Q: Who can volunteer with the project?
A: Anyone over 18 year of age and physically fit. Work in the field is quite demanding and you need to be able to walk on soft sand 5-10km. If you have health restrictions, please inform us when applying as some conditions may prevent you from participating in the project fully. We will check if we can propose other activities, if regular activities are not suitable.
Q: Is previous experience with sea turtles needed to participate?
A: No. You do not need any previous experience working with sea turtles. You will be provided training to the activities and tasks in the beginning of your project period.
Q: What are the main volunteer activities while in the project?
A: The main activities are monitoring the beach for sea turtle nesting and hatching activity early in the morning, observing sea turtle feeding area in the morning and afternoon, collecting weather data and awareness raising. In addition to these main activities, we may have several different kinds of activities depending of the time period; gardening, fresh water and land turtle survey and monitoring, beach and reef cleaning, environmental education, Thai culture and language lessons, games with children, village cleaning etc.
Q: How many hours per day will the volunteers work?
A: Time needed to complete all work depends a lot on how many volunteers we have at the time and which activities are done that day. Usually volunteers work between 3-6 hours in a day. You will have plenty of free time to enjoy the beach and relax.
Q: How do I apply for the project?
A: Send us first a request for the time period you are interested in, found here. Then wait for the reply by e-mail that will confirm availability in the period you have selected. In the e-mail we will be providing you an application form that you need to read carefully and return to us with your signature as skanned copy or pdf. Then you need to pay the deposit of 150€ to secure your place in the project. After we have received your deposit, we will confirm your placement in the project. Only after the confirmation, you should start making your travel arrangements.
Q: Where is the project located?
A: Sea turtle conservation project is located in Koh Phra Thong, on a non-touristy Island about 200km North from Phuket. Nearest village in the main land is Kuraburi. Project base is in a local fishing village called Lions Village.
Phra Thong Island, (about 100 km2; 15 km long by 7 km wide), is located about 5 km from the western coast of Thailand in the Andaman Sea (9.03-9.17°N, 98.25-98.33°E).
Q: How much does it cost to participate in the project?
A: Volunteer contribution is 650€ for 2 weeks and 325€ for additional week. After 4 weeks, you can have a discount on your project contribution. Also for Thai volunteers there is a discount available.
Q: What is included in the project price?
A: Project price covers 3 meals a day includes drinking water, but no other drinks are included), accommodation in the local homestay, transportation in the project, training and orientation to the project, volunteer coordination and assistance to organize your trip to the island In more details about the finances, please read more>>
Q:Why do I have to pay to volunteer?
A: Volunteer contributions are the main source for funding of the field project and without them we could not run the project. Your contribution covers direct costs of running the field project: food, accommodation, training and orientation, daily transportation while on the project, salaries of the field staff (mostly local) and in-country support. Running the field project totals about 80% of all costs.
Additionally part of the volunteer contribution helps to cover costs of coordinating and developing the project: volunteer recruitment and coordination, project development and licenses, community team recruitment, logistical support, medical insurance (not your personal travel insurance) etc. These different administrational costs are less than 20% of the total costs. Read more about the finances>>
Q: How do I reach the project base?
A: You can take a bus to Kuraburi. From Phuket to direction of Chumpon or from Bangkok to direction of Phuket. When you arrive to Kuraburi, you need to take moped transportation to Kuraburi Pier. From Kuraburi Pier the only way reach the project base is by pre-booked boat through the project organization. For this, you need to inform your date and time of arrival to project organization at least 2 days in advance . OR you can have car transportation from Phuket or Ranong or Suratthani organized by us. You need to book the car when you send your application so that we can quote the transportation.
Q: Do I need a VISA to Thailand?
A: To visit Thailand you need a valid passport and when you stay more than 30 days a visa is usually required. Please check the Thai embassy in your home country what is required and how you can obtain the necessary documents.
Q: What kind of accommodation volunteers have?
A. Volunteers stay in a room with local families in the Lions Village. You will most likely have your own room or can share with a friend. Rooms are all the same, but there may be variations in the furnishing of the rooms. Bathroom and toilet are usually shared with the family and can be either western or Asian style. Bedsheet, mosquito net and towel are provided by the host family. If you want to share room with a friend please let us known when you send the booking form.
Q: Is there vegetarian option for the meals?
A: Yes, there are vegetarian meals available. All other special diets need to be informed beforehand in the application as village is in remote place and we may not be able to meet all different diet needs.
Q: Is there Internet access available on the project?
A: There is Internet access available, but as the island is fairly remote, there can be times when connection is not available. Internet cost is between 2-6 bath per minute depending where you use it. At the GBB resort you can have access usually during day time and in the village in the evenings.
Q: How much money do I need to reserve per week for expenses not included in the project price?
A: It varies quite a bit per person, but here are some ideas of the costs on the island and local transportation. Bus ticket from Phuket to Kuraburi costs about 160 bath, moped to the Pier costs 50 bath, car transportation from Phuket airport to Kuraburi Pier 2400 bath, boat transportation cost is 900 bath/per boat one way, soft drink cost about 15 bath and beer 35 bath, laundry 7 bath/item, Thai massage 2o0 bath/hour, extra activities 100-300 bath, internet 2-6 bath/minute.
Q: Do I have to pay the boat driver or car driver?
A: No, you will pay cash to the project staff on your arrival. The project will regularly pay the drivers.
Q: What do I need to bring with me to the Island?
A: Weather is hot and humid so do bring light clothes, sun block, hat, water bottle, good beach walking shoes or sandals, flip flops, flash light that has also red light, sun glasses, swim wear and towel. Project base is in traditional village, so modest dressing is needed as we want to be respectful. This means covering shoulders and wearing long enough shorts or skirts. You may want to also bring books, snorkelling gear, camera, binoculars etc. Also be aware that electricity is provided by a generator during the evenings so bring an adapter or additional batteries for any electrical appliances. Please read the full list of items to bring>>
Q: Do I need particular vaccinations for Thailand?
A: We do suggest to consult your doctor from medical advices. Island has not had any cases of malaria that we know of, but if you travel to more remote places in Thailand, malaria pills may be needed.
Q: Does the mobile phone work on the Island?
A: The mobile phone network coverage might be limited on the island and Thai networks might be different from the one of your country. Check with your operator whether your sim roams in Thailand. An idea would be to purchase a Thai sim card (“1-2-call” and Dtac have a good coverage) before you get on the island (cost: about 100 baht). You can charge the card buying credit in the village shop.
Q: Can I bring something useful for the people of the village?
A: If you are able to find (and have space in your luggage) please bring very basic English story/colouring books for children with a conservation theme or teaching assistant/methods/games for teachers (even second hand books are appreciated). Games are also useful. There are children in the local school and kindergarden children in the village. The project is conducting environmental education activities.
Q: Are Bank facilities available on the island?
A: On the island there are no banks or change facilities. Kuraburi is the nearest village on the main land that has an ATM. Bring enough Thai baths in cash to cover your expenses for the project period. Small change is useful in the village.
Q: How does the community benefit from the project?
A: Community benefits from the project directly by having income from the homestays, transportation, creating and selling handicrafts, providing different activities for volunteers like massage and tours, and we employ some villagers for the project period and sometimes also other periods. Community also benefits from environmental education, teaching children English and all our activities to protect the nature.
Q: Are the villagers Muslim?
A: People are mostly Buddhist, but some villagers may follow different religion. Naucrates is non-religious organization.
Q: What can I do in my free time?
A: Possible additional leisure activities (not included in the price):
- Snorkelling. You can swim to the reef or get a boat (has to be paid)
- Canoeing at sea or among the mangroves (has to be paid)
- Jeep tour inside the island (has to be paid)
- Diving at: http://www.kohphrathong.com/blue_guru_diving.html
- Trip to Surin islands Marine National Park (about two hours by boat)
- Thai massage (service available in the village at 200 Thai Baht per hour)
- Thai cooking lesson: how to make Thai dessert (other topic can be added on request), conducted by a local lady of the village.
- activities offered by the villagers of the community based tourism group
Swimming, bird watching, walking in the forest, reading, learning Thai language chatting with local villagers, relaxing …