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Waterfall gazing in Thailand
Waterfall gazing in Thailand | © Brendan Delzin / Shutterstock
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Thailand's Best Outdoor Jungle Adventures

Picture of Iona Proebst
Updated: 4 June 2018

From rugged mountains to azure waters, Thailand’s dense and wild jungles are calling. There are numerous ways to explore its diverse and natural landscapes, which range from adrenaline-pumping adventures to tranquil, nature-loving and immersive cultural experiences.

Thailand is blessed with over 25,000 square kilometres of national parks, wildlife sanctuaries and lakes which are home to a wealth of fascinating and wonderful wildlife including animals, birds and marine life. The northern jungles are also home to vibrant and colourful hill tribe communities. Thailand’s diverse natural environment makes it a perfect playground to explore. If you’ve had enough of Full Moon Parties or basking in the sun on the tropical beaches, experience the magnificent jungles that cover the country from north to south.

Trekking

Trekking is a favourite past time for locals, expats and travellers alike in the Land of Smiles. Whether you trek through Khao Sok National Park in southern Thailand or take to the mountains in Chiang Dao in the north, there is something to suit every fitness level. Trekking is the perfect way to discover Thailand’s magnificent wildlife, with many rare species waiting to be discovered. Thailand’s trekking infrastructure is well laid out, making it possible to either take to the jungles independently or with a local guide. Tours vary from bucket-list group tours to intrepid off-the-beaten-track adventures, where you can learn survival skills first-hand.

Hiking Khao Yai National Park | © Natalia Maroz / Shutterstock

Hiking Khao Yai National Park | © Natalia Maroz / Shutterstock

Rafting

Navigate your way through the winding rivers and lakes of Thailand. Choose to either take a slow, relaxing bamboo raft journey meandering through lush tropical greenery or embrace the wilds and opt for a fast and furious white-water rafting adventure. Enjoy travelling through the jungle while you take in the breathtaking sights. On rafting trips, you’ll also have the opportunity to visit rural villages and interact with communities well off the main tourist trail.

Zip-lining

Gain a unique perspective as you swing through the jungle canopy like a monkey. Thailand is world-famous for its zip-lining adventures, which offer nature lovers and adrenaline seekers the opportunity to get up close and personal with the jungle by literally hurtling through lush canopies at high speeds. It pays to do your research and choose a reputable company such as Flight of the Gibbon.

Zip-lining | © Tong_stocker / Shutterstock

Zip-lining | © Tong_stocker / Shutterstock | © Tong_stocker / Shutterstock

Motorbike trip

There is nothing quite like packing a week’s worth of clothing onto the back of your motorbike and heading for the hills in Thailand’s lush north. Navigate your way through quiet country roads and over mountains, stopping along the way and mingling with locals. Thailand’s jungles are also home to a diverse community of hill peoples. Immerse yourself in local culture and stay with a host family to learn how to embrace the jungle’s bounty. You’ll never look at Indiana Jones the same again.

Motorbiking through Thailand | © Joshua Resnick / Shutterstock

Motorbiking through Thailand | © Joshua Resnick / Shutterstock

Caving

Hidden among Thailand’s luscious jungles are some of the most beautiful caves in the world. A whole new world awaits, where natural stalactites and stalagmites are entangled in jungle twine. If you are not the type to squeeze yourself into tight places, don’t worry – there are plenty of caves that you can raft, kayak or walk into without feeling the walls ‘cave’ in on you. Discover the magical temple cave of Phraya Nakhon in Khao Sam Roi Yot National Park, south of Hua Hin, or Phi Hua To Cave in Krabi.

To discover Thailand on your own off-the-beaten-track holiday, check out Intrepid’s range of Thailand trips here.