As Thailand starts to open up to international tourists we explore 8 things you need to consider for your next trip.
Thailand is one of the most popular countries in Southeast Asia and its reputation as a tourist destination is due to its magnificent scenery, glorious beaches and islands, serene mountains and hills. It also boasts a vibrant urban atmosphere in its bustling capital Bangkok, and a welcoming people who have embraced all that the tourism industry means to the Kingdom.
When planning your trip there are numerous activities visitors can enjoy and first-time visitors will look to personal recommendations, blog posts and social media to help them design their itinerary.
The Beaches, Islands, and Wildlife of Thailand
Thailand is celebrated for its beaches and islands, among them the following.
- Phang-Nga Bay
Popularly known for its limestone structures, Phang-Nga Bay is one of Thailand’s most famous spots. In fact the bay has appeared in numerous movies over the years, most notably the 007 thriller ‘The Man With The Golden Gun’, which gave the famous James Bond island its name. The postcard perfect islands and their dramatic cliffs, as well as caves, offer an image that would not look out of place in an ancient fairy tale. This tourist attraction in the Strait of Malacca, can be enjoyed whether one is cruising, kayaking or diving. There truly is no other sight like it in the world.
- Khao Sok National Park
If you’re looking for a break from the busy city life to reconnect with nature while you’re in Thailand, the Khao Sok National Park is one of the best places for this. With one of the oldest rainforests in the world and the largest preserved environment in Thailand, this destination offers excellent adventures which can be best enjoyed with an extended stay. In this national park, you may come across wild elephants, enjoy a trekking trip into the jungle or take to exploring the waters by canoe.
The Khao Sok National Park is located on the mainland, surrounded by the ever popular Phuket, Khao Lak, Krabi, and Koh Samui. When going there, make sure you pack plenty of sunscreen and comfortable clothing.
- Khao Yai National Park
Khao Yai, or the place ‘where the wild animals roam’. A three-hour car drive from Bangkok, this wildlife location features both a rainforest and a savannah, allowing people to easily spot the wild animals that roam free in this protected terrain. The main mode of transport while in the area is safari jeeps which travel on a schedule throughout the afternoon and evening. There are more than 50km of hiking and biking trails and many waterfalls to seek out.
- Northern Thailand
When planning a trekking experience in Thailand, be sure to include a Northern Thailand hiking trip in your itinerary. One of the most popular activities in the area, the hiking trails in the northern mountains are fairly easy and can be taken on by anybody with a general level of fitness. It is advised that you take a few days for this, and possibly even spend a night or two in a hill tribe village.
Learn about the Hill Tribes of Thailand
The country isn’t just full of natural attractions, it also has a rich heritage full of cultural traditions that have been preserved for centuries. These traditions are well represented by the hill tribe communities, known as “Chao Khao” in Thai. Their unique customs and fascinating practices can be learned from the different hill tribes of Thailand, and a day or two with one of the hill tribe communities is certainly recommended.
The hill tribes are mainly composed of seven major communities, namely the Akha, Palaung, Lisu, Karen, Lahu, Hmong – also known as Miao/Meo and the Mien – also known as Yao.
These groups are also known as the ‘highland people’ or the ‘highland tribes’ and have permanent homes in the northern and northwestern mountains of Thailand. Many tour operators offer visits to their villages, so make sure you book a trip in order see these beautiful people and learning about their way of life, craft and traditions.
Of the communities, the Karen hill tribe is assumed to be the largest group and is made up of many sub-groups that number up to millions in population. The Paluang sub-group are very popular with tourists. They originated in Myanmar/Burma, and the characteristic that gained them their fame are the brass rings worn around their necks.
A Chiang Mai Adventure Trip for the Adrenalin Seeker
For adrenalin seekers, a personalised trekking tour will take you off the beaten path into the mountainous terrain of northern Thailand. Stand Up Paddle Boarding is the new way to navigate the waterways, or for the more adventurous, try White Water Rafting down the Mae Taeng River through lush jungle and amazing scenery on class 3 and 4 rapids.
Consider an ATV (all-terrain vehicle) safari to a mountain top village, climbing 600 to 1000 vertical meters in elevation. On the way learn about the areas wildlife, its flora, fauna and rural Thai existence.
When travelling it is best to book your adventures with a professional company that can guarantee your safety as well as your enjoyment. Look to 8adventures who offer a two-day adventure trip combo package that includes outdoor activities such as trekking, a three-hour ATV ride up on the mountainside, and white-water rafting. The activities are ideal for family or friends who wish to enjoy an adrenaline-filled holiday when visiting Thailand.