Thailand

Farm to Table

Applications Closed

Applications Closed!

Thailand

Farm to Table

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  • Eat your way through Thailand! From the street food mecca of Bangkok to local delicacies at a floating market, from the intricate cuisine of the north in Chiang Mai to granny-prepared meals at homestays, get ready for the best eats of your life!
  • Get your hands dirty at an organic farm as we learn first-hand about alternative modes of food production.
  • Gain an intimate perspective on daily life in northern Thailand as we live with homestay families and trek through lush hills and endless greenery.
  • Develop a critical perspective towards food production and consumption through hands-on experience and dialogue with local friends and partners!

Program Dates

2017
May 19 – June 27
Applications Closed!

July 7 – August 15
Applications Closed!

Fees + Community Contribution  

$2,775 + $615
$3,045 + $750
Currency:

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Sample Itinerary

*This itinerary is based on our previous experience with the region. Programs change every year based on the needs of our partners. This should give you a sense of what our program may look like.

Orientation in the Big Mango

Following airport pickups, our group will be introduced to Thailand’s bustling capital, Bangkok. In a citywide scavenger hunt we’ll get to know the sights, sounds, smells, and tastes of this modern, yet distinctively Thai city. Your program leaders will take you on a food crawl through Bangkok’s China Town, the epicenter of street food culture in the city. We will also be meeting with a local chef who’ll give us the rundown on the essential elements of Thai cuisine. Temple hopping and a crash course on Thai language basics will, of course, also be part of the agenda!

Floating Markets and Rural Livin’

From the hustle and bustle of Bangkok, our group will journey to the countryside of Nakhon Pathom. Spending a few days camping along the Thai Chin River, we’ll take day trips to visit the Lam Phaya Floating Market and partake in a bike tour that will see us weaving through and stopping at Central Thai farming communities. We will get a sense of rural Thai life and learn about food production from the source! All, of course, while trying delicious local delicacies!

Into the Hills with the Mirror Foundation

Ready for the next stop? Let’s hop on an overnight bus to the northern city of Chiang Rai! There, we will meet with our partner, the Mirror Foundation – a Thai NGO working towards improving the livelihoods of underprivileged ethnic minority groups in the country. Being guided by of our friends from Mirror we will visit remote villages nestled in the lush hills of northern Thailand, sleep in homestays, and learn about the cultures and traditions of local hilltribe communities. Throughout our time here, we’ll explore and think critically about the importance of and struggle to maintain a traditional lifestyle while integrating into a modern market-based agricultural society.

Organic Farming Adventure

Our group will spend a day in the city of Chiang Rai, scrubbing off our muddy clothes and visiting the night market, before heading back into the countryside where we’ll spend a week at an organic farm. Stripped down to the basics, we’ll get our hands dirty learning about principles of organic gardening, seed sharing, and self-reliance. Our lessons will be contextualized in a local Thai environment, as well the bigger picture of global food production.

Cooking and Exploring in Chiang Mai

No jaunt to northern Thailand is complete without a stay in the beautiful city of Chiang Mai, often referred to as the country’s cultural capital. Ancient temples, mouth-watering cuisine, and a funky modern vibe are just some of the reasons we love this city! Our team will partake in a two-day cooking class and then hit the streets to see if what we’ve whipped up compares to the real deal. Visiting museums, temples, markets, a nearby waterfall, and just exploring the city’s winding streets will give us a good sense of what Chiang Mai has to offer.

Independent Travel Time

A staple of all Operation Groundswell programs is Independent Travel Time (ITT). You can travel independently if you desire but we encourage everyone to travel in pairs or small groups. This is the ideal time to learn more about your specific interests, volunteering, travelling, or just relaxing. Southeast Asia is bursting with gems! From the pristine beaches of southern Thailand to the ancient temples of the mighty Angkor Empire, from hiking into the territory of the northern hill tribes in Chiang Rai to the unreal views of Ha Long Bay, there’s no shortage of things to do here!

**Please note that you are not under the auspices of the organized program during ITT. Team members will be given the emergency contact number of program leaders during ITT for any advice.

Disorientation in Bangkok

Our group will reconvene for a program debrief known as ‘disorientation’ prior to flying home. This will likely take place in Bangkok, back where all the fun began. We’ll learn that it is possible to take it easy in this restless city and re-live memories of the program, recap the lessons that we’ve learned, discuss how to stay connected, and collaborate on projects in the future. Then off to the airport for some tearful goodbyes!

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What’s Included?

A comprehensive program itinerary and educational curriculum focused on the issues facing your specific region

Experienced and caring program leaders with you 24 hours a day

All lodging and accommodations throughout the program

Three local meals a day

All group tours, entrance fees, and excursions

All group transportation on the ground

Regular discussions and workshops to help you internalize and reflect on your experience

Support from OGHQ whenever you need it

ITT

Independent Travel Time is your opportunity to go out there and explore on your own terms!

  • Relax on the pristine beaches of southern Thailand and relish in the stunning landscapes these islands have to offer.
  • Take an epic multi-day slow boat journey down the Mekong into Laos.
  • Travel back in time exploring the mystic ruins of Angkor Wat in Siem Reap, a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
  • Volunteer at a trusted and ethically-minded elephant sanctuary in Thailand or Cambodia.

Accommodations

With OG, you live like the locals.
Traveling as much as we do on this program, there are a number of different styles of accommodation. In cities, we stay at clean, safe, and secure guesthouses. In the countryside we will be camping, staying at homestays, or sleeping in pre-arranged group accommodation. Cold bucket showers are common while continuous electricity can’t always be guaranteed – so come prepared! Though Western comforts should not be assumed, you can expect to challenge yourself by stripping down to the basics.

Meet Our Regional Director

After hearing about OG while sweating in a sauna in northern Ontario in 2010, and subsequently going on a Southeast Asia program, Sidney quickly got hooked on backpacktivism. Since then. he has led four years of programs in Southeast Asia. His favorite part of the job (if he had to choose) is getting people to fall in love with this part of the world and understanding it through a critical and educational lens. Sid lives in Bangkok where, besides operating as Regional Director for OG, he is pursuing a Masters in Tourism Management. Previously, Sid was an archaeologist, a passion he continues to cultivate when time permits. Eating is another big hobby, which is easy to maintain in a place like Thailand.

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