Thailand Service

Thailand Service

Global Trekker Adventure - Grades 9-12

Discover a mystical land of Elephants, ancient Buddhist temples, tropical islands, secluded jungles, and tempting spices. Earn 40 hours of community service while working in rural Thai villages and an elephant sanctuary. SCUBA dive tropical blue waters, rock climb in the jungle-covered foothills of the Himalayas, and cook tasty Thai meals on a working organic farm. Build cultural connections and lifelong memories in Southeast Asia’s most enchanting and welcoming country.

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21 Days

$6,695

  • June 20th - July 10th
  • Los Angeles, CA (additional fee for international flight)

Day 1-2

Your adventure will begin in Los Angeles, where you’ll meet up for the first time as a group. Your trip leaders will help you check in to your international group flight, and you’ll make the overnight journey to Bangkok, Thailand.

Day 3-4

You’ll begin your journey with an exciting introduction to Thai language and culture. There is no better place to wrap yourself in the fabric of culture and customs than in the rich tapestry of Ayutthaya. Between 1350 and the late 1700s, the Ayutthaya Kingdom was the center of power and culture for much of southeast Asia. The historic old city of Ayutthaya (a UNESCO World Heritage Site) was a destination of commerce for early Dutch, French, British, and Portuguese traders. Connecting the present with the past, you’ll tour the historic old town, visit important Buddhist temples of the region, and immerse yourselves in basic language classes; you’ll form new bonds with the rest of your group each step along the way. Simply getting a feel for Thai language and script will enable you to develop meaningful connections with locals throughout your journey. Applying your newfound language skills each evening will come naturally while in the company of gracious local hosts during your authentic homestay experience with local Ayutthaya families.

Day 5-7

Next you’ll embark on an exciting train journey across the country to the northern city of Chiang Mai. In the amazing environment outside of the city, you’ll enjoy two thrilling days of hiking, rock climbing, and rappelling in and around the fabled karst (literally “carved away”) rock formations of the region under the instruction of expert local guides.  These rock formations make for a rewarding, empowering, and dramatically beautiful introductory climbing experience. Next, you’ll descend on an underground caving adventure that will culminate with an empowering Tyrolean Traverse. During this exciting adventure, you’ll develop team and leadership skills and learn a few things about cave geology while you’re at it. Integrating culture and nature, your evenings in the Mae On Valley will be spent in homestays with welcoming local families. You’ll also have the time to engage in the fabric of everyday life: you will shop at local markets and learn about the rice production and other agriculture in the region.

Day 8-10

Having grown accustomed to and comfortable with Thai language and culture, it will be the perfect time to roll up your sleeves and give back to this beautiful landscape and its people. The remote hill country outside of relatively prosperous Chiang Mai is home to many indigenous villages. After being welcomed into these small communities, you’ll begin a substantive community service project that will include a blend of cultural contributions and infrastructure improvement initiatives. One of the most fundamental parts of your service-learning work will be connecting with local villagers. This carefully-crafted program will have you working in cooperation with local village leaders to ensure that your ongoing projects have the most meaningful impact.

Day 11

Few cooking traditions are as culturally rich and as globally well loved as Thai cuisine. Gathering a literal flavor for the country, you’ll visit an integrated culinary school and organic farm to engage in a fun and constructive day of Thai cooking classes. Since most of your ingredients will be sourced on-site, you’ll also benefit from an in-depth understanding of the origin of your meals.

Day 12-14

Staying on-site in a unique elephant conservation center and rehabilitation park, you’ll divide your time between hands-on learning about elephant biology and active service work where you’ll have the chance to take care of these beloved creatures. As part of your educational experience, you’ll learn from trained park staff about elephant care, hygiene, behavior, biology, and emotional sensitivity. Your service work will involve guiding elephants to and from their jungle environment for feeding and bathing, administering important medicines, and rehabilitating elephants in need. Few people are fortunate enough to have the opportunity to interact with elephants in such a constructive and enriching setting.

Day 15-18

Ko Tao Island, literally “Turtle Island,” is Thailand’s premiere SCUBA diving destination; it will be the perfect instructional environment for you to learn diving proficiency and earn your PADI Open Water Diver certifications. While the small, tranquil island was  named for its turtle-like shape, the warm, off-shore waters are also home to abundant populations of Hawksbill and Green sea turtles. Your private dive instruction will take place in a specialized dive resort and dive education center where you’ll progress from the classroom to the marine-life-rich ocean waters. You’ll have the opportunity to see moray eels, butterfly fish, stingrays, clown fish, and countless other species in their natural habitat.

Day 19-21

Upon your return to Bangkok, you’ll notice your perspectives are deeply enriched with a heightened appreciation for the landscape and culture. Entering Bangkok from the neo-Renaissance style Hua Lamphong Railway station, you’ll enjoy an exciting day taking in the cultural and historical sights of this bustling urban capital. After the remote rural regions of the North, visiting Bangkok’s Museum of Siam, Wat Phra Kaeo, Wat Arun, Wat Pho, and other important Buddhist temples will ground your cultural understanding of the landscape and its sociological history.

Day 1-2

Your adventure will begin in Los Angeles, where you’ll meet up for the first time as a group. Your trip leaders will help you check in to your international group flight, and you’ll make the overnight journey to Bangkok, Thailand.

Day 3-4

You’ll begin your journey with an exciting introduction to Thai language and culture. There is no better place to wrap yourself in the fabric of culture and customs than in the rich tapestry of Ayutthaya. Between 1350 and the late 1700s, the Ayutthaya Kingdom was the center of power and culture for much of southeast Asia. The historic old city of Ayutthaya (a UNESCO World Heritage Site) was a destination of commerce for early Dutch, French, British, and Portuguese traders. Connecting the present with the past, you’ll tour the historic old town, visit important Buddhist temples of the region, and immerse yourselves in basic language classes; you’ll form new bonds with the rest of your group each step along the way. Simply getting a feel for Thai language and script will enable you to develop meaningful connections with locals throughout your journey. Applying your newfound language skills each evening will come naturally while in the company of gracious local hosts during your authentic homestay experience with local Ayutthaya families.

Day 5-7

Next you’ll embark on an exciting train journey across the country to the northern city of Chiang Mai. In the amazing environment outside of the city, you’ll enjoy two thrilling days of hiking, rock climbing, and rappelling in and around the fabled karst (literally “carved away”) rock formations of the region under the instruction of expert local guides.  These rock formations make for a rewarding, empowering, and dramatically beautiful introductory climbing experience. Next, you’ll descend on an underground caving adventure that will culminate with an empowering Tyrolean Traverse. During this exciting adventure, you’ll develop team and leadership skills and learn a few things about cave geology while you’re at it. Integrating culture and nature, your evenings in the Mae On Valley will be spent in homestays with welcoming local families. You’ll also have the time to engage in the fabric of everyday life: you will shop at local markets and learn about the rice production and other agriculture in the region.

Day 8-10

Having grown accustomed to and comfortable with Thai language and culture, it will be the perfect time to roll up your sleeves and give back to this beautiful landscape and its people. The remote hill country outside of relatively prosperous Chiang Mai is home to many indigenous villages. After being welcomed into these small communities, you’ll begin a substantive community service project that will include a blend of cultural contributions and infrastructure improvement initiatives. One of the most fundamental parts of your service-learning work will be connecting with local villagers. This carefully-crafted program will have you working in cooperation with local village leaders to ensure that your ongoing projects have the most meaningful impact.

Day 11

Few cooking traditions are as culturally rich and as globally well loved as Thai cuisine. Gathering a literal flavor for the country, you’ll visit an integrated culinary school and organic farm to engage in a fun and constructive day of Thai cooking classes. Since most of your ingredients will be sourced on-site, you’ll also benefit from an in-depth understanding of the origin of your meals.

Day 12-14

Staying on-site in a unique elephant conservation center and rehabilitation park, you’ll divide your time between hands-on learning about elephant biology and active service work where you’ll have the chance to take care of these beloved creatures. As part of your educational experience, you’ll learn from trained park staff about elephant care, hygiene, behavior, biology, and emotional sensitivity. Your service work will involve guiding elephants to and from their jungle environment for feeding and bathing, administering important medicines, and rehabilitating elephants in need. Few people are fortunate enough to have the opportunity to interact with elephants in such a constructive and enriching setting.

Day 15-18

Ko Tao Island, literally “Turtle Island,” is Thailand’s premiere SCUBA diving destination; it will be the perfect instructional environment for you to learn diving proficiency and earn your PADI Open Water Diver certifications. While the small, tranquil island was  named for its turtle-like shape, the warm, off-shore waters are also home to abundant populations of Hawksbill and Green sea turtles. Your private dive instruction will take place in a specialized dive resort and dive education center where you’ll progress from the classroom to the marine-life-rich ocean waters. You’ll have the opportunity to see moray eels, butterfly fish, stingrays, clown fish, and countless other species in their natural habitat.

Day 19-21

Upon your return to Bangkok, you’ll notice your perspectives are deeply enriched with a heightened appreciation for the landscape and culture. Entering Bangkok from the neo-Renaissance style Hua Lamphong Railway station, you’ll enjoy an exciting day taking in the cultural and historical sights of this bustling urban capital. After the remote rural regions of the North, visiting Bangkok’s Museum of Siam, Wat Phra Kaeo, Wat Arun, Wat Pho, and other important Buddhist temples will ground your cultural understanding of the landscape and its sociological history.

The Thailand service trip was amazing! I had some of the best experiences of my life with an amazing group of people. The leaders were awesome. Every day we had new adventures, from scuba diving to hanging out with elephants. The service projects were fun to do. We went to marketplaces, where we ordered in Thai, to the island in Nangyuan where we all learned to scuba dive. I will never forget my amazing summer in Thailand and I am so glad I went.

Ella Pinkert, Thailand Service 2016