Arrive in Bangkok anytime today. A true Thai welcome awaits at the famous train market, and even time for some rooftop drinks while we meet our fellow travelers.
We say goodbye to the Big Mango and hop on a propellor plane north to the Burmese border. From the airport, we’ll check into our hotel for the next few nights of our project, then make our way to visit the community we’ll be working with. Here we’ll have a debrief from our project coordinator, himself a former Burmese refugee.
Day 2 on our project. As many of our returners can testify, the projects can be hard work, so we hope you’re ready. Depending on how far the construction has progressed with the local staff we have been hiring over the last few weeks, jobs can include lugging bricks, shifting sand, painting the buildings and of course playing with the kids.
The third day of our project visit. Hopefully your body isn’t hurting too much, and you kept the sunburn at bay. After our first full day yesterday, day 3 should be a breeze (don’t hold us to that!). You’ll know exactly what you have to get done in order for the project to be ready to open. So hop to it.
This one could be an early start! It depends on how hard we’ve been working but today is opening day. So if we’ve stayed on top of our workload, we’ll arrive after breakfast and await the village elders to inaugurate the finalised construction, and have a local religious opening ceremony to bless your generosity and graft. If we’ve fallen behind, we’ll be up at sunrise to get here and get the work finished. Let’s do it folks.
After the project, it’s a beautiful drive through the national parks of central Thailand to reach perhaps our favourite spot in the whole world, Chiang Mai. We’ve organised dinner on the river for the group, we’ve all earned a slap-up Thai dinner after the last few days of hard graft.
Finally some time to yourself. A lazy morning, followed by some pool-time, shopping, or a $5 Thai massage. Depending on how strong those cocktails you were drinking last night were, a little R&R is exactly what the doctor ordered. A group dinner for happy hour as the sun sets behind Chiang Mai’s mountain temple is the perfect end to a chill day.
Often the highlight of the trip, and a real privilege for all of us – today we go to the Elephant Sanctuary. As responsible tourism has developed, thankfully Elephant Riding is on the decline. We visit a sanctuary where the founders give elephants the chance to escape that old life, and life the rest of their days with the friends and family in peace. Bring even more joy to their life by feeding them endless bananas, washing them in the river, and pack your pyjamas. We’re sleeping here tonight, which means the following morning, we’ll have the elephants all to ourselves.
A morning feeding the elephants breakfast and taking a morning walk in the wild, a little food prep and then a spot of lunch and our time with these beautiful beasts is up. We’ll get picked up at the sanctuary and driven straight to the northern jungles of Chiang Mai for some trekking.
A hike through the jungle with our local guide finishes up at a tribal village, and rather than walk all the way back, we’ll hop on a bamboo raft and make our way back down on the water. Back just in time for a shower, and we’re off for dinner in Chiang Mai’s hippest district, Nimmanhaemin
Today you’ll see why the travelers of the world have fallen in love with Chiang Mai. First off, we’ll take the winding road up the mountain to see one of Northern Thailand’s most sacred temple, Doi Suthep. Here you’ll have the chance to be blessed by the local monks, and the views of Chiang Mai below are breathtaking. We’ll stop at a waterfall on the way back so bring your swimmers!
That evening we’ll hit up the Chiang Mai night bazaar for a spot of shopping, and a chance to watch some Muay Thai boxing. Ouch!
Say goodbye to Chiangers, and get those elephant pants ready. Pai is awaiting us. A beautiful 3 hour journey through northern Thailand will find us in Pai, a place where travelers, artists, digital nomads, rastas and everyone from every other walk of life imaginable find themselves congregating during their journey to northern Thailand. Walk around the town, soak up the vibes, and don’t forget some famous Thai ice coffee. Easy on the sugar, that stuff will blow your head off.
The best of Pai. We’ll check out Pai’s stunning landscapes, the World War II memorial bridge and of course Pai Canyon. Before we make it back to town, we can take a dip in one of the local waterfalls and top up that tan. Followed up by an evening in Pai, expect lots of Bob Marley tunes and questionable qualities of drinks at night. Our last night, handkerchiefs at the ready :’(
The last day?! Already?! How did that happen? We’ll be leaving Pai early in the morning for those who have a flight out of Chiang Mai, and then that’s a wrap folks! Or is it…..
You can’t come all the way to Thailand without hitting up paradise, right? That’s why we’ve added 3 nights in Krabi for those of you who want just a little bit more. An early flight from Chiang Mai to Krabi town, then transfers to the hotel should get us checked-in on time for happy hour on the beach as the sun sets. This is the life.
Enjoy the morning beach vibes. Limestone cliffs, long-tail-boats dipping in and out of the shore, monkeys hopping from palm tree to palm tree. After lunch we have a boat ride for our team, snorkelling, tunes on the speakers, and crystal clear waters. All that hardwork will seem a lifetime ago. Dinner on the beach that night will bring an end to a truly awesome day.
Today is your day. Live it up on the beach, volleyball, sun-bathing, meeting other travelers, or have a bash at optional activities such as rock-climbing, kayaking or para-sailing. Just make sure you’re back in time for our final group dinner, see you at 7pm!
Over and out. If you want to stay in Krabi, or explore more of Southern Thailand we can help you organise that. For any of you flying back to Bangkok for homeward-bound flights, we’ll get you to the airport, dont worry. Other than that, see you on the next trip!
The GiveBack GiveAway has fostered a wonderful relationship with the Burmese migrant community over the last few years, so much so that they’ve asked us to help further with both classroom builds and dormitory builds for the local community. About 45 minutes from Mae Sot, lies our partner community, and with the delicate issues regarding nationality, languages and religion the Karen tribal people often find themselves stuck in the middle of governance. With that, arises budgetary issues, so thanks to all your donations, and coming on our trip, we can step in and help them. The priority at the moment is the dormitory for the kids during term time. They currently sleep 6 to a room, on 1cm matts on bamboo flooring, very little protection from rainy season and even less from mosquitos.
We have hired local engineers and labourers to construct a new dormitory for the community, so the kids can sleep in peace and focus on their studies. Come and help us finalise the dormitory, paint and furnish it, landscape around it, and watch how a simple upgrade in the sleeping facilities can empower the youth within the community.
All Accommodations in comfortable hotels usually with wifi, air-con and hot water as a minimum
All breakfast included on tour.
All group day trips, group excursions and group entrance fees into temples and forts
All group in country transportation.
Feel good knowing 100% goes directly into the project.
Two experienced guides that will be there for you 24/7.