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Volunteering in Thailand is a chance to experience a side of this country that most visitors never see. GoEco’s range of volunteer programs in community development, conservation, and animal welfare include cultural immersion aspects that make volunteering enriching for all participants. In a nutshell:
Pick up any Thailand travel guide and the description will read the same – between limestone cliffs plunging into turquoise seas, powdery-soft white sand beaches, and lush jungles, hiding elaborate temples, Thailand is one of the most beautiful and intriguing countries in the world. Thailand is particularly captivating for volunteers. A wide range of projects means you can choose to do anything from teaching English to working with elephants. Volunteer programs also provide an opportunity to live with Thai families and experience life in a Thai village well away from the tourist track. Volunteering in Thailand is a valuable opportunity to see this country unfiltered. Why volunteer in Thailand? The Kingdom of Thailand sits somewhere between becoming developed and being completely wild. As a volunteer, you could enjoy a faster pace of life in a coastal city or base yourself in a tribal village. Wherever you are in the country, as a volunteer you’ll be able to contribute to projects that make a real difference in local communities. Thailand’s rapid economic growth has had many positive outcomes, but also many negative environmental impacts. Growing urban areas have led to deforestation, water and air pollution, loss of wildlife and their habitats, and waste problems. Conservation projects with the support of volunteers help to protect and preserve Thailand’s precious environment. Meanwhile, despite impressive development over the past few decades, many people living in rural areas are still poor. Access to education can be limited, which makes it harder for these communities to improve their situation. Volunteers can contribute to educational initiatives by sharing their English speaking skills with the Thai people, thus increasing their job prospects. These opportunities come in a glorious setting. During your volunteer experience, you can explore one of the most enticing countries in the world. Learn more about the spiritual side of the country by wandering through gorgeous temples. Savour mouth-watering Thai cuisine. Ride a colorful long-tail boat out to remote islands and dive into crystal clear waters. Shop for exotic fruits you’ve never tasted before in the floating markets. Every day in Thailand will leave you with more experiences you’ll never forget. What you need to know Thailand has excellent tourist infrastructure, so it’s easy and safe for volunteers to travel. Accommodation – Volunteer accommodation is typically basic and shared. You may have to adjust to not having Wifi, hot water, or a washing machine, but this will give you a more realistic picture of everyday life in rural Thailand, although there are projects with more Western facilities Costs and budget – Most of your major costs are included in program fees. You might want to go out for meals occasionally, buy souvenirs, or take part in extra adventure activities. To cover these extra costs, you can budget around $10-$20 a day. Culture and behavior in public – Thailand is known as the ‘Land of the Smiles’. Thai culture prizes a calm, non-confrontational manner so public outbursts of emotion are viewed negatively. Whenever you’re interacting with locals, smile and stay positive, and you’ll be well received. The majority of Thai people are Buddhist. It’s important to be culturally sensitive when you visit temples, and also in daily life. You’ll need to cover up with conservative clothes when you visit temples and in some projects. You won’t encounter any problems if you walk around Bangkok in shorts and singlets, though. Locations From the picturesque islands in the south to the mountains in the north, and the urban capital of Bangkok in between, Thailand accommodates volunteers in a range of exciting locations. No matter where you go, you’ll be surrounded by the exceptional beauty of the country and be able to discover culture and cuisine in spades. GoEco’s Thailand projects are based in two key regions. Phang Na – A province in southern Thailand, bordered by the Andaman Sea, Phang Na is famous for tall limestone rocks rising out of the turquoise sea. There are several marine parks in the area, making this an excellent place to explore Thailand’s underwater delights. Chiang Rai – A mountainous province in northern Thailand, Chiang Rai is home to several hill tribes and national parks. For trekking enthusiasts, or anyone looking to discover Thailand’s wilder side, this province is an exceptional volunteering location. Working in an elephant forest refuge is a wonderful way of discovering the region’s forests and grasslands, while volunteering with the indigenous Akha people gives you a glimpse into life in tribal villages. Volunteer projects in Thailand Volunteers in Thailand can contribute to promoting sustainable initiatives to help secure a better future for communities in need. The wide variety of volunteer projects mean it’s easy to find an option that suits your personal interests. Marine conservation – With an abundance of beautiful coastline, Thailand is an excellent spot for volunteering in marine conservation and research. You’ll learn about protecting coral reefs and turtle populations while carrying out practical activities and educating local communities. As a volunteer, you could help halt and reverse damage to delicate coastal ecosystems. Elephants – These gentle giants are exploited widely in the tourism industry in Thailand. Volunteers can help contribute to a program that promotes a sustainable alternative to elephant camps and rides. In this project, the elephants live semi-wild in conditions that are healthier for them and their mahouts. The ethical values of this elephant refuge mean there is no bathing, riding, or performing with the animals. Community development – You could help to build eco structures from clay in central Thailand. These projects are important for improving schools and homes, making communities happier. For more volunteer projects in Thailand, browse GoEco’s projects below. To find out more or to enroll in a program, get in touch with us today.