Category: Travel Tips

Mar
11

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8 Things to Do in Thailand with Your Family (from Someone Who Has Lived There)

Posted by on March 11, 2020 · Leave a Comment  

Thailand is one of the top tourist destinations in South East Asia and lures an influx of tourists from all over the world. Synonymous with beautiful beaches and absolutely breathtaking temples, traveling to Thailand will give you the required break from your busy schedule, and visiting with your family will be a cherry on the cake.  Below are 11 things not to miss:

  • Explore the Grand Palace     

The Grand Palace, along with the beautiful buildings and their surroundings, is more than 200 years old and the most popular and recognizable destination in Bangkok, the capital of Thailand. Since 1782, the Grand Palace has been the official residence of the Kings of Siam. For the Thai Kingdom, it is the centre of spirituality. Remember to dress politely when you visit here – you can be denied entry if you are dressed incorrectly. 

  • Elephant Nature Park

The national symbol of Thailand is the elephant – the most respected animal by the people of Thailand. You can find many ways to experience these huge creatures or work with the animals in the country. 

Animal cruelty is an unfortunate and real problem in some of the parts of the country, so you should avoid any centre where the elephants are made to perform tricks. You can volunteer or visit to help the Elephant Retirement Park, which is a rescue and rehabilitation center for elephants. You can also check out this video where we spoke with the Thai mahouts, or elephant caretakers, about their take on ethical elephant tourism.

Image Credit: Traveler experiencing Discover Corps Thailand: Elephants & Islands Expedition
  • Krabi

Put on your slippers, get some food and drinks, and forget about all your problems when you are in Krabi. You can indulge in some amazing activities with your family including kayaking, rock climbing, snorkeling and nature walks. Here the beaches are peaceful, away from the crowds and will take your breath away. Hop on a speedboat and immerse yourself in the serenity of the Chicken Island, Poda Island, Tub Island and the Phra Nang beach. 

  • Damnoen Saduak Floating Market

You can find many floating markets in Thailand, but Damnoen Saduak Floating Marketis the most famous and biggest. You will see boats floating up and down the canals while selling various types of foods and fruits. It will be a different type of experience where you will be able to see how things were several years ago. The market is around 100 km away from Bangkok, so a pretty easy drive. (hint: you can add this on to any Discover Corps Thailand journey as a post-trip extension!)

bangkok volunteer
Visit here for more information about Discover Corps’ Bangkok Post-Trip Extension
  • Island hopping

Island hopping is one of the most wonderful things to do in Thailand, especially for kids. The coastline is over 5,000 miles, and not every part is explored. This will be an unforgettable experience for you, so hop on the longtail boat and travel to as many beaches and islands as you can. Discover Phang Nga Bay and the Andaman Sea of Phuket, white sand beaches, snorkeling on the islands of Ko Phi Phi Lee and Ko Phi Phi Don, cliff jumping, and so much more.

  • Phang Nga Bay

Phang Nga Bay is in the north east of Phuket, and an absolutely stunning site. The limestone cliffs sticking vertically out of the beautiful green water is a unique feature of Phang Nga Bay. The two famous spots here are James Bond Island and Koh Pannyi. 

You can enjoy the stunning scenery in peace because there are less tourists than the nearby James Bond and Koh Pannyi, and you’re just one boat trip away from the north Phuket. You will be able to enjoy the best scenery as you soak in the sun – an unforgettable memory for you and your family.

  • Phi Phi Islands

The Phi Phi Islands are one of the most famous and popular islands in Southeast Asia. Around 45-minutes on speedboat and 90 minutes on a ferry boat ride from Phuket, these islands are paradise, made up of two islands – Phi Phi Don and Phi Phi Leh. Phi Phi Don is the larger one which attracts a flock of visitors on its beautiful shores. The nightlife of Phi Phi Don is quite famous which starts at the setting of the sun going on throughout the night, full of young and carefree party lovers, but also a lot to see for families and children (another post-trip extension option!).

Thailand vacation
See Koh Phi Phi Island on Discover Corps’ Thailand: Elephants & Islands Expedition
  • Tour of Bangkok on bicycle

Imagine how it would be to explore a new city on bicycle with your loved ones. Ride through narrow streets and come across the traditional settlements that will enrich your understanding about the culture and traditions of Bangkok. Ride through the busy markets, watch locals pass by, explore ancient temples, and discover other local communities. You can explore the unexplored places of Bangkok.

Thailand is one of the most sought-after places for vacation, and people from every corner of the globe come here to spend their holidays. You’ll never fall short of things to do when you arrive in the ‘land of smiles’. So plan a trip with your family and create long-lasting memories. Bon Voyage!!!

Bipin Baloni is a passionate yogi, yoga teacher and traveler of India. He is currently working with Rishikul Yogshala. The Yoga Alliance affiliated school organizes a number of yoga events, such as yoga teacher training in Indiayoga teacher training in Nepal, yoga workshops, retreats, pranayama training, Ayurveda courses in Kerala and more.

Feb
19

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Ethical Elephant Tourism: An Interview with Thai Mahouts

Posted by on February 19, 2020 · Leave a Comment  

When it comes to the ethical treatment of animals, there are many different layers to consider and therefore many different beliefs that exist. Discover Corps went into the field to learn about the complex question of elephant tourism from those who have been working with the elephants for generations – the mahouts in Thailand. 

In short, we do not support elephant riding in any way, shape, or form. However, we believe that the problem is not so black and white, and in fact, focusing only on elephant riding is doing a disservice to the animals, the travelers seeking to understand them, and the conservationists working to protect them. 

“Now, the biggest problem we face is that in the past, there was plenty of space for the elephants to graze and feed. Now there is a lot less space, and local laws do not allow them to graze on public land [..] so it can be difficult to find them enough food.” – Boon, Head Mahout at the Elephant Nursery 

We believe that travelers need to vote with their dollars by going to truly ethical camps, the mahout tradition needs to be celebrated, governments, companies, and citizens need to prioritize proper care to establish standards, and we must work to restore lost habitat. 

Watch the video below and get to know the mahouts from our Thailand: The Baby Elephant Experience, and write any questions in the comments!

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Jan
28

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Questions about Cuba Travel? Ask the Experts [Webinar]

Posted by on January 28, 2020 · Leave a Comment  

If you’re intrigued by Cuba travel but aren’t sure how to obtain your visa, what the process will be like when you arrive, how to remain legal, or even what the Cuban people might think of American travelers, we’ve got you covered. Check out our one-hour webinar below, featuring the Founder of Discover Corps, Andrew, as well as our Cuban partner, Dayron – both experts on Cuba travel!

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Oct
17

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Tips to Overcoming Language Barriers while Traveling

Posted by on October 17, 2019 · Leave a Comment  

It happens pretty often – people who do not speak foreign languages avoid traveling to non-English speaking countries, or they think the language barriers aren’t worth overcoming for a one or two week vacation. Whatever the reasoning for this trend, the truth is that if you want to immerse yourself in new cultures, nothing should stop you. If you organize your trip in the right way, you will face no difficulties caused by the language barrier.

Let’s consider seven travel tips on how to overcome language barriers and get the most of your trip.

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Jun
10

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Peru: Children of the Andes | Adrienne’s Interview

Posted by on June 10, 2019 · Leave a Comment  

Discover Corps’ Travel Operations Assistant, Adrienne, has the important role of preparing travelers for both the pre-departure process AND in-country adventures upon their arrival. So needless to say, she really knows our trips inside and out. To stay on top of her game though, Adrienne puts in the work! This includes going on-location to walk in the footsteps of Discover Corps’ travelers. Most recently, she visited our Peru: Children of the Andes vacation, and sat down to discuss the unique experience in the video below:

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May
29

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Ask the Alumni: Peru through the Eyes of a Discover Corps’ Traveler

Posted by on May 29, 2019 · Leave a Comment  

Sometimes in travel, as in life, it is better to know what you don’t want from your experience than what you do desire. This was certainly the case for Kai, on her recent Peru: Children of the Andes trip. A seasoned traveler, Kai had chosen to travel by herself in the past but learned it was not for her.

“Previously, I have had the experience of being a solo traveler… planning the trip alone, traveling by myself the entire trip. I learned that I don’t like that! I need someone else to arrange details, introduce me to the culture and local people and customs and places, and other travelers to share experiences with.”

This awareness made her Peru volunteer vacation with Discover Crops a perfect match, as Kai details below:

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May
17

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Interview from Peru: Discover Corps’ Guide Miguel

Posted by on May 17, 2019 · Leave a Comment  

The name of our Peru trip, Children of the Andes, gives a great indication of what you can expect on your vacation with purpose to this special part of South America. You will spend quality time teaching, learning from, and connecting with children that each have a unique story to share. This time is precious and much needed for all involved, but it’s hardly the only aspect of this dynamic experience. Discover Corps’ guide for Peru, Miguel, agrees:

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May
3

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Ask the Alumni: Tanzania through the Eyes of a Discover Corps Family [Q&A and VIDEO]

Posted by on May 3, 2019 · 2 Comments  

Tanzania is a game changer, or more aptly put, a perspective changer. Cosette and Brian DeCesare and their three daughters Genevieve, Theresa, and Maria are evidence of this phenomenon after their recent Tanzania Safari & Service family vacation with Discover Corps. Cosette put it best, “I was in awe of the happiness and disposition of the people. Especially the children. This was not so much a surprise but an observation. These people know struggle. But they have a level of apparent joy and contentment that would make a lot of Americans blush with envy.”

To elaborate on their family’s time in Africa, Cosette and 16-year-old Theresa kindly agreed to share a few thoughts below on what they called an experience of a lifetime. Their words are complemented by a video recap (after the Q&A) of the trip, creatively made by Theresa.

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