Thailand: From Ancient Temples to Bangkok

Video and Photos

About

Your Experiment begins in 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 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.

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

Related Programs

Questions & Answers

Reviews

9.43 Rating
based on 14 reviews
  • Growth 9.5
  • Support 8
  • Fun 9.4
  • Housing 9.1
  • Safety 9.1
Showing 1 - 8 of 14
Default avatar
Dawson
10/10
Yes, I recommend this program

Highlight of my life so far!

This program is such an immersive and amazing experience! I would recommend this program to anyone looking to culturally immersed, build connections and communication skills, and/or looking for a great time. Every day is packed with something new. There are so many interesting and exciting things about this trip. My homestay experience was extremely eye-opening. I have learned how to be more accepting and open to new people and new experiences. A family who has never met me accepted me in their home, fed me, trusted me, and boosted me up to help me grow as an individual. My homestay mother even reminded me of my own mother. Before I knew it, I was calling her mom in Thai as familiarly as I would my own mom. It felt a little weird at first. Then I realized that you don’t have to be related by blood to have a “family connection.” After all, she looked after me like her own son--- so why not? Every day I woke up with breakfast, smiling faces, and knowing that each day would be different from the last. The positivity that each experience gave me is difficult to fully describe. Even though we were foreign and could barely speak their language, they were so warm and welcoming.

What was the most unfamiliar thing you ate?
I ate a scorpion on this trip! I'll remember that forever. There is such a wide range of new and interesting experiences.
Default avatar
Isaac
10/10
Yes, I recommend this program

A Time To Never Be Forgotten

At first, Thailand was not one of my first trip choices. Just like a lot of people, I've wanted to go to all the big places like France, Italy, and Spain. I've always heard people talk about how great those places was and I was starting to base my choice off of other people's experiences, but I have no regrets. In my opinion, Thailand was better than any other trip could have been. Starting off, our trip didn't go as planned. We were originally supposed to fly out of San Francisco to Taipei on July 1st but because the airline (EVA Air) was experiencing a worker strike, we had to stay at a hotel in San Francisco and fly out the next day. While it may have been a slight inconvenience, this allowed me to meet all of my fellow experimenters. Before our trip even started, we had created a group chat so it was a bit easier to loosen up around each other, and by the time we arrived in Thailand, we all seemed to have been well-acquainted. For our first few days, we stayed in a hotel in Chiang Mai. While we were in Chiang Mai, we took "survival Thai" lessons at Chiang Mai University. That was pretty cool because we got to work with teachers from the university, as well as sharpen up our Thai skills. Obviously, we were in no way fluent. We had just been taught the bare essentials, like foods, how to ask for directions, and my favorite: how to ask for a discount. Later on, I'd say about a week in, we began going out to the night markets. These markets are gigantic! They take up about at least a couple blocks and it's all bustling with activity. You could buy snacks, meals, clothes, gifts, pretty much anything you could think of. I remember I would always try to bargain and most times it'd work. All you need is a smile! Overall, this trip has given me the chance to dip into a whole new world. A lot of times I was given the independence and freedom to try things I wanted to try, and this has fostered my curiosity and desire to continue exploring the world, one country at a time.

Default avatar
Nicole
10/10
Yes, I recommend this program

Amazing month abroad!

I had such a wonderful time abroad in Thailand. I was able to experience so much culture, whether it be through the food, walking through the street markets, or living with 3 different homestay families. The group I traveled with was so kind and supportive, and we still keep in contact to this day. The trip was filled with fun experiences such as an elephant sanctuary, many temples, and the beautiful beach in Hua Hin. There was something new to experience everyday. Staying with my homestay allowed for me to create bonds with so many people, even without a common language. It also allowed me to practice speaking Thai, even though it may not have been a lot, it was more than I began with. I talk with my homestay mother every day and I am so thankful that I got to met her. I would definitely recommend this trip to high school students!

Default avatar
Caroline
9/10
Yes, I recommend this program

Like Nothing You'll Ever Experience

This trip is different than a regular vacation to Thailand because of the homestays. You are able to stay in two different villages that have completely different economies and practices within the Thai culture. The complete immersion allows you to view the many different aspects of Thai life and how in varies based on location and immediate resources, such as food and instruments. I am so grateful I was able to participate in the Experiment because I met amazing people and got to live not only as a tourist, but as a local. Over the trip, I developed a love for Thailand's people and customs, from the malls to the rice fields, I will never forget this month. I highly recommend going on this trip because you will never get an opportunity like this again in your life.

What is your advice to future travelers on this program?
When you go to your homestays, make sure you keep an open mind. The families are super nice but not being able to communicate with them can cause some anxiety, but you need to remember not to let that interfere with your relationships.
Default avatar
Evelynn
9/10
Yes, I recommend this program

An Unforgettable Exeperience

When I first found out about the Experiment in International Living, I was surprised I didn't hear about it from my school or family but from a friend miles way for another program I attended in D.C. last summer.She told me about a trip she took to Morocco through her school, all the lifelong bonds she developed, and the memories she made along the way, and I just knew I had to find out what this program was all about. Originally, I was a little wary to apply because everyone I talked to in my community said they've never heard of EIL before. When I researched, I found a plethora of programs catered towards high school students my age who seemed to be making the most of their time abroad. When I received my acceptance for the Thailand program I was extremely overjoyed. I never left the country before, but when the day for departure arrived, I felt confident for the journey ahead. While in Thailand, I met some of the most amazing people. My host family was phenomenal! The people were so welcoming and warm. The food was exceptional, street markets so lively, the history of Chiang Mai and Bangkok were so rich, and the moments I shared with those around me were unforgettable. If I could do rewind time, I would do it all over again. But I think the greatest gift from this experience was this newfound desire to become a world traveler. There were ups and downs with the group and with the itinerary, but overall, I wouldn't have traded my moment in Thailand for anything.

What would you improve about this program?
I would improve the structure of the itinerary. There were times when we couldn't participate in activities centered around Thai culture because EIL didn't approve of them beforehand. There could also be a greater emphasis on the international living part than the tourism part. Having a more detailed list of what to bring on the trip could also help because I brought a few items that I did not need the whole trip, and I ended up having to get rid of some things (pro-tip: buy things in Thailand).
Default avatar
Kate
9/10
Yes, I recommend this program

Smiling In The Land Of Smiles: Thailand

My experience was unique because it isn't what a standard summer vacation to Thailand would be like. You are connected with a group of strangers for a week that they'll eventually become your second family. One will be emotionally attached to your homestays and the land of Thailand itself. There is no other program that would be as amazing and interactive as this. Not only will you be experiencing the beauty of Thailand you will also experience the beauty of being with the locals and their culture. Their level of respect was so amazing that their practices were important life lessons and it taught me how to live more in the present rather than the past or the future. Coincidentally I also had my birthday during the trip. The group leaders did such a wonderful thing and gave me a birthday party at a karaoke bar. Although this wasn't in the itinerary their effort to take some time for me to celebrate showed that we were all bonding already. My birthday was in the first week of our trip. So it was reassuring that we were already bonding quite beautifully. Eventually, we have become inseparable and our hearts have just been connected to Thailand.

What was your funniest moment?
My funniest moment of the trip was our road trip from our second homestay, north of Chiang Mai. We were playing music out loud and we started singing and laughing because we connected through music. It was such a significant bonding moment for me because later on, we all became closer as a family.
Default avatar
Grace
9/10
Yes, I recommend this program

I had a great time!

Going to Thailand with the Experiment was the experience of a lifetime. Being that I had never been out of the country prior to traveling with the Experiment, I was very nervous to go abroad. However, the Experiment provided me with the support and care I needed to have the time of life. The Experiment allowed me to experience a culture that I would not have gotten to experience otherwise. One of the most special aspects of the Experiment experience was the homestay. I got to be fully immersed in Thai culture, and I became very close to the Prao District community.

What would you improve about this program?
This program can be improved by having a clearer schedule. The program would be better if there was a steady schedule from the start to the end of the program, one that the Experimenters have as well.
Default avatar
Torie
9/10
Yes, I recommend this program

Program that Changed my Life

Being given the opportunity to go on this trip to Thailand was the most life changing thing I have ever experienced. The things I learned and the people I met are memories I will hold onto forever. My leaders were also amazing and did everything they could to have the best time possible. From visiting the grand Palace to going to the meditation retreat to zip lining and visiting an elephant reserve I gained so much knowledge about Thailand and everything it has to offer. I would recommend this trip to anyone. The memories and photos I have are something I will share with people forever.