Transport To and From Project Location
Accommodation in a Homestay in the Elephant Village
Elephant Experience in Surin
Volunteering in Surin
Bangkok to Surin by Train/Coach
City Tour of Bangkok
Accommodation in Hotel/Guest House in Bangkok and in Volunteer House in Surin
Airport Pickup from Bangkok Suvarnabhumi Airport
Assistance from In Country Support staff
Comprehensive Pre-departure Guide
Two-Week Volunteer Abroad Program in Surin, Thailand
38 People are researching this program
From $1050 USD for 2 Weeks
2 - 4 Weeks
Select Start Dates
18 And Older
The two-week special in Thailand is unlike any other volunteer travel opportunity out there because you'll have a chance to do and see so many of the sights, people, and places that make Thailand special. This particular trip packs in as much action, tourism, and volunteering as possible in a 14-day period. It is an ideal trip for time-crunched travelers who want to see the world and also make an impact. Your volunteering opportunities will include a week with the Teaching or Childcare Project, and a week at the elephant village, along with lots of time dedicated to touring and exploring Bangkok. From the moment you arrive to the moment you leave, you'll be busy enjoying life, seeing the people and places that make Thailand special and making memories that will stay with you for a lifetime.
Your two-week odyssey will begin with a weekend to discover Bangkok and everything that makes it a favorite destination for travelers and backpackers from the world over. You'll be picked up right from the airport by a local coordinator and taken to explore the bustling and lively Khao San Road. The following day, you'll get a guided tour of the city that will include a canal tour and stops at some of the most beautiful, popular, and culturally significant destinations in the city, such as Wat Pho, Wat Arun, and Wat Phra Kaew. If you like, you can also go inside the Grand Palace for an additional fee of 500THB. Once the tour is over, you'll have the rest of the evening to relax, explore, and check out the bars and clubs of Khao San Road.
Following your weekend of getting to know Bangkok, you'll hop on a train with your volunteer team and journey to the heart of Thailand. The trip will take you past the sprawling neighborhoods of the city, along the edges of the magnificent Khao Yai National Park, and eventually to Surin, which is nestled in the rice plains of Isaan. For the next four days, between Monday and Thursday, you'll be working with either the childcare or teaching program in Surin, getting to play with the children and helping to create a fun and nurturing learning environment.
After your first volunteer week in Surin, you'll be rewarded with a three-day weekend that will give you plenty of time to enjoy the city or venture out on your own. One of the favorite destinations for weekend adventurers is Khao Yai National Park, which is about four hours away, and which is considered one of the most unique places in the country thanks to the enormous trees, wild elephants, and waterfalls. If you're up for an even greater adventure, however, you can make the six-hour trip to Angkor Wat in Cambodia, which is the world’s largest religious monument.
When the weekend is over, then comes the highlight of the trip for many: volunteering at the elephant village outside Surin for the next four days. This will give you an opportunity to get up close and personal with the elephants, live among the villagers and learn what it’s like to live in a rural Thai village. Finally, when your time at the village comes to an end on Thursday, you'll return to Surin for a final night enjoying the ancient temples, bars, clubs, sights, sounds, and night food markets of this exciting town. The last leg of the trip is your return to Bangkok on Friday morning, and the local staff can help you to arrange your train or bus transportation back to the city.
Arrival and Orientation
From the minute you arrive in Bangkok to the moment you leave, you'll be taken care of by the local coordinators and staff, who will make sure you get to and from the airport and all other in-country destinations safely. When you arrive in Bangkok on the first or third Friday of the month, you'll be picked up at Suvarnabhumi Airport and driven to the accommodation near Khao San Road. Once you arrive in Surin on Monday, you'll meet the local staff that you'll be working with, and get an orientation that will cover topics like your responsibilities over the next few days, what Thai culture is like, proper greetings and behavior, and the location of important amenities like restaurants and ATMs.
During your first nights in Bangkok, you'll stay in a guesthouse or hotel near Khao San Road, which is the backpacker heart of the city. In Surin, the accommodations are made up of three volunteer houses that are maintained specifically for traveling volunteers like you. The houses are close to the shops, restaurants, and amenities of Surin, and thanks to the shared living and sleeping areas, you'll also get a great opportunity to really get to know your fellow volunteers.
One of the most important things to know about Thailand is that it’s a hot, humid, and tropical country, so you'll want to bring appropriate clothes, sunscreen, hats, and bug spray. Because the country is also somewhat conservative, you should pack modest but lightweight clothing like t-shirts, jeans, shorts, sandals, and other summer gear. For the teaching and childcare portions of the trip, bring some smart/casual clothes that are cool and light. For your time in the elephant village, you'll want old clothes and running shoes that can get dirty.
Thailand is a safe country for the most part, and you'll also have access to round the clock support during your trip. For your safety, don’t carry valuables with you, be aware of your surroundings, and follow all the safety guidelines provided by staff and coordinators.
An important note about trekking to Cambodia: When in Surin, you'll have an opportunity to visit Cambodia if you so choose, because the land border with Cambodia is only an hour from Surin. However, it’s integral that you have all the right visas in place that will allow you to enter Cambodia and return to Thailand, so be sure to discuss travel plans with the in-country team and coordinators before you go.
There are two ways that you'll make a difference during the two-week special in Thailand: during your time as a childcare or teaching volunteer, and during your time volunteering at the elephant village. In Surin, you'll have the option of choosing to be a childcare or teaching volunteer, though the two positions are quite similar. The major difference is that you'll be working with younger children in the childcare stream, and slightly older children in the teaching stream. As a teaching volunteer, you'll be planning lessons and participating in teaching the children, all while focusing on using fun and play as teaching tools.
At the elephant village during your second week of volunteering, you'll have a chance to get your hands dirty as you live among the village elephants, bathing and feeding the animals, taking them for walks, and even learning to make paper from their dung. You'll also live among and learn from the villagers, and will help them to harvest sugar cane for the elephants, learn to fish and cook traditional Thai food, and go kayaking on the nearby river.
Because of holidays, special activities, and other events, the order of the volunteer sessions (teaching/childcare and elephant village) will sometimes be reversed to ensure you get the most from each experience.
LocationBangkok and Surin, Thailand
Where you will be volunteeringSurin, Thailand
Volunteers will be working in a school, childcare center, and an elephant village.
Where you'll be stayingSurin, Thailand
Volunteers will be staying in a volunteer house in Bangkok and then in Surin.
Nearest AirportSuvarnabhumi Airport (BKK), Bangkok
<p>The cost listed includes a $250 application fee. Each week after 2 weeks is $150.</p>
What’s Not Included
Any personal expenses, and any other services which are not mentioned (approximate personal expenses for food and traveling per week would be USD 40 to USD 50 per week)
Departure Transfer to Bangkok (our program coordinator can arrange at extra cost)
Travel Insurance (available at nominal cost)
Project Start Dates
Select Fridays year round.
- January 2019
- 25 Friday
- February 2019
- 01 Friday
- 15 Friday
- March 2019
- 01 Friday
- 15 Friday
- April 2019
- 05 Friday
- 19 Friday
- May 2019
- 03 Friday
- 17 Friday
- June 2019
- 07 Friday
- 21 Friday
- July 2019
- 05 Friday
- 19 Friday
- August 2019
- 02 Friday
- 16 Friday
- September 2019
- 06 Friday
- 20 Friday
- October 2019
- 04 Friday
- 18 Friday
- November 2019
- 01 Friday
- 15 Friday
- December 2019
- 06 Friday
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.
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 ... 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.
Working hours are from 8 till 12 and half past 2 till 5, which is a good amount. Every day the animals need to be feed and there cages to be cleaned and when that is done we work on extra work, which is really diverse.
I have loved every day of my stay here and that is partly because of the animals and of the amazing people of yana cocha. +more
It's a interesting journey. In this journey I tried a lot thing that are first time. It's a interesting journey. In this journey I tried a lot thing that are first time.
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 ...
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 their help I made it successfully. I would be thank you for everyone who help me during this journey.
Thanks for you all. +more
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 ...
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 and the day in the Khao Yai national park were the absolute highlights for me. Beside that, we had a great tour guide in Kwang. She took care of us really well, arranged everything for us and did literally anything to help us. Big shout out to Kwang! I had an amazing time in Thailand.
Kwang is the best! She really took care of everything. When something went wrong with the beach extension, we had one day less at Koh Phangan, she kept us informed as good as she could.
I enjoyed all the projects actually. The childcare and elephants were the most exciting for me. Luckily we could stay another day in the elephant village, because me and two others decided not to go to Cambodia. It was a pity that the childcare was only two days, those kids were amazing. +more