Whether you have a need for speed or want to discover the jungle canopy by zipping between lofty trees, Thailand’s islands offer a choice of tropical adventures waiting to be experienced and enjoyed.
While a large proportion of international visitors head to Thailand in search of shimmering white sand beaches fringed by swaying palms and brushed by gleaming turquoise seas, the inland areas of the Kingdom have plenty to offer as well.
If you enjoy exploring the lush, jungle covered hillsides and hidden stretches of palm plantation, then islands like Koh Samui and Phuket will not disappoint.
The lush green island interiors are also home to rich sand fascinating ecosystems, which means visitors can enjoy a diverse kaleidoscope of flora and fauna that grows between the trees.
Whether you prefer a long hike to a misty waterfall buried deep in the jungle, or a bike ride along forest lined tracks, Thailand’s islands offer a range of opportunities for a little vacation exploration.
Off Road Adventures
If you’ve already set a packed holiday itinerary that doesn’t leave you much time to explore the jungle, then booking on a half-day ATV (all terrain vehicle) excursion to glimpse a stunning snapshot of the Thailand’s beautiful jungle scenery. Koh Samui and Phuket both have a number of ATV centres where it’s possible to book onto a tour that will take you zooming through local Thai villages and coconut plantations, as well as off the beaten track (literally) along bumpy tracks through the forest. Usually, a selection of quad bikes will be available for visitors to rent to march their skill level and need for speed.
Wonderwall of Water
If you want relax local style, then why not head to one of the stunning waterfalls tucked away in the jungles on Thailand’s popular islands? Thanks to their secluded, shady locations, waterfalls are often popular with locals who want to get away from the heat and relax with a picnic and a few dips in the natural pool. If you’re exploring Phuket’s Khao Phra Thaeo National Park, don’t miss a trip to stunning Bang Pae waterfall, where your short hike will be rewarded with a refreshing dip. Over on Koh Samui, the Na Muang Waterfalls are a popular chill-out spot for locals and visitors alike.
Fly Like a Fox
For those that want to discover Thailand’s fascinating jungle ecosystem from a slightly different perspective, zooming from tree to tree on a zip wire is the ultimate adrenaline-pumping option. Koh Samui’s Canopy Adventures Centre and Phuket’s Flying Hanuman Centre offer visitors the chance to explore the forest from on high, nipping between the treetops on a zip wire. As well as being plenty of fun for all the family, this eco-friendly way of exploring also offers keen photographers a unique chance to snap some out-of-the-ordinary shots of Thailand’s vivid flora and fauna from up close.
If you want to burn off some extra calories after a few too many Thai curries, then setting off to explore the jungle on a mountain bike is the perfect option. Like ATV riding, mountain biking along jungle paths offers an exhilarating way to explore, and is a great option for those who want to cover more ground in the time they have available. Tours on islands like Koh Samui and Phuket will typically take you off the beaten track through secluded villages, coconut plantations and even across streams, giving you the chance to enjoy nature in the Land of Smiles up close.
Up Close with Nature
If you consider an animal lover, then you won’t want to miss out on the chance to meet Thailand’s majestic national animal – the elephant. While these stunning creatures aren’t native to the islands of southern Thailand (they were originally found in the cooler climes of the north), plenty of trekking camps have sprung up across the islands so visitors can trek through the jungle in regal style. Before booking onto a tour, it’s worth checking that the trekking centre you have found is accredited and approved by the Asian Elephant Foundation of Thailand, a Bangkok-based body that ensures these incredible creatures are treated with the care and respect they deserve.