yoga and Meditation class in Chiang Mai and although it was absolutely awesome, we had to go run off on the "amazing race" around Chiang Mai right afterwards, and it was really exhausting. We were all really relaxed and I think that it would be really fun if there was a museum tour or something a little bit less rushed.
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Yes, I recommend this program

A Growth Experience Like No Other

I would recommend this trip to anyone. The amount you see and taste and touch and explore during those four weeks is phenomenal and pretty much unparalleled. It is hard to convey how much this program offers, but I will lead with saying I had never been to Asia before and spending four weeks in Thailand make me want to spend months more there, traveling and learning and taking it all in. Which, I will note, is definitely possible even on a student budget because once you're there everything is very inexpensive. A hotel room might be $15, and a meal well under $5 if you want it to be.

This program offers huge benefits both to those who have traveled internationally frequently before and those who haven't. If you are looking for an opportunity to explore a foreign country without necessitating that you speak the language and struggle through identifying and booking all the arrangements, this is the perfect mix of hands-on, supportive, and hands-off. I thought about trying to do a similar trip alone or with a friend, and there's no way we would've had as smooth or as enjoyable of an experience had we not had such a fantastic trip leader to handle the logistics. They find the coolest opportunities for you that you would never have thought existed (or, would never have thought to do or wouldn't have found the right people to connect with to do it), and make sure that you're safe and supported while allowing you to explore. In other words, the support is there, but if you want to be more independent then those opportunities do arise during free time on weekends or afternoons. We would often have an activity or two planned (like Thai cooking lessons or yoga) but would then be given time to just go explore. I remember one evening we spent hours in the marketplace in Chiang Mai, watching the people who'd taught us Muay Thai hours before fighting in the ring. We then shopped, found a really cool jazz platform, and stopped at a western tea shop before returning to the guesthouse. The accommodations, by the way, are amazing.

What would you improve about this program?
I just recommend learning which shots to get before you go. They mention vaccinations very briefly in the information they send you (trust me, I read it cover to cover) but it's actually important to make sure you're covered against certain diseases. No one had a problem on my trip (no one contracted a disease that I know of), but when they learned the first day that I hadn't gotten a certain vaccination I had to spend some time in a Thai hospital getting the shot while everyone else toured a Wat. The hospital was efficient and well run and not expensive at all ($40 for my shot), though.
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Yes, I recommend this program

A beautiful way to spend a summer

I had wanted to go to Thailand for years and when I was finally given the opportunity, I wanted to explore the depth of the country in an environment that was safer than traveling alone, and gave me the benefits of a group. This program met all of my expectations and surpassed them. Each day is filled with group activities and the chance to explore individually, so you can make friends but also give yourself a chance to grow outside of the group. Our leader Rebecca was amazing, she was always fun and filled with excitement about our tour, and inspired me to keep traveling. I cannot believe we spent an entire month over there, we did so much. Each day was amazing, and I constantly reference my time with Pacific Discovery when people ask how my journey abroad was. This program is perfect for those who wish to grow and explore, for it gives you all the opportunities to do so, while making friends, and learning in depth about a new culture. I cannot give a higher recommendation.