Volunteering Solutions has an amazing volunteering & adventure trip for those who wish to set out for an all-encompassing journey and experience the best of Thailand & Cambodia. There can be nothing better than this for your upcoming Summer Break! Start your journey from the gorgeous city of Bangkok where you will witness sights and sounds you never even knew existed! After a couple of days in the hustle and bustle of this city, you may be happy to head on to Surin which is a laid back and very chilled out area of north-eastern Thailand. Here you will get to volunteer and play alongside the incredible Asian Elephants and learn all about their way of life, as well as help in renovating a rural Government school.
You can opt for the 22 days or for 29 days volunteer adventure trip and explore the pristine islands as well. Party until dawn at Koh Phangan, which also offers stunning white beaches, crystal waters, and incredible marine life.
Still, you have a query? Enquire now.
Volunteers must be 17 years or older at the time of joining the project. Participants should have an open mind and flexible attitude for working in a new and different environment. Volunteers need to be flexible, open-minded and have a passion for working with elephants and outdoors. You should also be proactive, have the ability to take initiative and willing to work outdoors. Participants should have no criminal convictions and should provide a clean criminal background check report. A parental consent form shall be required for Under 18 participants joining the program.
Day 1: Arrival in Bangkok
Welcome to Thailand! Once you arrive at Bangkok, you'll get to meet our local coordinator, who'll be there to help you get checked in to your Guesthouse near Khao San Road.
(Meals - NA)
Day 2: Orientation & Bangkok Tour
After an Orientation Session in the morning, you'll set out for a day trip and explore the most famous sites of Bangkok including the Temple of Dawn (Wat Arun) and the Giant Golden Reclining Buddha (Wat Pho) and of course a classic long-tailed boat ride.
Then later that evening you will head back to Khao San road for a few drinks with your new travel buddies.
(Meals - Breakfast)
Day 3: Transfer to Surin
It's time to leave the hustle & bustle of Bangkok for a trip to Surin, the elephant capital of Thailand. Our team will accompany you to help you get to Surin and give you all the info you need while you are there. Transfer to Surin would be by train or coach.
(Meals - Breakfast)
Day 4 to Day 7: Volunteering Work for School Renovation
For the next four days, you will be picked up at around 07:45 – 08:00 AM by the team and transported to the project site. This will be one of the many village schools in Surin. You can expect to work 4-6 hours a day (please note: this can change and is always
driven of course by the chosen projects requirements). You will be working as a group with one of the local Surin team, the project objective will be explained and all elements of the renovation work shown to you by example. There is no machinery, this is basic work using basic tools and no previous experience is required. You'll head back from the project site at around 3 PM, and enjoy the rest of the evening, chilling & exploring Surin!
(Meals - Breakfast)
Day 8 to Day 10: Explore Cambodia
The next phase of your adventures begins here, as you'll set out for Cambodia from Surin. You'll need to have:
• At least three clean pages in your passport
• The visa fee (please check online for latest prices)
• Two passport photos
• Two photocopies of your passport ID page
• At least six months left on your passport
You'll arrive at Siem Reap and check in to the hotel. Get ready to roll and explore the UNESCO Heritage Site of the Angkor Temple Complex. Soak in the old world vibes, and gaze at the beauty of the stone structures that date back to hundreds of years!
(Meals - NA)
Day 11 to Day 14: Surin Elephant Village Experience
Once you head back to Thailand again, you'll kick start your volunteer work with the elephants! For the next 4 days and 3 nights you will live, work and play alongside a real elephant community on the rural outskirts of Surin. You’ll get to bathe the elephants,
learn how to cut bamboo as a sustainable food supply and feed them, and help out in any other elephant related jobs. In return, you’ll be treated to traditional Thai food from the village for the duration of your stay. If you are an adventurous (or aquatic) kind of person then you can even go kayaking on the river.
On your last day in the Elephant Village, it’s time to pack up all your things and say goodbye to your new pachyderm pals. You will head back to Surin and catch an afternoon train or bus to Pak Chong, then take a local bus or songtaew to the hotel close to Khao Yai National Park. Khao Yai is one of Thailand’s most beautiful national parks and has stunning scenery. The journey is approximately 4 hours. Once you arrive at your accommodation you’ll have the evening free to relax and prepare for the Jungle Trekking on the next day!
(Meals - Lunch and dinner on Day 11 / Breakfast, lunch and dinner on days 12 and 13 Breakfast and Lunch on day 14)
Day 15: Khao Yai One Day Experience
It's time to soak in the freshness of nature and tickle your adrenaline cells! You will join an experienced local guide and spend the day trekking to one of Thailand’s most iconic waterfalls and take in a breath-taking view at Pha Daew Dai.
The Jungle trek is often regarded as one of the highlights of the trip for its sense of adventure. The trek is very pleasant and provided you are in good health, not particularly challenging.
(Meals - NA)
Day 16: Transfer to Bangkok & Overnight to Koh Tao
We return to Bangkok and you will have a few hours to relax before the overnight transfer to Koh Tao. A few hotel rooms have been organized to dump bags and/or take a shower.
At around 8 PM, you will depart the hotel for the short walk to the bus station. It's an overnight coach connecting with a high-speed catamaran service to the island.
(Meals - NA)
Day 17: Explore the Gorgeous Islands of Koh Tao
You will arrive at about lunchtime after your overnight coach from Bangkok and morning boat to Koh Tao. Now its time to relax and soak up the chilled vibe on this stunning island. You can choose to laze on the beach, book a day trip or take an Open Water PADI course. There is plenty to keep you busy if you wish!
(Meals - NA)
Day 18: Koh Tao – Snorkelling Trip
Today you will get to explore the surrounding islands of Koh Tao on a full-day boat trip. You will leave your accommodation in the morning, and head down to your boat to get out to sea!
During the trip, you will stop off at Koh Nang Yuan beach and viewpoint, where you can get some amazing photos of the area, and the boat will also stop at a number of beautiful snorkeling points for a chance to see migrating turtles and a beautiful array
of fish in their natural habitat.
(Meals - Snacks and Lunch on board during the boat trip)
Day 19 to Day 21: Have Fun & Explore Koh Tao
The next couple of days are free for you to explore on your own! Make sure to make the most of your time, and tick off all that's there on your travel bucket list!
(Meals - NA)
For those who wish to opt for the 22 Days' Trip, your adventure ends here! We shall help you to plan out your return to Bangkok and help you with the bookings as well. The rest of the group, who plans to stay back for the next week as well, shall go ahead with the itinerary mentioned below.
Day 22: Transfer to Koh Phangan
Known to be the party capital of the world, Koh Phangan would surely turn out to be one of your favorite destinations! The turquoise waters surrounding the white sandy beaches can never fail to mesmerize anyone - and above all, as the sun sets, you'll get to call the party animal in you and have fun till dawn!
(Meals - NA)
Day 23 to Day 27: Exploring Koh Phangan
These are your free days to explore Koh Phangan! Make the most of your time & enjoy to the fullest.
(Meals - NA)
Day 28: Transfer to Bangkok
It’s once again time to travel back to Bangkok. If you partied too hard or got too chilled out then the return to the city will give you a chance to ease back into the ‘real world’ again. We’ll provide you with a means of transport to get back to Bangkok and then you get one final night on Khao San road (so this would be the after-party party, right?) – the perfect way to finish the trip.
(Meals - NA)
Day 29: End of Tour
It's time to wrap up and bid goodbye to your amazing travel mates! Take your memories, your photographs, and your new friends, but be sure to leave a part of yourself in Thailand so you can come back for it someday.
(Meals - Breakfast)
As a VolSol volunteer you are provided with best of living standards available in Thailand. Our dedicated coordinator and staff will assist you with your airport pick up, stay, meals and even weekend sightseeing and travel. Arrive in peace and have the best time of your life.
Volunteers are picked up from the Suvarnabhumi Airport in Bangkok by the local coordinator or representative on the program start date. Please note that airport pickup is only provided between 6am – 10pm at night. Those participants who are already in Bangkok will need to make their own way to the hotel/guest house accommodation details of which shall be provided.
All volunteers are provided with an orientation and 2 days city tour before starting their project work. The Orientation session covers areas like, local Thai culture, greetings, locations, transportation etc. Volunteers are also given a city Tour of Bangkok.
Volunteers are provided accommodation in a Guesthouse/ hotel for two nights in Khao San Road area in Bangkok on arrival. While in Surin, lodging will be provided in one of our three volunteer houses where accommodation is shared with other volunteers. The houses are centrally located and close to shopping, ATM’s, restaurants and more.
Living at the elephant village will be a beautiful experience as you'll get to enjoy the authentic rural lifestyle. You'll be staying close to the mahout family, who are the caretakers of the elephants. Shared toilet facilities are in each house with cold water showers and simple ‘Western’ style toilets (please be aware that in many parts of Thailand there isn’t handle flush system – instead you need to pour water from the bucket next to the toilet down the toilet to flush away your business! There is no Wifi in the village, so make sure you inform your family & friends back home about this! .
While at Khao Yai National Park, accommodation shall be provided at a hotel/guest house and during the extended Beach Week you will be staying at a beach resort in Koh Tao and Koh Phangan.
Daily transportation to and from the project placement to the volunteer house is provided to the volunteers.All intercity transfers are included in the program fee.
Meals are only provided when staying at the elephant village from Day 13-16 of the trip. For the rest of the trip, please allow at least $10 per day for the meals.
During your Free Time
In Surin there are many local bars, shops and restaurants in the town plus a night food market. The city is an extremely safe place to stay. Surin province once belonged to the Khmer empire (now Cambodia) so you’ll find scattered ancient temples from the same period as the temples of Angkor in Cambodia. The land border crossing in to Cambodia is located just an hour from Surin and is easily accessible from the town’s bus station. This accessibility allow volunteers to travel to Cambodia during weekends
Please Note: -An application fee of $199 is charged over and above the program fee as an application payment. (A 4% international banking fee is charged at the time of payment) Please Note: -An application fee of £149 is charged over and above the program fee as an application payment. (A 4% international banking fee is charged at the time of payment) Please Note: -An application fee of $259 is charged over and above the program fee as an application payment. (A 4% international banking fee is charged at the time of payment) Please Note: -An application fee of €169 is charged over and above the program fee as an application payment. (A 4% international banking fee is charged at the time of payment)
What are you Paying for?
- Airport pick up and transfer (BKK airport only)
- Shared Airconditioned Accommodation on all days on twin/triple sharing basis (except Elephant Village Stay)
- Basic Shared Accommodation during Elephant Village Stay
- Bangkok tour (excluding entry fee to The Grand Palace)
- Transfer to and from the project location on all days
- Staff support and assistance throughout your time at on the project
- Meals as per Itinerary
- All materials and tools required
- Transfer to Surin (train or coach)
- Transfer to the elephant village (and return)
- Activities as listed in the itinerary at the village in Surin
- One day bike tour around Angkor
- Guided trek around the Khao Yai national park
- Transfer from Khao Yai to Bangkok
- Overnight transfer to Koh Tao
- Boat Trip & snorkeling in Koh Tao
- Transfer from Koh Tao to Koh Phangan on Day 22
- Transfer Koh Phangan to Bangkok
- Certificate Of Completion (Upon Request)
What's NOT included?
- International/Domestic Airfare
- Visa fees
- Travel insurance (available at nominal cost)
- Return Travel back to Bangkok if doing 3 weeks program (Assistance would be given by team)
- Any personal expenses, TIPS, beverages, laundry and any other services which are not mentioned (approximate personal expenses for food and traveling per week would be USD 50 to USD 60 per week)
FAQ's Application and Program Details
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.
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 12+ 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.
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.
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.
Flights and Visa
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.
Health and Safety
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.
Accommodation and Living
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.
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.
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.
You should carry around $100 per week for your basic personal expenses, such as food, water, local transport, phone etc.
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).
Connect with Past Volunteers
To read alumni interviews, visit ?the Meet a Volunteer section on our website.