Hill Tribe Support Volunteer Project in Thailand - Hua Hin
Excited to be a Hill Tribe Support volunteer in Thailand - Hua Hin? International Volunteer HQ’s Hill Tribe Support project is a great opportunity to have a unique and authentic volunteer experience living with and assisting a Karen hill tribe. Volunteers immerse themselves in the Karen way of life and learn about their culture and traditions while helping the local community with education and other tasks as required.
- Programs start every first and third Monday of the month
- Affordable fees from $280 for 1 week
- Includes accommodation, meals, airport pick up, orientation and 24/7 support
- Immerse yourself in the community, living like a local and teaching English
- Discover Thailand's diverse culture and stunning natural environments
- Stay with other volunteers on-site at Kaeng Krachan National Park
Who is this program suited to?
What to expect and how you'll make an impact
Hill Tribes around Hua Hin maintain a traditional way of life but have an increasing need for access to modern education. As a volunteer, you’re able to support a Karen hill tribe to continue their traditions and protect their culture while also providing much needed help in English and other lessons. In return, you’ll get an authentic volunteer experience living like a local and learning all about their unique lifestyle.
Based in Kaeng Krachan, just over an hour’s drive from Hua Hin, volunteers mostly help with lessons in local schools, working with students aged between 3 and 15 years old. Duties often include:
- Teaching English
- Helping with lessons in other subjects
- Providing after school activities and games
Volunteers can also help in other areas that need assistance, often in supporting local enterprise efforts designed to earn income for the community. The exact nature of this volunteer work depends on the requirements at the time. The project will close in school holidays from mid-May to mid-March and in October. Volunteers during these times can help to run classes and English camps in Hua Hin.
Why do Hill Tribe Support volunteering in Hua Hin with IVHQ?
When you volunteer with hill tribes in Thailand you’ll be adding value to the local community, while also developing personally and professionally by:
- Supporting hill tribes to continue their traditional way of life
- Helping teach English and other subjects to local people
- Developing your communication skills
- Gaining new skills and experiences
- Immersing yourself in Karen culture
- Exploring Kaeng Krachan National Park
- Volunteers under the age of 18 must be accompanied by a parent or guardian to participate in this program
- All volunteers aged 13+ are required to provide a criminal background check to IVHQ prior to departure. Those aged 13-17, if unable to obtain a criminal background check, can provide two character reference letters instead
- All volunteers are required to have adequate volunteer travel insurance
- All volunteers must speak fluent English.
Recommended online TEFL course
We encourage volunteers on IVHQ’s Teaching and Childcare projects to come prepared by completing some relevant training, such as a Teaching English as a Foreign Language (TEFL) course. Although formal teaching qualifications are not required on these projects as volunteers are supported by local staff, taking a TEFL course enables you to gain more from the experience. Visit our Online TEFL Course page to learn how to gain an internationally recognized TEFL certification at a discounted rate.Get TEFL certified online
”There were many memorable moments - some favorites were seeing wild elephants, getting to know the students, and going jet skiing on the beach. Thailand is amazing and I enjoyed every aspect of the Hill Tribe environment.”
Read reviews from Hill Tribe Support volunteers in Hua HinSee more reviews
Hua Hin is a city on the southern coast of Thailand, a three-hour drive from Bangkok. It’s a region renowned for its beautiful beaches and interesting history, making it an incredible destination to explore and truly get to know as a volunteer. Hua Hin is where orientation and general administration are carried out by our local team. The Hill Tribe Support project is set in Thailand’s largest national park, Kaeng Krachan. The park is replete with amazing views, walks and a unique lifestyle that can’t be found anywhere else.
Arrival and orientation
The Thailand - Hua Hin volunteer program begins every Monday, and you need to arrive in Bangkok for pickup on Sunday before your chosen start date, prior to 3:00 PM. After you have registered for the program, please book your flights to arrive at Suvarnabhumi International Airport (BKK) or Don Mueang Airport (DMK). Your airport pick-up in Bangkok is included in your Program Fee if you arrive on Saturday or prior to 3:00 PM on Sunday.
When you arrive, you will be greeted at the airport by a member of the local team who will escort you to the airport shuttle terminal where you will catch the three-hour shuttle to Hua Hin. Once in Hua Hin, our local team will meet you at the shuttle terminal and take you to the volunteer accommodation, which is a further 20-minute drive. Your accommodation is covered by your Program Fee and includes the Sunday night prior to your program orientation.
If you are traveling in Thailand prior to your volunteer program, we can arrange for you to be picked up from a meeting point in Bangkok at 3:45 PM on the Sunday before your program start date or you can make your own way to Hua Hin.
Orientation is hosted on Monday by our local team in Hua Hin and runs for the entire day. Orientation covers everything you need to know for your volunteer program in Thailand – introduction to Thailand, Thai customs, rules and expectations, safety, travel opportunities in Thailand, and an introduction to your project and placement. The orientation will also give you a chance to meet other volunteers and swap contact details for weekend travel and socializing.
After orientation, the local team will take you to your Hill Tribe Support placement.
Volunteer schedule example
|8:00 AM||Breakfast at the volunteer accommodation|
|9:00 AM||Volunteer work begins. Work and hours are dependent on the project and placement that each volunteer is working at. Lunch breaks can also vary in time depending on the working schedule, but all volunteers get some time to eat and relax|
|12:00 PM||Lunch at the accommodation or placement. If your project calls for it, you may be involved in more afternoon volunteer activities|
|6:00 PM||Dinner at the volunteer accommodation|
Evenings - Volunteers have free time to spend as they wish; however, many volunteers use this time to plan lessons or do extra work for their projects.
As the working week runs from Tuesday to Saturday, Sunday and Monday are considered the weekend for volunteers on the Thailand program.
Hua Hin is a resort city where you plonk yourself under an umbrella on a stretch of sugar-white beach, play a round at one of the 12 golf courses nearby, haggle over handicrafts at a night market, get pummelled into relaxation with a traditional Thai massage, fly across the azure water on a kiteboard or indulge in the local cuisine and freshly caught seafood.
You can also travel further afield in Thailand, heading north to Bangkok three hours away, or south to popular tourist destinations in Phuket, Krabi and Surat Thani.
Accommodation and WiFi
You will have the unique opportunity to live within the Karen Hill tribe community, as volunteers on this project are accommodated in a communal living environment located on-site at your placement.
You can expect to share a room with about three other volunteers of the same gender. As the placement is in a rural setting, you should expect living conditions to be basic. Thin, traditional Thai mattresses are provided and are usually placed on the floor. Basic bedding is provided in the form of a sheet and pillow, but you will need to bring your own towel.
The accommodation has shared bathrooms equipped with western toilets, cold showers and cold running water.
Staff do clean the accommodation throughout the week; however, volunteers are required to keep their rooms tidy.
WiFi is not available in the volunteer accommodation for Hill Tribe Support volunteers but a local SIM card with data can be used in unlocked phones.
You will receive three meals a day during the week and brunch and dinner on the weekend. All meals served at the accommodation are homestyle, vegetarian-friendly and will be typically Thai cuisine, including plenty of rice or noodle dishes with vegetables. Occasionally some meat will be provided as well, along with seasonal fruits for dessert.
Traditional Thai cuisine is designed to appeal to the four fundamental taste senses with a balance of sour, sweet, salty, and bitter flavors. Common ingredients in Thai cooking include fish sauce, shrimp paste, chili paste, coconut milk, and lime juice. Staple foods include rice, rice noodles, vegetables, and herbs.
If you have any special dietary requirements, please let us know when you apply for the program so we can make arrangements for you. While we do our best to accommodate volunteer needs, most meals provided are local cuisine and you may wish to supplement the menu with your own foods and snacks which can be purchased from convenience stores nearby if required.
Due 30 days before you start, or within 48 hours if you register inside of 30 days. Covers the cost of hosting you.
|1 week||$280 Equivalent to $40/day|
|2 weeks||$440 Equivalent to $32/day|
|3 weeks||$600 Equivalent to $29/day|
|4 weeks||$760 Equivalent to $28/day|
|5 weeks||$920 Equivalent to $27/day|
|6 weeks||$1,080 Equivalent to $26/day|
|8 weeks||$1,320 Equivalent to $24/day|
|10 weeks||$1,560 Equivalent to $23/day|
|12 weeks||$1,800 Equivalent to $22/day|
- 24/7 in-country support
- In-country program orientation
- Pre-departure support from your Program Manager
- Airport pick-up
- Personalized preparation tools, guides and check lists
- Access to IVHQ’s preferred insurance and flights partners
- Certificate of International Volunteering
- All programs attract a Registration Fee of $299 in addition to the Program Fee. This covers all pre-departure support services.
- A 5% international banking fee is added at point of payment.
- Additional things to budget for include: Visa, flights, travel insurance (mandatory), vaccinations, criminal background check, public transport to and from your placement each day and return to the airport when your program finishes.
- Recommended spending money: Volunteers in Thailand generally find US$50-100 per week to be sufficient for expenses.
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Safety and support
IVHQ follows best practice and industry-leading health and safety procedures, which are regularly reviewed and optimized as part of the B Corporation recertification.
- All volunteers encouraged to complete our interactive pre-departure training.
- All local teams trained on best practice volunteer management & First Aid.
- All IVHQ programs are required to adhere to IVHQ's Risk Management Policy.
- All volunteers have access to 24/7 in-country support from our local team.
Protecting against COVID-19:
Volunteers tested for COVID-19 within 72 hours of travel
Health & safety information provided during orientation
Strict disinfecting standards for programs & accomodation
Greater physical distance between volunteers
Essential country information
|Currency||Thai Baht (THB)|
Weather and climate
The climate in Thailand varies between the north and south regions although the temperature is relatively hot year-round throughout the country. The southern coastal region is characterized by a monsoon climate, which brings heavy rainfall from April to October in the South West and from September to December in the South East. In central and northern inland parts of Thailand, the climate is tropical with the rainy season lasting from May to November, bringing hot and humid weather. During the dry season, temperatures are cool from November to February and are hot from March to May.
Hua Hin has a warm tropical climate with temperatures fairly consistent throughout the year. December–April hosts the dry season before the monsoon rains arrive in May. Over the course of the year, the temperatures typically vary from 72°F (22°C) to 92°F (33°C).