The Phang Nga province in Thailand is located on the Andaman Sea and is blessed with an abundance of natural resources, numerous national parks and stunning scenery with a wide range of attractions. Phang Nga is made up of white sandy beaches, tropical islands, amazing limestone rock formations and a rich culture. Unfortunately the 2004 Boxing Day Tsunami hit the region hard which had an impact on the marine ecosystem in the area as well as on the fishing industry on which the local community is heavily dependent. In addition to this tourism is growing at an incredible rate in Southern Thailand often at the expense of the environment. On this project volunteers assist with the recovery of the marine ecosystem as well as working with the community to increase awareness of the importance of preserving their natural resources. Depending on the time of year, you could be conducting biodiversity and butterfly surveys, effecting species identification, assisting staff at a turtle centre, leading environmental education classes or teaching English, taking part in beach clean-ups or monitoring and assessing tourist behaviour and its impact on the environment through conducting water snorkel surveys at the Similan Islands National Park.
This is a physically and mentally demanding project that promises to be a rewarding and fulfilling experience. Living in a volunteer house located on the Main Street of Ban Nam Khem, you and the other international volunteers taking part in these projects will have a comfortable stay. Located close to shops and markets you will be able to shop for anything you may need and there are a number of weekend travel and activity options available. With the first Friday of every 2 weeks being free time, you will have a lot of opportunity to explore Thailand, such as enjoying the beautiful beaches, waterfalls and treks throughout the Khao Lak coast, visiting Khao Sok National park to immerse yourself in the nature and its wildlife, go snorkelling or diving in the coral reefs of the Similan and Surin Islands, travelling to Phuket to enjoy the night time party atmosphere and daytime watersports scene or indulging, relaxing and pampering yourself at the many cheap spas and massage parlours. You could explore the attractions of the neighbouring Krabi province by kayaking through mangroves, climbing the steps at the Tiger Temple, or cooling off in the crystal waters of the Emerald Pool. Every second Friday of every 2 weeks involves a group project giving everyone a chance to experience the different projects or to see more of the area through activities such as doing a beach clean-up or visiting a local waterfall.
What you need to know
There is no set timetable for this project and volunteers need to be willing to help in any area that requires attention at the time of their stay. Your immersion in various projects is very much dependent on the need on the ground and the time of the year: from November to March, you may be involved in sea turtle research and conservation. The rainy season of May to October sees more terrestrial and community work such as mangrove research & planting, biodiversity surveying in nearby National Parks and environmental education. Beach clean-ups and community education classes take place year round. Projects in the community can vary from environmental education with the general community, schools, hotels and tour & dive operators, and the importance of protecting our natural environment; to English language teaching. The conservation team is regularly required to stay away from base for 2 – 3 days at a time during which accommodation and amenities will differ to those at base.
- Placement and pre-departure help
- In-depth travel advice on how to get to where you need to be
- Full training and orientation upon arrival
- Shared accommodation within a local family home, safe and to good standard
- Meals when on base
- Onsite support by experienced staff
- 24-hour emergency phone
What’s Not Included?
- Travel and health insurance
- Visa costs
- Local transport and spending money
- Vaccinations if required
- Snorkelling equipment (mask, fins & snorkel) for those volunteering Nov-May