Thailand: Buddhist Traditions & Thai Culture

Video and Photos


Your Experiment begins in mountainous Chiang Mai, home to hundreds of ancient temples. Visit famous sites, explore street markets, and discover Buddhist temples. A cooking instructor will help you shop for ingredients at a local market, then teach you how to cook Thai dishes. Stay overnight at a Buddhist temple and learn about the art of meditation. Introductory Thai language lessons will prepare you to communicate during your homestays.

Live with a family in a lowland northern village in Chiang Mai province, then with a family in a hill tribe in Chiang Rai province. Work on a community service project, such as teaching English to young children, building a natural water dam, or assisting with reforestation work.

Enjoy the tropical valleys and highlands as you embark on outdoor activities such as trekking, zip lining, and visiting an elephant park. You will visit Hua Hin to explore the breathtaking beaches. Your Thailand exploration ends in Bangkok, where you will visit key sites.

  • Outdoor Activity
  • Wildlife
  • Community Service
  • Language
  • Homestay

Questions & Answers


based on 6 reviews
  • Growth 9.7
  • Support 8.2
  • Fun 8.8
  • Housing 8.7
  • Safety 8.7
Showing 1 - 6 of 6
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The Experiment - Thailand

It was really interesting to see for myself how countries have different governments from ours, and how people are affected by the customs surrounding politics and speech. Unlike in the states, in Thailand people don't have freedom of speech. In Thailand, natives and foreigners alike are not allowed to speak negatively about the crown or what he decides to implement as law. People can be incarcerated for up to 15 years for even being perceived as being disrespectful. It's essentially treason. What was especially interesting was that we visited Thailand in a period of "mourning" because their king has recently passed. His son, the king-to-be, is not as well-respected as his father was, so it was intriguing to hear in on why people are not as appreciative of him.

How can this program be improved?
We could have leaders that are more understanding of the idea that while you're in a new country things are pretty unpredictable, so it is not always the fault of the in-country leader if things don't work out.
Yes, I recommend
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My Thailand Experience

This trip has been a mind opening, life changing experience. Not only did I meet incredible people that made the trip the best month of my life, but I also learned how to understand other cultures in a new way with more respect towards everyone.

Thailand is a very religious country so with that there are many fine lines between being a tourist and being rude. The first week we got there we learned all of the do's and don'ts of Thailand. Some of them were what I was expecting like being conservative in temples and taking your shoes off when entering but there were some rules that I took as a surprise and it took me a while to adjust like: no waving, when you see someone you put your hands in a pray sign and bow your head. We also couldn't point to anything with our feet which was surprisingly hard to adjust my manners to. These little rules didn't seem like much to me in the beginning but as the trip continued and once we began to live with the homestay families we learned that it was crucial to respect these rules. Not only was I overly aware of my actions with Thai people, i was also more aware of what I said in the group of Eil because sometimes you don't realize that something you say someone else may take offense to.

During my incredible week homestay experience I was able to share a home with a wonderful, kind, family with two twin daughters Ing and Ang. I've never had any sisters in my mile so all of the sudden I had two little sisters with never ending energy spreading their love everywhere they went. It almost felt as if I had a shadow all week which I was not used to and took a few days to adjust. Everywhere I went they were there. It was really nice to know they were always going to be there but I have never had younger siblings before so at first I felt a little weird of a connection between us. But in time this connection became so real whether we were biking around the village or playing with their english coloring books I always had fun and felt as if it was just a great learning experience for all of us.

My host mother and I had a beautiful connection because even though we couldn't verbally communicate we were able to communicate in hand gestures and the little words I had learned in Thai, but for the most part it was smiles. Honestly smiles get you everywhere in Thailand and I really think it is a universal sign of kind and happiness no matter the language you speak. Just an example of this non conversational communication was when my host mother found out I liked mangos. She observed me eating and noticed I really liked mangos, so I never went a meal without mangos after that.

Once I return to my home I am going to be more socially aware of my surroundings and just think before speaking which is a very powerful act to be able to do. Thailand has opened my perspective and has really inspired me to travel and explore the world.

There were so many great life lessons I learned throughout this month in Thailand and I hope I can't take back with me those new understandings into my daily life back home.

How can this program be improved?
To improve this program I would just like a more structured second homestay experience at the Koran village because I felt as if a lot of our day we didn't do much and weren't given much guidance.
Yes, I recommend
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Having little shadows for a week!

During my home stay, I had two little sisters. One was seven and the other was three. They both were the cutest little things in the entire world. I've always wanted Sisters, and for a week I got two all to my self. They both were really shy at first, but very quickly they started to get attached to me. We would play jump rope, bike, and play with toys together. They followed me around everywhere I went. I loved having them around me. They filled my day with laughter and smiles, i felt apart of the family. I became very attached to them, and leaving them so was hard on me. My two sisters taught me that even though we couldn't communicate through language, it didn't hinder the relationship that I grew with them. They showed me the power of being carefree and to just enjoy the day.

How can this program be improved?
This program can be improved by being more set on what is going to happen on the itinerary. Some days I was unsure on what we were going to do. I didn't want any days wasted when I was in another country.
Yes, I recommend
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go to thailand!!

I went to Thailand expecting to be happy with my summer, but came out with so much more than happiness. I experienced a new way of thinking about life, and overall a new world. This trip was definitely an eye opening experience. I learned a lot about how I deal with new situations and new environments and I think that is going to follow me around when I visit new places. I definitely recommend this program for anyone who wants to step out of their comfort zone, its a great country to study abroad to. I met amazing people and tried new foods and I will always cherish my time in Thailand.

How can this program be improved?
follow the itinerary
Yes, I recommend
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Amazing Experience

The Experiment in International Living gives high school students a unique opportunity to become immersed in another culture while building friendships with interesting, new people and learning things that aren't typically learned in schools. I spent 5 weeks in Thailand creating memories with my group members who I still talk with every day (five months later). With scavenger hunts, community service projects, and lots of exploring cities, villages and breathtaking temples, we were kept busy, but we still had plenty of free time to bond over bowl of questions and throw our own spontaneous dance parties in our hostel. In addition to the incredible friends I made over the summer, I will never forget the kids I taught and played futbol and frisbee with in the villages and the generosity and welcoming, embracing hearts of my host family. It's beautiful how relationships can be built despite culture differences and a language barrier. This truly was an amazing and unforgettable experience, and I definitely recommend this program to anyone who wants to try something new, throw themselves into a new culture, learn tidbits of a new language and religion all while having a whole lot of fun.

How can this program be improved?
Nothing, the worst part was having to say goodbye.
Yes, I recommend
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My Experience on the Thailand Trip

If you're reading this and wondering if the trip is worth the effort, I can tell you right now that it is. The first day feels so long ago but I remember it clearly. Within a matter of coming off the plane, I became close with my travel mates. They were all wonderful. My guides were so helpful and experienced, all three of them.
My first day in the home stay at Baan Mae Bon, I became a part of a family within a matter of hours. I only had parents, but my host mother's extended family (her sister and mother) made me feel accepted. Teaching the kids at the local villages was a humbling experience that gave me joy at watching these kids have so much fun without the amenities we take for granted here in the States.
If you're a parent worried about your child being safe, I assure you that there's no need to worry. The guides are more than capable to take care of them, and the settings (i.e. the hostel, host villages, guest houses) are surrounded by people who are accustomed to tourists, so the environment is friendly with a hint of westernization.
I hope you consider taking the trip to Thailand. It is life changing.

How can this program be improved?
I was hoping for a less tourist-like setting. I wanted to be able to fully immerse myself in the traditional culture, but I couldn't do that as often as I would have liked.
Yes, I recommend

About The Experiment in International Living

The Experiment in International Living provides 3-, 4-, and 5-week summer programs for high school students who want to connect deeply and engage meaningfully with the richness and complexities of another country.

Programs equip students not only...