As we celebrate Earth Day, we reflect on our beautiful Earth and its extraordinary nature. Today is a day to appreciate the Earth and protect and restore its environment. Thailand has many ecotourism excursions for you to truly experience the Earth and all it has to offer.
For more than 20 years, ecotourism in Thailand has been diligently promoted by the Thai government and the Tourism Authority of Thailand. Ecologically minded tourism now accounts for about 25% of the travel industry.
The Tourism Authority of Thailand encourages you to inquire about the ecological impact of any activity you choose to pursue in Thailand. Let’s take a look at some of the most amazing Earth Day adventures in Thailand!
1. Into the Wild Elephant Camp in Chiang Mai
In Chiang Mai, Into the Wild Elephant Camp aims to provide a comfortable and safe haven for Thailand’s beloved elephants. The camp is home to many endangered elephants, providing happy homes to the animals in free environments in their serene jungle habitat.
Visitors are welcome to participate in ethical interactions with the elephants, such as learning about their history and behavior with discussions on elephant care ethics. Get the chance to spend time with the elephants by feeding them bananas and really getting to know these majestic animals!
Due to the dangers caused by returning domesticated animals into the wild, elephants became more involved in tourism in a humane and ethical way, keeping the elephants active and cared for. Many of the elephant sanctuaries are safe and secure refuges for the elephants, offering a wonderful home to the animals and eye-opening human-animal interactions for visitors. To learn more about elephant care tourism in Thailand, visit our blog post here.
2. The Gibbon Rehabilitation Project in Phuket
Within the tropical and subtropical rainforests of Southeast Asia is the gibbon population, arboreal apes of small size. Considered endangered in most countries, gibbons are threatened by the loss of their forest habitat.
The Gibbon Rehabilitation Project in Phuket has made it their mission to help illegally captive gibbons regain their freedom. For the last 27 years, The Gibbon Rehabilitation Project has been testing different gibbon reintroduction methods to rehabilitate and release the gibbons back into the forest safely.
Although temporarily closed, the GRP normally provides visitors with the opportunity to witness gibbons in their natural habitat with limited human contact. The GRP is an amazing rehabilitation center to learn more about the environment and wildlife of the gibbons.
3. Khao Yai National Park in Nakhon Ratchasima
From its rare monsoon rainforest to the last remaining gibbons, wild tigers, and elephants, Khao Yai National Park offers the ultimate ecotourism experience. The park was established in 1962 as Thailand’s first national park. Evergreen forests and lush grasslands cover this large park with a vast array of wildlife for you to witness on your excursion.
Khao Yai National Park is home to around 445 bird species, including the largest population of hornbills in the country. If you’re lucky, you may be able to witness the rare sighting of the Rufous-tailed robin. The park is also home to captivating reptiles, including Chinese water dragons, pit vipers, and long-nosed whip snakes. Take a multi-day trek with a park ranger to venture along the more expansive trails and witness extraordinary wildlife.
4. Diving in the Similan Islands
This clear-water archipelago in the Andaman Sea inhabits 11 islands protected by Thai law to preserve the environment. Visitors are welcome to explore the islands and the marine life below sea level. Rocky coastlines and sandy beaches surround the clear waters offering total relaxation and room for exploration.
The Similan Islands are a diver’s paradise with various exceptional diving spots. On the West Coast of the islands, you’ll find deeper currents that lead to canyons, tunnels, archways, and caverns. The East Coast dives offer softer currents with clear visibility for you to witness 500 species of hard and soft coral. Marine life flourishes below the sea, including whale sharks, manta rays, turtles, and more. Explore the islands’ diverse waters for a one-of-a-kind experience.
5. New Heaven Reef Conservation Program in Ko Tao
In Ko Tao, the New Heaven Reef Conservation Program aims to preserve, protect, and restore the coral reef ecosystems. Across the globe, environmental degradation threatens these fragile spaces of coral reefs, and the program is making it their mission to ensure that the spaces will remain for generations to come.
The program offers numerous courses, internships, and professional diving opportunities for those interested in coral reef ecosystem conservation. Join a team of passionate and dedicated marine conservationists and instructors, and learn about marine conservation!
6. Trekking and Cycling in Khao Sam Roi Yot National Park
Across this preserved marine national park are freshwater marshes, mangrove forests, limestone hills, and diverse wildlife. The name means “mountain of 300 peaks” because of the limestone hills, perfect for trekking or cycling for an adventurous outdoor activity. Exploration opportunities are endless, with deserted beach roads, towering cliffs, and alluring stops along the way, including a cave and viewpoint.
The Tham Phraya Nakhon cave contains two large sinkholes with collapsed roofs allowing for streams of sunlight to shine through. For a marvelous vantage point of the entire park, head to Khao Daeng Viewpoint. Located in Prachuap Khiri Khan province, Khao Sam Roi Yot National Park is a great activity for a short day trip if staying in Hua Hin!
7. Umphang Wildlife Sanctuary in Tak
Home to exotic birds, plants, mammals, and reptiles, Umphang Wildlife Sanctuary is a protected UNESCO World Heritage site. Within the park are river networks, including the Mae Klong and Mae Klong Yai rivers. Embark on a river rafting adventure as you admire the massive limestone cliffs lining the water.
Further into the park lies the largest waterfall in Thailand, Thi Lor Su Waterfall in Tak province. Three hundred meters into the sky, water rushes down the limestone cliffs making for a spectacular sight like no other. Admire the falls from afar or take a dip in the pools as the water flows around you.
8. Bamboo Rafting on Mae Wang River in Chiang Mai
Built for adventure, a bamboo raft is a 25-foot-long raft made of bamboo tied together. One of the best rivers to visit when bamboo rafting is the Mae Wang River in Chiang Mai. The river winds its way through the jungle as you relax on the bamboo raft, floating along the waters admiring the natural atmosphere.
Bamboo rafting is best experienced with a tour guide to educate you on the surrounding area as you paddle down the river. When traveling to Chiang Mai, book this exciting nature adventure, and don’t be afraid to get wet!
9. Rock Climbing at Railay Beach
You’ve seen the towering limestone cliffs in Krabi from afar, but have you ever climbed them? Railay Beach includes adventurous opportunities for those that love to rock climb. As you make your way up the karsts, you’ll get the chance to witness stunning views of the crystal clear waters and white sand beaches.
Local schools offer lessons for you to climb these colossal cliffs safely. Whether you’re a beginner or highly experienced, this adventure is for everyone. Ascend to the top of the cliffs, where you’ll find unparalleled views of Railay Beach.
10. Bangkok Tree House
Apart from the hundreds of resorts around Bangkok, this eco-friendly resort provides a whole new experience for visitors by surrounding itself with lush vegetation. Set amongst fruit plantations and marshland of Phra Pradaeng, Bangkok Tree House uses all-natural energy resources, collected rainwater, recycled and reclaimed building materials, and has a pledge to clean up one kilo of trash per booking.
The resort contains twelve bungalows with rooftop access and a choice of rooms that reside on the river or rooms with open-air room concepts with canopies for guests to sleep amongst the stars. The onsite restaurant serves all organic meals for guests to enjoy.
Explore the Earth in Thailand!
Thailand and its amazing nature excursions are waiting for you! When you’re ready to travel again, experience some of the most memorable ecotourism activities Thailand has to offer. Happy Earth Day, and remember to love the Earth and its beautiful environment! To stay updated on Thailand travel news, click here!