Loop Abroad - Experience Thailand
93% Rating
(7 Reviews)

Loop Abroad - Experience Thailand

Experience Thailand: Elephants and Everything Else is a two-week program for high school students. The group will spend one week volunteering at the Elephant Nature Park, working hands-on with the elephants and getting to feed, bathe, and care for them first-hand.

The second week will be spent in the city of Chiang Mai, exploring the best cultural and environmental activities that Chiang Mai has to offer. It's a great opportunity for students who don't mind getting their hands dirty and are eager to explore a new culture, but don't want a language-immersion or home-stay program.

This program is open for high school students (ages 14-18) and is a great fit for students who want a chance to live and work among the elephants, but also want to see what this beautiful city and its surroundings have to offer. Spirit of adventure is required! Prices are all-inclusive (less airfare) and financial aid is available.

Locations
Asia » Thailand » Chiang Mai
Asia » Thailand
Program Categories
Student Tour
Adventure Travel
Length
1-2 Weeks
Timeframe
Summer
Accommodation
Hostel
Hostel
Language
English
Starting Price
$2,000.00
Currency
USD

Questions & Answers

Program Reviews

  • Growth
    91%
  • Support
    89%
  • Fun
    87%
  • Housing
    93%
  • Safety
    90%

Program Reviews (7)

Default avatar
Joelle
Female
18 years old
Santa Fe, New Mexico
Other

Amazing and life changing

10/10

I loved this program more than I could put into words. I have posted countless photos and told countless stories. I talk about it so much I think my friends started to get annoyed. I made friends that'll last forever and that I love dearly. The staff was incredible and kind and organized and perfect for the job. I miss Thailand and my experiences with Loop Abroad everyday and I hope one day I can go back and volunteer again at the Elephant Nature Park. I was bitten by the (Asian) travel bug and this has inspired me to try and make another overseas volunteer program happen. I have already recommended this program and the vet program to my many of my friends and I will continue to do that when the opportunities present themselves. 5 stars all around.

How can this program be improved?

I would change some of the activities we did in the second week. Some activities have already been changed, like the waterfall visit that I did not enjoy as much as the other visits.

Default avatar
Lexis
Female
21 years old
Pennsylvania
Other

Thailand is the place to be

10/10

There was this time, early in the morning of course because we had stuff to do that day, and it was still foggy out, but it was so warm. I looked out and I saw 2 grown Asian Elephants. Not even 20 feet from where I was sleeping and I just felt relieved they were able to finally find comfort in their life. It's something I look back on, that situation in particular, because it was so surreal. I just remember thinking "Oh my god, I'm finally here." I still tell stories like this because until you experience a moment like that, you don't really realize that life is crazy. Like how did I even end up in Thailand?? Right?

Default avatar
Kennedy
Female
20 years old
Hickory, North Carolina
Lenoir-Rhyne University

Really Experienced Thailand!

8/10

We went on a hike to a hilltop village, which was more than 3 miles uphill. It ended up being super fun, although difficult, everyone in the group was encouraging and helpful. I really learned what hiking was on this trip!

Default avatar
Haruka
Female
24 years old
Newton, MA
New York University

#NoRegrets

10/10

Going to Thailand through Loop Abroad's EEE program still remains the best decision I've ever made in my life thus far. Growing up, I was never really the kind of person to make any adventurous, out-of-my-comfort-zone decisions, neither for myself nor by myself; adjusting to a life in Japan to one in America, then vice versa, then reversed again, was the only substantial "adventure" I'd ever experienced, and none of those adjustments were really anything I'd brought upon myself. I never even tried summer camp because I always just assumed it wasn't "my thing."

So when I decided to go to Thailand, an exotic foreign country I'd never been to before, with a group of strangers and no family members with me, I was stepping way outside my shell. But I knew an animal- and culture-lover like me should never pass an opportunity like this, and I was right. No two weeks has ever been more influential to my life, in gaining experience and in growing as a person. I was a bum, and looking back now, I recognize I was probably at my lowest my junior year, the year preceding the summer Thailand trip. Somehow, the two weeks spent far from home surrounded by a beautiful country, met with waves and waves of pleasantly overwhelming new experiences, and with a great group of people equally appreciative of the experience left me with a great new group of friends I still have reunions with, loads of pictures, a memorable life experience that I can write papers and resumes on, and last but not least, a much better self.

(Rather than giving a detailed plot outline of my trip I decided to take the more empirical route, so I'm sorry if this turned into too much of a personal ramble.)

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:: TL;DR ::

・ Living with elephants for a week is amazing
・ Helping take care of elephants (et al) and learning about them and the environmental/political struggles they face are incredibly rewarding and enlightening
・ At the same time, you get to experience much more than elephants
・ Chiangmai is so fun and SpicyThai hostel makes sure you have a great time
・ I know you want those balloon pants...!
・ You're not living until you've tried real (Northern) Thai cuisine (s/o to khao soi, the actual love of my life)
・ endless #tbt material
・ I love Loop. You will too.
・ I cannot wait to go back some day

Default avatar
Allison
Female
19 years old
Washington State

Adventure of a Lifetime!

9/10

While deciding how to spend last summer, I stumbled upon a Facebook ad. It was advertising a summer with elephants in Thailand! Clearly a little suspicious, my family sent out an email to the Program Director, Jane Cassie , right away. I was applying pretty close to the deadline, so I was worried that I would have to make a rushed decision. Jane responded in no time at all, answering all my questions and providing me with helpful information in the decision making process.

Having never spent time overseas from my family, I was a bit nervous. Once I was accepted into the program, I was blown away at how organized everything was. My worries were quickly washed away as I was provided all the details I could possible want for the trip of a lifetime with Loop! As the time until my program passed by, Jane kept us updated with flight plans our group. Jane's well worded emails from Thailand continued to build up my excitement for the adventure.

Our group and the college group met up at the airport in New York, and led by Kelly, we got on the plane. The plane ride to Thailand is pretty long ( about 20 hours I believe), but time flew by--ahh, airplane puns?!-- as we got to know each other, played games, watched movies and caught up on our summer reading. We transferred flights in China, and before we knew it, we had touched down in Chiang Mai.

When we arrived, Addam, the Executive Director, welcomed us and helped us get our cash exchanged at the Airport. We headed over to the three person tuk tuks and began our journey to the B2 Green, a local hotel where we stayed for the night. When we arrived, Jane greeted us warmly and gave us time to go to our rooms to freshen up. We stayed in rooms with 2 twin beds, electricity and warm running water. On our beds were welcome bags, filled with essentials, such as a Loop Abroad shirt, a day by day schedule, and a rain poncho (trust me, it IS important-- or you can bring a raincoat!).

Once we had gotten cleaned up, we met Jane and the other staff in the lobby for dinner. We were heading over to the market to dive into the Thai culture. Jane and Addam gave us the run down on the cell phone and group policy, giving each of us ample cash for our meals and a cell phone for each group. Although the market was quite busy, even in the pouring rain, I felt safe. We were given about two hours to explore the stalls and dine on whatever we wanted. The options were endless: Pad Thai, calamari, fresh fruit smoothies, and of course, my favorite-- mango sticky rice with coconut milk.

With our bellies and shopping bags full, we headed back to the hotel for a good night's sleep.
Our first week was spent at the Elephant Nature Park. The Park was a bit of a drive from Chiang Mai, but once we got there, it was definitely worth it. Tucked away into the lush forest, the Park is home to all sorts of elephants, old and young, that have been rescued or are recovering from injuries.

Now let's be real-- the Park really is tucked away into the jungle. You aren't going to find luxury accommodations or hot baths waiting for you. Accommodations are simple. Rooms are shared with one or two other people and beds are covered with mosquito nets. You share a fan and a lamp... that's the decoration! The ENP is pretty humid. Once something gets wet, it stays damp for a while. Bathrooms have mostly cold showers and toilets that can't take toilet paper... but that's pretty common. ( I'd recommend bring bug spray, long pants and a raincoat.)

You can't really predict what any specific day is going to be like at the ENP. One day you may find yourself scooping elephant poop in the morning and washing elephants in the afternoon. The next day you may be visiting a nearby school or maybe floating down the river in inner tubes. You might even go into the field to collect food for the elephants! One of my favorite ENP days consisted of sorting watermelons out of the back of a truck in the morning and preparing a snack for the elephants in the afternoon consisting of mashed up bananas. Another ENP highlight was elephant bathing. I don't know who got more of a bath, me or the elephants!

There was always something happening at the Park. One night we had a Thai language lesson, and another we had a movie night. You can always get a Thai massage in the evenings for incredibly cheap! If you get sick of the elephants, which I doubt you will, you can hang out with any of the 100 cats or about 400 dogs. The ENP is the place to be if you love animals! If you feel tired, you can always take a nap, as Loop Abroad gave us plenty of down time to relax if we wanted to.

The food at the park will always fill you up after a long day. Breakfasts are pretty normal with juice, toasts and fruits. Lunch was always my favorite. The assortment of noodles is crazy! Even if you are a picky eater, you can always find something to eat. Dinner always had a wide range of choices. On special evenings, we had Thai specific cuisine.

Our time at the ENP went by fast, but we all came out feeling rich with experience. We headed back into the city and settled in at our home for the next week--The Spicy Thai Hostel.

The Spicy Thai will most likely be your home base for the week you spend in the city of Chiang Mai. Hot showers, along with WiFi and computers, are welcoming. You stay in bunk rooms with the rest of the Loop participants. There are about eight beds in each room, with air conditioning!!

Just like the week at the ENP, it's pretty hard to tell what a day is going to look like in the city.

You may being visiting the market once more shopping for some Thai pants. Or, you may be going zip lining through the jungle canopy. You'll certainly visit several temples, and have the chance to talk with Monks. You'll have the chance to stroll through markets and try mysterious fruits with Noom, and put your cooking skills to the test at a cooking school. You'll leave stuffed, AND with a recipe book so you can showcase your new skills for your family and friends. You may find yourself in a cave with bats looming above, or you may find yourself standing in an orchid garden. With Loop Abroad, the possibilities are endless.

If you are a fan of well organized and adventure filled programs, I highly encourage you to apply for THIS program. I was blown away at how smooth my journey was. Loop Abroad is one of the most well run programs I have ever been a part of! Even if you are just curious, I recommend reaching out to Jane or Addam who are some of the kindest people I have ever met. By traveling with Loop, I feel like I have so much knowledge to share with all of my peers. I made great friends in a short two weeks, and have such a strong urge to travel even more than I did before. It would be such a great opportunity to have the chance to return to Thailand and relive the amazing memories I made last summer. Thank you so much, Loop Abroad!

Default avatar
Chelsea
Female
19 years old
Millburn, New Jersey

My Great Experience

9/10

I was so eager to visit Thailand but I was also super nervous about being very far from home. The minute I got off the plane, Loop Abroad staff was there to welcome us and the fun started right way. We took tuk tuks to our hotel which was a cool experience and later that night we went to the Sunday market where we ate dinner. The were a million options! Elephant Nature Park was one of the uniquest experiences I've ever had. There were always activities to do even on our down time and tons of food options at each meal. I met so many people and made a lot of friends. Our week in Chiang Mai was very exciting as well. Each morning we ate breakfast at the Hostel with everyone and then headed out for the day. Some activities were more on the chill side and some were more adventurous. Examples- visiting the butterfly orchard to zip lining through the jungle. After completing my 2 weeks in Thailand I did not want to leave and I would definitely do it all over again!

How can this program be improved?

Add a couple more activities.

Default avatar
Allie
Female
19 years old
Arlington, Virginia

Thailand is the Best

9/10

During our trip to Thailand with Loop Abroad we learned so much about Thai culture. Staying at the Hoi Ya village, helping out at the Elephant Nature Park and roaming around the markets helped our group dive into Thailand's roots. I made life long friends and will always look back and laugh at all of the great memories that I made during the trip. Going to Thailand was one of the most valuable trips of my life that I will always cherish.

How can this program be improved?

I have no complaints!

About The Provider

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This is Loop Abroad's 8th year offering exciting animal and teaching programs in Asia and Africa. We offer summer and semester programs for people who love animals, travel, adventure, and authentic experiences. Each program is an opportunity for students to get hands-on experience with greatly

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