21 Day Volunteer Road Trip - Thailand

WHY we need you in Thailand

WHAT does Road Trip Thailand Involve?

volunteers on a gap year in thailand

Why Involvement Volunteers International?

travelling overseas can truly change your life!






  MIN AGE: 16+



Embark on a 21-day adventure through Thailand, exploring its most enchanting destinations. Commencing in Chiang Mai, you’ll engage with hill tribes, delve into their culture, and contribute to community support efforts. Journey to Phuket for beach relaxation, snorkelling, and exploration of local markets. The Phi Phi Islands await, boasting six stunning isles with crystal-clear waters, offering days filled with snorkelling, kayaking, and beach relaxation. Railay Beach follows, featuring limestone cliffs and white sands, perfect for beachside relaxation, snorkelling, and kayaking. Continue to Khao Sok National Park, where floating bungalows on a serene lake await your stay. Kayak, explore caves, and unwind in the tranquillity of your bungalow. The road trip concludes in Surat Thani for your return home.

Ideal for adventure seekers, culture enthusiasts, and those craving relaxation, this journey showcases Thailand’s beauty and unique culture. Highlights include visiting Chiang Mai’s hill tribes, engaging in community support, relaxing in Phuket, exploring Phi Phi Islands’ waters, and experiencing the floating bungalows of Khao Sok National Park.

Noteworthy Highlights:

  • Visit Chiang Mai’s hill tribes and immerse in their culture.
  • Contribute to community support work in Chiang Mai.
  • Enjoy beach relaxation in Phuket.
  • Snorkel and kayak in the crystal-clear waters of Phi Phi Islands.
  • Stay in floating bungalows on a lake in Khao Sok National Park.
  • Visit the famed Maya Bay featured in “The Beach.”
  • Engage in rock climbing or hiking around Railay Beach.
  • Explore the caves at Khao Sok National Park.
  • Spot wildlife like elephants, tigers, and monkeys in Khao Sok National Park.

Travel Tips:

  • Pack light and bring comfortable shoes, all-weather clothing, and sunscreen.
  • Ensure you have enough medication and consider carrying a first-aid kit.
  • Respect Thai culture and customs, dressing modestly and avoiding public displays of affection.
  • Learn basic Thai phrases, stay hydrated, and be cautious of your surroundings to prevent pickpocketing.
  • Stay flexible and enjoy the journey as much as the destinations.
  • Capture memories through photos and videos, and share your experiences with friends and family.


Bangkok, the bustling capital of Thailand, is a vibrant metropolis that seamlessly blends traditional temples with modern skyscrapers. From the energetic street markets to the ornate Grand Palace, Bangkok offers a sensory feast for visitors.

Chiang Mai, nestled in the northern mountains, exudes a more tranquil charm. Known for its ancient temples, lush landscapes, and vibrant night markets, Chiang Mai provides a captivating glimpse into Thailand’s rich cultural heritage.

On the southwestern coast, Phuket stands as a tropical paradise with its pristine beaches, vibrant nightlife, and diverse water activities. It’s a perfect blend of relaxation and adventure.

The Phi Phi Islands, a stunning archipelago, boast crystal-clear waters and picturesque beaches. A haven for snorkelling and kayaking, these islands offer a tranquil escape surrounded by natural beauty. Each of these destinations contributes to the diverse tapestry that is Thailand, providing visitors with a multifaceted and unforgettable experience.

Khao Sok National Park, a verdant expanse in southern Thailand, captivates with its ancient rainforests, limestone cliffs, and the serene Cheow Lan Lake, offering a pristine haven for nature enthusiasts.

Project Tasks

  • Help you familiarise yourself with the local surroundings and explore the country
  • Take part in volunteering activities
  • Broaden your knowledge on the local customs, history and culture. 

Food & Accommodation

Along the route you will have overnight stays in hotels/guest houses, tents, busses and even a boat. More information can be found inside the schedule. Rooms are on a single gender basis and are shared. Wifi might be available at some hotels. Along the route – but not at all times – there are ATMs and small local stores. Please make sure you have enough money with you before starting the trip.


Breakfast everyday. Meals as specified in the itinerary. All the meals served inside the accommodation are homestyle, vegetarian-friendly and you can expect that they will be typically Thai style dishes, including plenty of rice or noodle dishes with vegetables and occasionally some meat and fish will be provided as well, along with seasonal fruits for dessert.

While we do our best to accommodate our participants, what we provide for most meals is local cuisine. If you are a picky eater or allergies, have dietary restrictions, or if you think that you will not be satisfied with the local dishes provided, you might want to consider supplementing our menu with your own western type foods and snacks that are more to your liking. 

All prices in USD
  • Adventure Week-

  • 21 Day Road Trip -

Vol House
What's Included
  • Accommodation
  • Meals
  • Airport Pickup
  • Local Transportation (not for Leyte projects)
  • 1 Day Orientation
  • 24/7 In-Country Support
  • Project Materials & Equipment
  • Pre-departure Expert Advice
  • Preperation Tools & Checklists
  • Certificate of Completion



This is the perfect program if you want to experience both travel, culture and volunteer work. You do not have to worry about accommodation and transport as it is all included, so great for those who don’t want the stress of having to organise everything! This can be a great way to start a longer volunteer trip if desired.  

  • Accommodation
  • 3 meals p/day weekdays / 2 meals p/day weekends
  • Arrival airport transfer (Sat/Sun arrivals)
  • Filtered drinking water, coffee & tea
  • 1 day orientation
  • Daily transportation to project
  • In country 24/7 support & emergency assistance
  • Fundraising support
  • University course credits (where applicable)
  • Certificate of Completion
  • Airfares
  • Travel Insurance
  • Tours, Souvenirs & spending money

Programs begin every Monday, and volunteers are required to arrive the day prior, for orientation before the project. Your accommodation on the Sunday is included in the program fees. 

A free airport pickup is included when arriving to Bangkok BKK (Suvarnabhumi) Airport, Level 2, Entrance 4. You must arrive between 06.00 and 16:00 on Sunday.

If arriving outside the pickup times, you can book a private transfer and any extra nights accommodation for an extra fee.

Alternatively, if arriving early you could wait at the arrival’s terminal for the pickup time, book accommodation at the airport and meet us during the pickup times or make your own way to the project (we will advise on how to do this). 

From the airport to the accommodation in Hua Hin, it takes around 4 hours by public bus and then a shuttle bus.  

Week 1

Day 1 (Sunday) – Arrive in Bangkok and relax

  • Arrive at Suvarnabhumi Airport (BKK) and be transferred to your hostel in Bangkok.
  • Check in to your hostel.
  • Relax and get to know your fellow travelers.
  • Meals: Dinner

Day 2 (Monday) – Explore Bangkok and take an overnight train to Chiang Mai

  • Have breakfast at your hostel.
  • Attend an introduction session to learn more about your program itinerary.
  • Explore Bangkok’s famous temples, such as Wat Pho and Wat Arun. Wat Pho is home to the Reclining Buddha, one of the largest Buddha statues in the world. Be sure to dress respectfully when visiting this temple.
  • Visit Chinatown and sample some of the delicious street food. Chinatown is a great place to find authentic Chinese food and souvenirs. Be sure to bargain when shopping here.
  • Have a welcome dinner with your group.
  • Take an overnight train to Chiang Mai.
  • Meals: Breakfast, lunch and dinner

Day 3 (Tuesday) – Arrive in Chiang Mai and explore the old town and temples

  • Arrive in Chiang Mai and check into your hostel in the city center.
  • Leave your luggage and head out to explore the old town. Chiang Mai is a very walkable city, so you can easily get around on foot. However, there are also tuk-tuks and songthaews (shared taxis) available if you need them.
  • Visit some of Chiang Mai’s most famous temples, such as Wat Chedi Luang and Wat Phra Singh. Be sure to dress respectfully when visiting temples. This means covering your shoulders and knees.
  • Take a walk through the Sunday Walking Street Market and browse the stalls selling souvenirs, handicrafts, and street food. The Sunday Walking Street Market is a great place to experience the local culture and try some of the delicious Thai street food. Be sure to bargain when shopping at the market.
  • Have dinner at one of the many restaurants in the old town.
  • Meals: Breakfast, lunch and dinner

Day 4 (Wednesday) – Take a Muay Thai boxing lesson and relax at Nar Moh Market

  • Have breakfast at your hostel.
  • Take a Muay Thai boxing lesson. Muay Thai is a traditional Thai martial art that is known for its powerful strikes and kicks. It is a great way to get exercise and learn about Thai culture. Be sure to wear comfortable clothing and shoes for your Muay Thai lesson.
  • Relax in the afternoon and enjoy some free time.
  • Have dinner at Nar Moh Market. This market is known for its delicious street food and lively atmosphere.
  • Meals: Breakfast, lunch and dinner

Day 5 (Thursday) – Learn about Buddhism

  • Have an early breakfast at your accommodation
  • Go to a local temple to offer food to the monks. This is a traditional Thai practice that is seen as a way to make merit and show respect for the monks.
  • Attend a Buddhism introduction session to learn more about the religion’s basic teachings and practices.
  • Participate in a monk chat and meditation practice. This is a great opportunity to learn more about Buddhism from the monks and to experience meditation firsthand.
  • Relax in the afternoon and enjoy some free time. You can visit one of Chiang Mai’s many temples, go for a walk in the park, or simply relax at your accommodation.
  • Meals: Breakfast, lunch and dinner

Day 6 (Friday) – Go on a hill tribe trekking tour and learn about their culture

  • Have breakfast at your accommodation
  • Set off on your hill tribe trekking tour.
  • Trek through the jungle and visit hill tribe villages.
  • Learn about the culture and traditions of the hill tribes.
  • Participate in community support activities, such as teaching English to children or helping with village chores.
  • Have a bonfire dinner and overnight stay at a hill tribe homestay.
  • Meals: Breakfast, lunch and dinner

Day 7 (Saturday) – Go trekking and bamboo rafting

  • Have breakfast at your homestay.
  • Go trekking in the jungle.
  • Go bamboo rafting on a river.
  • Have lunch at a riverside restaurant.
  • Return to Chiang Mai and check into your accommodation.
  • Relax in the afternoon and enjoy some free time.
  • Meals: Breakfast, lunch and dinner

Week 2

Day 8 (Sunday) – Free Day and Night Market Visit

  • Have breakfast at your accommodation.
  • Relax and enjoy some free time. You can visit one of Chiang Mai’s many temples, go for a walk in the park, or simply relax at your accommodation.
  • In the evening, visit the Sunday Night Market. This market is one of the largest and most popular markets in Chiang Mai. It is a great place to find souvenirs, handicrafts, and street food.
  • Have dinner at one of the many food stalls at the market. Be sure to try some of the local dishes, such as khao soi, sai ua, and mango sticky rice.
  • Meals: Breakfast only

Day 9 (Monday) – Community Engagement (Teaching/Kindergarten)

  • Have breakfast at your accommodation.
  • Go to the placement where you will be teaching.
  • Teach the children English and play games with them.
  • Have lunch with the children.
  • In the afternoon, work on your lesson plan for the next day.
  • In the evening, relax and enjoy some free time.
  • Meals: Breakfast, lunch and dinner

Day 10 (Tuesday) – Community Engagement (Teaching/Kindergarten)

  • Have breakfast at your accommodation.
  • Go to the placement and join the program
  • In the afternoon, work on your lesson plan for the next day.
  • In the evening, visit a local market.
  • Meals: Breakfast, lunch and dinner

Day 11 (Wednesday) – Community Engagement (Teaching/Kindergarten)

  • Have breakfast at your accommodation.
  • Go to the placement
  • In the afternoon, work on your lesson plan for the next day.
  • In the evening, relax and enjoy some free time.
  • Meals: Breakfast, lunch and dinner

Day 12 (Thursday) – Community Engagement (Teaching/Kindergarten)

  • Have breakfast at your accommodation.
  • Go to the placement
  • In the afternoon, work on your lesson plan for the next day.
  • In the evening, relax and enjoy some free time.
  • Meals: Breakfast, lunch and dinner

Day 13 (Friday) – Community Engagement and Fly to Phuket

  • Have breakfast at your accommodation.
  • Go to the placement and join the activities
  • Say goodbye to the kids and staff at the placement
  • Pack your bags and head to head to the airport for your flight to Phuket.
  • Check in to your hostel in Phuket.
  • Relax and enjoy the rest of the evening.
  • Meals: Breakfast, lunch and dinner

Day 14 (Saturday) – Explore Phuket

  • Have breakfast at your hostel in Phuket.
  • Visit Phuket Old Town, a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Explore the narrow streets and alleyways, lined with Sino-Portuguese shophouses, temples, and mosques.
  • Visit the Big Buddha, a 45-meter-tall white marble Buddha statue located on the Nakkerd Hill. The Big Buddha is one of the most popular tourist attractions in Phuket and offers stunning views of the island.
  • Relax on one of Phuket’s many beautiful beaches. Some of the most popular beaches include Patong Beach, Karon Beach, and Kata Beach.
  • Visit a local night market, such as the Phuket Indy Night Market or the Chalong Night Market. Night markets are a great place to try Thai street food and buy souvenirs.
  • Meals: Breakfast only

Week 3

Day 15 (Sunday) – Phi Phi Islands

  • Have breakfast at your hostel in Phuket.
  • Take a ferry to Phi Phi Islands, a group of six islands located in the Andaman Sea.
  • Check in to your hostel on Phi Phi Islands.
  • Go snorkeling or kayaking in the crystal-clear waters of the Phi Phi Islands.
  • Relax on one of the Phi Phi Islands’ many beautiful beaches.
  • Meals: Breakfast only

Day 16 (Monday) – Railay Beach

  • Have breakfast at your hostel on Phi Phi Islands.
  • Take a longtail boat to Railay Beach, a beautiful peninsula located on the mainland of Krabi.
  • Check in to your hostel at Railay Beach.
  • Spend the day relaxing and snorkeling at Railay Beach.
  • Meals: Breakfast only

Day 17 (Tuesday) – Free Day at Phi Phi Islands

  • Have breakfast at your hostel on Phi Phi Islands.
  • Spend the day relaxing on the beach, swimming, snorkeling, or kayaking or enjoy a massage or spa treatment (optional activities).
  • Watch the sunset from the beach.
  • Meals: Breakfast only

Day 18 (Wednesday) – Snorkeling at Maya Bay

  • Have breakfast at your hostel on Phi Phi Islands.
  • Take a boat tour to Maya Bay, a beautiful bay famous for its white sand beach and clear waters.
  • Go snorkeling in the crystal-clear waters of Maya Bay.
  • Relax on the beach or explore the surrounding area.
  • Have lunch at one of the restaurants on the beach.
  • Return to your hostel on Phi Phi Islands.
  • Enjoy a relaxing evening on the island.
  • Meals: Breakfast only

Day 19 (Thursday) – Surat Thani

  • Have breakfast at your hostel on Phi Phi Islands.
  • Take a ferry to Surat Thani, a province in southern Thailand.
  • From Surat Thani, take a minivan or taxi to Khao Sok National Park.
  • Check in to your floating bungalow on Khao Sok Lake.
  • Go kayaking on the lake and explore the surrounding area.
  • Relax in your floating bungalow and enjoy the beautiful scenery.
  • Meals: Breakfast, lunch and dinner

Day 20 (Friday) – Khao Sok National Park

  • Have breakfast at your floating bungalow restaurant.
  • Explore the cave at Khao Sok National Park.
  • Relax on your floating bungalow or go for a swim in the lake.
  • Meals: Breakfast, lunch and dinner

Day 21 (Saturday) – Goodbye

  • Have breakfast at your floating bungalow restaurant.
  • Check out of your floating bungalow and head to your next destination.
  • Meals: Breakfast only

***This schedule can be changed and/or amended depending on weather conditions, local conditions and unforeseen circumstances.***

  • Visit ancient temples – Chiang Mai is home to over 330 Buddhist temples, many of which are centuries old. Some of the most famous temples include Wat Phra That Doi Suthep, Wat Chedi Luang, and Wat Phra Singh.
  • Explore the night markets – Chiang Mai has several night markets, where visitors can shop for souvenirs, handicrafts, and local cuisine. The most popular markets include the Sunday Night Walking Street and the Night Bazaar.
  • Trek in the mountains – Chiang Mai is surrounded by beautiful mountains and forests. Visitors can go trekking, hiking, or mountain biking in the nearby Doi Inthanon National Park or Mae Sa Valley.
  • Learn about the local culture – Chiang Mai has a rich cultural heritage, and visitors can learn about traditional crafts, music, and dance at places like the Old Chiang Mai Cultural Center or the Lanna Folklife Museum.
  • Take a cooking class – Thai cuisine is famous worldwide, and visitors to Chiang Mai can take a cooking class to learn how to prepare traditional dishes like pad Thai or green curry.
  • Attend a festival – Chiang Mai hosts several festivals throughout the year, including the Yi Peng Lantern Festival and the Songkran Water Festival.

Additional Requirements

  • Physical fitness: Participants must be in good physical condition, able to walk and hike moderate distances, and carry their own luggage.
  • Flexibility: Participants must be flexible and adaptable, as things do not always go according to plan when traveling.
  • Pack light: You will be doing a lot of moving around, so it is important to pack light. A backpack is recommended.
  • Bring appropriate clothing: Thailand has a tropical climate, so be sure to pack light, comfortable clothing, as well as sunscreen, a hat, and sunglasses.
  • Be prepared for heat and humidity: Thailand can be very hot and humid, so be sure to drink plenty of water and take breaks in the shade when needed.

Additional Equipment

  • Insect repellent: Thailand is a tropical country with a lot of mosquitoes, so it’s important to bring insect repellent.
  • Sunscreen: The sun can be very strong in Thailand, so it’s important to wear sunscreen and protective clothing.
  • Hat and sunglasses: A hat and sunglasses can help protect you from the sun and rain.
  • Comfortable shoes: You’ll be doing a lot of walking and exploring, so it’s important to wear comfortable shoes.
  • Camera: Thailand is a beautiful country with a lot to see and do, so be sure to bring a camera to capture your memories.
  • Adapter: Thailand uses a different electrical outlet than many other countries, so you’ll need to bring an adapter.
  • Power bank: A power bank can be useful for charging your electronic devices on the go.
  • First-aid kit: It’s always a good idea to have a first-aid kit on hand, especially when you’re traveling.
  • Swimsuit: If you’re planning on spending time at the beach or pool, be sure to bring a swimsuit.

With a long sandy coastline and jungle-topped islands anchored in crystal blue waters Thailand is a tropical getaway and favorite traveling destination for holiday makers and volunteers from all over the world. Thailand’s culture is generous, warm and outgoing and the cuisine is world renowned for a tropical abundance of fresh and varied flavors of spicy, sweet, salty and sour. 

Thailand is a fascinating and exotic country to explore. Through volunteering, you’ll gain a love in the people, culture, scenery, cuisine and in the overall lifestyle of Thailand.

We offer diverse project options catering to many different interests. Volunteering is the ideal way of assimilating into the local Thai culture and experiencing the real lifestyle in Thailand.

November to Febuary is the best time to visit Thailand, with a pleasent temperature through most of the country. From March to May temperatures can get very hot. The monsoon rains start from about June to October. Showers usually are quite predictabe and come in short bursts, so this time of year can be great to visit, as everything is so green and there are fewer crowds!

Temperatures are around 30 degrees on average throughout the year. If in the North of Thailand in the winter, evenings can get quite chilly, so bring some warm clothes too!

Vietnam has one of the oldest cultures in South East Asia, creating a rich history with ancient traditions dating back thousands of years. It also has a large Chinese influence. Elders are very well respected in Vietnamese culture, the older you are, the more respect is shown to you. ‘Saving face’ is a concept shown by most Vietnamese people and is thought of as extremely important in their culture. This means that if you feel angered or annoyed by someone, you do not show it and remain respectful. If you lose your temper/ are rude, then this is seen as losing face and therefore a loss of reputation and self-respect.

Vietnamese is the most widely spoken language, other languages include Chinese, Khmer, Cham and tribal dialects. Buddhism, Taoism, and Confucianism are the main religious beliefs in Vietnam, and you will find many temples dotted around the country. You will often see the local people giving fruits and burning incense to give as offerings.

30 Years Non Profit Experience

IVI is an Australian charity & non profit organisation founded in 1989 and is one of the pioneers of overseas volunteering successfully placing over 20,000 volunteers globally.

Affordable Volunteer Travel

We’re not motivated by shareholder profits.   Our fees are fully transparent to ensure maximum benefit where it is most needed. 

Safe & Responsible Projects

All projects include a dedicated 24/7 in-country management team, operational & risk assessment & overseas support contact.   All projects are personally inspected to ensure very high quality.

Work Experience & University Credits

We place thousands of Uni students and can assist you with course credits and in-field experience points.   Many of our project coordinators are qualified practitioners in their respective fields allowing unique in-field supervision and Uni accreditation options

Check out this amazing blog with step by step info on how to raise funds for your overseas volunteer experience to help maximize your impact abroad. Guide to Fundraising

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