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Volunteer in North or South Thailand 4: The Verdict


This is the last post in a four part series comparing the volunteer experience in Nong Khai and Krabi, our two main bases in Thailand, written by Andy from the UK. He attended the Volunteer & Cross Cultural Training in Nong Khai and then stayed for around six weeks teaching at Hat Kam School. He then headed down south, where he has now spent twelve weeks so far, teaching at Ban Nong Kok School among others. So, which is best...?

They both are! It isn't a case of one location being better or worse than the other - they are just different. If you want to concentrate on a completely alternative cultural experience to what you get back home, you may find Nong Khai more to your liking. If you want a more limited cross cultural experience and to enjoy the beaches in Thailand, then Krabi is ideal.

Even if Krabi appeals to you more as a location, I would still highly recommend that you begin your volunteering experience by visiting Nong Khai for the training course. The basic Thai phrases that you learn are invaluable - especially if you are teaching during your time here - and the discussions about culture do provide a good insight into the way the Thai people think. Although Krabi is a very accessible place for tourists, I believe that having an increased understanding of the Thai culture has enriched my experience here and you can still face some cultural challenges at your volunteering placements. For example, understanding how the Thai schools and teachers operate and learning not to get frustrated when you find the school closed for a day or your lessons have been re-arranged with no warning - it's all part of the experience!

Which location would I choose if I were to do it all again? I would still spend time in both places. If you can, I think it's worth it to get a broader taste of Thailand. Volunteering with Openmind Projects has been a fantastic experience and has enabled me to scratch beneath the surface of this beautiful country. I just hope that I get the chance to come back to both Nong Khai and Krabi in the future.

Read Part 1: Teaching EnglishPart 2: Culture & Language and Part 3: Volunteer Life.

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