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Thailand - Volunteering, budget and time

Travel Forums Asia Thailand - Volunteering, budget and time

1. Posted by Nyssa (Budding Member 31 posts) 6y

Hey,

I'm starting to plan my trip to thailand. I think I will be flying from NZ to Thailand sometime around May. At the moment I think I will probably have about 1 to 2 months. I am debating if I should focus my time in Thailand or attempt to split it up between Thailand and another country (Loas, Cambodia, etc). How much time would u suggest I need to do thailand right? Whilst there Im interested in seeing Buddhist stuff, and ancient ruins. I also want to do the full moon party as well as a tour of the hilltribes. I'm also into outdoors stuff like kayaking, snorkeling, hiking, and rock climbing and would like to do those things as well. Would a month be to short to fully enjoy what Thailand has to offer?

Also, I plan to stay in hostels and travel as cheaply as possible. What kind of budget would be required for a month in Thailand?

Finally, I really would like to spend a week or two volunteering whilst there, either with orphans or elephants (I haven't decided which i would prefer yet). Online all the programs seem fairly pricey to spend a week volunteering. I was wondering if its necessary to book a volunteer trip before hand or if I could find a way to do it much cheaper once in the country.

Also, what is the easiest way to get around the country?

Ive done quite a lot of traveling before, but mostly in english speaking countries. Is it going to be very difficult to organize tours and things once in the country if I only speak English?

Oh, and if anyone knows of cheap airlines that fly between NZ and Thailand, that would be greatly appreciated :)

Thanks for the advice!

Nyssa

2. Posted by vegasmike6 (Travel Guru 3562 posts) 6y

Quoting Nyssa

Hey,

I'm starting to plan my trip to thailand. I think I will be flying from NZ to Thailand sometime around May. At the moment I think I will probably have about 1 to 2 months. I am debating if I should focus my time in Thailand or attempt to split it up between Thailand and another country (Loas, Cambodia, etc). How much time would u suggest I need to do thailand right? Whilst there Im interested in seeing Buddhist stuff, and ancient ruins. I also want to do the full moon party as well as a tour of the hilltribes. I'm also into outdoors stuff like kayaking, snorkeling, hiking, and rock climbing and would like to do those things as well. Would a month be to short to fully enjoy what Thailand has to offer?

I think a month will be enough for your trek, ruins, then beach time. Krabi is a great spot for beach, sports. Take a look.

Also, I plan to stay in hostels and travel as cheaply as possible. What kind of budget would be required for a month in Thailand?

Forget hostels. You can get your own fan room in most places for under $15. Food should be less that $10/day total if you 'eat street' or with locals. Figure around $30/day for room, food, transport. $900-1,000 USD should be OK.

Finally, I really would like to spend a week or two volunteering whilst there, either with orphans or elephants (I haven't decided which i would prefer yet). Online all the programs seem fairly pricey to spend a week volunteering. I was wondering if its necessary to book a volunteer trip before hand or if I could find a way to do it much cheaper once in the country.

I can help with no fees volunteering in Phnom Penh, but not Thailand. Hopefully other members will have an idea on free volunteering in Thailand.

Also, what is the easiest way to get around the country?

Use the gov't bus system. This means going to the bus station. NOT letting a travel shop book you on a tourist bus when going from city to city. Many problems and theft on tourist buses. Overnight buses save 1 night's accommodation. Train is more expensive, has to be booked in advance.

Ive done quite a lot of traveling before, but mostly in english speaking countries. Is it going to be very difficult to organize tours and things once in the country if I only speak English?

Thailand is very user friendly. All travel shops, all hotels/guesthouses will speak English.

Oh, and if anyone knows of cheap airlines that fly between NZ and Thailand, that would be greatly appreciated :)

Try: Pacific Blue Air.
Jetstar Asia

Thanks for the advice!

Nyssa

3. Posted by GeorgeR (Budding Member 10 posts) 6y

Pretty good answers.
You can probably even eat for less than 10 bucks a day; its the beers that'll kill the budget.
Bus is definately the cheapest, though sometimes air asia has suuuper cheap flights.
If you want to do some trekking and such, you can do so in Rattanakiri Cambodia from the national park up there for quite cheap (though its hard core). Kayaking and mountain biking maybe better out of Luang Prabang. I would almost just do the Thai beaches and Bangkok. Get up to Chiang Mai to check out old temples there and then take the bus/boat to Luang Prabang (10 days in Thailand). You can live on a much lower budget in Laos. Then you can follow the mekong allllll the way to cambodia (say another 10 days) and from there up to Rattanakiri (say 3 day trek). Make your way back to Phnom Penh and you should have time to hit Siem Reap on your way back overland to Thailand. Dunno where you are gonna fit volunteering in there...but that would be an epic month...

4. Posted by Nyssa (Budding Member 31 posts) 6y

Hey Guys,

Thanks for the replies. I'm thinking I will spend a lot more time in Thailand than you suggest George, simply because I like to really embrace the country and get a good feel for it. I dont think I could do that in less then 2 weeks. But your itinerary sounds good. I might go into Laos, but doubt I'll get to Cambodia this trip. I'm not too crazed about the beaches in thailand. Mostly I want to experience the culture and history and all of that.

Thanks :)

5. Posted by pointless (Budding Member 33 posts) 6y

Hi Nyssa!

I live in a fairly small city called Udon Thani which is in the northeastern part of Thailand, this isn't a touristy place at all but it's just a very nice place to stay and experience local life, I can help you with volunteering and you don't have to spend anything, you just have to get yourself here, which takes 8 hours by bus or 45 minutes by plane. But from the looks of it, with all the things you want to do in Thailand, a month is definitely not enough.

You can do all the adventure you want in the country for a month, and another week or month to spend for volunteering.
I don't suggest you taking any tours or booking everything you want through a travel agent as they will just rip you off. Plus it's very cheap and easy to go around the country as long as you've got your guide book and map!

Good luck and if your interested about volunteering let me know. Just a quick intro, I am an ESOL teacher in Thailand for 3 years now, teaching at a public school, running my own language school business, and is involved with an NGO, giving scholarship to poor students in the rural area. Have done several volunteers myself, camps and other humanitarian works.

Jacque,,