Volunteering with us not only allows you to participate on programs assisting disadvantaged communities or endangered ecosystems but it also offers wonderful opportunities to travel in the local area in your down time or further afield, either before or after your program. Below is some information on trips and travel options in Thailand.
Optional Side Trips:
- Take advantage of the amazing sites and scenery the Andaman region of Thailand has to offer. There are endless opportunities to visit islands, beaches, parks and caves and many can be done on weekends. While on the ground, we are here to help so make sure to ask our field staff to assist you with planning trips.
- Explore the amazing Khao Sok National Park, including the stunning Cheow Larn Lake and 740km² of rainforest and which is home to elephants, leopards, tigers, deer, monkeys, lizards, birds, and the Rafflesia - the largest flowers in the world, 90cm across with a unique aroma…of rotting flesh! Take a day trip for a quick sample of the park’s delights or stay overnight and discover even more - perhaps in one of the jungle tree houses, or even on a bungalow that floats on the lake. Trek through the jungle, kayak around Cheow Larn lake visiting spectacular limestone caves, swim in idyllic waterfalls or just relax and see what you can spot!
- Khao Lak is a very popular tourist spot close by, with beautiful, seemingly endless beaches, so many dining options you’ll be spoilt for choice and hundreds of spas offering massages and treatments at reasonable rates. With a wide range of accommodation options, from luxury resorts to hostels, Khao Lak offers you the chance to spoil yourself for a few days, whether you’re on a budget or looking to splurge a little.
- The Similan and Surin Island groups, both under the protection of their Marine National Park status, are home to some of the best diving and snorkelling spots in the region. You can take a day trip, stay on a live aboard boat or even stay overnight on the islands themselves.
- Phuket Island, about 90mins south of Khao Lak and renowned for its colourful night life is also a great stop-off for divers and snorkelers, but if you’re not the diving type you can explore Phang Nga Bay by speed-boat or sea kayak, stopping off at James Bond Island, made famous by the 1974 film ‘The Man With the Golden Gun’ before visiting the floating Sea Gypsy village. Phuket is also very popular with surfers, playing host to annual surfing competitions, though there is a great ‘secret spot’ near Khao Lak…if you’re interested GVI staff will show you the way!
- Neighbouring Krabi Province is a treasure trove for intrepid travellers; from the crystal clear Emerald Pond to the epic 1,237-step climb up to the Buddha image and stunning views at the Tiger Temple Cave to the enchanted scenery and pools of Than Bok Khoranee National Park to the shopping and late night bars of Ao Nang to the chilled out beaches of Koh Lanta Island to the parties of Phi Phi, where ‘The Beach’ was filmed - the options are truly endless!
Accommodation is in dorm style rooms, with en-suite bathrooms, running cold water. The maximum number of volunteers per room is 6. Please note that sometimes the rooms are mixed gender. Participants share all base duties, including cleaning the common area and the resource room and other daily chores. Drinking water will be provided.You need to bring your own mosquito net and bedding for example a thin sleeping bag liner.
If you need to stay additional nights before or after your project you need to book these separately, ask your travel consultant for help.
Airport pick-ups can be arranged from Phuket Airport between 12:00 and 18:00 the day prior to your start date, if requested. The meeting point on the arrival date (Saturday) is at 10:00 at Phuket Airport Place.
From Sunday to Thursday, dinner and lunch is prepared for the group by cooks from the village. On Friday and Saturday volunteers and staff prepare their meals together. Breakfast includes bread, toast, margarine, milk and oats. Lunch and dinners are usually local rice and noodle dishes with curries and stirfries. Expect to eat a lot of rice! We offer 3 meals a day but extra snacks and drinks are at your own expense.
Technical difficulties not withstanding, there is WiFi available at the volunteer base. Mobile/cell phones are affordable and Thai SIM cards are extremely cheap. You can buy top-up cards for reasonably priced calls in and out of Thailand. Phone shops are plentiful in nearby tourist areas.