Travel to the southwest coast of Thailand to volunteer with children in the rural province of Phang Nga. This exquisite location in the idyllic Andaman region, near white sand beaches and tropical jungles, is an exciting place to become immersed in local culture and help the community improve their future, while experiencing a side of Thailand that so many tourists miss out on.
As a volunteer you will teach English in local schools so that children can develop their English skills and have better education and work opportunities. Our goal is to help these communities improve their quality of life through education and maintain their unique culture.
Experience a rich culture and a way of life that tourists miss on the normal tourist trail. Learn how to cook Thai food, speak basic Thai, and immerse yourself in this vibrant and welcoming culture. Explore local natural highlights such as limestone rock formations, amazing caves and white sandy beaches with crystal emerald waters.
We are always looking for enthusiastic and dedicated people to join our team. This program offers qualifying and high-performing volunteers the chance to stay on the program for a longer duration on a GVI Scholarship free of charge and as part of the staff team in the field. If you would like to work towards a field career and make the very most of your time abroad, you might want to work towards a place on a GVI Scholarship. Successful scholars may find themselves offered full time employment with GVI, and many of our current staff have come through this route. Contact us for more information!
Please note, the awarding of scholarships is at the sole discretion of GVI and may be offered immediately after the completion of your program or at a later date.
GVI is real volunteering
Our projects are constantly evolving according to the needs on the ground at any given time. All the information displayed here will give you an overall feel for the project, but you should be prepared for any changes in the field when you travel. An evolving project means that we can constantly meet the needs and requirements of our partners, who dictate the work that we do. The way it should be.
Monday to Friday
Most of your time will be spent teaching English lessons and assisting teachers in local schools, playing games and leading educational activities that improve the eager children’s conversational English. Days can be long, but the children and their families are extremely appreciative of all your hard work and you’ll see the difference your support brings them.
Choose to live with a Thai host family or at a GVI lodge with other GVI volunteers. Living with the host family will give you the amazing opportunity to truly experience life as local and receive simple but delicious Thai meals. The GVI lodge has shared rooms and bathroom facilities with access to cold running water.
You can choose to live with a local Thai host family or at a GVI lodge with your fellow volunteers. Living with a host family will give you an unrivalled insight into the Thai culture and life as a local as you receive simple but delicious Thai meals. The GVI base has shared facilities with access to cold running water and other basic amenities.
Also, if you would prefer to stay in private accommodation while on this project, this location does offer upgrades. Contact us for more information, or mention to your Country Expert who will be able to assist you.
In the community where you will be teaching your presence is invaluable. Classrooms are often overcrowded and teachers need enthusiastic volunteers like you to ease their workload, give the children some extra attention and more exposure to spoken English. You may be teaching with fellow volunteers, assisting local Thai teachers or occasionally teaching your own classes.
If staying with a host family, you’ll be required to practice English with your family and the wider community, which will provide them with the English skills that will help them develop community-based tourism and increase their job opportunities.
Our goal is to help local communities develop by providing the children with the tools and skills for getting good jobs and more education. We aim to encourage growth while highlighting the importance in preserving and appreciating culture.
How this project makes a difference:
GVI works directly with local schools to provide hardworking English teachers for the Thai children. Because of the growth of tourism in the area, English teachers are in great demand. Most good jobs are in the tourism industry and require conversational English skills and by providing these kids with English education, they will have the opportunity to improve their futures and break the cycle of poverty.
Life on base was something that worried me before I arrived. Sharing a bedroom with 11 others, living out of a backpack and no hot water? How was I going to cope? I can honestly say that life on base is great. Everyone works hard to keep the camp clean and tidy and it really does feel like home. It's nice to get back from a hard day at school and just chill out with everyone and share stories. I have made friends from all over the world and have never laughed so much in my life.
The trip changed my life for many reasons. I have actually returned to Ao Luk 3 times this year because I felt so connected to the area, the people and what GVI were doing. I learned to step out of my comfort zone and stand up in front of 30+ children and make chicken noises. While I have given presentations at work nothing compared to this. I was suprised at myself and realised that there was nothing to restrain me in this environment.
Volunteering with GVI not only allows you to participate on programs assisting disadvantaged communities or endangered ecosystems but it also offers wonderful opportunities to travel in the local area in your down time or further afield, either before or after your program. Below is some information on trips and travel options in Thailand.
Optional Side Trips
Take advantage of the amazing sites and scenery the Andaman region of Thailand has to offer. There are endless opportunities to visit islands, beaches, parks and caves and many can be done on weekends. While on the ground, we are here to help so make sure to ask our field staff to assist you with planning trips.
Explore the amazing Khao Sok National Park, including the stunning Cheow Larn Lake and 740km² of rainforest and which is home to elephants, leopards, tigers, deer, monkeys, lizards, birds, and the Rafflesia - the largest flowers in the world, 90cm across with a unique aroma…of rotting flesh! Take a day trip for a quick sample of the park’s delights or stay overnight and discover even more – perhaps in one of the jungle tree houses, or even on a bungalow that floats on the lake. Trek through the jungle, kayak around Cheow Larn lake visiting spectacular limestone caves, swim in idyllic waterfalls or just relax and see what you can spot!
Khao Lak is a very popular tourist spot close by, with beautiful, seemingly endless beaches, so many dining options you’ll be spoilt for choice and hundreds of spas offering massages and treatments at reasonable rates. With a wide range of accommodation options, from luxury resorts to hostels, Khao Lak offers you the chance to spoil yourself for a few days, whether you’re on a budget or looking to splurge a little.
The Similan and Surin Island groups, both under the protection of their Marine National Park status, are home to some of the best diving and snorkelling spots in the region. You can take a day trip, stay on a live aboard boat or even stay overnight on the islands themselves.
Phuket Island, about 90mins south of Khao Lak and renowned for its colourful night life is also a great stop-off for divers and snorkelers, but if you’re not the diving type you can explore Phang Nga Bay by speed-boat or sea kayak, stopping off at James Bond Island, made famous by the 1974 film ‘The Man With the Golden Gun’ before visiting the floating Sea Gypsy village. Phuket is also very popular with surfers, playing host to annual surfing competitions, though there is a great ‘secret spot’ near Khao Lak…if you’re interested GVI staff will show you the way!
Neighbouring Krabi Province is a treasure trove for intrepid travellers; from the crystal clear Emerald Pond to the epic 1,237-step climb up to the Buddha image and stunning views at the Tiger Temple Cave to the enchanted scenery and pools of Than Bok Khoranee National Park to the shopping and late night bars of Ao Nang to the chilled out beaches of Koh Lanta Island to the parties of Phi Phi, where ‘The Beach’ was filmed - the options are truly endless!
Further Travelling Opportunities
Thailand is a country with a whole range of fantastic places that you could visit. If you have the time and budget, you could consider going to see the following; the waterfalls of the picturesque Khao Yai National Park, the mountain town of Chiang Mai, the local tribes of Nam Province, the beaches of Ko Tao and Mu Ko Chang Marine National Park, the golden kingdom of Ayuthaya, the temples and nightlife of Bangkok and many more…
Build Your Program
- Pre-departure support and discounted services
- 24-hour emergency phone
- Airport pick-up (unless otherwise stated)
- Arrival orientation
- Long term experienced staff
- Safe and basic accommodations (usually shared)
- All meals (unless otherwise stated in field manuals)
- Welcome meeting
- Location orientation
- All necessary project training by experienced staff
- All necessary project equipment and materials
- 24-hour in-country support
What's Not Included
- Medical and travel insurance
- Visa costs
- Personal kit
- Additional drinks and gratuities
- Extra local excursions
- International and domestic airport taxes