Volunteer on Frontier's Thailand Elephant Conservation project and work at an ecological centre preserving Thailand’s elephants as you help wash, feed, and exercise these majestic creatures.
Image courtesy of OxOx
Located at the centre of the Indochina peninsula, Thailand makes the perfect starting point for anyone wishing to travel in South-East Asia. Thailand has a rich cultural history which volunteers are encouraged to embrace through language and cooking lessons as well as working closely at the centre with the elephants’ mahouts (elephant keepers). Cultural sightseeing, forest and marine national parks, and bustling cities provide volunteers with infinite opportunity for activity in their spare time or on the weekends.
Image courtesy of Arvind Grover
The project offers volunteers the chance to escape the bustling city of Bangkok over 380km away and work directly with the elephants, helping with the centre’s daily activities. There are only a recorded 2-3,000 elephants left in the wild in Thailand due to detrimental relations with local communities through competition for land space, whilst some elephants are forced to perform tricks and beg for food from tourists. The centre aims to reduce and repair some of this conflict, and volunteers will soon learn the unique attributes of individual elephants.
Image courtesy of Arvind Grover
Frontier’s project is perfect for anyone looking to volunteer whilst travelling independently, with prices starting at £375 for a one week period. The project price includes an airport pick-up, two meals a day, and eco-style thatched hut accommodation at the ecological centre in the Phitsanulok province in Northern Thailand.
Image courtesy of Ruben I
“This was such a fun project! Getting to hang out with the elephant’s everyday was great! They all have their own little personalities, likes and dislikes, that took a while to get to know but by the end of my stay I knew most of them just through what they did and how they behaved. The best part of the day was washing the elephants, they loved to mess around in the water and it was inevitable that I’d get soaked, but it was so worth it!”
Rob, Frontier Volunteer
Image courtesy of Joe Stump
With flights to Thailand starting at £460 until 13 December 2012 this project is ideal for anyone on a backpackers budget.
Things to do:
Image courtesy of Iris
Ensure you make the most of your time in the capital by exploring the urban sprawl’s numerous bazaars, bars and restaurants. A centre for backpackers, Bangkok is an animated city and pulsates with activity night and day. The densely populated inner city is full of canals, historical monuments, and religious temples meaning there is always an adventure to be had for any curious George.
Image courtesy of Witcha Suyara
Whether you choose to start in Koh Samui, Koh Phangan, or Koh Tao or choose to venture around the Andaman sea, island hopping in Thailand is an amazing experience. Between legendary Full Moon parties and adventure sports, or the chance to experience remote communities, go scuba diving, and see rare wildlife, Thailand has something to offer everyone who comes to visit and doesn’t disappoint.
Image courtesy of Narisa Spaulding
Use this opportunity to go on and explore vibrant and diverse cultures of South East Asia. You’ll meet a sundry of locals and other backpackers from all over the globe, have once in a life-time experiences, and perhaps even make life-long friends as you travel through exotic cities and relax on the pristine beaches of this tropical paradise.
By Maria Sowter