During these Two weeks you will spend your time touring Bangkok, spending 1 week at a Teaching or Childcare project and then 1 week at a stunning Elephant village!
This program is especially suitable for volunteers who do not have time to commit for a month or more of volunteering abroad but would like to make some contribution, to experience life at a stunning elephant village and then take time at the weekend to explore this wonderful part of Thailand.
Welcome to the kingdom of Thailand
Once you have been picked up by our dedicated team from the airport you will be whisked through the bustling streets of Bangkok to the famous Khao San Road. Here you will get the opportunity to be immersed into the Thai backpacker life embracing all the sights, sounds and smells this city has to offer. The next day you will have a tour of some of the most beautiful and culturally significant locations in the city, including a canal boat tour, visiting Wat Pho, Wat Arun and the most sacred Wat Phra Kaew (please note that the entry fee to the Grand Palace is around 500THB and not included in the fee). In the evening you can let your hair down and enjoy many of the bars and clubs the infamous Khao San Road has to offer.
The real Thailand
After a crazy few days in the Kingdoms capital it is time to discover what makes Thailand ‘Amazing'. Our team will take you on a train journey through the heart of Thailand slowly heading out of Bangkok’s sprawl, through the edges of the stunning Khao Yai National Park and then onto the huge rice plains of Isaan, where Surin is located. Surin is a small but bustling market town in the North East of Thailand around an hour from the border with Cambodia. Upon arrival you will be given a detailed orientation and meet the local staff who will be looking after you during your stay.
Time to get stuck in!
At this point the volunteering begins. You have the option of becoming a teaching or childcare volunteer, both options are very similar with the major difference being the age of the children. If you choose teaching our staff are on hand to help you plan lessons and at the school with you to assist as you find your feet. There is no pressure on our volunteers, thr teaching and childcare is based on learning through playing so the only real requirement is that you and the children have fun! English creates amazing opportunities to the people of Thailand, something that we in the West can often take for granted. Your time on the volunteer projects will be most memorable and rewarding, leaving you with classrooms of friends and too many hugs.
Our projects in Surin work from Monday to Thursday giving you a fantastic 3 day weekend to relax and enjoy Surin town or head further afield. Many travellers decided to go trekking and exploring in Khao Yai National Park around 3-4 hours away. With huge trees, stunning waterfalls and wild elephants this really is one of Thailand’s most special places. Alternatively, why not head for the weekend to see Angkor Wat in Cambodia. Around 5-6 hours from Surin, this makes a great ‘long’ weekend although please ensure before you travel that you have the correct visas both for Cambodia and for returning to Thailand! Our team in country can advise you on travel plans and are experts at knowing the best places to stay.
An elephant adventure
No trip would be complete without a trip to spend time with the most sacred animals in Thailand. You will the next 4 days living in a working elephant village for volunteering, in the rural countryside about 40km outside Surin. Here you will get to come face to face with these magnificent beasts, experiencing what it is like to live amongst elephants. Trekking, walking, bathing and playing will leave you (like the elephants) with memories you will never forget. During your time at the village you can expect to walk with and bathe the elephants, help harvest sugar cane for them to eat, learn how to make elephant dung paper, kayak on the local river and even learn how to cook Thai food. An action packed few days!
Return to the City of Angels
You will head back to Surin town on the Thursday afternoon and have a final night enjoying the sights, sounds and food of this great town. On the Friday morning it’s time to head back to Bangkok and the local staff would assist you in making return transportation arrangements to Bangkok by coach or train.
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VolSol recommends that all interested international volunteers should apply well in advance. Our major booking seasons are from January to July and September to December.
As we have limited spots available in our programs and we serve on first come first basis, it is strongly recommended to apply for the program and reserve your spot. You can book your spot in the program by filling an online form and pay the application fee.
Once you complete your application, your individual 'My Account' will be active in which you will receive your placement confirmation after which you can pay the program fees.
You can pay the program fees later as well in installments, but 45 days before the program starts.
Minimum age requirement to participate in the programs in Surin is 18 years and above.
The minimum age requirement for taking part in the Thailand Adventure Volunteer Program is 17 years.
The other requirements are as follows:
Criminal background check for children’s project
You need to be a medical professional/ student and have a medical background to participate in the medical programs
You will need to submit your CV/ resume along with your photo and statement of motivation. For Medical volunteers, you will need to submit a letter of recommendation as well.
However, we can also accept volunteers who are seriously considering a healthcare career. In this case, however, you will only be observing and shadowing the doctors and nurses rather than directly being involved in hands-on work with patients.
We encourage our participants to volunteer in a group. We take special care in providing you a placement and also customize your itinerary to make sure you get exactly what you are looking for. Also, we can design special group programs for groups of 5 or more. Our programs are designed to be safe, affordable and offer a great group volunteering experience to the volunteers.
In our experience of more than 10+ years, we have facilitated volunteer programs for college groups, university groups, high school groups, group of families, group of couples as well as groups of colleagues.
Surin is one of our popular destination among student groups and is highly recommended for family volunteering as well.
You have to arrive at Suvarnabhumi Airport in Bangkok (BKK) on the given arrival day which is a Friday. Our in-country coordinator will meet you at the airport and take you to your accommodation in Bangkok.
Please note: We offer the airport pickup service between 06:00 AM to 10:00 PM only. Volunteers who are already in Bangkok can come directly to the hotel accommodation in Bangkok on the arrival day and meet the team there. You will be provided with the directions to the hotel as well.
The accommodation in Bangkok is on Khao San Road (the hub of all ‘travellers’ ) and is easy to get to. The two nights stay in Bangkok is provided to all the volunteers.
On Saturday, an orientation session will be conducted by the local coordinator, covering topic areas; such as safety, culture, language, places to visit, behavior, food, and other suggestion over things to do in Surin followed by the Bangkok City Tour. On Sunday, you will be transferred to Surin (by train or coach) and settle in your project accommodation.
Our in-country team will accompany you to Surin. Each day during your program in Surin, our in-country coordinator and team will take you to your placement and back to your accommodation.
Yes, we will provide you with the Certificate after successful completion of your program. The certificate is provided on request.
Yes, you will get ample time to do so! Projects in Surin run from Monday – Thursday, giving you Friday – Sunday each week to relax and/or explore. While many volunteers enjoy relaxing in Surin and explore the town, others enjoy weekend trips to Khao Yao (a stunning National Park with great trekking around 3 hours away), even longer trips to Koh Samet – an island off the East coast – or even a weekend in Cambodia.
We encourage our volunteers to travel. We have designed various weekend tours which can be booked under the Add-on Tours section in your ‘My Account’. Your in-country coordinator will also help you book and organize the tours once you are in Thailand.
VolSol volunteers usually work for 5 to 6 hours in a day depending on the program. Medical / Health, Teaching and Childcare programs usually run from around 8:00 AM to 2:30 / 3:00 PM from Monday to Thursday. For those in the elephant program, you will spend 3.5 days a week in the village. Although, the local festivals can change these timings.
Most volunteers participating in a short-term volunteer travel experience in Thailand can enter the country with a 30 days tourist Visa which is available to the majority of nationalities on arrival at the airport itself. It is also possible to attain a 60 days tourist visa prior to the arrival in Thailand.
We can help you attain 90 days Non-Immigrant Visa as well. However, this takes a longer time to apply for and requires a lot of paperwork. Please contact us for further information on the same.
Please Note: During your time of volunteering, if you leave Thailand (for example: to spend a weekend in Cambodia and Laos), it will be your responsibility to re-enter Thailand and get the relevant Visa at the border.
Also, note that the maximum duration of visa at the Surin - Cambodia border is 15 days.
Although all major airlines fly to Thailand, we recommend the following:
You safety is of prime importance to us. We provide our volunteers with 24x7 in-country support. Our in-country team ensures a smooth, safe, and comfortable trip for our volunteers.
Surin is one of the most popular destinations in Thailand and offers the travelers a traditional South Eastern culture and hospitality. Crime rates are very low, however, it is always advised to take care late at night and not have items of high value with you. We strongly recommend all the volunteers to follow the safety rules and guidelines provided by the in-country coordinator.
Surin is a very healthy place to visit. You can expect the odd upset stomach as you will take time to get used to different food but, other than that, most visitors feel positively healthy and refreshed after spending time here. However, please do take precautions to cover yourself in the early evenings to avoid mosquito bites. Please visit your local doctor/travel clinic, who may recommend vaccinations prior to travel to Thailand.
VolSol provides accommodation for our volunteers in the volunteer houses. The accommodation is provided on a sharing basis with around 3-5 volunteers in a room. Houses have shared bathrooms, a basic kitchen area, and a small communal living area. The house is fully equipped and is kept clean by a local housekeeper who also offers to wash clothes for a small fee.
The houses are in a great location with numerous food options within less than 5 minutes walk.
Wi-fi connections are not great in Surin. The system usually works well but please don’t expect to be online 24/7.
Although the toilets in Thailand are of Western style, you need to pour water with a bucket as there’s no flush system to save water.
For those in the elephant project, you will stay in a homestay in the elephant village from Monday – Wednesday evening. The accommodation in the village is simple and gives you a great experience of real rural life. The home has shared rooms with fans and simple bedding (mattresses on the floor), basic cold water showers and no wifi at all. However, you’ll soon find that the experience of staying in the village far outweighs any lack of comforts.
Meals are not included in the programs other than, whilst you are at the elephant village, where simple but delicious food is provided. However, half the fun of your time in Thailand is experiencing the huge range of different foods on offer and Surin is a great place to do this.
From simple meat dishes with rice to complex curries and even fried insects – tuck in and enjoy ‘real’ Thai food.
In Surin, clothing depends on the project you are taking part in.
For Medical / Health, Teaching and Childcare programs, you should make sure you pack some smart/casual clothes – ie trousers, polo shirt, skirt – as a ‘smart’ appearance is important in Thailand (don’t worry – you don’t need formal office wear!).
At the elephant project, you need to get old clothes – jeans/t-shirts / shorts – in which you don’t mind getting dirty / torn and an old pair of trainers/sneakers is also recommended.
For your free time in Thailand, we recommend plenty of t-shirts, lightweight ‘trousers’, jeans and shorts.
Please note: Thailand is a conservative country, it is recommended to be decently dressed at all times.
Don’t forget ‘flip flops’ / sandals – much cooler on your feet in the evenings.
For those traveling between November and February, please note that the evenings can get quite cool so a sweater/light jacket will be required.
Most of our volunteers arrive with a mobile phone and for most phones, it’s easy to pick up a local SIM card to use while you are in Thailand. If your handset is ‘locked’, don’t worry – a simple handset for SMS and calls can be bought for less than $25.
Internet connections can be patchy in Thailand. Although the houses do have wi-fi, this service is slow and interrupted. Please don’t expect to be online for 24/7.
When you are ?in your project, you will not have access to the internet unless you use a data roaming package from home (very expensive) or buy a local package.
Yes – please do ensure that you inform the local team about your food preference and they can help you to find the best food! Also, please do mention your specific food preference in the application form as well.
Your program fee covers all the necessary aspects - your accommodation, airport pick up, Orientation, placement, Pre-departure information and in-country staff support. However, you will need to cover your personal expenses, such as traveling, telephone, the internet, shopping, sightseeing etc.
You should carry around $100 per week for your basic personal expenses, such as food, water, local transport, phone etc.
There are ATM machines in the arrival area of Bangkok Airport and you are recommended to change some money at the airport itself. Most overseas bank cards work at ATM machines in Thailand, although please do note that there is a 150THB charge for using an ATM card for international transactions.
Throughout Thailand, there an ATM machines and it’s easy to withdraw money from your bank account at home. However, please note that if you are going to the elephant village you need to take cash with you for snacks, evening drinks etc.
We recommend that when you travel to Thailand you bring a small amount of initial cash – to change on arrival – and then use your ATM card from home. Please note: Travelers' cheques are not recommended as they take a long time to change (you need to go to a bank during office hours, not easy when you are in your project).
We encourage our volunteers to get in touch with former Volunteering Solutions participants and also other program participants joining our projects. You are recommended to join the Volunteering Solutions Facebook Page or Facebook Group to connect with our team and our participants.
To read alumni interviews, visit ?the Meet a Volunteer section on our website.
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