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Diving and Marine Conservation in Thailand with Projects Abroad

Overall Rating

10/ 10

  • Volunteer Experience

    9

  • Program Administration

    9

  • Living Situation

    8

  • Community Impact

    8

  • Health and Safety

    10

  • Social Life

    9

Diving and conservation in Thailand

I spent 4 weeks taking part in the Conservation project in Thailand with Projects Abroad. From the moment I arrived, I found a staff member waiting in the airport. On our way back to the volunteer complex, she explained many sights that we passed, and gave me clear expectations for what would happen and how to prepare for my training and volunteer work. The staff members conducted informative workshops before new activities, such as mangrove planting, turtle rehabilitation, and overall project goals. If I ever had a question about why an activity was run a certain way, the staff members had clear answers that gave further insight into the culture of Thailand

The complex housed approximately 15 other volunteers I became very close with. We spent all our meals together, either eating the delicious food made for us at the complex, or going out into town to eat at a restaurant. At the complex, we had a variety of meals - sometimes Thai, but also sometimes more Western. Those volunteers who were vegan or vegetarian were accommodated with separate meals without question.

I would definitely recommend this trip, but for longer than 4 weeks. I felt that when my time was up, I wasn't ready and didn't feel that my work was complete. It was an amazing experience with really wonderful people.

  • Projects Abroad responded to this review August 19, 2016 at 1:15 PM

    Hi Marie! It's great to hear you had such a wonderful time in our Conservation project in Thailand! Indeed, like in most of our projects, the longer you stay, the stronger the impact of your volunteer work in the community. Still, it seems like all the time in the world is not enough to fully explore and enjoy the beautiful Thailand, right? We are glad you got to spend 4 weeks volunteering abroad with us, hopefully you can join us again soon in another one of our projects!

Overall Rating

10/ 10

  • Volunteer Experience

    9

  • Program Administration

    9

  • Living Situation

    9

  • Community Impact

    8

  • Health and Safety

    10

  • Social Life

    10

Marine conservation and diving in Thailand

I have been to 25 different countries, on 20 different trips and THIS IS THE PROJECT I WOULD MOST RECOMMEND! The month I spent in Thailand as a volunteer for the projects abroad environmental and marine conservation was absolutely incredible, and totally unforgettable - I will always remember how beautiful Thailand was, the adventures I had, the marine life, and most of all - the people I met.

I arrived in Thailand with almost no dive experience, and within days was certified with my PADI Open Water. The diving was one of the most wonderful things I have ever experienced - I saw SO MUCH. The dive boat we took back and forth to the dive sites was great... the boat staff was super fun and helpful. The boat rides range anywhere from an hour to three hours each way on dive days (3 days/week, 2 dives/day).. but this commute is not a negative! The boat rides were one of my favourite parts of the trip! Thailand is absolutely gorgeous and during the rides we got the chance to enjoy the sunshine, and the view. All of the volunteers would hang out, and relax, but at this time was also used to touch base with the staff. We would have dive debriefs with the dive masters or learn fish identification - one of my other favourite activities. The dive staff is SO GREAT! I was never afraid of diving, but one of my friends on the trip was terribly nervous, but our dive master, Marius was amazing in making us feel 100% safe, comfortable and always having fun. We participated in trash collection dives, fish ID, and coral reef surveys. It was so incredible to know that while we were also having fun, more importantly we were aiding in a research project. We went diving with rulers, colour wheels, flashlight, pencils and pad, etc. and it was so interesting to be involved in such a unique project. It is a very bittersweet feeling to emerge from the water holding a bag full of trash, because while it feels great to help clean the ocean, it is very sad to see how poorly the environment has been conserved.

The volunteer aspect is great, but Projects Abroad also leaves time in the schedule for lots of freedom, independent time. I was able to explore the country with other volunteers, visit local tourist sites, restaurants, bars, clubs, and even bus to Phuket for a night where a group of us stayed in a hostel! How great is it to travel with a safe and structured company that also gives you the freedom to explore independently!!! I was really appreciative of this... it would've been disappointing to have travelled over 37 hours from Toronto to Thailand so not get to participate in some sight seeing and social activities as well - so glad that that was not the case!!!

We had volunteers when I was there ranging from 16 years old to 27, and we all blended in very well! As a 17 year old, I was the younger side of the group but still made awesome connections with everyone. I would definitely recommend this for people of all ages who are looking to travel to such an amazing country like Thailand with a purpose.

  • Projects Abroad responded to this review August 15, 2016 at 9:38 AM

    Hi Mikayla! We are delighted to hear you had such a wonderful experience in our Diving

Overall Rating

10/ 10

  • Volunteer Experience

    10

  • Program Administration

    9

  • Living Situation

    10

  • Community Impact

    9

  • Health and Safety

    9

  • Social Life

    10

A fantastic experience- you'll never want to leave!

I went into this program with no diving experience and emerged an Advanced Open Water diver at the end of my 4 week stay, and I loved every minute of it!

Diving was spectacular. Mornings we would wake up early and take a boat to our diving ship, a very well run vessel that serves delicious food in between dives with an inviting crew and experienced dive instructors. We averaged 6 dives a week, plus two days of community and environmental work, such as painting temples and eating with the monks afterwards, planting mangroves and then washing off the mud in the sea, cleaning up trash on the beach (you will be shocked what you can find!) and other activities like helping take care of young sea turtles of several species. Yet what I truly appreciated was that at the end of the volunteer work each week we were given time to truly walk around Thailand. With Projects Abroad you do not have to choose between volunteering or tourism, you can explore both! There are many islands, temples, and events you can see every month near Krabi, and the project supervisors are happy to tell you how to get to each one. Projects Abroad is with you every step of the way when you apply and as you travel to and from Thailand, and for those of you who wish a more independent journey abroad don't worry; the company is there if you need them, they don't plan everything at your placement for you. The residences we lived in provided fans and mosquito nets, and created a strong community feeling because all of our neighbors were our fellow volunteers, so you could always pop over to someone else’s room to hang out. The friendships you make here are one of the best parts of traveling.

This project is slightly more expensive than other Projects Abroad’s placements, but its well worth it considering they provide diving equipment, instructors and transportation throughout all your diving. And the coral reefs are absolutely beautiful, you will never forget them. Seeing Hawksbill sea turtles and Black Tip Reef sharks, Moray eels and several species of rays, are just a handful of amazing marine life you get the chance to swim among and help protect. I highly recommend this program to anyone who loves the ocean from the beach to the seabed.

Overall Rating

9/ 10

  • Volunteer Experience

    9

  • Program Administration

    10

  • Living Situation

    8

  • Community Impact

    9

  • Health and Safety

    9

  • Social Life

    10

Thailand marine conservation

My time in Thailand was truly an experience to remember. Although I only volunteered for the short time of 3 weeks, which I wish I could have extended, I was able to thoroughly enjoy the people, sights, and sounds of Thailand. I truly have no complaints with respect to the project, the staff, the food, but I do have a couple concerns with Projects Abroad in general. On their website they recommended a 2 week minimum stay, but in all seriousness even three weeks isn't a long enough time to make a serious contribution to the conservation efforts. Although I still conducted reef health surveys, I was not able to begin the fish identification because of the time constraints. I wish the website would have made a 3 or 4 week minimum at least. Other than that, and the hefty price for the trip, I was seriously amazed by how smooth and efficient the team in Thailand was. It really felt like staying at a local's home in the area. If you do choose this program, which I recommend, make sure to do it for at least 4 weeks & start saving up now!

  • Projects Abroad responded to this review September 12, 2016 at 11:53 AM

    Hi Nathanelasi.
    Thank you for your feedback! We agree, the longer you stay in your project, the bigger the contribution you are able to make for it. However, we also welcome volunteers who have more complicated schedules and who are only able to volunteer for shorter periods. This is why we are flexible and have our programs available for shorter periods, in this case starting at 1 week, but definitely recommend longer stays whenever possible, especially in this kind of projects.

Overall Rating

9/ 10

  • Volunteer Experience

    9

  • Program Administration

    9

  • Living Situation

    7

  • Community Impact

    8

  • Health and Safety

    7

  • Social Life

    9

Treasures of Thailand

Personally, I believe the best way to experience a culture is through the land and terrain of a country. The land plays a significant role in dictating how people travel, what people eat, what they do for a living….. the list goes on. This project is a unique experience because it puts volunteers working directly with the land and ocean. I feel I got a true Thailand experience because I got to work with the land and with the people there in multiple different ways. The scuba diving was world-class and incredibly fun. Don’t worry at all if you are a novice or don’t have any experience before going on the trip. I had never scuba dived before and learned everything onsite in Thailand. They have a fantastic staff there to help you. The days working in the mangrove fields, jungle, or on the beach were hot and rainy, but still a lot of fun. There is a great team atmosphere, and all the volunteers and staff work to help better the community. The “work” during the weekdays always lead to new adventures and took us all over the Krabi region.
The social life was alive as well. I spent a lot of time hiking, swimming, and being outside on weekends. The other volunteers were always down to go on a new adventure and look for something to do. The staff joined us on many occasions as well. One of my favorite pastimes was visiting Buddhist temples. I went to several while I was in Thailand. Even as a nonreligious person, the temples displayed great craftsmanship, usually had amazing views, and overall had a very spiritual vibe to them. I highly recommend going to them if you find yourself in Thailand. And you should find yourself in Thailand at some point in your life! The people, food, lifestyle, and land are all amazing. And what better way to give back to the people and land than through volunteering?

Institution Affiliates:

The International Volunteer Programs Association