Live, Work & Travel in Southeast Asia
Gap Year & Voluntary Work Continued...
Unpaid Positions & Adventure
SAELAO - A sustainable development project located in Nathong Village, near the city of Vang Vieng, Laos. The project consists of a small organic farm, a farm-to-table restaurant, a community centre that provides daily English classes, and a volunteer project for international visitors.
The Safari Park Volunteer Initiative - We loved the couple of days we spent working at this Thai zoo: feeding leopards, giving back rubs to Chutney the gibbon, and taking lions and tigers for a walk. The volunter programme was set up by two backpackers who persuaded the zoo to let them help improve the conditions of the animals. Highly recommended.
Sangkheum Center - Meaning 'hope' in Khymer, the Sangkheum Center for Children provides education, training, scholastic support and care to children between the ages of 4 and 17. Volunteers can help by teaching English or sports, running craft projects or assist with the business end of things.
Sapa O’Chau - This grassroots social enterprise in northern Vietnam is reliant on volunteers to sustain its teaching requirements and help to transform the lives of others. Though they encourage longer stays where possible, volunteers can join their programme for as little as one day. While there are no specific qualifications, volunteers need to be over 18 and are expected to be flexible, patient, and respectful, and possess a passion and love for children and young adults. Volunteers not interested in teaching can also help out in other ways, such as writing articles, providing administrative support or fundraising.
Save Elephant Foundation - A well regarded organisation that takes care of Elephants in several parks and sanctuaries across Thailand, plus one in Cambodia.
Save Our Seahorses - A Malaysian organisation that requires volunteers for several conservation projects.
Shallow Waters - A long term, community led coral reef management programme in Cambodia’s Koh Sdach archipelago. They host international volunteers at their research outpost on the island of Koh Sdach, whether they are students looking to undertake their own research in a unique marine environment, or those seeking to gain scuba qualifications whilst practically contributing to marine conservation in a developing country. Qualified expedition leaders are also employed.
Teach for Myanmar - A small not for profit programme that matches volunteer teachers with community based organisations in Myanmar. Most volunteers teach English, social sciences, and academic skills to young adults aged 17 to 30.
Thai Animal Sanctuary - Volunteers are needed to help out around this sanctuary in Kanchanaburi by walking dogs, grooming, medicating, assisting with the treatment of animals, cleaning, updating the website, volunteer recruitment, and more.
Thai-Experience.org - Discover Thailand from the inside while helping children or handicapped persons to learn English, computers or other skills. Suitable for all ages. No special skills required but are welcomed.
Thai Society for the Conservation of Wild Animals - Welcomes local and foreign volunteers and students but asks that their work or chosen areas of study and experience further their aims. Veterinarians, vet nurses, zoologists and biologists are especially useful.
Thai Youth Action Program Foundation - The TYAP supports youth in northern Thailand and are constantly looking for volunteers with project management, IT, media, writing, communication and teaching skills.
Thresher Shark Project - Aspiring marine/shark scientists with dive qualifications may volunteer to work as a research assistant in the Philippines.
Tsunami Volunteer Center - A Thai NGO, based in Khao Lak, Thailand, formed to assist in the restoration of communities affected by the Indian Ocean tsunami.
Volunteer Work Thailand - Comprehensive source of volunteer ideas and free volunteer work in Thailand.
Volunthai - A selection of rural schools provide food and accommodation to volunteers in exchange for their teaching three to four hours per day.
V4D - Short term (2 weeks) and longer term (over a month) volunteer projects in Vietnam.
The Wild Animal Rescue Foundation of Thailand - WARF is dedicated to preventing the maltreatment of wild animals and providing an environment in which rescued animals can live before returning to the wild. They recruit paying volunteers to help in tasks such as assisting the animal keepers or in gibbon release research.
Wildlife Friends Foundation Thailand - Volunteer work is avaliable in the elephant refuge or the rescue centre, a shelter for a large number of different wild animals.
WWOOF Philippines - The host list preview available on the site suggest there are ten host farms to volunteer with.
Living in Southeast Asia
Real Estate and Resources for Staying Long Term
Chiang Mai Grapevine - Besides connecting tourists, expatriates and Thais living in Chiang Mai, CMG's aim is to list and map all the businesses of the city on a Google Map, with a dedicated web page for each business.
Khmer440.com - A sharply written look at Cambodian and expat life. Includes TEFL articles.
Living in Indonesia - A great site for expats in Indonesia.
Travelling in Southeast Asia
Accommodation & Getting Around
Adventures in Thai Cooking and Travel - Cultural and culinary trips to Thailand.
Asian Oasis - After doing next to nothing besides work for four months in Chiang Mai, we crammed in everything we'd missed, from cookery lessons to white water rafting, on their great Lisu Lodge and Khum Lanna Soft Adventure trip in northern Thailand.
BackHome Hostel - One of our forays into flashpacker territory. After three nights here we came to the conclusion that BackHome is a lovely place to spend the night in Kuala Lumpur.
Bamboo House Guesthouse - A peaceful guesthouse beside the River Kwai within view of the famous bridge.
Bangkok.com - Hotels and tourist information, travel and business guide.
Birdnest Guesthouse - A backpacker's sanctuary in the heart of Kuala Lumpur's Chinatown. Willi opened the doors in 2009 and thousands of travellers have passed through since. Of the three guest houses owned by Willi dotted around the Chinatown area, we stayed in two and each had backpackers taking care of his business. We ourselves could have earned 50RM if we were prepared to help clean out a space into which Willi was hoping to expand his premises.
Blonde Traveler - A travel support and community tool for females traveling Southeast Asia.
Bodega Hotels - Bodega is run by three American brothers who have expanded their operations from Phuket to Bangkok and, most recently, to Chiang Mai. There is both a party and arty vibe that includes showcasing local aspiring artists and musicians and we have seen them using their social media to offer a free stay for artists and the occasional staff member. Mostly though they want red cups to keep the beer pong going.
De Lanna Hotel - This exquisite boutique hotel is a tranquil oasis right in the heart of Chiang Mai Inner old city, near Sunday Walking Street Market and Wat Phra Sigh.
De Talak Hostel - De Talak is close to heart of Bangkok, making it easy for you to experience the most stirring and inspirational places all around city.
Eclipse Guesthouse - A Kuala Lumpur guesthouse with spacious communual areas.
Evergreen Boutique Hotel - A lovely place that aims to be a relaxed, cosy and homey hotel for golfers and other nice people visiting Hua Hin. I had a eureka moment on realising it was possible to watch the footy while floating on a lilo in the pool. Surely life can't get better than that?
Hangout Hotels - Two no frills but - in our experience - very professional and welcoming hotels in Singapore and Malaysia.
Hitchhiking Vietnam: Letters from the Trail - Karin's story, hitchhiking alone around Vietnam.
HQ Hostel - At the heart of Bangkok within walking distance to major attractions and transportation. Free Wi-Fi, 24/7 check-in and super comfy bed.
Khao San Road - Coverage of the farang ghetto of Bangkok, the rest of Thailand and Southeast Asia.
King's Home - Homestay style accommodation in Hua Hin, Thailand.
PODs Backpackers - PODs provides affordable budget accommodation for backpackers and travellers. Supported and owned by fun and dedicated staff who are backpacker themselves, PODs is located a stone’s throw away from KL Sentral Station. Wah, the owner of PODs, told us he had employed someone in the past who had stayed at his hostel.
Siam Classic Hostel - Siam Classic Hostel is conveniently located in central Bankok directly opposite to the Bangkok Central Train Station (Hua Lumpong) and Metro "MRT" Station.
SEA Backpacker - A free magazine distributed every two months in eight countries around the region. Plenty of information and articles are available to read on their website too while their Chiang Mai office is turning into a place where backpackers go to get advice and travel information. Digital issues are available to download.
Travelfish - Originally written travel intelligence covering Southeast Asia that includes anonymously written reviews by their researchers on over 4,500 places to stay and over 500 destinations in the region. We're off to Southeast Asia again ourselves soon and I'm repeatedly turning to this site. Travelfish also hire 'under paid and over appreciated' writers living in the region.
Villa Duang Champa - A small boutique hotel in the very heart of historical Chiang Mai. The 2008 winner of ASA for the Best Renovated Architecture in Lanna. Run by good people.
Bangkok Post - Fine exampe of an English language newspaper.
The Jakarta Post - English language newspaper widely available in Jakarta and Bali.
The Nation - Thai English language newspaper.
The Star - Malaysian newspaper.
The Straits Times - English language newspaper of Singapore.
The Phuket News - English language newspaper with a classified jobs section.