Most visitors to Thailand come for the beaches, the temples, and the delicious food, but the great outdoors should be at the top of that list as well. Thailand has some of the most stunning scenery on the planet, and outdoor adventure activities are plentiful — and usually a whole lot cheaper than most Western countries too. Since I’m heading back to Thailand later this year, I thought I’d share some highlights of activities I’ve done in the past that I’m itchin’ to try again.
Hill Trekking in Northern Thailand
On my first visit to Thailand back in 2011, one of the highlights was a trek through a leech-filled jungle for 7 hours in the rain. No seriously — it was worth it at the end of the day just for the meal prepared by a local family alone. A machete-wielding guide will take you from the quaint little town of Pai and the next two days involve a heck of a lot of hiking through rain, mud, and all sorts of critters. While I managed to successfully dodge the leeches, I wasn’t so lucky with the mud — I think I fell a minimum of three times.
The second day of our trek was much easier (and a whole lot drier.) We even visited a primary school and gave an impromptu English lesson to some students on their recess. Ah good times.
Cycling the Green Lung of Bangkok
When I first told a friend I was going on a bike tour of Bangkok, her first reaction was, “Biking in Bangkok?!? Are you trying to get yourself killed?” If you’ve spent any amount of time in the city, you’ll know that the traffic at times can be just plain nuts — but that’s to be expected in any city with a population topping 8 million souls.
Few visitors to Bangkok get to see the greener, more peaceful side to the city though, and that’s just a downright shame. Take a Bangkok bike tour with a local to see Sri Nakhon Khuean Khan Park and Botanical Gardens situated just across the Chao Phraya River. The park has earned the name “The Green Lung of Bangkok” since it provides much-needed oxygen to the city’s inhabitants. And since development is forbidden within the park, it’ll remain the green lung for a long time to come. And a VERY safe place to bike.
White Water Rafting in Northern Thailand
If you’ve ever been white water rafting before, you can pretty much expect the same sort of great day out. What makes the rafting trip so exceptional in Northern Thailand though is the scenery. I mean, where else in the world are you going to have a backdrop that includes an elephant sanctuary? The rafting tour takes you down the class 3 and 4 rapids of the Mae Taeng River just outside of Chiang Mai.
Although I didn’t write about my rafting trip the first time around, I’ll have to remedy that this time.