Thailand (40+)

Thailand Volunteer Program for Adults

13 Days, $3995 (For Ages 40+)

GIVE’s adult volunteer program in Thailand is designed specifically for travelers over the age of 40, who are looking for a safe, comfortable and meaningful way to volunteer abroad in Thailand. Your journey begins in Chiang Mai, the cultural heart of Thailand, where you’ll take part in a Thai cooking class and explore the city’s Buddhist temples and buzzing street markets. From there, you’ll travel north to the colorful hill-tribe communities of Chiang Dao to volunteer teaching English to local children and working on community-based organic farms for the next week. After volunteering, your journey culminates with a 3-day elephant trekking and bamboo-rafting adventure through the jungle. Travel off the beaten path and experience a side of Thailand few tourists get to see!

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Volunteer Projects

English Education

Most schools in Thailand employ full-time native English-speaking teachers. However, the underfunded schools in our host communities aren’t able to pay the higher salaries these positions demand. As a GIVE volunteer teaching English, you will play an important role in providing our students with equal educational and employment opportunities. Furthermore, in order to to maintain consistent quality of instruction, all lessons are planned and delivered alongside local teachers and GIVE’s TEFL-certified Education Coordinators.

Sustainable Agriculture

GIVE is working with teachers and students at schools in Muang Khong to establish model farms that demonstrate best practices in organic, nutrition-based, regenerative agriculture, and produce a large variety of nutritious fruits, vegetables and livestock on relatively small plots of land. As a GIVE volunteer, you will empower students to grow their own delicious, nutritious food throughout the school year, while also educating them on the importance of protecting natural resources in their food production systems.

Elephant Conservation

While interacting with Asian elephants in their natural habitat, you will also be directly supporting their welfare and conservation in a variety of ways. A portion of your trip costs will be donated to the Thai Elephant Conservation Center, which provides free veterinary care to elephants and free positive reinforcement training for mahouts across the country, as well as to Chiang Mai University’s Forest Restoration and Research Unit, which directly combats the fundamental threat Asian elephants currently face – habitat loss.

Adventure & Cultural Highlights

  • All accommodations after arrival, which have basic amenities and security
  • All group transportation within Thailand
  • All meals throughout your stay (country specific exceptions)
  • All of your epic adventure activities!
  • Funding toward materials for the volunteer projects in country
  • Drinking water 24/7
  • Flights to/from Thailand and all other taxes, ticket fees, and any country entry and departure taxes.
  • Medical and travel insurance
  • Passport and visa (specific to host country)
  • Vaccinations (specific to host country)

Thailand Itinerary

Day 1

Trip Commencement: Group arrives in Chiang Mai. After a warm welcome and orientation from your GIVE guides, we’ll have welcome drinks and dinner on the Mae Ping River. Try out some authentic Thai cuisine and get to know your fellow volunteers!

Day 2

Start your day with an introductory Thai language lesson and then head to a Thai cooking school to learn how to make pad thai, green curry and other famous Thai dishes! In the evening, we’ll travel to Doi Suthep Mountaintop temple to learn more about the history of Chiang Mai, Thai culture and the basic principles of Buddhism.

After dinner we’ll rest up for an early morning departure, heading north into the jungles of Chiang Dao National Park until we reach our home for the next week – the hill-tribe villages of Muang Khong!

Days 3-9

Volunteering in Muang Khong:

After breakfast, we’ll head to local schools to begin work on our English education and organic farming projects. Volunteer until lunchtime and then break for a couple hours before returning to the project site for the rest of the afternoon.  During our free time, we’ll take part in a variety of adventure and cultural immersion activities, such as sipping coffee at sunrise viewpoints, supporting women’s co-ops & learning to make local handicrafts, and exploring nearby villages!

Day 10

Strap in for a 4×4 adventure through the jungle on our way to the Karen hill-tribe village of Ba Kao Lam, home to our three elephant hosts: Pooh Noi, Mae Boon Sri and Mae Boon Yeun. That afternoon we’ll learn how to build bamboo rafts with our local guides!

Day 11

Spend the morning interacting with the most revered creatures in SE Asia – Asian elephants. Join local mahouts (elephant caretakers) to track elephants through the jungle, perform basic health checks, bathe them in the river, prepare healthy snacks for feeding, and learn about elephant welfare and conservation in Asia. After lunch, we’ll embark on a bamboo-rafting journey down the Mae Tang River towards the Lahu Village of Pong Ngan, where we’ll share a barbecue dinner with our hosts and learn traditional dances around the bonfire!

Day 12

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 back to Chiang Mai, where you’ll be greeted with a 5-star massage treatment. Later in the evening, we’ll have our final dinner together and reflect on an incredible two weeks together.

Day 13

Trip End: All good things must come to an end.  Soak up your last few hours in Thailand before heading home.

*this is a sample itinerary which is subject to change. 

Ready to start your adventure?