Volunteer in Thailand with Friends for Asia

Thailand Volunteer Dates and Times

When to Volunteer in Thailand

Friends for Asia offers volunteer programs throughout the year and different times of the year in Asia give for different experiences. Thailand experiences different seasons, different school schedules, and different holidays, all of which should be taken in to account when planning to come live and volunteer in the country. Certain times of the year are better for some to volunteer than others, Luckily, Friends for Asia offers volunteer opportunities nearly year round.

Volunteer as Long as You Can, When You Can

The more time a volunteer can commit to different projects through Friends for Asia the more of the country, the culture, and the people they will be exposed to. Most projects typically last for two weeks and a minimum one-week project at the elephant camp. This allows volunteers to split their time gaining a variety of cultural experiences in a relatively short period of time. Ideally, volunteers commit four weeks to different programs but more is always encouraged. Also, we suggest that volunteers leave some time at the end to travel independently and see what they can find on their own.

Elephant Camp Volunteer Video

After a few weeks living and working in any of our locations volunteers have a better sense of the country and what it has to offer than when first arriving. By meeting other volunteers and locals, at the end of their commitments volunteers can travel with friends or by themselves. This gives volunteers to see other parts of the country or witness some of the nation’s amazing festivals and holidays.


Thailand Festivals

Volunteering during some of Thailand’s holidays and festivals is a great way to see the culture firsthand. Buddhist holidays make up many of the country’s holidays and are a great way to see how Buddhist culture and Thai culture are intertwined.

Loy Krathong 1


Thailand hold religious and cultural festivals and holidays throughout the year and many people coming to the region want to experience these while volunteering. The annual Thai New Year festival, or “Songkran”, is held in mid-April and is famous for being the biggest water fight in the world. People line the streets and spray water as a “blessing” and it is a time of celebration for Thai people. All of Friends for Asia’s volunteer projects are closed during the month of April due to this holiday, however, volunteering in March and then spending extra a few weeks in Thailand allows many of our volunteers to take part in this joyous occasion.

Loy Krathong

In November, Thais celebrate “Loy Krathong” by lighting candles and setting them afloat in the river. A beautiful holiday characterized by candles dotting the river bank and traditional Chinese lanterns being lit and cast into the night’s sky, “Loy Krathong” is another great way to see the beauty of Thai culture and Thai holidays.



The Thai Winter

Many volunteers come in November not just for “Loy Krathong” but also for the great weather. Thailand, unlike most of the west and northern hemisphere, has three seasons: winter, summer, and rainy. Winter is without a doubt the best weather that Thailand experiences all year. Usually beginning around October when the rains slow and the weather stays around 25° C (78° F) and can even get “chilly” in the evenings, especially when living in rural areas like the elephant camp. Although this can be a difficult time for many to come due to scheduling conflicts back home, this time of year is also high season for tourist and the city and its attractions are more crowded than other times of the year. Schools are closed for a mid-term break during the month of October and if volunteers wish to teach while volunteering in Thailand they should consider another time in the year.

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The Thai Summer

The summer in Thailand goes from around mid-March to early-June and is characteristically hot. In Northern Thailand, March is also the time many farmers in the area burn their fields to get ready for the next planting season. A rather outdated process, many farmers still choose to burn their fields to clear them quickly to plant next year’s crops and this has a negative impact on the air pollution in the area. However, at many of our project sites outside the busy city and in more rural areas, the pollution is noticeably less.


Summer is definitely the hottest time of the year in Thailand but volunteers can beat the heat by staying in the shade when possible and drinking lots of water. Thailand’s school systems close during these summer months from mid-March through May, volunteers wishing to teach while working in Thailand should keep that in mind when planning when they would like to volunteer.

The Thai Rainy Season

The rainy season starts around mid-June and will last a few months until mid-October. While one might be thinking rainy season means monsoon-force rainstorms day and night but it really isn’t that bad. Yes, it is typical for Chiang Mai to have a daily rain shower during the rainy season, they usually pass in a hour or two and leave behind partly sunny skies. On occasion, rain will persist throughout the day but learning to deal with a little rain is part of living in Southeast Asia, and volunteers are often surprised how little it bothers them. This time of year fits many volunteer’s schedules because of the summer break back in the west. We highly encourage all of our volunteers to do whatever is best for them and their schedules.

Thailand Volunteer Chiang Mai Group # 183

One thing is for sure: no matter what time of year people choose to volunteer, they leave with life-changing memories. Offering nearly year round opportunities to help, Friends for Asia makes it easy for volunteers to fit their service into their own schedule. For some, the months of May, June, and July work best because they have fewer commitments back home and can take a month or two to travel and volunteer abroad. Others wish to see certain festivals that may dictate when they spend their time in Thailand while others want to enjoy the wonderful weather of the Thai winter. Volunteers may only have a small portion of their year to help with our projects in Thailand. But no matter what time of year, Friends for Asia makes sure that we provide our volunteers with meaningful projects in the region that help strengthen communities and enrich people’s lives year round.