Thailand Trip Length: 14 Days
Track elephants in the jungle | Bungee jump 160 feet | Embark on a 2-day bamboo rafting journey | Teach English at local schools | Volunteer on organic school gardens | Immerse yourself in hill-tribe cultures
Trip Commencement: Group arrives in Chiang Mai. After a warm welcome and orientation from your GIVE guides, the evening is free to explore the city, try out some amazing Thai cuisine and get to know your fellow volunteers!
After breakfast, we’ll dive in to the details of the journey ahead, learn more about Thai culture and then take an introductory Thai language lesson! After the Thai lesson, we’ll travel to a Buddhist Temple to learn about the history of Chiang Mai and the Lanna Kingdom, the basic principles of Buddhism and some interesting facts about Thai culture.
In the afternoon, we’ll volunteer with Chiang Mai University’s Forest Restoration and Research Unit (FORRU), helping with anything from tree planting, seed germination, seedling potting & care, seed collection, weeding and fertilizing at one of their tree nurseries or reforestation plots. That evening, we’ll take a tuk-tuk taxi to the Chiang Mai Night Bazaar to sample some world-famous Thai street food and scope out souvenirs!
After breakfast, we’ll take a 4-hour drive north through dense jungles and limestone mountains towards our home for the next week – the hill-tribe villages of Muang Khong. After settling into your bungalows, we’ll meet as a group to discuss all the groundbreaking volunteer projects in store for the coming days.
Volunteering in Muang Khong: After breakfast, we’ll begin work on our English education, sustainable agriculture and reforestation projects. Volunteer until lunchtime and then break for a couple hours before returning to the project site for the rest of the afternoon. In the late afternoon, we’ll head out on a variety of adventure and cultural immersion activities before dinner: Thai cooking and language lessons, hiking to panoramic viewpoints, learning to make local handicrafts, trekking through limestone caves, helping farmers prepare their rice paddies, playing sports with locals and exploring nearby villages!
Strap in for a 4x4 adventure through the jungle on our way to the Karen hill-tribe village of Ba Kao Lam, home to three elephants we’ll be interacting with the next day – Pooh Noi, Mae Boon Sri and Mae Boon Yeun. That afternoon we’ll learn how to build bamboo rafts with our local guides!
Spend the morning interacting with the most revered creatures in SE Asia – Asian elephants. Support this incredible species in Thailand as a responsible traveler, tracking the elephants through the jungle alongside their mahouts (elephant whisperers), bathing them in the river, feeding them healthy herbal supplements, and learning how your ethical elephant experience is directly supporting Asian elephant conservation. On day 12, we’ll embark on a bamboo-rafting journey down the Mae Tang River towards the remote Lahu Village of Pong Ngan. There we’ll celebrate one final night in the jungle, sharing a barbecue dinner with locals and learning traditional dances around the bonfire!
Our bamboo-rafting journey culminates with the fastest rapids and best views yet. Strap in and enjoy the ride or grab a pole and help steer us towards our final adventure in Thailand… A 160-foot BUNGEE JUMP! (Or drift karts and zorbing if heights aren’t your thing.) After that it’s back to Chiang Mai for one final night of reflection and celebration.
Note: Bungee jumping is not available for our teen trips (ages 16-17) due to the policies of the bungee provider. Instead our teen groups will experience a zip-line through the jungle canopy!
Trip End: All good things must come to an end. Soak up your last few hours in Thailand before heading home, OR add-on GIVE’s Laos Volunteer Program to round out your SE Asia experience!
**THIS IS A SAMPLE ITINERARY WHICH IS SUBJECT TO CHANGE.
- All accommodations within Thailand, which have access to basic amenities and security
- All group transportation within Thailand
- All meals throughout your stay (country specific exceptions)
- All of your epic adventure and cultural immersion activities
- Funding for volunteer projects
- Drinking water 24/7
What’s Not Included
- Flights to and from Thailand and all associated air taxes, ticket fees, and any country entry and exit taxes.
- Medical and travelers insurance
- Passport and visa (specific to your citizenship)
- Vaccinations (specific to host country)
Learn how to Extend Your Trip
Extend your stay in Southeast Asia, Add-on GIVE’s Laos Volunteer Program!
SE Asia Package: Thailand & Laos
Trip Length: 27 days – Save $500!
Your journey doesn’t have to end in Thailand. Cross the border into Laos and complete your Southeast Asia experience. In Laos, you will work to protect Asiatic Black Bears, meditate with Buddhist monks, support rural communities, and summit limestone peaks. Come see for yourself why Laos is the best-kept secret in SE Asia!