The first week is designed to introduce you to Thailand and it’s people, culture, language, attitudes and customs. It’s a great way to meet fellow travellers and to make new friends. To ensure you have fun and to make it easy for you to meet all the groups, we have arranged some fun social nights including a welcome party, a Thai-style BBQ and a dinner at a gorgeous bar / restaurant with Karaoke for those that like to sing!
When you arrive at the eco house in Singburi, you will be shown to your rooms. All rooms are shared with the same sex. While staying at the eco-house, males and females are not allowed to stay in the same rooms. There will be time to relax, take a shower and unpack. There will be an informal meeting after dinner to welcome you and to inform you of things like what time breakfast is served. The orientation meeting will be the following day.
There are two co-ordinators at each house. The co-ordinators are friendly local Thais. They are there to show you around, introduce you to Thailand, answer any of your questions and ensure you have a good time. They make this programme a special and unique one.
Programme Introduction: money, rules and appreciated behaviour, food, safety advice, cultural differences and social information.
During this week, you and your group will have a Thai lesson. You will learn enough phrases to get by on.
An explanation of the work places, projects underway and information on what has been achieved in the past (volunteers that have chosen extra weeks only)
VISIT LOCAL PLACES:
You will be shown the village, markets, temples and monuments in the local area. You will have several opportunities to go to the local town called Singburi. Here you can check your e-mails, go shopping and get a Thai SIM card for your mobile. There is also a pool in Singburi where you can go swimming, relax and sunbathe.
GAMES, COOKING LESSON, DISCUSSIONS:
Done in groups to help you make friends with fellow volunteers, project leaders and programme staff. This is an excellent way to learn the language and a fun way to experience the new culture.
You will have a chance to explore the local area. There are plenty of opportunities for free time. You can relax around the eco-house, read, go swimming, shopping, etc. The project co-ordinators are happy to show you around and point out the beautiful and amazing highlights that Thailand has to offer. Your weekends are your free time so feel free to arrange extra excursions if you´d like.
THIS WEEK IN DETAIL
This option is a great chance to know more about Thailand, bond with your fellow participants, and learn about the local surrounding area. You will learn about Thai culture, Thai language and have a
taste of what has made Thai cooking so famous around the world through some cooking classes. You will also visit the famous Buddhist Temple: Wat Phranon Jaksi, the old capital of Ayutthaya (including a visit to the Elephant Village), Lopburi´s museum and pagoda. This programme below is written to give you an idea of this week (it´s an example):
After breakfast, we have a group meeting and take a short walk around the village before lunch in a local restaurant. In the afternoon, we visit a local handicraft shop before being the special guests of a welcome party with local school students performing a Thai traditional dance for us.
An all-day trip to the ancient city of Ayutthaya, many ancient ruins and art works can be seen in this city that was founded in 1350 by King U-Thong when the Thais were forced Southwards by northern neighbours. We will then visit the special Elephant village followed by dinner near the river side.
In the morning, we start with a Thai lesson, after which will visit some of the beautiful and famous monuments and Buddhist temples near our centre: Wat Phranon Jaksi (A huge reclining Buddha image) and the Bang-Rachan hero monument. In the afternoon there will a trip to the local town, here you can do some shopping, swimming or check email. In the evening, we will have dinner at a famous Thai BBQ restaurant.
In the morning, we visit a local school and join in with the local students. During school holidays (from mid-March till mid-May and in October), when the school is closed, we may visit a palm tree farm or other local life instead. After noon we pick up from yesterday with another Thai lesson and then have an interactive Thai cooking class: after a short Thai lesson introducing the different ingredients you will learn how to cook these ingredients into a renowned Thai dish, and have it for dinner!
A full day with several visits in the Lopburi province. Some of the highlights would visit to the famous Somdet Phra Narai National Museum and the Wat Phraputhabaht Temple (Buddha´s footprint) and we will experience some local cuisine at a nearby restaurant.
Weekends are always free in most programmes, but participants can delve deeper with advanced Thai Language lessons or hire local transport to visit the Swimming pool or shops in Singburi Town. (these are extra-curricular, please request on site!). Also, feel free to ask the friendly staff for help in getting to some of Thailand´s many nearby tourist attractions.