Bangkok – Kanchanaburi – Pattaya – Chiang Mai – Lampang – Chiang Rai

9 days

Bangkok – Kanchanaburi – Pattaya – Chiang Mai – Lampang – Chiang Rai

9 days

ITINERARY HIGHLIGHTS

  • Insight to how The Foundation for Children helps in improving lives of underpriviliged children
  • Bring smiles to Karen ethnic children in a remote village school with a basic English lesson
  • Volunteer your time caring for elephants at the world’s first elephant hospital
  • Days 1-2: Bangkok – Kanchanaburi | Assisting Underprivileged Children

    Thailand’s capital, Bangkok, ranks as one of the world’s top tourist destinations, popular for its street food, shopping, nightlife and inherent Buddhist culture. Few international cities like Bangkok can seamlessly balance east meets west and tradition and modernity. Head to Kanchanaburi, a province 130km (80mi) west of Bangkok, noteworthy for its ancient civilization and World War II history. We spend time at ‘Moo Ban Dek’, a jungle home for underprivileged children located amongst evergreen forests. Here, a registered Nonprofit Thai Organisation, The Foundation for Children, provides free education and accommodation to children who are disadvantaged, impoverished and originate from abusive backgrounds. The Foundation believes that by offering a pristine natural environment, with loving care, freedom, empathy and encouragement, children’s emotional stresses and behavioral deviations can be healed.

  • Day 3: Pattaya | A Different Side of Pattaya

    Located southeast of Bangkok, Pattaya was one of Thailand’s first beach resorts in the 1960s. Today the beach city is still popular with tourists, but has gained notoriety as an Asian sex capital, with its seamy go-go clubs, massage parlours and exploitation of underage workers. The most profitable sector of the Thailand’s lucrative tourism industry is sex tourism. Fittingly based in Pattaya, founded in 1999 as a Non-Governmental Organisation (NGO), The “Tama Center,” seeks to provide hope for these sex industry workers. The centre encourages the girls to break free and become independent, with social programmes covering health care, rehabilitation, training and vocational placement. We spend half a day at this centre, hearing personal stories and seeing how lives are transformed for a better future.

  • Day 4: Bangkok – Chiang Mai | Teaching English in a Remote Village School

    Known as Thailand’s ‘Rose of the North,’ Chiang Mai is the hub of northern Thailand and former seat of the ancient Lanna Kingdom. Chiang Mai is surrounded by mountains, pristine rainforests and peaceful countryside dotted with hill tribe villages. Inhabitants include the Karen ethnic group, who migrated across from Myanmar. Karen children in these villages are eager to learn English, but there are few local teachers with good English skills available. We join a four-hour workshop for Karen children, which helps teach very young children with no English knowledge and older children with some English knowledge. Attending this philanthropic language class affords a unique way to engage with the Karen community and learn more about Thailand’s largest ethnic group.

  • Day 5: Lampang | A Day Caring for Elephants

    Elephants have a special significance in Thai history, tradition, culture and royalty through the centuries since the old Siam. The Friends of the Asian Elephant is a Thai-registered foundation established in the 1990s, just outside Chiang Mai. Their main purpose is to care for injured, sick or abused elephants throughout Thailand, that would otherwise have nowhere to go. This is the world’s first elephant hospital and a desperately needed service. The hospital offers free care to any elephant, so far, providing medical services to over 4,000 elephant cases. A nursery launched in 2014 provides care for elephants during pregnancy, birthing and post-natal. We spend the day at this jungle sanctuary, getting up-close to these beautiful creatures as they roam freely during rehabilitation.

  • Days 6-7: Chiang Mai – Chiang Rai | Visit the School of Hope

    A journey by long-tail boat leads us to Chiang Rai, passing hill tribe villages and jungle. Based outside Chiang Rai, we head to The Development and Education Programme for Daughters and Communities Centre in the Greater Mekong Sub-region (DEPDC/GMS). For over 25 years, this Non-Profit NGO has operated to prevent and protect thousands of children and youth from exploitative human trafficking in northern Thailand. Within this major trafficking route, children continue to be, lured, forced or coerced into prostitution and other forms of forced labour. We spend time at The DEPDC’s Half Day School, where education is the key to prevention, applying educational opportunities as the pathway to protection and development. A non-formal education programme covers life skill classes and vocational training. We meet stateless and ethnic minority children and youth from the area, getting a thorough understanding of their lives and engaging with them as they participate in educational activities.

  • Day 8: Chiang Rai – Bangkok | Temples & Grand Palace

    Our final day is spent sightseeing in Bangkok. We explore the city’s myriad of waterways and canals, the so-called ‘Venice of the East’ by long-tail boat. A highlight is riverside Wat Arun, one of Bangkok’s most iconic structures, an impressive temple noteworthy for its its unique architectural design, an 82m (269ft) high Khmer-style tower. A visit to the magnificent Grand Palace, Bangkok’s biggest tourist attraction, most historic monument and pilgrimage destination, is a must. An informative guided tour takes us through the sprawling complex containing 100-plus royal heritage buildings, for 200 years, the former residence of successive kings. The most important section is Wat Phra Kaeo, home to the 14th century Emerald Green Buddha, Thailand’s holiest Buddhist site.

  • Day 9: Departure

    Transfer to Bangkok airport for your onward flight.

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