Thailand Buddhist Traditions, Trekking, and Community Service
Spend five weeks exploring Buddhist temples, experiencing rural village life, and traveling through some of the most beautiful landscapes in Southeast Asia.
Orientation in Chiang Mai
A city surrounded by soaring mountains and home to hundreds of ancient temples, Chiang Mai is the perfect introduction to Thailand. During your weeklong orientation, enjoy survival Thai language classes, explore local markets, participate in Thai cooking workshops, visit the Tribal Museum, and experience a traditional dinner and an evening of classical Thai dancing.
Spend two weeks living with your new Thai family in a rural village surrounded by rice paddy fields and lush hills outside of Chiang Mai. Experience the village and surrounding area as you bike to remote villages on earthen paths, learn from local wood carvers, cook noodles with your host mother over wood-fired woks, and share conversation with monks in the courtyards of colorful temples.
Your understanding of Thai culture and rural life deepens as you work closely with host family members, village children, and local monks on service projects designed by the community. Whether it’s teaching in a local school, repairing a Buddhist temple, or planting rice, your efforts enable you to become a member of a village community.
Sample service projects: Teach English to young children; work on village building repairs; paint ancient temples with local monks; work with farmers in the rice paddies.
Jungle Trek and Discovery
Explore northern Thailand by foot, raft, and elephant on a gorgeous trek through remote hill tribe villages. Your Thai adventure comes to an end with a few days in bustling Bangkok.
Sample activities: Trek the northern region’s tropical valleys and highlands; discover historic ruins and Buddhist temples; ride a bamboo raft down interior rivers; see an elephant training camp; visit Bangkok’s ornate Grand Palace and sacred Temple of the Emerald Buddha; explore cafés, floating markets, and busy streets.
"During our two-week homestay in the village of Ban Hua Fai, I only stayed with one family, but it felt as if the whole community was taking care of me."
-- Zoë Johnson
New York, New York
June 24, 2013 - July 31, 2013
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