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ISV Thailand Project Leader Spotlight: Sawang Thongdee

by isvolunteers on Sunday, 24 May 2015

Meet Sawang Thongdee, one of ISV‘s most intrepid Thai Project Leaders who has led numerous university and high school groups on ISV volunteer projects in Thailand.

Sawang (backrow- second from far left) pictured with an ISV volunteer team in 2014. (c) ISV

When did you first start working for ISV?

I began working as an ISV Project Leader about four years ago and have led approximately 15 groups on conservation projects since then!

What do you like about working as an ISV Project Leader?


Sawang on the road on one of his epic cycling trips. (c) Sawang Thongdee

As a Project Leader with ISV, I have had the opportunity to meet some amazing young people from all around the world, which is an enriching experience. I love showing them my home, Thailand, but also enjoy learning about their home countries and cultures.

The work itself is also incredibly meaningful. I am actively involved in positive change on ISV’s projects, raising awareness about the treatment of animals in Thailand – especially Asian elephants, who are far too often exploited for commercial gain.

What did you do before working for ISV?

I was a biology teacher for over 9 years but left my job to explore Asia by bicycle, which was incredible. When I returned to Thailand I began a new career in the tourism industry, with a focus on conservation and outdoor activities.


Explore the world so you can discover it with a different perspective (c) Sawang Thongdee

What do you do when you’re not working as an ISV Project Leader?

I balance work with travel! As much as I love Thailand and working for ISV, I also love exploring other countries – so I work for several months a year in Thailand, and spend the rest of the year traveling, before returning to work again. I have lived this lifestyle for over 7 years, and couldn’t be happier.


If you could change anything on the planet, what would it be?


“If I could change anything in this world it would be to make bicycle riding compulsory!” (c) Sawang Thongdee

…………….. To make bicycle riding compulsory! This mode of transport has so many benefits – it’s healthy, affordable and sustainable!

To learn more about ISV, our responsible travel principles and volunteer projects please visit our website at


Lucky ISV Thailand volunteers – an intrepid ISV Project leader awaits you!  (c) Sawang Thongdee




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