Volunteer in Thailand with Volunteering Solutions

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About

Join one of Volunteering Solutions' many volunteer programs in Thailand! Thailand is a great travel destination full of beautiful landscapes with beaches, delicious food, ancient temples, and a welcoming local population. Volunteer projects are located in Chiang Mai, Bangkok and Surin in Thailand. With a large range of projects, volunteers can do anything from elephant conservation, 3 week volunteer tours, to health care work to working with and teaching children in schools and orphanages. Visit the Volunteering Solutions website to learn more & join the Best Volunteer Programs in Thailand!

*Looking for a great summer program? Check out the Volunteering Solutions Thai Summer Volunteer Adventure!

Questions & Answers

For my particular program it was a mix! In Bangkok, meals weren't provided (BUT VERY CHEAP); in the elephant camp all of our meals were provided and they were delicious! During our second volunteer project, breakfast and lunch were provided, and on the island no meals were provided.
Yes, there are opportunities in Bangkok.
Hi! All the places I stayed were included in the price. I believe the total amount I paid Volunteering Solutions was around $1000 (US), and another $1000 for a round-trip flight. Food is so cheap in Thailand. Someone could budget $10-$15 per week for food and be totally fine. Street food is around $2. I remember someone telling me I could buy a new outfit, a hot meal, and taxi cab ride all for $20...

Reviews

94%
based on 32 reviews
  • Impact 8.6
  • Support 9.1
  • Fun 8.6
  • Value 9.1
  • Safety 9.3
Showing 1 - 15 of 32
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shelby
9/10

Elephant Camp Chiang Mai Thailand

This was an amazing life experience. The city itself is amazing and full of things to do and places to see! I met so many people from all over the world and will forever hold them so dear to my heart. The elephants were a whole other level of amazing! I bonded with my elephant and by the time i left he was greeting me with trunk hugs and elephant squeaks. My mahout gave me a bracelet made of my elephants tail hair when i left that i dont think i will ever take off. When i got home i think i went through a short stage of depression as i missed my elephant and my new friends so much. useful tips would be to bring a small backpack to bring to the markets with you so you dont have to carry a bunch of little bags, bring old clothing that you dont care about to bath your elephant in, do not keep any food in your hut as ants will come with a full force behind them, bring a long phone charger cord as the plug in is on the opposite side of the room from the bed, bring rubber gloves that go up on your arms that fit you well to pick up elephant poop with (they supply them for you at the camp but they are not of good quality), Do not expect to get a lot of information about the elephants from the mahouts as they speak little to no english, your camp leader can answer all of your questions. I would like to mention that this camp is a camp where they put on daily elephant shows and trekking. They use bull hooks and some mahouts are not humane when using them. When i got there i was really disappointed in seeing a lot of abuse, but once i talked to the camp leader he told me that the things i saw were not tolerated and to speak up when i thought mahouts were being abusive! My trip became actually making sure elephants were not abused at the camp! it is not a place to go and experience the same as the elephant nature park, this is a camp where yes the elephants are abused and you need to help them! I got a mahout fired when i was there for abusing his elephant. you can make a serious difference at the camp, but dont go there with the expectation that it is not an abuse free camp it is quite the opposite! That being said there are many mahouts that treat their elephants like gold and would never cause them harm as they actually see them as a sacred animal for their culture. My elephant never had a mark on him the whole two weeks i was there, so i felt good leaving him behind. On your weekends really make sure to explore the city or take a day trip to Doi Inthanon or Chiang Rai. Chiang Mai is a beautiful place with so much culture to soak in! I highly recommend this program for anyone with a travel bug and a big heart!

How can this program be improved?
The abuse at the elephant camp needs to be monitored more, it shouldnt be in a volunteers hands to point out an elephant being beat in the head with a bullhook repeatedly! the mahouts would benefit from some english classes, or pick a different camp all together.
Yes, I recommend
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Paige
10/10

Once-In-A-Lifetime Must-Do!

This trip was one of the highlights of my life and I would highly recommend to anyone. It was the perfect combination of work/volunteering, cultural immersion and great fun with the group. When I first signed up, I was slightly nervous because I was going alone, but it ended up being the best choice I've made! Our whole group became very close and I now have lifelong friendships with people from all over the world. Thailand is an amazingly beautiful country and I miss it each day.

Yes, I recommend
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Teresa
10/10

Voluntour of a Lifetime

I had been ready for this kind of experience for several years, so I was ecstatic when the time finally came and I boarded the plane to fly across the world. My trip to Thailand was absolutely incredible. It was very healing, and as cheesy as it sounds, I feel like I found myself. I felt like I had a purpose there.

My first night was a bit chaotic. I arrived in the middle of the night and if you're not prepared the chaos of Bangkok and Khao San Road will throw you off. Yet Bangkok quickly became my home and after being there only a couple times I was already familiar with the shops and the locals. The other volunteers in my group accepted me immediately and we were all given plenty of time to bond.

The first stop was Mr. Lee's elephant village in Surin. This was a surreal place to be, as I would wake up in the morning, walk out onto the balcony, and be standing right before five or six of the magnificent creatures. The best memories here were walking the elephants down to the river each day, cooking homemade authentic Thai dishes, and ending the night by eating ice cream and playing cards with everyone in my group. Also, there was a man with a popsicle cart who would come to the homestay once a day and for 20 baht would sell a variety of popsicles, such as coconut and taro black bean.

The next stop after Surin was Sangkhlaburi. This province is located in the mountains of Thailand, and had some of the best views I have ever seen. I went at the end of rainy season (late October) so the scenery was lush green. This is where I truly bonded with the locals as I helped construct a temple in one of the villages and we would make small talk. I definitely would recommend going to The Nature Club during downtime, where you can zip line over the jungle. There are also magnificent waterfalls about a 10 minute taxi ride away from where I stayed. The night markets in Sangkhlaburi are definitely a highlight and are very convenient to grab a quick bite to eat or a freshly blended smoothie. Also if given the chance, taking a river boat ride under the Wooden Bridge to see the underwater temples is an amazing experience.

The last stop was Koh Phangan. Our group practically had the beach to ourselves. The water is crystal clear, and the sand is a pristine white. Some of the highlights on this island were renting motorbikes, going scuba diving, and of course, the Jungle and Full Moon party. I made some life-long connections at these parties. They were unlike any party-scene or rave I have ever been to, and I felt completely safe the entire time. Also, the Amsterdam Bar has a sunset view that is to-die-for.

How can this program be improved?
The volunteer work at the elephant village felt very meaningful. Yet in Sangkhlaburi, it seemed like we were just given "busy work" and our help wasn't necessarily needed.
Yes, I recommend
Paloma
9/10

One in a lifetime

I did the Thailand summer project last year, and I enjoyed it a lot. Firstly, I got to know increadible people that shared this experience with me and also, I discovered a different Thailand. It's very important to travel getting to know different cultures and people, but it's always better when you can make a change by helping people. The locals where absolutely amazing and I honestly don't regret travelling with volunteering solutions as they help you a lot, specially if you are travelling alone. It is an experience of a lifetime!!

Yes, I recommend
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Megan
10/10

Thailand Summer Special

This trip had everything I could've wanted to experience in Thailand & more. We were able to see the beaches, the city, the jungle & the villages. We got to interact with people around the world, elephants, people from Thailand & experience the food, culture, landscapes and modes of transportation. My highlight from the trip was to be able to really connect with people from Thailand and we were able to do just that through our volunteer work at the temples, school, daycare center & elephant village. Not to mention our tour guid was PHENOMENAL and so knowledgeable with the history of the places we went & the temples we saw.

How can this program be improved?
Provide a more detailed packing list.
Yes, I recommend
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Julia
10/10

GREAT IMPACTS

Before arriving to Thailand I was a little scared, maybe because it was the first time I was travelling to Asia. The impression I got the following days after arriving was amazing, we got to know Bangkok a little better. We saw the night life in Koh San Road, we tried all the food we dared. It was so different! I loved seeing the crowded streets with smiling people, no hurries. Thai people seemed to me friendly, relaxed and very very hard workers. This impression became greater and greater as the days were passing. I found myself opening my heart to this country, this culture and its people. I empathized with all the environments we volunteer at. The immersion in the elephant village was my favorite part of the trip. Today, it has been 4 months since I came back from this country and I can see how every detail made me learn a lot.

Yes, I recommend
Sufyan
9/10

Great for first time travellers

I was awarded a travel bursary from my university to go volunteer anywhere I wanted to in the world. After searching the internet, I came across the Thailand summer programme which was being advertised by Volunteering Solutions. It was the one that sounded most appealing to me out of the dozens that I saw being advertised elsewhere. The programme definitely lived up to the hype. There were countless breathtaking experiences, too many to name in fact but if I had to pick a few, I would say the elephant village and the jungle trek. I would definitely recommend this to anyone who is hesitant.

Yes, I recommend
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Teresa
8/10

Land of smiles

This was my first time volunteering and I couldn't be happier with the experience. Amazing program with amazing people,taking back home amazing memories. I really do recommend this program, Its really wide, you'll have the chance to visit the tourist part of thailand as the rural life and learn a lot about their culture. I can't wait to live again another volunteer experience with volunteering solutions.

Yes, I recommend
Izzy
9/10

Thailand 2016

One of the best memories I have was watching the sunset over the rice fields, 2 silhouettes of boys chasing a fire lantern along the little green paths, with elephants munching next to us, with the best friends I could have found on a trip, in the middle of rural Thailand. It couldn't get much better. Thanks to Volunteering Solutions I experienced almost all of a country I have always wanted to visit; we saw city, countryside, rural, urban, beach, mountain, National Park... the list goes on. If anyone is wavering about going, just go! Yes, despite being one of the cheaper ones on the market, it is a lot of money, but so worth it. Skip spending on the expensive handbags/shoes etc and save, I had the best 3 weeks ever! My favourite place was definitely the elephant village, but experiencing another city, seeing Thai wildlife and meeting locals (and eating scorpions) was all part of the fun too. To top it off we had such a great guide - JJ, who organised so much for us and without him, would have never had done so much. Cheers to another adventure soon!

How can this program be improved?
Give more of a guide line on kit to take and stress that parties/going out can happen so you will want at least some nice clothes. More time at elephant village, change the hotel in Bangkok and change the childcare in Surin (I don't think the children really knew we were there - just too young). Also more clarification on what is provided in money, I didn't realise I needed to buy as many meals myself.
Yes, I recommend
Sandra
9/10

Review Volunteering Solutions Koh Samui Teaching

I've been in the program for 2 weeks. The accomodation is basic but it really makes you feel in Thailand :). It was nice to be in a house with all the other people volunteering. The schools were amazing. The children where nice. The teaching was a great experience. You really try to connect with the children and make them pronounce the words. The older classes can speak and read Englisch very well. You get an inside look in the culture of Thailand. How children are raised. We did al lot of activities with the group like exploring the Island, beachparty,half moon party, BBQ etc.

How can this program be improved?
The could have a year schedule. So you would know with subject the allready had a lesson in.
Yes, I recommend
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Alexandria
10/10

Summer Program in Thailand 2016

If you are considering doing this program in Thailand, my advice to you would be to stop thinking and do it! When I initially signed up, I was nervous because I was going as a solo traveler. However, as soon as I arrived at the airport, I was met with a coordinator and 3 of the 19 volunteers I would be sharing this month with. This particular program was a great mix of volunteering experience and free time to explore on your own. The volunteering part included teaching English in a temple and in an orphanage, doing renovation work (planting, painting murals, making a concrete garbage pit), and, my favorite part, caring for elephants in a truly unique setting. The itinerary gives a great, basic outline with what you will be doing everyday but the wonderful program leaders planned so many voluntary excursions for us that enriched this program so much more. We were constantly on the go and saw so much in the month abroad. Whether you are going solo, or with a group of friends, this is an experience you will love!

How can this program be improved?
I would have loved to have done more while in the orphanage. It might have been because there was a big group of us and not too many children, but if this program continues to grow, I think it would be beneficial to work with multiple childcare places so that each volunteer can take on more responsibilities.
Yes, I recommend
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Carolina
10/10

Best experience ever!

Two weeks already since I came back to my country from Thailand. I knew it was going to be a great experience, but honest truth, was much better than I expected.
At the beginning, I was quite concerned about the security over there, if I was going to have problems, because I was travelling on my own. Finally I booked it and I can not be happier. We got the best guides, they helped us any time.
I have no doubt that it was the best experencie ever. I already miss it! I am looking forward to coming back again.
I leave behind me amazing people, stunning places, an incredible country. A culture and traditions completly different to our life-style, which makes this program so special.
I strongly recommend it, it will change your life and mindset for ever. Go for it!

Yes, I recommend
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Kelly
8/10

The Best Souvenirs are Stories

The best souvenirs are stories, and this trip definitely left me with many of those. I participated in the Summer program where I got to spend time in Bangkok, work in a childcare center in Surin, and work at an elephant camp. When people ask me about my trip when I got home, I tried not to go on and on about it, so I limited myself to telling about five things.
1. The friendliness of the locals--during free time one night, our group decided to go out to a local hangout and a few of us got unbelievably lost, we asked a local to take us to the place, knowing that she couldn't understand us. She left her place of work and walked us thirty minutes in the opposite direction so we could reunite with our group. She hugged us and sent us off on our way, all on her own time. People were constantly trying to help us, talk to us, and even take pictures with us.
2. The elephants are amazing. They really have amazing capabilities and seem almost human. One of the elephants even picked flowers from a tree and handed them out to the girls.
3. The kids are so sweet. They hated going down for naps, and not getting to play with us when we needed to do clean up work around the child care center. Even though we didn't speak the same language, we still made strong bond with the kids.
4. On this trip you are never treated like a child. We were given free time to explore and do what we would like to do. One day while working in the elephant camp, after making lunch for everyone, the group decided to walk down to a local park and play a pickup game of soccer with some locals. We played for hours, making friends with the kids on the sidelines and getting shown up due to our lack of skills in soccer. We then walked down to the river and went swimming where the elephants usually bathe. One weekend, we had free and we planned our own trip to Cambodia. We had the free time to bond with one another, experience the real culture, and take advantage of everything the area had to offer.
5. The staff was always in good spirits. I won't lie, our group caused some trouble, but the staff was extremely helpful. I'm not saying they were always the most organized, and we occasionally felt like we had no idea what was going on, but they would always come through, and they needed to. I had the unique experience of breaking my ankle during the extended beach week. I had to have surgery while I was on the island, and the staff was extremely helpful in getting my things to me, assisting me in finding a good hospital, and making sure I eventually got home ok.

It's been four months since I've gotten home, and I'm still going to physical therapy and recovering from my ankle surgery. People see me still struggling and ask me all the time if the trip was worth it. I always have to smile, think back at my many experiences and consider all of the great stories I now have to tell.

Yes, I recommend
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Rachel
10/10

Volunteering Solutions Review - Thailand

When I decided that I wanted to travel to Thailand, I did hours worth of research to find the perfect program. When I found Volunteering Solutions, I realized that they offered trips during my timeline, were affordable, and had a variety of different trip experiences to choose from.

I decided on the Summer Special, which is 3 weeks of volunteering and traveling throughout Thailand and added an extra "beach week" at the end of my trip.

I am fortunate to have traveled to many different countries throughout my lifetime with many different programs and I admit, I was a little skeptical about this program at first because I had never met anyone who had traveled through them before. My best friend and I decided to go to Thailand together, just in case things didn't go as planned, so that we could go off and travel on our own if need be.

I am happy to say that our trip to Thailand was everything we hoped it would be and more.

We spent time on Khao San Road (the backpackers hub), toured famous temples in Bangkok, and taught students at the Wat Pho Temple. We traveled to Surin by 7 hour train ride, bathed elephants in the river, and cut down sugar cane and palm fronds to feed them. We had the chance to experience Buddhist Lent in Surin, which educated us so much about Thai culture and beliefs. We volunteered at a preschool in Surin where we taught children in the mornings and completed various school improvement projects in the afternoon.

On a free weekend, many members of our group traveled to Angkor Wat Temples in Cambodia. It was an absolutely breathtaking addition to our trip and our Thai guides helped us plan our excursion so it was both safe and affordable.

We trekked through Khao Yai National Park where we saw exotic wildlife and were truly immersed in the jungle. For those of us who stayed for the beach extension, we stayed at a beach side resort with private beach bungalows and a private beach and pool. We explored multiple islands during our stay including Koh Phangan, Koh Nang Yuan, and Koh Tao. We hiked, snorkeled, and lounged on the beach. We went to a Black Moon Party where we enjoyed bumping music, neon body paint, and delicious food.

This trip literally encompassed almost everything that Thailand has to offer. Our Thai guide was extremely knowledgeable about everywhere we traveled and all the experiences we took part in. The trip was very organized and I felt safe at all times.

Another part of the program that I really enjoyed was that it included volunteers from the US, Canada, and Europe. Having diversity among our travel partners made our exploration of Thailand more fun and always allowed for interesting conversations and opinions. By the end of the trip, we were like family and it was so difficult to leave each other after an entire month of bonding experiences.

Overall, I would HIGHLY recommend volunteering and traveling through Volunteering Solutions, especially to Thailand on the Summer Special. My best friend and I who traveled together enjoyed the program so much that we are already looking at trips for next year through VolSol.

If you are questioning whether or not to take the next step of traveling, I say go for it. Educating yourself through travel is one of the best life decisions you could ever make! :)

How can this program be improved?
I wish Volunteering Solutions would have recommended backpacking backpacks for traveling to Thailand, as I brought a suitcase and at times it was inconvenient to have to roll around a huge bag rather than having a bag perched on my back! A backpacking backpack would have also limited the amount of stuff I brought with me! :)
Yes, I recommend
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Caroline
9/10

Volunteering Solutions Review

This was my first time traveling so far away from home by myself. I was really nervous at first but once I arrived I lost my nervous feeling.The other volunteers staying in the house were so inviting and tons of fun to be around. During the first weekend we learned about the Thai culture and went on tours of the city. After that we started our volunteering program (mine was the Children's Home) and it was amazing! I couldn't have picked a better program for myself. The children were so happy to have new people to play with and warmed up to us really quickly. They sang and danced for us and we taught them new games to play. On our free time we were able to do all of the tourist activities you would want to do as well as travel to other cities and see more of Thailand than just Chiang Mai. One afternoon we went to an old quarry that was turned into a lake they called the Grand Canyon. It was the most beautiful place I have ever seen and we spent all afternoon swimming and enjoying the amazing weather. It was an experience of a life time and I would do it all over again if I could!

Yes, I recommend

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Volunteering Solutions started its operations in 2007 and has sent over 12500 volunteers abroad, and now has projects in more than 30 destinations across Asia, Latin America and Africa. Volunteering Solutions is dedicated to providing authentic,...