Chiang Mai

Chiang Mai is the biggest city in the north of Thailand which is considered as one of the most fascinating city in the country, surrounded by mist-covered mountains, ethnic hill-tribe villages, rolling rivers and historical temples. Chiang Mai means "New City" and was named because it became the new capital of Lan Na. It is located about 700 km north of Bangkok. 

The YMCA of Chiang Mai has over 15 years experience in bringing young people together from all over the world to participate in a dynamic exchange program.  In order to encourage cross-cultural communication and partnership, international group events are designed in a way that maximizes interactions with local Thai volunteers and students. Welcome to Chiang Mai!

What to do in Chiang Mai?

Hill tribe communities

We recognize the importance in serving and helping hill tribe villagers of Northern Thailand and also learning about their unique cultural history, for example Karen, Akha and Hmong.

Orphanage Home

There are many orphanage homes in Chiang Mai where the kids need a lot of support when it comes to their education like school supplies, food, and most importantly the inspiration and encouragement to keep them going.

Local school

The students are given the opportunity to engage with the foreigners. They experience other cultures, behaviors, and they learn English language as well.


One of the greatest help that we can extend to the locals is to support them in their schools and villages by building or renovating the needed facilities of people in the area like toilets, library, or check dam, etc. It will surely benefit and remembered by the community.


Expand opportunities for local students by giving them chances to develop their language knowledge: English and Chinese, or others life skills and knowledge that they might never experience like using robot gadgets, science experiment and sports.

  • Staying with the host family to have an exposure of their way of life. Live a life as a local people, try new things that you have never done before, and exchange your cultures to the community such as Thai cooking, handy crafts, and Thai language learning. You will be given an opportunity to share the skills that you have to the people not of your own. It will be a great adventure and at the same time an unforgettable moment of your life.
  • Experiencing and learning difference seasonal activities in the community. There are many rice fields in Thailand and that is one of their sources of income or living. So basically you will get a chance to know about the process of planting rice, harvesting crops, thrash rice by hands, and etc. (Depending on the season)
Wat Phra That Doi Suthep

the most important temple in Chiang Mai, Thailand. Built in the early 19th Buddhist century, the beauty of Wat Phra That Doi Suthep is marked by seven-headed serpent statues that line the stairs to the temple where a Chiang Saen style golden pagoda and all its exquisite Lanna architecture is situated. The view of Chiang Mai from here is just phenomenal as well.

Elephant POOPOOPAPER Park 

An eco-friendly, naturally built, outdoor museum park that introduces and explains the unique steps involved in making our much talked about paper products from elephant poop fibers.

City tram

Riding a tram to take a sight around the old city area where you can see authentic Lanna architectures like temples, pagodas, and old city walls. A lecturer is also provided to help you understand more about Chiang Mai long history.

Loy Krathong

This festival is celebrated annually throughout Thailand.  The name could be translated as “to float a basket”, and comes from the tradition of making krathong or buoyant, decorated baskets, which are then floated on a river. Loi Krathong takes place on the evening of the full moon of the 12th month in the traditional Thai lunar calendar, November so the exact date of the festival changes every year.

Chiang Mai Flower Festival

The Chiang Mai Flower Festival usually takes place during the first weekend of February, the end of winter season in every year. The highlight of the festival is the Flower Parade, the features beautifully decorated floats and other vehicles. Thousands of people participate in this event. There are dancers in magnificent costumes, musical performances and lots of flowers.

How did this program beneficial to the Chiang Mai local communities?


Strong and effective society
Local people are encourage to be proud and give a high value for what their communities truly are; they do have a unique culture, lifestyle, occupation, and even the locals in the community. People in the areas are impacted and inspired to continually make their homes more habitable, stable, and progressive in many ways. As they embrace the uniqueness of their community and own it as their own, creativity and development will just flow and eventually will become a motivation to others.

Support system
Lacking in some areas are common to every communities, such as the need for the toilets, library, activity sports area, and to build some damn to save water. The group offered a helping hand to achieve those needs.

Education training 
Local students were given an opportunity to be updated to what is not common in their society such as ideas about usage of technology, recreational activities like playing frisbee and ball games are also been taught.

Volunteer tourism

Duration : Can be arranged in any preferred option

To serve the local community, you can do volunteer work for them. We can arrange any kind of alternative tourism based on community please contact to our person in charge for set up your tour.


If you are interested to know more about the Alternative Tourism programs of YMCA of Chiang Mai, you may contact them through:


International Program Manager

Or visit our website