Thailand Voluntour

Only got 2 weeks but want a "real" Thai experience? Then this is for you! Combining a great first weekend in Bangkok with a week living in an elephant village and then finishing with a week on Koh Phangan - home to some of the best beaches and best parties in the world! Please be advised that this tour will be called Elephant And Beaches for 2020 Travel Dates and will have a different - but not less exciting - itinerary.

  • Duration: 15 Days
  • Guaranteed Departure: Yes
  • Supplier Tour ID: THISTA/208733
  • Your Guide: English speaking
  • Starts: Bangkok, Thailand
  • Finishes: Bangkok, Thailand
  • Age requirement: 18 +
You will Visit
  • Bangkok



Day 1

Arrival in Bangkok
Arrive at BKK airport and transfer to your Bangkok accommodation (arrivals must be between 06:00 and 22:00). Alternatively ‘make your own way’ to the arrival accommodation after 14:00pm where the Guest House staff will have your name and be able to check you on.
Once all travellers arrive, the group usually head out for dinner / drinks together and to explore the lively Khao San Road area.


Day 2

Bangkok Tour
After breakfast there is a quick orientation/chat about your trip followed by our Bangkok tour. You will experience some of the most famous sites of Bangkok including the Temple of Dawn, Wat Arun and the Giant Golden Reclining Buddha (Wat Pho) and of course a classic long tailed boat ride. Then later that evening you will head back to Khao San road for a few drinks with your new travel buddies.


Day 3

Transfer to Surin
We leave Bangkok straight after breakfast and heading to your volunteer location, Surin. We will usually travel by train – a pleasant 6-7 journey initially through the sprawling Bangkok suburbs and then into the edges of Khao Yai National Park and finally the Isaan plateau (think paddy fields for as far as the eye can see!). The transfer is accompanied by one of our Surin team, so don’t worry, they’ll make sure you get off at the right at spot. On occasion you will transfer by coach – a similarly pleasant journey taking around 6 hours.
On arrival in Surin your group will transfer to our ‘Volunteer’ Houses. The houses have WiFI, communal living area, shared bedrooms (4-6 people per room) with fans, and a basic kithchen. The two houses are in a great location. There are many food stalls, restaurants and shops within a few minutes walk.


Day 4

Volunteer Project - Elephant Village
You will be picked up by the team at around the same time in the morning and transfer for around 60 minutes to the elephant village. The village is a typical rural Thai settlement with a difference – amongst the famers and small shop owners are also a large number of mahouts who have had elephants living with their families for generations! For the next 3.5 days you will spend all your time living and learning about the village and getting as much time as you can up close to the wonderful elephants.
Activities you’ll participate in during your time in the village include:
• Walking with the elephants to the local river and helping bathe them
• Kayaking on the local river
• Learning how to make elephant ‘dung’ paper
• Helping the villagers plant / harvest crops for the elephants
• Feeding the elephants
• Helping to cook and learning how to make basic Thai dishes


Day 5

Elephant Village
As per day 4 – except for the elephant village you will already be in the village so no transfer necessary!


Day 6

Elephant Village
As per day 4 – except for the elephant village you will already be in the village so no transfer necessary!


Day 7

Elephant Village
Elephants – towards the middle of the afternoon you will transfer back to Surin town and stay at the ‘Volunteer’ House. Groups often stop at a local weekly market en route to Surin – a great opportunity to try some real rural delicacies, including of course fried insects!


Day 8

Prior to leaving Surin you will be given all the information you need for your unaccompanied travel on the rest of this adventure. However you will have your fellow group members with you! Plus our 24/7 incountry phone number is always available to you. You will leave Surin in the morning you’ll transfer by train, or occasionally coach, to Bangkok and then onwards to your accommodation near Khao San Road. You should arrive late afternoon / early evening at your accommodation giving you time to check in and head out to explore in the evening.


Day 9

You have most of the day free to explore Bangkok, catch up on sleep (?), head for a Thai Massage or shop to your heart’s content.
In the evening check out and assemble at the coach pick up point (approximately 5 minutes walk from your hotel) to take the overnight transfer to Koh Phangan and the beach! The team in Surin will have given you all your ticket details and information on what you need to do.
Make sure you stock up on snacks / drinks to while the night away on the coach heading South.


Day 10

The Beach
You’ll arrive at the pier on Koh Phangan in the morning and your accommodation providers will be waiting there to pick you up and transfer you the short journey (15 minutes or so) to your accommodation.
The hotel is right on the beach (with a pool as well) and is a great location for either relaxing and soaking up some sun or experiencing the famous hedonistic nightlife of Koh Phangan – home of the original Full Moon Parties.


Day 11-13

The Beach
The next 3 days are yours to do what you wish. There are lots of hidden bays and beaches to explore – for the adventurous – cafes and bars for those looking for a wild night out and also more relaxing pursuits like Yoga retreats and Massages dotted around the island. To misquote Samuel Johnson – if you’re bored of Koh Phangan, you’re bored of life!


Day 14

Bangkok bound
Check out in the early morning, transfer to the pier and take the ferry and then coach back to Bangkok arriving early / mid-evening. You will have all relevant information from our partner’s staff before you head to Koh Phangan but the hotel manager will also assist you with any questions/queries you have.
You’ll get back to Bangkok, check back into your accommodation and have one final night to enjoy your time in the City of Angels.


Day 15

End of Tour
Check out is 11am and then it’s time for further travels / returning home!

    • Airport pick up and transfer
    • Accommodation as per itinerary
    • Some meals
    • In-county support and guiding as per itinerary
    • 24/7 emergency contact number
    • All transfers as listed in the itinerary

      Bangkok: Twin share in a basic guest house with air-con
      Elephant Village project option: basic but clean shared rooms (mattresses on the floor) in the village leaders home, fan cooled, cold water showers - no wifi
      Koh Phangan: twin share rooms, air-con, en suite

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Tour Highlights:
    • Explore and have fun in Bangkok
    • Live in an Elephant Village and help to care for elephants
    • Beach parties and Yoga in Koh Phangan