Free Time –Ayutthaya, Chiang Mai & Surin
During your volunteer project in Thailand you will generally be working five hours a day from Monday to Friday. Thus, you have time in the mornings and evenings to sightsee and explore the area around your volunteer placement, whether it’s Surin, Chiang Mai or Ayutthaya.
Ayutthaya is an area of immense historical significance. Once the capital of Thailand, it is filled with breathtaking ruins and temples and an evening spent on a river cruise as the sun sets should not be missed.
Surin is decidedly more rural and is most famous for its elephants and tradition of silk farming. The area is very off the beaten track, and few tourists ever make it here, meaning you’ll be far away from the tourist crowds. The main activities in this part of Thailand generally involve trekking through amazing scenery and discovering its rich nature and wildlife. Chiang Mai is famous for its beautiful ancient temples. The striking mountainous landscape around the city provides a lot of wonderful natural attractions and is home to two tribal villages.
You will generally have two or three days free on the weekend to go on longer tours and excursions all across Thailand. If your Thailand volunteer project is in Surin, you’ll be close enough to the Cambodian border that you can use this time to explore not only Thailand, but Cambodia as well! We’ve compiled a list of some amazing places to visit in Thailand below. This list is not comprehensive by any means but can serve as a great starting point for your travels in the country.
Jim Thompson House
The Jim Thompson House is a great way to get a break from the concrete jungle of Bangkok. Built in 1959 by American architect and businessman Jim Thompson, it was turned into a museum following his disappearance and now maintains an air of peaceful serenity as foliage blends with the architecture of the site.
Wat Pho is one of the most famous temples in Bangkok, and perhaps one of the most famous temples in all of Buddhism. It is here that the enormous reclining Buddha makes its home, and a visit to marvel at the sheer size of this wonder should not be skipped during your Thailand volunteer trip.
Sukhothai Historical Park
Once the capital of the Sukhothai Kingdom in the 13th and 14th centuries, the Sukhothai Historical Park contains more than 190 separate ruins located in a 70 square kilometer area. Declared as a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1991, the ruins attract thousands of visitors each year, and for good reason.
Erawan National Park
The Erawan National Park is located in western Thailand and is known for its amazing waterfalls and caverns. The eponymous Erawan waterfall is a stunning sight that cascades down over seven tiers for 1500 meters through dense jungle. The park also contains multitudes of wildlife like deer and even elephants and we suggest not miss visiting this place during your volunteer program in Thailand.
Some other interesting destinations you can visit while in Thailand are:
Visit Chatuchak Weekend Market, the largest market in the world
Wander around Wat Phra Kaew and see the Emerald Buddha
Spend time at Wat Phra That Lampang Luang, a famous wooden Lana temple
Visit Wat Phumin to see its famous Murals