Thailand, nicknamed “The Land of Smiles”, is a place that once you go, you’ll never want to leave. For those looking to volunteer, it’s a country full of opportunities for meaningful interaction with local culture and nature. There are so many ways to travel here and give back at the same time through dedicated organizations. Search the summer savings at Expedia to find great deals on flights out East! Here are a few ideas for volunteering in Thailand:
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Teach English in Rural Schools
Many hill tribe villages in Thailand are in need of native English speakers to come teach English, and in return you’ll get an experience like no other. Living in a rural village will immerse you in traditional Thai life and culture, an experience completely different from the normal tourist trip. It’s such a unique chance to connect with children and members of the local community. Some programs also have you help build schools in rural villages.
Teach English to Buddhist Monks
If you find yourself drawn to learn more about Buddhism, connecting with the culture by teaching English to monks might be for you. Volunteers are usually assigned to a specific temple, where they’ll instruct the monks in daily English lessons.
Working at an elephant camp is one of the most popular volunteer opportunities in Thailand. You learn about the majestic, gentle giants and spend your days bathing, feeding and caring for the elephants at the camp. This kind of volunteering is often highly integrated with the local culture as well so prepare to be surrounded by Thai language and local customs.
Volunteer with Children
There are lots of orphanages and children’s homes in Thailand looking for people who love kids to come and help out. There are opportunities everywhere from out in rural villages, to children’s homes in cities like Bangkok and Chiang Mai if that’s what you’d like. Wherever you go, you’ll be rewarded with the smiles of children and knowing you helped make a difference.
If you like working outside, Thailand is the place for you. Throug organizations like WWOOF and Workaway, you can hook up with a workshare host who will put you up with food and accommodation in exchange for some hours of work per day. You could be doing anything from organic farming to creating rice terraces or building schools out of bamboo.