Thailand Volunteering with Gapforce
86% Rating
(5 Reviews)

Thailand Volunteering with Gapforce

An epic South East Asian adventure combining an introduction to Thai culture, community projects, working at our Elephant Sanctuary! Spend a week learning about Thai culture and 2 weeks volunteering in one of our meaningful community & wildlife projects!

Locations
Asia » Thailand
Starting Price
$500.00
Currency
USD
Price Details
Included: UK Briefing Day, airport transfer, Program co-ordinator, support staff, local teaching staff, accommodation, meals, 24/7 Emergency back-up, social activities, T-shirt.

Questions & Answers

Program Reviews

  • Impact
    68%
  • Support
    76%
  • Fun
    78%
  • Value
    94%
  • Safety
    94%

Program Reviews (5)

Default avatar
Hayden
Female
20 years old
Racine, Wisconsin
Reed College

Unexpectly Great

10/10

I was confused before I left with Gapforce what I was involved in. I quickly learned GapForce is a booking agent for programs with GreenLion and that GreenLion has tons of adventure and volunteer programs in lots of counties. You can book as many as you want for however long you want and even take weeks off for your own adventures. A program called a road trip is offered in many countries which in some countries means constantly moving and sightseeing and in other countries like Nepal means you are signed up for an intro week, adventure week, trekking week, and volunteering week. You have a home base at a volunteer house and each week head to different projects, some in different cities that you stay at a site there and some close by to the volunteer house so you stay at the volunteer center for the week. You can extend your stay even after you are there. Don't be afraid to change your schedule, go on your own in free time, and book what you want on weekends.

I never thought I'd be bathing in a river with elephants but it was the coolest experience and I never would have found it without GapForce. Although I felt I didn't know too much before leaving, GapForce was always super available to me during my travels and coordinated shipping packages for me and sending more info and still was available for questions. I had so many adventures from preparing food for Gibbons and elephants and feeding them to staying with an Akha host family in Chiang Rai. Great experiences!

How can this program be improved?

I would have loved more information about what GreenLion is and that tons of people from all over would be booking with lots of companies all to come together at a base house and program called Green Lion that offers tons of volunteer projects and activities every week and you can sign up for as many as you want and each for however long you want.

Default avatar
David
Male
19 years old
Prague, Czech Republic

Incredible Thailand

8/10

My Thailand trip was definitely the break I needed from a long and stressful final school year, I had a ton of fun and met loads of great people. The first few days in Bangkok were busy, some of it wasn't too spectacular like the floating market - big tourist trap - but a lot of the temples were amazing, and the locals were so friendly! Then we had a few relaxing days in Hua Hin by the beach, I think the boat tour we did was almost everyones highlight. We stopped at an island inhabitited only by little monkeys! Everyone got massively sunburnt apart from me. Bring suncream or your face may peel like our Group Leaders did... We then took a five hour train back to Bangkok followed by a night-train to Chiang Mai. That was a long day. Chiang-Mai was probably my favourite place, we saw elephants, tigers, did a bike tour, went "tubing" down the river (floating on big rubber rings) and of course the nightlife was pretty great. After a week we took another night train down to Lothburi and stayed with loads of other volunteers while working at an orphanage, another great week and I was never bored. The kids were lovely and there are other things to do like swimming, shopping, etc. I remember always feeling really safe in Thailand, our group leader did a great job although I felt like communication between him and head office wasn't great, our trup was different to what we expected. I still had an amazing time and would absolutely reccomend the program to anyone interesting in Thailand, volunteering or just meeting new people and seeing an entirely different part of the world culturally.

How can this program be improved?

I would have the group leader make up the itinerary AND email/facebook message everyone what you will be doing before the trip. Isn't fun to get there and suddenly find out two weeks of your program have been changed. I understand Gapforce isn't liable if places cancel on us but they should let us know beforehand.

Default avatar
Inez
Female
24 years old
London

Fab

9/10

I had the most amazing time in Thailand! Although I do agree with Zoe
Bell, more organization wouldn't go amiss, as well as more communication between the people that were on the phones to us and the leader in Thailand. I feel not much organization was done before hand and it did not match up with what I had planned with someone on the phone, if it wasn't for Ben our leader in Thailand, I wouldn't have come back very happy. He was amazing, he took into consideration how we all felt as a group and then catered to our needs. Thanks to Ben I had an amazing time and met some amazing friends! So thank you Ben for making this trip unforgettable!

How can this program be improved?

More communication between the people in the office and the people actually in the field would help, again, it did not match what I had planned with someone on the phone and I did specifically pay for it.
So more communication and organization would perhaps improve this program.

Default avatar
Zoe
Female
19 years old
South East London / Kent

Thailand 2014

7/10

I was overall very happy with my gapforce trip to Thailand. However, I was disappointed by the organisation and planning. My co-ordinator Ben was fantastic, he took into consideration everything suggested by us volunteers concerning how we wanted to spend our time in Thailand. I felt very safe with him as my co-ordinator. Unfortunately the programme did not match the itinerary that I had signed up for which was disappointing, Ben tried to book us into everything we wanted to do but I felt the trip had very poor pre planning which was a disappointment. Also on arrival to Thailand I did not feel too safe because I was given minimal information on where I was meeting Ben and given no contact information.

How can this program be improved?

It needed to be organised better. I feel it was very rushed and confused and I was told one thing from head office then doing a completely different itinerary once I arrived

Response from GapForce

Dear Zoe,
Thank you for your feedback, we pride ourselves on high standards and levels of service so we appreciate your comments to help us improve our Thailand program. First of all I am really pleased you enjoyed your trip in the main and that you found Ben to be such a good leader. One thing we pride ourselves on more than anything is our amazing field staff such as Ben who have been through our extensive 4 month Expedition Leader Training Course. This training means our leaders are highly trained and perfectly placed to ensure you have a great experience even when things don't go according to plan.

In response to your comments on safety,this is our number 1 priority on all Gapforce programs and we have rigorous safety procedures in place as well as providing a leader who is trained to quickly assess and act if a situation arises. I am sorry that you did not feel safe on arrival in Thailand - after the unfortunate incident when you lost your passport the weekend you were due to fly to Thailand, our 24-hour team spent the weekend making arrangements with Ben and your mum for you to be able to travel out and join the group at a later date once your new passport had been issued. This meant that you then joined the program 2 weeks in rather than arriving with the main group. I am sorry you do not feel you were given enough information about meeting Ben, he has the same phone number you were all emailed before the program started and he also had your new flight details. We will make sure we find out from Ben why your arrival did not go as smoothly as it should and email you once we have this information. He is due to return from Thailand next week.

Thank you for your comments on how the program could be improved, we appreciate your itinerary did change after some of the pre-planned activities fell through at the last minute and Ben had to therefore amend your itinerary. Due to the nature of our programs and countries that we operate in there is a chance that the advertised itinerary may change. We try to keep any changes to a minimum and one of the benefits of having a Gapforce leader in country is that they can quickly make any necessary amendments and ensure the group still have a fantastic experience. We appreciate your concerns about this and will endeavour to keep all participants updated on any changes to their itinerary.

Thank you again for your comments, it is very important for us to know any ways we can make the experience the best it can be for our participants. I'm glad you enjoyed the trip overall and will certainly pass on your positive feedback about Ben to him when he is back. If you have any further comments or feedback about the trip please do not hesitate to contact our head office directly and we would be happy to assist.

Kind regards,

The Gapforce Team

Default avatar
Abi
Female
24 years old
Victoria, Australia
Swinburne University of Technology

Great experience!

9/10

I did the program in november last year and loved it!

We had a great guide both in the intro week and elephant sanctuary I did and felt I got good insights into thai culture. The intro week in Singburi has you seeing and doing a range of things like making bracelets and visiting the famous monkey temple, whilst all meals are provided (traditional Thai food and you can buy cocktails for $3!) and transportation is organised (pick up trucks). It's not a typical tourist place so its not as westernised as the rest of Thailand, thus I felt it a more accurate place and representation of thai culture.

The second week in Umphang was amazing! If you do the elephant sanctuary you'll be staying here. It's a 10 hour plus drive up but it's worth it for the views and to see the elephants. You'll get to prepare the food for them, wash them in the river nearby and can opt for a short ride if you like.

I felt safe the entirity of the trip and met a great bunch of people whom i've stayed in touch with after we've split! I would reccomend!

How can this program be improved?

The intro week goes to Ayudhaya which, whilst having amazing temples, ruins and history, also had elephants who were poorly treated (having opted for the elephant program I was therefore not a fan). I'd reccomend that you inform the participants first that there will be mistreated elephants there and use it as a chance to inform participants rather than a chance for "fun tourist photos".

About The Provider

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Gapforce is a leading provider of structured Gap Year programs and summer opportunities overseas. The wide range of global adventures includes marine conservation, wildlife protection, community volunteering & healthcare, extreme expeditions, leadership training, working holidays, internships, sport coaching, ski instructor and leadership training.

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