Claire’s Volunteer Experience in Thailand – Amazing From Start to Finish

Posted by: Claire K.

After stumbling out of the airport in Thailand, a group of other young travellers and I were driven 150 kilometers north of Bangkok to a town called Singburi to begin my adventure with orientation and the Learn, Volunteer, and Travel project. In Singburi I participated in a Siam Culture Week program, in which I toured around central Thailand.

I was not just any foreigner exploring the area, though. The program focused on Thai tourism; we visited temples, ate at local restaurants, and saw sights that the locals favor.

One of the highlights was spending a day in Ayutthaya, the old capital of Thailand. The location is rich in history that peaks through the crevices of stone temples and artifacts in the many museums. I had my first taste of authentic pad thai that day and was convinced I could then die happy.

On “Make Your Own Day” we learned to make jewelry using coconut shell beads, and prepared Thai style noodles and spicy papaya salad.

And on Friday, before travelling to Bangkok for the weekend, we visited the Monkey Temple. Hundreds of monkeys call this place home, and entertain themselves by trying to steal tourists’ belongings and snatch food from people’s hands.

During the weekend trip we made our way to Thailand’s best floating market, a must-have experience, and saw the Grand Palace. For the most part though, the trip was centered around Khao San Road, the backpacker hub of Bangkok. It certainly lived up to its unbeatable nightlife reputation, and I did some great shopping as well.

When Sunday arrived, I was left looking back at the past seven days in awe. The time had flown by, as it always seems to when in a foreign place. Over the course of the week I came to see the volunteer house as a home away from home and made tons of new friends, in addition to having a great introduction to Thai culture and tourist attractions. After just a week it was easy to see why so many people adore Thailand (including myself). The next month that I spent volunteering in an orphanage and a school brought even more fun learning opportunities and amazing memories!