A Reader Asks About Volunteering in Chiang Mai

Hi Akaisha and Billy,

We’ve spoken in the past and I’ve found your encouragement and information valuable. While I’ve moved to San Miguel de Allende, I’m currently exploring SE Asia. I find myself in Chiang Mai, enjoying the city but, after Vietnam, a little tired of the tourist routine. 

I recalled some photos you had of working at a nearby village with children. Could provide contact information for a person or organization there? I’ve seen some listings in which you pay several hundred dollars a week for the privilege, but I’m really just wanting to contribute a little bit during the next couple of weeks. I could tutor English — or whatever.


Hi Dan!
GREAT to hear from you again! As you know we love Asia. Surely hope you are having a good time checking things out. Did you find someone to watch your much loved canine companion while you are on the road?

RE: volunteering in Thailand…  We never went through a group or organization – we always did things on the fly or as we saw the need. However, you could do several things:

Check out the Chiang Mai Expats Club and see if they have a project going on where you could join in or contribute.

Contact Hugh Leong of Retire 2 Thailand and ask him what is happening with any kind of volunteer projects. Hugh has lived in Thailand for some years and is married to a Thai – so he would probably have some inside scoop. If you would like an email introduction, just let me know and I’ll do that for you.

Speaking of email introductions, I know of 2 other gentlemen who live in Thailand full time and who are great conversationalists, musicians, writers and such… if you would like email introductions to them, just let me know and I’ll do that right away. They’ll answer any questions you have about living in Thailand and specifically, CMai.

Also, you could go to any Wat and see if there are projects you could get involved in or go to any school and volunteer your time. There are 2 prisons in Cmai – a men’s and a women’s prison — and my experience in that category is that these people are starved for conversation, interaction and any kind of training that you could give.

For the women’s prison, I gave material and patterns for the women to make things and then they sell those things for extra spending money for toothpaste, combs, shampoo or snacks…

This should keep you busy for a little while. Let me know if you have any other questions or would like any introductions.

Best of luck and have a great time there in Asia.

Thanks for staying in touch,

About Retire Early Lifestyle

Billy and Akaisha Kaderli retired three decades ago at the age of 38 and began traveling the world. As recognized retirement experts and internationally published authors on topics of finance and world travel, they have been interviewed about retirement issues by The Wall Street Journal, Kiplinger's Personal Finance Magazine, The Motley Fool Rule Your Retirement newsletter, nationally syndicated radio talk shows and countless newspapers and TV shows nationally and worldwide. They wrote the popular books The Adventurer's Guide to Early Retirement (Your Simple Path to FIRE) and Your Retirement Dream IS Possible.
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