Eco tourism is nothing new. It has been popular among a small number of people who love nature. Despite increasing development in Thailand, the country still manages to maintain a resplendent natural beauty and Thailand ecotourism is thriving.
Thailand is fortunate in its prime location for tourism in terms of such natural attractions as beaches and mountains, cultural and historical sites which reflect the glories of Thai civilization, and a sophisticated infrastructure, allowing visitors easy access to all these treasures.
Northern Thailand is the oldest part of the country and has some of the country’s most historic cultural sites. The Northern region offers lush mountain greenery teeming with wildlife, and natural elephant habitats. The Elephant Nature Park is a sanctuary for distressed elephants. The park offers one- and two-day elephant trekking tours for small groups. The Lamphun National Museum has information on Lamphun’s six ancient Haripoonshai temples, which are all within walking distance of the museum.
Northeast Thailand is a favorite of ecotourists for both its cultural sites and its unspoiled wilderness areas. The province of Udon Thani is famous for its 5,000-year-old archeological site (Ban Chiang) as well as the Phu Phra Bhat Historical Park which stretches for 1,200 acres and includes waterfalls, sandstone formations, caverns and prehistoric cave paintings.
Central Thailand stretches to the Gulf of Thailand and includes both forest and mountain regions as well as coastal regions of white sand and coral reefs. The Kanchanaburi Province houses Erawan National Park which encompasses river rapids and waterfalls for rafting and site-seeing; low mountains, caves and caverns for trekking; and a vast array of wildlife from elephants and tigers to pythons and cobras.
The Phang Nga Bay Marine National Park in Southern Thailand is a major ecotourism attraction. Geologically, the area has limestone formations with underground streams and caves. The area is ideal for trekking, camping, diving, rock climbing and kayaking. The park service maintains several bungalow accommodations for visitors.
Thailand’s islands provide clean, quiet tropical beaches and pristine coral reefs. Many of the islands are National Parks. Koh Turatao National Marine Park is a group of 51 islands in the Andaman Sea. The islands are accessible only by boat, and offer waterfalls, mountains and active coral reefs to explore.