Volunteer and Paid Opportunities in Southeast Asia (FREE) – Places Like Thailand, Cambodia and Laos

NOTE #1:  After reading this post, the best way to contact us about this is via our Volunteer Page, which includes information you need to decide if you wish to volunteer and for which organization.  If you send us a tweet asking about this, we’ll end up asking you to do the same.  We will get you in contact with the right people, IF POSSIBLE. Only long-term opportunities at the moment.

NOTE # 2:  Since I published this post, we have received many emails.  This is good and bad.  Good that so many people are interested in volunteering.  We are not a large organization with multiple staff,  I’m it.  I’m the staff. Which means, I’m the CEE, Chief of Everything in the Volunteer Coordination Department.  Please follow instructions in Note #1.


When we came to Thailand, I had no idea I would become a self-designated “volunteer head-hunter.”  I’m pretty good at the head hunting thing, as I did a lot of recruiting in my previous professional work years (Don’t gasp!  You read correctly.  I am a professional and managed a career that paid the bills.  It’s true.  Ask J!)  I knew I’d do well to contribute to the community here, but had no idea this would be part of it.

I’m not complaining at all.  I simply LOVE it.

I love that things just fell into place, like its meant to be.  There are many other things I am doing behind the scenes for organizations, and I enjoy all that as well.  I particularly enjoy being able to pair local organizations with talented, committed and passionate individuals.  I get to meet, connect, network and bridge people to do what they enjoy doing; thus creating so many positive ripple effects from their lives to those they are helping or teaching.    How can I not love that!

For example, I was able to connect two of my Twitter acquaintances, who eventually became great friends, Bessie of @OurOwnPath, and Sally of @UnbraveGirl, to teaching gigs with two local organizations.  One of our new neighbors, a retired American, is now considering teaching Math at yet another organization.   Another American, with whom we’ve become good friends with, has been teaching Math and will continue to do so indefinitely.  I LOVE it.  That’s just the beginning!

Enter as strangers, leave as Karaoke partners! Left to Right: Bessie, J, Me, & Sally

Lives will be touched.  Life-long friendships will be formed.

I cannot imagine a more rewarding volunteer experience than connecting and bridging people (Side Note: J just informed me that “Connecting People” is Nokia’s slogan.   Such a geek).


I evaluate organizations  ‘endorsed’ by us here in Chiang Mai by meeting with those who are in charge of them.

I write about volunteer needs: I Facebook it, I Tweet it and hope, pray and beg that other like-minded people would help me RETWEET and SHARE the heck out of it too, to help me find qualified peeps to do more good.

I DO NOT CHARGE for my services.

I’m also NOT compensated by the organizations I help.


For you as a volunteer, getting in the door is the first step. Once you’re in and are connected, what you do for the organization is up to both parties.  You will have to prove to them that you are willing, able, reliable and committed.  It’s a mutually beneficial relationship.  We call it ‘Win-Win!’

You’ll have choices of volunteer jobs (and possibly paid jobs) here in Southeast Asia.  You’ll be pinching yourself wondering how the heck this happened.  That’s what I do everyday!

For now, we have access to long-term opportunities only.  Long-term = at least 2-3 months and in some cases, up to a year or longer.  We’ are working on identifying short-term opportunities.

If you are planning on being in this part of the world anyway, and wherever you go you’ll need a living expense budget.  Right?  RIGHT!  In Asia, as most travelers know, it is much cheaper than the west.  So if you have the plane ticket, the living expenses figured-out and want to do volunteer work, it can happen.

If you’re coming to Chiang Mai, be sure to look up Team Chiang Mai on Facebook! We’re a fun bunch!

And here’s your chance to get in the door.

Join me and my family.  Let’s “do good” together.

Message to M: “How wonderful it is that nobody need to wait a single moment before starting to improve the world.” –   Anne Frank

A small group of thoughtful people could change the world. Indeed, it’s the only thing that ever has. -Margaret Mead

We Say NO to Status Quo.

Live Green.  Live Small.  Give Large. Take Little.

Take Notice.  Take Action.

  44 comments for “Volunteer and Paid Opportunities in Southeast Asia (FREE) – Places Like Thailand, Cambodia and Laos

  1. January 12, 2011 at 12:52 am

    I am really glad to hear that you are involved with these kind of organizations. Although, I’m unsure unfortunately will I will be in Thailand, it’s definitely on the list and volunteering is definitely something I would be interested in doing there.

    Now I know who I can contact for info! Keep the good going!

    • December 10, 2012 at 12:11 pm

      hi , i wanna know whom to approach to volunteer here…

  2. January 12, 2011 at 10:56 pm

    I love this post — it is so cool that you guys are helping people help people.

  3. January 13, 2011 at 10:28 am

    Definitely squirreling this post away for future reference. :)

  4. January 14, 2011 at 11:25 am

    Awesome how things have fallen into place and you are able to do something that you are truly passionate about and care about. I am back in Thailand now (in Krabi), hope to see you guys in Chiang Mai in the future and I will direct friends who inquire about volunteer opportunities in Chiang Mai to Team Chiang Mai.
    Hope you are doing well!

  5. January 16, 2011 at 12:58 am

    This is really great and volunteering in Thailand again is something that I really want to do. Hopefully some time this year we’ll be able to make it happen! I want to be on Team Chiang Mai! =)

  6. January 16, 2011 at 2:29 pm

    Hey team! I’m not looking to volunteer at the moment since my bf and I are dealing with the whole partner visa thing in Oz. ‘We have talked about spending time in SEAsia late 2011, early 2012, so hopefully you all are going to be around and helping out then ;) I would be interested in learning more about the types of paid work that might be available as well. Cheers :)

  7. January 21, 2011 at 1:49 pm

    Yea, Yea, and more Yea!!!!! I can’t thank you enough for the opportunity you’ve connected us with!! I’m loving my placement so far!

    And it’s amazing all the help you’re providing to organizations – if for nothing else than just getting the word. I hope I get to meet more of the people you recruit! :)

    Hugs A & Thanks for sharing your connecting skils. Muah!

  8. January 21, 2011 at 5:13 pm

    It’s really great to see someone doing volunteer placements legitimately. Rather than the whole voluntourism industry which has sprung up and can become so exploitative of both the kids who pay for the services and the people the project is intended to do it. Thanks for sharing this.

  9. January 27, 2011 at 9:45 am

    Such a great thing you are doing in CM! I might need to hit you up soon so I can come back :)

  10. February 1, 2011 at 10:07 pm

    Thanks everyone for your comments and support. I hope I can continue to do a good job at connecting the organizations in need and the reliable volunteers who wish to commit themselves to helping those orgs. I hope each of you reading this post will help me by spreading the words far and wide.

  11. February 12, 2011 at 10:02 am

    hey i havn’t had the pleasure as of yet/but i plan to do a stint in asia pretty soon!
    cant wait to start doing something worthwhile/although i don’t even know what im gonna be doing yet/but i know im onto a good thing & cant wait ta give my time to a worthwhile cause while living my life to the max; at the same time:)you guys seen to have the nail pretty much on the head,
    seem a like minded fun crew..,& hope to hook up with ya shortly
    any tips or advice would be warmly welcomed from brian in not so warm & sunny dublin-ireland:)

  12. March 8, 2011 at 2:06 am

    Can’t wait until I join you guys in Thailand!

  13. Shahzad Akhtar Khan
    November 14, 2011 at 2:03 pm

    I am really looking for an opportunity to work as a volunteer and I think CM could be the right place. I got over two decades of working experience in the social development sector mainly working on livelihoods and poverty reduction.


    Please advise.

  14. Sanjoo
    May 11, 2012 at 5:19 pm

    I am a Manipuri Lay Buddhist and a graduate in History from Manipur University, India residing in Manipur – one of the states of India, neighboring Myanmar (Burma).
    I would love to volunteer in Thailand, mainly to learn their Buddhist’s teachings and teach English if I am capable and also to see its beautiful temples but as I am no financially sound nor do I have any sort of sponsorship, I completely powerless. We are minorities and economically backward here in India though I am educated.
    In fact, it is a shame to say that in spite of India being the birth-place of Lord Buddha and origin of Buddhism with many important and sacred temples of Buddhists, it still constitutes to remain a minority in India and especially in the state of Manipur furthermore the number of Buddhists in Manipur stands at just over 1000 only.

  15. Mike and Jen
    June 26, 2012 at 11:12 pm


    My finance and I are getting married on the 19th July. On the 21st of July we’re flying to Bangkok. One way.

    We are both trained actors and directors, but have also worked for two years as professional fundraisers for over 30 charities.
    Our goal, our passion and our dream is to set up a theatre company, teaching children English, but also to teach on heath and sanitation, but through drama.

    Chiang Mai is calling us! and with three weeks to go I’m desperate to find a way of getting started and I hope you can point us in the right direction.

    Many thanks, All the Best


    • arjana vizulis
      August 31, 2012 at 12:24 am

      Sounds like you have a wonderful thing going here, thank you so much for this site. I stumbled upon this post and wanted to respond and try to connect with you and your fiancee. My long time boyfriend and I are both actors (he from Venezuela and myself from NYC) and we are planning an indefinate trip to Thailand or elsewhere in SEAsia looking for a combination of volunteering/teaching through arts and music. If you could please put us in contact with you, would be really interesting to touch base. All the best, Arjana and Aaron

  16. Simon Foote
    August 8, 2012 at 6:36 pm

    I love the sentiment of this post! Fab.

    My wife and I are leaving the UK in September heading to SEA to do who knows what..! She is a diving instructor and I have just done an engineering degree. We are both looking for work, I am into any kind of project work, but I am sure my engineering skills could be of use. I’m looking for preferably paid work for a year or possibly more. If you have a chance, please get in touch with any tips.

    Best Regards,


  17. madeline
    November 7, 2012 at 10:30 am

    i would like to visit you soon in CM on 2013…wish you good health be and i hope we become great friends for life…i will volunteer to to help others!

    • November 26, 2012 at 11:18 am

      Thank you for the message, feel free to look us up when you’re in Chiang Mai.

  18. Mairead
    December 6, 2012 at 9:45 pm

    I am a health worker (physiotherapist studying postgraduate international health) planning to spend 6-12 months in Chiang Mai from mid 2013. I am looking around for volunteer opportunities, with particular interests in community health work, health promotion, maternal and child health, and refugee health.
    If you could give me any information or advice on where my skills could be used, I would love to hear from you.

  19. Hayley
    January 4, 2013 at 3:28 pm

    Hi! I am an American English teacher currently living in Taiwan. I am flying to Vietnam at the end of the month and plan to do some long-term travelling across SE Asia. I am looking to do some volunteer work with human rights or women’s rights so I’d appreciate any guidance you can offer. Thanks!

  20. January 14, 2013 at 9:38 pm

    I am a community eye care worker ( eye doctor) like to get the opportunity of long term paid work.
    Now I am working in Dhaka Bangladesh.I am a Bangladeshi.
    I wan to hear from you.

  21. ray ang
    January 25, 2013 at 7:50 pm

    great that’s a proper placement, visited a couple volunteer websites but mostly have to pay this and that. Been in bangkok for months, had a calling but not sure whereabouts I can help out,IT background but also interested in other areas, cheers

  22. Michelle Shipp
    March 28, 2013 at 9:11 am

    I have strong administration skills working for both Government and Private Enterprise. Please can you advise how I my skills could be used.

    I visited Cambodia and Thailand a couple of years ago.

    I look forward to your reply.

    Thank you


    • April 18, 2013 at 1:49 pm

      Hello, Sorry for the late reply. We are currently back in the US temporarily. It would be best if you contact the organisations directly that are listed on the Volunteer Jobs page. thank you for your interest.

      Best of luck,


  23. Katerina
    March 28, 2013 at 5:19 pm

    I live in chiang mai at the moment. Do you need any help in volunteer projects here?

    • April 18, 2013 at 1:48 pm

      Hello, Sorry for the late reply. We are currently back in the US temporarily. It would be best if you contact the organisations directly that are listed on the Volunteer Jobs page. thank you for your interest.

      Best of luck,


  24. Ayesha
    April 15, 2013 at 2:56 pm

    Do you know of any teaching/training volunteer jobs for subjects related to mental health. I am a trainee psychiatrist and will love to spend sometime not merely treating patients but helping communities recognise and manage mental illnesses.

    • April 18, 2013 at 1:45 pm

      Hello. Thank you for visiting out blog. I am not sure of any contacts, but I want to say probably the refugee camps would be a some of the good ones to start with. Perhaps you could consider contacting Mae Tao Clinic in Mae Sot (they have a FB page and a website) to see if they can redirect you to organisation(s) that are looking for this kind of help. There was a fire at one of the camps recently and many were devastated leaving them homeless or loss family members. So lots of trauma work I’m sure. Learn more about it and consider contacting http://theborderconsortium.org/

      Best of luck to you,


  25. david vann
    September 16, 2013 at 12:46 am

    im coming to ch in sept 2014 for 2-6months or longer if things work out.i would like to volunteer that would give me purpose and at the same time do good

  26. December 12, 2013 at 8:47 pm

    Dear Aye,

    I’m American, a furniture designer, professional company director and college professor. I worked in EU, now Asia, for 16 years. I can do many things, am healthy, quite active and left Vietnam a few weeks ago.
    Now in Thailand, I go to Chiang Mai next week.
    Please send me your list of needs, seriously. I can assist “hands on” to manage or do most anything you want my cooperation with here. Ok?

    Best regards,

    Sanford Blackman (+66) 0943757949 Thailand

  27. Barbara
    December 30, 2013 at 3:44 am

    I am a single senior planning to spend time in Thailand. I am looking for meaningful opportunities while I am there. Please let me know if there would be any long term opportunities available to me. Thank you!

  28. Olivia
    March 11, 2014 at 10:40 am

    Hello, I am a 24 year old college graduate (pre-med) and I am looking to volunteer in the field of healthcare. I am a certified EMT and have been working as a dental assistant for the past year. I am looking to move to thailand for a long term 4-6 month stay. What types of volunteer opportunities are out there for me?

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