Thailand High School Summer Program

START Chiang Mai, Thailand |
FINISH Bangkok, Thailand |
DURATION 3 weeks |
AGES 14 - 17 |

Embark on an Unforgettable Journey from Northern Hills to Southern Shores!

Thailand is a diverse country, and the way to find balance is through visiting the luscious northern mountains filled with fascinating hill tribes as well as getting down to the iconic white sand beaches of the south. This program takes us off the beaten track and gets us involved in grassroots conservation service work.

On this Summer Program, we will be hiking in the hills near Chiang Mai, bonding over world-class food experiences, and sharing traditional sleeping huts looking out over rice paddies. Head to an elephant conservation project where we get hands-on, learning about and protecting these gentle giants. It feels like another country when we take a flight to the south and immerse in the unique karst limestone Khao Sok National Park where we will tube and adventure through paradise. We will finish at the beach, climbing, kayaking, and snorkelling our way through the islands around the Railay Peninsula.


Volunteer at a reputable elephant sanctuary and forge a deep connection with these rescued animals. Witness firsthand the positive impact of conservation efforts as you assist with daily care and enrichment activities. You'll be preparing nutritious meals, helping with mud baths (a favorite elephant pastime!), and even learning basic commands to interact with these majestic creatures.  This program goes beyond just "seeing" elephants – it's about understanding their unique needs and contributing to their well-being in a beautiful Thai setting. It's a truly rewarding experience for any animal lover seeking to make a lasting difference.

This highlight is a multi-sensory experience that rejuvenates your body, mind, and spirit in one of Thailand's most captivating natural wonders. We combine the thrill of tubing down crystal-clear waterways with the serenity of yoga sessions overlooking majestic lakes. Cool off and reconnect with nature while tubing, then find your inner peace with yoga sessions led by experienced instructors on serene lakeside platforms. Finally, embark on invigorating hikes through the park's diverse landscapes, teeming with exotic wildlife. Khao Sok offers trails for all levels, from gentle walks to challenging climbs that reward you with panoramic vistas. 

On this two-night trek, each day brings breathtaking scenery, from cascading waterfalls to hidden valleys shrouded in mist.  Our experienced guides will introduce you to the rich traditions and customs of the local hill tribes, offering a glimpse into their way of life.  Spend evenings under a star-studded sky, sharing stories and laughter with your newfound friends around a crackling campfire.  Beyond the adventure, this program fosters a deeper appreciation for nature's beauty and the resilience of indigenous cultures.  By day two, you'll reach a traditional village, where warm hospitality awaits.  Experience firsthand the vibrant textiles and handicrafts created by the hill tribe people, and learn about their unique sustainable practices. 


This is a guide to what you can expect to do on program. The order in which the activities occur might vary.

Click download to view the full 3 week sample itinerary.

Download Sample Itinerary

Chiang Mai Hill Tribe Trek

Welcome to The Land of Smiles! The group will arrive together in Chiang Mai in Northern Thailand. After an exciting briefing from the program instructors about what to expect over the coming days, we head out to explore the winding streets of this bustling city together. To give you some idea, there are 121 temples within the city limits of Chiang Mai. The sounds and smells are just a whole new world, and you’ll probably find your favorite spot for fresh orange juice, great coffee, or spring rolls that you can frequent. You will settle into your home base hotel in Chiang Mai which you will revisit several times in the first two weeks. In these first days, the focus is on getting to know the group. We will do a Thai cooking course (unmissable whilst here!) which always involves lots of laughter and full bellies. See how much spice you can handle, and perhaps try some deep-fried spiders at the local market!

We head out on a hike in the hills nearby Chiang Mai to meet local ethnic villagers (who all have unique languages, dress, and customs) and experience local life. We will just be carrying day packs, as each night we will sleep in our own traditional bamboo house and the community will put on a feast. It’s not about hiking all day - it’s about getting immersed in the culture, seeing the landscapes of the north, playing with local kids, and making the kind of travel memories that last a lifetime.

Elephant Conservation

You will see a LOT of elephants around these parts. Fortunately, you will be staying at an ethical elephant conservation park that aims to solve some of the problems surrounding elephant exploitation in Thailand. Despite a ban on logging, elephant habitat is still being lost and as few as 500 wild elephants are left within Thailand and they are threatened. Over 2,000 domestic elephants, trapped in the traditional elephant tourist industry, have a bleak future. You will be up close and personal with these kind and unforgettable animals, helping to care for them, wash them, feed them, and ultimately exploring the complex issues the animal conservation world is facing.

After saying goodbye to our giant friends, we head back to Chiang Mai city where you’ll have a free afternoon to recover from your whirlwind adventure with the elephants, before enjoying our final group meal at the world-famous Chiang Mai Night Market.

Program Details

What's Included?
  • All in-program travel and transport, excluding flights
  • All accommodation
  • All meals
  • All expeditions, activities, excursions, volunteer projects and entry fees as described in the itinerary
  • Experienced Program Instructors and local guides
  • Informal lectures from resident experts on conservation and eco-tourism
  • Experiential core curriculum that pushes students to reflect and ask questions of themselves
  • Certificate of Program Completion


For full program details, please request the information booklet.

Request Information Booklet

Medium Activity Level

Anyone with an average fitness level and enthusiasm for the outdoors and new experiences will have a great time on this summer program! You will need to be prepared for some physical work during the volunteer projects on the program, like trail building or the removal of invasive plants.


Medium Camping Level

Be prepared to spend some time out in nature. You'll love the experience of camping, staring at the campfire, breathing in the fresh air, and stargazing the night away.

Medium Service Learning Level

You will be able to make a difference to the local community during your stay. Be prepared to get your hands dirty and do some hands-on learning about local issues.

Have you got any questions before applying?

Thailand High School Summer Program