Eco-Tourism in Thailand
Eco tourism is nothing new. It has been popular among a small number of people who love nature. Despite increasing development in Thailand, the country still manages to maintain a resplendent natural beauty and Thailand ecotourism is thriving.
Thailand is fortunate in its prime location for tourism in terms of such natural attractions as beaches and mountains, cultural and historical sites which reflect the glories of Thai civilization, and a sophisticated infrastructure, allowing visitors easy access to all these treasures.
In the last ten years activities like whitewater rafting, mountain biking, scuba diving, camping, trekking, rock climbing and bird watching have become increasingly popular in many areas. These are becoming all the more famous as most travelers are paying more attention to those places that are off the beaten track.
Such activities are prevalent in all parts of Thailand especially in the mountainous regions of the South, North and West. But the most popular ones are scuba diving, trekking, mountain biking, and bird watching.
Northern Thailand is the oldest part of the country and has some of the country’s most historic cultural sites. The Northern region offers lush mountain greenery teeming with wildlife, and natural elephant habitats. The Elephant Nature Park is a sanctuary for distressed elephants. The park offers one- and two-day elephant trekking tours for small groups. The Lamphun National Museum has information on Lamphun’s six ancient Haripoonshai temples, which are all within walking distance of the museum. The Elephant Nature Park 209/2 Sridorn Chai Rd. Chiang Mai 50100 Thailand +66-05-381-8754 elephantnaturepark.org Lamphun Hariphunchai National Museum Nai Muang XIV Muang Lamphun Lamphun 51000 Thailand +66-05-351-1186
Northeast Thailand is a favorite of ecotourists for both its cultural sites and its unspoiled wilderness areas. The province of Udon Thani is famous for its 5,000-year-old archeological site (Ban Chiang) as well as the Phu Phra Bhat Historical Park which stretches for 1,200 acres and includes waterfalls, sandstone formations, caverns and prehistoric cave paintings.
Central Thailand stretches to the Gulf of Thailand and includes both forest and mountain regions as well as coastal regions of white sand and coral reefs. The Kanchanaburi Province houses Erawan National Park which encompasses river rapids and waterfalls for rafting and site-seeing; low mountains, caves and caverns for trekking; and a vast array of wildlife from elephants and tigers to pythons and cobras. Erawan National Park Tha Kradan, Si Sawat Kanchanaburi 71250 Thailand +66-03-457-4222
The Phang Nga Bay Marine National Park in Southern Thailand is a major ecotourism attraction. Geologically, the area has limestone formations with underground streams and caves. The area is ideal for trekking, camping, diving, rock climbing and kayaking. The park service maintains several bungalow accommodations for visitors. Ao Phang-Nga National Park 80, Mu 1, Ban Tha Dan Ko Panyi Sub-district Amphur Muang Phang Nga Phangnga 82000 Thailand +66-07-641-1136
Thailand’s islands provide clean, quiet tropical beaches and pristine coral reefs. Many of the islands are National Parks. Koh Turatao National Marine Park is a group of 51 islands in the Andaman Sea. The islands are accessible only by boat, and offer waterfalls, mountains and active coral reefs to explore. The Koh Lanta National Park is another remote group of 10 islands with impressive coral reefs. Scubafish Tours offers eco-friendly dive tours of Thailand’s islands and coral reefs. Scubafish World, Co. Ltd. 152/3 Moo 5, Kantiang Bay Ko Lanta, Krabi, Thailand +66-07-56-65-095 scuba-fish.com