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Travel for Teens: Thailand Elephant Service and the Islands
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Travel for Teens: Thailand Elephant Service and the Islands

Overall Rating

10/ 10

  • Volunteer Placement

    9

  • Program Administration

    9

  • Living Situation

    10

  • Community Engagement

    10

  • Health & Safety

    10

  • Day to Day Life

    10

Adventure of a lifetime

I had the most unforgettable experience traveling with TFT to Thailand. Not only was I able to enjoy the most picturesque landscape of the country but I was able to become immersed in the Thai culture like never before. We took traditional Thai cooking classes, learned phrases in the language, and were able to interact with the locals. The service was so interesting as we learned more the amazing creatures that elephants are. The travel around the country was also fascinating. Visiting beautiful temples and exploring city markets was so fun. The islands were gorgeous with light blue, warm water. I created so many unforgettable memories and met so many incredible people on this trip, I would definitely recommend.

Overall Rating

10/ 10

  • Itinerary

    10

  • Living Situation

    10

  • Cultural Immersion

    10

  • Program Administration

    10

  • Health & Safety

    10

  • Satisfaction

    10

Thailand Elephants

This trip was beyond amazing! I’m so glad I had the opportunity to go to such a diverse and beautiful country. The culture is as rich as the meals and the people are so kind and welcoming. I never expected elephants to have such an impact on me but they are such amazing animals. I think everyone should interact with them and learn more how similar they are to humans. TFT was wonderful and so was this trip.

Overall Rating

10/ 10

  • Volunteer Placement

    8

  • Program Administration

    9

  • Living Situation

    10

  • Community Engagement

    10

  • Health & Safety

    10

  • Day to Day Life

    10

Monks, elephants, and backstreet boys

he year before I had an amazing time so before going on this trip I was nervous that it wouldn’t live up to the experiences from my last trip. However, this trip exceeded my expectations. Not only did we get to volunteer and help the elephants, we also had a cultural experience as we attempted the language by bargaining with vendors and constantly trying new foods as well as experiencing something new nearly everyday.
During the trip I also experienced my first 4th of July away from my family, however we still celebrated it. To begin the day it was our final day of rafting so we were rafting and traveling back to the hotel for the first half of the day, but for dinner we went to a restaurant having a 4th of July celebration where we feasted on ribs. We then ended up watching old firework shows before singing the backstreet boys with the hole restaurant even when the power went out.
Not only did I get all these cool new experiences, the people were awesome as well, I met some of my best friends on this trip. We bonded through rafting, being blessed by monks together, taking care of elephants, and more, which created a friendship that continues even now despite different timezones.
The experiences, service, and people all made this trip unforgettable and as I much as I miss this one, I am super excited for my next TFT trip!

Overall Rating

10/ 10

  • Itinerary

    10

  • Living Situation

    10

  • Cultural Immersion

    10

  • Program Administration

    10

  • Health & Safety

    9

  • Satisfaction

    10

Travel for Teens elephant service and the Islands

I was really nervous going on a trip with no one I knew. However, after calling the TFT office hundreds of times and speaking with all the staff, their reassurances finally convinced me to go on this trip. And let me tell you it was a life changing experience. Keith was an incredible counselor, always joking with us and teaching us Thai language he learned from living there for a few year. Mel was the other counselor and she is a professional photographer, taking breath-taking photos of us while we wash and rode elephants, scuba dived, and visited gorgeous temples. The itinerary is so much fun, but not jam-packed, so we could take our leisure time to take in everything. The food is so delicious and our counselors picked out some really great restaurants, one being a table right off the beach at sunset. The people on the trip were so friendly and became some of my close friends that I still talk to today, two years after I went on the trip. The accommodations we stayed at were very comfortable and we even stayed at a resort at one point in the trip that was spectacular!! Travel for Teens did a phenomenal job on this trip!

Overall Rating

8/ 10

  • Itinerary

    10

  • Living Situation

    10

  • Cultural Immersion

    7

  • Program Administration

    8

  • Health & Safety

    10

  • Satisfaction

    10

Thailand elephants and the Islands!

From Chiang Mai to the islands of Thailand, I was never bored for a moment. I was able to bathe and play with elephants one day, then take a two-day rafting trip and sleep in bamboo huts by the Pai river the next day. I could not believe that we were able to work with retired elephants and help care for them. One of my favorite parts was going to all the temples and learning more the Thai culture. I was also able to test my bartering skills (which I’ve found are not very good) in the markets while shopping for souvenirs. Next, we went to Ko Tao and Ko Samui and got a taste of the islands life. It was relaxing to do yoga, lip sync competitions, and swim in the Gulf of Thailand. Not to mention, scuba/snorkeling in the crystal-clear water, learning to cook traditional Thai food, and so much more. Our last stop in Thailand was the capital, Bangkok. I loved the city and all the sites. We went to the Grand Palace, the largest Buddha in Thailand, and got to see the famous Muy Thai fighting. I didn’t think that my second trip could live up the first trip I took with TFT but I was quickly proved wrong.

Overall Rating

10/ 10

  • Volunteer Placement

    N/A

  • Program Administration

    10

  • Living Situation

    10

  • Community Engagement

    10

  • Health & Safety

    10

  • Day to Day Life

    10

Amazing trip!!

This trip was my first with Travel for Teens and I am hoping it is not the last! I had the best time of my life in Thailand, and it definitely gave me the travel bug! The staff was amazing and made sure we had the best time possible. And of course I made the best friends. The white water rafting and spending time with elephants were definite highlights but so was walking around the town and learning the culture. I didn't know anyone prior to the trip and I really stepped out of my comfort zone to do this, but it was more than worth it! I would recommend this trip to anyone, especially if they are wanting an adventure that is new and exciting!

Overall Rating

10/ 10

  • Itinerary

    10

  • Living Situation

    10

  • Cultural Immersion

    10

  • Program Administration

    10

  • Health & Safety

    10

  • Satisfaction

    10

Best trip yet!

The Thailand Elephants and the Islands trip was absolutely incredible. The itinerary was fun and constantly enjoyable with perfect pacing. Working with the elephants at the sanctuaries was educational and informative, and we all found the service work to be meaningful and rewarding. One of the highlights of the trip is the two day rafting trip through Pai. Overnight, the group sleeps in bamboo huts along the side of the river which were made by some of the guides. The rafting was exciting but felt safe at the same time, and it provided a great opportunity for the group to bond. After the trip, we returned to the beautiful hotel in Pai and finally got to clean up after getting covered in mud over the two days. The time in the islands was very relaxing after the previous adventures, and it was a nice break from the business of the trip. Returning to Bangkok was a great way to finish the trip as we explored the city and discovered the many beautiful temples with a plethora of Buddhas. Of course, the food was also a huge highlight of this trip!
The staff at TFT is always incredible, and this trip was no exception. My parents loved the humorous and informative emails the trip director sent nightly, and we got some incredible pictures from our resident professional photographer.
I would not change a single thing this trip and would sign up to do it again in a heartbeat. I highly recommend this trip to anyone looking to see the world and have the best summer of their life!

Overall Rating

10/ 10

  • Itinerary

    10

  • Living Situation

    10

  • Cultural Immersion

    10

  • Program Administration

    10

  • Health & Safety

    10

  • Satisfaction

    10

Excellent on all fronts

I took this trip after going on three other TFT trips (all of which were great) but this one topped them all. This trip includes playing in rivers with elephants, white water rafting, and relaxing on the beach, all of which take place in different areas, so you get a more compete sense of the country than is possible in Bangkok (though we went there as well). The counselors were well-versed with the areas we went to, ensuring that we had the best time possible, and the local guide was extraordinary. Thailand is a breathtaking country that can sometimes be overwhelming, so having local knowledge and a structured itinerary greatly enhanced the experience. All of the staff made the students feel at home and the whole group was extremely close by the time we left. I would highly recommend this trip to anyone interested in Thailand or Southeast Asia in general.

Overall Rating

10/ 10

  • Volunteer Placement

    10

  • Program Administration

    10

  • Living Situation

    10

  • Community Engagement

    10

  • Health & Safety

    10

  • Day to Day Life

    10

The Thaime of my life

This trip was truly the time of my life and an unforgettable experience. From swimming in waterfalls to riding elephants to sleeping in bamboo huts I was always having a great time. Not only did we tour the amazing temples in Thailand we also made an impact by helping out at two elephant sanctuaries by feeding, bathing, feeding, preparing food, and learning the elephants. The community service was not only super fun it was extremely impactful.

Overall Rating

10/ 10

  • Itinerary

    10

  • Living Situation

    10

  • Cultural Immersion

    10

  • Program Administration

    10

  • Health & Safety

    10

  • Satisfaction

    10

Best Experience EVER!!!!!

My trip to Thailand with Travel for Teens was the best 3 weeks of my life. I was given the opportunity to intimately learn elephants, experience true Thai culture with the natives, test my skills at not-so-white water rafting in the Pai River, observe the beautiful temples of Bangkok, adventure into the clear blue waters of Koh Tao, and relax on peaceful beaches and with wonderful Thai massages on Koh Samui. While the activities were incredible, what truly made my experience special were my wonderful trip director, fabulous counselors, and lifelong friends I met on the trip. Before the trip, I was extremely nervous to travel on my own for the first time at 15 years old. But as soon as I met the TFT crew at the airport, my nerves vanished and I knew I was going to have a blast. The counselors and trip directors respected us as friends rather than treating us like immature children. They constantly made sure we were safe while still having fun. My mom was especially grateful for the daily email updates from our trip leaders. The trip would not have been the same without our trip director Keith. Within the few weeks we were in Thailand, I became extremely close with Keith, along with all the other students. Everyone shared plenty of stories, which made us all both laugh and cry, and countless memories that will last me a lifetime. I would give anything to go back and relive my Thailand excursion so I could spend another 3 weeks growing as an individual, while spending plenty of time with the people that quickly became my second family. I truly believe this trip made me a bigger and better person with an increased awareness of the world around me.