Asia is ripe with luscious jungles, mountainous regions, beautiful beaches and backpackers embarking on an extended trip abroad. Beyond climbing volcanoes in Bali, watching the sunrise at Angkor Wat and island hopping in Phuket. Many are unaware however that there is another way to travel Asia – were you can volunteer todo humanitarian work or wildlife conservation on your holiday aswell.
We have been very thankful to be able to already check so many Asian volunteer projects off our bucket list that it seems a little bit cheeky to want to do more. But once you do your first project you will understand the slight addiction to wanting to volunteer in more places.
Here is our Asian Volunteer Bucket List, but first here are some we have already checked off.
Projects Ticked Off The Bucket List
Rescuing Sea Turtles In Bali
One of the very first volunteer projects we did was in involved with saving baby sea turtles in Costa Rica. So why would we return to do another? The beauty of this project was the complete opposite nature of how it was run. Instead of releasing the sea turtles the moment they hatched, here in Bali they care for them for a year to give them a better chance of surviving their release.
Read More: Rescuing Sea Turtles In Bali
Volunteering with Giant Pandas in China
One of the more unique projects we have done was when we worked with endangered Giant Panda. Here you spend a few days exploring the Sichuan region of China before conducting your volunteering later in the week. On top of caring for these incredibly cute animals you will explore temples, learn to make traditional dumplings as well as take place in Chinese calligraphy classes.
Read More: Volunteering with Giant Pandas in China
Orangutan and Wildlife Volunteering in Java
The secret to this project is even though it is sold as a Orangutan Wildlife Centre, there are way more species of animals that you will look after during your time here. We had the amazing oppourtunity to assist with looking after primates, snakes, crocodiles, eagles, birds and even a baby sun bear.
Read More: Orangutan and Wildlife Volunteering in Java
Teaching English in Indonesia
This was our first foray into humanitarian work and I am so glad we went out of our comfort zone to try it. Certainly one of the more memorable projects we assisted in, teaching English to preschool and primary schools kids with the highlight being able to assist in the construction of a school for future students.
Read More: Teaching English in Indonesia
Time for the bucket list…
Volunteer Projects Thailand
Even though this bucket list is in no particular order I will share a secret, assisting in elephant rescues in Thailand is right at the top. With so many tourists flocking to this country to ride elephants (disclaimer we unfortunately took place in this activity years ago prior to being educated) we desperately want to head there to become better inforedm whilst assisting in the conservation of these beautiful animals.
Arka Hill Tribe Experience
Certainly one of the most unique volunteer projects to catch our eye involves moving into a local village in the Chiang Rai region of Thailand. Here you work with the local villages in various construction projects, maintenance of agriculture and ensuring better access to clean water.
Gibbon Primate Sanctuary
Located in the Tak Province of Western Thailand is a project that rescues and cares for injured or abused Gibbons. The project promises a laid back atmosphere which perfectly suits our Australian way of life.
Learn, Volunteer & Travel
If you are looking to experience the Thai culture through teaching English and assisting the locals with school work then this one too should be on your bucket list. Alongside classroom work you can also assist the local workers in the construction of an orphanage to ensure you leave your mark long after you leave.
Coastal Marine Conservation Phuket
If you are looking at volunteering in Phuket whilst enjoying the beach, ocean and marine life of Thailand then this is the one for you. Located in the Andaman coast in Phang Nga you will easily get those postcard shots whilst volunteering with sea turtles and beach cleanup.
Volunteer Projects Cambodia
Sustainable Community Development
When you’ve finished marvelling at the temples of Angkor Wat you can make a difference with underprivileged children by teaching them english and creating workshops and assisting with arts and craft activities.
Temple Preservation Cambodia
Another one of those unique projects come along that can’t help but catch your eye, conserving ancient temples in Cambodia is one. Here you assist in the conservation of these historical landmarks – the Banteay Chhmar temples.
Volunteer Projects Vietnam
Ho Chi Minh Community Involvement
A majority of humanitarian projects involve assisting younger children, but at the community involvement project in Ho Chi Minh you will work with college students as well as children with special needs and those less fortunate in orphanages.
Volunteer Projects Nepal
Teaching in Buddhist Monasteries
On top of Nepal being near the top of my personal travel bucket list but being able to explore and discover the spiritual side of Nepal wants me to jump on a plane straight away. Here you can learn from the monks whilst teaching them english in the buddhist monastery.
Construction and Rebuilding
In 2015 a devastating earthquake struck Nepal and over 150,000 people were made homeless. At this project you will assist in distributing supplies to families, clearing ruble and debris and also helping locals rebuild the community.
Volunteer Projects Maldives
Marine and Turtle Conservation
Okay, you had me sold at the Maldives. These islands will always be a special place for me as it was where I proposed to Jess. At the Marine and Turtle Conservation project you will help run the small sanctuary where green turtles and hawksbill turtles reside. The program also includes a coral reef restoration aspect as you maintain the marine life.
Where in the world do you want to volunteer?
READ NEXT: AFRICA VOLUNTEER PROJECT BUCKET LIST