Rustic Pathways has been operating student travel and community service programs in Thailand for over a decade. With 60 full-time employees from incredibly diverse backgrounds, our connections here ensure access to places that aren't open to most visitors, allowing for truly special experiences. Our Southeast Asian administrative headquarters are based outside of Chiang Mai and David Venning - Rustic Pathways' Chairman and Founder - also has a home here. With our legendary Ricefields International Service Base in the northeast, the Hill Tribe Orphanage Project along the Burmese border and a number of other bases throughout the Hill Tribe region, our year-round facilities are proof of our commitment to the communities and people we love and support in Thailand.
All Thailand programs start and finish in Southeast Asia. Starting and finishing locations vary by program; please visit rusticpathways.com.au/flights or call us on 1800 321 435 for complete information about air travel. All programs in Thailand, Laos, Cambodia, China, Mongolia, Vietnam, Burma and India connect seamlessly.
Population: 66 million happy Thais
Capital City: Bangkok
Currency: Baht - 1 Aussie dollar buys about 29 baht (as of November 2010)
Languages: Thai is the official language, although dozens of other languages and dialects are spoken throughout the country.
The Grand Palace, pristine beaches and teeming coral reefs, colourful Hill Tribes, the ruins of ancient Ayutthaya, the Golden Triangle region, the Mekong River, Muay Thai boxing and Asian Elephants.
Kor yeum chang hai noi, dai mai?: Can I please borrow your elephant?
Dai, mai pen rai!: Sure, no problem!
Chawp somtham phet maak, na!: I like my papaya salad really spicy!
Home to the world's longest reigning monarch, Thailand is the only country in Southeast Asia to have never been colonised by a Western country. Thai cuisine has become world famous for its unique flavours and aromatic qualities, but surprisingly chili peppers - one of the cornerstones of Thai food - were not in Asia until European traders brought them to the region in the 17th century. The people of Thailand are best known for their legendary hospitality, gentle nature and deep commitment to the teachings of the Buddha.