If you’re visiting Thailand, skip the crazy beach raves and crowded tourism spots and head for one of Thailand’s gorgeous nature spots instead. With a plethora of pristine beaches, untamed jungle and islands lined with palm trees, the country is starting to make waves on the eco-tourism front.
To get you started, here are some suggestions on 5 ways that you can be a sustainable traveller in Thailand. Not only is embracing sustainable tourism doing your part in nurturing the country’s natural assets, you’re also encouraging efforts for community-based tourism and preservation. Best of all? It’s a guilt-free adventure!
Stay in an Eco Lodge
If you’re heading to Chiang Mai, stay in one of the eco lodges to undertake treks while soaking in the stunning surrounding nature. You’ll also get to visit some of the area’s unique hill tribes. Just to be sure however, make sure that you’re checking the lodge’s true eco credentials before checking in.
One of the best options in Chiang Mai is Lisu Lodge. Named after the Lisu Hill Tribe Village in which the lodge is based, the lodge aims to help in conserving the heritage of the region’s hill tribes. You’ll get to stay in traditional bamboo huts that overlook the lush valleys while tours and activities at the lodge are run by villagers and focus on cultural education and exchange. Food is also locally sourced and fetched from the lodge’s organic rice fields and vegetable garden.
Head on an Eco-friendly Fishing Tour
With vast fishing lakes and clear ocean waters, Thailand is a fisherman’s paradise. For an eco-friendly tour, hop into a traditional long boat or a paddle boat as you enjoy a relaxing ride along the lakes and rivers.
If you’re a serious fisher, you can also head to the Andaman Islands that’s situated in the northwest of Phuket. There, be prepared to haul in marlin, enormous tuna and even sharks. This area is known to be one of the best game fishing destinations in the world, and since strict environmental restrictions are enforced, there’s a plethora of fish available.
Head to a Lesser-Visited Area
Skip the mass tourism resorts, and get a taste of life in Thailand somewhere else instead. Here are three different spots that you can consider visiting when you’re in Thailand. As a bonus, you won’t have to jostle with crowds when you’re visiting any of these gorgeous destinations.
This peaceful riverside community is a great way for you to experience sustainable tourism while you’re in Thailand. To preserve the Ban Laem Mangrove Forest for example, the community is taking several measures such as fermenting rice in the mud, planting in the mangroves and more.
If you want more of an immersive experience, you can also take a look at home-stays with Thai families Through this experience, you’ll learn more about Thai culture and be enlightened by the warmth and friendliness of the individuals residing in Ban Laem.
A stunning island situated on the Western Coast in the South of Thailand, there’s plenty of ecotourism trips you can take on this island. Close to Krabi town and a less than 10-minute boat ride away from Chao Fah Park Pier, you can engage in community-based tourism on this island.
Learn how long-tail boats are made, participate in morning fishing or observe Batik cloth production. The community is both friendly and knowledgeable, and will take care of you like family.
For some peace and quiet, you’d want to head to this land that’s an hour away from Krabi airport by car. With limestone cliffs and one of the best places in Thailand to enjoy authentic Thai food, you’ll have a wonderful experience at Laem Sak.
The locals in this area are also focused on looking after both the land and the sea in this area, hence, you’ll get to experience all kinds of community-based activities from learning how to grow seaweed to enjoying some of the island’s local products such as Ao Nam shrimp paste. You can even take a workshop with one of the locals to learn how they create their beautiful clothes and accessories.
Head on a Bird Watching Adventure
With over 1,000 bird species fluttering around the treetops and plains of Thailand’s lakes and jungles, it’s unsurprising that the country is known for bird watching activities. Just head to Khao Sok National Park and you’ll already be able to spot 13 species of hornbills, and about 15 species of kingfishers.
At Krung Ching Waterfall, be on the lookout for the elusive gurney’s pitta. Bird spotting tours are not only an eco-friendly way for you to get close to nature, but you’ll also get to see these beautiful birds in their natural habitat and have a greater interest in doing your part for the environment.
Admire Thailand’s Green Spaces
There’s no better way for you to appreciate Thailand than to admire it in its natural raw state. With more than 100 national parks scattered around the country, you’ve got plenty of options. Head to Kho Yai National Park that has around 50kms of hiking trails for you to explore. Go on an easy hike or pick one of the multi-day treks for something a little more challenging. It’s also home to the monsoon rainforest and has a plethora of animals and birds.
Another great spot to visit is Khao Sok National Park. It’s one of the oldest evergreen forests in the world and provides a home for plenty of wildlife including several species of monkey. It’s not just wildlife in this incredible landscape, you’ll also get to see some spectacular waterfalls on the eastern slopes of the Tenasserim Mountain Range.
As seen from above, there’s plenty of sustainable travel options in Thailand. Through this, you’ll be able to create a positive impact, connect with locals, learn about their cultures while supporting a sustainable green approach. You’ll also be avoiding the crowds and mass tourism of Thailand and get to immerse yourself in a completely different experience.