GIVE Laos Volunteer Excursion & Wildlife Conservation

Video and Photos

Baci Ceremony in Sop Chem
Baci Ceremony in Sop Chem
Zip lining
Zip lining
Excited Primary School Kids with Volunteers
Excited Primary School Kids with Volunteers
Construction
Construction
Nong Khiaw Viewpoint with GIVE Family
Nong Khiaw Viewpoint with GIVE Family
Meditate with Monks
Meditate with Monks
Moon Bears
Moon Bears
Longtail boat ride on the Nam Ou River
Longtail boat ride on the Nam Ou River

About

While GIVE’s Laos Program is the perfect extension to our Thailand trip, it also stands alone as an off-the-beaten-path adventure into the rugged mountainous territory of this fascinating country. Your Laos volunteer opportunities will involve supporting remote villages on a variety of English education, eco-friendly infrastructure, agriculture and wildlife conservation projects. You’ll also have the opportunity to meditate with monks in a monastery, summit craggy limestone peaks, explore hidden waterfalls and summit limestone peaks. Come see for yourself why Laos is the best-kept secret in Southeast Asia!

Extend your trip with either or both of our Wildlife Conservation Programs!
Elephant Immersion will take you Northern Thailand to trek with elephants in the jungle, play with baby elephants, & support an elephant nursery/hospital
Volunteer in Vietnam to experience the vibrant city of Ho Chi Minh and support Asiatic Back Bears rescued from the illegal wildlife trade.

Highlights
  • Take part in the Alms Ceremony
  • Explore Tat Kuang Sii National Park
  • Visit a 60-acre wildlife sanctuary
  • Hike through dense jungles to a beautiful viewpoint

Our 2021 dates are here!

Not ready to travel this year? Check out our 2021 dates and our newest program, Vietnam!

Questions & Answers

Reviews

100%
based on 18 reviews
  • Impact 10
  • Support 9.9
  • Fun 9.9
  • Value 9.7
  • Safety 9.9
Showing 1 - 8 of 18
Default avatar
Allie
10/10
Yes, I recommend this program

Say YESS to new adventures!!!

I volunteered in Thailand and Laos and there is not a day that goes by where I don't think about my GIVE trip! This was my first time out of the country and my first time traveling alone, so my family was hesitant to let me go. However, from day one GIVE was clear and informative of everything from expenses, to safety, and their mission. GIVE provides materials to prepare volunteers for their trip well in advance and is prompt to answer questions. The guides are welcoming and supportive throughout the entire experience. Their passion inspires you to put your everything into the volunteer work and their energy is infectious. Being able to work, laugh, dance, and learn from the locals of Sop Chem is truly an unforgettable experience. You teach the children, but they will teach you more than you'll ever be able to imagine. They will challenge you in the best ways and steal your heart from day one! I am so glad that I chose to volunteer in both Thailand and Laos. Meeting the other volunteers was my favorite part of the trip and being able to experience both countries with them made it even more memorable!

What is your advice to future travelers on this program?
Experience the moment before taking a picture, allow yourself to open up to others, try as many new foods as possible, and embrace going out of your comfort zone!
Default avatar
Emily
10/10
Yes, I recommend this program

Dont be Afraid to Say Yes to Adventure!!!

I signed up for this trip because I wanted an adventure, and I for sure got an adventure of a lifetime! Among climbing a mountain and going into 2 caves, was the heart of the trip. We stayed in a hidden gem, Sop Chem, surrounded by mountains with the most welcoming of people. They met us right when we got off our boats and brought us into their culture. Within the culture dive we taught the children English and worked on their permaculture plot building a mud brick house. It was an incredible experience, I can never forget and incredible people I will never forget. I started the trip with random strangers and left with deep rooted friendships. Two things that stood out to me the most are: feeding the bears at Free the Bears and the Baci ceremony held on the last day in Sop Chem as we danced with the children and received the gratitude from the locals for the impact we left. Khob jai lai lai (Laos for thank you very much) GIVE for this incredible trip!!!

What is your advice to future travelers on this program?
Bring a couple decks of cards or other games to play with the other volunteers during down time.
Default avatar
Kristen
10/10
Yes, I recommend this program

Laos Program

This trip was the best thing that’s ever happened to me. It opened my eyes to the world around me and helped me grow so much as a person. There is something special about Sop Chem that makes you feel at home even though we are thousands of miles away from home. They take you in like their own and it was so humbling to be a part of that. The views that we got to see everyday are indescribable and a must see! This was such an incredible once in a lifetime experience that will stay with me forever!

What is your advice to future travelers on this program?
I would say to future travelers is to be comfortable in the uncomfortable. Be vulnerable with your group and the people you meet along the way. I would also say use your guides because they are there for you!
Default avatar
Catherine
10/10
Yes, I recommend this program

Life changing experience

Going to Laos with Give was the best experience of my life! I learned how important it is to get to know the community that you are working with and how this can create sustainable impact. The people that we worked with were so amazing. Laos is also one of the most beautiful countries I have ever been to. It is a real paradise. The cultural activities that we did were so helpful in learning about Laos and getting to know the people. It was so special to get to do those activities. I don’t think any travel experience can top the time I had with Give in Laos!

What is your advice to future travelers on this program?
My advice for future travelers would be to go in with an open mind and pack a lot lighter than you think you should!
Default avatar
Jonah
10/10
Yes, I recommend this program

Laos Stole My Heart

From the moment I stepped foot in Luang Prabang all the way to when I landed on the beach to Sop Chem, Laos had stolen my heart. Never before have I felt so connected to a community the way I felt in Sop Chem. GIVE takes you on an absolutely fantastic journey deep into the jungle where you can discover so much about yourself, your teammates and the world as a whole. I cannot even begin to express how amazing our guides were, both local and GIVE staff. Would highly recommend for all!
Khob Jai Lai Lai

What is your advice to future travelers on this program?
Pack only about 70 percent of what you think you need, you will actually have many opportunities to wash your cloths while in Luang Prabang or while in Sop Chem!
Default avatar
Mike
10/10
Yes, I recommend this program

Life changing

If you’re thinking of traveling the world Laos is a beautiful country to start with and Give is an amazing organization to go with. Every one I encountered in Sop Chem was so kind to us and to each other and they accepted us into their village right away. It was so amazing forming bonds with some of the villagers that I will never forget wether it be through the classroom, the perm plot, or just hanging out in the hammocks. There are so many amazing things to see and explore about the country and yourself.

What would you improve about this program?
I truly wouldn’t change anything, it was unique, amazing, and unforgettable.
Default avatar
Brandon
10/10
Yes, I recommend this program

Give Laos

This trip was the most amazing trip I’ve ever been on. This is the third time I’ve volunteered with GIVE and Laos was my definitely my favorite. The heart of the trip takes place in the beautiful community of Sop Chem where you work on sustainable projects such as permaculture, help teach English to the locals, work with the local ladies, and so much more. If you are thinking about going on this trip - Go! It’ll be the adventure of the lifetime and you’ll make some lifelong friendships along the way!

What is your advice to future travelers on this program?
-Be openminded
-Pack light
-Be ready for the adventure of a lifetime
-Go!
Default avatar
Dani
10/10
Yes, I recommend this program

Laos with Thailand Elephant Experience Add-On

Traveling to Laos this summer 2019 has been such a beautiful and unforgettable experience. The second I arrived at Sop Chem, I immediately felt at home. The locals are so welcoming and genuinely want to connect with you. A key lesson I learned was that love overpowers any language barrier. While in the village, I learned about Laos and Khmu cultures. To become even more immersed, there is a homestay. This was my absolute favorite part of the trip. I stayed with a family that had a thirteen year old daughter named Nali. Throughout the night, another volunteer and I helped her cook dinner and asked her questions about her life. From then on, she always referred to me as "sister" when working on the permaculture plot with me or at the Baci Ceremony. This ceremony is so unique and powerful because it is where the whole community and volunteers express their gratitude to each other.
After leaving Laos, I experienced the Thailand Elephant Add-On as a responsible traveler. This was eye-opening to be able to learn from locals about ethical elephant tourism and conservation. We were able to interview local mahouts and elephant experts. I learned a lot about the mahout-elephant relationship and the misconceptions that exist. When we got to one of the local guides village, his elephant came running towards him, and it was beautiful being able to witness their deep connection.
I can't recommend traveling with GIVE Volunteers enough. All of the guides are kind-hearted, hard working, and well-trained teammates that truly make the experience so much fun. These trips get you out of your comfort zone so that you can grow, and the relationships you form last a lifetime. I continue to talk to my group and guides from the Thailand GIVE trip when I went last year in Summer 2018.

What is your advice to future travelers on this program?
Be comfortable with being uncomfortable. During free time, walk around the village and talk to the locals, especially people you haven't talked to yet. Write down your experiences and self-reflections in a journal. Take the time to get to know your local guides because they have the best insight and stories to share.