Swap days spent on the sand for active experiences that take you beyond the beach, exploring tropical jungles, rice paddy fields and mangrove forests. We’ve picked our top experiences for adventure and nature-focused holidays.
Leave terra firma behind as you take to the treetops for an adventure high above the jungle floor. At eco-friendly centres around Thailand you’ll be able to walk across sky bridges and tree-high platforms, sail Tarzan-like on rope swings, test your nerves on a tight rope walk, speed through the trees on a zip line or descend back down with abseiling. Many of these activity centres – including Flying Hanuman and Treetop Adventures – have taken care to ensure that the natural surrounds have not been negatively impacted.
Connect With Nature
It’s time to get your hands dirty! If you want to discover what it’s like to spend your days working in a rice paddy field, we have the destination for you: Four Seasons Chiang Mai in the north of Thailand. This five star resort offers guests the chance to try on traditional clothing and plant your own rice paddy shoots while learning about the harvest process. We also have a soft spot for resident albino water buffalo, P’Tong – you can even help bathe him!
Strap on your hiking boots – or just put on your comfiest trainers – and stretch your legs! Whether you want to take things slow or try something more extreme, there are a number of walks, hikes and treks you can do throughout Thailand. Many resorts will have guided or self-guided strolls through their tropical grounds, where you can come across mangrove trees and fragrant orange jasmine, or take your holiday to new heights, hiking to view points for the best panoramas of the island below. And if you’re staying at The Sarojin you might want to sign up for their ‘Extreme Jungle Trek’ where you’ll climb, swim and learn survival techniques in the wilds of southern Thailand.
Ethical Elephant Encounters
For an ethical way to engage with elephants in Thailand we recommend a stay at Elephant Hills. At this luxury tented camp there is strictly no riding allowed, instead you’ll have the once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to wash, feed and interact with these gentle giants, scrubbing them with coconut fibres and helping to prepare their daily meal.
Instead of exploring the world below the water, head out on a sea kayaking tour, gliding through mangroves, canyons, caves and lagoons – your guide will be sure to point out friendly ‘locals’ from monkeys and exotic birds to lizards. One of our favourite spots to explore is the Ao Thalane mangrove forest off the coast of Krabi.
Where to stay: The Vijitt, Phuket
Why: On a quiet stretch of beach, this is a secluded and tranquil hideaway with glorious surroundings. We love that this is an all-villa resort with excellent dining and plenty of activities including botanical walks and rubber tapping where you collect latex from a rubber tree!
Read our Guides to Thailand Beyond the Beach:
Browse our collection of Thailand hotels, tailor-made tours and multi-centres on our website: https://www.bestattravel.co.uk/asia/thailand-holidays