Here at Bamboo, we simply LOVE elephants and if you do too, this tour is for you!
Every day on this tour is unbelievable and unforgettable – guaranteed! Here are a few snippets to get you even more excited:
Discover Chiang Mai and its magnificent temples
Overnight stay inside 2 Chiang Mai elephant projects - wake up to elephants outside your window!
A guided tour of Thailand's iconic capital, Bangkok!
An unforgettable tour of Angkor Wat starting with the temple's iconic sunrise
With 12 people per group MAX! The exact cost of this tour is US $1997. This goes towards covering everything from in-country transport and accommodation to project fees and tour related activities (we really do cram it in!). Please note that your international flights are not included.
To secure your spot you pay a deposit of US $250 (you can then pay the rest in weekly instalments or in full 90 days before you travel).
Locations: Chiang Mai (TH), Chiang Rai (TH), Bangkok (TH), Siem Reap (CAM)
Tour Length: 14 days
Tour Cost: $1997
Finish Date: The tour will end in Siem Reap on the Wednesday two weeks after your start date
Volunteer Work: Volunteering at 2 incredible and very different locations. All work varies depending on the needs of the locations at the time of your visit. Expect to get wet, muddy, sweaty but still look awesome!
Arrival Airport: Chiang Mai International Airport (CNX)
Departure Airport: Siem Reap International Airport (REP)
Group size: Maximum 12
Minimum age: 18
Going Solo?: over 70% of those on our tours start off as solo travellers
Available dates: Click here for dates
24 January 2019 (10 spots left)
21 February 2019 (4 spots left)
14 March 2019 (3 spots left)
18 April 2019 (2 spots left)
2 May 2019 (11 spots left)
16 May 2019 (3 spots left)
30 May 2019 (10 spots left)
13 June 2019 (full)
18 July 2019 (full)
8 August 2019 (full)
12 September 2019 (9 spots left)
17 October 2019 (1 spots left)
21 November 2019 (full)
5 December 2019 (7 spots left)
16 January 2020 (1 spots left)
6 February 2020 (15 spots left)
12 March 2020 (9 spots left)
7 May 2020 (12 spots left)
4 June 2020 (11 spots left)
9 July 2020 (6 spots left)
6 August 2020 (12 spots left)
3 September 2020 (12 spots left)
8 October 2020 (10 spots left)
5 November 2020 (11 spots left)
3 December 2020 (8 spots left)
- Airport pick-up and transfer on arrival into Chiang Mai (if arriving on the tour start date between 6am and 8pm)
- An in-depth orientation in Chiang Mai on day 2
- Guided tour of Chiang Mai's greatest sights
- Discover Chiang Rai's beautiful temples with a private tour guide
- Flight from Chiang Rai to Bangkok
- Guided city tour of some of Bangkok's best landmarks (The grand palace is not included)
- Flight to Siem Reap from Bangkok (does not include the cost of entry visa into Cambodia – approximately USD $35)
- 13 nights' accommodation ranging from hotels to traditional homestays
- Full support from our expert English-speaking local guides in each country
- All tour activities
- Heaps of meals
- Full pre-departure support from our ace travel coordinators
- A flashy Travel Hack packed full of helpful advice
- Donation towards the welfare of the elephants in Thailand
Phuket Beach Bolt-On
Don't stop reading yet... we have one more amazing thing to offer you: The beautiful beaches of Phuket!
During this extra week we will take you to the north west coast of the island of Phuket! A stark contrast to many of Phukets over developed and over crowded areas, here you will still find beautiful beaches with hardly any people to disturb you sunbathing.
Nonetheless the accommodation is still situated close to all the fun activities this island has to offer and it is from these that you pick and choose as you want and our guide will make sure to set it up for you. She will be available 24h so if you realize at 3am that you want to go jet skiing tomorrow afternoon just pop her a message and she’ll get it organised!
Interested? Of course you are! Message us on Facebook or via [email protected] and we will supply you with a detailed travel hack and pricing :)
Accommodation throughout the tour is shared and you will be sharing rooms with other members of the group. If you would like to enquire about upgrading to a private room, please contact us to check availability and costs.
Chiang Mai City: Very comfortable guest house in the city centre that's even got a swimming pool! Breakfast is included here. Free WiFi, hot water in western bathrooms and walking distance to all good amenities.
Chiang Mai Elephant Project 1: Bamboo huts with Thai style mattresses on the floor covered by mosquito nets. Communal bathrooms with western toilets and cold showers. No WIFI available at the project.
Chiang Mai Elephant Project 2: Basic homestay with a host family, Thai style mattresses on the floor with mosquito net. Asian style communal bathroom.
Chiang Rai City: Another comfortable guest house including breakfast, Free WiFi, hot water in western bathrooms and excellent location, close to all amenities.
Bangkok: Two nights here in an excellent guesthouse accommodation in the heart of one of Bangkok's most popular areas. Breakfast included. Free WiFi, western bathroom, hot water, A/C, TV, fridge. Twin or triple share.
Siem Reap: Shared (twin/double or triple) bed and breakfast accommodation in a hotel. Airconditioning, free WiFi, swimming pool and just a short tuk-tuk ride to the centre of the town.
Meals: Breakfast is included throughout your trip. You will have a traditional Thai meal in Chiang Mai and Bangkok. Lunch and Dinner also included when at the elephant projects.
Internet: WiFi s available at all locations except the elephant camps where you will be able to receive a 3G connection with a local sim.
Laundry: There will be local laundry services in the cities of Chiang Mai, Bangkok and Siem Reap which are reasonably priced. Alternatively, you can purchase detergent and do washing by hand.
DAY 1 (THURSDAY): ARRIVAL DAY
So here it begins.... Arrival Day... you're first step on the road to the very best elephant experience you'll ever have!
Let our experienced team of guides collect you on arrival at Chiang Mai international airport and transfer you to the starting point, our very comfortable guest house in the heart of Chiang Mai city. You'll have the chance to rest up, get showered and if you arrive early enough, have chance to get out and explore. This evening there's an informal get-together of those who've already arrived; the perfect way to get to know your fellow intrepid elephant-heads!
DAY 2 (FRIDAY): CHIANG MAI TOUR
After a filling breakfast our team will sit you down and go through the trip schedule with you. We'll explain the rules of the road and how to make the most of your time in the Land of Smiles.
With your head still spinning from all of the amazing information you're digesting, we'll lead you off on a tour of this historic and ancient city. Chiang Mai is a stunning location from which to start this tour and it wouldn't be fair to you if we didn't show the sites!
Meals Included: Breakfast & Dinner
DAY 3 (SATURDAY): ELEPHANT SANCTUARY IN CHIANG MAI
It's about to get real! Today we'll be transferring to elephant point 1; an incredible project located approximately 45 minutes from Chiang Mai city. On arrival you'll be shown to your accommodation and have the chance to get yourself sorted before we introduce you to the team who will be accompanying us. You'll have an in depth talk about the area and be educated on how and why this place operates. There'll be plenty of opportunity to interact with the elephants although there is no riding at any of our projects. Activities during your time at the project will include, a messy mud bath with the elephants, a refreshing dip in a lake with these gentle giants and a chance to help support the sanctuary by lending a hand at various development projects.
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner
DAY 4 (SAUNDAY): ELEPHANT SANCTUARY IN CHIANG MAI
Day three may have been about feeding and hugging the elephant population but today's concern is sustaining the species. With help from the Mahoots you'll be carrying out agricultural or community development work. After a busy morning we'll have a dip under a waterfall in the rainforest's river, this alone will make all the hard work worth it!
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner
DAY 5 (MONDAY): ELEPHANT SANCTUARY IN CHIANG MAI
In the afternoon of Day five we'll leave the project and head back to Chiang Mai. This evening will be your free time to do as you please. Our team will give you ideas and advice on places to visit depending on what you want to get up too...... just be good!
Meals Included: Breakfast & Lunch
DAY 6 (TUESDAY): ELEPHANT SANCTUARY IN CHIANG MAI
On the morning of day six we will take a 3-4 hour drive to our second elephant location through the winding roads of the national park. You'll be transferred there in a 'Songatel', a traditional Thai truck with open sides, allowing you to take in the breathtaking views.
Whilst at the elephant camp you will spend your days trekking through the jungle to find the elephants and observe their natural behaviours, teaching English to the village people and may even learn how to weave a traditional basket!
On the afternoon of day 8 you will return to Chiang Mai, again by Songatel for a final night before your next location!
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner (Day 8 no dinner included)
DAY 9 (WEDNESDAY): CHIANG MAI TO CHIANG RAI
After brekkie, we'll be saying goodbye to Chiang Mai and heading north east to the laid-back city of Chiang Rai. This journey is beautiful as we weave a path through the mountains in a very comfortable VIP bus. The journey takes approximately 3-4 hours, on arrival we will settle into our new accommodation then head out for a walking tour of this ancient city.
Meals Included: Breakfast & Dinner
DAY 10 (THURSDAY): BANGKOK
With a lot to squeeze into today we will begin early, starting with a tea-plantation visit before heading to an array of magnificent temples. Once we're all templed out we'll begin a short journey to Chiang Rai's airport for our flight to the capital city of Bangkok.
On arrival in Bangkok we'll whisk straight from the airport to our guesthouse located by the world famous Khao San Road. You'll have plenty of time to check-in and freshen up before we head out to explore why this place is as famous as it is! Don't overdo it tonight however, as tomorrow......
Meals Included: Breakfast
DAY 11 (FRIDAY): BANGKOK CITY TOUR
....we have an amazing guided tour of Bangkok city for you! After breakfast we'll have a quick team catch-up to discuss the major talking points from what you have experienced so far. We'll go through a quick Q&A and it's vital that our team hear from you your thoughts on where we've been.
On completion of that it's time to start the tour. We'll take you to ancient temples, floating markets, the River of Kings and throw in a few surprises along the way. Wherever we go and whatever we include, you are guaranteed a day to remember!
This evening is yet another welcome meal...... well, we can't bring you all to Bangkok without celebrating that fact!
Meals Included: Breakfast & Dinner
DAY 12 (SATURDAY): BANGKOK TO SIEM REAP
Today we'll bid farewell to Thailand and travel on to a whole new country, Cambodia! With only a short flight you'll be in Siem Reap before you know it.
On arrival in the town we'll have you checked in to your accommodation before we take you on a quick tuk-tuk ride to our very own non-profit cafe, right in the heart of Siem Reap. Here we'll let you know more about why we have this cafe, and talk to you in more detail about your experiences with the three very different experiences. We'll also go through the itinerary for the next couple of days.
Once we've finished chatting, we'll take a very short walk to the infamous Pub Street area for a few beers, ice-cold cocktails and a bit of a boogie! Not too many though as tomorrow.....
Meals Included: Breakfast
DAY 13 (SUNDAY): ANGKOR WAT
..... we'll be starting at around 04:30am! Seeing Angkor Wat at sunrise is one of those 'must-do bucket list' items on any clued-up travelers list! Believe me when I tell you that it's most definitely worth the early start. Your day will then be spent exploring 1,000 year old temples on this guided tour. Whatever you do, do not forget your camera. This place is absolutely magical and will without doubt be one of the non-elephant-based highlights of your entire time in Asia!
Meals Included: Breakfast
DAY 14 (MONDAY): DEPARTURE DAY
That's it! We leave you here. The tour has come to an official end.... You can of course stick around and perhaps even sign up to some of our Cambodian volunteering projects, head off to explore the country on our Cambodia Explorer, or just chill in this wonderful town. Whatever your plans, let our team help you with whatever you need.
Meals Included: Breakfast
1 - What isn't included?
In short – anything that's not on the "What's included?" list in the info pack and this guide! The main things you’ll definitely need to get that aren't included are:
International flights – we have people join us from all over the world so we leave these flexible so you can choose the departure airport and airline that suits you best.
Travel insurance – you can choose your own travel insurance or we can organize this for you. You can find details on the travel insurance here and will be able to add this on to your booking when you pay your program fee.
Visas – depending on the passport you hold you may need to get a visa before you travel. Please see below for more info on visas.
Police check - as the tour involves spending time with local communities and children, you will be required to provide us with a police check noting any criminal record held against your name. If you have an existing check, we can accept this providing it was issued no more than 12 months before your tour is due to finish. Each country/state has varying procedures on how to obtain a police check so we recommend you contact your local police station to see how you should go about getting one issued.
2 - How should I book my flights?
You need to book a flight that lands into Chiang Mai's International airport (airport code CNX) on the Thursday that the tour starts. Providing you arrive on this day, one of the team will then be there to meet you on arrival and take you to the hotel in the city.
If you arrive before your Thursday start date, you will need additional accommodation. We can book this for you and you will just need to make your own way there from the airport and pay on arrival.
The tour will end in Siem Reap on the Wednesday two weeks later so you need to make your arrangements from there that day. If you are extending your stay with us your departure arrangements may be different. Please check with us if you are unsure.
3 - Do I need a visa?
Passport holders of several countries will get a 30 day ‘visa exempt’ stamp in their passport on arrival into Thailand free of charge. A quick Google search will tell you whether you need a visa or not.
We will be crossing into Cambodia from Thailand overland and most nationalities will be able to get a visa on arrival (again, check this to make sure this is the case for the passport you hold). At the border, you will need to fill out two forms; one a visa application form with a visa photo attached (either bring some from home or have some taken when you are in Bangkok), and an arrival/departure form. You then need to pay approximately USD $35 and you get a full page visa that lasts for 30 days. Please make sure you have at least one empty passport page and at least six months' validity on your passport from the date you will be leaving Cambodia. Please do not purchase an e-Visa for this trip as these are not accepted at the border crossing you will use. Visas and passports are your own responsibility and we cannot be held liable for any issues or costs incurred relating to these. Costs are approximate and subject to change.
4 - How much spending money will I need?
This largely depends on you. All the breakfasts throughout the tour are included as are all of the meals whilst you are volunteering with the elephants in Chiang Mai, Chiang Rai and Surin. The rest of the meals are up to you and if you are having local meals it will cost a couple of dollars, if you prefer western food it will be more depending on where you eat. A bottle of local beer in Thailand and Cambodia is around USD $1. You should bring some local currency with you (Thai Baht in Thailand and US Dollars in Cambodia) but you will also be able to withdraw more from cash points in the major cities whilst you are away.
5 - Do I need vaccinations?
This depends on your home country and your vaccination history. You should visit a local travel clinic and see what they recommend.
6 - When does my deposit have to be put down?
There is no deadline for paying the USD $250 deposit but we cannot secure your place until we have received this. Places are limited and this is one of our most popular tours so we recommend you do this as soon as possible to be sure of a spot. Once we have received your deposit we will send you a confirmation email. If you do not receive this within 48 hours please check your junk/spam email folders and let us know if you cannot see it.
7 - What are the Payment options?
Your final balance is due 90 days before you travel. We will send you an email shortly after you have secured a spot offering you two options for payment. You can either pay the program fee in full (at any point before the date it is due) or you can can set up weekly installments to pay a small amount off regularly until it is paid in full. You can choose either of these with or without travel insurance. Any changes to your trip must be made more than 90 days before you travel.
8 - Are Thailand and Cambodia safe?
Like any country in the world, there will always be some dangers (even when in your home country!) and it is important to exercise common sense, particularly when in major cities and tourist destinations. However, Thailand and Cambodia are very safe countries to travel in and around. You’ll also be with our experienced team throughout your stay and will be travelling with a group.
9 - What currency is the tour in?
All of our prices are in USD. If you would like to see what this is in your local currency you can use a conversion site such as www.xe.com which will give you the current exchange rate. Please bear in mind that the amount will be taken in USD when you pay and exchange rates will fluctuate.
10 - How can I be sure this is not a scam?
We have been operating for over 15 years, have placed over 25,000 volunteers and have an experienced team with a wealth of knowledge and passion! But don’t just take our word for it - if you visit our website Verification Page you can see our accreditation and recommendations for different worldwide organizations. You can also visit our Facebook page to see reviews from previous travelers and volunteers.