Volunteer in the heart of Indochina

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VOLUNTEER IN THE HEART OF INDOCHINA Where countries and cultures meet along the mighty Mekong River! Your outstanding chance to explore the unseen Isaan, Thailand and Laos.

Volunteer in Nong Khai, northern Thailand and stay at our Openmind Projects Training Center or a charming nearby guesthouse.

You can volunteer at a school, temple or one of the countryside projects that only Openmind Projects supports in either Thailand or nearby Laos. You can help so many people in some of the most disadvantaged communities in Asia.

Your Volunteering When you volunteer, you will work with village children and help local communities. Work with our young trainees from Lao, Thailand, and Myanmar at our Center as well as helping our local staff improve their work.Young volunteers, professional volunteers, families and retired and seniors can all find a role here

Your Free Time Nong Khai is where you find the famous Indochinese Market, ‘Tha Sadet’, a must for shoppers; where Vietnamese, Chinese, Lao and Thais trade their goods at prices much lower the tourist streets in Bangkok! You will realize this is the heart of Indochina, not Thai, not Lao, not Vietnamese, but it is Indochinese. Don’t miss the chance to get an expert foot massage while you are at the market, at a fraction of the cost of what you’d pay at home and it is even better!

Sights to see Nong Khai is where you find the unique Sala Keo Khu, a special temple and sculpture park; one of the most unique temples you are likely to visit on your travels. It features giant sculptures inspired by Buddhism and Hinduism. A photo of you and the giant underwater god and serpent Naga protecting Buddha, will make your friends wish they were there with you! Along the Mekong is where you will see mysterious Naga Fireballs rising from the Mekong, when it’s full moon in October! When you volunteer with Openmind Projects, Gaweechat, called TT by friends, and cofounder of Openmind Projects, is a great storyteller who will tell you the full story of Buddha, the Naga and the war with the rain god! At full moon in October people from all around Thailand come to witness the Naga Fireballs, popping silently up from the dark Mekong waters. It is a spectacle to be witnessed, together with the thousands of Thai people, watching and cheering.

Places to visit A three hour drive from Nong Khai, you can spend the night or even volunteer in the Phu Wua Mountains that Openmind Projects helped get listed in the Lonely Planet! The once-amazing wildlife used to include elephants, tigers, leopards, bears, peafowls, giant hornbills, monkeys, gibbons and even the rare rhino - unknown to Western zoologists! The area was once the home to a communist insurgency. Today, you can spend the night in a tree-top and watch wild elephants coming for an evening feast on fruits and salt, offered by the monks in the temple nearby.

Don’t miss the crazy Phu Tok walk, down a creaky staircase along the walls of the mountain. It’s one of the world’s scariest staircases (according to the National Geographic!) and is not for the faint-hearted!

Projects nearby The Sabaeng School, Non Patana village and the world culture heritage of Ban Chiang changed archeological thinking! A site near this village is where volunteers are welcome too. This Bronze Age site dating back 4000 years makes the site one of the earliest Bronze Age cultures in the world.

Sabai Dee Laos! Visit Vientiane (the capital of Laos) on a weekend, which sits on the banks of the Mekong River. Once looted by the Thai, who stole three golden Buddhas, you can find one in Nong Khai, at beautiful Wat Pochai, one on the bottom of the Mekong and one in Bangkok! The national monument That Luang is a must to visit, as it is the symbol of Laos.

The foreigners (‘farang’) always enjoy the many restaurants and coffee shops in there too. If you decide to go outside into the countryside, you can visit the Phou Khao Khouai mountain villages supported by Openmind Projects, which is only 3-4 hours away from Nong Khai. You can volunteer there too, if you want to stay longer. This is where many of our Lao trainees and staff come from, who you will meet at our Center.

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