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Volunteer Hill Tribe Village

In a natural park on the slopes of Doi Inthanon, the highest mountain in Thailand, 60 km west of Chiang Mai, this little village has the most spectacular view over mountains and waterfalls.

The village is mainly inhabited by Karen people, one of the many so called Hill Tribes of Northern Thailand. The village grows rice on terraced plantations, all sorts of vegetables and spices. Most for consumation but partly also for sale.

The village has a rather big school which also serves several surrounding villages. Some these villages are quite far apart and the kids are often borded at school during the week. This gives lots of opportunities for volunteers to play with the kids outside of school time and to help with home´work etc.

The head master is a very entrepreneurial person and the school has several projects for self sustainment on the premises such as growing mushrooms, building library and new lodgings for the children. The school also participates in an ecological coffee growing project and have special classes for learning how to process the beans.

This is a program for the traveler who wants to experience something extra and get out of the comfort zone. But the lovelieness of the people and their enthusiasm for a westerner coming to help teaching will make for an extraoridnary experience.

We take part in the daily teaching at the village school helping the ordinary teacher by providing spoken English. The program is only open during the Thai semesters, from May till October and then from November till March.

We also help the village in the community development program, at the moment centered around production of coffee.

As several children are borded at the school in week-days, there are lots of opportunities to arrange sports training, or other stimulating activities with them.

Prices are available for any period between 2 weeks and 6 months.

Show prices in:
2 Weeks 4 Weeks 8 Weeks 12 Weeks 24 Weeks Extra Weeks
$694 $820 $1073 $1325 $1931 $50

Read how your fees are spent or compare our prices with other volunteer organisations.

View our prices in other volunteer locations's or combine your stay in with stays in other locations as part of a combination stay.

What you receive
    What you receive
    • "T2T Welcoming kit" containing: T-shirts, Thai language book, Info booklets on Teaching, on T2T and on Thai culture
    • A two day orientation in Chiang Mai upon arrival
    • Thai Language and cooking lessons
    • 24 hour support from school staff
    • Accommodation home stay according to specifications in your "Placement information"
    • Regular follow-up calls
    • Transportation between projects
    • You join the school for lunch.
    Apart from our fees, you must pay for:
    • Your ticket to Chiang Mai
    • Vaccinations
    • Travel and health insurance
    • Visa to Thailand
    • Food (about 2 €/day) and other personal expenses
Apart from our fees, you must pay for:

Our application process typically takes two or three weeks, but can be speeded up if there is a need for that. When we receive the initial application from you, we will send you our full application form.

(1) Complete the Initial Application Form:
The first stage of the application process is to fill out the brief initial application form. Upon receiving this we will send you the full application form.

(2) Complete the Full Application Form:
Fill out the application form. After receiving this we will assess your suitability and place you on one of our programs.

(3) Placement info:
We will return detailed placement information and an invoice. If you accept the placement you should clikc the link to say so. The fee can be paid with credit card through PayPal or by bank transfer.

(4) Communication:
Once you have made your traveling arrangements you should mail your time of arrival and the means of transportation and we will confirm pickup.

Dates for the Year 2015:
March: Sat 14, Sat 28
April: Sat 11, Sat 25
May: Sat 9, Sat 23
June: Sat 6, Sat 20
July: Sat 4, Sat 18
August: Sat 1, Sat 15, Sat 29
September: Sat 12, Sat 26
October: Sat 10, Sat 24
November: Sat 7, Sat 21
December: Sat 5, Sat 19
Dates for the Year 2016:
January: Sat 2, Sat 16, Sat 30
February: Sat 13, Sat 27
March: Sat 12, Sat 26
April: Sat 9, Sat 23
May: Sat 7, Sat 21
June: Sat 4, Sat 18
July: Sat 2, Sat 16, Sat 30
August: Sat 13, Sat 27
September: Sat 10, Sat 24
October: Sat 8, Sat 22
November: Sat 5, Sat 19
December: Sat 3, Sat 17, Sat 31

Volunteers will stay in one of the teachers home. The house has most western comforts.

There is no "entertainment" other than TV in the village. Also there is no electricity other than solar panels or generators so there is need to ration electricity.

The volunteers will eat at the school and with the home stay family. Food is mainly based on the locally grown crops. There is no shops in the village so everything has to be purchased in the town before you go.

Because the village is at meters above sea level, the wether is cooler than any other placement we have. In the summertime this is very plesant where as in late automn and wintertime it can be quite cold.

Hill Tribe Village Weather Chart
Volunteer Hill Tribe Village Weather Image

The introductions will take place in Chiang Mai during the first week-end. We will then take you by car to the town closest to Doi inthanon and there the headmaster will pick you up. The road to the village requires a SUV or similar vehicle.


Jim graduated from Khon Kaen University's tourism program in 2007 and initially completed a 3 month internship with Travel to Teach before joining us permanently. After working with us in Chiang Mai for 2 years Jim now helps manage our programs in Nongkhai. She is responsible for contact with schools and organising English camps and looks after our volunteers giving Thai language lessons and cooking classes.

Contact Jim: jim@travel-to-teach.org


Nana is 30 years old and was born in Mae Sot, Thailand. She is ethnically Karen and has an exam as public health instructor.

There are many options for your visa depending on the length of your stay.

One month tourist visa (free)
This is valid for 30 days and is granted free on arrival in Thailand by air. If you arrive at a land border you will currently only be given a 15 day visa. Please note you can only have three free one month visa stamps in any six month period.

Two/Three month single entry tourist visa (1,200 Baht - approx. 24€)
This is valid for two/three months after your arrival in Thailand. If you leave the country during this time your visa will become invalid. This can be arranged in advance at any Thai Consulate/Embassy. For a list of Thai Embassy's around the world see www.thaiembassy.org.

If you are staying in Thailand for more than a month and do not have time to arrange a 2 month visa, you can simply get your free stamp on arrival and then cross over into Laos after 30 days and apply for it there.

It's quite a simple process:
To revalidate your visa you will have to come to Nongkhai. Simply catch a tuk-tuk to the friendship bridge where you will be able to get a bus across to Laos. On the far side of the friendship bridge you will get your Laos visa (approx $35).

Once in Laos you have two options, you can either return directly to Thailand receiving a 15 day visa extension or if you want a two month visa you will need to visit the Thai Embassy in Vientiane and spend one night in the city. Please note that for your Laos visa and for a two month Thai visa you will need passport photos and a photocopy of your passport. Vietiane is a 30 minute bus or taxi ride from the border.

You can also use your time in Laos to explore the country further and there are regular buses running from Vientiane to most of Laos including Vang Vieng and Luang Prabang.

If you are planning to work in Cambodia then you will need to obtain a police records background check before starting your placement. For details on the application procedure in your home country please take a look at: www.travel-to-teach.org/CRB-information.php

At all other locations you will be required to abide by the Travel to Teach Child Protection Policy.

You should tell your doctor that you are likely to go on a jungle trip in Northern Thailand and that you will live in village outside Chiang Mai. Keep in mind, Chiang Mai is an urban area and one need not worry about malaria pills for staying exclusively in there.

Also visit the WHO's (World Health Organisation) Travelers health information

One of the conditions of entry onto our programs is that volunteers have travel insurance. Most importantly the insurance needs to include medical treatment and repatriation in case of unforeseen accidents or illnesses. Volunteers should purchase insurance independently and bring a copy of their insurance certificate with them for their local co-ordinator to check before starting their program. Read our terms and conditions.

You will get a Travel to Teach certificate stating the time and place you have been teaching.

All volunteers are required to read and agree to our terms and conditions before being accepted onto one our programs.
Read our Terms & Conditions
Download our Teach Terms and Conditions as a PDF File

Thailand Photo
"It's so strange to be alone again after being so part of something.... part of a team, part of a community, part of a mission. The other volunteers went out for drinks but I just want to be alone, to reflect on the week that was and capture the impressions of my first week volunteering... "
Read Scott's Volunteer Story
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