Friends for Asia (FFA) first launched in Northern Thailand, and the volunteer projects in Chiang Mai that we coordinate are among the longest-running and most successful that we offer. With the help of conscientious travelers like you, Friends for Asia has been strengthening communities and changing lives in Chiang Mai for years.
As a volunteer in Chiang Mai, explore the exciting opportunities that we offer in Thailand’s Rose of the North. Don’t hesitate to contact us if you have any specific inquiries.
Volunteer Chiang Mai Video
Why Volunteer in Chiang Mai
Chiang Mai is famous as Thailand’s Northern retreat away from chaotic Bangkok and the hyped beaches of the south. The northern Thailand provincial capital has all the facilities a person on holiday needs, but visitors are only a few kilometers from remote countryside where village life prevails. Tourists prize a Chiang Mai holiday for its shopping, trekking and cultural diversions and dozens of other places to go, things to see and do in Chiang Mai, but they’re barely scratching the surface of what’s really on tap here.
Our volunteers’ assignments take them deeper into Thailand and Thai culture without forcing them to forego the entertainment and facilities offered by this dynamic city. A short drive is all it takes to transfer to a remote elephant camp or a home for single mothers in the countryside. In just a few minutes, the scenery changes from bazaars, Chinese shop houses and Buddhist temples to rice paddies and ambling mountains. This could amount to little more than a drive in the country, but for FFA’s volunteers it’s another day at work.
Dynamic Volunteer Programs in Chiang Mai
The FFA staff work tirelessly with local NGOs, schools and other organizations in Chiang Mai to develop projects that are both meaningful to the local community and rewarding for volunteers. These are some of the volunteer Chiang Mai programs that we have on offer:
Shadow full-time doctors conducting surgeries in the OR and making rounds in some of the best private and teaching hospitals in Thailand. Thailand is the preeminent medical tourism destination, and for our interns more relevant experience than just about any internship in the West could offer. Return to medical school with a clear-cut advantage over your peers.
Join the team at one of the longest-running and most successful English-language publications in Chiang Mai. See your work published and build your resume in the process.
Low Cost English Teaching Volunteer
The Friends for Asia Low Cost English Teaching Volunteer Project offers a candid view of daily life in Thailand. Ideal candidates will be keen on getting an inside perspective on a side of the kingdom that tourists and volunteers in bigger cities rarely encounter. In the countryside surrounding Chiang Mai, government schools have little chance of attracting international teachers.
Orphanage Volunteer Project
Waking up with a fish pond and rice paddies outside your window, mountains in the distance and more than 50 children waiting for your attention – this is what volunteering in Thailand is all about! Volunteers in this project stay on the project site five days a week, enjoying well-earned rest and relaxation over the weekend in Chiang Mai city.
English Education Volunteer Project
One of the most effective ways for volunteers to make a difference in Thailand is to assist with English Education. Help young people develop stronger language skills for greater opportunities in the future.
Volunteer Building and Gardening for Single Mothers
The single mothers’ home is in need of more than childcare, and many of our volunteers contribute to the cause by building infrastructure on the compound. Whether its gardening, painting or teaching a special class, your efforts will directly benefit these disadvantaged women and their children.
Volunteer at an Elephant Camp
This popular project places volunteers in direct contact with Asian elephants in the rural north. Volunteers assist with basic care, including feeding and bathing time.
Volunteer Teaching English to Novice Buddhist Monks
One of the most unique projects offered by Friends for Asia is the chance to teach English to novice monks at a local Buddhist temple. Go behind the scenes and learn more about this ancient religion and its modern adherents.
Volunteer at an International University for Monks
In addition to our teaching-in-temples project, FFA also works with a prominent university for Buddhist monks in Chiang Mai. Learn more about the higher teachings of Buddhism in the process.
Volunteer at a Children’s Home
A home for underprivileged children in Northern Thailand. As with children’s homes across the world, finding the funds and staff to meet demands can be a challenge. Our volunteers donate their time and energy in everything from helping with homework, playing games, arts and crafts to grounds keeping.
All Friends for Asia volunteering and internships are a two-four week minimum and include orientation and training, accommodation, and 24-hour support along with international accident and injury insurance.
When you choose to serve as a volunteer in Chiang Mai, one of the most important considerations is where you are going to be based. We operate a network of accommodation facilities in Chiang Mai that are safe and conveniently located to our project sites. When you volunteer with FFA, your entire experience is well-organized and carefully planned to ensure that you can make the most of the time you spend volunteering.
Our main volunteer houses are centrally located near Chiang Mai’s old walled city and within a few minutes’ walk of each other. After spending the day at your project site, you can return to the comfort of our accommodation and spend time unwinding, planning the next day’s work or simply getting to know other volunteers from around the world. For some volunteer programs located in more remote areas, we offer alternative accommodation at or near the project site.
Volunteers in Chiang Mai enjoy the following services and amenities at FFA’s accommodation facilities:
- Air-conditioned sleeping quarters
- Access to a kitchen, including basic ingredients for breakfast
- Hot-water showers
- Secure facilities including CCTV cameras
- Ongoing support of our staff
We’ll also help you arrange transportation to your volunteer project site each day. Getting around in Chiang Mai is cheap and easy thanks to plentiful public transport options and our central location. We’ll show you the ropes during your orientation to ensure you’re ready for work from day one.
Make a Difference in Chiang Mai
Thanks to Friends for Asia, there is no reason for you to go it alone when you choose to volunteer in Chiang Mai. Each of our programs have been carefully vetted and maintained by our expert staff to make sure that are volunteers are safe, well-equipped and able to make a real difference while on assignment. There’s no need to waste time looking for NGOs, conservation projects and schools that could use your help because we’ve done all the legwork for you. Contact us today to learn more, or send an application to set the process in motion.
Our medical interns shadow doctors in private hospitals and enjoy much more latitude than their counterparts in the West. Caregivers at the home for single mothers forge relationships with Thai people that mainstream society has neglected. And volunteers at the orphanage get an inside look at how a highly motivated team of international aid workers can transform the lives of children. These are just a few ways that our volunteers are going behind the scenes in Thailand. In every case, the focus is on contributing to meaningful causes and connecting to real Thai people, which wouldn’t be possible without the backing of FFA.
Chiang Mai Climate
|Daily highs (°C)||30||32||35||36||34||32||32||31||31||31||30||28|
|Nightly lows (°C)||14||15||18||22||23||24||24||23||23||22||19||15|
Chiang Mai’s northern location and moderate elevation results in the city having a more temperate climate than that of much of Central, Eastern and Southern Thailand. Chiang Mai has a tropical wet and dry climate, tempered by the low latitude and moderate elevation, with warm to hot weather year-round, though nighttime conditions during the dry season can be cool and are much lower than daytime highs. The maximum temperature ever recorded is 42.4 °C (108.3 °F) in May 2005. As with the rest of Thailand there are three seasons.
- Cool/dry season from mid Oct-mid Feb
- Hot season from mid Feb-mid Jun
- Wet season from mid Jun-mid Oct
However, note that it can be hot in the cool season (during the day), wet in the cool/dry season (though days go by without rain, it is not unheard of), and dry (and hot) in the wet season. One nice thing about the wet season is that the prevalence of clouds can moderate the heat.