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Walking NomChok to the river, my favorite part of the day

Volunteering in Thailand – Elephants in My Backyard


Volunteer in Thailand – Elephant Village Experience
Surin Province, Thailand

My name is Samantha and I’m from Maryland, USA. From the moment I found GoEco and booked my trip I knew volunteering in Thailand was going to be an awesome unforgettable experience. Boy was I right!

How cool is it to say that you had an elephant in the back yard
How cool is it to say that you had an elephant in the back yard?

As soon as I stepped off the plane in Bangkok I was picked up by a member of the team and got to take my first of many tuk tuk rides to the hostel where I got to meet with the other volunteers before we left for our Elephant Village Experience.

Being silly with my fellow volunteer family
Being silly with my fellow volunteer family

After a long train ride that appeared to run on “Thai time” and a short truck ride we made it to the village and were greeted with the sweet smiles of Mr. Suay and Pimon, our generous host. Within minutes I was ushered out back to finally see what I traveled halfway across the world to see. ELEPHANTS!!!! Bank and Nomwon eagerly awaited our arrival and the yummy food that came along with it.

Bathing NomWan in the local river
Bathing NomWan in the local river

Having an elephant literally in your backyard comes with a lot of responsibility and that’s where we come in. During our stay I have become a master with a machete (at least I think so haha) cutting down banana trees and bamboo, cleaning up the elephant area and the community as well as learning how to make poo paper and the most fun of all, taking the elephants down to the river for a swim. Personally that’s my favorite part of the day.

My volunteer family out cutting banana trees
My volunteer family out cutting banana trees

Sadly my two weeks came to end and I have to say that this was easily the greatest experience of my life. It has always been a dream of mine to work with elephants but also getting to meet some fantastic people that I can now call my friends was a bonus that made the experience even better. I could not have asked for anything better and cannot wait to work with GoEco again on another project.

Making elephant poo paper
Making elephant poo paper

Get involved and begin the journey of your lifetime! Click here for more details about the Elephant Village Experience!

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