Practically everyone who has spent a reasonable amount of time in Asia has spent time in Bangkok. It’s pretty much unavoidable. It’s a meet-up spot, a flight-hub, a shopping centre, and the best place to shop travel deals in South East Asia. Most people just stop in Bangkok for a few days before moving on to a more desirable locale. A short stay, however, doesn’t mean forgoing adventure. Tourism in Thailand is well-tailored to outdoors lovers and there are several healthy outdoors activities that can be nearby. Here are three of the best.
Ziplining Beside the Chompoo Wildlife Sanctuary
Image by arwcheek
I’ve never gone ziplining (soon to be remedied) but I am in love with them. They are one of the most low-impact and exciting forms of eco-tourism out there. They require few materials, prevent people from disturbing the surrounding environment (after they’re set up) and look like an amazing way to the nature.
Flight of the Gibbon is a pretty class act. They run a well-constructed 3km system of ziplines that connect 24 tree platforms beside the Compoo Wildlife Sancturary, about two hours outside of Bangkok. They will pick you up in Bangkok, hurl you across lines as long as 300m, then take you for a trek through the jungle, and drop you off for around $110 USD per person. Or, if ziplining isn’t your style, you can monkey around in their treetop obstacle course for $65 USD.
Biking from City to Shore
Image by Irvine-
This tour by Grasshopper Adventures, a well-known bicycle tour company in Asia, will take you by ferry and train out of the city cycle along the Gulf of Thailand in fishing communities. You will see mangroves, salt pans, fish farms, and, if you’re lucky, a water monitor or two. At the least, you’re likely to encounter some mudskippers, those little cuties. The tour has received rave reviews on Trip Advisor.
This tour costs $200 USD for one rider, $100 USD each for two riders, and $85 USD each for 3 or more riders. Be warned, the 52km bike ride does require some physical ability.
Rafting Beneath the Bridge on the River Kwai
Image by FelixR
Surprisingly, the infamous bridge from the 1957 movie is very close to Bangkok. Although many companies like this one offer tours that will transport visitors to Kanchanaburi and then allow them descend the river by canoe, kayak, or bamboo raft, most of the tours are bundled with elephant rides. Many people feel that the elephants used on such tours are not treated well, and they encourage visitors not to partake in them. So, if you would rather take the trip on your own, you can catch the bus to Kanchanaburi from Bangkok’s Southern Bus Terminal. Busses depart every 30 minutes and tickets for seats on air-conditioned busses run about $3 USD each. Once in Kanchanaburi you can rent your preferred mode of river transport from one of several local shops.
If you’re in Asia and looking for flights to Bangkok then be sure to check out my travel hacker’s guide to finding cheap flights.
Lead image by arwcheek