Most Affordable & Best Rated Volunteer Programs in Thailand from $320 with IVHQ

Video and Photos

Volunteers' handprints
Volunteers' handprints
My friend, TIGER, hardest working , most appreciative man on the earth!!
Another sand bag dam, 200 x 30kg bags but what a great day we shared as a team
Placing sandbags in dam to stop erosion of the adjacent road

About

Trusted by 100,000+ volunteers, IVHQ offers the most popular volunteer programs in Thailand and 50+ other destinations around the world.

Volunteer in the beautiful mountainous province of Chiang Rai and choose from one of the following projects:
- Teaching English
- Childcare
- Outdoor Work

Your Program Fee includes airport pick-up, orientation, accommodation, meals and 24/7 in-country support. You’ll be accommodated in dormitory-style volunteer houses, with other like-minded, impact-focused travelers from around the world.

IVHQ is trusted to support the meaningful adventures of thousands of volunteers every year, so before you even depart, you’ll receive outstanding personalized service from your expert Volunteer Program Manager and exclusive access to superior pre-departure volunteer training.

If you’re all about authentic cultural experiences, supporting community-driven projects, giving back and making real connections, volunteering in Thailand is for you!

Highlights
  • IVHQ’s Thailand program is available year-round, starting on the first and third Monday of every month and you can choose to volunteer for 1 to 12 weeks
  • Highly affordable program fees starting from $320 - IVHQ provides the most affordable and top-rated programs
  • You’ll be joining between 15 and 30 other IVHQ volunteers who start in Chiang Rai each month
  • You’ll be traveling with IVHQ, the volunteer travel experts, and joining a network of 100,000+ volunteers. Our outstanding safety systems and track record set us apart - we are the world’s safest organization
  • Your efforts will have a positive impact because our programs are community-driven with a focus on supporting long-term local needs

Questions & Answers

Hi, thanks for stopping by! Traveling with a friend is one of our favorite things to do too :) For more details on traveling with friends we recommend reaching out to the program provider directly, which you can do here: https://www.volunteerhq.org/contact-us/ .
Hi Tyana, Yes, this program is suitable for vegans along with other dietary requirements. We would recommend that you supplement the meals we offer with your own food, as there wouldn't be a huge amount of choice/variation. Jordan McFadyen IVHQ Community Manager

Reviews

96%
based on 20 reviews
  • Impact 8.8
  • Support 9.4
  • Fun 9.3
  • Value 9.3
  • Safety 9.7
Showing 1 - 15 of 20
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Gemma
10/10
Yes, I recommend this program

Thailand Hua Hin was amazing!

Had the best trip to Thailand Hua Hin with ivhq. I had never travelled so far or by myself and at 30 years old was a little apprehensive. From the off ivhq were supportive and answered all my questions. When I went I was unsure how many people would be there or how the accommodation would be but how over the moon I was. I had the best week making life long friends from around the world and seeing lots of beautiful places. Accommodation and food was excellent the the green lion team couldn’t be more helpful. It was a laugh a minute! The school itself was fantastic, the pupils were so friendly wanting high fives And always smiling. It really puts life in to perspective! I would highly recommend doing a program if you get chance to, it will be the best thing you do! Thanks so much!

What was the most nerve-racking moment and how did you overcome it?
Getting of the plane to wonder where I was going which turned out amazing!
Response from International Volunteer HQ - IVHQ

Thank you for your review, Gemma! I'm so glad to hear that you felt like you were supported on your journey and that you were happy with the food and accomodation on the program. Your contribution to the project is very much valued! ^Jamie-lee - IVHQ Thailand Program Manager

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Camille
10/10
Yes, I recommend this program

IVHQ Thailand

I traveled with IVHQ on my first trip to Thailand this summer. Being a young adult on the other side of the world from everyone I know and in a brand new place, I still never felt like I was alone. The support was fantastic and the program was incredible. Teaching English to the local children was a very meaningful and fun experience. When the volunteers weren't teaching English, we had the opportunity to explore temples, markets, beaches, shopping malls, and other local attractions. It's a great program for anyone who wants to experience a new culture, explore nature, and help the community. I will definitely consider volunteering with IVHQ again, as they have an incredible variety of programs all over the world for an affordable price.

What was the most unfamiliar thing you ate?
I tried durian for the first time, which is now my least favorite fruit. It was certainly... memorable.
Response from International Volunteer HQ - IVHQ

Hi Camille, thanks for your review and contribution to our volunteer program in Thailand. It's fantastic to hear that you felt so supported during your stay. We'd love to have you back soon! ^Will - IVHQ Thailand Program Manager

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Meghan
10/10
Yes, I recommend this program

IVHQ Chiang Rai

I had a great experience volunteering in Chiang Rai, Thailand and I would recommend IVHQ's programs! I volunteered for two weeks, and I wish I had been able to stay longer. The local team was amazing and the volunteer projects were well organised and meaningful. The childcare and indoor teaching programs were valued by the community and the students and teachers are engaged and wonderful to work with. Thailand is an amazing location and I would suggest planning extra time before or after your volunteer project dates to see more of this amazing country. The Mirror Foundation, which is an NGO where volunteers can be placed, is a longstanding organisation doing important work, and it was great to see how they are recognised and able to continue growing and developing to meet the needs of the people and other organisations they work with.

If you did this all over again, what's one thing you would change?

I would stay for at least 4 weeks, and I would split time between both indoor and outdoor volunteer projects.
Response from International Volunteer HQ - IVHQ

Hi Meghan, thanks for recommending IVHQ and it is awesome to hear that you had a great experience! Samantha - IVHQ Program Manager.

Chris
10/10
Yes, I recommend this program

IVHQ Thailand

I chose to go on this trip in order to cleanse my soul. I’ve been on trips where the focus was on my own interest so I wanted to do something for others. In return for my service I was rewarded with an experience that you wouldn’t get from any travel agent, delicious food that you would never be able to find through an online review and new found friendships I will cherish.

Outdoor work can be hard at times, from working on a rice field to digging a fish farm for a village, but the hospitality and gratitude that are shown by the people you are doing the work for is priceless. They welcome you into their homes with such love and warmth. Sure there are some aspects where you are “roughing it a bit” but I believe this itself is also part of the charm of doing a volunteer program.

If you want to experience new adventures in life and step outside of your comfort zone, I highly recommend doing a volunteer program through IVHQ as you will have a long list of memories to fondly look back on. And to have fond memories, isn’t that the reason why we choose to travel in the first place?

What would you improve about this program?
Nothing to suggest, it was a well run and organized program.
Response from International Volunteer HQ - IVHQ

Hi Chris, thanks for your feedback! It's wonderful to hear how much you enjoyed your time on the program making memories and new friendships. The Outdoor Work project can indeed be challenging, however, it is indeed very rewarding. Thanks again for volunteering with IVHQ. Samuel - IVHQ Program Manager.

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Rachel
10/10
Yes, I recommend this program

amazing 3 weeks in Thailand

Volunteering with IVHQ was one of the best things I’ve done. I found them just through google and leaned towards their site because the prices seemed reasonable and they offered many programs in many locations. After I had decided I would probably use this program I ended up meeting 2 girls at my school who had also used IVHQ and loved it, so this confirmed my decision.

I ultimately chose to volunteer in Thailand although there were so many that caught my interest. There I taught English and stayed for 3 weeks. They give you tons of information about where you'll be staying and are really quick to reply to any email or calls with questions. Also, any meals or housing provided is really great and the pictures and information given is all accurate which I was grateful for.

With the Thailand program, I felt like I was actually making a difference and fulfilling a need within the hill tribe communities. You will meet so many awesome locals and get very close to all the other volunteers as you take on the new journey together. having gone by myself, this sense of community was really comforting and made the trip so much better. I would definitely use IVHQ in the future if I have time to volunteer again.

Response from International Volunteer HQ - IVHQ

Hi Rachel, thanks for your review. It's great to hear that you found your placement work fulfilling and the work that you and the other volunteers do really makes a difference to the local hill tribe communities. It sounds like you had a wonderful time with the other volunteers and we would love to see you on another program in the near future. ^Sam - IVHQ Thailand Program Manager

Duyen
10/10
Yes, I recommend this program

Three awesome weeks in Chiangrai, Thailand

“Let’s find some beautiful place to get lost.” That was my intention as I chose Chiangrai, Thailand for my 3-week volunteer trip. The beauty was that not only did I find myself but also learnt many new things and made some great new friends through my journey.
Arriving at The Mirror Foundation, I was happy to see such an environmentally friendly living space. There were tall trees, green grass, a lovely hand-built garden, cool wall paintings, a small pond, a lovely bamboo hut, and an impressive sight of colorful handprints from previous volunteers on one of the houses. The Thai interns who had escorted me all the way from the airport were very nice and helpful. They showed me around and we headed to a supermarket in town together with other new volunteers who had also just arrived earlier that day and later became my dearest friends.
The next day, I was really excited for my outdoor project to start after having an interesting orientation with Nikki – the volunteer program manager. I did not have to wait long as my outdoor team started digging a ditch that afternoon. It was hard work I must admit. However, the satisfaction looking back on the road and seeing what our teamwork had brought about was worth it. As time passed, our list of achievements went on; they were mending a dam, preparing a campsite, making a road, building fences, renovating a toilet, and growing chilies. Not a single day was wasted, and I loved every minute working side by side with my friends and our outdoor project mentor. On those days, we sweated a lot, laughed a lot, talked a lot and understood each other a whole lot more despite our different backgrounds. I also really appreciated our lunch boxes which were kindly prepared for us by the kitchen lady whenever we had to work off-site.

Response from International Volunteer HQ - IVHQ

Hi Duyen, thank you for your feedback. It's wonderful to hear you had such a great time on your program. I'm sure you must have had quite a sense of achievement what with all the hard you put into the program. Thanks again for volunteering with IVHQ. ^Sam - IVHQ Thailand Program Manager

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Gabriel
8/10
Yes, I recommend this program

A Home at the Other Edge of the World

Nothing could ever beat the sense of waking up so far from home but having the peaceful feeling of belonging where you are at this very moment. Feeling the cold breeze of the morning passing through the mountains before giving place to the warmth of the rising sun. Walking calmly in such a quiet and tranquil place to find his temporary but lovely family around the table waiting for breakfast. Talking and smiling right before going on another hard but satisfying day of work.

Response from International Volunteer HQ - IVHQ

Hi Gabriel, Thanks for your beautiful and poetic review. We are so glad to hear that you felt connected, peaceful and tranquil while on our program in Thailand. Thanks for being an IVHQer!
Lynn – IVHQ Thailand Program Manager

Steve
10/10
Yes, I recommend this program

This is a MUST DO, Go do it!

I am 55 years old (a fit healthy 55 year old) and when I volunteered, I had no idea what to expect other than what I had read and been told by the operators of the program. What a surprise I got after arriving in Thailand, I met a group of twenty somethings who became my work partners and a second family. I met many local people who were so thankful for our help which made the experience even more pleasurable. I explored waterfalls, Tea plantations, authentic villages that don't exist in color brochures and the whole experience has left me hungry to volunteer again as soon as I can.

Anyone can look at a travel brochure and the white sands of the glorious beaches and I also love these places but they do not have stories as all the stories are the same. Volunteering will give you stories that no on else will experience unless they actually go and do it. Walking through water all day carrying 30kg sandbags until you can hardly walk anymore, carrying Bamboo to build a bridge in 30 degree heat until you have drank as much water as you possibly can! Digging roads so they are safe enough to be traveled along until you think you cannot dig anymore!!

All the above are challenging things to do but you work at your own pace and at the end of each day, the satisfaction gained through working hard and helping other people who actually need the help is something that is almost impossible to explain, hence the reason you need to try it as it is the only way you will find out what its like .

My favorite story is when I got offered to live with a farmer who told me he would feed me and give me a roof over my head if I stayed and worked on his farm for a year, his name was TIGER and this name has been in the family for 4 generations and folklore would suggest that his great grandfather actually killed a tiger with his bare hands and a knife many years ago. These are the stories you hear when living in the bush with a REAL Thai local who almost lives like our ancestors would have centuries ago, It was outstanding.

What would you improve about this program?
I think the volunteers could have better beds and pillows as it very hard to sleep after a very hard days work and it would only be a small investment to get cosy pillows so you could actually sleep.
Response from International Volunteer HQ - IVHQ

Hi Steve, What an awesome review! We are so glad to hear that you had such a rewarding and authentic experience on the program in Thailand. The stories you gain from an experience like this are difficult to replicate. Thanks for being a great hands-on volunteer and we would love to have you join us again in the future.

Read my full story
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Niklas
10/10
Yes, I recommend this program

A Life-Changing Experience!

When I arrived at the office of the Mirror Foundation in Chiang Rai, I started doubting whether I had made the right decision coming to volunteer in Thailand.
The accommodation was very basic and the premises were located quite far from proper civilisation.
But truth is, this is exactly how the majority of people in Thailand live like. No, actually many of them even live under worse circumstances.
The factor that made my stay so rememberable wasn't the quality of the accommodation though.
It was the kindness of the Thai people.
Everywhere you go everyone smiles at you and wants to take pictures with you and Thai people are so appreciative as well!

I was lucky to be able to go on a homestay three times during my stay, which only was three weeks, and it was the best experience of my life.
We were preparing the lessons in a group of 4 people and we had to teach classes with children ranging from 8 to 16 years.
One of our homestay guides, Tar from PayaPraj School, took us to his school, which was far up in the mountains. There was not much to do there but he did a good job looking after us and making sure that we don't get bored.
He assigned us one student each, to show us around in the school and to help us translate some words to Thai, while we taught.
After school he took us to the music room, where a couple of students and teachers were practicing a song. Tar taught us to play some songs on the guitar and also how to sing some lines of a popular Thai song, which we would sing on stage in front of 300 students later that week.
He really appreciated us teaching his students some English and as a thank you he took us to some local places, such as local restaurants or the famous Mae Chan Tea Plantation.
Leaving him at the end of that week was really difficult for all of us.
The homestays were really what made my experience so unique. Some of the homestays also took us to the Golden Triangle and other famous sights.

In retrospective, volunteering in Thailand brought me very close to the Thai culture and taught me a lot about the different aspects of life in Thailand. The first steps were quite difficult for me coming from a western country but it was more than worth it! The Mirror Foundation did a really good job in making the introduction to different living standards as smooth as possible!

If you are ready to lower your living standards and to live in a very basic environment then, I am confident, that you will have a live-changing experience in Thailand.

And many thanks to IVHQ for making volunteering so affordable, the project was worth every penny!

Response from International Volunteer HQ - IVHQ

Hi Niklas, Thanks for your great review. We are thrilled to hear that you were so warmly welcomed by our local team in Thailand. We often receive feedback on how kind the Thai people are and we are glad that this was your experience also. Thank you for making the most of your time on the program by getting to know the local people and adapting to the local environment. It was great to have you as an IVHQer and we hope you will join us again in the future.

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Yara
9/10
Yes, I recommend this program

Best experience so far

I first arrived to Thailand with one friend, when I left I felt like I was leaving a family behind. I fell in love with the Thai people, their culture, and their adorable smiles.
Our accommodation was pretty basic, but that added to the charm of the experience. Everyone was really friendly; volunteers and thai interns bonded over stories from their respective countries. Both kids and teachers made me feel like my work was really appreciated.
Being able to directly interact with the kids made me realise that my small, but relevant, contribution was helping to achieve a much bigger goal.
I fell in love with the Land of Smile, and I never wanted to leave.

Response from International Volunteer HQ - IVHQ

Hi Yara, Thanks for your great review. It is so heartwarming to hear that you made such great friends while on the program in Thailand. We would love to welcome you back to the Land of Smiles in the future!

Vivian
9/10
Yes, I recommend this program

Indescribable Experience

People say when you do something you have never done before, you step out of your comfort zone and you grow up. I had traveled to so many places that I had become numb about the world. Thailand changed all that. The land of smiles, indeed; never had I ever seen such welcoming people.
The homestay I had is a memory I will never forget. Thailand kids are just so smart; they got everything immediately and learned so fast. It's such a pity they are not getting the education they deserve to get. Due to a family emergency, I had to go back home on a very short notice and didn't get to say goodbye to the kids I spent every single day with and this is always going to be a huge pity for me. I won't forget the sunny afternoons when we played games together in the shady corner of the playground and how the kids circled me in not letting me go; not for the rest of my life.
I wish I could say I were going to go back there to be their teacher. But I can't. What the kids in Thailand really need are responsible teachers who are not there to experience a different kind of life or simply just looking for a thrill, and who can stay with them instead of leaving them behind after one or several weeks.

What would you improve about this program?
I do hope the accommodation at Mirror Foundation can be improved at least for hot showers and a usable wifi. And I wish I had more specific teaching curriculums, as most of the time we went into classrooms completely confused, as the materials the local school teachers wanted us to cover were different from those listed on the curriculum we got. Improvising was fun but we always ended up with plenty of time not knowing what to teach further.
Response from International Volunteer HQ - IVHQ

Hi Vivian, Thanks for your great review! We are so glad that the land of smiles broke through the numbness. Thanks for your recommendation, feedback and advice. It been great to have you as an IVHQer!

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Jenna
9/10
Yes, I recommend this program

Wow

This was my first time travelling outside of the United States and I feel as though I could not have picked a better program. The experince of getting to know the locals on homestay was by far my favorite part. Getting to sit with them around a campfire, cooking rice and barbequing pork over a bamboo firepit and hear stories and learn some of thier traditions. During one particular homestay, we cooked a meal without any cutlery or kitchenware, we served to food on banana leaves, and at with our hands! All while watching the sunset over Thailand, voulunteers and locals eating together. It was such an amazing experience, I'm definitely hoping to do it atleast one more time!

Response from International Volunteer HQ - IVHQ

Hi Jenna, We are so glad that you had a positive first trip abroad! Thanks for sharing this story from your time in Thailand; it is really hear-warming to read. We would love to have you volunteer with us again in the future. Thanks for being an IVHQer!

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Emily
9/10
Yes, I recommend this program

IVHQ Thailand

IVHQ Thailand is a great experience, providing volunteers with the opportunity to make new friends from around the world, learn new skills and immerse themselves in a new culture. For me, teaching English at the mirror foundation was very rewarding, there was challenging moments and the language barrier often proved to be a difficulty. Yet, the friendly and eager pupils were
the reason why teaching was so much fun. The accomadtion at mirror is basic, but you easily adapt to living like a local, this includes eating rice three times a day too.
Aside from the volunteering, the weekends were some of my fondest moments occurred. From Saturday to Monday we were free to leave and explore more of Thailand. We ventured to Chiang Mai to visit an elephant sanctuary, a Grand Canyon and explore the night markets. There is also plenty to see in Chiang Rai if you want to stay local; including plenty of temples (the white temple is definitely worth seeing), the big Buddha statue, botanical gardens and cooking classes.
Volunteering in Thailand is one of the best things I've ever done, it does not come without its challenges and culture shock, yet, the experience exceeded any of the expectations I had. I made life long friends and grew in confidence and character.

What would you improve about this program?
The programme could be improve through general maintenance of ten volunteer accomadtion, I accept that it is basic but it was often very unhygienic and uncomfatble in the hot conditions.
Also, there should be more effective communication between everyone at the foundation, we were often unsure what we were doing and thrown in the deep end when it first came to teaching a class for the first time.
Response from International Volunteer HQ - IVHQ

Hi Emily, We are so glad to hear that you had a rewarding experience in Thailand! It sounds like you made the most of your experience by challenging yourself at the teaching placement and exploring Thailand in your free time. Thanks for your recommendation, feedback and advice. It been great to have you as an IVHQer!

Nicole
10/10
Yes, I recommend this program

2 Weeks in Thailand

For my first trip to Thailand, I decided to spend 2 weeks volunteering in northern Thailand, specifically Chang Rai. It was the best decision I have ever made. After 3 days, I was trying to see if I could rearrange my flights to stay longer. The program connects you with people from all over the world. In my group, we had people from the UK, Australia, Brazil, France, and the USA. Our big project for the first week was helping to build a dam for the local Karen village. Building that dam was why I went to Thailand. We were able to see the results of our work as we watched the water redirect and we were working with the local village men. They thanked us with a barbecue and the village head shook all of our hands to say "thank you." The next week, we were digging a water line for a school. We slept in the school and played with the children. We were able to really connect with the children and see what their lives are like. Throughout the program, Lynn, the program manager, checked in to make sure everything was okay and assured us that she was there if we needed anything. Even before I left for Thailand, Lynn was there to answer my countless questions and really prepared me for my trip. Volunteering with IVHQ was the best decision I have made and I hope to volunteer with them again soon.

What would you improve about this program?
Day to day, I think we should have been more informed about the job we were doing and the risks involved, but overall, I felt comfortable with the jobs we were doing.
Response from International Volunteer HQ - IVHQ

Hi Nicole, Thanks for sharing your thoughts and a few photos from your time in Thailand. It sounds like you had a rewarding trip and that your work was really appreciated, we are glad we could help facilitate this for you. Thanks for being an IVHQer and we look forward to welcoming you on another program again in the future!

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Alvaro
8/10
Yes, I recommend this program

Teaching in Northern Thailand

I volunteered with Mirror Foundation, IVHQ's local partner in Chiang Rai, Thailand.

Accommodation: all volunteers lived at Mirror Foundation's premises, in a rural area, approximately 40 min north of Chiang Rai. I was placed in a bamboo house, where sleeping bags were put on the floor. We also had squat toilets and bucket showers, which is part of the experience. Wifi barely worked, which made difficult to plan lessons. Some volunteers were not mentally prepared to live in such different conditions they were used to, and keft the program early. In the beginning it was tough (mainly due to insects, reptiles, etc), but I managed to enjoy the experience.

Food: breakfast, lunch and dinner were provided during weekdays. Delicious local food!

Transportation to/from placement: provided by the local organizationin pickup trucks.

Weekends: during weekends, almost all volunteers leave the foundation and travel to other cities in Thailand or simply stay at a hotel in Chiang Rai.

Volunteering: indoor volunteers were taken to a different school, every week. It was a great experience teaching at public schools in small villages, tasting local food, talking to the local teachers. In my opinion, all volunteers should be fluent in English and have some teaching experience.

What would you improve about this program?
Quality of wifi at the foundation could be improved. I know it is difficult to do, but there should be some kind of screening process while accepting volunteers who choose to teach English.
Response from International Volunteer HQ - IVHQ

Hey there Alvaro, thanks for the insight into your time in Thailand. Sounds like you really immersed yourself into the culture, creating an authentic experience. Thanks for being an IVHQer!

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IVHQ is the world’s most trusted and affordable volunteer abroad organization, offering the largest range of safe and impactful volunteer programs in 50+ destinations. Over 100,000 travelers have volunteered abroad with IVHQ over the past 12 years,...