Volunteering at a farm in northern Thailand

By: Nofar Ronen

During our stay in Northern Thailand (in Chiang Mai), we decided to go and volunteer at a farm that I  discovered while reading a blog post of Thailand.

The farm – Happy healing home–  is about 3-hour drive from Chiang Mai, and it’s ran by an ex-monk named pinan Jim, and his wife pinan Ti.

Pinan Jim was a monk for 16 years, and he quit after he realized that he has nothing more to learn from that lifestyle, and because he wanted to start the farm.

His goal is to teach Buddhism and the rest of his knowledge of the Lana Tribe, which he belongs to, to travelers from around the world in order to continue his legacy and his tribe.

About the farm

The farm is pretty secluded and is surrounded by a forest. It’s constructed of a giant tent that previous volunteers helped to build, and is equipped with a basic kitchen and a sitting area. There is a shed with tools, loads of chickens, one pig and one bull.

There are a few basic wooden-bamboo bungalows that all have a mattress on the floor, and this is where you sleep.

The restroom is a hole in the ground, and you shower using a bucket. There is no electricity. It truly is a once-in-a-lifetime-experience.

The schedule at the farm

Our schedule was waking up at 6am, drinking tea or coffee, stretching for half hour, and from there going to the shrine or up the mountain where we would do yoga and meditation. We would go back around 9am and eat the most amazing breakfast that the monk’s wife made us. After breakfast, we’d help washing the dishes and then work at the farm. We would help preparing lunch, mostly cutting veggies.

By the end of it a few volunteers would help do the dishes. There is some free time to take a nap, and when we would wake, we’d go straight back to work. We’d feed the animals and go to the forest to look for some food for the bull.

After a long working day, we’d have dinner and by the end of it we’d  light up a fire and everyone would gather around to listen carefully to Finan Jim’s tales of Buddhism and of the soul.

Up to 13 people can stay at the farm each time. It costs close to nothing, 200 baht per night per person, and it includes the 3 meals that you get every day.

We met people from all around the world (USA, Spain, Germany, Italy, Australia and more).

The food at the farm was amazing, some of our best meals in Thailand for sure! It’s organic and there was a large variety! We met some lovely people from all around the world…

Roman,  built a door and a shelf and added it to our cabin. I made some bricks from mud and built a small wall! We helped with feeding the animals, and preparing the food…

we did a lot of yoga and meditation, learned of Buddhism and enjoyed the simple life out in the forest.

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