Best outdoor adventures in Thailand

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The southeast Asian paradise of Thailand offers something for everyone from sand-swept getaways, to foodie delights, to stunning ruins and historic religious sites. For those who want to get out and enjoy the best thrills nature has to offer, you’ll find Thailand has plenty of excursions that will send your heart racing. Here’s a look at seven of the best outdoor adventures in Thailand.

Zip-lining

Ziplining in Thailand (Image: jeminichronicles used under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike license)
Zip-lining in Thailand (Image: jeminichronicles used under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike license)

If you’ve ever wanted to channel your inner Tarzan, and swing through the jungle with the greatest of ease, book a zip-lining tour. You’ll fly through the jungle while zipping down a set of cables, enjoying Thailand’s rain forests with a bird’s eye view. The canopied forests of Chiang Mai are prime territory for a zip-lining adventure.

Jungle trekking

If you’d rather keep your feet on the ground while exploring Thailand’s jungles, you can always opt for a jungle trek. Don’t mistake a jungle trek for your typical hike though: Trekking is usually at least a three-day commitment through the Thai wilderness. These excursions will take you deep into the heart of Thailand’s jungles and almost always include stops at a few waterfalls.

Elephant rides

Elephant rides in Ayutthaya (Image: garycycles7)
Elephant rides in Ayutthaya (Image: garycycles7)

If zip-lining and jungle trekking haven’t caught your attention, you can always explore Thailand’s jungles from atop a majestic elephant. Elephant rides are offered throughout the country, from the jungles of Phuket to the ruins of Ayutthaya. Tour length is flexible, as you can book a quick one-hour tour or a multi-day excursion through the jungle.

Snorkeling

Best outdoor adventures in Thailand 1
Snorkeling off Koh Tao Island, Thailand (Image: Ian Armstrong used under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike license)

Snorkeling gives you a glimpse of Thailand’s underwater residents but doesn’t require the same certification or preparation that scuba diving does. Head for Phuket, Koh Phi Phi or Koh Tachai to catch some of the best coral reefs and marine life that Thailand has to offer.

Scuba diving

Scuba diving in Thailand (Image: octal)
Scuba diving in Thailand (Image: octal)

Does snorkeling sound like child’s play? Then dive deeper into the ocean with a scuba diving trip off some of Thailand’s most idyllic islands. Spectacular coral reefs, whale sharks, manta rays and an abundance of other marine life make the waters surrounding Phuket a top spot for divers. Don’t worry if you don’t have your PADI certification: Thailand is one of the most affordable places to get certified.

Kayaking

Kayaking in Thailand (Image: plusgood)
Kayaking in Thailand (Image: plusgood)

Kayaking in Thailand offers access to some of the country’s hidden gems, like caves, lagoons and remote islands. You can spend as little as an afternoon or as long as three days exploring Thailand by kayak. The picturesque bay of Phang Nga (home to “James Bond Island”) is a kayaking destination that’s not to be missed.

Rock climbing

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Rock climbing (Image: Maria Ly)

Forget those fake indoor walls – for real rock climbing with the ocean at your feet, head to Railay Beach near Krabi, known as one of the top rock climbing destinations in the world. Even novice climbers can get in on the action at Railay, while experienced climbers can spend days, weeks or even months exploring the hundreds of routes at Railay.

(Main image: Madeleine_H)

Best outdoor adventures in Thailand was last modified: June 26th, 2019 by Marissa Willman
Author: Marissa Willman (786 posts)

Marissa Willman earned a bachelor's degree in journalism before downsizing her life into two suitcases for a teaching gig in South Korea. Seoul was her home base for two years of wanderlusting throughout six countries in Asia. In 2011, Marissa swapped teaching for travel writing and now calls Southern California home.