Volunteer in Thailand

Be a part of impactful conservation work.

Whether you’re breathing in the lush jungle mist while hiking the forests of the north, or snorkelling in the blue waters off the southern coast, paradise is never far away in Thailand. With adventure waiting at every turn, you’ll have the opportunity to immerse yourself in some of the planet’s most biodiverse habitats, from lush rainforests to vibrant coral reefs teeming with marine life.

Overview

When you join a volunteer program in Thailand, you’ll get to explore its northern and southern regions surrounded by jungle-covered mountains, golden beaches, artfully detailed temples and experience a diversity of cultures. 

Contribute to elephant conservation initiatives in the mountains of Chiang Mai, conduct marine conservation research on the southern coast in Ao Nang or assist with wildlife rehabilitation initiatives in lush rainforests. Working alongside our partners on the ground, you’ll gain hands-on experience in conservation and get to work on projects with sustainable long-term goals. Whether you’re passionate about marine biology, wildlife conservation or simply want to give back while travelling, GVI’s volunteer opportunities in Thailand provide an opportunity to make a difference and create unforgettable memories.

All of our volunteer programs in Thailand directly contribute to the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (UN SDGs), specifically UN SDG 5: Life on Land and UN SDG 14: Life Below Water. Here we collaborate with local communities and organisations dedicated to the preservation of the region’s marine, coastal and island habitats and species. When you volunteer in Thailand, you can support the protection of the region’s threatened sea turtles and dugongs, elephants rescued from the tourism industry, endangered gibbons, or join projects that support public health and education.

When you volunteer in Thailand you can choose from a variety of projects focused on: 

Our programs

Volunteering
Coastal Conservation Expedition in Thailand
Volunteering
Volunteer with Elephants in Thailand
Under 18
Sea Turtle Conservation and Adventure Teen Volunteering in Thailand
Volunteering
Gibbon Conservation Volunteering in Thailand
Volunteering
Endangered Turtle and Dugong Conservation and Research in Thailand
Internship
Elephant Conservation Internship in Thailand
Research Fellowship
Coastal conservation research fellowship in Thailand
Internship
Coastal Conservation Internship in Thailand
Internship
Sea Turtle Conservation Internship in Thailand
Research Fellowship
Wildlife conservation research fellowship in Thailand
Internship
Gibbon Conservation Internship in Thailand
Volunteering
Elephant and Endangered Sea Turtle Coastal Conservation in Thailand
Volunteering
Plastic Pollution and Conservation In Thailand
Professional Apprenticeship
PADI Divemaster and Marine Conservation Apprenticeship in Oceania and the Thai Islands
Volunteering
Marine, Island and Coastal Conservation Exploration in Fiji and Thailand
Volunteering
Citizen science bird conservation in Thailand
Professional Apprenticeship
Coastal Conservation Apprenticeship in Thailand
Volunteering
Coral Reef Conservation in Thailand
Professional Apprenticeship
Elephant and Wildlife Conservation Apprenticeship in Thailand
Professional Apprenticeship
PADI Divemaster and Marine Conservation Apprenticeship in the Indian Ocean
Included in your program, at no extra cost

Make the most of our unique programs with these exclusively curated local adventure and wellness experiences.

Offered once a month, expand your adventure with GVI Experiences. These are just some of the activities offered on your program!
Learn traditional Karen cooking
Learn traditional Karen cooking
Connect with the Karen people's culture
Connect with the Karen people's culture
Forage for forest medicine with a village elder
Forage for forest medicine with a village elder
Visit Thailand's highest peak
Visit Thailand's highest peak
Explore Thailand's elegant and mysterious waterfalls
Explore Thailand's elegant and mysterious waterfalls
See amazing biodiversity on a night trek
See amazing biodiversity on a night trek
Take a sunrise hike up Two Tree Hill
Take a sunrise hike up Two Tree Hill
Sleep under the stars alongside Asian elephants
Sleep under the stars alongside Asian elephants
Types of programs

Volunteering programs in Thailand

Volunteer with elephants

On this program you’ll work with elephants in Thailand who have a complex history of working in the country’s tourism industry. Based in a local Karen cultural village, about an hour’s journey from Chiang Mai, you’ll assist GVI staff and local community members with reintegrating elephants into more natural settings. Alongside local mahouts, you will have the opportunity to volunteer with elephants in the area’s expansive forest grounds. To maintain the health and safety of these cognitively advanced land animals, elephants in Thailand’s Chiang Mai province receive health checks and live in secluded forest territories. 

The program consists of hiking expeditions where you’ll be recording elephant behavioural data, taking note of the elephants’ sensory reactions to their environment, food sources, and other elephants. There will also be opportunities to learn how to identify the biodiversity in the area. While on the program you will be living and working with local community members, giving you an opportunity to connect with them and learn about their culture.

We always adhere to the highest standards of ethical best practice in international sustainable development and our elephant volunteering program in Thailand is no exception. You can learn more about how to ethically volunteer with elephants

Endangered turtle and dugong conservation and research

Join GVI in Thailand’s southern province of Krabi to participate in endangered sea turtle and dugong conservation efforts. 

Participants can gather data and conduct wildlife surveys to understand how populations change. They’ll help use drones to track climate change impacts and assist with restoring forests, mangroves, seagrasses and corals. Activities include underwater surveys while snorkelling and data analysis. Plus, they can lend a hand with coral restoration during low tide.

There are also plenty of opportunities to get involved in other coastal conservation projects – like conducting plastic cleanups and encouraging effective waste practices and plastic reduction in the local community. 

Sea turtle conservation and adventure teen volunteering

GVI’s teen volunteer program in Southern Thailand offers a sustainable way for 15–17 year olds to experience the region’s incredible biodiversity and cultural landmarks. 

After volunteering in projects such as turtle conservation and collecting marine debris, teens can go on guided tours to learn about responsible tourism and Thai culture. With the program’s focus on health and safety, GVI has been compliant with British Standards 8848 since 2012. Joining an international group of like-minded teens, this program is a fantastic opportunity to make new friends, experience Thailand and contribute to a sustainable future.

Thailand coastal conservation expedition

This all-encompassing expedition in Ao Nang offers an opportunity to contribute to the conservation of Thailand’s natural environment while living and working with international volunteers. Participants will assist with sea turtle and dugong conservation, plastic pollution prevention, biodiversity monitoring and environmental education. The region’s natural beauty – including limestone cliffs and endangered species – has made it a popular destination for tourists, but plastic pollution, unsustainable practices and climate change pose serious threats.

The negative impacts of these threats not only harm Thailand’s wildlife but also have economic consequences as tourism is a significant source of income for the country. Joining this program offers a chance to make a difference and contribute to a more sustainable future while experiencing the beauty of Thailand’s natural environment.

Gibbon conservation volunteering

Volunteering with endangered gibbons in Chiang Mai offers a unique opportunity to experience the natural beauty of Northern Thailand’s mountains and forests while contributing to the conservation of these fascinating primates. You will assist conservationists in tracking, photographing, and documenting the behaviour of the white-handed gibbon, and learning about their ecology. 

Here you will be assisting with planning and preparing surveys and GPS tracks, setting up camera traps, taking photographs, recording gibbon sounds and observations on data sheets, and entering the data into a central database system. In addition to working with gibbons, you can also participate in morning elephant hikes, collect behavioural data on resident Asian elephants, and interact with local families in the Karen community through various workshops. By volunteering, you’ll be contributing to the conservation of the local gibbon population and assisting scientists in gathering more knowledge about their ecology and conservation status.

Elephant and endangered sea turtle coastal conservation

On this wildlife conservation program you’ll contribute to the preservation of two endangered species green sea turtles and  Asian elephants. 

The program is divided into two parts. In the coastal province of Krabi, you’ll work on endangered sea turtle and dugong conservation initiatives in collaboration with local partner organisations. In a Karen hill tribe village north of Chiang Mai, you’ll assist with reintroducing Asian elephants to their natural forest habitat.

Along with these conservation efforts, you’ll have free time to explore the stunning landscapes and cultural sites of both regions. Gain valuable conservation experience, immerse yourself in Thai culture, and make a positive impact on the preservation of two endangered species in Thailand. 

 

Along with the above volunteer programs, GVI also offers the following internship and research fellowship programs in Thailand:

 

 

By participating in any of these projects, you will be supporting UN SDG 14: Life Below Water and UN SDG 15: Life on Land.

Location

Where can I volunteer in Thailand with GVI?

GVI operates in two locations in Thailand.

Ao Nang

Travel to southern Thailand to live and volunteer in Krabi, a province along the Andaman Sea. Contribute to conservation projects in a region consisting of mangrove forests, limestone cliffs, white-sand beaches and tropical islets. On the weekend, or after your GVI volunteering project, you can visit Ao Phang Nga National Park to learn about the largest mangrove forest in Thailand. 

Along with local community members and conservation organisations, GVI works towards marine conservation, environmental awareness and educational enhancement objectives. 

If you are looking for a Thailand volunteer experience that combines tropical landscapes with meaningful sustainable development, a GVI program in Ao Nang is the one for you. You’ll have the opportunity to assist in preserving endangered sea turtle and dugong populations. 

Chiang Mai

When you volunteer in Thailand’s northern region you will be surrounded by mountainous scenery. You will be living and working within a traditional Karen village community, a five-hour journey from the city of Chiang Mai into the mountains. Here, you will collaborate with local community members to support wildlife conservation and community development projects. Volunteer with elephants who have previously worked in the tourism industry. You will assist local mahout’s and GVI staff to reintegrate the world’s largest living land animals into vast territories in nearby forests. Get involved in elephant health checks and learn about the habitats, adaptations and behaviours of Thailand’s elephants.

Why Thailand?

Why volunteer in T