From the country’s highest mountains in the north to the sparkling turquoise sea in the south, Thailand’s diverse natural beauty makes it a leading destination for those who are dreaming of some fun in the sun. Whether you’re visiting with your extended family or indulging in a romantic rendezvous, you’re sure to marvel at the country’s stunning skylines whilst taking advantage of a range of refreshing outdoor activities that offer both excitement and relaxation.
Though Bangkok may be known as a concrete jungle, the capital still boasts a number of interesting outdoor excursions. Historically, the city was called the “Venice of the East” thanks to the intricate waterways that connected all parts of town and acted as transportation routes. Today, visitors can still take relaxing boat tours through the remaining canals, called khlongs in Thai, to catch a glimpse of a bygone Bangkok. For a quick nature escape, head to Lumpini Park, a vast green sanctuary in the centre of the city that offers recreation and refuge from Bangkok’s heat for all ages. Take part in one of the early morning Tai Chi sessions, paddle your way around the lake, or simply stroll through the refreshingly leafy park – children love spotting the park’s resident monitor lizards slowly wandering about. If you have more time and are craving the great outdoors, consider a day trip to Bang Krachao, or Bangkok’s “Green Lung”. This protected piece of land surrounded by the Chao Praya River is known for its surprising jungle-like atmosphere and absence of cars, high-rise buildings and factories. Though just six miles from Bangkok’s central Silom district, Bang Krachao feels worlds away and is the perfect place to go for a relaxing bike ride.
In Phuket it’s all about the sun, sand and sea. From day diving and snorkelling excursions that are great for families to sunset cruises complete with a cocktail in hand for a romantic evening for two, the island’s natural appeal comes from its stunning ocean views and range of water activities. Many beachside thrills can be conveniently booked straight from Anantara Vacation Club Mai Khao Phuket, such as private surf lessons on Kata Beach designed for all ages. Phuket has its fair share of on-land attractions as well. Close to the resort lies Sirinat National Park which covers an area of 90 square-kilometres, with 22 square-kilometres of coastal land and 68 square-kilometres into the sea. The park is home to an impressive mangrove forest along with nature trails and wooden walkways to explore.
Northern Thailand’s mountainous landscape sets the scene for a wide range of outdoor adventures and the best place to explore them all is from the charming city of Chiang Mai. Try trekking through the jungle-covered hills – there are a number of trips available to suit all fitness levels – or go on a cruise down the Mae Ping River to see life along the water. Of course, a visit to Thailand wouldn’t be complete without getting to know the country’s gentle giants. Head to Elephant Nature Park for a memorable day of interacting with elephants in an ethical way. There are no elephant rides or shows here, but you still get the chance to get up close and personal with these incredible animals. For an extra adrenaline rush, fly through the treetops on one of the area’s zipline outfitters such as Flight of the Gibbon or Jungle Flight.
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