ACTIVITY & ADVENTURE
Even the usually unadventurous will likely fi nd themselves getting active on holiday in Thailand.
ith island-peppered marine parks close to major resorts and jungle terrains inland, Thailand will tempt your clients with activities ranging from snorkelling and kayaking to hill tribe visits and jungle treks.
SNORKELLING AND KAYAKING Island-hopping excursions are hugely popular from beach resorts. Most off er the chance to snorkel and some to kayak. Phuket and Krabi share the island-strewn Phang Nga Bay while from Samui excursions head into Ang Thong National Marine Park. Lesser-known Trang, south of Krabi, has its own island-hopping scene, while Pattaya has snorkelling around Koh Larn (known as Coral Island).
Phuket is Thailand’s biggest base for sailing and has its own regatta. G Adventures, Sunsail and Intrepid off er sailing holidays from Phuket, Samui and Koh Chang with options for beginners.
Thailand has world-class dive sites. The top draws for the experienced are the west coast areas, the Similan and Surin Islands, Burma Banks and the Merui Archipelago, where manta rays and even whale shark encounters are possible. Khao Lak and Phuket are the best access points, though divers often stay on liveaboards. Wreck dives run from Pattaya.
Phi Phi, Koh Lanta and Koh Racha are other dive centres, usually twinned with Phuket or Krabi. Samui’s neighbour, Koh Tao has shallow reefs good for learners and also sometimes attracts bull sharks. Diving is possible year-round but the major sites in the west are best from November to April. Koh Tao in the Gulf of Thailand is at its peak in summer. Dive Worldwide and Regaldive are among the operators who sell diving trips.
All the major resorts off er deep-sea fi shing excursions and the chance to land big-game fi sh like marlin and tuna. Catch-and-release lake fi shing is well-established, with huge catfi sh, carp and stingrays. Bangkok has accessible lakes like Bungsamran, best known as the setting for ITV’s Extreme Fishing.
HIKING, BIKING AND RAFTING For inland adventure, recommend visitors look north.Th
ailand’s lush highlands are the place for hiking, biking and white- water rafting. Chiang Mai and Chiang Rai are the main gateways and off er cultural experiences aplenty. Less well-known is Pai, a riverside town with tubing, bamboo rafting, biking and more. Biking day trips are available into Bangkok’s riverside suburbs, or around the sites of Ayutthaya and Sukothai. Tour operators featuring hiking and/or
cycling include Intrepid, Explore, Exodus. G Adventures, HF Holidays and Spice Roads.
ROCK CLIMBING The craggy limestone cliff s around Krabi are an assault course for some. Railay beach here attracts expert climbers. Chiang Mai and the Phi Phi islands also have a good climbing scene.
Thailand has an impressive line-up of over 200 golf courses. Regular European, PGA and LPGA tour events are hosted here so there’s no doubting the quality of the facilties – or their value. Green fees and caddy hire are much more aff ordable than in the UK. Many courses are found near the major resorts. Bangkok, Pattaya and Hua Hin have the best choice but Chiang Mai is a good option for cooler play, Courses countrywide are fl oodlit for evening play.
Thailand’s warm waters make it a perfect place to learn to dive or try a liveaboard adventure.
Asia’s the world’s fastest-growing golf destination with world-class and aff ordable courses and year- round golfi ng weather.
Trekking is fantastic for children and adults. They learn about local life and it's a real achievement reaching remote villages.
Cycling options are diverse, from Bangkok’s bustling streets to shimmering paddy fi elds and awe- inspiring ancient monuments.
Thailand's great for first-time adventurers. It's culturally enriching and visitors can
hike, cycle kayak and more LISA WARNER, DIRECTOR GLOBAL MARKETING, G ADVENTURES
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