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Global Volunteer International, Thailand

Page history last edited by Phil Pierce 8 years, 9 months ago


Partner institution: Global Volunteer International Ltd



Contributors (2012):

Victoria Evans

Katherine Reed



Contributors: for details on what is required in each section, please look at the Guidance Notes


Placement Information



Social life

Things to do, things not to do

Useful Contacts

Before you go


Placement Information

Global Volunteer International - GVI work alongside local primary schools in the rural community based town of Ao Luk. We taught basic English to children aged between 3 and 11. Obviously this was challenging depending on their abilities. Thai people, especially the teachers are extremely grateful and welcoming. (We even got taken out to lunch on a few occasions, all paid for!)


Thai children are so polite and usually very well behaved, despite obvious communication difficulties!


We were given the opportunity to attend a graduation ceremony for pre school children. Very surreal seeing 4 year old in robes, hats and make up.. even the boys!  


In the evening we worked in the local community centre teaching English as an extra curricular activity. It was rewarding to see the children progress quickly in the 2 weeks we taught there.





Very basic! Bunk beds in a crammed room with simple bedroom fans in humid temperatures!  Embrace the squat toilet with bucket flush and thai bath!! Not as bad as it first may seem. Alternatively, there is a western toilet with a flush but all showers are cold, which is nice in the hot temperatures!


Within the price, accomodation and meals are included. Breakfast is around 7:45am and varies from porridge to pancakes! Lunch is normally provided by the schools and dinner is often a thai dish.. very tasty!! Be prepared to eat a lot of rice!!


As the base camp is located in a tropical area, mosquitos and biting ants are extremely common! Take lots of insect repellent!


You are given more free time than we thought so make sure you take a book or pack of cards!! You meet lots of people all in the same boat, expect to come home with lots of new friends. ( We even went on a trip away with some of them at the weekend in between our 2 week placement!)



We experienced many types of transport on our trip. The most common being a Songthaew (see picture!) this is usually very cheap but bartering is always advised as you can often get ripped off because you're a tourist! Tuk tuks are also common in Thailand and are fun to travel by. Again be careful for scams, negotiate prices before getting in! Motorbike taxis and normal taxis are available these are often more expensive due to the luxury of air con!

Keep your wits about you, Thai driving is insane! Hold on tight!!



Social life

Within the small town of Ao Luk, the social life is quiet due to it not being a tourist destination. Don't be alarmed if people stare and say hello! They're not used to seeing white people and are merely fascinated. Within this town you must have your shoulders covered and wear something that hangs just above your knee. There are a few locals restaurants and bars, but only thai food is served here. There is a national park down the road with natural water falls which you can swim in. Lovely to do on a day off from teaching. Also, a swimming pool is available at a hotel not far away for a small amount of money. Very quiet so you usually get the pool to yourself! 



Things to do, things not to do

Ao Luk is not far from the large town of Krabi. From here you can get a ferry to many different islands such as Phi Phi and Ao Nang. You get the weekends off so it's the ideal time to explore some different islands. On the islands you can snorkel, go on boat trips or just relax on the lovely beaches! The night life is very good too. 
We had a week either side our two weeks at GVI. In this time we explored a little bit of Thailand. Bangkok (intense!)  Full moon party in koh phangan (even more intense!) and just chilled out on beautiful beaches. If you have time to do this, we do recommend! It's the experience of a lifetime. We rode on elephants, saw tigers, went to a floating market. Phew!...


Prices are extremely cheap in Thailand. You can get a starter, a main, glass of wine and a soft drink for the equivalent of about £4/5! 
As we said in the transport section, beware of scams. Always negotiate a price before getting in any public transport. Don't go with the first price, always barter! For everything. Thais are used to this and it more or less becomes a game. Always half whatever price they initially give you.


Useful Contacts

STA travel, Nottingham

Nottingham High St

26 King Street


Call 0871 702 9838


Email nottingham@statravel.co.uk



GVI volunteering


Telephone Number: 01727 250 250





Before you go

  • Make sure you have plenty of insect repellent, sun cream and aftersun! We made the mistake of not taking enough and it's quite expensive to buy out there.
  • If you plan to explore Thailand a bit before you start your placement, don't book anything!! We booked before we went, i.e. hotels and transport from airport to hotels but it was so much cheaper when we go there.


  • Keep an open mind. It may come as a big culture shock to you. Different smells and a different way of life. All in all it will be one of the most amazing experiences and  opportunities you'll ever have! So enjoy and keep safe :)







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