Thailand Adventure and Service
$4,595 + Airfare + $400 Intra Trip Flights
Jun 26 – Jul 12, Jul 12 – Jul 28
Session 2, Session 3
9, 10, 11, 12
|Who can go on this trip?||
Students from around the world!
|Places we visit:||
Chiang Mai, Bangkok, Kanchanaburi, Kho Phi Phi, Hill Tribe Village, Siem Reap*, Angkor Wat*
|Optional group flight there:||
Los Angeles to Chiang Mai
|Optional group flight back:||
Bangkok to Los Angeles
Thailand is an earthly paradise full of incredible contrasts, untouched beauty, and adrenaline-charged adventure. Our all-encompassing program showcases the best parts of this country and starts with an enriching 30 hour service project spent improving a local school at a hill tribe in Northern Thailand through various construction and maintenance projects. During your service work, you will have the opportunity to interact with the school children and form meaningful connections with the people in the community. When our project is finished, you will feel a sense of accomplishment knowing your hard work helped make a difference in the lives of the children you grew to know and love!
From the hustle and bustle of the ultramodern capital of Bangkok, to Hill Tribe villages nestled in the jungle near Chiang Mai and the picturesque white sandy beaches of Koh Phi Phi and Krabi, you’ll experience it all on this TFT favorite! Swim with sharks and dive world-class reefs in the world’s bluest waters, meet saffron-cloaked Buddhist monks, bathe elephants surrounded by jungle, gaze in wonder at golden Buddhas and temples adorned with mother-of-pearl inlay, try local delicacies and learn how to cook your own mouth-watering cuisine, all while enjoying the warm hospitality and gentle smiles of the Thai people.
On this program you will:
- Bathe elephants in the jungle at a sanctuary and rescue center
- Hone your skills as you learn to fight like a Muay Thai kick boxer
- Earn up to 30 hours of community service working to improve a hill tribe school in northern Thailand
- Hunt for bargains at the incredible night markets of Chiang Mai and Bangkok
- Snorkel with majestic reef sharks off Koh Phi Phi
- Zoom through the lush canopy while ziplining in the jungle
- Enjoy a real slice of paradise at the famous Maya Beach near Koh Phi Phi
- Immerse yourself in breathtaking underwater worlds as you snorkel and scuba dive* incredible coral reefs
- Soak up the rays at some of the most beautiful beaches in the world on Ko Phi Phi and around Krabi
- Relax in the Emerald and Crystal Pools of Khao Phra-Bang Khram Nature Reserve
- Climb 1237 steps to take in incredible views from the summit of the Tiger Cave Temple
- Rock climb the limestone cliffs of Railay Beach
- Gaze upon the famous Emerald Buddha, Reclining Buddha, and the Royal Palace in Bangkok
- Explore the awe-inspiring Angkor Wat, Angkor Thom and Angkor Prom in Siem Reap, Cambodia*
*These are optional activities
DAY 1: LOS ANGELES (LAX) (FOR THOSE WHO OPT TO TAKE THE GROUP FLIGHT)
As the group flight takes off, the program officially begins!
DAY 2: CROSS THE INTERNATIONAL DATE LINE
DAYS 3 – 10: CHIANG MAI & HILL TRIBE VILLAGE
We’ll hang out in Chiang Mai, a hip university town in the northern hills of Thailand, taking ample time to explore the world-famous Buddhist temples and vast outdoor markets, a tradition left over from the caravans that stopped off here from the nearby Silk Road. Meet Buddhist monks and participate in a question-and-answer session, try out Muay Thai boxing, bathe elephants in the jungle, and learn Thai cooking and dancing. We’ll cap off our time in Chiang Mai with a celebratory dinner where we sail paper lanterns into the night sky.
In the hills near Chiang Mai, we’ll give back to the indigenous hill tribe community by conducting a meaningful community service project to improve the facilities of the local school. Channel your inner handyman (or woman) as you see the direct impact of your hard work on the lives of these incredible people. This is a unique chance to immerse yourself in an enriching experience, where you’ll learn about a different way of life and about yourself.
DAYS 10 – 13: PHI PHI ISLANDS
Coming out of the jungle, we’ll jet down to the Phi Phi islands in the Andaman Sea for a taste of tropical nirvana. Snorkel and dive in the crystal-clear blue waters and relax on the most beautiful beaches you’ve ever seen. For the adventurous traveler, snorkel the reef with harmless reef sharks! The picture perfect sunsets will leave you with memories to last a lifetime. Get in touch with nature as you hike gorgeous scenic trails and take a longtail boat to a beach featured in movies.
DAYS 13 – 15: KRABI
Continue the adventure in paradise with a couple of days in Ao Nang, exploring the best of Krabi. Head inland to relax in the the stunning hot springs of the Emerald and Crystal Pools of Khao Phra-Bang Khram Nature Reserve, before climbing to the the top of the the Tiger Cave temple, one of the most sacred Buddhist sites in the region for jaw-dropping views. Catch a traditional longtail boat to nearby beautiful Railay beach, playing soccer with fellow travelers, hanging off the limestone cliffs that rise right from the sandy beach or simply relaxing in the sunshine.
***Optional Overnight Excursion Opportunity***
Travel For Teens is also offering an overnight excursion to Siem Reap, Cambodia (extra tuition), site of the Angkor Wat Temple, one of the Seven Modern Wonders of the World. This will be a three-day, two-night trip. Students will be on this excursion while the rest of the group spend time in Krabi on days 13-15.
DAYS 15 – 16: BANGKOK
Next you’ll be safely led through bustling Bangkok where we complete this incredible journey. During our tour of this thriving, full throttle city full of energy and life, you’ll marvel at the Emerald Buddha, Reclining Buddha and the opulent Royal Palace before catching the unsurpassed sunset over Wat Arun. Fill your suitcase for the trip home as we canvas the best shopping in the city, hitting up the famed floating markets, Khao San Road and night markets. Witness the intensity and skill of live Muay Thai Boxing (optional) before an unforgettable final night celebration of an incredible trip. Come experience the magic of Thailand with us this summer!
DAY 17: GROUP FLIGHT BACK TO THE USA
WHAT KIND OF TEEN TYPICALLY PARTICIPATES IN THIS PROGRAM? WHAT ARE THE REQUIREMENTS TO JOIN?
We have teens join this program from all over the world! They are typically culturally curious teens who are excited about making new friends, stepping out of their comfort zone, expanding their horizons, and trying something new.
This program is only for students who are currently in 9th through 12th grade and approximately 14 to 18 years old. Students living outside of the USA are welcome to join!
Where do we stay?
Our hotels are specifically chosen to be in safe areas and well-suited to facilitating group supervision. We stay in centrally located accommodations, usually within walking distance of the main attractions. This means we do not use large, impersonal chain hotels on the outskirts of cities. We prefer to select smaller, family run hotels where we establish personal relationships with the owners.
In Bangkok we stay in a modern three star hotel in close proximity to the main attractions and best parts of the city. In Chiang Mai we stay at a locally run non-profit with apartment style housing and excellent communal facilities. In Krabi and on Ko Phi Phi we stay in luxurious resort bungalows a stone’s throw from the beach.
For safety reasons, we do not publish the names of the accommodations we use. We do not feel it is safe to publish the name of a hotel where a group of teenagers is staying abroad. After registering, participants and parents are given access to our secure parent website where you will be able to see the names of all of the accommodations for a program.
Do most travelers go by themselves?
Yes, in fact, over 75% of students who travel with us choose to come independently. This encourages teens to step further outside their comfort zone and make new friends. We believe that one of the most rewarding and exciting elements of travel is the new friendships that are formed along the way. If you travel by yourself, you are bound to make new friends from all over the country and even the world. The best part is, you can travel again with your new BFFs on another TFT program the next summer!
Can I bring a friend?
Absolutely! We just ask that if you come with a friend, you and your friend(s) are still open to meeting new people and sharing this special experience with the entire group.
WHAT DO STUDENTS LIKE MOST ABOUT THIS PROGRAM?
Students love that they are able to explore all the different major parts of Thailand in one unforgettable program–it provides everything with an amazing service experience, time in the jungles of Northern Thailand, the white sandy beaches of the South and the glistening yet gritty metropolis of Bangkok.
What is unique about this program?
At TFT we are most proud of our ongoing community service initiative with the local school near Chiang Mai. Every year we build upon the efforts of previous groups to create a bright future for the children of the school. Seeing the appreciative smiles of the kids makes all the hard work so worthwhile and of course makes it that much harder to wave goodbye!
What is included?
Ground transportation, accommodations, all breakfasts, lunches and dinners, chaperones and guides, program-related activities and admissions, taxes and tips.
Not Included (not intended to be an exhaustive list): Airfare, visas and visa application fees, beverages other than filtered water at meals, activities and admissions not referenced in the itinerary or deemed not program related, such as movies, expenses incurred by the participant that are outside the program description, such as excess baggage fees and damage to hotels, expenses related to unforeseen circumstances, such as transportation strikes and natural disasters, as well as personal and medical expenses.
How do the optional group flights work?
Upon registration, you will be contacted by our International Logistics Team to discuss this program’s flight details. You are not required to take the group flight, although there are several advantages to doing so. The group flight is chaperoned by TFT staff, it offers an opportunity for the students to get to know each other before the program starts, and we get preferred group flight prices on programs that have group contracts (ask for details). Parents are responsible for arranging for participants to get to the group flight airport. Travel For Teens staff are at the airport, greet arriving participants, and help them get to where the rest of the group has assembled. For more information about Flights, visit our Flights page.
WHO LEADS THE PROGRAM?
The Trip Director for every program is a seasoned teen travel professional with extensive TFT experience. Trip Directors often live or have lived and worked in the destination country. Extensive knowledge of the language and culture of the destination is crucial. Our Senior Counselors are experienced, responsible and fun-loving individuals who our participants can share experiences with and look to for guidance and support. At Travel for Teens we pride ourselves on our rigorous staff application process and the professionalism of our full time and summer staff.
It is the job of the counselors to keep the trip fun and exciting, the learning and the laughter in good balance, and to oversee the safety of the participants. Minimum ratios are on average one staff member to every seven participants. Trips may also include one or two Junior Counselors, who are college students with a history of TFT travel, and one or more Counselors in Training (CIT’s) with limited responsibility. CIT’s are not counted in staff-participant ratios.
What are the safety qualifications for our staff?
All of our staff members attend a week-long training session prepare for the upcoming summer and go over safety precautions and protocols. Likewise, every counselor is CPR/First Aid certified and Trip Directors are Lifeguard certified. All staff undergo a rigorous interview process and thorough background check.
What is the average group size?
Group size is important! A smaller group size provides unique opportunities that a large group cannot accommodate. Think of your favorite local restaurant; could it easily accommodate a group of 50 teens? Probably not! Our group sizes average between 14 to 21 students, which means that we are able to comfortably use local transport, enjoy local restaurants, and have a more authentic experience overall! A smaller group size also eliminates the likelihood of cliques, meaning that our groups all tend to bond as a cohesive unit. We guarantee that you’ll have enough people to meet some new best friends, but not so many that you feel like “just a number” or lost in a crowd.
How does this program connect to other programs?
This program can be connected to programs in Asia, Africa, Fiji, Australia, and New Zealand. At the end of the Thailand program, your counselor will escort you to the airport and help you get to your next destination where you will meet up with your new counselors and group
What is the food like on this program?
In a word – delicious! At TFT, we believe food should be an integral part of the travel experience and always make an effort to eat at authentic establishments when we can. What better way to immerse yourself in the culture of a place than by sampling the local delicacies, and we encourage students to do so whenever possible! Just as we stay away from Americanized hotel chains, we try to avoid restaurants with menus that cater only to tourists because every good traveler knows the best food is found wherever the locals are eating!
Thai cuisine is bursting full of flavor, aromatic smells and vivid color, with lots of attention paid to balance, detail and variety. You’ll savor the best Pad Thai of your life and that’s just to start. Take your pick from hundreds of incredible dishes featuring mouth-watering combinations of rice, noodles, seafood, meats and fresh vegetables. What will your new favorite be?
We also love to have picnics al fresco, and do this whenever possible, which is a great way to taste some local food while sitting out in the fresh air taking in the sights and sounds of our surroundings.
As always, we are willing and able to accommodate vegetarians, vegans, gluten allergies, and other dietary restrictions.
How much free time do we get?
Our counselors are with the group almost always. Everyday we will break up into smaller groups to give our participants some choices and flexibility in their itinerary. At our accommodations, students will have a good amount of free time to enjoy the facilities but will not be able to leave the grounds without one of our staff members. Our time in the urban areas of Chiang Mai and Bangkok as well as the great outdoors of the hills/beaches near Chiang Mai, Ko Phi Phi, and Krabi will be fairly regimented to maximize the activities we can enjoy during our time, however there will be some free time to go shopping in certain areas of the cities. Additionally, a lifeguard certified counselor will be supervising the students any time that they are involved in water activities.
DO I NEED TO BRING ANYTHING SPECIAL FOR THE COMMUNITY SERVICE PORTION OF THE PROGRAM?
Our service work in Thailand will be outdoors, so please be sure to bring clothes that you don’t mind getting dirty, close-toed shoes, and a hat.
Do I need any vaccinations for this program?
We recommend that you check with your family doctor regarding vaccinations and medical advice for the areas you will be visiting. For more information, please check out the World Health Organization’s website www.who.int/en/. After you register, we will provide you with a list of vaccinations you should consider discussing with your child’s family doctor.
What kind of Visa do you need for this trip?
Any US citizen that enters Thailand does not require a visa. Instead you will automatically receive a 30-day stay in the country. If you are coming from somewhere outside the US, please be sure to check your country specific visa requirements.
Do I need to speak the language?
No, our skilled staff members will help you get around and even teach you a few fun and useful phrases!