The sheer pleasure one gets from living with people of different cultures, helping local people in alleviating the problems they face and getting to see their captivating countrysides that are still unexplored by mainstream tourists are the factors that prompt most travelers around the world to opt for a volunteer vacation.
Volunteer vacations prove to be an enriching experience both for the vacationers and the locals as the tourists get to experience life in a different country in exchange of the services they render to help the locals which range from spending time with children in orphanages, giving lessons in English to local children, helping school children in their homework, take part in cleanliness drives initiated by local organisations to spreading awareness about health, sanitation, animal conservation and women education.
8 Volunteer Vacation Destinations In Asia Are :
A land of diverse landscapes, pleasantly disposed people who are deeply rooted in culture along with a gripping history of turmoil, Cambodia is an ideal place for tourists to stay and lend their helping hands.
Listed among the top 10 poorest nations in Asia, Cambodia is still coming to terms with its past and the people here look for help from other countries to guide them in overcoming poverty that has oppressed them for decades.
There are numerous development projects initiated by local organisations and many international agencies where volunteers can participate and show their support for the country in addition to visiting the country’s bewitching locales and other points of tourist interest such as the Silver Pagoda, the historical temples of Angkor Wat, a town called Kratie where tourists pour in from around the country to spot a rare dolphin species and a mini-island, Koh Rong where one can enjoy hiking, snorkeling and diving.
Plush with exotic beaches, vast rice fields and historical landmarks, Vietnam offers an unmatched experience for nature loving volunteers.
Having witnessed a turbulent past, the hardworking Vietnamese have brought the nation out of the terrible economic slump this country was once facing, but still a lot more needs to be done.
Depending on the organisation and programs on offer, volunteers can stay for a period of 2 weeks to 3 months during which they have to work in child care centers, orphanages, schools and community groups or teach marketing skills to local artisans and craftsmen coupled with trips and excursions to nearby places organized on weekends where volunteers get an opportunity to unwind and enjoy the country’s picturesque surroundings.
Who wouldn’t love to be surrounded in a country where people bow down to greet you and welcome you with affectionate smiles on their faces the moment you enter this magical country! Thailand or the “Land of the free” has long remained the epicenter of business and trade in the entire South East Asia.
Yet, there are many remote villages which need rehabilitation as the country is still on its way to become a fully blown developed nation. Almost all humanitarian agencies around the world have their offices in Thailand which in collaboration with local organisations run development projects for the ailing communities.
Volunteers can take part in any of the projects they deem themselves fit for like the elephant rehabilitation project where they get to spend time in an Elephant sanctuary participating in their day-to-day activities like bathing them, feeding them, preparing their meals and interact with or even teach English to the Mahout community, who are the primary caregivers of elephants in the sanctuary.
For those who wish to pack themselves away into a world that has remained untouched by western influences for years, Myanmar or Burma is the perfect place to gather life changing experiences while also empowering the locals by participating in their work and teaching them strategies which will help them rake in more money and overcome their poor financial state or they can teach English to local people and children who are very much eager to learn the language.
As with other South Eastern nations, the Burmese are extremely affectionate people and take pride in giving a peek into their beautiful countryside.
There are endless options for volunteers when it comes to weekend getaways where they can rewind and relax amidst the exotic locales of Burma.
Nepal is another country where volunteers can make a difference in the lives of the local people by donating their services in fields like healthcare, education, women and child empowerment. The devastating earthquakes of 2015 that brought the country in a state of grave economic crisis, have prompted all humanitarian organisations around the world to concentrate their efforts on rehabilitating the affected communities in the country
But still these projects need many helping hands to ensure that the benefits reach the ailing communities. Volunteers can fill in this need by opting to spend a week to a month of their time in helping the locals rebuild their lives. Volunteering in Nepal at this hour of need would surely turn out to be a once-in-a-lifetime experience for volunteers.
There’s an option to explore many adventure activities like trekking and paragliding and enjoy soul stirring sights of the magnificent Himalayas up-close from Nepal during weekends.
Bordering along the Mekong River and Thailand, Laos is another off the beaten destination for budding volunteers who wish to make a real difference in the lives of many people who have long suffered exploitation at the hands of corrupt government of this country.
Volunteers can pick any one of the activities like teaching English to Monks in monasteries, spread awareness about gender issues, empower local women and mentor budding businessmen in the country.
Attending Lhai Heua Fai, a Buddhist festival of lights in the month of November where thousands of people gather to float lighted candles at the bank of Mekong river is highly recommended.
Phillippines is just the right place to satisfy those restless souls who fancy the idea of hopping from island to island while bringing hope for the poor. A country which comprises of more than seven thousand islands is blessed with the richest biodiversity and hence offers spectacular sights to the travelers.
Owing to factors like income inequality, non-existent tax regulations, rising inflation and ever growing population, Phillippines is witnessing a widening gap between the rich and poor which has caused a portion of the country’s population succumb to hunger.
Many developmental organisations have therefore roped in volunteers to help the unprivileged recover from the grips of poverty by working for projects centered around activities like English Teaching, Human rights awareness, healthcare and building construction and repair.
Centered between Russia and China, Mongolia or “the land of Blue skies” is known for its nomadic tribes and thrives on agriculture and mining. Here you will get a chance to live with utterly large and affectionate families belonging to the nomadic tribes.
A couple of days spent teaching little children, participating in herding activities along with the family members or playing basketball or any of the local sports with the youth would make for a culturally rewarding experience in this quaint country. The country is replete with hilly terrains and a trek through one of these is sure to rejuvenate volunteers.
Interacting with local people dressed in their traditional costumes, enjoying their exotic dishes and seeing them lead their ordinary lives with a smile on their faces are some of the things that will remain intact in volunteers’ memories forever.