Thailand Summer Volunteer Program 2016

The ‘Summer Special’ is the ultimate way for the first time traveler and experienced adventurers alike to explore Thailand responsibly. Join us for a bustling weekend in Bangkok where you will see the best sights, experience the fun night life and help support the city’s poorest communities.  Then watch the countryside roll by as you journey to the Elephant Capital, Surin. Here you will discover the importance of Surin’s beautiful Silk trade and then get some amazing ‘face to trunk’ time, living amongst Elephants as part of one of Thailand’s friendliest communities.

Next it’s time to support the Surin community, working at a local project to help the community. Before heading back to Bangkok, it’s time to challenge yourself by trekking through one of Thailand’s most beautiful National Parks in true Indiana Jones fashion. We’re then off back to Bangkok as it’s now time to bid a sad farewell – or is it? If you’re not ready to leave just yet, why not join us for a 7 day party on the beautiful beaches of Koh Pangnan!

All the elements for a very special summer, indeed.

Day 1 – Arrival Day
Arrival:  Our team will collect you from the airport and help you check you into your accommodation on Khao San Road, Bangkok’s famous backpacker hub. You will then have the rest of the day to relax and meet people from all over the world.
Note: If you are making your own way to orientation, you will need to contact us after you have checked in. We will then confirm arrangements for orientation weekend with you.  Full arrival details are provided in the ‘Making Your Own Way’ and ‘Airport Pickup’ documents.

Day 2 – Orientation and Bangkok Tour
In the morning, you will formally meet your Guide and fellow group members. During the orientation,  you will learn more about Thailand and your itinerary. Later the Bangkok tour will take you on a journey through the old city and includes magnificent temples and a river boat ride. Take rest after you come back so that you can prepare for an exciting evening with your group on the world famous Khao San Road. 
Day 3 – Chatuchak Market Day
Today you will visit the largest outdoor market in Southeast Asia. It is packed with hundreds of stalls selling vintage clothing, antiques, DVDs, electrical equipment, paintings and more. There are also dozens of great food shops and even a few bars to relax in. 
Day 4 – Volunteer in Bangkok
Join our team running games and activities for children at Wat Pho School in Bangkok. Wat Pho is one of Thailand’s most iconic temples and home to the gigantic, golden reclining Buddha. This is a privilege that most tourists may never experience. The activities will provide the children an opportunity to practice their English with you and also be a lot of fun for all involved.

Day 5 – Transfer to Surin
You’ll travel to Surin approximately 7 hours away with the rest of your group. When you arrive into Surin, you’ll check into your hotel and then meet the Surin team for a local orientation. After that it’s time to relax ready for your project work.

Day 6 - 7 Childcare Experience
Childcare volunteering in Surin, ThailandYou will volunteer at local Childcare centre working with the children and also helping to renovate the facilities. Project hours are typically 09:00 – 15:00 but may vary depending on the centre’s schedule. You will be supported by not only your guide but also one of the full-time local project staff. The centre is located around 30 minutes from Surin and transport is of course provided. During the mornings 09:00 – 11:30 you will work directly with the children. At lunch time (11:30 – 12:30) you’ll assist with serving the children food. Lunch w
ill then be provided for you at the centre. In the afternoons (12:00 – 15:00) the children take a nap. During this time our coordinators will support you with the renovation of the centre’s facilities or working on small community projects around the village. Full details are provided during orientation. 

Day 8 – 9 School & Community Experience
You will work together with your group to help renovate part of a local school or community centre. Surin is one of the poorest regions in Thailand and many facilities are desperately underfunded. During these two days you will complete a project identified by a local school as benefiting the local children. Don’t worry, no specialist skills are required – just a bit of commitment and teamwork. Past projects have included the renovation of school playgrounds, development of sports fields / facilities for school and also renovating and decorating school libraries. Your project will be assigned and discussed with you on arrival in Surin. This is a great opportunity to really leave your mark on the local community and be proud that your efforts will benefit those that live in the local area.

Day 10 Free Day
Today there are no planned group activities giving you the opportunity to relax or explore the city of Surin at your own pace. The in-country team will help you with ideas and offer advice on what to do.
Day 11 - 15 Elephant Experience
Immerse yourself into traditional life and get up close and personal with one of Thailand’s most iconic creatures.  You will stay in the village and support the mahouts caring for the elephants. Later in the day you can relax at the house or join in activities organized by the team. Your hosts are excellent cooks and all meals while at the village are included. You will return to your previous accommodation in Surin city in the late afternoon of day 15 .

Day 16 / 17 
You’ve had a hard few days so enjoy a couple of days of rest and relaxation back in Surin.

Day 18 Travel to Khao Yai National Park
You will leave Surin around 9.00am and travel towards 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 tomorrow.

Day 19 Jungle Trek
You will join an experienced local guide and spend the day trekking to one of Thailand’s most iconic waterfalls and take in a breathtaking view at Pha Daew Dai. The Jungle trek is often regarded as one 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. Lunch is not provided but you will be allocated time to eat the National Park headquarters. Around 15:00 you will transfer back to your accommodation and have the evening free to discuss today’s activities with the rest of your group.

Day 20 Transfer to Bangkok
At around 10:00 you will depart the resort to head back to Khao San Road. The journey will take approximately 4 hours. Once on Khao San Road you will check into the hotel and have the evening free.

Day 21 Finish or Beach Week?
Tour finishes for customers who chose the three week option.  If you are leaving today then you are free to make your own arrangements for onwards travel or making your way to the airport. 
Those who booked the additional week beach extension, will have the day free on Khao San Road for exploring.However if you’re not ready to head home just yet – grab the overnight coach with us to Koh Pangnan for another week of partying and relaxing on the beach. Cost for Beach Week Extension is $295 / £207 / €245


If you’re choosing the beach extension option (and why not – the beaches of Thailand are rightly famous not only for their beauty but also some of the best parties around) your itinerary will be as follows (NOTE: The beach extension week is unguided but all travel tickets and accommodation are provided and your guide will give you all the information you need BEFORE you head off!)
Day 21 (Beach Extension) Transfer to Koh Phangan
Note: The Beach extension is unguided and you will travel unaccompanied. You will be given all the details you need. You will need to check into the Lomprayah Office near Khao San Road for check in at 20:30. At 21:00 the coach to Koh Phangan. The journey involves an overnight bus ride to Chumpon on the coast. 
Day 22 (Beach Extension) Arrive in Koh Phangan
From Chumpon, you will then take the ferry to Koh Phangan. Lomprayah staff will assist you with the transfer. The ferry will take approximately 3-4 hours. When you arrive in Koh Phangan you will be collected from the pier by a representative of your resort. You will be given details in Bangkok prior to departure. You’ll then be provided transport to the resort and check in. 

Days 23 - 28 (Beach Extension) Free time in Koh Phangan
You’re beach extension is your time to relax or party at your leisure. You can enjoy the beaches or soak up the atmosphere and fun of the home to world famous ‘full-moon party’. There is plenty to do around Koh Phangan and your resort will be more than happy to offer ideas and arrange trips and activities for you. 
Day 29 (Beach Extension) Finish
You will need to check out before 12:00. You are then free to make your own arrangements for onwards travel or departure to the airport.
NOTE:  Return transfer to Bangkok is NOT included in the Beach extension, however our in country team will be able to assist you with making arrangements for your onward travel.  

Cost for Beach Week Extension is $295 / £207 / €245
Surin - Thailand Program Requirements

  • Minimum age requirement to participate in any of the programs in Surin is 18 years and above.
  • The minimum age requirement for taking part in the Summer Special Volunteer Program is 17 years.
The other requirements are as follows :-
  • Criminal background check for children project
  • The medical / health programme is most appropriate for people who either are qualified medical / healthcare professionals or studying towards a medical / healthcare qualification. 

Start Dates / Arrival Dates

Volunteers need to book their flights to arrive in Bangkok on the dates mentioned below. You would stay couple of nights in Bangkok, before you take the train to Surin on Sunday, accompanied by our staff.

2015 2016
Jun 26 24
Jul 10, 24 08, 22
Aug 07 05
Surin - Thailand Program Cost

Volunteering Solutions strives hard to keep costs low and offers one of the most affordable volunteer abroad programs. Compare our prices and services to other organizations and you would be surprised to see the difference. 

3 weeks$1,049£735$1,543€1,029
Extra week $295£207$434€290
  • Comprehensive pre-departure guide
  • 24 Hr assistance from support staff and In-country program coordinator
  • Airport pickup from Suvarnabhumi International Airport (Between 6am - 10pm)
  • Program orientation
  • Accommodation in hotel / guest house in Bangkok
  • Stay in volunteer house/guest house in Surin and in a home stay in elephant village
  • Meals during elephant village program in Surin
  • Volunteering in Bangkok and Surin
  • Daily transfers to and from project location
  • City tour of Bangkok and visit to Chatuchak Market
  • Elephant experience in Surin
  • Trek through Khao Yai National Park
  • Exciting guided jungle trek
  • Bangkok-Surin-Bangkok transfers by train/coach
What's NOT Included?
  • International/Domestic Airfare
  • Visa fees
  • Travel insurance (available at nominal cost)
  • Departure transfer to airport (can be arranged at nominal cost)
  • Vaccinations
  • 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)
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Volunteering Solutions Thailand Reviews
  • Magdalena Schricker - Thailand Childcare Program Review
    Magdalena Schricker (Germany)
    Surin, Thailand

    I loved my placement. The kids were so much fun and the staff was really nice and helpful. I think the kids were very excited about us volunteers being there. And the staff at the project definitely appreciated us being there.

    Read More »
  • Sandeep Saini - Thailand Summer Program Review
    Sandeep Saini (United Kingdom)
    Surin, Thailand

    The elephant village gave me a lot of joy, I gained peace of mind adapting to a different lifestyle, also I enjoyed the kids daycare in Surin.

    Read More »
  • Rachel Daniels - Thailand Summer Program Review
    Rachel Daniels (USA)
    Surin, Thailand

    My highlight of the experience was visiting and working at the elephant village in Surin. It was definitely one of the top three highlights of my entire life!

    Read More »
  • Allen Zeng - Thailand Medical Program Review
    Allen Zeng (USA)
    Surin, Thailand

    I learned new cultures and met lots of other great volunteers from all over the globe. The program itself was educational and unique.

    Read More »
  • Louisa Culley - Thailand Summer Program Review
    Louisa Culley (United Kingdom)
    Surin, Thailand

    I had the best month of my life and I would recommend it to anyone even contemplating the idea. It's more than just volunteering as you get to travel and see amazing sights you haven't and will never see again.

    Read More »
  • Aiyana Dancy - Thailand Summer Program Review
    Aiyana Dancy (USA)
    Surin, Thailand

    I totally enjoyed my placement. The in-country staff was very nice. Working at The elephant village was the best part of our trip.

    Read More »
  • Jacob Lee Review
    Jacob Lee (USA)
    Surin, Thailand

    Meeting new people and clinical experience in my healthcare program is the highlight of my volunteering experience.

    Read More »
  • Volunteer Summer Program Surin with Volunteering Solutions | Reviews
    Chun Hoe Ho (Canada)
    Surin, Thailand

    I absolutely loved my trip, was easily the best trip I have ever experienced. I wish I could do it again but I wanna go to a different country with Volunteering Solutions.

    Read More »
  • Devon Adlawan (USA)
    Devon Adlawan (USA)
    Surin, Thailand

    I just wanted to thank you for everything and this three week ThaiIand program was beyond amazing! I had the time of my life! It was so much fun and the coordinators were incredible

    Read More »
  • Volunteering Soluitons Feedback - Volunteer Summer Special Program, Thailand
    Mengli (Liana) He (China)
    Surin, Thailand

    I absolutely loved my program placement and it was really a nice experience and I believe I'll go to other countries with Volunteer Solution again.

    Read More »
  • Volunteering Solutions Reviews - Thai Summer Special Program, Thailand
    Keenan Romain (USA)
    Surin, Thailand

    I very much enjoyed my program placement and everything I did is a highlight for me. I will surely recommend this program to anyone who is interested in going to Thailand.

    Read More »