Thailand

 

Student Travel in Thailand

Explore Thailand with No Barriers Youth

This Southeast Asian country is covered by pristine jungle in the north, white sandy beaches in the south, and coral reefs teaming with marine life. But Thailand’s real attraction is its people. Thais are known for their warmth and hospitality, their rich and beautiful culture, and their entrepreneurial spirit!

No Barriers Youth offers a multitude of educational and service learning opportunities in Thailand. Learn about Buddhism as you tour ancient temples. Get dirty while feeding and bathing elephants and learn about pioneering programs to support their care. Travelers can also:

  • Visit the local Thai market to shop for ingredients before learning how to cook Thai dishes
  • Trek to a mountain village and spend time with school children teaching, interacting and playing sports
  • Spend a day on the Wang River and learn about conservation efforts
  • Enjoy a “kan toke” dinner with a performance of traditional northern dances

What to Know Before Educational Trips to Thailand

Thailand is surrounded by pristine jungles and mountains, clear blue seas, and colorful coral reefs. A predominantly Buddhist nation, the Thai people are largely compassionate and tolerant. With a vibrant Hindu, as well as Buddhist history, this diverse country is filled with ancient temples and is as rich in culture as it is in geographic wonders.

Thailand’s complex culture and history also includes the ‘hill tribe’ communities in the rugged north known as the ‘Golden Triangle’. This collection of independent tribes migrated from China and Burma to live in remote rural villages of northern Thailand. In stark contrast to the rural villages is the capital of Bangkok, a thriving economic hub of Southeast Asia. From its rich heritage to its overall striking natural beauty, Thailand provides a wealth of experiential learning opportunities for student travel tours and travelers of all ages.

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Choose Your Adventure for Teen Travel in Thailand

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Hilltribe Exploration and Community Service

Day 1: Welcome to Thailand! 
  • Afternoon: Arrive to Chiang Mai International Airport (CNX) and meet your No Barriers Expedition Leaders. Load up in your van for the drive through the mountains and jungle to the town of Mae Sariang. 
  • Evening: Take part in a program orientation with your Expedition Leaders before participating in the No Barriers opening ceremony to set the tone and direction for the week ahead. 
  • Accommodation: Hotel, Mae Sariang  
Day 2: Intro to Thai and Karen Culture  
  • Morning: Visit a Karen Weaving Center. Learn about this unique style of weaving and the importance of cottage industry in Karen culture. 
  • Afternoon: Take a lesson at a Muay Thai gym in Mae Sariang. Learn more about this ancient Thai sport and try your hand at some of the difficult moves! 
  • Evening: Enjoy dinner together and take time to prepare for your upcoming service. 
  • Accommodation: Hotel, Mae Sariang  
Days 3-4: Community Infrastructure Service in the Mountains 
  • Morning: Depart Mae Sariang in the morning and head to a village nearby where you will serve and stay for the next two days. In the morning, participate in an introduction to the community before starting your project. 
  • Afternoon: Depending on the time of year, continue working on an infrastructure service project or teach a lesson at a local school.  
  • Evening: Engage in a reflection with your Expedition Leaders and learn more about village life. Try your hand at local village chores necessary to keep the community moving forward. With the assistance of your ELs, learn more about Karen mountain culture and the Thai language. Share your experience so far during a program debrief with your team. 
  • Accommodation: Village Homestay, Mae Sariang 
Day 5: Chiang Mai and City Life 
  • Morning: Say goodbye to your village hosts before heading back to Chiang Mai. 
  • Afternoon: Arrive in Chiang Mai; check in to your accommodation and take a swim in the hotel pool. 
  • Evening: Head to the Night Bazaar for souvenir shopping. Try some local foods, like a fruit shake highlighting fresh produce. Depending on time, enjoy a traditional Thai massage! 
  • Accommodation: Hotel, Chiang Mai 
Day 6: Northern Thailand Reforestation 
  • Morning: After breakfast, head to FORRU (Forrest Restoration Unit) at Chiang Mai University and learn about the challenges Northern Thailand is facing related to deforestation. 
  • Afternoon: Participate in a workshop where you learn how to propagate seeds and do other maintenance work in their on-site nursery. Enjoy the beautiful mountains and stunning scenery of the north of Thailand. 
  • Evening: Drive back to Chiang Mai and then participate in a service debrief. 
  • Accommodation: Hotel or Guesthouse, Chiang Mai 
Day 7: Thai National Elephant Conservation Center 
  • Morning: After two days of service, say goodbye to your village partners before heading to Lampang. Arriving at the Thai Elephant Conservation Center (TECC), meet the staff and learn the basics of how to be a mahout (elephant caretaker). Join in activities organized by the center that focus on elephant conservation and awareness. 
  • Afternoon: Tour the facilities of the center, including an elephant hospital, a paper mill that turns elephant dung into paper, and an elephant retirement center. 
  • Evening: Head back to your hotel and join in activities organized by your program leaders. 
  • Accommodation: Hotel or Guesthouse, Chiang Mai 
Day 8: Cho Dee, Thailand 
  • Morning: Head to the airport for your flight home. 

Marine Conservation, Adventure, and Service

Day 1: Welcome to Thailand! 
  • Evening:  Arrive to Trang Airport where you will meet your No Barriers Expedition Leaders. Take part in a group orientation and learn more about the week ahead. Participate in the No Barriers opening ceremony to set the tone and direction for the week ahead. 
  • Accommodation: Hotel, Trang 
Day 2: Kayaking and Mangrove Planting  
  • Morning: Meet with community leaders in Baan Mot Tanoi to discuss challenges faced by the community, as well as solutions that you will work on this week.  Kayak along the coastline and marvel at the beauty of southern Thailand. 
  • Afternoon: Plant mangrove seeds and release juvenile crabs to help conservation efforts. 
  • Evening: Have a discussion with your program leaders about fears and expectations you have for the week ahead. 
  • Accommodation: Hotel, Trang 
Day 3: Snorkeling and Cave Exploration 
  • Morning: Board a boat and head out into the crystal clear blue waters of the Indian Ocean. Snorkel and explore the coral reefs in the bay of Baan Mon Tha Noy. Spot local fish species and maybe a sea turtle if you are lucky! 
  • Afternoon: Explore the famous Emerald Cave and spend time on the beach. 
  • Evening: Participate in a beachside dinner and discussion about the day’s adventure. 
  • Accommodation: Hotel, Trang 
Day 4: Contribute to Conservation Efforts 
  • Morning: Meet up with your service partner and learn more about the issues facing the Thai coastline. Build fish houses that help protect vulnerable fish from predators so they can reproduce safely. 
  • Afternoon: Collect seagrass seeds that will be planted to provide a habitat for sea-dwelling creatures.  
  • Evening: Participate in a goodbye celebration with your community service partners in Trang. 
  • Accommodation: Hotel, Trang 
Day 5: Journey to Krabi 
  • Morning: Drive to the town of Krabi. 
  • Afternoon: Meet up with your second service partner of the trip, FORRU. Spend the afternoon working with the FORRU team to help with reforestation efforts and learn about the effects of tourism on the Thai Islands. 
  • Evening: Visit the hot spring waterfall, a favorite spot for locals and travelers in southern Thailand. 
  • Accommodation: Hotel, Krabi 
Day 6: Explore Khao Sok 
  • Morning: Wake up in the morning and depart early for a hiking trip in Khao Sok National Park. Look for wildlife in the dense jungle.  
  • Afternoon: After a morning hike in the jungle, visit an elephant conservation center. Learn more about the Asian Elephant and ongoing conservation efforts to support this endangered species. 
  • Evening: Participate in an evening discussion with your program leaders about the last two days of activity and service. 
  • Accommodation: Hotel, Khao Sok 
Day 7: Float the Sok River 
  • Morning: Head down the Sok River on an innertube. Enjoy the cool waters and time with your fellow travelers! 
  • Afternoon: Stop for lunch along the way before continuing further down the Sok River. Arrive to the take out and transport back to your hotel 
  • Evening: Participate in an engaging No Barriers closing ceremony with your Expedition Leaders. 
  • Accommodation: Hotel, Khao Sok 
Day 8: Chok dee, Thailand!  
  • Morning: Head to the airport for your flight home. 

Northern Thailand Culture, Conservation, and Elephants

Day 1: Welcome to Thailand! 
  • Afternoon: Fly into Chiang Mai International Airport (CNX) and meet your No Barriers Expedition Leaders after exiting customs. 
  • Evening: Take part in an orientation with your Expedition Leaders and get a feel for what the next week will look like. Participate in the No Barriers opening ceremony to set the tone and direction for the week ahead. 
  • Accommodation: Hotel or Guesthouse, Chiang Mai 
Days 2-3: Village Immersion and Infrastructure Service  
  • Morning: Meet with your service team and go over the plan for the day. After learning about your project and getting to know your partner community, start your infrastructure service-learning project! 
  • Afternoon: Continue working on your service project, or if the local school is in session you may do some activities with local students. 
  • Evening: Participate in a discussion with your program leaders debriefing the day and addressing any fears and expectations you have about the program. Play games and engage in cultural activities with your ELs. 
  • Accommodation: Hotel or Guesthouse, Chiang Mai 
Day 4: Thai Elephant Conservation Center 
  • Morning: After two days of service, say goodbye to your village partners before heading to Lampang. Arriving at the Thai Elephant Conservation Center (TECC), meet the staff and learn the basics of how to be a mahout (elephant caretaker). Join in activities organized by the center that focus on elephant conservation and awareness. 
  • Afternoon: Tour the facilities at the center, including an elephant hospital, a paper mill that turns elephant dung into paper, and an elephant retirement center. 
  • Evening: Head back to your hotel and join in activities organized by your program leaders. 
  • Accommodation: Hotel or Guesthouse, Chiang Mai 
Day 5: Learn Muay Thai and Thai Cooking 
  • Morning: Head to a cooking class in Chiang Mai, learn basic skills and Thai cooking, and then put them to the test preparing dishes made with local ingredients.  
  • Afternoon: Go to a Muay Thai gym to learn the ancient art of Muay Thai and practice with professional instructors. Try your hand at this ancient sport. 
  • Evening: Visit the Chiang Mai night market and shop for local goods to bring back home to your friends and family. 
  • Accommodation: Hotel or Guesthouse, Chiang Mai 
Day 6: Participate in Reforestation Efforts 
  • Morning: After breakfast, head to FORRU (Forrest Restoration Unit) at Chiang Mai University and learn about the challenges northern Thailand is facing related to deforestation. 
  • Afternoon: Participate in a workshop where you’ll learn how to propagate seeds and do other maintenance work in their on-site nursery. Enjoy the beautiful mountains and stunning scenery of the north of Thailand. 
  • Evening: Drive back to Chiang Mai and then participate in a service debrief. 
  • Accommodation: Hotel or Guesthouse, Chiang Mai 
Day 7: Explore Takkatan Cave and Night Bazaar 
  • Morning: Wake up early for your trek to the Takkatan Cave. Learn more about the cave system(s) in northern Thailand and enjoy exploring the local jungles around Chiang Mai. 
  • Afternoon: Return back to Chiang Mai with enough time to enjoy the hotel pool before participating in the No Barriers closing ceremony. 
  • Evening: Return to the Chiang Mai Night Bazaar for some last-minute souvenir shopping and fruit shakes! If time allows, enjoy a traditional Thai massage 
  • Accommodation: Hotel or Guesthouse, Chiang Mai 
Day 8: Chok Dee, Thailand 
  • Morning: After breakfast at the hotel, head to the airport for your flight home. 

The Amazing Thailand Adventure

Day 1: Welcome to Thailand! 
  • Afternoon: Arrive to Chiang Mai International Airport (CNX) and meet your Expedition Leaders.  
  • Evening: Take part in a trip orientation and learn about the adventure ahead! Participate in the No Barriers opening ceremony to set the tone and direction for the week ahead. 
  • Accommodation: Hotel, Chiang Mai 
Day 2: Chiang Mai – the Cultural Heart of Thailand 
  • Morning: Visit to Baan Tawai, an artisan village outside of the city that has many traditional arts and crafts. Learn about the mountainous regions of the north of Thailand and the hill tribes that inhabit the regions.  
  • Afternoon: Visit a modern art museum in Chiang Mai before heading to northern Thailand’s holiest site: Wat Phra That Doi Suthep. Marvel at the views over the city basin and enjoy the stunning architecture. 
  • Evening: Visit Na Mo University Market for food and shopping. Try local Issan food, the traditional cuisine of the north of Thailand — much of which you may recognize! 
  • Accommodation: Hotel, Chiang Mai 
Day 3: Heading for the Hills of the North 
  • Morning: Head to Chiang Dao. Along the way, visit Mork Fa Waterfall. Enjoy the cool mist of the spring waters. 
  • Afternoon: Arrive in Chiang Dao; visit a local market and check in to your eco-resort accommodation.  
  • Evening: Enjoy a traditional Kan Tok Dinner at the eco-resort and participate in a program check-in. 
  • Accommodation: Treehouse Lodge, Chiang Dao 
Day 4: Exploring Chiang Dao 
  • Morning: Visit the famous Chiang Dao Cave with a guide and explore its hidden passageways. Visit a famous monastery and learn more about Buddhist culture and customs. 
  • Afternoon: Enjoy lunch in Chiang Dao before participating in a gentle bike ride through rice paddy trails. Hop in the local hot spring after your bike ride! 
  • Evening: Enjoy dinner at a local’s home. Learn about cooking in northern Thailand and Thai cuisine.  
  • Accommodation: Treehouse Lodge, Chiang Dao 
Day 5: Chiang Rai and the White Temple 
  • Morning: Wake up early to continue your scenic journey through the mountains of the north. Upon arrival to Chiang Rai, visit the famous White Temple. 
  • Afternoon: Visit the home of one of Thailand’s most famous artists at “The Black House.”  
  • Evening: Spend time shopping at the Chiang Rai Night Bazaar and learn more about the region called the Golden Triangle. Enjoy dinner with your team. 
  • Accommodation: Hotel, Chiang Rai  
Day 6: Muay Thai in the Big Mango 
  • Morning: Wake up early for a morning flight to Bangkok. 
  • Afternoon: Arrive to your hotel, check in and relax. Depending on arrival time, visit a local market. 
  • Evening: Enjoy a Muay Thai fight at Lumpini Stadium. Learn more about this famous Thai martial art and its importance in modern-day society. 
  • Accommodation: Hotel, Bangkok 
Day 7: The Highlights of Bangkok 
  • Morning: Visit the Grand Palace and Wat Phra Kaew, two of the most famous sites in Bangkok. Marvel at the gold leaf-covered Giant Lounging Buddha, one of the largest Buddhas in the world. 
  • Afternoon: Cruise down the Chao Phraya River. See the megacity of Bangkok from a different perspective and and enjoy the cool breeze from the river. 
  • Evening: Shop and eat at the market next to the Chao Phraya River before participating in the No Barriers closing ceremony. 
  • Accommodation: Hotel, Bangkok 
Day 8: Chok Dee, Thailand 
  • Morning: Head to the airport for your flight home.   

Getting immersed in the culture of India and getting to know and love the children was the greatest. When the students would cling to me at the end of class, and tell me how much they enjoyed having me there was heartbreaking.

Rachel W., Student

There is so much life, happening all the time. It's crazy to think that, after only three weeks, I feel like I've become accustomed to so much of how the world move.

Saul S., Student

I just wanted to take a moment to formally thank you for another unbelievable and life changing trip. No Barriers Youth made it all possible and took the guesswork out of a potentially nerve wracking and complicated task.

Amanda W., Trip Leader