The LIVELIKEBEN foundation and Stray Away Travel are so excited offer this exciting adventure with all of you! Our very first One Love Thailand Volunteer Trip!!!
Our friend Ben’s adventures in Thailand began many years ago and have continued on in his legacy through the LiveLikeBen foundation. Our goal has always been to spread love and smiles to people who need it the very most in what was Ben’s most favourite place on Earth. We have been fortunate and blessed to discover a remote village that we have fallen in love with, Pha Dang Luang. In this village and in Ben’s name, we have executed two major projects: we built a school and also provided a fresh water supply, both of which the people of this incredible place were in dire need of. As we said at the time... we were only just getting started.
There is a second village even further past Pha Dang Luang, a place and a people we have come to adore. We have set our sights here for our next project. This village, home to about 200, is lacking any form of electricity. They do not have heat and they do not have light, and are in desperate need! As such, we are asking that you bring your light!
This trip will take you on an unbelievable two week journey through both northern and southern Thailand, with a focus on the research and development for our next official project. We will visit Ben’s school, the new village, and then adventure onwards to some of our favourite locations in the Land of Smiles. Temple tours, lake days, a once in a lifetime volunteer opportunity, and total beach relaxation! The ultimate Thailand experience! We'll journey through a huge variety of different landscapes, diverse cultures, and some of Thailand’s most famous beaches!
The experiences we have had so far in previous projects have changed all of our lives and we know they will change yours too. Both the foundation and Stray Away could not be more excited to share this experience with you!
“I spent a week with the LIVELIKEBEN Foundation as well as Niki and Alex helping to put the finishing touches on a school that the foundation was building in Pha Dang Luang - a remote village in the mountains near the Thailand / Myanmar border. I spent a lot of the time walking around the village chatting with the locals which involved plenty of pointing, laughing and nodding (and plenty of help from Alex and another Thai friend). I was intrigued by what I found out about the history of the village and the way they live their life. It's easy to forget how good we have it, but these people with little to nothing by Western standards - not even a proper supply of running water (a problem that the foundation has since rectified) - would take the shirt off their back for you if they feel that you have a good heart. The kids are so respectful and so happy. They don't need ipads and youtube...I spent one afternoon rolling a tire up and down a hill and building ramps out of sticks and the smiles and laughs were infectious. Everywhere I went people invited me into their homes and cooked for me or invited me to share some rice whiskey. I recommend getting involved if you do any travelling and you're interested in really learning about and experiencing other cultures and giving back in some way...this is not just what the typical tourist sees! It was easily the best experience of my life!” Karl Thew
Welcome to the Land of Smiles! Today we’ll finish picking everyone up from the airport and settle into our boutique guesthouse in the heart of the city. We’ll meet for a delicious Thai welcome dinner, chat about the trip ahead, and get acquainted! After dinner we’ll check out Chiang Mai’s famous night market.
Today we’ll go out on a tour of Chiang Mai and its surrounding area. Experience some of the city’s most beautiful spots and watch the sun set at a mountaintop temple overlooking the city!
Early morning departure from Chiang Mai and drive to Mae La Noi (approx 5 hours). On the way we’ll stop to shop for and collect donations and supplies for the hill tribes and school visit ahead. Upon arrival we’ll check into a gorgeous hotel situated on rice fields and prepare for our journey up the mountain the following day!
Morning departure from the hotel and drive up the mountain to Pha Dang Luang – the village with Ben’s school and site of previous projects. We’ll take a stroll through this village and learn about the local culture before visiting the school itself and enjoying an afternoon with the villagers and children attending the school. In the evening we’ll head back down the mountain to our hotel.
Morning departure from the hotel back up the mountain past Pha Dang Luang and to the new village for the purpose of research and planning for the next LiveLikeBen project. We’ll explore this new place before having a short meeting with the village chief about the needs for the next project. We’ll stop briefly at Pha Dang Luang on our way back before continuing down the mountain. In the evening we’ll enjoy a BBQ dinner and campfire on the rice fields.
Morning departure from Mae La Noi back to Chiang Mai. On the way back we’ll stop to see some beautiful northern jungle vistas and viewpoints. Upon arrival we’ll settle back into our Chiang Mai guesthouse and spend the evening in the city.
Morning departure to the Elephant Sanctuary for a full day elephant experience! You’ll learn about these incredible animals and their history in Thailand as well as have the opportunity to bathe and feed them in an ethical setting. You’ll arrive back in the city in the late afternoon/early evening.
Check out of our Chiang Mai guesthouse and take a flight to Surat Thani, a city in south central Thailand. We’ll drive from there to Khao Sok National park (approx 2 hours). Spend the evening in the lush Thai rainforest and prepare for our lake trip the following day!
Morning drive to Cheow Larn Lake where we’ll take a long tail boat to the floating bungalows! Spend the day floating on this stunning serene lake, take out a kayak, read a book, enjoy!
After breakfast we’ll depart on a trek through the jungle! Afterwards in the afternoon you can spend your time taking it easy on the dock, exploring the lake in a kayak, or going for a swim!
In the morning we’ll take the long tail boat back to the mainland and have a mini bus transfer to the west coast of Thailand. Here we’ll hop on another long tail and arrive in incredible Railay Beach! This is the perfect afternoon to spend by the pool before and adventure to West Beach to take in a legendary Railay sunset.
A beautiful day to enjoy Railay! Spend your time relaxing on the beach or by the pool!
Boat trip day! We’ll take a cruise through the Andaman Sea and see some of Railay’s surrounding islands. Enjoy the sunset from the water!
Our last full beach day in southern Thailand! If you’re interested, today would be a great opportunity to try rock climbing in one of the world’s best climbing destinations! Otherwise, take in all of the tropical island magic you can! In the evening we’ll have our last family dinner together.
Late morning departure from Railay to the Krabi airport. From here you’ll fly back to Chiang Mai or to Bangkok, depending on where your flight home is departing from.
Time to say goodbye to the Land of Smiles! Have a safe flight home!
All accommodations are included on your Stray Away trip, from the first to the last day of this adventure and vary from guest houses to floating bungalows
All transportation between destinations and activities is included in your adventure, including two domestic flights.
This trip will be led by licensed local and western leaders with over 15 combined years of experience (with people from all over the world) in Thailand. Excellent English, crazy knowledgeable, fun level 10, and amazing friends!
You will be sent a comprehensive packing list and detailed destination information as well as an introduction to Thailand one month prior to your arrival in the Land of Smiles
( There are 8 included meals in this trip)
Here are a few of the amazing experiences you’ll be able to check off your bucket list after this trip.