Location
  • Thailand
    • Chiang Mai
Length
2 to 5 weeks

Program Details

Age Min.
15
Timeframe
Summer Winter
Housing
Guesthouse Hostel
Groups
Small Group (1-15) Medium Group (16-30) Large Group (31+)
Travel Type
Solo Women

Pricing

Starting Price
2295
Price Details
What's included:
-All accommodations
-Group and ground transportation, including airport pick up and drop off
-All meals and drinking water
-Epic adventures and cultural immersion activities
-Funding toward volunteer projects
What's Included
Accommodation Activities Meals Transportation
What's Not Included
Airfare Travel Insurance Visa
Feb 28, 2022
Sep 30, 2022
32 travelers are looking at this program

About Program

Volunteer in Thailand with GIVE and immerse yourself in Thai culture and remote hill-tribe villages as you work alongside host community members on our organic farming, reforestation and English education projects. Your Thailand volunteer trip then culminates with bamboo rafting, elephant trekking (through the jungle!) and bungee jumping. After volunteering in Thailand, you can add-on our volunteer trip to Laos and save $500 on the Southeast Asia package!

Video and Photos

Program Highlights

  • Plant the seeds of change with reforestation projects
  • Embark on a bamboo rafting journey
  • Thai cooking classes
  • Trek for elephants in the jungle
  • Be a teaching assist for local schools

Related Programs

Program Reviews

5.00 Rating
based on 20 reviews
  • 5 rating 100%
  • 4 rating 0%
  • 3 rating 0%
  • 2 rating 0%
  • 1 rating 0%
  • Impact 5
  • Support 5
  • Fun 4.95
  • Value 4.95
  • Safety 5
Showing 1 - 8 of 20 reviews
Default avatar
Skyler
5/5
Yes, I recommend this program

GIVE Thailand: A Fantastic First Time Overseas

I went on a GIVE trip to Thailand to shake me out of my comfort zone. I had never been outside of the US or Canada but have always wanted to travel, and not just to super-touristy locations. I was skeptical paying money to volunteer, but now, knowing what goes in to making the experience, I can say that it was completely worth it. GIVE is incredibly connected with the host communities. Most of the guides grew up locally and speak both English and Thai fluently, which made it so easy to learn about life in northern Thailand: many things that you wouldn’t be able to learn as a standard tourist. I was also able to experience many of the local shops and restaurants and what it is like to stay in jungle villages. Things that I would also not have been otherwise able to experience as a solo traveller having no previous connections in the region.
I was concerned that I would not be able to make much of an impact only staying for 2 weeks, but teaching and playing with the kids at Nongbua School, I could feel how special it made these kids feel to be visited by people from the other side of the world. I don’t think I have ever been in a place where so many people want to hug me. Playing soccer against a bunch of Thai school kids under a sky full of dragon flies in the pouring rain (and losing), was just an otherworldly experience.
We were also able to see the progress we made in the permaculture project. Just a few hours a day of the whole group finding, removing, and transplanting banana trees, we were essentially able to plant a small forest. In addition to the physical permaculture projects, we also learned about the beauty of and the urgent need for sustainable agriculture and forest restoration. Of course, learning on-site is so much more impactful than reading or watching videos about permaculture online.
I was also surprised by how much the guides and locals invited us to ask questions (the hard ones too). We had many sessions where a local would be invited to talk about a particular subject, like how it is to teach at the local school, and how Elephant ownership and conservation work in modern times. A lot of the time, these sessions were brutally honest: addressing things like the negative parts of life in Thailand, the downsides of voluntourism, and the reality of how the least harmful way to keep elephants in captivity still involves chains and hooks.
On a personal level, the guides were also very inspiring. There were quite a few emotional speeches and individual conversations that I had with the guides that made me look forward to the future more than I have in quite some time. They pointed out the opportunities that I have to travel and search for what I love doing. There is no doubt that this trip has changed the course of my future. I feel like this trip helped me see how insignificant the problems in my daily life usually are and how much opportunity I have right now that I may not have in the future and that many people might never have.
Of course, there are organisations with much longer-term projects out there that involve less tourism and more labour. These projects can have larger impacts, but there are also many fewer people willing to commit to such long-term projects. Not only does GIVE make international volunteering more accessible, but based on the experience I had, I would expect that GIVE is inspiring more people to commit to such long-term projects.

Pros
  • I got to work on local agriculture projects and teach local school children.
  • I got to meet tons of locals and adventurous people.
  • I got to see remote parts of Thailand I would not have visited as a tourist.
Cons
  • The program being only 2 weeks long made it feel like I could not get to know some of the people that well.
  • The program being only 2 weeks long is inefficient in terms of how much of the trip is just the plane rides.
  • There was only 1 itinerary, there were not a lot of options in choosing one excursion over another (maybe a consequence of small group size).
Default avatar
ALIA
5/5
Yes, I recommend this program

AMAZING EXPERIENCE

I loved this trip. Everything about it was terrific. We were constantly kept busy, and they ensured no time was wasted. The guides are excellent at what they do. They're always there to help if you're feeling uneasy or sad. Aside from that, they treat you like family. They're always on top of things. As for the projects, I enjoyed English education the most! If you plan on working at the school, I suggest picking the smaller school. You get to connect with the kids better. When we weren't volunteering, we got to be adventurous! Hiking the cave, tubing down the river, and bamboo rafting was sick!!!

Pros
  • amazing guides
  • great views
  • always adventure time
4 people found this review helpful.
Default avatar
Lara
5/5
Yes, I recommend this program

The best experience of my life!

There were a lot of highlights of this trip but the first thing that sticks out for me is all the connections I've made. I met some of the best people ever and made friends that honestly feel like family now! Other than that I loved learning about the culture and religion as well as the ways of the beautiful Thai people like the traditional bamboo rafting, visiting temples, meditating with a monk, basket and Karen weaving, partaking in the Baisi ceremony, and so much more! It felt incredible to be completely immersed in this amazing culture and welcomed by everyone with open arms, all the while having incredible guides that made the whole experience all the better! Of course I can't forget about all the laughs and the energy on the perm plot and the high fives and little but amazing steps of progress in the classrooms! One last thing that will stick with me is all of the small moments that one might not pay too much attention to like playing cards with my friends during the breaks, P'Nicky bringing us roti every night, the truck rides with the speakers, etc. Never forget about the small things in life!
Despite a hiccup during the trip that could have been avoided by HQ but that the guides handled nicely, this has been an unforgettable experience!
The main thing I'd say to someone that is considering to go on this trip is: don't hesitate! If you're thinking of going on this GIVE trip, do it! It was the best decision I've ever made and could only encourage other people to make that same decision! It has been amazing to see, now that I am home, how much this trip has truly changed me! It's something that cannot be put into words but must be experienced to be understood and that is the reason why I hope whoever is reading this, takes that leap of faith and just goes for it! If you go into this trip with simply an open mind, it will be the best experience ever, just trust it!

Pros
  • meet incredible, like-minded people
  • be completely immersed in the culture
  • make amazing memories
Cons
  • not much "freedom" but probably for your safety
  • don't see directly what you are paying for when paying for a trip (ie. how funding for projects etc)
  • having to say goodbye at the end:(
9 people found this review helpful.
Default avatar
taylor
5/5
Yes, I recommend this program

Thailand

This trip was full of once in a lifetime experiences and opportunities you would never get if traveling on your own to thailand. the country’s as beautiful and the people were even more beautiful. The price for the trip itself was a little high but looking back, if i booked this trip not through GIVE i wouldn’t get the same experiences. because of GIVE i was able to be fully immersed into the thai culture and their traditions. i was able to live in their shoes for a short little bit. my views on life and how i want to live my life is forever impacted.

Pros
  • Unique experiences
  • Fully immersed
  • Met new amazing people
Cons
  • trip expenses
  • busy days hardly any time to sit and have time to yourself
8 people found this review helpful.
Default avatar
Kate
5/5
Yes, I recommend this program

Trip of a Lifetime

I think about this trip every single day. Perfect combination of cultural learning and immersion, volunteering, excursions, and vacation! I fell head over heels in love with Thailand and all of the people. I went completely alone not knowing anyone in my group and left with lifelong friends I still keep in touch with 4 years later. I couldn’t study abroad so looked into GIVE over winter break and recommend it to EVERYONE! Highlights included teaching in the school, 5am walks to look for elephants, ziplining through the trees, and celebrating New Years with the community.

What is your advice to future travelers on this program?
Say yes to absolutely everything. I usually proceed with caution anywhere and everywhere but raised my hand to volunteer for every opportunity and had no regrets.
31 people found this review helpful.
Default avatar
Allie
5/5
Yes, I recommend this program

Say YES to new adventures!!!

There is not a day that goes by where I don't think about my GIVE trip! This was my first time traveling on my own, and my first time out of the country, so my parents and family were skeptical about letting me go. However, from day one GIVE was clear and informative of everything from expenses, to safety, and their mission. The guides provide materials to prepare volunteers for their trip well in advance and are supportive throughout the entire process. My favorite part of the entire experience was getting to meet the locals and other volunteers. I am so thankful to have been able to work, learn, laugh, and dance with some of the most incredible humans. Never did I imagine that a group of strangers would feel like a second family in such a short time!

What is your advice to future travelers on this program?
My advice to future travelers is to take to heart the knowledge that is taught to you during the group chats, and use that information to your advantage whether it be changes in your own life or just spreading awareness to others.
47 people found this review helpful.
Default avatar
Katherine
5/5
Yes, I recommend this program

Experience of a lifetime

This trip was one of the best two weeks that I have experienced. It completely blew away my expectations, between the people, the food, and the culture. Everything we did on this trip and were apart of in some way helped the local community. Our group helped in spreading our wealth & resources by visiting many different villages and getting the opportunity to learn about the different cultures and the things that they spend their time on (basket weaving, weaving clothes, etc.), while feeling totally apart of their community. As individuals, we learned the importance of voting with your dollar and supported many local villages around Chiang Mai. In our volunteer work, we were able to work in the schools in Muang Khong and teach the kids English, which was just as impactful on me as it was on them. Working on the permaculture sites also opened my eyes to how hard working and driven everyone is to be as self- sustainable as possible, and being so passionate about everything that they do, no matter how difficult it may be. We were also able to trek for elephants and hang out with them, while learning about responsible elephant tourism and the importance of it. This trip was a very positive experience and changed my outlook of what it means to me to be a global citizen.

What was the most surprising thing you saw or did?
I think to me what was most surprising was going into the schools. Between learning that the kids don't get much attention from their teachers, and even just seeing the conditions of the school and classrooms, I was shocked at how eager they were to learn. Their excitement and determination was truly inspiring. It really showed me how much we made an impact on their lives in such a short period of time.
44 people found this review helpful.
Default avatar
Lydia
5/5
Yes, I recommend this program

Thailand will forever have my heart!

This trip was truly an adventure of a lifetime! The guides were fun, informative, caring, and did their absolute best at making sure everyone was having a fun and fulfilling experience. The views and adventures were amazing! Caving and rafting down the river were a couple of my favorite experiences. Getting to interact with the locals, learn skills from them, and experience their culture first-hand is a very special aspect of this trip. Hearing a school teacher talk about his appreciation for GIVE's work in his community is something that really impacted me and I will remember forever. Being able to support such amazing communities in Northern Thailand was such a fulfilling and humbling experience that I would recommend to anyone!

What was the most nerve-racking moment and how did you overcome it?
Bungee jumping was the most nerve-racking moment on the trip, but the guides and the group as a whole were all very supportive. From the beginning of the trip, the group deciding on the motto- "send it." We encouraged each other to "just go for it" and face as many fears as possible on this trip.
45 people found this review helpful.

Questions & Answers