All LemonGrass volunteering projects are based in Surin, the regional capital of Surin Province, approximately 450 km northeast of Bangkok. Surin is a lively market town and affords all manner of mod-cons you would expect in a regional centre. It is, however, not a large town, and with its bustling markets and farming trade, is closely linked with the expansive rural lowlands of the surrounding province.

Surin is one of Thailand's poorest regions and is well off the tourist track, which is what makes it such an endearing place to visit. The people of Surin are relaxed, happy and extremely friendly. It is an excellent place to experience Thai culture.

Surin is also the Elephant Capital of Thailand. Every year in November its population doubles during its famous Elephant Festival. Hundreds of elephants from the nearby elephant village and the surrounding rural areas descend on Surin for what can only be called an 'Elephant Party'! There are numerous shows, entertainment and plenty of opportunities to get up close and personal with these amazing living symbols of Thailand.

While Surin is far off the tourist trail, it is not without its fair share of attractions. The aforementioned elephant village is the most obvious attraction, but Surin is also home to silver village and silk villages where you can experience centuries old production techniques firsthand.

Surin is only an hour from Cambodia, and some fine Khmer ruins on the Thai side of the border are within easy reach. Indeed Cambodia's magnificent Angkor Wat is only a five-hour trip by road.

Elephant festival