About Rustic Volunteers Thailand

Volunteer in Thailand

A Life-changing, Rewarding and Affordable Thai Experience!

Make a difference in the world by traveling to the beautiful Thailand, helping those that need it the most and engaging in an ancient and interesting culture. A tropical nation in the heart of Southeast Asia, Thailand is an exotic land full of luscious mountains, pristine beaches, enchanting culture, Buddhist temples and tropical forests combining like a kaleidoscope of different worlds mixed together. From the green rice fields of North Thailand to the verdant limestone islands of the Andaman Sea, Rustic Volunteer programs in the Thailand offer something amazing for you.

Volunteer with Rustic Volunteer in Thailand for the excellent opportunity to be a responsible tourist in Southeast Asia's most visited country. You will contribute to the lives of eager children and work closely with local people. As a volunteer in Thailand, you will gain unique insight into what the everyday life of Thailand is really like away from the beaches and adventurous tours. Contact us now and begin your journey to Thailand! The sooner you contact us, the sooner we can send you further information to start the experience of a lifetime.

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Fees and Dates

Ayutthaya Start Dates

Ayutthaya Volunteer Programs start Every 2nd and 4th Mondays of each month..
Surin & Sangklaburi Start Dates

Click here to find the start date of surin and sangkalaburi


If you are tired of expensive volunteer programs but want to make a positive contribution in the world, look no further! Rustic is dedicated to offering high quality, well-organized and meaningful programs at the most affordable price in the United States. We work hard to keep costs as low as possible, focusing on the effectiveness of our projects, the safety of our volunteers and the quality of participant experiences. We currently offer the most competitive price possible in today's market including an application fee (of $299) AND a small weekly fee as follows:

For Surin,The program fee needs to be paid in GBP to directly to the country coordinator before the project start date.

Weeks Ayutthaya
(in US$)
(in Pounds (GBP))
(in Pounds (GBP))
(in Pounds (GBP))
(in Pounds (GBP))
  1 Week   $260   £448   £448   £448   £501
  2 Weeks   $440   £511   £511   £511   £616
  3 Weeks   $660   £574   £574   £574   £731
  4 Weeks   $880   £637   £637   £637   £846
  5 Weeks   $1,100   £699   £699   £699   N/A
  6 Weeks   $1,320   £762   £762   £762   Available
  7 Weeks   $1,540   £825   £825   £825 maximum
  8 Weeks   $1,760   £888   £888   £888 -4 weeks only
  9 Weeks   $1,980   N/A   N/A   N/A
  10 Weeks   $2,200   N/A   N/A   N/A
  11 Weeks   $2,420   N/A   N/A   N/A
  12 Weeks   $2,640   N/A   N/A   N/A

Mandatory Comprehensive Travel Insurance $3.49/day

Ayutthaya program

Program Fees Cover

  • Accommodation (volunteer house, host family)
  • Food (3 local food day)
  • Airport pick up and transfer
  • Program Orientation
  • In-country support
  • Personalized project
  • Pre-departure information
  • Certificate of completion
  • Fundraising ideas and letters
  • Discount for returning volunteers

Program Fees Exclude

  • Visas
  • Airfare
  • Personal expenses on soft drinks and foods
  • Daily transportation
  • Airport return transfer

Surin Program

Program Fees Cover

  • Airport pick-up on arrival
  • Two night guest house accommodation in Bangkok
  • One day Guided Bangkok Tour
  • Train transfer to Surin
  • Accommodation in Surin shared house
  • Full orientation of project and surrounding areas
  • Daily transfers to and from project location
  • Full ongoing support
  • 24 hour emergency support
  • Personalized project
  • Pre-departure information
  • Certificate of completion
  • Fundraising ideas and letters
  • Discount for returning volunteers

Program Fees Exclude

  • Food (food are cheap in Surin)
  • Visas
  • Airfare
  • Personal expenses on soft drinks and foods
  • Airport return transfer

The Thailand volunteer experience program fees will cover expenses that will begin on the first day of the program (usually the first or third Monday of the month) to the last day of the program. If you arrive before the first day of the program or you decide you stay beyond your program’s last day

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Volunteer Programs in Thailand

Childcare/Child Development Project (Ayutthaya and Surin)

In Thailand, poor local-income families cannot afford to pay for often expensive childcare services. In Ayuthaya, local organizations, municipalities and Buddhist temples have established childcare centers to support children between the ages of 2-6, especially for poor families. In Surin, where monthly wages are very low (less than US $100 per month), many families simply aren’t able to give good grooming to their children. The centers in Surin, therefore, aim to provide the children from poor background basic child interaction and stimulation to develop their skills. These centers are, however, are resource poor and understaffed and need help from volunteers to carry out their work effectively. As a volunteer working for child development in Thailand, you can benefit by supplying these deprived children with much-needed love and companionship as well as a solid foundation to meet their needs and nurture their interests. Volunteers will also have the opportunity to improve the quality of life of Thai families, help them reach their goals and ultimately provide them with a brighter future.

Project/Volunteer's Life

As a volunteer working in the Childcare/Child Development Project in Thailand, you will work 4 days a week from Monday to Thursday. You will work from 8.30 am to 3.30 pm and have Friday to Sunday off to pursue your interest or travel around. Your responsibilities and tasks in the project will vary and depend on your skills and interests. The project aims to provide holistic approach to caring children and your daily activities may include:

  • Teaching Basic English
  • Teaching children about health, math, science, geography, etc.
  • Creating development-enhancing activities for the children such as reading books, dancing, singing, drawing, sports, playing games, etc
  • Planning events
  • Helping the children with personal hygiene, washing their hands, brushing their teeth, etc.
  • Teaching life skills such as getting dressed, tying shoes, gardening, etc.
  • Helping with maintenance (painting, renovating, cleaning, etc)
  • Carrying out administrative tasks
Skills and Qualification

There are no specific qualifications needed to volunteer in the childcare/child development program in Thailand. However, volunteers are expected to be flexible and patient as well as possess a passion and love for children.

Teach English in Thailand (Ayutthaya and Surin)

English is in high demand worldwide and as a volunteer in Thailand teaching English, you can improve the future for children and expand their employment opportunities. The primary or secondary schools where our volunteers will teach are located in small communities. The class size ranges from 30–40 depending upon the size of the community and also upon the quality of the school. Almost all of these schools are co-education. The presence of native English speaking volunteers will create conducive environments for the children to learn and speak English. Whether you are presently studying ,simply a mature volunteer or looking for an alternative holiday, you can make a real difference as a volunteer teacher. Our teaching volunteers get opportunity to work in different environments such as primary schools and secondary schools (on request) and they can benefit by supplying these students with much-needed conversational English while providing a solid foundation to meet their needs and ultimately make them attractive in Thailand’s growing job market.

School will remain closed in Surin and Ayuthaya, Thailand from mid March to mid May and from mid September to end of October because of holidays. There won’t be any project in Surin. In Ayuthaya, volunteers will teach extra classes and participate in extra-curricular activities organized by the school.

Project/Volunteer's Life

As a volunteer teaching English in Thailand, you will work 4 days a week. In Surin, during your work days your day will start at 8 am with a pick up and you will be brought back to your accommodation at around 3-4 pm. Our staff at the accommodation and the school will help and guide you and advice you on lesson plans and ideas.

Your responsibilities and tasks will vary depending on your skills and interests. Every volunteer in Thailand in the Teach English Program will work at a school to offer formal and informal lessons. Daily activities may include:

  • Planning lessons and curriculum development
  • Leading classes to teach basic conversational English
  • Organizing extracurricular activities such as dancing, games, music, sports, art, etc.
  • Helping children with their homework
  • Assisting school administrations
Skills and Qualification

There are no specific skills or requirements to volunteer in Rustic Volunteer’s Thailand Teach English project but volunteers must be fluent in English. Volunteers should also be flexible, patient, caring, respectful and passionate about children. While in the classroom, you must dress conservatively. It is important that volunteers in Thailand respect local religious and social customs.

Teaching English in a Buddhist School (Ayutthaya)

For many centuries, wats or Buddhist temples have served as educational institutions for young citizens of Thailand. All the temples receive donations, which are used for the maintenance of temples and its surroundings. In addition, some temples support social welfare activities to benefit local communities. Many run a school within the temple complex. In collaboration with local Thailand partners, Rustic Travel and Volunteers provide volunteers/travelers who have a passion for teaching and are interested in Thai society behind the walls of temple school. Volunteer to teach in a temple school and gain the opportunity to gain the experience teaching while at the same time, immersing yourself into the Thai culture and Buddhist religion deeply rooted in Thai society. For those interested in exploring Buddhism, this is the perfect project to grow spiritually.

Project/Volunteer's Life

As a volunteer teaching English in a Buddhist temple school in Thailand, your responsibilities and tasks will vary depending on your skills and interests. Daily activities may include:

  • Teaching English grammar, vocabulary and pronunciation
  • Planning lessons and curriculum development
  • Leading classes to teach basic conversational English
  • Organizing extracurricular activities such as dancing, games, music, sports, art, etc.
  • Helping children with their homework
  • Assisting school administrations
  • Fundraising
Skills and Qualification

There are no specific skills or requirements to volunteer in Rustic Volunteer’s Teaching English in a Buddhist Temple School in Thailand Project. Volunteers should be flexible, patient, caring, respectful and passionate about children. While in the classroom, you must dress conservatively. It is important that volunteers in Thailand respect local religious and social customs.

Healthcare/Medical Project (Surin)

Though Thailand has made rapid strides at improving the healthcare system of the country, it is still far short of providing adequate care for the masses. In remote and poorer areas, many people never receive healthcare and those who do, receive only substandard treatment. There is an extreme lack of physical therapists, doctors, nurses, hospitals and clinics and as a result, people succumb to treatable diseases. When you volunteer in Surin, you will work in a combination of the local hospitals, rural community clinics, and child care centers in addition to our own outreach program with the cooperation of Surin’s Department of Public Health and village leaders. As a healthcare volunteer in Thailand, you can make a difference in the lives of sick children and adults so they may live healthier and happier lives. This is the perfect opportunity for volunteers in the healthcare field to gain valuable professional experience, explore Thailand, its culture and most importantly, make a positive difference in the lives of others.

Project/Volunteer's Life

As a medical volunteer in Thailand, you will work 4 days a week. In Surin, during your work days, your day will start at 8 am with a pick up and you will be brought back to your accommodation at around 3-4 pm. Our staff at the accommodation and the school will help and guide you and advice you on lesson plans and ideas.

Each volunteer in Thailand working in the healthcare/medical project will have varying responsibilities and tasks and volunteer project will depend on one’s qualifications and certifications as a medical professional. Duties may include:

  • Help patients with physical therapy
  • Work in rehabilitation centers
  • Provide basic first aid and care
  • Shadow health workers, therapists, nurses or doctors
  • Work with organization administrations
  • Help in the pharmacy
  • Record patient details
  • Measure vital signs such as blood pressure, height, weight
  • Distribute medicines
  • Assist with medical procedures
  • Help incoming patients
  • Perform and assist in the in-day emergency room
  • Partner with local doctors
  • Qualified doctors can diagnose and treat patients
Skills and Qualification

A certification or an ID stating you’re a medical professional or student must be furnished prior to volunteering, as this is a volunteer project for physical therapists or nursing or medicals professionals/students. Medical students can also participate by producing an ID or a letter stating they are in the process of acquiring a medical or nursing degree. Volunteers must also be patient, flexible, responsible, enthusiastic and caring.

Construction Project (Sangklaburi)

Volunteer in Thailand and help construct a building so children who have no one to care for them can have a decent home to stay. The 38 children are currently living in a rented house, and this project – called DREAM House Project – is waiting completion so the children can be transferred to their new and vastly better house. We have dreamed of providing the children cleaner, healthier and more spacious infrastructure but we need volunteers to complete this work. Regardless of your skills and interests, Rustic Volunteer assures you will have a memorable, challenging and rewarding experience. As a volunteer in Thailand working in the Project, part of your fee is being used directly to purchase the required materials. Your physical presence on the site is helping to shelter and care for these kids. You will be making a very real difference to the lives of these children.

Project/Volunteer's Life

Volunteer work here is 5 days a week. The project will progress in 3 phases. In the first phase, foundation of the building will be laid after clearing the ground. Following this, a building will be constructed to house 150 children. After this, other infrastructures like cooking area, shower and classrooms will be constructed. During the project, our volunteers will be helped by local staffs. Your daily activities may include:

  • Building an orphanage (D*R*E*A*M House Development Project)
  • Painting
  • Improving community centers
  • Helping local organizations with administrative tasks
Skills and Qualification

There are no specific qualifications needed to volunteer in the school/orphanage building program in Thailand. However, volunteers are expected to be flexible, patient, motivated, hard working and enthusiastic about community projects and international development. Good physical conditions may be necessary to carry out projects.

Elephant Conservation Project (Surin)

Throughout Thailand, Surin is known as the region of domesticated elephants. Surin in fact hosts elephant festivals also. The elephants are domesticated to run various chores for the owners who make a healthy profit out of this. But as the elephants get old, sick and wounded, the owners do not provide them sufficient care for them. Many elephants are often sold to people who take these old and sick elephants to cities, where they are made to stand on a hot tarmac road as their new owners beg for money to care the elephants. To help prevent this from happening, the elephant project is looking after these elephants.

As a volunteer in the elephant project in Thailand, you will have the unique opportunity to care for elephants as you work with local organization for their conservation and welfare. You will work with elephants to provide daily care (feeding, bathing, etc) from elephant handlers, known as “mahouts”. From them, volunteers will learn how to carefully and efficiently care for such great creatures. As you get to know the elephants you work with, you will begin to learn how to recognize their sounds, movements, moods and feelings as well as their individual traits and temperaments. Many elephants need love, care and support. As you volunteer in Thailand providing care for elephants, you will have a rewarding experience as you immerse yourself into Thai culture and explore a beautiful country.

Project/Volunteer's Life

The project is located in a farming community on the outskirts of Surin. There are 30 elephants in the community and the project has reached an agreement with the community that they will not sell their elephants if we support the elephants by providing them food, medicine and help the community financially. Volunteers can expect to support local organizations with various goals as outlined by local staff and “mahouts.” Daily activities will vary, but may include:

  • Providing daily care and treatment of elephants
  • Feeding, bathing and playing with the elephants
  • Researching local resources
  • Gardening and farming
  • If necessary, providing medical care for the elephants
  • Working on conservation efforts
  • Teaching locals about animal rights

During the project, volunteers will stay 3 nights each week in the village. Meals will be included in the village stay. There is a small shop in the village from where you can purchase snacks. Volunteers are expected to help cooking meals and join in with day to day activities in the village. There is also a very real respect ethic that runs throughout Thailand and volunteers are expected to follow this at all time. Small gestures like removing shoes before entering a house, keeping shoulders covered, respect for the Royal family show huge respect.

Skills and Qualification

We do not require any skills or qualifications to volunteer in this project. You’ll however have to be passionate about working with animals. If you’re open minded and flexible during the project, you’ll enjoy your stay and achieve more.

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Rustic Volunteer arranges volunteer meals, accommodations and strong field supervision for the duration of projects and optional travel packages. Volunteers in Ayutthaya (one hour from Bangkok) stay in a volunteer home base, a permanent home established for our international volunteers. Our home base Ayutthaya is located in a very safe and clean neighborhood. There are internet cafés, restaurants, local transportation and supermarkets near our home bases. The home bases provide a comfortable place to relax after a long day. There are several bedrooms (which may be shared with a same-gender volunteer) and community areas. There are shared kitchens, a television and shared bathrooms, which have running water and "western-style" toilets.

Volunteers in Surin will stay in a volunteer houses with twin shared bedrooms and a communal living room, kitchen and bathrooms. As above, these houses are in safe neighborhoods with close proximity to local amenities, internet cafes, shops, restaurants, etc. In addition, the houses are close to our in-country staff office.

Food is included in the program fee for volunteers in AYUTTHAYA (3 local meals a day). Please note that food is NOT included in SURIN. There are many restaurants and cafes that serve very inexpensive food. We hope that volunteers explore Thai food, as we believe it is a great way to get to know Thai culture.

Rustic offers unparalleled field support to volunteers to ensure a safe and rewarding experience. There are many layers of support for you. The most important support comes from our country coordinator/field staff. The secondary support comes from the host project staff. Volunteers will have access to our country coordinator's mobile number and they are available 24/7.

Throughout the volunteer project, our local staff stays in contact with volunteers either with face-to-face visits or via email/telephone. Our field staff will visit regularly (every 2-4 weeks) to make sure things are going well and as planned. However, if placement is far from our local offices, staff members will stay in touch via email/ phone. Volunteers are also welcome to stop in the offices at any time.

Specific details regarding accommodations, food and contact details for our local coordinator will be provided in personalized volunteer placement documentation prior to arrival.

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Project Locations:

Thailand Projects VolunteersVolunteer in Thailand projects are available in Ayutthaya (the old capital of Thailand and full of history) and one hour from Bangkok (capital city; notable attractions such as the Grand Palace, Democracy Monument, Giant Swing, Sanam) and Surin (Buddhist temples, shrines and elephant festivals). Known for Muay Thai, or Thai boxing, the culture of Thailand incorporates a great deal of influence from India, China, and the rest of Southeast Asia. Like most Asian cultures, respect towards ancestors is an essential part of Thai spiritual practice. Thais have a strong sense of hospitality and generosity, but also a strong sense of social hierarchy.

Volunteers can organize different excursions during and after the project to visit places of interest. There is a tourist infrastructure already in place to use on weekends and during free time. Volunteers can visit waterfalls, lakes, markets, temples, palaces, wats, caves and enjoy riding elephants, trekking through jungles, raft down rivers, sunbathing on beaches and much more.

Major FAQs - Thailand

  • Application Process
  • Please read Rustic Volunteer's 5-step application

    • There are two options for applying to volunteer in Thailand through our program. You can apply online or you can download an application, fill it out, and mail it in to us. You will need to submit your application with a $200 deposit.
    • Once we get your application, we will immediately send it to Thailand for processing. They go over your application carefully and find the best project possible for you. The decisions for room and food are made at this time, Arrangement for room and food depends on the location of the project. The vast majority of our volunteers stay in full immersion home stays though some orphanage projects are residential.
    • Once we get the details of your placements, we pass it on to you with a final invoice. Your final payment is due six weeks before your start date, and in expedited cases, as soon as possible. The placement details have local contact information use them for contacts on your Visa application or to get in touch with the local staff and host family.
    • Preparation for trips should include reading about Thailand, immunization, travel Visa (entry permit), and booking airfare. If you face any problems our Program Manager is always available for assistance.
    • Now, once you purchase your ticket, send your flight information to our US office by fax or by email. Your flight information will be forwarded to the Thailand staff who will arrange an airport pickup.
  • Arrival Information
  • Arrival Point:

    You must fly into the Suvarnabhumi International Airport in Bangkok, Thailand, Thailand’s capital city.

    Airport Pick-up

    Upon the receipt of your flight information, our in-country coordinator or other project staff will greet the volunteers in the airport. For volunteers to Surin, if you arrive in the first Friday of the month, you will stay in Bangkok for 2 days. You will participate in the tour of the city and then leave for Surin after that. If you arrive on any other Friday, you will stay for just one day in Bangkok a representative will pick you up from the airport. We will make arrangements for you at a hotel where you will stay for one night, travelling to Surin on Saturday morning.

    The address and telephone number of the local contact hotel will be given before departure just in case volunteers miss our representative in the airport. Please make sure to e-mail your flight information to both the USA office and the local in-country coordinator's office.

    Departure Point:

    Suvarnabhumi International Airport in Bangkok, Thailand

    Airport Drop:

    Available upon request. Most are very familiar and comfortable with their stay and have great ease taking their own taxi or bus back to the airport.

    Internal Transportation:

    Rustic Volunteer manages one-way transportation to project. Volunteers will be responsible for their own personal and return travel. We do not cover daily transportation from the home bases to the projects.Our program is designed to save you the volunteer as much as possible.

    Start Dates:

    preferably first Friday, other Fridays maybe available

    Arrival Before Start Date:

    For Surin, your arrival day is Friday. If you arrive more than one day early or stay after the program, you will be responsible for your accommodations.

    Working Hours:

    30- 40 hours per week

  • Visa
  • Rustic strongly suggest that all volunteers apply for a tourist visa in a timely manner before departing for Thailand. If you are coming from the United States, a visa is not required until you are at customs in Bangkok. Please call our office or contact the local Thailand embassy to learn more about a visa, visa fees, and visa extensions. Getting your tourist visa is your responsibility.

  • Health & Safety
  • Thailand has adequate medical care available. Please be informed about the risks of international travel and possible concerns of Thailand. Here are some recommended sites:

    WHO website for international travelers ( http://www.who.int/csr/ihr/en/ )

    General Health Tips for volunteer in Thailand:

    • Drink only bottled or boiled water, or carbonated (bubbly) drinks in cans or bottles. Avoid tap water, fountain drinks, and ice cubes. If this is not possible, make water safer by both filtering through an "absolute 1 micron or less" filter AND adding iodine tablets to the filtered water. "Absolute 1 micron filters" are found in camping/outdoor supply stores.
    • Buy bottled water from respectable outlets to guard against stomach upsets. Make sure that the seal of the bottle is intact to avoid being sold tap water in a resealed bottle.
    • Watch out for spicy dishes, especially at the outset of your tour. Avoid eating food from roadside stalls. Don't eat unpeeled fruits and avoid fresh salads, especially in small hotels. If you are forced to eat food at some place that you have doubts about, make sure the food is served hot.
    • Always use an insect repellent if you find yourself in a mosquito-prone area. But remember, not every place is mosquito-infested and low temperatures in winters (when most tourists come to Thailand) kill most bugs in the northern plains and hills.
    • If traveling in scorching heat, remember to drink enough water, use hats, sunglasses & UV lotions. Beware of the health effects that the mid day sun may cause, most importantly SUN BURN or DEHYDRATION.
    • Pharmacies or chemists are available in every little town and village and you can buy medication. In case you need to see a doctor for a specific condition, ask for help from your hotel (most have doctors on call) or your tour operator. The cost of visiting a doctor is fairly low (less than a dollar) compared to western countries.
    • In Thailand, most modern medicines are available over the counters in drugstores, but it is wise with any prescription drugs you require, bring enough for the duration of the trip. It is advisable that you carry a small health kit which should include remedy for upset stomachs, some antiseptic cream, mosquito repellant, sun block, band aids, etc.
  • Vaccination
  • We recommend all volunteer/participants visit the Center for Disease Control's website (www.cdc.gov ) for traveler's health recommendations. Your travel doctor will be knowledgeable about current epidemics and should be consulted.

    Recommended Vaccinations and Preventive Medications

    The following vaccines may be recommended for your travel to Thailand. Discuss your travel plans and personal health with a health-care provider to determine which vaccines you will need.

    • Hepatitis A or immune globulin (IG). Transmission of hepatitis A virus can occur through direct person-to-person contact; through exposure to contaminated water, ice, or shellfish harvested in contaminated water; or from fruits, vegetables, or other foods that are eaten uncooked and that were contaminated during harvesting or subsequent handling.
    • Hepatitis B , especially if you might be exposed to blood or body fluids (for example, health-care workers), have sexual contact with the local population, or be exposed through medical treatment. Hepatitis B vaccine is now recommended for all infants and for children ages 11-12 years who did not receive the series as infants.
    • Malaria: if you are traveling to a malaria-risk area in this region, see your health care provider for a prescription anti-malarial drug. For details concerning risk and preventive medications, see Malaria Information for Travelers to South America and Mexico .
    • Rabies , if you experience extensive unprotected outdoor exposure in rural areas, such as might occur during camping, hiking, or bicycling, or engaging in certain occupational activities.
    • Typhoid vaccine. Typhoid fever can be contracted through contaminated drinking water or food, or by eating food or drinking beverages that have been handled by a person who is infected. Large outbreaks are most often related to fecal contamination of water supplies or foods sold by street vendors
    • Yellow fever for travelers to endemic areas in Thailand
    • As needed, booster doses for tetanus-diphtheria and measles .
    • The best prevention of mosquito born diseases is long-sleeves and pants (especially in the early evening) in addition to using insect repellants. There are some areas where malaria is a risk in Thailand, and there are other mosquito-carried/transmitted diseases, such as dengue, that are just as bad and there is no vaccine, just prevention through clothing and repellent.
  • Money Matter
  • What is the exchange rate? Where should I change my dollar? Can I use debit card and/or credit card? Should I bring traveler's check?

    Find the Exchange Rate of the Thai Baht http://www.xe.com/ucc/

    The local currency is the Thai Baht. You can change your money upon arrival to Bangkok International Airport (BKK). There are many bank counters at the airport. We suggest you change $400 in the beginning as you can change money in any bank (some banks are near to our office).

    Your credit card information can be stolen and used fraudulently just by making a credit card payment. For this reason, cash and travelers checks are suggested to settle most accounts. You will have trouble paying with traveler's checks, but you will be able to exchange them at local banks. Traveler's checks are recommended as a safe way to carry money with you, make sure you write down the check numbers and contact information you need to cancel stolen checks. Different brands of traveler's checks work better in different countries so consult your local financial institution about which company you should buy your checks from.

    Travelers should have a credit card for large and emergency purchases so you won't go broke if something goes wrong. If you've requested a pin number for your credit card, you can use it to get cash advances at the ATM.

    You can also carry a debit card that can be used at ATM's to withdraw local currency. Debit card is the best way of getting money and ATM vendors are available in major bank and department stores. Visa, MasterCard and American Express are accepted in some of the large stores and hotels in larger cities but not accepted in smaller cities.

    How much money you bring depends on your personal spending habits. Thrifty people can get by on less than $10/day. Your budget should also include money to explore Thailand in free time as well as for your personal use. A good rule of thumb for money management is the 1/3 method, bring 1/3 cash, 1/3 traveler's check and leave 1/3 of your money in your account - plus a credit card.

  • Field Support and Supervision
  • How does Rustic Volunteer help me when I am in the field? How can I maintain communication? Does Rustic Volunteer visit volunteers?

    Once the volunteer program starts, our local staff members stay in touch with volunteers. We visit our volunteers every 2 weeks (if possible) and you are always welcome at the office. We recommend that the volunteers stop by the office once a week if they are in the local area just to let us know how they are doing with their home stay and project. Many minor issues can be overcome through a little communication long before they become major issues - ensuring that your trip is exactly what you had hoped for. Your project will have local staff members as well, though not our own. If your project is very far, then our local staff maintains communication by either email and/or phone. We are available to you at the office, by email, and by phone for your entire trip. It is our job to make sure that you are safe and healthy.

  • Communication
  • Volunteers are requested to bring their mobile phone. Once you arrive in Thailand, you can change your sim card and use it. This is the perfect way to stay in touch with your family and Rustic Volunteer office in Thailand. There are various Internet cafes in Bangkok and Surin. There are also international phone cards available to make international calls on pay phones.

  • Climate of Thailand
  • Take advantage of the Internet, which can bring you current weather and forecasts for your destination:

    Thailand's climate is tropical, high both in temperature and humidity, and dominated by monsoons. April and May are the hottest months of the year, when even the locals are moved to complain about the heat. June sees the beginning of the South West Monsoon, and brings with it the rainy season, which continues intermittently until the end of October.

    From November to the end of February the climate is much less trying with a cooling North East breeze and a reduction in the humidity level. This is also the main tourist season, and the best time to visit Thailand.

    The north and northeast are generally cooler than Bangkok in winter and hotter in summer. In the far north, around Mae Hong Son temperatures can occasionally drop as low as 2 degrees C.

  • Gift for Host Family and Project
  • What gifts should I bring for my project and/or host family?

    It is a common courtesy to bring a small gift for the staff that will be hosting you. You are not required to do so, but if you choose to bring something it can be pretty simple. We suggest a box of chocolates, a t-shirt with a hometown/country logo, or pictures of your family and local post cards. If you want to bring gifts for your project and if you are working for an orphanage or a school, please bring pencils, pens and paper, art supplies like markers and construction paper pads, as well as games for the children to enjoy. Remember that every child will need these items so you may wish to bring enough for a number of children.

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