Volunteer in Thailand with Friends for Asia

Chiang Mai Volunteer Projects Re-Opening

We are excited, and proud to announce the re-opening of our Chiang Mai based volunteer projects, starting immediately. Yes, there are still a good number of travel restrictions, and some project sites may not be yet open to accepting volunteers. The theme of our Chiang Mai based programs for 2021 is flexibility and patience. Before applying, please review the Travel Requirements and FAQs below.

Seeing Chiang Mai as a Local

Due to almost 0 tourism in the kingdom, Chiang Mai is quiet, peaceful. Absent are the tour busses and crowds. It’s an amazing time to see the beauty of the northern Thailand city, with important landmarks and historical sites visited by only a handful of local Thais.

Available Programs

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:

Magazine Internship

Magazine and Mutli-Media Intern Project

Magazine and Multimedia Internship

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.

Chiang Mai Womens Empowerment Project

Chiang Mai Womens Empowerment Volunteer Project

The stakes are high for these mothers, and your support to their needs and your investment of time and effort will better their family’s future. Single mothers face similar challenges all over the world. For this placement, these challenges can be overcome by equipping disadvantaged women in Northern Thailand with the skills and confidence they need to turn their lives around.

English Education Volunteer Project

English Education

English Education

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 at an Elephant Nursery

Elephant Nursery Project

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

Teaching English to Novice Monks

Teaching English to Novice 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 a Children’s Home

Children’s Home Volunteer

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.

FAQs, Application, Visa, and Travel Steps

The following are some FAQs, along with the visa, application and travel preparation steps in coming to take part in our Chiang Mai volunteer projects.

When did it become possible to visit Thailand, and are many people coming?

Thailand opened it’s doors to foreign visitors in late 2020. Due to a required quarantine upon arrival, Thailand is seeing the repatriation of Thai nationals, along with incoming foreign works, or foreigners with Thai spouses and families. Bangkok International Airport is seeing up to around 50 international incoming flights per day. In this, there are a few foreign visitors, but not many.

Do foreign visitors and volunteers need to quarantine upon arrival?

All incoming people to Thailand are currently required to go through a quarantine at one of Thailand’s Alternative State Quarantine hotels. This quarantine is required for all foreigners and local Thais. The amount of time of the quarantine varies between 10 and 14 days, depending upon country that individual is traveling from, and the rate of Covid variants in that country. The ASQ packages range in price greatly, and the vast majority of the hotels are in the Bangkok area.

What is the process of being able to travel to Thailand?

To visit Thailand a volunteer first needs to receive a certificate of entry from their regional Thailand consulate or embassy. In doing so, Covid checks are required. We recommend that all volunteers also apply for, and obtain a non-immigrant O visa prior to their departure. This visa provides an individual with up to 90 days in Thailand.

Do people who have already been vaccinated need to quarantine as well?

Thailand is planning to open up Phuket (a vacation island in the south of Thailand) to foreigners that have been vaccinated, without requiring quarantine, in July. The timeline on this is dependent upon if the vast majority of local Thais in Phuket are able to be vaccinated by July, to provide herd immunity.

What is the Covid situation in Thailand and Chiang Mai?

Thailand as a whole has been rather lucky with Covid related issues. Comparatively, very few cases of Covid have been reported. However, every few months there seems to be an outbreak, and things are semi-locked down until numbers return to near 0 new infections. Check the Bangkok Post for the latest information and news on the Covid situation in Thailand.

When should volunteers arrive in Thailand and begin their programs

A list of our posted program start dates are below. Ideally, we request that volunteers arrive into Chiang Mai on the Friday prior to their program start date, to take part in our 2 day orientation. However, we understand the complexities of the travel requirements at the moment, and would be happy to provide volunteers with a placement start whenever they are able to arrive into Chiang Mai. We assume that volunteers will be continually corresponding with our programming staff, while they are in quarantine.

2021 Program Start Dates

January 4, 2021
January 18, 2021
February 1, 2021
February 15, 2021
March 1, 2021
March 15, 2021
All Projects Closed in April, 2021
May 3, 2021 (Thai School Summer, Teaching Related Programs Unavailable)
May 17, 2021
June 7, 2021
June 21, 2021
July 5, 2021
July 19, 2021
August 2, 2021
August 16, 2021
September 6, 2021
September 20, 2021 (Thai mid-school year break. Teaching related programs unavailable)
October 4, 2021 (Thai mid-school year break. Teaching related programs unavailable)
October 28, 2021 (Thai mid-school year break. Teaching related programs unavailable)
November 1, 2021
November 15, 2021
December 6, 2021
December 20, 2021

After finishing my volunteer program, am I free to travel to other areas of Thailand?

Yes, we encourage volunteers to travel and visit other areas of Thailand during their visit!

When will the Bangkok based programs be available?

We hope be re-opening our Bangkok based programs in the middle of 2022.


Volunteer Chiang Mai Video