Thailand – Lantern Festival - Medical & Dental Relief

Thailand – Lantern Festival

October 29, 2020 - November 8, 2020

Join For As Little As: 4,500*

  • $4,500 - No discounts or rebates

  • See More Info below for full details and additional options for travel

During your stay and to coincide with IMR’s year of festivals, your team will attend Thailand’s stunning Loi Krathong and Yi Peng festival! During this time of year, a celebration based on the Thai lunar calendar, people decorate their homes and craft baskets made...
(Read more below)

About The Mission Trip

trip_InfoAboutExperience 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.  

About Clinic

trip_InfoClinicThe team will treat remote indigenous groups of the Akha, high in the Chiang Rai mountains. Other patient populations include local migrant workers, as well as refugee populations, often from bordering Myanmar, who are left outside of the medical system. IMR believes that every child should have inalienable rights and protections to prevent them from situational slavery; some patients will be rescued victims of these unfortunately prevalent circumstances.  You will also have the wonderful experience of working in orphanages and schools for two days during the trip. Don’t miss it!

Transportation & Lodging

trip_InfoLodgingYou will stay in a modern, comfortable hotel in Chiang Mai for the majority of the trip. For 3 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.

Trip Highlights

trip_InfoHighlightsHaving the opportunity to work in the Hill Country is certainly one of the many highlights of this Signature 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 and to coincide with IMR’s year of festivals, your team will attend Thailand’s stunning Loi Krathong and Yi Peng festival! During this time of year, a celebration 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 skyl, joining thousands of others that light up the sky for miles around!

Extend Your Stay


You’re journeying halfway across the globe, have you considered extending your stay to visit some of Thailand’s top spots? Join International Medical Relief on an exclusive trip extension provided by our partner, Worldwide Navigators!

Travel to Chiang Mai, a culturally rich & vibrant city in northern Thailand where you’ll visit one of the top elephant sanctuaries in the world. Get to know the stories of these magnificent creatures!

Click here to view the itinerary!

Ready for the adventure? Connect with Worldwide Navigators today!

Trip Itinerary

This itinerary is subject to change without notice.

Please note:  Independent flight arrangements should not be made until after the group flight is booked.  You will be notified about the group flight at the Early Bird deadline. If you are planning on flying independently and want to book your flight in advance, please contact Worldwide Navigators at for the most up-to-date trip information before you book your independent flight.

This trip starts and ends in Chiang Mai, Thailand

October 30, 2020 - Arrivals

You and the team will fly into the Chiang Mai International Airport on October 30th and transfer to your hotel.  The required arrival to your hotel is 5:00pm on October 30th. 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.


Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner     Overnight: Chiang Mai

October 31, 2020 - Yi Peng Festival Events (day and evening)

Today is all about the festival!  Chiang Mai has the largest celebrations in Thailand and is famous worldwide as the place to for celebrating Yi Peng and Loy Krathong “like the locals’!  Today is the Yi Peng Festival where the city will fill with people as they hold processions and have a variety of daytime celebrations, all while waiting to 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 lanterns float into the sky and disappear in the night, you will have a year full of good luck.  You will see some of the festivities during the day as well (think boats!)


Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner       Overnight: Chiang Mai

November 1, 2020 - Loy Krathong Festival

Enjoy breakfast at your hotel in the morning and spend a little time getting organized for clinic while talking about the amazing day you had yesterday.  Loy Krathong, the festival of lights, 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 to honor the rivers and a way to wave goodbye to misfortune, wash away sins of the past year, and make wishes for the coming year. Taking part in this cultural experience will be a life changing and eye opening opportunity for you and your fellow team members.

Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner    Overnight: Chiang Mai

November 2, 2020 - Clinic

After an exciting evening of setting free lanterns, wake up early and get your bags ready for your next adventure!  Today is your first day of clinic! You and the team will work in a large orphanage outside of Chiang Mai. After a day of caring for the children’s medical and dental needs - and providing education for the children and staff on hygiene and disease prevention - you will head to your new hotel in the hill country!  

Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner      Overnight: Hill Country

November 3 - 5, 2020 - Clinics

Today starts 3 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! Your patients are gentle and family is important.  Health care is difficult at best to obtain and you will find significant health issues and dental needs. Education is important here!

Meals: Breakfast, Lunch Dinner   Ovenight: Nov. 3 and 4 - Hill Country; Nov. 5 - Chiang Mai

November 6, 2020 - Clinic

You will be working in another large orphanage today.  Today is your last day of clinic and ending it with these children is a perfect way to wind down your trip.  Dental needs in the orphanages are extremely high and many of the children will suffer from skin conditions, infections, and ear/eye complaints.  Get ready for a lovely day at work!

Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner    Overnight: Chiang Mai

November 7, 2020 - Free Day and Departures

Enjoy breakfast at your hotel then bid farewell to beautiful Thailand as you head to the airport for your international flight home.  Depending on your flight time you will be able to do some shopping, revel in the post-festival excitement that is all around you, 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!

Meals: Breakfast


Contact Worldwide Navigators to Extend your Stay or plan an activity on your last day!


Trip Donation & Flight Options

Pay 2,600 and complete your application to secure your place as a TEAM MEMBER!

Payments / Requirements & Earlybird Discount

How much do I need to pay?

Cost Per Volunteer: $4,500

Before Jul 23rd, 2020: 4,300

  • Pay 2,600 of the total cost by the Early Bird date AND upload/complete all of your required documents and forms receive $200 off the cost of your trip.  
  • Meeting this goal ensures that your space on the team is confirmed
  • You are an EARLY BIRD!  
  • Payment in full is due by Oct 8th, 2020

After Jul 23rd, 2020: 4,500

  • To confirm your space on the team: Pay 2,600 of the total cost AND upload all of your required documents and forms!  
  • Space on our teams is on a first come/first serve basis.  Your space is not reserved until you have met these requirements.  
  • Payment in full is due by Oct 8th, 2020
  • Unfortunately, eligibility for the $200 savings on this trip is no longer available after Jul 23rd, 2020.

Flexible Flight Options

Is group airfare available through IMR?

Before Jul 23rd, 2020:  YES! IMR will arrange your international flight on a "group" ticket at your request!

  • Domestic and international airfare is NOT included in the published cost of the trip.
  • Pay 2,600 of the total cost AND upload all of your required documents and forms to be eligible to fly on the international group ticket.
  • Submit your flight choice as “economical” or “premier” in your account.
  • Approve the ticket that IMR is going to purchase on your behalf and complete the purchase with IMR's approved travel agency.
  • The cost of airport transfers are included in the cost of your ticket!

After Jul 23rd, 2020: You may still be able to join the group flight on a space-available basis only

    • Pay 2,600 of the total cost AND upload all of your required documents and forms by Jul 23rd, 2020
    • Contact the office to see if group tickets are still available.
    • Submit your flight choice as “economical” or “premier”, approve the ticket, and complete the purchase with IMR's approved travel agency.  
    • The cost of airport transfers are included in the cost of your ticket!
    • You will need to purchase your domestic roundtrip ticket after your international flight is ticketed and confirmed.
May I purchase my own international flights?

Yes! Purchasing your own international flights provide you with maximum travel flexibility! 

  • Some trips may require an international flight and a domestic flight in country to meet the team.
  • You are required to meet the IMR team at the designated time and location per the trip itinerary
  • Submit your flight choice as “independent”.
  • You have many options for extending your stay including extended stays available through IMR’s preferred travel agency, Worldwide Navigators
  • If you would like to request airport transfers at an additional cost, please click on the link to send an email to the IMR office.

Extended Stays - Trip of a lifetime!!

May I book an extended stay through IMR if I choose the group flight?


Contact Worldwide Navigators to see your options

May I book an extended stay through IMR if I choose to book my own tickets?


Sleeping the way you want to!

What are the sleeping arrangements?
  • Triple or double twin bed rooms are standard on IMR trips. This is part of our safety and security policies.
  • Each volunteer has their own bed (no shared beds outside of couples). 
  • Let  the IMR Office know if you are a family or couple.  We always try to accommodate our volunteer’s needs!  Please use the link to email our office. 
  • IMR does not discriminate in any way – please let us know your rooming needs.  
  • Please understand if we are unable to accommodate your specific needs based on availability at the hotel or lodging on your trip. 
Are single rooms available?


  • Contact the IMR Office to find out if single rooms are available and at what cost
  • Standard IMR sleeping arrangements are double or triple rooms, twin beds

Sleeping the way you want too!!

Travel Assistance

If you would like help booking flights, hotels, extended stays, and more contact Worldwide Navigators at (970) 633-3033.


IMR provides a personal and customizable fundraising page to all registered trip applicants.  We provide a fundraising packet that is full of ideas on how you can raise support or supplies to be utilized on this specific mission.  You may download this information and individual items such as letters requesting support, our 501(c)3 information, and a list of needed supplies from your Volunteer Resources page.  When soliciting donations for any of our trips, your personal story is your most powerful tool.  Why do you want to go? Whom will you help?  How will your donors help you achieve your ultimate goal?  Tell your story to anyone and everyone. Refer your potential or active donors to your IMR personal fundraising page by sharing your unique URL on social media, via email, and through personal contact.  Give your supporters our website and Facebook page so they can see the great things that IMR has accomplished since our founding in 2002.  Did you know we have cared for almost 300,000 patients in the last 16 years?  We need your help and the help of your donors to see 300,000 more patients in the years ahead!

Frequently Asked Questions

What does the donation amount include?

The donation amount INCLUDES:

  • Transportation, Accommodations and Meals after joining the IMR team at the designated meeting location in country
  • Cultural activity outlined in itinerary
  • Clinic supplies & medications for patients

You may choose to join an economical or premier group flight, priced at the time the tickets are purchased.  You will receive details regarding the group flight at your trips earlybird deadline.  For more information please contact our preferred travel agency Worldwide Navigators - 

NOT included in the donation amount:

  • Domestic and International Airfare
  • Passport fees, visa fees, and transit fees, including baggage or overnight accommodations/meals while in transit
  • Travel Insurance
  • Malpractice Insurance
What will the team be doing on the trip?

IMR teams provide medical and dental care and community health education to communities that lack access to care. A typical IMR team consists of doctors, dentists, and advanced practice providers, nurses, EMTs, medical/dental/nursing students, pre-med students, and non-medical volunteers.  The team makeup for your trip is not guaranteed to be as described above and is dependent on the individual volunteers who make up your team.  The team usually stays in a central location and travels each day to a different community to set up a mobile medical and dental clinic. In order to promote lasting and sustainable improvements in the health of those communities, IMR conducts an extensive community health education program, teaching about prevention and treatment in small groups and during individual consultations with providers. No matter what your specialty or skill level, there is a job for you on an IMR trip!

Can I fundraise for the trip?

Yes!  Many volunteers fundraise for trips.  You can find information and tips on how to fundraise on your Volunteer Resources page on the IMR website.  You will have access to a personal fundraising page with a unique URL that you can share with family, friends, business associates, and any potential donors via social media.   IMR is a 501(c)3 charity, and all donations are tax-deductible to the fullest extent of the law.

Are there any important dates I need to know?
      • IMR Group Flight: In order to qualify for the IMR Group Flight, you will need to reach 50% of the required donation on or before Jul 23rd, 2020.
      • Early Bird Special: A discount of $200 is awarded to team members who raise / pay 50% of the required donation on or before Jul 23rd, 2020.
Are there additional costs / expenses for the trip?
  • Domestic and International Airfare
  • Passport fees, visa fees, and transit fees, including baggage or overnight accommodations/meals while in transit
  • Vaccinations and medications common for travel
  • Travel Insurance
  • Malpractice Insurance
  • Spending money for souvenirs and personal purchases
  • Any lodging, meals, and transportation outside of the scheduled team itinerary, payable at the time of service to the local vendor
Can IMR assist me with travel plans and extended stay options?

Yes!  We encourage our volunteers to extend their stay and explore.  Extending your stay also puts money into the economies of these developing countries!

Trip Preparation

A service that we are very proud of at IMR is the preparation that each team and team member receives prior to the trip. This is one of the most important reasons that you should join an IMR team.

All team members have access to the IMR Volunteer Resources page where you may view and download important conference calls, a detailed briefing packet outlining the important elements that make a successful trip, packing lists, a checklist to keep you on track, and much more. You will find detailed information on how clinic operates, the roles on an IMR team, community health education topics, fundraising tips, and all of the materials our licensed providers need including best practices for providing care in short term medical clinics, public health information specific to the country you are traveling too, and a guide to the infectious diseases of that country.  You will also find a comprehensive country briefing packet that provides background information, cultural etiquette, common phrases, and links to additional information from a variety of sources on your volunteer resources page.  Finally, a departure packet that outlines how and where to meet your team will be sent just prior to departure and can be downloaded from the volunteer resources page.

IMR applicants and team members are also able to join in two informational calls: About IMR and How Clinic Operates/Provider Guidelines.   A Q and A call just prior to departure helps to ensure that you have the most important information and are ready to go!  If you can't join our live calls, you can listen at any time via your Volunteer Resources page.  Your team's departure call will be recorded by and sent by email to the team immediately following the call.

All of our volunteers have access to a personal IMR fundraising page with a unique URL that can be emailed and shared with family, friends, business associates, and other potential donors.

Did you know you can earn CME credits on line with IMR? will get you to 6 1 hour courses containing great tips for treating a variety of conditions in the field including wounds, hypertension, dengue fever, and more.

Most importantly, we are always here to answer your questions or help you complete your application. It is our goal that we exceed your expectations for preparation, patient care, and your overall trip. Let us know how we can help and how we did!

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