5 WWOOFing Opportunities in Thailand
WWOOFing is a great way to combine travel with hands-on learning that’s not only good for the environment, but easy on your budget too.In exchange for a few hours of unpaid help per day, WWOOFers are offered free accommodation and meals at organic projects around the world. It’s no lazy holiday however, and WWOOF volunteers can be found doing any number of chores from harvesting rice, to building mud brick ovens, to tromping through duck ponds. “It’s an opportunity to exchange knowledge and learn from others,” says Lesley from Baan Wasunthara Organic Farm in Chiang Mai. “We enjoy getting to know the travelers who stay with us and the extra help on the farm is a great benefit for us too!” Many hosts live a sustainable lifestyle that is a source of inspiration for travelers who learn first hand the art of crafts, food production, and farm maintenance. Currently, there are 15 WWOOF opportunities in Thailand, ranging from small, family run gardens to full-fledged organic farming operations that ship their produce throughout Asia. Because the country does not have its own WWOOF organization, all volunteers are required to sign up with WWOOF Independents. A one-year membership costs about $30 USD, and you’ll have access to a list of WWOOFing opportunities in over 20 countries. This list is updated regularly, but because many of the farms have been participating in the WWOOF program for a couple of years it doesn’t change frequently. Once you join WWOOF, you’ll have access to the contact information for each of the farms and their specific requirements. And yes, there are lots of WWOOF lists being circulated on the web, but there is a formal process for applying to a farm that requires membership, so buck up and pay the fee, and help to keep this great organization going. The majority of WWOOF hosts are located in northern Thailand and offer stunning scenery, lots of opportunities for trekking and exploring, and colorful local culture. When choosing a farm, make sure to do some research, ask lots of questions so you know exactly what you’re getting into, and try to build a bit of a relationship with your host before your arrival. Here’s a sampling of a few of the great farms that Thailand has to offer.