Volunteer in Thailand: Three-Week Summer Volunteer Trip

Surin, Thailand Children & Youth Development



The Thailand summer volunteer program is the perfect mix of fun and volunteering that gives travelers as many chances to make a difference as it does provide opportunities for once-in-a-lifetime experiences. It’s a great trip for first-time travelers or experienced adventurers alike and is a favorite among high school and college students, gap year travelers, and backpackers. A few of the highlights of the trip include volunteering with students in Bangkok and Surin, helping out with community building projects in Surin, visiting the incredible elephant village, and seeing some of Thailand’s exquisite countryside.

There are many ways that you're going to have a positive influence during your time in Thailand, as well as having an unforgettable travel adventure while you're at it. If you're looking for a fun, rewarding, and responsible way to travel and see the world, then the Thailand summer program is for you.

The first day of your trip is your arrival in Bangkok, followed by time to yourself to rest, relax, explore, and meet your fellow volunteers. The next day, you'll go on a guided tour of the city that will include a trip to the old city, a riverboat ride, and a chance to see some of Bangkok’s wonderful temples, followed by an evening discovering the wonders of Khao San Road with your group. On the third day of the trip, you'll go to Southeast Asia’s largest outdoor market, Chatuchak. Day four is a volunteer day that will have you playing games and organizing activities for the children at Wat Pho School, an iconic temple that’s home to an enormous golden statue of a reclining Buddha.

The next day, you and your fellow volunteer travelers will make your way to Surin, where you'll have the evening to relax and familiarize yourself with the town. Starting the following morning, you'll spend the next two days volunteering with the childcare center near Surin, where you'll work between 9 a.m. and 3 p.m. helping with the children and pitching in with renovations at the facilities. Lunch will be between 11:30 a.m. and 12:30 p.m., and during this time, you'll serve food to the children and take time for yourself to eat. In the two days following that, you'll spend your days volunteering at the local school and community center, helping with renovations and other projects. The tenth day of the trip will be a free day that you can use to explore Surin, discover the city’s Khmer temples, or check out the bars and restaurants.

Then, you and your group will make your way to the elephant village, where you'll spend the next four days living in the village, helping to care for the elephants, getting to know the human and animal residents, and learning what it’s like to live in a rural Thai community. In the evenings you'll be free to explore, go kayaking in the river, or fish and cook with the locals. All your meals will be provided during this time until you return to Surin on the afternoon of your fifteenth day.

Days 16 and 17 will be more free days for you to relax and enjoy yourself in Surin, and then you'll take an early trip to Khao Yai National Park, which is home to massive trees, wild elephants, and stunning waterfalls. The following morning, you'll leave your accommodation near the park to join a local guide, who will take you on a jungle trek through the park to Pha Diew Dai viewpoint before you head back to your accommodations for the evening.

The next morning, you'll start on the four-hour trip back to Bangkok and Khao San Road, where you'll have one more evening to see and do anything else you missed in the city. The following day, you'll make your way to the airport to head home or to your next destination, unless you signed up for the Koh Phangan beach week, in which case you'll have an additional day to explore Khao San Road. Here's what you can expect from Thailand’s world-famous beaches and the beach week at Koh Phangan:

· Taking the overnight coach from Bangkok and then catching the early ferry to Koh Phangan

· Spending the week relaxing, exploring, and lounging on the beach or at the pool

· Enjoying the full moon, black moon, half moon, and jungle parties

· A final night on Khao San Road, followed by checkout at 11 a.m. on the twenty-ninth morning of the trip

The beach extension week costs less than $400, and it’s a fully guided trip, meaning you'll have access to help and expert advice about what to do and see the whole time you're there.


When you volunteer with the children’s day at Wat Pho School in Bangkok, you won’t just be playing games and participating in activities with the kids—you'll also be giving them a chance to practice their English, which can open up many doors for them in the future.

During your time at the childcare center in Surin, you'll have plenty of opportunities to meet and mingle with the children, help out with basic care, and make sure the children have a fun and exciting environment to learn and play.

The school and community experience will give you more opportunities to help out with small projects or renovations at the school, the community center, or elsewhere in the village. This is especially important because Surin is among the poorest regions in Thailand, so they rely on volunteers like you to help out with projects like renovating the playgrounds, developing the sports fields, and revamping the school library.

Finally, during your time at the elephant village, you'll have an opportunity to help the local villagers with their animal husbandry duties, and get to have a travel experience that’s completely unique.

Field conditions

One of the most important things to know when preparing for a Thailand trip is to bring the right clothes. Because you're going to be doing so many different things during your time here, you're going to want to bring a variety of outfits with you while also packing as light as possible. Thailand is a tropical climate, and that means you can expect the weather to be hot and humid when you're here (unless you’re here between November and February when the evenings get mildly chilly). The best clothes include smart/casual clothes for your time with the children, older clothes and running shoes for your time with the elephants, and t-shirts, jeans, shorts, and sandals for the rest of the time. Just make sure everything is lightweight and cool, but also modest enough that you won’t be underdressed in Thailand’s somewhat conservative culture.

Arrival and orientation

When you get to Suvarnabhumi Airport in Bangkok on the first day of your trip, a local coordinator will be there to pick you up and drive you to your accommodation on Khao San Road. After having the evening to settle in, you'll have an orientation the following morning to welcome you to the city, introduce you to your fellow volunteers and coordinators, learn about Thailand, get your itinerary, and then take a tour to acquaint you with the city. During this time, you'll also learn about Thai culture, greetings, food, transportation, and the best places around to get food and drinks. Later on, when you arrive in Surin, you'll get another orientation to introduce you to the new team and discuss the work for the upcoming days.

Your stay


  • HousingVolunteer house

  • Provided mealsBreakfast, dinner

Accommodation description

The first few nights of your trip will be spent in Bangkok, where you'll stay in a hotel or guesthouse on the world-famous Khao San Road. When you transfer to Surin, you'll move to one of the three volunteer houses, which are neat, clean, and equipped with all the amenities you need to be comfortable. These houses are also close to dining options, ATMs, shops, and more for when you have free time. During your time in the elephant village, you'll be staying right in the village in shared accommodations with the other volunteers.


Volunteers will be staying in a volunteer house and with a host family.


from $450 USDper week

from $450 USDper week


What’s included

  • Bangkok-surin-bangkok transfers by train/coach

  • Exciting guided jungle trek

  • Trek through khao yai national park

  • Elephant experience in surin

  • City tour of bangkok and visit to chatuchak market

  • Daily transfers to and from project location

  • Volunteering in bangkok and surin

  • Meals during elephant village program in surin

  • Stay in volunteer house/guest house in surin and in a home stay in elephant village

  • Accommodation in hotel / guest house in bangkok

  • Program orientation

  • Airport pickup from suvarnabhumi international airport (between 6am - 10pm)

  • 24 hr assistance from support staff and in-country program coordinator

  • Comprehensive pre-departure guide

What’s not included

  • 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)

  • Vaccinations

  • Departure transfer to airport (can be arranged at nominal cost)

  • Travel insurance (available at nominal cost)

  • Visa fees

  • International/domestic airfare

Start dates

Wednesdays during Summer of 2019.

Volunteering Solutions is a highly respected and accredited organization that coordinates volunteer abroad opportunities for high school students, individuals, couples, and even corporate groups. They’ve been running volunteer traveling programs since 2006, and in that time, they’ve helped more than 12,000 volunteers complete trips that have been life changing not only for them but also for the people they’ve helped. Volunteering Solutions operates in 19 countries, and provides over 100 types of volunteering and interning options in areas like child care, medical, education, conservation, community development, and much more. By coordinating volunteer efforts with local social welfare organizations around the world, Volunteering Solutions guarantees that your impact truly benefits the people you're there to help.

To help you get the most out of your journey, and to make the trip as safe and stress-free as possible, Volunteering Solutions takes care of the placement, accommodations, travel, meals, and security for each volunteer. That way, you're free to focus your attention on what's important, like helping the community, helping the people, growing as an individual, and exploring a new country, new cultures, and new practices.


  • Laurine

    December 03, 2017

  • To give a summary, the last five weeks have been the most amazing five weeks of my life.When arriving at the center you are warmly welcomed and shown around. It is a lot to take in because the center is pretty big and there are a lot of animals ...Read more

  • Xinyi Yang

    September 27, 2017

  • It's a interesting journey. In this journey I tried a lot thing that are first time.

  • Shuwen Tang

    September 26, 2017

  • This volunteer experience for me is very meaningful. I was really enjoy the two weeks I spent in Thailand. I knew many new things, the stuffs are all very responsive and the members in our group are very nice. That was a challenge for me to be a volunteer, with ...Read more

  • Ruud

    September 25, 2017

  • The trip was really awesome. It was my first time to go outside Europe and this project was the ideal thing to do for the first time! It is a good combination between different volunteering projects, travelling, and being with international people. The week in Mr. Lee's elephant village ...Read more

  • Malin

    September 20, 2017

  • I participated in Volunteering Solutions Medical Internship Program in Kathmandu, Nepal August 2017.I was placed in a Childrens Hospital run by the government. The doctors were knowledgeable and helpful. It was interesting to meet a different spectra of diseases compare to with what I am used to in Europe ...Read more

  • Voula

    September 12, 2017

  • A wonderful Experience in Peru! Volunteered with my husband and 4 teenage children. We worked in a daycare and enjoyed every moment. The children where absolutely adorable and happy. We were able to build cribs for the babies and paint and refurbish all the chairs. Working with kids daily with ...Read more

  • Deborah

    August 20, 2017

  • My daughter and I had a wonderful experience with Volunteer solutions in Kathmandu. I have to say the first thank you goes to their very experienced staff run by Uma Mathema. She is kind, generous and fun loving. She sits and talks to us everyday and if a volunteer has ...Read more

  • Belladina

    August 10, 2017

  • My trip to Nepal was great. The staff of volunteering solutions were very helpful, and I find the website is very organised and interesting. Highlight of the trip was working on the hospital and experiencing living in Nepal. I enjoyed the time I spent working on the hospital. It was ...Read more

  • Grace

    August 10, 2017

  • My time in Thailand with Volunteering Solutions was absolutely incredible! I loved how we were able to volunteer in the community and and meet the locals, but also had free time to explore this beautiful country. I could not have asked for better tour guides. I felt extremely safe and ...Read more

  • Clara

    August 09, 2017

  • My experience in Thailand with Volunteering Solutions was absolutely amazing. The staff was professional, helpful and very nice. The volunteering itself offered many different ways to help and to get involved with the local culture, such as working with the elephants or teaching basic English to kids.It's a ...Read more

  • Alannah

    August 09, 2017

  • Kenya has been a truly amazing experience! I volunteered at Wema clinic (maternity clinic). The staff at the clinic are very welcoming and friendly! Massai Mara, Hell’s Gate and Lake Nakuru are the most beautiful places I have ever been!! The accomodation was great. Paul cooked us delicious food ...Read more

  • Niamh

    August 09, 2017

  • I had an incredible experience with Volunteering Solutions in Cusco, Peru for two weeks. This was my first time traveling alone, and I felt completely secure throughout my trip.I was placed with a wonderful host family who made me feel so welcome. It was very easy to take the ...Read more

  • Moria Patricia

    August 09, 2017

  • My experience of Delhi and of volunteering on the Street children project was wonderful. The extreme heat and humidity in Delhi was challenging and also made the conditions for working with the children a challenge also, but getting to know the children ( and meeting children I had worked with in ...Read more

  • Anindita

    August 08, 2017

  • Experience for me was fabulous. But I wish there was something more substantial and more long lasting that all of us volunteers could do at these orphanages For that your organisation has to be more involved.Country Team/Coordinators were very good and take good care of the volunteers.Experience ...Read more

  • Antara

    August 08, 2017

  • It was far from what I expected. It was very different and I enjoyed it thoroughly.Country coordinator were very Friendly and Supportive.The house was clean and spacious and in a good neighborhood. The food was alright.I think that I see The World differently after seeing those children ...Read more


    August 08, 2017

  • In general the trip was incredible. Since the first day I felt very comfortable and happy. The program learnt me a lot and I enjoyed each moment.The organization was perfect and we do not have any problem.Awesome experience and I felt welcomed. I learnt a lot about children ...Read more

  • Samantha

    July 16, 2017

  • This program was an amazing experience for me. I was only in Cusco for 2 weeks but I wish I could have stayed forever! My host family was very nice, my accommodation was great, it was clean and the meals were very good too. I loved my placement, I worked ...Read more

  • Camtran

    June 26, 2017

  • I had a wonderful experience with Volunteering Solutions! This is my first time traveling abroadfor a medical trip, and I was anxious, not knowing what to expect. However, the Starfish teamwas very on time in picking us up at the airport, and Pear, the one who picked us up, was ...Read more

  • Rachael

    June 26, 2017

  • The trip was great. I never felt uneasy about anything the entire time. Everything was wellmanaged and planned out and all of the people were fantastic.Coordinators were very helpful and enthusiastic.The living experience was excellent. It was very comfortable and homely stay with allthe facilities that I could ...Read more

  • Anna

    June 26, 2017

  • It was very nice, mostly due to Santi, the volunteer coordinator in Denia. He made sure that the volunteers were having a good time.Country coordinators both Santi and Beatrice were very friendly and supportive.The house was clean and spacious and in a good neighborhood. The food was alright.

  • Jann

    June 26, 2017

  • The experience was great. The Street Children Program was well organized and very fulfilling.The children were receptive, energetic, and loving. The volunteer apartment was in a great location with all the amenities I needed. The advice I received from Volunteering Solutions people was very helpful.Country Coordinators were very ...Read more

  • Salvador

    May 31, 2017

  • The whole experience was amazing, the culture, in general, was a shock to me but I loved it. I liked everything, the food, the people whom I met, the places and the volunteering experience, in general, was great, the kids I was working with are super loving and I loved ...Read more

  • Carolina Lopez

    May 28, 2017

  • My experience with volunteering solutions was very good. Being at the hospital I got to experience the culture in a closer way, with plenty of time to do sightseeing in Delhi and other parts of India. Everything was well organized and we had constant support from the staff. The volunteer ...Read more

  • Miliza

    May 24, 2017

  • My experience in Nepal was very rewarding. It made sense to teach English in this government school, where the kids are never exposed to English language, except some word drilling by their usual teacher. Once the initial shyness was gone, the kids were happy to pronounce tongue twisters, sing songs ...Read more

  • Christina

    April 27, 2017

  • I know that there are so many children who are nowhere near as lucky as I am and who can barely get a decent education to set them up for the future. Although I had moved to Australia when I was a year old, I was born in China and ...Read more

  • Helen

    April 27, 2017

  • I’d been to India a few times before as a tourist, fallen in love with the culture, food, and people, and I wanted to give something back in a small way. In 2016, I did a Teaching English as a Foreign Language (TEFL) course, so when I heard that ...Read more

  • Kristina Kirchner

    April 27, 2017

  • It was a great experience volunteering in Cape Town for three months. I felt very integrated in my project and was able to do things on my own as well. I would totally recommend doing this project.

  • Rita

    April 26, 2017

  • I really enjoyed my time in India. The kids are amazing and I am so grateful for everything they did for me.I learned a lot of lessons during this experience and I cannot wait to repeat again. Thanks Volunteering Solutions!

  • Gerad

    April 25, 2017

  • Overall the experience was fantastic. The coordinator, Frederick, was amazing and more than happy to talk me through any issues that did arise. And he shared with me all the customs and traditions of Ghana​ by showing me around the local villages and introducing me to the people The kids ...Read more

  • Martha

    April 23, 2017

  • It was a great experience. Very nice students and teachers.It is a different world and a different life but I loved it. I can only recommend it to everybody.

  • Isabel

    April 20, 2017

  • This is my second volunteer trip through VolSol, I was in Nepal last year. I think you have a great organization and through it, many people are being helped. I plan to go to Morocco in 2018!Peru was a great experience. I was assigned to a pre-school and helped ...Read more

  • Reem Labani

    January 24, 2017

  • I Am Reem Labani, Medical student from Saudi Arabia, I joined the medical program for about 3 weeks.Starting from the hostel, as you probably know our culture is overprotective, but to be honest I felt as if it was home, Noel and eve where family to me. From the ...Read more

  • Naoka

    January 19, 2017

  • Volunteering at a nursery school was a good experience to me studying education. Kids at the nursery school are so cute and energetic. Also, teachers were so nice to me, and I really want to say thank you for accepting me.Morocco is so exciting and amazing. Actually I like ...Read more

  • Jasjap

    January 19, 2017

  • My experience volunteering with Volunteering Solutions was a great one but I think individuals have many questions before leaving to their desired country, therefore I contacted the VolSol team and the replies to emails were very fast and helpful! My friends and I had a blast working at our placement ...Read more

  • Amas

    December 23, 2016

  • I traveled to Uganda, to volunteer with Volunteering Solutions for 2 weeks. So the first thing I can say is that always apply for more weeks, if you really want to experience the Ugandan culture, and also to enjoy what Uganda has to offer.It was the best experience I ...Read more

  • Palak Goyal

    August 26, 2016

  • The students and the organisation were very welcoming and warm.The food at Volunteer house was amazing. The work and housingenvironment was so comfortable and well organised. I definitely feel like I made a difference and that matters the most to me. It was worth spending 4 weeks on. My ...Read more

  • Jaclyn Cifuni

    August 19, 2016

  • While my visit in Thailand was absolutely incredible it's very hard for me to rank my time there. However one of my favorite moments during the program was the school at the wat pho temple. During my time there we broke off into groups where I met a little ...Read more

  • Peggy Bedoyan

    August 11, 2016

  • when I first decided to volunteer in India with a friend of mine I thought I was worried ! Is it really a good idea ? Will I really be able to do it? Is it a risk ?! And all those questions faded when I first got to Delhi and met the ...Read more

  • Alexandra

    August 09, 2016

  • Working at the school with children, hugging them, taking picture with them and enjoying beach party with other volunteers were the highlight of my trip. I have learnt a lot from children. In the higher classes you could learn them more. But I think maybe if there was a overall ...Read more

  • Mariana

    July 08, 2016

  • I totally enjoyed my placement. The In country coordinator and support staff were Great! Always helping and gave us every time a lot of support. Getting to bond with kids is an amazing experience, to get to spend some time with babies, play with them, take care of them, learning ...Read more

  • Ines

    July 08, 2016

  • After some trekking in the Himalayan mountains, I had the great opportunity to work as a volunteer in the Paropakar Girls Orphanage in Kathmandu. Volunteering solutions helped me with the placement and made me feel very welcome from the first day on. They even arranged an orientation week for me ...Read more

  • Kathryn

    July 08, 2016

  • I loved it ! The kids were so cute and eager to learn. They loved having fun and were respectful. I will never forget them, and I am grateful to have met each one of them.The accommodation was good. I loved having AC at night! I also liked all the ...Read more

  • Glendon

    July 08, 2016

  • It was a great program, thank you very much for the wonderful placement. The project coordinator in Uganda does a fantastic job. I would definitely recommend the program. My volunteer experience has been wonderful, I had a lot of fun and a really great time. I love the kids, the ...Read more

  • Katie B.

    July 04, 2016

  • Volunteering Solutions was a great organization to volunteer through! They helped set up the placements at the hospitals to volunteer at and all of the weekend excursions as well as orphanage/school visits we wanted to make. They also always helped us out if they saw us around the town ...Read more

  • Sumaiya Matin

    June 23, 2016

  • I have no exact answers to the questions that had surfaced for me. I critiqued myself for prior assumptions with a fine-toothed comb. All I ended up with was one foundational understanding: true wealth is internal and comes not from the external world but an inner brightness that does not ...Read more

  • Linda Schirle

    April 21, 2016

  • Initially I was in a contract with Volunations but they transfered me to Volunteering Solutions. They had a medical project for me in Cape Town. Before I started me journey I was in Email contact with Sahil and he answered my questions. While I was in Cape Town SAST was ...Read more

  • Andi Donahue

    April 17, 2016

  • Overall I had an amazing experience. My fellow volunteers were amazing and the volunteer coordinator at the camp was amazing. Some of the mahouts are great and some are not. I had a wonderful mahout who treated his elephant very well. You definitely have the experience of a lifetime. I ...Read more

  • Lydia Loxton

    April 17, 2016

  • I was lucky enough to be able to do the 2 week volunteering program in Kenya this Easter. I was working in an orphanage in Nairobi with Volunteering Solutions; they are known in Kenya as Children's Home.The orphanage where i worked is managed by these three wonderful ladies ...Read more

  • Florine Vingerhoets

    April 13, 2016

  • My trip to Arusha, Tanzania was amazing!I went to Africa because I wanted to do something good.I decided to dedicate my vacation to volunteering.I went for 2 weeks and had the time of my life!I really wished it could be longer..I did the orphanage program ...Read more

  • Teva

    April 05, 2016

  • I like that part on the website where there is all the selection to choose what to do and where do I want to volunteer. I find the pre-departure booklet very good and helpful, support staff also answers all my questions and I felt like I know exactly where I ...Read more

  • Ali Nagh

    April 03, 2016

  • The website it’s very easy to understand and simple to work with. And the good thing is, we can write with other volunteer and ask them everything about their work.Every question that I mail to the Volunteering Solution, the answer come very fast back. Everything is great :)The ...Read more

  • Jessica Zukhovich

    February 09, 2016

  • I had the most amazing trip to Cape Town through Volunteering Solutions! Traveling alone, I was a bit hesitant and nervous beforehand, but within the first few days of arrival I was so glad I made the decision to go. Cape Town is such a gorgeous city and being able ...Read more

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