Medical Mission Trips to Thailand
Thank you for your interest in IMR’s medical mission trips to Thailand! This is a very unique opportunity to work with populations that have little to no access to healthcare and make a huge impact on their lives.
Your team will treat remote indigenous groups of the Akha who dwell high in the Chiang Rai mountains. Our other patients will include local orphans, migrant workers, and refugees from Myanmar. While at clinic, you can expect to treat bacterial diarrhea, hepatitis, dengue fever, malaria, Japanese encephalitis, rabies, and leptospirosis. You will also care for patients with symptoms of HIV/AIDS, rabies, food and water-borne diseases, tuberculosis, and miscellaneous sexually transmitted diseases.
You and the rest of the volunteer team will also educate locals on how to stay healthy and how to care for their loved ones. One of the main focuses of this mission is dentistry. Because all community members are encouraged to attend, the demand for dental care will be high. Because the World Health Organization reports that Thailand is still recovering from a strikingly high infant mortality rate, another focus of this mission is women’s healthcare. We will provide general women’s and infant care, as well as empower women to seek higher education.
International Medical Relief (IMR) first responded with medical mission trips to Thailand in 2015, providing clinics and supplies. We have since served more than 4,000 patients through nearly 250 staff and volunteers. IMR specifically works with the most underserved communities, which has brought our clinics to mountain villages. We also provide medical supplies and health education in order to deliver sustainable health care services to the communities we serve.
With diligent planning and preparation, IMR is dedicated to ensuring that specific goals are met on our missions, each in correlation to the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals 3 and 17.
IMR works to elevate vulnerable populations through shoulder-to-shoulder care with our local partners, creating workforce density, and a cadre of future healthcare and public health leaders in association to UNSDG 3: Good Health & Wellbeing.
In correlation with UNSDG 17: Partnerships for the Goals, our organization works in collaboration and at the request of local hosts where we are under their direct influence and affluence. IMR never goes into a country without a formal invitation where there is a great community need for medical or dental care, and health education.
Experience the real “Land of Smiles” in Chiang Mai, a serene town in Northern Thailand. You will stay in a small forest compound surrounded by mango trees. Nestled among rice fields and the quiet hum of daily life, this town neighbors the bustling Chiang Mai night market. Stroll through lines of vendors for a total sensory experience; immerse yourself in the appetite-inducing smells, regional fruits, stunning silk tapestries, and even sizzling fried insects. With our advantageous location, remove yourself from the bustle with a short walk up the mountain to take in spectacular views of the valley below. Your team will participate in an ongoing effort to decrease specific health concerns in the villages we work in.
Lodging & Transportation
You will stay in a modern, comfortable hotel in Chiang Mai for the majority of the trip. For three nights you will be in a remote hotel, comfortable and clean, but perhaps without all of the amenities that you will find in a “big city” hotel. In the evenings you and the team will be able to explore the city and take part in the many events surrounding the Lantern Festival. All transportation to and from clinic sites will be included and provided by safe, trustworthy drivers. Some travel times to clinics may be longer than others, but you won’t want to miss the stunning views of the hillsides and towns as you ride throughout Thailand.
Having the opportunity to work in the Hill Country is certainly one of the many highlights of this trip. You’ll have time to enjoy the children and make a real difference in their lives during your orphanage days. The Akha are very traditional and unfailingly kind.
During your stay, your team will attend Thailand’s stunning Yi Peng and Loy Krathong festivals! During these celebrations based on the Thai lunar calendar, people decorate their homes and craft baskets made from flowers, leaves, and lights which they then float on the river. You’ll have the opportunity to send floating lanterns up into the sky, joining thousands of others that light up the sky for miles around!
Food & Water
All food is typically provided during your stay. Please refer to your unique itinerary on our website to review which meals are provided each day. We may hire local people to cook for the team during our visit, or we may eat at restaurants or hotels. Lunch in clinic may include sandwiches made by the team or a feast prepared in your honor by community leaders. We recommend bringing snacks to eat during the day or evening or to supplement your lunch. High protein/high fat/high energy snacks are best. IMR also provides all of the drinking water for the team. Hydration and nutrition are extremely important for the health of the team. You are the best judge of your own health so please pack appropriate snacks and stay well hydrated on the trip.
Extend Your Stay!
Since you’re journeying halfway across the globe, have you considered extending your stay to visit some of Thailand’s top spots? Indulge your tastebuds in the sweets & savories of Thailand’s colorful cuisine, or discover the gentle giants of the jungle up close at an elephant preserve! Join International Medical Relief on an exclusive trip extension provided by our partner, Worldwide Navigators!
Itinerary is subject to change without notice.
Full Mission (8-9 Days)
You and the team will fly into the Chiang Mai International Airport and transfer to your hotel. If you are flying on an IMR group flight your airport transportation will be provided for you. If you are flying independently and want to be included on the scheduled airport transfer, please contact us. Upon arrival, you will meet with your team and team leader for a required team orientation to discuss clinic roles, review protocols and gain insight into the communities and populations you will be serving.
You and your team will provide training for local healthcare providers to continue IMR’s long-term, sustainable education efforts. Education is as important as medical and dental care for our patients. Each clinic includes basic health education according to the specialties and skills of the IMR volunteers, as well as the needs of the local people. When communities become empowered to take health and wellness issues into their own hands, they become self-sufficient. IMR provides learning opportunities for the local communities through classes and hands-on learning to sustain their well-being beyond our visit.
Today is your first day of clinic! You and the team will work in a large orphanage outside of Chiang Mai. You will spend the day caring for the children’s medical and dental needs and providing education for the children and staff on hygiene and disease prevention.
In the evening, you will have the unique opportunity to take part in the Yi Peng Festival where the city will fill with people as they light candles in lanterns and set them free in the sky. Watch as thousands of lanterns are let loose to pay respect to the Buddha and wish yourself a good year. Legend has it if your lantern floats into the sky and disappears in the night, you will have a year full of good luck.
Enjoy breakfast at your hotel in the morning and a free afternoon to tour Chiang Mai. In the evening, you will have the unique opportunity of taking part in the Loy Krathong Festival. This festival falls on a full moon day and is celebrated nationwide.
Go into the city to watch as thousands of people gather at the river to release lotus-shaped baskets with flowers and candles into the river. This festival is a tradition amongst the people of Thailand as they gather each year to set free the floating candles in an attempt to set free their fear and hatred. Taking part in this cultural experience will be a life changing and eye opening opportunity for you and your fellow team members.
Today starts three days of clinic in the remote Hill Country with the beautiful Akha tribe and other smaller tribes in the area. You will be staying in a small, local hotel so make sure to bring your personal gear! You’ll discover family is very important to your patients. Health care is difficult at best for them to obtain, and you will find many of them are dealing with significant health issues and dental needs. Community education is important here! You will be working in a large orphanage during this time. On your last day of clinic, ending it with these children is a perfect way to wind down your trip.
Bid farewell to beautiful Thailand as you head to the airport for your international flight home. Depending on your flight time you may be able to do some shopping or simply take it easy after your busy week.
Your airport transfer will be provided for you if you are on the group flight or have requested to transport to the airport through IMR. Thank you for joining us at the Lantern Festival!
Crisis Management & Emergency Response
We take security very seriously at IMR. It is our job to ensure that security precautions are in place, but please keep in mind that we cannot guarantee your safety on the trip.
- We continuously review all current activities occurring on the ground, and we work with the State Department and the U.S. Embassy to know the ground situation to the best of our ability.
- A security training conference call is available to our volunteers where we detail our security procedures that are in place for the trip.
- We take many security precautions such as radios, a buddy system, emergency evacuation plan and security planning.
- We protect the privacy of our volunteers in the field and provide them with customized contact information for their use.
- During our mandatory briefing, team members review our safety protocols, evacuation procedures, protocols for illness, natural disaster and terrorism.
We provide training to our teams to be cognizant of their own safety and to be aware of their surroundings.
- Several policies require teams to adhere to safety issues.
Your generous donation helps to save and change lives everyday.
Your charitable investment will go toward ongoing global relief to care for the underserved and vulnerable people of this community. As a member of this medical mission team, you will elevate the long-term impact of sustainable, capacity-building efforts that improve the health, wellness, and quality of life of those most in need. A small portion of your donation includes:
- Clinic supplies and medications for patients
- Clinic participation
- Transportation, accommodations, and meals as outlined in the itinerary
To save $200, a 50% donation payment must be received 14 weeks before the mission’s scheduled start date. Full donation payments must be received 4 weeks before the mission’s scheduled start date.
Early Bird Savings Opportunity
To be eligible, upload all your required documents and forms, and make a minimum of 50% of your donation payment by 14 weeks prior to your mission’s scheduled start date.
Flexible Flight Options
Volunteer with Airfare
You may choose to book a flight with us for an additional fee. Details on the available flight routing and US departure city will be announced on the Early Bird Date. Airport transportation to and from the team’s accommodations are also included with this option. Depending on your departure city, you may still need to purchase another flight in addition to this one. After this flight has been booked, you may contact our travel agent, Worldwide Navigators, for assistance booking any necessary additional flights.
Benefits of Flying at a Subsidized Rate
Volunteer without Airfare
Many team members choose to book their flight(s) to and from the mission location independent of IMR. This is a great option if would like to extend your stay in the area to tour and explore, or if the routing from you home airport is more feasible for you. If you choose to fly independently, please note that your transportation in between the airport and the team’s accommodations will not be provided. This will need to be arranged separately. Our partner for travel, Worldwide Navigators, would be happy to assist you in coordinating flights and/or transportation. You can contact them at email@example.com.
Benefits of Flying Independently
IMR provides a fundraising packet to all registered trip applicants that is full of ideas on how you can raise support for your trip or for supplies to be utilized on this specific mission. When soliciting donations for any of our trips, success is completed through telling your personal story. Why do you want to go? Who will you help? Why their donation can help you achieve the ultimate goal. Tell your story to anyone and everyone. Refer your potential or active donors to our website or Facebook page and to your personal fundraising page. You may share your personal fundraising URL on Facebook and other social media sites.
Join Us in Making a Difference.
Bring much-needed acute medical and dental care to a beautiful, culture-rich destination. You can join an IMR medical mission team today!