From the bustling Bangkok to the lush wilderness of the rural Thai jungle, immerse yourself in an experience unlike any other as you explore Thailand during this two week service adventure.
Befriend, care and bathe the stately Thai elephant, while working alongside the Mahout, the elephant caregiver, as you learn about efforts to protect these gentle giants. Try your hand at cooking Thai curries and Pad Thai, then experience serenity and Buddhist practices at a Thai Forest Monastery. Volunteer in a hill-tribe village while sharing in traditional daily routines and practices. Your Thailand service program concludes over a final feast in Bangkok, where you reflect on the friends you have made, the laughs you have shared and the experiences you will never forget.
Bangkok Orientation & Exploration
We begin our Thailand summer program in Los Angeles and board a plane to Bangkok, where we receive a Thai language and cultural orientation from our Thai hosts. During our time in Bangkok, we stroll through lively markets, visit the revered Grand Palace and Reclining Buddha, and cruise the canals on a traditional Thai long boat.
Village Hill Tribe Service
Glimpsing Thailand’s true cultural origins, we travel north to hill tribe country where tribes have managed to retain their own language, customs, mode of dress, and spiritual beliefs for centuries. In the village, we help with much-needed infrastructure such as building bridges or community houses, or renovating and improving the local school. We spend three days living in a village guest house, helping the community while learning about Thai culture first hand. In Chiang Mai we take a full-day Thai cooking class during which we prepare tasty Thai dishes like spring rolls, Pad Thai, and papaya salad.
Elephant Rehabilitation Center & Buddhist Monastery Stay
Jumping into our elephant service work we start a three-day training course in Kanchanaburi. We learn and practice elephant trainer’s tasks and responsibilities, as well as educate ourselves about conversation efforts in place for Thailand’s elephants. Whether feeding, riding or bathing our new elephant friends, we form bonds that will never be forgotten. We spend a night at the Suwantawanaram Buddhist forest monastery where we learn from monks about Buddhist customs.
Erewan Falls & Final Days in Bangkok
Leaving the monastery behind we spend a day swimming in the emerald pools of Erewan Falls, before we board our bus for the journey back to Bangkok. We spend our final days reflecting on our experiences these past two weeks and on the new friendships we’ve formed. We enjoy a final celebration and Final Feast and bid a warm goodbye to The Land of Smiles.