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Volunteer Temple Teaching

Teaching at a Buddhist temple provides an opportunity for a volunteer to experience a wonderful cultural insight into Buddhism and life as a monk. Travel to Teach offers teaching placements at temples located in and around Doi Saket and in Mae Hong Son, allowing volunteers to teach English to classes of monks and novices.

The temples that you would work with are ambitious and well run, with some of the teachers there having a good level of English. The temples are always keen to have volunteers so your support and effort will be most appreciated. In return you will find monk students and teachers to be only too happy to educate you about temple life, Thai culture and Buddhism as a whole.

Sometimes the temples we work with accept males to stay and live at the temple, undertaking duties and activities that monks and living a temple lifestyle. Females are not currently accepted to live and stay at the temple.

The following video shows what a volunteer can expect whilst teaching at a temple:
Volunteer temple teaching video.

Temple Teaching

Undervisning ges till de yngre munkarna i åldrarna 11 till 16 år. Många av dessa munkar kommer från Burma och genom att bli munkar får de gratis utbildning, något de annars aldrig hade haft möjlighet att få. Volontärerna får stöd av de äldre munkarna, av vilka många har mycket höga kvalifikationer i utbildning och undervisning, och som även är mer eller mindre flytande i engelska.

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
$685 $822 $1096 $1370 $2028 $55

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
  • "T2T Welcoming kit" containing: T-shirts, Thai language book, Info booklets on Teaching, on T2T and on Thai culture
  • A two day orientation upon arrival
  • Thai Language and cooking lessons
  • 24 hour support from T2T (Thai and western) staff living in the same town
  • Accommodation in T2T dorms according to specifications in your "Placement information"
  • Regular follow-up meetings
  • Transportation between projects
  • At some teaching placements you join the school for lunch.
Apart from our fees, you must pay for:

    • Resa till Chiang Mai

    • Vaccinationer

    • Rese- och sjukvårdsförsäkrning

    • Visum

    • Mat (Ca 2 €/dag) och andra personliga utgifter

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.

You can join us for any amount of time, from a week to six months. We do recommend a trip of three to six months since it offers the best value. Regardless of the length of your stay, you will be able to learn some Thai and you will have time to get to know a new culture, come to know its people, and form relationships that will outlast the duration of your stay.

Dates of arrival: All teaching will start on the Monday after the introduction.

Dates for the Year 2014:
April: Sat 26
May: Sat 10, Sat 24
June: Sat 7, Sat 21
July: Sat 5, Sat 19
August: Sat 2, Sat 16, Sat 30
September: Sat 13, Sat 27
October: Sat 11, Sat 25
November: Sat 8, Sat 22
December: Sat 6, Sat 20
Dates for the Year 2015:
January: Sat 3, Sat 17, Sat 31
February: Sat 14, Sat 28
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
Temple Teaching

Volunteers can stay at the volunteer house we have in Chiang Mai or Mae Hong Son. All bedrooms have beds and fans. Volunteers will normally have to share a room. Each house has a TV, DVD player, DVD’s, a terrace, western toilets and showers.

Males who choose to stay at the temple will live in a single room and use an outdoor bathroom which is just outside the room. The room is located near to that of the head monk and is basic but comfortable.

Temple Teaching

Volunteers will teach a number of classes at the temple, working with monks of various ages and levels of English. There will also be some free time between lessons which can be spent talking to monks and gaining an insight into the temple way of life.

For those staying at the volunteer houses, activities and amenities such as swimming pools, gyms, golf courses, tennis courts, saunas and spas are all available.

Males who stay at the temple are welcomed to join in with the monk’s daily lifestyle. This includes the chance to collect food in town in the early morning, to take meals with the monks and to undertake any other activities monks take part in.

Temple Teaching

Each volunteer house has a fridge, toaster and water boiler, but no cooking facilities. However, the streets of Thai cities are filled with places to eat and within a short walk from the volunteer house you have at several restaurants. There are many convenient supermarkets in Chiang Mai and small store where you can buy bread, milk, cereal and other basics in Doi Saket.

For males staying at the temple, you can join monks between 5 and 6am to help collect their morning alms. An hour or so is spent walking through the local village or area and collecting whatever food is offered by the local people and blessing those that give it before heading back to the monastery to prepare the first meal for around seven-thirty. For lunch, the novices, monks and volunteers will eat a repeat of whatever is left over from breakfast around 11-12. Although monks will not eat after midday, volunteers staying at the temple can opt to have an evening meal.

Ask a local about the weather in Chiang Mai or Mae Hong Son and they will tell you there are three seasons, hot and wet, hot and dry and just plain hot. In reality the temperature can drop to as low as 10°C between November and February and the brief monsoon rains and some breeze throughout the summer months provide a welcome respite to the heat.

Nongkhai Weather Chart
Volunteer Temple Teaching Weather Image

Since the Wat is in Nongkhai volunteers will arrive and receive introductions in Nongkhai, staying in our Nongkhai volunteers dorms during their first weekend.

There are 3 trains a day from Hualamphong train station in central Bangkok, departing at around 18.30, 20:00 and 20.45. We recommend the night trains since they are quicker and usually more convenient as most long distance flights tend to arrive in Bangkok in the afternoon.

The night train costs around 700 baht and most people manage to sleep reasonably well on them in comparison to the buses.

General information on trains can be found at http://www.seat61.com/Thailand.htm#Train times or

There are several buses from different companies daily from Bangkok to Nongkhai. Most buses leave in the evening and arrive in Nongkhai early in the morning. Although we recommend the trains as they are more comfortable if you do decide to go by bus the best option is probably the buses that depart from Kao San Road at around 19:00. These go directly to Nongkhai (and on to Vientiane in Laos) and are relatively easy to find. Its costs around 400-450 baht and you can buy tickets from any travel agency on Kao San Road. There are also regular buses from Bangkok's northern Mawchit Bus Station although this is extremely large and chaotic, and probably best avoided if you've only just arrived in Thailand for the first time.

Three airlines fly daily from Bangkok to Udon Thani, Thai Airways and the budget airlines Air Asia and Nok Air. Nok Air also fly from Chiang Mai to Udon 3 times a week. There is a "limousine" (actually minibus) service from the airport to Nongkhai after each flight.


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 Erin, Australia
"When I told my great-grandmother that I was going to Thailand she turned to me, horrified, and told me she would pray that I couldn’t go because she didn’t want me killed.... Thankfully, God was pre-occupied that afternoon and I have spent the past five weeks not fighting off murderers and rabid, disease-ridden soi dogs, but teaching English to monks"
Read Erin's Volunteer Story
Thailand Photo Temple Teaching in Mae Hong Son Video
Thailand Photo Volunteer Newsletter
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