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. Younger participants can join with parental consent (17 years old) or together with parents.
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; reef survey, beach and reef cleaning, environmental education, turtle talks or other awareness raising activities, helping with other wildlife monitoring activities, maintaining Community Conservation Center in Lions village 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. 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 photo. 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 Khuraburi.
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 855€ for 2 weeks and 395€ for additional week. After 4 weeks, we have discounted price for longer term volunteers and interns. For families volunteering together we also have a special weekly price. Thai volunteers have discounted price. For more details of the project prices, please contact us by emailing bookings (at) naucrates.org
Q: What is included in the project price?
A: Project price covers 3 meals a day including drinking water, accommodation, boat transportation to/from Phra thong, transportation in the project, training and orientation to the project, volunteer coordination and assistance as well as pre-departure support.
Q: What is not included in the project price?
A: Price does not include your travel to/from Khuraburi (international or local), personal travel insurance, any personal purchases or drinks.
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 and in-country support. Running the field project totals about 80% of all the 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 administration costs are less than 20% of the total costs.
Q: How do I reach the project base?
A: You can take a bus to Khuraburi. From Phuket to direction of Ranong/Chumpon or from Bangkok/Ranong to direction of Phuket. When you arrive to Khuraburi, you need to take a car or moped transportation to Khuraburi Pier. From Khuraburi Pier the only way reach the project base is by pre-booked boat through the project organization.
We can also organize a car transport for you from Ranong or Phuket. You need to book the car in advance by emailing us at bookings (at) naucrates.org.
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 tourist 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 or bungalow typically 2 people shared basis or single if there are not many people in the project. Rooms are basic Thai style bungalows. Bathroom and toilet are western, but water pressure may be low at times and you need to use bucket shower. Bed sheets, mosquito net and towel are provided.You maybe staying few nights in the Lions village homestay where rooms are basic and toilet may be Asian style.
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 the project is in remote place and we may not be able to meet all different diet needs. Severe allergies need to be informed also in advance.
Q: Is there Internet access available on the project?
A: As the island is fairly remote, there can be times when connection is not available. Bungalow places offer wifi and it is possible to have a Internet packages on prepaid Thai sims.
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 Khuraburi costs about 160 baht, car to the Pier costs 300 baht, car transportation from Phuket airport to Khuraburi Pier about 2500 baht, soft drink cost about 30 baht and beer 40-90 baht, laundry 10 baht/item, Thai massage 500 baht/hour, Surin snorkeling trip over 2000 baht
Q: Do I have to pay the boat driver or car driver?
A: Boat transportation from/to Khuraburi needs to be organized by Naucrates in advance and it is included in the project price. For car transportation to/from Khuraburi pier, please contact us and we will organize for you and agree how the payment should be handled.
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. Part of the project work is in the 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, snorkeling 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: Basic vaccinations should be in order and we suggest to consult your doctor for medical advice. Island has not had any cases of malaria that we know of, but if you travel to more remote places in Thailand, anti-malaria pills may be needed.
Q: Does the mobile phone work on the Island?
A: Yes mobile phones work on the Island, but network coverage might be limited and can be different from your country. As long as your phone is not sim-locked, you can purchase a prepaid Thai sim card (True Move and Dtac have a good coverage) before you get on the island.
Q: Can I bring something useful for the people on the Island?
A: If you are able to find (and have space in your luggage) please bring very basic English story/coloring books for children with a conservation theme or teaching assistant/methods/games for teachers (even second hand books are appreciated). The project is conducting environmental education activities.
Q: Are Bank facilities available on the island?
A: On the island there are no banks or ATM’s. Khuraburi 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.
Q: How does the community benefit from the project?
A: Community benefits from the project directly by having income from accommodation, transportation, creating and selling handicrafts, providing different activities for volunteers like massage and tours. Community also benefits from environmental education and all our activities to protect the nature.
Q: Are the villagers Muslim?
A: People are mostly Buddhist, but some may follow different religion. Naucrates is non-religious organization.
Q: What can I do in my free time?
A: Possible additional leisure activities on your free time. These extra activities are not included in the project price:
- Snorkeling and swimming. You can swim to the reef or get a boat
- Tours inside the island villages, savannah, night walk
- Snorkeling trip to Surin islands Marine National Park
- Thai massage
- Yoga (subject to schedules of the yoga teachers)
- Thai cooking lesson: how to make Thai dessert conducted by a local lady