With a long sandy coastline and jungle-topped islands anchored in crystal blue waters Thailand is a tropical getaway and favorite travel destination for holiday makers all over the world. Thai culture is generous, warm and outgoing and the cuisine is world renowned for a tropical abundance of fresh and varied flavours of spicy, sweet, salty and sour.
Thailand is a fascinating and exotic country to explore. We all live and work here and share a love of its people, culture, scenery, cuisine and overall lifestyle.
IVI volunteering programs are incredibly diverse and cater to many different interests. Volunteering is the ideal way of assimilating into the local Thai culture and experiencing the real Thai lifestyle.
Theravada Buddhism is supported by the government and practiced by an estimated 95% of its population. Thailand not only boasts tens of thousands of beautiful temples, but you will notice that a lot of Thai people have miniature Spirit Houses on their front yards because they believe that the household spirits live in them and they make offerings to them to keep the spirits happy.
Another feature of Thai culture is the wai greeting, which is essentially a slight bow with palms pressed together in a prayer-like manner to show respect. This can be compared to the Indian namasté. Things to know about this:
- The higher the hands in relation to the face and the deeper the bow, the more respect is shown.
- It is made before formally entering/leaving a house
- It can also be made as a sign of gratitude or apology
- You do not make the greeting to those who are younger than you unless you are returning the wai.
- The gesture is normally accompanied with the phrase “sawadee (krap/ka)” (“krap” if you are male and “ka” if you are female)
- A corporate wai (made by cashiers etc) can be returned with a smile or a nod
Location of Volunteer Programs
We have programs in basically all regions of Thailand. From the islands in the south, to the cultural towns in the mid to the jungle and hill tribe areas in the North. A brief overview of the key destinations as follows:
Sing Buri Province is approx 142 km north of Bangkok and was founded in pre-historical period. In the reign of King Rama V through consolidation of 3 small towns located on the bank of The Chao Phraya River north of Ang Thong. The three small towns, Sing Buri, In Buri and Phrom Buri, were then established as a new town on the west of the Chao Phraya River named as Sing buri in 1895.
Ko Samet is so near Bangkok, the island is ideal for those in the capital wanting to chill-out with their families for a couple of days, without having to travel down south to the islands of Phuket or Koh Samui. A more local Thai beach experience.
Mae Sot is near to the Myanmar boarder and is a mixture of Burmese, Thai, Karen and Chinese natives giving it a distinct culture located in one of the most sparse and relaxed areas, half-way between a wildlife sanctuary and the jungle.
Wang Nam Khiao in the centre of Thailand and the ecological heart where an abundance of natural attractions in its forests, hills, wildlife and waterfalls that are easily accessible in locations such as Khao Yai National Park.
Umphang, an historic town in the north-west central region has incredible and breathtaking mountain scenery, together with Thailands finest lakes and natural environment with Elephants and wildlife like no-where else in the world.
Chiang Rai in the north, famous for it’s hill tribe’s provides a very unique experience for volunteers seeking authentic Thai culture and immersion into the village life of a fascinating and disadvantaged minority
All accommodation is included during your volunteer program. Accommodation will be comfortable, clean and is generally single gender either twin or dorm style, with adequate bathroom and toilet facilities including running water, mosquito nets, fans and safe storage for valuables.
You’ll be housed in one of 3 large houses in central Thailand in a rural and very authentic Thai setting. Each house can sleep up to 30+ people! The houses are well equipped for volunteers and have been operational for over 10 years. They are all located approx 10 km from Singburi (10 minutes by car), however there are restaurants and small local shops within walking distance of each of the accommodations.
Free WiFi is included in the large communal areas where you can eat, relax, meet fellow volunteers from all over the globe. Safety deposit boxes are available with volunteers encouraged to bring their own padlock. Showers are cold water only, however it’s very hot so this can be nice and refreshing! Bed linen, fans & mosquito protection are all included. Laundry facilities are available nearby for a small cost.
Volunteers should bring their own towel. Rooms have 2 bunk beds and are shared on a single gender and maximum of 4 person per room. All rooms have a private western style toilet and cold showers. Air-con is not included, but we can offer upgraded rooms at an additional cost if required. A security cash deposit of 500TBH is required for the key to your room. This is refunded to you upon departure. No alcohol is permitted in the accommodation, however local bars and shops are within walking distance.
For couples, families or anyone seeking upgraded accommodation, private rooms are available at an extra charge of US $150 p/room p/week. This must be booked in advance to guarantee availability. You will enjoy spacious, nice and private accommodation located close to the volunteer house stays so you still fee apart of the action. You’ll have single or double room, air-con, hot water showers, private bathroom, bed linen, towels, lockable rooms, and communal areas where you have meals and relax with other volunteers. You must request the private rooms well in advance when booking.
3 good meals are provided every day including filtered water, coffee and tea. Plenty of vegetarian options are served along with some meat dishes. You’ll eat authentic Thai, including plenty of rice dishes and fragrant herbs and fruits. Volunteers may be expected to assist in cleaning up after meals depending on the placement.
Airport pick-up is included in the volunteering cost. This may involve either a local pick-up by your volunteer host or a public transport ticket where necessary. These details will be finalized with you upon making a booking as this will depend on your arrival information.
A transfer coordinator will meet you upon arrival into Bangkok airport and will arrange your transfer from the airport to the Mo Chit Northern Bangkok bus station and then further on to Singburi bus station, where you will be met by one of our local coordinators who will take you to the Volunteer Centre.
24/7 Program Support
Throughout your stay, you will have the support and guidance of our dedicated ground operators & coordinators in Thailand who have been in operation for many many years and have an absolute wealth of knowledge about the local areas and needs. They will provide you with competent assistance and in depth knowledge. There goal is to ensure you’ve had an unforgettable experience. We will also provide you with a 24 hour emergency telephone number so that you can always reach a member of our ground operator team in the event of an emergency.
Volunteers are encouraged to take up the Introductory Week to help you ease into the lifestyle and pace of Thailand. You will get to know your town and it’s facilities and everything required to make your stay comfortable. You may choose after the first few days to move straight into your chosen volunteer placement if desired or otherwise just enjoy the company of your new friends and extended family!
When confirming your dates please take note of the long holidays (mid-March till mid-May and October). During these times, renovation work continues, with the option to join special classes and English camps that are regularly requested by the local community.
Requirements & Expectations
The volunteer working week is generally Monday to Friday from 9:00am – 3:00 pm with weekends free to relax and explore your local surrounds.
You are welcome to come with a group, with a friend, with family or own your own. If you are coming on your own don’t worry you will make lots of great friends! Thailand is a very popular destination for volunteers so you can expect to meet many like minded travelers. Generally, volunteers must be 18 years of age, however we can cater to as young as 16 years old depending on the application There is no upper age limit. Volunteering is becoming increasingly popular with many mature guests, some of retirement age looking to give back to developing communities.
Our programs are designed for proactive individuals with a mindset of supporting the less fortunate. As a volunteer in Thailand, the more you put in, the more you will get out. A high degree of patience and understanding is also necessary as it’s likely that conditions will be very different to your home country. We encourage volunteers to have an open mind and open heart to gaining the most from the experience.
Weekends & Extra Tours
Weekends are always free for relaxing or sightseeing of your choice. Our local team will help you organize additional trips with special (non tourist) rates which can be paid directly in local currency. As a volunteer you will gain access to local knowledge, opportunities and value you simply would not find if staying as a standard tourist. Some suggested activities may include;
Tuesday Evening – Visit the night market in Tha Kham. Taste all types of Thai food and enjoy inexpensive shopping
Wednesday Afternoon – Use the swimming pool, go for a Thai massage or take advantage of a trip to a shopping centre.
Wednesday Evening – Attend optional Thai BBQ at a local restaurant. This is a fantastic opportunity to socialise with all the other participants, eat great food and enjoy some music.
Thursday Evening – Enjoy an organised excursion to a shopping mall (including a large Tesco Lotus), where you can buy any essentials, snacks, and western food fast food.
How to Fund Raise for your Trip
GoGetFunding is a Crowd funding site which offers a simple and professional online fundraising solution to help fund a portion of your trip or even a donation toward your chosen project. Simply create a fundraising page to share your story via social media platforms such as facebook & twitter.
Some of our past volunteers have raised over $2000+! Why not give it a try? If you use the above link, our logo will be displayed in your profile to help us share our message through your social network community.
Thailand Program Fees
What is Covered by IVI
- Arrival Airport Transfer
- 3 meals p/day (Authentic yummy Thai cuisine)
- Accommodation (Volunteer Centre – Large modern western style facilities with shared rooms)
- Training & Supervision as required
- Use of necessary equipment incl program materials
- 24/7 emergency assistance, volunteer support, local guiding and advice
- Certificate of Completion
- Comprehensive project guide
- Discounted travel deals & flight layby options!
What is excluded
- Travel Insurance (Mandatory)
- Airfares & Visa fees
- Tours, Souvenirs, Spending Money
- Some daily local transport (depending on program eg. $2 p/day