Around Southern Thailand Whilst Volunteering

Volunteering for 3 months in southern Thailand doesn’t mean that you can’t experience as many local sights as possible in your spare time…

Volunteering with the Foundation for Education and Development (FED) for 3 months is very busy, but there is always time for some R&R – just too many sights in Southern Thailand’s Phang Nga region to pass up in 2016.

around southern Thailand, volunteering, Khao Lak, Thailand, SE Asia

Bang Niang

Bang Niang, Souther Thailand, SE Asia

A two-kilometre stretch of white sandy beach in the Khao Lak region of Southern Thailand, Bang Niang is popular with foreigners.

As our apartment is a couple of hours north of Phuket in Bang Niang, it’s a great location as a stepping stone to visit the surrounding region.

Quick getaways and day outings are just a stone’s throw away.

Not to mention just relaxing after a day at work volunteering, by throwing a Frisbee on one of the many gorgeous beaches, before stopping off at a local favourite restaurant for a delicious feast.

Have I mentioned that the food is amazing in Thailand?

Takua Pa and White Sand Beach

Bang Sak Beach, Southern Thailand, SE Asia

Although visited back in 2014, this time in 2016, noticed that Takua Pa has expanded quite a lot.

The town even hosts a Big C Supermarket, which sells groceries at slightly cheaper than Khao Lak/Bang Niang prices.

In addition to a few more food stalls, White Sand Beach is still as beautiful as ever and hasn’t changed much since writing my Khao Lak – Southern Thailand post.

White Sands Beach, Khao Lak, Thailand
Gorgeous and deserted White Sands

If you time your visit right, you can have this stunning picturesque beach to yourself!

Day trip to Koh Kho Khao Island

Famous for having some of the best beaches in Thailand, I suggest you spend a few days on this gorgeous sleepy island. Sadly, because of volunteering, only can spare a day trip this time.

Kho Khak Island, Thailand, SE Asia

From Khao Lak, a short 20-minute ride north and you arrive in Takua Pa’s Koh Koh Khao Harbour. Make your way to catch the Long Tail boat across to Koh Koh Khao island (20B/person includes your bike), which only takes around 10-15 minutes.

From Khao Lak, a short 20-minute north ride and you arrive in Takua Pa’s Koh Koh Khao Harbour in Phang Nga Province. Make your way to catch the Long Tail boat across to Koh Koh Khao island (20B/person includes your bike), which only takes around 10-15 minutes.

Impressive is how the boat driver wheels or rides your bike onto a very narrow plank while it precariously rocks on the shore from swell movement, but safely onto his Long Tail.

Koh Kho Khao Island, Thailand
This is the calm side of the island and a larger ramp

Always great to have locals show you around so colleagues from FED show us the way, stopping along several beaches for a good look around and exploring.

The island is unusually quiet and sadly, the famous restaurant on the lake is shut, so keep searching to find an alternative open for lunch…

Thailand, Koh Kho Khao Island
Gorgeous restaurant on a manmade lake

…before returning to the mainland for more food at Bang Sak Beach, of course.

Koh Kho Khao Island, Thailand
What better way to relax?
Koh Kho Khao Island, Thailand
Another beautiful deserted beach

Bang Sak Beach

After spending a wonderful day on Koh Kho Khao Island, stop off at Bang Sak Beach.

Bang Sak Beach, Southern Thailand, SE Asia

A quick tour around before a bite to eat and heading back to Khao Lak.

At the far northern end of Khao Lak, Bang Sak provides around 5 kilometres of pristine sands. No crowds either…

A spectacular vista on a sunny day.

Bang Sak Beach, Thailand, Khao Lak
The serenity of Bang Sak Beach

With chairs and tables scattered on the sand, pick a spot and relax as it’s not long before a waiter takes your order.

Bang Sak Beach, Thailand, Khao Lak
Great ice-cream stall

A lovely spot to watch the sun recede into darkness, whilst sipping on a delicious refreshment – visit this Bang Sak Beach before it explodes with tourism.

Water Park 360°

About 2 hours on a scooter south of Khao Lak, the 360° Water Park is busy with locals – our tribe of 5 includes the only Farangs (foreigners) at the park!

Water Park, Khao Lak, Thailand
Flaked out at the rest stop during the 2+ hour ride

Swimming in the park sets you back 100B. You can be a spectator for free. As it’s pretty hot, I braved a soak. A couple of restaurants serving over-priced food and drinks are also on site.

Water Park, Khao Lak, Thailand
Water Park fun

If you want to break the journey up due to a sore butt from the scooter ride, stop off at one of the many waterfalls along the highway, which charge 200B entry this time of year.

Koh Phayam Island – escaping Songkran

Thailand’s Songkran holiday is loads of fun but also is a magnet for hoards of people that flock to the streets to celebrate the Thai New Year.

Water bombs, flour, and talcum powder are hurled from secret locations along roads, against buildings, bins, and anything, usually by children or teenagers, or the occasional laughing adult.

A lot of fun but everywhere is extremely busy so Songkran is a good time to get out of town for a few days, especially if you already experienced one or two of these holidays. Check my post on Koh Phayam Island and why you must visit this idyllic island.

Soi Dog

This not-for-profit association does a marvellous job with homeless dogs in Phuket and throughout Thailand.

Met a wonderful shop owner on Bang Niang Road who speaks of Soi Dog but also that she cares for eight stray dogs. This lady pays for vet fees, food, and everything else they need as though the strays are her own. The dogs even sleep at her house at the back of her shop. So very kind especially for here as typically, animals are not looked after very well.

Khao Lak, stray dogs, Thailand
The incredibly kind local with her stray dogs

One of her strays followed us back to the apartment and slept at our door twice. The second time is with another of this lady’s strays. In the morning, I walk this little one back to her owner and also decide to take some dog food to help feed the dogs.

Khao Lak, Thailand, stray dog
Our loyal guard dog – blind in one eye

Hope that you enjoyed some of the wonderful experiences while volunteering with FED…

Visit Nilla’s Photography for more images of Thailand. More blogs on Thailand at Image Earth Travel.

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22 responses to “Around Southern Thailand Whilst Volunteering”

  1. lifeintrips Avatar

    Great pictures… There is so much to see in Thailand I did a 6 day trip could see Bangkok, Phuket and few islands near by… now I know other places too… thanks for sharing…

    1. Image Earth Travel Avatar

      Thank you – great feedback and happy you like my photos!

      I’ve travelled to Thailand 5 times now and still haven’t seen a patch of this beautiful country. I have many more posts on Thailand if you need more info. 🙂

  2. María del Carmen Villafuerte de Almeida Avatar

    Looks so niiiiiice! Beautiful pictures can’t wait to go there 🙂

    1. Image Earth Travel Avatar

      It is a beautiful country.
      When and where are you going? I have many posts on Thailand that you may want to check out for tips. Keep me posted on how you go over there!

      1. María del Carmen Villafuerte de Almeida Avatar

        I’ll be going in April 🙂 I’m checking your posts right now!!!

      2. Image Earth Travel Avatar

        You’ll have a wonderful time and the food is amazing (if you go local and not touristy). 🙂

  3. TaylorOcean Avatar

    Awesome post! I plan on going to Thailand this summer and possible volunteering and will definitely be coming back to your page for info! Great pictures too, such a beautiful place.

    1. Image Earth Travel Avatar

      Thank you and glad you enjoyed the post.
      I have many more posts on Thailand and hope the info helps. This one on volunteering last year may be of interest as may this post but it’s from 2014.
      Don’t forget to apply for your Volunteer’s visa before you arrive in Thailand.

  4. Mark Del Greco Avatar

    Can’t stop laughing as I think about Neil standing on the porch of his bungalow urging on the completion of the “Live Show” with an array of gestures, then giving an exuberant round of applause when the event FINALLY ended. 🙂

    1. Image Earth Travel Avatar

      After the initial text requesting you two to keep the noise down, thinking it was ‘your’ show, realised we were being treated to a classic episode of Porn and all for free!
      I seem to remember that you guys were also in awe of the performance and applauded the Finale!

  5. fiona Avatar

    Hi Sawadee ca Nilla thank you for sharing…awesome so glad you guys made it to Koh Payam and thanks for the nice review..Take care hope to see you back again soon

    1. Image Earth Travel Avatar

      Sawadee ca and glad you enjoyed the post! Had such a wonderful time with you and at Koh Phayam – makes me want to return.
      Hope you got over your bout of Dengue Fever(?) and never to return.

  6. seasiangirl Avatar

    Fab, never heard of Koh Phayam but it looks amazing… I don’t travel around much in Thailand and I have forgotten how beautiful it is.. Must get down to the south at some point 🙂

    1. Image Earth Travel Avatar

      Although there seemed to be many ex-pats on the island, I’d never heard of Koh Phayam either…a hidden gem?
      It’s one of those lovely small Thai islands well-worth a visit, even just for some R&R. 🙂

  7. lawzzy Avatar

    Wow, sounds amazing! This is something I’d really like to do!! 🙂

    1. Image Earth Travel Avatar

      As mentioned in my blog, the first time volunteering with FED was in 2014.
      It’s a great opportunity to help out but also understand a little of the culture instead of visiting as a tourist. I think it’s probably best to commit to one month or more, if you can. Go for it! 🙂

      1. lawzzy Avatar

        Fantastic!! Thank you 🙂

      2. Image Earth Travel Avatar

        You’re welcome and glad you enjoyed my post! Many thanks for leaving me a comment.

  8. londoner18 Avatar

    Amazing 🙂

    1. Image Earth Travel Avatar

      Thank you!
      Not sure if you read the first Volunteering post? Had an amazing 3 months!

  9. Ester Avatar

    Beatiful pictures!

    1. Image Earth Travel Avatar

      Thank you!
      There are some very beautiful places in Thailand and throughout SE Asia.

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