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Amazing Tastes of Thailand Wild Adventures in Great Green Thailand

Muko Similan Marine National Park, Phang-nga

Nan Mot Daeng Rafting, Phatthalung 4 Wild Adventures in Great Green Thailand

CONTENTS Wild Adventures in Great Green Thailand 6 Eco-Tourism 8 National Parks 12 Bedazzling Diving and Superb Snorkelling 14 Tremendous Treks 20 Mountain Biking and Easy Cycling 23 Rock Climbing 24 Whitewater Rafting & Sea Canoeing 26 Homestays and Agro-Tourism 29 Green Leaf Foundation 30 Green News 30

Elephant Riding in Sangkhlaburi, Kanchanaburi Wild Adventures in Great Green Thailand Thailand’s marvellously diverse geography has been In the Kingdom, there is an array of ‘hard’ and ‘soft’ embellished with mountains in the north, tropical adventures.Treks in the picturesque, mountain-studded islands in the south, national parks rich with rainforest, north may be steep and arduous or less strenuous wildlife and birds galore in the central region, and outings on gentle slopes. Both include overnight rivers both rampaging and gentle which criss-cross stays with exotic hill-tribes like the Karen, Hmong and the country. Lisu. National parks provide suitable opportunities for the whole family to go for a hike, have a picnic That bio-diversity has given rise to an assortment of beside a burbling stream and thrill to the sight of wild adventures and wild times. These excursions are for elephants, hornbills and deer. all ages. Many fall into the category of eco-tourism, which has been diligently promoted by the Thai Rafting is another sport that can be enjoyed by the government and the Tourism Authority of Thailand rookie or the experienced veteran. Cruising down a (TAT) for more than 20 years. Some could also be gentle stream, surrounded by foliage and chattering classified as “voluntourism” meaning that visitors birds, on a bamboo raft is a mild safari of sightseeing. volunteer for brief stints as rice farmers or fishermen For the intrepid, white-water rafting is full of chills or English teacher. and potential spills. Many other activities like mountain- biking, rock-climbing and scuba-diving can also be undertaken at a variety of levels. 6 Wild Adventures in Great Green Thailand

Pang Ung, Mae Hong Son That is the reason why Thailand has become a training has so many repeat visitors. No matter how good you ground for sports enthusiasts in all of these fields, get, or how much you see of this impeccably natural who can get an easy start and work their way up wonderland, there are still more peaks to climb, more to mastering the more difficult skills that come with coral reefs to mesmerize, and many more adventures the turf. It is also one of the reasons why the country to make your wildest fantasies into exciting realities. 7Wild Adventures in Great Green Thailand

Muko Surin Marine National Park, Phang-nga Eco-Tourism The fastest growing sector of the travel business for Styrofoam containers used to hold food, in all national the last decade, ecologically minded tourism now parks, have worked wonders. Similarly, campaigns accounts for about 25 percent of the industry. That’s undertaken by the TAT, such as “Green Heart” have the official word from the International Eco-tourism helped to educate both locals and visitors about the Society (TIES) – - a global NGO real roots of environmentally sound practices. Planting with more than 2,500 members in 85 different countries. the seeds of knowledge in the young will help ensure that the forests, mountains and waterways are kept Long the nucleus of eco-tourism in Southeast Asia, clean for future generations. The authorities have also Thailand has been going green for decades. Many advised visitors that when visiting smaller islands and initiatives by the Thai government, such as banning communities with inadequate waste disposal facilities, to please take their garbage, such as batteries, cigarette butts and plastic containers, with them. The most frequently reiterated catchphrase about this tourism sector is “sustainable development”. For many tour operators in the Kingdom that means limiting the number of tourists on any one trip so as to minimise the impact on the environment, keeping the noise down so as not to disrupt the sleeping and feeding patterns of wildlife, along with staying in traditional dwellings (electricity not included) made of natural materials. (There are many more upscale options with five-star comforts, too.) 8 Wild Adventures in Great Green Thailand

Equally as important as conserving the wilderness, and the Gulf of Thailand have teamed up with international and wildlife however, is to help maintain the livelihoods organizations and universities to implement wastewater of the locals and to sustain their traditional lifestyles. and energy-saving systems like solar panels to generate Many tour operators in Thailand establish “long-term electricity and construct bungalows made from natural relationships” with the villagers. Helping local kids to materials that reduce the need for air-conditioning. get a better education and have better access to Some of these resorts also grow their own rice and health care are responsibilities that come with the vegetables. During their stay, interested visitors are territory; seeing that the money is divvied up fairly encouraged to get some hands-on experience in among different villagers is another one. Indeed, TIES farming. also defines one of the main tenets of eco-tourism as providing “financial benefits and empowerment for Furthermore, the tour operators are very active in local people.” organizing clean-up missions of beaches and the seabed and coral reefs. Offshoots of the same tree, voluntourism and community- based tourism feature itineraries like exploring mangrove Whether it’s a trek or a scuba-diving trip or excursions forests via long-tail boat while watching macaques for rafting or bird-watching, eco-conscious travellers swing through the trees and mud skippers (an should be prepared to ask the tour operator about amphibious fish) crawling along the banks, as well as these areas of concern. home-stays where visitors stay with a host family and learn everything from making batik to tapping rubber Another good reference point is going on-line to look trees or planting rice on organic farms. up the winners in the TAT’s annual awards for eco- tourism and sustainable travel. These tour operators Working towards international standards of sustainability have set the“green standard”in their areas of expertise, and cost-effectiveness is the reason why some of the making many positive impacts on their communities. biggest resorts on the islands in the Andaman Sea In a tourist sector flooded with so-called “green washing” these companies are the real deal. Ko Muk, Trang Elephant Riding, Lampang 9Wild Adventures in Great Green Thailand

10 Wild Adventures in Great Green Thailand

Doi Inthanon, Chiang Mai 11Wild Adventures in Great Green Thailand

Namtok Thi Lo Su, Tak National Parks With more than 80 national parks and many more There are far too many of them to highlight here, but non-hunting sanctuaries and forest reserves, Thailand looking at a sample will show you the cornucopia of is a nature lover’s nirvana. From national marine parks choices on offer. The country’s oldest and most straddling each coast and dotted with postcard- visited national park is Khao Yai. It has also been perfect islands, to tracts of rainforest and mountainous granted World Heritage Site status by UNESCO. hinterland in the north, these parks are paragons of Located some 175 km northeast of Bangkok and bio-diversity with rich eco-systems. Perfect for family covering some 2,000 square km in four different outings, picnics and strolls through the forest, provinces, the park is a lair for elephants, wild cattle, or kayakingand boat trips, the green lungs have a gibbons and Malayan sun bears (look for their claw generation-spanning appeal. prints on the trees where they go in search of beehives, their favourite dessert). 12 Wild Adventures in Great Green Thailand

Doi Mon Chong, Chiang Mai With more than 200 different species of birds, Naturally, all the national parks have their own including the majestic, low-flying hornbills easy to peculiarities and specialities. In the south, Khao Sok spot when flapping by or in their nests through National Park has limestone cliffs, the world’s biggest binoculars, Khao Yai (which means “Big Mountain”) is flower (the Rafflesia Arnoldi), gentle kayaking tours one of the country’s best bird-watching retreats. on the river and floating raft houses made from latticed bamboo and without electricity. Sometimes The park is resplendent with greenery from three visitors are awakened by the “mating songs” of different types of forest - moist, mixed deciduous gibbons. The male and female, who mate for life and and dry evergreen - that make up its gorgeous are monogamous, sing duets every morning to mark topography, brightened by flowers like rare orchids their territory. Watching their agile acrobatics as they and enhanced by more than 2,000 plant species. swing across the upper canopy of the rainforest is a natural circus. 13Wild Adventures in Great Green Thailand

Ko Yak, Muko Chang Marine National Park, Trat For a real maritime marvel immerse yourself in the barracuda, manta rays, and the world’s biggest Ang Thong Marine National Park in the Gulf of fish – the gigantic yet gentle whale shark. Thailand. Only Ko Paluai is inhabited; all the locals are sea gypsies who still fish for a living. On some Watching these creatures dart in and out and around daytrips, however, lunch is included in the village. iridescent coral formations is a great pleasure. Often referred to as the“rainforests of the sea”coral reefs are Since the authorities and tour operators observe strict the second most diverse ecosystems in the world. environmental rules, the park remains impeccable. The difference is that much of the action in any rainforest happens up in the canopy out of sight, For more information, please contact the Department while a coral reef teeming with life is right in front of of National Parks, Wildlife and Plant Conservation, Tel. your mask. +66 2561 0777, +66 2562 0760 or visit Both the Andaman Sea and the Gulf of Thailand are Bedazzling Diving rife with dive destinations. The gulf’s Ko Tao certifies and Superb Snorkelling more rookie divers each year than any other place in Southeast Asia. Experienced divers come here for the As the underwater capital of Southeast Asia, Thailand more adventurous spots like the Chumphon is justly renowned. The country’s marine life is rich: Pinnacles or do other certificates in specialties like angel fish, blacktip reef sharks, giant clams, great rescue diving and night diving. A new and more eco-friendly certification is the programme for “green 14 Wild Adventures in Great Green Thailand

Muko Surin Marine National Park, Phang-nga divers” who want to learn more about marine The expert diver who craves even more immersion conservation. in this pastime is urged to get a “liveaboard”. Some of these boats can accommodate up to 20 divers and For those who wish to enjoy all the creature comforts come complete with TVs and air-conditioning. These of upscale travel, and still delve beneath the surface, outings include multiple days onboard with many islands like Phuket and Ko Phi Phi are just the ticket. dives per day and the chance to get to some A multitude of dive shops that double as schools outlying spots like the Burma Banks and the Muko offer a bevy of trips to sites like Shark Point, Anemone Similan National Marine Park. Reef and the Ko Phi Phi Marine National Park. Other daytrips include swimming, snorkelling and island- This nine-island archipelago regularly features on hopping via long-tail boat that are suitable for the lists of the world’s best dive spots. With spots like whole family. Stonehenge and Elephant Rock and fish like jack tuna and dog-faced puffer fish, the sites are a dramatic 15Wild Adventures in Great Green Thailand

theatre of marine life. Best of all is the incredible range of the sea, was named after Andreas du Plessis de of hard and soft corals, glittering iridescently, and all Richelieu, the only foreign commander-in-chief of the underwater boulders making for swim-throughs, the Thai Navy. This remote rock is a floating home for canyons and cave diving. massive creatures like the whale shark – the world’s biggest fish, which can grow to the size of a city bus Thanks to the fact that most of these islands are – as well as those angels of the underwater world: uninhabited and quite a distance from civilisation, the manta rays that swoop past with wingspans of water and reefs are unsullied and marine life thrives several metres. in super-natural conditions. Also famous for snorkelling, some of the other best On a speedboat, you can also visit for diving and dive sites in the Surin Islands include Hin Kong, snorkelling on daytrips from Phuket. Ko Torinla and Ko Chi. Another spectacular and nearby destination is the Visitors may also rent tents from the Marine National Muko Surin Marine National Park, an archipelago Park Headquarters on the main island. For a low of five islands. Richelieu Rock, located in the middle impact on the environment, camping is still the chief Tachai Pinnacle, Phang-nga 16 Wild Adventures in Great Green Thailand

of all the eco-tourism tribes. Weather permitting, along with signs posted about proper waste disposal. every morning and afternoon, long-tail boats depart from the pier in front of the National Park Head- Part of the lure for divers and snorkellers in Thailand quarters for snorkelling trips to some fantastic spots. is the sheer affordability of the daytrips, fun dives and classes, all of which are much cheaper than almost Any island excursion can be combined with a host anywhere else in the Asia Pacific region. Add the easy of other nature-based activities. For example, on of accessibility, good infrastructure and a range of Ko Similan, a four-km walking trail winds past the accommodation options, from five-star luxury to biggest abundance of granite outcrops in this wild basic bamboo-and-thatch bungalows on the beach, kingdom. At night watch the flying foxes glide and it is no wonder why Thailand remains a high between the trees outside the restaurant. water mark for aquanauts. As a testament to Thailand’s commitment to ecologically For more information, please contact the Department sound travel, the main island has plenty of rubbish of National Parks, Wildlife and Plant Conservation, Tel. containers for different kinds of recyclable garbage, +66 2561 0777, +66 2562 0760 or visit Ko Tao, Surat Thani 17Wild Adventures in Great Green Thailand

Muko Surin Marine National Park, Phang-nga Muko Surin Marine National Park, Phang-nga Muko Similan Marine National Park, Phang-nga 18 Wild Adventures in Great Green Thailand

Muko Surin Marine National Park, Phang-nga 19Wild Adventures in Great Green Thailand

Elephant Riding, Kanchanaburi Tremendous Treks The northern city of Chiang Mai is the base camp for launching treks up, over and around these marvellous mountains and rolling hills. For a sample of the natural delights on offer many tour companies offer daytrips packed with adventures, from riding an elephant to bamboo rafting and taking a trek to visit a hill-tribe village. When it comes to treks, there are different routes for different levels of fitness. Some are suited to both children and older folks. Other routes should only be undertaken by trekkers in excellent condition. Rest assured that none of the trekking guides will push you faster than you can go. Most of the groups are composed of seven or eight trekkers and a local guide who can often speak several hill-tribe languages. After driving up into the mountains, the trek begins in earnest. Most of the time you’re walking for around four or five hours a day with breaks for lunch and coffee and plenty of chance to admire the stunning scenery of forests and waterways, birds and beasts. Thanks to a cooler climate the north has a bounty of different crops like strawberries and many different species of plants and flowers not seen elsewhere. 20 Wild Adventures in Great Green Thailand

What makes these excursions all the more exotic are activity. the stopovers and overnight stays at hill-tribe villages. Some of the main groups of highlanders in Thailand In the north, there are main points of departure for are the Akha, the Karen, the Hmong, the Lisu and Lahu. treks, such as the beautiful town of Pai in the Mae Each of them has their own distinctive costumes and Hong Son province, and the quaint city of Chiang Rai customs. Depending on the trek or the time of year, up in the Golden Triangle. visitors may be treated to folkloric performances of Kanchanaburi’s parks also offer a tremendous song and dance, or see some astounding festivals. number of different treks, from visiting World War II sites and waterfalls to museums and even hill-tribes. The villages are friendly and relaxing places. Some Many of the treks sport options like elephant riding, visitors go for a refreshing dip in the streams or play bamboo rafting, camping and even fishing. with the local kids, while others delight in observing village life from up close and personal. With the help No matter what kind of trek you go on, one thing is of the tour guide/interpreter, chatting with local assured: it will be one of the high points of your trip leaders, medicine men and blacksmith opens up to Thailand. new horizons of experience and communication. Buying local souvenirs like jewelry and textile is also For more information, please contact the Department on the itinerary and filling your memory card with of National Parks, Wildlife and Plant Conservation, Tel. memorable images of the villagers is another popular +66 2561 0777, +66 2562 0760 or visit Thong Pha Phum National Park, Kanchanaburi 21Wild Adventures in Great Green Thailand

Wat Chan Royal Project Foundation, Chiang Mai 22 Wild Adventures in Great Green Thailand

Mountain Biking and lessons in nature appreciation. The guides are and Easy Cycling great sources of information about wildlife, fruit orchards, the names of flowers, local legends and The man or woman of action in search of heart- culinary specialities. pounding excitement is guaranteed more than a few challenges. Up north mountain biking is the way to The cool season from November through January is go. These winding roads and switchbacks, combined the optimum time for hitting the roads up north. with off-road trails, make for adrenaline-boosting During the hot season from February through April tours, which may last from a few days to a week. the mercury can rise to 40 C. Falling between those two extremes is the monsoon season bringing As always, there are family-oriented options on much rainfall that muddies dirt trails. milder slopes. If the going gets too steep, don’t sweat. Except for the long strenuous tours, the operators The casual cycling enthusiast intimidated by steep have escort vehicles to give the winded and the mountains does not have to put the brakes on their weary a ride to the top. hobby. So many different towns and parks have bicycles for rent that there’s no end to freewheeling Along with these mountain-biking tours departing in all four corners of the country. History buffs take from places like Chiang Mai, Pai and Chiang Rai, note. Exploring the ancient cities of World Heritage comes a variety of value-added bonuses: stopovers Sites in Sukhothai and Ayutthaya on a bicycle is at hot springs and waterfalls and hill-tribe villages. a visual pleasure, steeped in history, atmospheric It’s not only about the cycling; there are many other ruins and towering Buddha images. This mode is avenues to explore, combining athletics with culture perfect for those who like to cycle alone or in small groups at a leisurely pace. Kanchanaburi Prachinburi 23Wild Adventures in Great Green Thailand

Even on the outskirts of Bangkok cycling tours wind Hat Ton Sai, Krabi through some surprisingly rural and pastoral parts Abseiling in Sa Keao of the city. Seaside resorts along the gulf coast, such as Cha-am, Hua Hin and Pranburi also make for easy- going jaunts on two wheels. For those who fit in the mid-range of mountain-bikers Khao Sam Roi Yot (“Mountain of 300 Peaks”) in Prachuap Khiri Khan province is replete with lime- stone mountains, mangrove swamps and caves. Whichever tour option you prefer it’s good to know that cycling is the most environmentally sound form of transport. Rock Climbing For the hardy adventurer in search of a natural high, Krabi province is hard to top. The cliffs around the peninsula of Rai-le (Railay) Bay have been staked out with rock-climbingroutesgalore,fromthesimplisticto sheer Spider-man territory. Known as the oldest continually inhabited part of Thailand, millions of years ago Krabi was part of a gigantic coral reef that stretched all the way to what is now Borneo. That accounts for all the limestone crags. It’s not a dangerous sport, as ropes and safety precautions ensure that a fall only results in a few scrapes and bruises. All the rock-climbing shops offer lessons, too. Best of all, the routes on these limestone crags are embellished with some stunning vistas of sea, surf and golden crescents of sand. 24 Wild Adventures in Great Green Thailand

Hat Railay, Krabi 25Wild Adventures in Great Green Thailand

Bamboo Rafting, Kanchanaburi Muko Phi Phi, Krabi Other alternatives include parts of the MuKo Phi Phi National Park, the Khao Yai National Park and, more recently, routes have been opening up in Chiang Mai. Climbing walls in Chiang Mai’s Night Bazaar and in Bangkok are great places to learn the ropes. For a different way to rock, try “bouldering” on Ko Tao. This form of free climbing is only beginning to peak in popularity and the island has a few schools and maps to get you over the hump and off the rocks. Whitewater Rafting & Sea Canoeing The seasonal rains and lightning storms that put a damper on some outdoor activities from May to October only enhances whitewater rafting as the rivers surge, swell and run rabid from their mouths. For the dedicated rafter or kayaker, the rains add an element of danger to their white-knuckle adventures, turning a voyage into a rush of endorphins. 26 Wild Adventures in Great Green Thailand

Ko Tachai, Phang-nga Close to Bangkok, and ideal for weekend getaways, days to navigate. A major attraction for most rafters the Nakhon Nayok River is a wellspring for this and kayakers is to travel into the very heart of the popular sport. It’s good for beginners and inter- unspoiled wilderness, where few other tourists, or mediates. So is the central province of Prachin Buri. even locals, have gone before. In the evening, If you really want to go off the deep end and pitching a tent out in the jungle and eating dinner get away from it all, Nan Province has become beside a bonfire with sparks flying and the wood an adventure capital. Located some 670km north crackling, is enough to make anyone feel like an of Bangkok, and sharing a border with Laos, almost explorer from bygone days, or an Indiana Jones. three quarters of the province is covered with verdant mountains and tropical forests. Moving south, Phang-nga Bay, in the Andaman Sea, is one of the world’s most stunningly natural In Nan, the Nam Wa Rivers delivers some shivery phenomena. Rising out of the sea for hundreds of thrills and potential spills. The section of the river meters are limestone karsts in shades of grey, cream between Nam Pu and the village of Hat Rai is classed and ochre. The bay is studded with them. It’s possible 3+, or moderately difficult. Another part running to sail through here on a chartered luxury schooner around Mae Charim has such gushing rapids, small or go on a multi-day sea-canoeing excursion. falls, rocky obstacles and “sweepers” (S-shaped turns in the river) that it rates between 4 and 5. That’s in the For daytrips, many tour operators offer tours of the very difficult range and to tame such a wild waterway bay with a stopover at James Bond Island – the makes for an extremely exhilarating challenge. island once served as the villain’s hideout in The Man with the Golden Gun – in addition to exploring sea The easy part of the river can be traversed in about caves. Entering these caves on small kayaks paddled five hours, while the tough part takes about three by a local guide can only be done at low tide. Even 27Wild Adventures in Great Green Thailand

Rafting in Amphoe Umphang, Tak so it’s a tight squeeze. Just wait until the caves open include a number of tangents, from camping and up into lagoons with monkeys, kingfishers, and water trekking to fishing and doing a homestay in a Karen like melted down emeralds, surrounded by towering village. Of these two waterfalls, Thi Lo Su is the largest cliffs of limestone. Rarely will you see so many smiling one in Thailand. Some of the whitewater rafting trips awestruck faces. to visit this three-tiered cataract are truly exciting. Another remarkable place to go rafting is around the For more information, please contact the Department waterfalls of Thi Lo Su and Thi Lo Re in Umphang, Tak of National Parks, Wildlife and Plant Conservation, Tel. province, where these outings in the great outdoors +66 2561 0777, +66 2562 0760 or visit 28 Wild Adventures in Great Green Thailand

Doi Mae Salong, Chiang Rai Homestays and Agro-Tourism As many travellers yearn for more “boutique” In an agrarian heartland like this, where rice remains experiences on the road and getting off-the-beaten the largest export, agro-tours are equally as diverse. path, they are searching for holidays that give them They do share quite a few similarities with the insights into the local culture they’ll never get from different branches of voluntourism, eco-tourism and a guidebook and more meaningful trips that allow homestays. So it’s worth researching to study up on them to interact more with locals. For these reasons all the possibilities. voluntourism and its different facets like homestays and agro-tourism are becoming big deals in Thailand. To look at three widely praised projects that have won awards for their dedication to cultural and ecological Learn how to make a red ant egg salad. See a temple conservation, we will start with the isle of Ko Yo, fair in a rural community and get a few impromptu located in the Songkhla Lagoon, which features dancing lessons in ramwong. Tour the local markets. waves of distinctly southern artistry, a benevolent Have your fortune told by a Buddhist monk. Stay with climate, and agro-heavy tours of beauty. a host family and learn how Thais really live, work, play and eat. Start the morning by taking a long-tail boat to watch the fishermen trawling for net profits, before relishing Maybe you’ll lend a helping hand with the rice a seaweed salad for breakfast. Found in the lagoon, harvest and drive the “iron buffalo”. Maybe you’ll help the seaweed is rich in vitamins, making for a tasty and to build houses for the less fortunate or apprentice healthy snack. Afterwards, the time is ripe for visiting with a silk-weaving artisan or a Thai cook. Perhaps the orchards of jackfruit, sapodillas and mangosteens, you’d like to be a Buddhist monk for a week or an or head for the Thaksin Khadi Institute and Study English teacher. Center, which is a repository for southern finery. For lunch there’s a choice selection of succulent seafood All over the country, homestays have sprouted up, restaurants on the island. White snapper, a local from the Muslim villages of the south to the hill-tribes delicacy, is the perennial flavour of the year. These fish living in the mountainous north, catering to almost are raised in floating baskets that are also included on every kind of working or cultural experience you tour itineraries of the island. could possibly imagine. 29Wild Adventures in Great Green Thailand

Only eight km from Phuket, Ko Maphrao seems like Green Leaf Foundation it’s a world away from the biggest, richest and most developed island in Thailand. Awash with folkloric Founded in 1998, the foundation aims to promote traditions and old-world charms, Coconut Island’s sustainable and eco-friendly travel, through working locals have opened their homes and hearts to visitors with partners such as the TAT, the Thai Hotels who want to take in life from a real islander’s Association, the United Nations Environment perspective. On land, the locals harvest coconuts, tap Programme, the Demand Side Management Office of rubber trees, and make riotously colourful batik the Electricity Generating Authority of Thailand and products. Visitors can join in, too. By sea, the locals the Association for the Development of Environ- operate the main supply lines for much of the fresh mental Quality and Metropolitan Water Works seafood on Phuket. So you can also help local Authority. Besides organising training seminars on fishermen catch spider crabs, or see how they breed environmental conservation, energy efficiency lobsters and fish. The staff of the Agricultural and responsible travel, the foundation’s Green Leaf Conservation Tour Club guides visitors on walking Program for hotels is a major step forward in tours and arranges mountain bikes. For sun-basking developing green standards for the tourism industry. and drowning your urban worries in the cobalt-blue sea, the island overflows with beaches. On the island, there are no bars or pubs. The tallest structures stand no taller than the coconut palms. Bikinis are prohibited. And the environmental protocol is strict: No littering and no collecting of seashells or coral are permitted. These caveats aside, the atmosphere on the island is relaxed and friendly. Altogether, there are 30 rooms for home-stays with local families. They take visitors on educational daytrips to watch the fishermen and farmers in action. As with other agro-tourism hotspots, the island is Green News a jumping off point for many other adventures such as scuba-diving, snorkelling, boat trips and enjoying One of the best online resources for current news the natural world in all of its infinite wonder and about eco-tourism, new activities, home-stays and incredible variations. award-winning projects is the TAT Newsroom at www. On the opposite side of the South is the village of Ban Khiri Wong in Nakhon Si Thammarat province. It gets high marks for being a town where the historic community lives in tune with the rhythms of nature. The community’s Ecotourism Club is a pioneer in Thailand for environmentally friendly travel. The village is also famous for its fruit orchards of mangosteen, rambutan and durian. If you have time, definitely opt for a home-stay. Take your pick from verdant mountains to tropical islands, from trekking to kayaking, from cultural odysseys to bird-spotting tours, they are all available, along with many more colourful and invigorating options, in great, green Thailand. 30 Wild Adventures in Great Green Thailand

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Chiang Mai Printed in Thailand by Promotional Material Production Division, Marketing Services Department, Tourism Authority of Thailand for free distribution. E/MAY 2018 The contents of this publication are subject to change without notice.