Editor’s Note: * Due to the current Covid-19 epidemic, international travel is discouraged at this time – this article is intended to serve as inspiration for future travel once the pandemic has ended. *
From the majestic Asian elephant to the tiny scale-clad pangolin, fascinating species abound throughout the nation of Thailand, one of Southeast Asia’s top wildlife tourism destinations. Whether you plan to scour the ocean for marine life, spot colorful kingfishers by the riverside, or spot an endangered tiger, Thailand offers incredible opportunities for everyone. animal lovers.
Kuiburi National Park
Just north of the Kra Isthmus, this beautiful 240,000 acre reserve is a truly rewarding destination for those hoping to spot iconic Southeast Asian mammals. While Asian elephants are an almost guaranteed sighting in Kui Buri, the park is also home to a large population of gaurs – one of the largest species of wild cattle on earth – as well as golden jackals, tapirs, gibbons. and even leopards. For all visitors spending their Thailand vacation in the seaside paradise of Hua Hin, this lush green park is the perfect place for a day trip to the wild and rugged nature of the Malay Peninsula.
Huai Kha Khaeng Wildlife Sanctuary
Often overshadowed by Thailand’s most famous national parks, this pristine reserve is one of the country’s most vital areas when it comes to protecting rare native species. Visitors to Huai Kha Khaeng are likely to see native deer, monkeys, civets and bantengs, as well as a wide range of Southeast Asian birds and reptiles. For those looking for some of Thailand’s most famous carnivores, the park is home to the largest population of Indochina tigers in the whole country. An elusive predator who prefers to avoid human interactions, Huai Kha Khaeng presents one of the best opportunities for travelers to see these iconic big cats in the wild.
Those looking for spectacular snorkeling opportunities should look no further than the Surin Islands, a small archipelago just off the west coast of Thailand’s Ranong province. Made up of five distinct islands, the land and its surrounding waters are all part of Mu Ko Surin National Park, one of the most beautiful reserves in the Andaman Sea. Beginner divers are advised to stay in the sunny shallows where colorful reef fish can be found in abundance, while more experienced swimmers can head to the deeper waters in search of sea turtles, whale sharks. and manta rays.
Khao Sok National Park
Established in 1980, this beautiful national park has been nicknamed the “Guilin of Thailand” for its impressive limestone karst formations reminiscent of one of China’s most popular tourist destinations. In addition to the rock towers, Khao Sok is also home to one of the country’s largest tracts of unspoiled rainforest, serving as the perfect home for solar bears, tigers, gibbons, elephants, and a host of other native mammals. Bird watchers take note – there are over 300 different avian species in the park, including kingfishers, hornbills and eagles.
While Koh Lipe often attracts tourists with its abundance of resorts, bars, and restaurants, the tiny island is also home to some truly amazing scuba diving and snorkeling spots right past the shore. Seasoned divers can book a trip to 8 Mile Rock to look for whale sharks, barracudas, and groupers, or scour Koh Taru’s vibrant reefs in search of seahorses and harlequin shrimp. After a long day exploring the turquoise waters of the Andaman Sea, be sure to relax with a cocktail in hand on Koh Lipe’s Pattaya Beach, one of the island’s hottest destinations for the golden hour.