Thailand and Cambodia

Jungle Trek, Temple Retreat, Sustainable Farming & Cultural Exchange


Southeast Asia: a region accentuated by the colorful robes of Buddhist monks, the vivid greens of rice fields and jungle forests, and the cultural diversity of hill tribe communities.

Each region offers a unique cultural experience unto itself; and each faces the challenge of reconciling urban expansion and industrialization with indigenous land rights, free movement of nomadic peoples, and equal access to resources.

From the peaceful temples and old walled city of Chiang Mai to the world-renowned temples of Angkor Wat; the mountainous jungles of northern Thailand to the clear ocean waters of the country’s famed islands and beaches, this program brings you to Thailand and Cambodia to explore topics of tradition, globalization, and human rights while discovering the warmth and hospitality of these unique cultures.

Your Experience with Global Routes
Reflect, Reimagine, Transform

Watch this 3-minute video to get a sense of how a Global Routes experience may change your life.

This 3-week summer program is ideal for students in high school, who are looking for a meaningful international experience with a balance of service, experiential learning, cultural immersion, and adventure.


Trek in the mountainous jungle of Northern Thailand, and witness firsthand the realities of hill tribe communities. Live with our family partners in remote hill-tribe communities, learning local customs, culture, and tradition, and the impacts of globalization.

Live and volunteer on a Thai-owned organic farm, learning about permaculture and localized food systems and how they relate to self-sufficiency and community empowerment.

Explore the mind-boggling temple complex of Angkor Wat in Siem Riep, Cambodia celebrating all that you’ve learned and accomplished through this experience!

Our son's experience was transformational. He gained maturity, confidence and a new perspective on global concerns. He even gained a love of hiking in the mountains. We sincerely thank the staff for that experience.
Susanna, Parent
The decision for our family to work with Global Routes was easy. From the initial communication, which prepared our kids well for their experience, to the top-shelf leaders, to the home base communication, everything about the Global Routes program is polished and professional.
Scott, Parent
My leaders inspired me to fall further into the culture and to take real interest in the places we visited and to recognize just how amazing things truly are.
Lily, Student
Program Details
Session 1: June 28 - July 19, 2023. Session 2: July 13 - August 3, 2023
Starting/Ending Point
Chiang Mai, Thailand
Learning Goals
Sustainability, cultural exchange, trekking, leadership, human rights
Service Hours Earned
20-30 hours
Language Requirement
High 85° F, Low 71°F
Group Size
up to 18 Students, 2-3 U.S. Leaders, local staff
Spaces Available
Enrolling for 2023
Noodles, curry, fresh fruit, deliciousness beyond belief
Program Fee
International airfare is not included in the tuition. Roundtrip airfare from New York to Thailand will be between $1,100 and $1,900 typically.
Hotels, Guest Houses, Homestays

Enroll Now

Your Journey
Days 1 - 10: Orientation, Trekking, Cultural Exchange in Northern Thailand.

After your journey from the U.S., you and your group head to a cozy lodge in the quaint heritage city of Chiang Mai to begin orientation. We’ll explore traditional village life through homestays north of Chiang Rai, living with and engaging in the daily life of locals. We’ll witness the emphasis on close family systems inherent in Thai culture. We will learn mindfulness and meditation practices from local monks while exploring the role that Theravada Buddhism plays in the everyday lives of the people.

We’ll trek through the beautiful forested hills of Northern Thailand. During this time, you’ll engage with local NGOs to discuss topics of human rights related to borders and national identity. Through homestays with a hill tribe community, we witness how traditional ways of life are being both challenged and revitalized in the face of globalization and modernization.

Days 11 - 17: Community service and cultural exchange and sustainability

Traveling to the Nan Province, the group works with a local Thai family who is rehabilitating an old cashew plantation. Days here will be filled with learning, laughter, and hard work as we learn about traditional agriculture and permaculture principles, and experience the beauty and challenge of self-reliance. We learn about sustainable living, finding balance with nature, and the importance of reducing our consumptive footprint on planet Earth.

Days 18-21: Final Travel in Cambodia

The group will travel to Cambodia and explore the mind-boggling temple complex of Angkor Wat. This nearly unbelievable site is home to some of the most iconic Buddhist art and architecture in the world!

You’ll then work with your group and leaders to truly digest the life-changing experience you’ve encountered, and learn how to take the tools and lessons you’ve gained back to your home-life.


Over two decades of experience has demonstrated to us that providing financial aid awards increases the diversity of our student body and thus the depth and quality of our programs. Global Routes strives to make our programs accessible to students who otherwise, due to financial reasons, would not have the opportunity to contribute their energy and special gifts to our projects.

We offer aid packages of between 10% and 50% off tuition, which is exclusive of airfare.

Learn More About Aid

Ask us your questions!

Whether Global Routes is the best fit for you or not, we’re here to help.

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