Northern Thailand Elephant Sanctuary FAQs
Thailand's climate is tropical, high both in temperature and humidity, and dominated by monsoons. Chiang Rai is cooler than most of Thailand. April and May are the hottest months of the year. June sees the beginning of the South West Monsoon, and brings with it the rainy season, which continues intermittently until the end of October. The monsoon season can see weeks without rain, but occasionally a strong storm arrives, raining heavily for an hour in the afternoon. From November to the end of February the climate is much less trying with a cooling North East breeze and a reduction in the humidity level.
Yes! Weekends and evenings are free. Days off can be spent at any of the numerous attractions around Chiang Rai. From the famous and modern White Temple, to the historic Wat Chedi Luang, to the local night markets, to trekking – there is a diverse array to activity to enjoy in and around Chiang Rai Province. The famed Golden Triangle, the meeting point of Thailand, Laos and Myanmar, is only a 30 minute drive Chiang Rai. Though in a mountainous region, the city of Chiang Rai is fairly flat and is a great place to cycle around on your time off. Each weeknight you can enjoy the Night Bazaar and food court for a local experience. On Saturdays and Sundays, be sure to visit the Walking Markets where you can find incredible handiwork from surrounding indigenous tribes and sample a variety of amazing local foods
The work each day will vary, but you can expect to be on site for 6-8 hours each day, which includes plenty of time observing and learning about elephants, break times and lunch, and other volunteer work.
You need to be able to speak English as this will be the common language at the project.
The majority of volunteers are from the UK, United States, Canada and Australia. We also place volunteers from Holland, Germany, Ireland, Japan and New Zealand although all nationalities are welcome. The majority of volunteers travel alone to the project, although we also accommodate couples and groups.
Yes of course, here is a sample of stories from our volunteer blogs.
Yes, internet, telephone and post are all accessible in Chiang Rai.
Yes of course, in fact we have a page all about how you can fund raise for your trip here.
This project offers brand new, purpose built on site accommodation in shared rooms for two to four people. Rooms have a lovely view over the project so you can literally go to sleep to the sound of elephants and wake up to see them strolling around the grounds, munching on some tasty bamboo or taking a refreshing shower. If you would rather have a room to yourself we can arrange this at an additional cost, provided there is availability. Please email us if you would like a private room.
At the project, you’ll have local Thai food. Vegetarians and vegans can be provided for.
We request that you use common sense, and excessive drinking that puts yourself, other volunteers, or the animals in danger or in discomfort will not be accepted. There are designated smoking areas in the volunteers communal area. The local town and resorts have bars and clubs.
The currency in Thailand is the Thai Baht. Many ATMs are available throughout Thailand for all major credit cards. Credit cards are accepted in higher end businesses.
Thailand is a very safe and friendly, as always when travelling you must take the usual precautions to make sure you stay safe. Common sense and knowledge is the key phrase, and on arrival you will have an orientation meeting to advise you of any precautions you need to take. Millions of tourists visit Thailand every year and have no problems whatsoever, so don't be paranoid. Just take the basic precautions and you will have an amazing and trouble free trip. For more information, visit our International Travel Advice Page
We recommend that you let your health professional know that you will be volunteering with elephants and discuss the various vaccination options. For more information, visit our International Travel Advice Page
Finding the right insurance to cover your travels can be daunting, confusing and time-consuming, however – travel insurance is a must. You never know what could happen, and if you are unlucky enough to get ill or find yourself in a sticky situation, being uninsured can be really expensive and downright dangerous. This is why we strongly recommend that all our volunteers take out suitable travel insurance. We also recommend that your purchase your insurance and soon as you book your trip to cover you for all up-front costs in the event of cancellation due to any unforeseen circumstances. Globalteer has formed a partnership with a leading travel insurance provider to help you through this process.
Yes, Thailand is a conservative country and we ask that you respect them by dressing accordingly especially as you will be working on temple grounds. The basic rule is to cover your knees, shoulders and belly. T-shirts, sandals and anything that covers the knees and belly are all acceptable. Woman must wear bras, as doing otherwise could cause offence to the local Thais.
Thais are very friendly and a smile will go a long way. Be respectful to elders. Shouting, or public displays of over emotion are impolite. Remove shoes before entering a temple or someone's home. Dress respectfully, especially when visiting temples. Do not point at someone with your finger or naked foot, do not touch people's heads. Thai's love their royal family so, however you feel about monarchies, do not say bad things about the Thai Royals. This would be seen as a great insult to the Thais and is also illegal. Do not disrespect the image of the king by standing on bank notes.
No, you will be given guidance and training and will work with experienced staff.
Yes, on arrival you will receive orientation from the project coordinator, giving local information and advice. Basic training will be given to ensure you achieve the project objectives. You will continually be learning from the professional Mahouts.
The nearest airport to this project is in Chiang Rai, Thailand (Airport code CEI) which is about half an hour from the project. You will be collected from the airport and taken to the project. Finding flights that suit your schedule, fares that suit your budget and insurance that covers you for all the exciting activities you'll be undertaking on your trip can be challenging and time-consuming. To help you out, Globalteer has partnered with a reputable company who will tailor-make your travel and insurance arrangements according to all your specific requirements. Once you have your place secured we will put you in touch with them so you can discuss your specific arrangements with them directly. They can also organise any trip extensions you make like to add on to your volunteering trip too.
Globalteer is fully committed to ensuring that your volunteer placement is responsible. More information can be found on our Responsible Volunteering Page.
As a UK registered Charity, Globalteer is financially transparent, our accounts are independently audited and posted online. You can read a full report on where your money goes here.
We understand what motivates volunteers and what makes a memorable volunteer experience. We have been placing volunteers at our projects since 2006 and have built up a wealth of knowledge in those years about what makes volunteering rewarding for volunteers as well as impactful for the fantastic projects we work with. You can read here why we think you should choose Globalteer.
You can read more about this project on our blogs page.