I love volunteering in Asia. It is one of my favorite experiences to have while traveling here. This is my 5th volunteering, but the first volunteer in Thailand

Volunteer in Thailand with Worldpackers

I love volunteering in Asia. It still is one of my favorite experiences to have while traveling here. This is my 5th volunteering, but the first volunteer in Thailand. Before, I volunteered in India, Vietnam, Myanmar, and Laos.
I chose this volunteering cause it is similar to the one I have done in Myanmar, I mean, similar in the type of work that seems to be ahead for the volunteers. Both were places in more remote areas and surrounded by nature and its sounds and that was exactly what I was looking for when volunteer in Thailand!

During this volunteer in Thailand, I will volunteer in Ba Na, a village about 1h away from Surat Thani, but not that remote,… there is a train station in Ban Na and several daily van departures to and from Surat Thani. To get to Ban Na you can go to Talad Kaset 2 bus station and ask locals about the minivan to Ban Na, not Ban Na San.

My hosters during this volunteer in Thailand are this inspiring Thai couple, retired and with a lifestyle I would like to have in the future. They welcome strangers like me into their house and share their knowledge, stories, culture, and most of all smiles. I love being surrounded by people with a smile to offer. They are this lovely couple that counts with volunteers all over the world to help them develop some side projects like building bungalows, and mud houses, and helping to manage their properties cause there is always something to do! I am volunteer number 394! Can you imagine that!!! They welcomed 394 different people in their place already wow. And I understand why they have so many people willing to come here and many that come back later. The place is lovely, quiet, simple, and so enjoyable. Couldn’t ask for more!

Unfortunately, because of COVID-19, my experience is very different from most of those other volunteers in the past who were staying at another place called Wichay’s Jungle homestay, which is a very remote one.
Before COVID this couple had a homestay in the jungle, way more remote than my actual location with no public transport to get there. The jungle homestay must have been a stunner, but after 2 years of lack of maintenance due to Covid, the place is now unavailable to stay or even sleep. It needs a lot of work to go back to a “livable” place. The place is covered in trees with a lotus flower pond, many bamboo huts, and some tree houses that are now destroyed.

I love volunteering in Asia. It is one of my favorite experiences to have while traveling here. This is my 5th volunteering, but the first volunteer in Thailand

I love volunteering in Asia. It is one of my favorite experiences to have while traveling here. This is my 5th volunteering, but the first volunteer in Thailand

I love volunteering in Asia. It is one of my favorite experiences to have while traveling here. This is my 5th volunteering, but the first volunteer in Thailand

I love volunteering in Asia. It is one of my favorite experiences to have while traveling here. This is my 5th volunteering, but the first volunteer in Thailand

I love volunteering in Asia. It is one of my favorite experiences to have while traveling here. This is my 5th volunteering, but the first volunteer in Thailand

I love volunteering in Asia. It is one of my favorite experiences to have while traveling here. This is my 5th volunteering, but the first volunteer in Thailand

I love volunteering in Asia. It is one of my favorite experiences to have while traveling here. This is my 5th volunteering, but the first volunteer in Thailand

I love volunteering in Asia. It is one of my favorite experiences to have while traveling here. This is my 5th volunteering, but the first volunteer in Thailand

I love volunteering in Asia. It is one of my favorite experiences to have while traveling here. This is my 5th volunteering, but the first volunteer in Thailand

I love volunteering in Asia. It is one of my favorite experiences to have while traveling here. This is my 5th volunteering, but the first volunteer in Thailand

I love volunteering in Asia. It is one of my favorite experiences to have while traveling here. This is my 5th volunteering, but the first volunteer in Thailand

I love volunteering in Asia. It is one of my favorite experiences to have while traveling here. This is my 5th volunteering, but the first volunteer in Thailand

I love volunteering in Asia. It is one of my favorite experiences to have while traveling here. This is my 5th volunteering, but the first volunteer in Thailand

For that reason, we “ the volunteers after COVID” are staying in Ban Na. Ban Na is not that remote but is still a very awesome place. People here don’t see any foreigners other than the ones who volunteer with this family. Therefore, they are curious and smiley, and saying hello on the street is a common thing, so lovely.

Needless to say, volunteers are here to recover the jungle homestay and make it an available spot again and that is what happened once I left the place. When I left my volunteer in Thailand, Wichai’s Jungle Homestay was back to business.

What are my daily expenses?

During this volunteer in Thailand, we are offered free accommodation, but we have to pay for our meals. Depending on your taste you can spend more or less, but usually 50bh is enough for a meal, cheaper is also very possible. The extra of this location is that it is a few meters away from the train station and several weekly markets are going on with many Thai delicacies to die for. There are 3 7-Eleven nearby and laundry services as well as many beautiful roads, lakes, and landscapes. They have free bicycles to roam around and usually, that is what I do in my free time that is a lot.

We could also cook and maybe this way the food expenses will be lower. I cooked only once. There is cheap food available nearby and I couldn’t resist the local night markets anyway haha.

What are our tasks when volunteering

Well, that depends on the project this couple is working on at the moment. We were building a new bungalow in a nearby land that is surrounded by lush green landscapes, a beautiful lake in front, and horses roaming around. What a stunner. So our daily tasks during this volunteer in Thailand have been around building this new structure. A very basic structure is easy to do and anyone can help. Besides that, we help clean horse poo from the location to use as compost. Surprisingly, it doesn’t smell and it is not as nasty as you may think.
Most of all we are helping Mr. Wichai, the man who is old and his strength is not the same as back in the day so he needs an extra hand to help him put his paper projects into life. The lady, Miss Naiyana is a lovely person too, admirable, both of them. An example to follow I would say as they genuinely look like a happy couple that enjoyed their life doing what they like.

I love volunteering in Asia. It is one of my favorite experiences to have while traveling here. This is my 5th volunteering, but the first volunteer in Thailand

I love volunteering in Asia. It is one of my favorite experiences to have while traveling here. This is my 5th volunteering, but the first volunteer in Thailand

I love volunteering in Asia. It is one of my favorite experiences to have while traveling here. This is my 5th volunteering, but the first volunteer in Thailand

I love volunteering in Asia. It is one of my favorite experiences to have while traveling here. This is my 5th volunteering, but the first volunteer in Thailand

I love volunteering in Asia. It is one of my favorite experiences to have while traveling here. This is my 5th volunteering, but the first volunteer in Thailand

I love volunteering in Asia. It is one of my favorite experiences to have while traveling here. This is my 5th volunteering, but the first volunteer in Thailand

I love volunteering in Asia. It is one of my favorite experiences to have while traveling here. This is my 5th volunteering, but the first volunteer in Thailand

I love volunteering in Asia. It is one of my favorite experiences to have while traveling here. This is my 5th volunteering, but the first volunteer in Thailand

I love volunteering in Asia. It is one of my favorite experiences to have while traveling here. This is my 5th volunteering, but the first volunteer in Thailand

I love volunteering in Asia. It is one of my favorite experiences to have while traveling here. This is my 5th volunteering, but the first volunteer in Thailand

I love volunteering in Asia. It is one of my favorite experiences to have while traveling here. This is my 5th volunteering, but the first volunteer in Thailand

I love volunteering in Asia. It is one of my favorite experiences to have while traveling here. This is my 5th volunteering, but the first volunteer in Thailand

I love volunteering in Asia. It is one of my favorite experiences to have while traveling here. This is my 5th volunteering, but the first volunteer in Thailand

I love volunteering in Asia. It is one of my favorite experiences to have while traveling here. This is my 5th volunteering, but the first volunteer in Thailand

I love volunteering in Asia. It is one of my favorite experiences to have while traveling here. This is my 5th volunteering, but the first volunteer in Thailand

I love volunteering in Asia. It is one of my favorite experiences to have while traveling here. This is my 5th volunteering, but the first volunteer in Thailand

I love volunteering in Asia. It is one of my favorite experiences to have while traveling here. This is my 5th volunteering, but the first volunteer in Thailand

The second week of this volunteer in Thailand was different from the previous one. First of all, the volunteering partners are different too. There are two more volunteers both German.
We are cleaning Wichai’s Jungle Homestay because the place is a mess as I mentioned before. We are cleaning the bedrooms for future volunteers arriving who will sleep there and not at Ban Na, the place where I was staying. So we are getting the bedrooms ready for them. These are the dirtiest bedrooms I have ever seen. No one entered them for 3 years now, so they were taken by spiders. Spider webs everyone, the floor is super dirty, the furniture is moldy and the place needs a huge cleanup. It took more than 1h for two volunteers to clean 1 bedroom only. Filthy! Needless to say, this was work for more than 1 day.

I love volunteering in Asia. It is one of my favorite experiences to have while traveling here. This is my 5th volunteering, but the first volunteer in Thailand

I love volunteering in Asia. It is one of my favorite experiences to have while traveling here. This is my 5th volunteering, but the first volunteer in Thailand

After having the bedrooms ready for the next volunteers, we were a total of 6 at some point, we dedicated our time to the next place that needed a hand: the mud house.
At Wichai’s Homestay there is also a mud house that was built by previous volunteers, but, with lack of maintenance, the walls were falling apart in many spots so we needed to fix that. So we spent many days working on this mud house. We had to do the mixture first with cement and clay and shredded pieces of plastic. Then we had to apply the mixture on the walls to fix the existing holes. This took many days and a lot of work.

I love volunteering in Asia. It is one of my favorite experiences to have while traveling here. This is my 5th volunteering, but the first volunteer in Thailand

I love volunteering in Asia. It is one of my favorite experiences to have while traveling here. This is my 5th volunteering, but the first volunteer in Thailand

I love volunteering in Asia. It is one of my favorite experiences to have while traveling here. This is my 5th volunteering, but the first volunteer in Thailand

Mixing the materials is hard work and plastering the walls is tiring too. What a workout haha no one needs a gym after this. After fixing the walls with the mud mix, we had to plaster the mud house inside. This time we used only cement.
Before plastering, we had to apply a metallic net so the cement would stick and stay without falling. It was a support to avoid any future problems in the house. This took several days as we only worked 3 hours a day, usually from 8.30 am to 11.30 am with a 30-minute break. The work sometimes may be hard, but it isn’t a long day of work.

Next to the mud house were also some toilets that we had to clean and paint the walls again. This was the work I had done until I left the place for Koh Lipe, an island in the south of Thailand.

I planned to stay at this place as a volunteer in Thailand for 3 weeks and so did I. Those were my tasks during that time. We saw a lot of progress in our projects! It was rewarding noticing it and seeing things moving forward.

 

When I came back from my Koh Lipe trip the tasks were a bit different. The mud house was almost done, the bedrooms at Wichai’s Jungle homestay were clean, and the area was cleaned and ready to receive new guests.

As everything is different now after COVID-19, we had to update the homestay’s info online. The homestay has a website and a Google Maps page and we had to update those things otherwise customers would be reading outdated information and expecting something that isn’t true any longer. Before there were cute bamboo bungalows to rent and now they are gone, for example.

This couple needs help with their website. Well, I don’t know much about doing websites, but I offered my help. So the rest of my time in Ban Na (1,5 weeks more) I was mainly helping with the website. The problem is that it was done on a proper website-building program and my experience is with WordPress haha needless to say I had to learn how to do it. I was in contact with the girl who has done it before, and she guided me on how to update the website, and where to click bla bla, I knew nothing at all!

It was a “headache” honestly cause it was confusing, I knew nothing about it, plus I didn’t enjoy spending my volunteering time in front of a computer even though I think other volunteers were “jealous” as my workload was way softer than theirs. But I didn’t volunteer in Thailand with Worldpackers to spend my time on a computer, so yeah it was my least favorite part. But, I wanted to help this couple, so that’s why I put in the effort so they can start receiving guests again in their homestay. Plus, I was the one volunteering to do it. I wasn’t expecting it to take those many days to get the website ready but… I finished what I proposed to do so I was happy that I could help in another way and now they don’t have to wait for a programmer volunteer to help them with the website. The job was done and I learned new stuff.

Some other days the work was easy, we only had to repair the bicycles they had for the volunteers and clean them. They have a bicycle per volunteer and like I told you, sometimes we were 6 volunteers.

0Rv_8Aq-1Zs_

0Rv_8Aq-1Zs_

0Rv_8Aq-1Zs_

On Worldpackers you can find many kinds of volunteering experiences.

Working schedule and facilities

On Worldpackers you can find many kinds of volunteering experiences. It is up to you to decide where you want to go and which kind of work are you looking for. In Ban Na, I worked 3 hours a day, 6 hours on Wednesday so we could have free Fridays to do whatever we wanted. But many times we weren’t working those full 6h on Wednesdays. The hosts are very chill.
What do you do with the rest of your time? Well, whatever you want. I explored many places around this area by bicycle with fellow volunteers and on my own too. Sometimes not everybody wants to do the same things, but I managed to have a group several times and we went together on bicycle trips all day long. You can check the places I visited as a volunteer in Thailand HERE!

Places I visited during my time in Ban Na: Nasan Dunes, Wat Na San, Khamin Cave, Muaeng Thuat Waterfall, Hot Springs, Surat Thani town, Khuan Ta Roen Khao Soon Mountain, train to Kantang, Khao Sok National Park

The house in Ban Na is a beautiful one, but we don’t stay in the house itself. The volunteers sleep in tents with a fan and plugs. We have an open-air kitchen where we can cook and a bathroom with hot water. There is also wifi but a SIM card would be preferable honestly as the connection only works in certain spots.

0Rv_8Aq-1Zs_

At night, in the house, I had to be careful because there were scorpions roaming around. I had seen 4 different ones, some bigger than others, so at night, my eyes were always on the floor haha. We had a cat in the place too. Basically, it is the volunteers’ cat. The cat isn’t the family’s cat. It showed up at the house one day and stayed haha. Sometimes I was worried about seeing the cat fighting the scorpions haha I wouldn’t like to see her hurt. But don’t worry. The scorpions weren’t in the tents. The tents were higher than the floor. We also had the opportunity to see this massive gecko. I had never seen such a beautiful gecko before so was mesmerized. It was there on the ceiling and I could see it perfectly. It was orange and blue OMG what a beauty!! Even though it was nighttime, I thought this gecko was absolutely gorgeous. Seeing its colors during the day must be awesome!

I love volunteering in Asia. It is one of my favorite experiences to have while traveling here. This is my 5th volunteering, but the first volunteer in Thailand

I love volunteering in Asia. It is one of my favorite experiences to have while traveling here. This is my 5th volunteering, but the first volunteer in Thailand

How to apply

On the Worldpackers website, you can research by country, city, or type of job. Then you apply to your favorite ones and the host has 4 days to answer your candidature. It works the same way as you would apply for a job. You must tell your expectations, and meet the host’s ones. Once agreed you are ready to embark on a volunteering experience that I promise will be rewarding. You can also volunteer in Thailand at this same spot as me because they take many volunteers as you can read on my testimony. It is great that there are more volunteers and this way you have friends to explore around, talk to, and enjoy the new place with like-minded people. I love this kind of experience and couldn’t recommend more.

 

So, I enjoyed my time here. I could help this couple, I could go on bike trips with friends, I could read, write, paint seashells, and do many things cause I had all afternoons for myself. The proof is that I decided to stay longer than I first planned haha
After the 3 weeks of volunteering I committed to, I went on a week trip to Koh Lipe, and after that, I returned to Ban Na. I didn’t have a plan after this volunteering, so I decided to come back because I was happy in Ban Na, so I did.

seashell art

seashell art

seashell art

seashell art

seashell art

seashell art

seashell art

seashell art

seashell art

seashell art

seashell art

seashell art

seashell art

seashell art

seashell art

seashell art

seashell art

seashell art

seashell art

And that was all I have done for this lovely deserving couple. I loved the place their company and learning with their knowledge.
He was an art teacher and she was a biology teacher. They are inspiring, interesting good people, and I was very grateful for the opportunity to stay with them. You can contact them if you would like to have the same experience.
I only have to thank and probably I will see them again one day. Their website is: WICHAI’S JUNGLE HOMESTAY

The place is now ready to receive guests and they also have a camping site. In case you don’t want to volunteer in Thailand, you can always stay in this off-the-beaten-path spot and pay for it.

Here is a little video about some of the volunteer’s tasks:

You can get a 10 USD DISCOUNT on Worlpackers with my LINK!

Buy bus tickets within Thailand HERE!

 

Leave a comment