Published 11th January 2021
Last year I was lucky enough to spend my summer exploring a beautiful country with Camp Thailand. I had the best time, met amazing people and made incredible memories. My Camp Thailand experience was incredible, so here are 5 reasons why you should do Camp Thailand in 2021 and have your own summer of a lifetime!
Travelling with Camp Thailand means you get a jam-packed itinerary, transport between different parts of the country and dedicated reps to make sure everything runs smoothly! While at camp you will visit some of the most interesting places in the country. Camp Thailand works with local partners which means you have access to unique local experiences that other travellers might miss out on. Your experienced reps are full of local knowledge and will make sure you can make the most of every moment in this beautiful country and can help you book extra activities to do in your free time. Camp Thailand is also brilliant for first time and solo travellers who are looking for a big adventure but don’t want the stress of travelling around a new country alone.
At Camp Thailand, you are guided by reps who help you explore the Thai culture. Local reps will give you tips and recommendations to make sure you can find all the hidden gems and can personalise their advice based on your interests. If you’d describe yourself as a “foodie” then Thailand is the perfect place for you! I took part in a Thai cooking class at camp and learned how to recreate some of my favourite dishes, including the famous Pad Thai! Sweet mango coconut sticky rice, spicy green Thai curry, fragrant tom yum soup and fresh green papaya salad are just some of the delicious dishes you will have the chance to sample. The most adventurous travellers can even try fried scorpions and spiders!
Spending time at camp is also a fantastic way to introduce yourself to the Thai language. At the beginning of camp, the local rep gave us a language class and helped us to practice the basics, which came in handy when we started teaching in the primary school.
Thailand is known worldwide for its awe-inspiring temples. While taking part in the Bangkok Tour, I visited some of the most impressive temples in the country; Wat Pho, home to the magnificent 46m long Golden Reclining Buddha, the breathtaking Wat Arun with its distinctive colourful porcelain encrusted spires and Wat Saket, “the Golden Mount” which sits on a hill towering over the city and gives great panoramic views. Thailand has the third-largest population of Buddhists in the world and visiting a temple is a great way to learn more about this fascinating religion. One morning at camp, we woke up early to take a food offering to the local monks, hiked up to the temple on a hill to watch a beautiful sunrise then attended a Buddhist ceremony. We were then kindly invited to share breakfast with the monks and other locals. Afterwards, one of the monks answered our questions about Buddhism and taught us how to meditate. This was a truly special day and is the sort of experience that makes Camp Thailand so unlike a regular holiday.
The chance to give back to the community is what makes the Camp Thailand experience such a unique and memorable adventure. Camp Elephant and Camp Phuket both include several days of teaching in local schools and you will get a free TEFL qualification to make sure you are well prepared before you enter the classroom! Working with the local kids is a wonderful experience, they are always so excited to learn from you. Before you start teaching, your camp reps will help you plan fun lessons full of songs, games and dancing. On Camp Elephant you can also get involved with other community projects including clay house building, temple school construction and sustainability workshops. You will also get involved with wildlife conservation work, which brings me to my next reason…
Each Camp Thailand location includes a visit to an elephant conservation sanctuary, where you will be able to meet elephants who have been rescued from work camps and are now living a happier life. At the sanctuary, you will help out with caring for these beautiful creatures by preparing food, feeding the elephants then giving them a moisturising mud bath. You’ll learn how gentle these giants are when you hand feed them their favourite treats. You may have already heard about the horrible things that happen to some elephants in Thailand, which is why it is so important to make sure you are visiting a sanctuary that treats its elephants well. Camp Thailand will only visit ethical sanctuaries, so you can be sure you are supporting a place where these magnificent animals are treated for with love and respect. Camp Elephant, as the name suggests, includes even more opportunities to spend time with our giant friends! Watching wild elephants play with their babies in Kui Buri National Park is one of my favourite memories from my time at camp.
Without a doubt, one of the biggest reasons to do Camp Thailand is the opportunity to meet like-minded people who share your interests. Before you even travel to camp, you will have the chance to join a group chat and start getting to know your campmates. From the moment you arrive in Thailand, your reps will arrange events to give you the perfect chance to get to know each other. Nothing helps a group bond quite like a night out on the famous Khao San Road!
You’ll live with your new friends for the duration of camp, explore the country together, plan lessons and teach together, go on nights out together and most importantly laugh together! Solo travel is brilliant, but some experiences are even better when shared with friends. I met so many wonderful, funny and inspiring people at camp last summer. I have wonderful memories with the friends I made in Thailand, including water fights while we bathed elephants in a river, leading singalongs in the local primary school, driving quad bikes through the jungle together and celebrating birthdays with cocktails in a sky bar!
Well what are you waiting for?! Submit your Camp Thailand application for summer 2021 today!
Camp Thailand Team x
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