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Preparation

Since Thailand is probably much different than your home country, here are a few simple recommendations on how to make your transition to Thailand as smooth and comfortable as possible.

What to bring?

Please Bring The Following Items With You:

  • Phrasebook and/or Thai-English dictionary
  • Clothes that are thin but not too revealing are appropriate for the small villages you will be visiting.
  • Shoulders should be covered and shorts that are cut at the knee are acceptable
  • Sports shoes and clothes for hiking, sports, and other outside activities
  • Swimsuits: in Thailand, women swim in a t-shirt and shorts; be modest
  • Mosquito repellent containing DEET Hat, sunglasses and sunscreen
  • Toiletries and towel
  • Medicines as you think necessary
  • Notebook and pen Pictures of your family, friends, and country to share with fellow volunteers and Thai people
  • Cooking recipes and other ideas for sharing your culture
  • Flashlight Musical instruments Ideas for games and songs to help teach English Some spending money for personal items

Food And Health

Hygienic conditions in Thailand are reasonably good. Thai people shower at least twice a day, and expect others to do the same. In the kitchen and along the street you will undoubtedly encounter some unusual dishes, but these are usually prepared with care and under hygienic conditions. As a rule, vegetarian food is generally safer to eat than meat and fish. Well-prepared Thai food is always excellent, though it can be very spicy at times. Typical dishes that you will come across include rice with different kind of curries.

Medical service, even in remote areas, is never very far away. Treatment is very cheap and generally of good quality. Thailand’s cities have modern hospitals that are equipped with the latest technology, and are often staffed with western-educated doctors. Malaria is not very common in most of Thailand, occurring mostly near the border regions where there are heavily forested areas and lots of standing water.

Thai Food Lesson, Let’s Try and Taste, By IVCA Some time we give you opportunity to learn how to cook Thai food from the experts? The Thai cookery courses can be relatively cheap and often includes trips to the local market

General Information about Thai Food!

Thai food is internationally famous. Whether chilli-hot or comparatively blands, harmony is the guiding principle behind each dish. Thai cuisine is essentially a marriage of centuries-old Eastern and Western influences harmoniously combined into something uniquely Thai. The characteristics of Thai food

Introduction of Thai Food

Depend on who cooks it, for whom it is cooked, for what occasion, and where it is cooked to suit all palates. Originally, Thai cooking reflected the characteristics of a waterborne lifestyle. Aquatic animals, plants and herbs were major ingredients. Large chunks of meat were eschewed. Subsequent influences introduced the use of sizeable chunks to Thai cooking.

With their Buddhist background, Thais shunned the use of large animals in big chunks. Big cuts of meat were shredded and laced with herbs and spices. Traditional Thai cooking methods were stewing and baking, or grilling. Chinese influences saw the introduction of frying, stir frying and deep-frying. Culinary influences from the 17th century onwards included Portuguese, Dutch, French and Japanese. Chilli peppers were introduced to Thai cooking during the late 1600s by Portuguese missionaries who had acquired a taste for them while serving in South America.

Staying In Bangkok

Most participants will enter Thailand via Suvarnabhumi, the International Airport of Bangkok. You may want to stay in the city for a few days, either out of necessity, or simply to do some sightseeing.

Bangkok is a very large city and like any other city in the world, visitors should be careful. There are many guest houses in Bangkok that range from US $5 a night to US $50 a night. If you are looking for exiting night life, we recommend staying close to Kow San Road, which seems to be the main meeting ground for backpackers.

They are easy to find on the internet, and have a very informative website, where you can print out a map of how to get there. Bring the map with you, as most of the taxi drivers speak little to no English. If by some chance you happen to come when there are no vacancies, there are several other guest houses in the area.

Advices before going

Cultural differences

Get ready to experience cultural differences. Different ways to behave and to communicate with each other, different gender relations, different ways of eating and drinking, different ways of cooking and cleaning. Your bed may be different from what you are used to and you may find out that you miss the food you are used to. On top of it you will share your life with people from all over the world and they will also bring part of their culture to the local project. Experiencing cultural differences is one of the most exciting part of any work camp.

Group life:

You will need to share accommodation and food. Get ready to share your bedroom and toilet with the rest of the group and in some cases to sleep with boys and girls in the same room. Very often organizers can only guarantee a common accommodation for the all group. Get also ready to clean together with the others and to take care of the hygienic conditions of your camp base. Work camps are about communal like and voluntary service, you will rarely have somebody to take care of daily chores

Read about the country you will go to and the culture you will meet:

Buy a travel guide and read about the country you will visit. Go to the local library and find out what they have about the place you will visit. This will help you to acquire knowledge but also to technically organise your trip. A guide will contain information on how to go from the terminal to the center of the city and will provide you with info about the climate, the temperature and all the details you need to know to prepare your luggage and to get ready for going. The guide will especially be useful if you plan to arrive before and to stay after the work camp.

Prepare a copy of your documents:

Before leaving make several copies of your passport, visa, flight ticket, travel insurance and any other important document (passport of international vaccinations, etc). Put them in different places (your luggage, your hand bag, etc) and leave one copy at home (your family will be able to send you the information if ever you loose all the other copies. If you travel with travel cheques or credit cards make sure you know where you have to call if you loose them or you are stolen.

Cash/exchange money before arriving at the meeting point:

Some work camps takes place in small villages where there is no ATM or bank. Make sure you have some cash with you before arriving at the meeting place; you may need some money for your free time or for personal expenses.

Bring special medicines with you if you need any:

If you regularly take specific medicines, you are allergic and you may have allergic reactions, bring the medicines along with you. You may not find the same medicines you usually take in another country or you may need them in a moment where the pharmacy is not closed by. Put them in your luggage, they may not be accepted aboard of the aircraft.

Security:

Keep your valuables (money, tickets and documents) on your person at all times – never in your luggage or in shared rooms. Make copies of each of them. Sometimes local hosts provide volunteers with a safe or lockers, ask if there is any of those facilities or otherwise organise yourself to keep important documents and money with you (a little bag may be perfect). There are risks everywhere, use common sense and remember that a travel guide and the local host may help you to avoid risks.