Adored around the world, Thailand has long been a hotspot for travellers seeking an exotic, sun-drenched getaway. While the sugar-white shores of the famous ‘Beach’ may be alluring, venture a little further and discover a plethora of enriching cultural experiences, exciting culinary adventures, and inspiring local encounters, that will leave an everlasting mark on your heart (but not the environment!). From snorkelling remote islands, to hiking through national parks, learning Thai cooking techniques, and visiting local villages, here are our top activities for the adventurous, eco-conscious traveller!

Take a cooking class

Bangkok is a melting pot of culture, customs and cuisine, and there’s no better way to experience it all than with a traditional Thai cooking class. Whether you consider yourself a keen masterchef or a total novice, a cooking class with Chef Lee is a fun, hands-on and tasty way to go from zero-to-hero in the kitchen. With vegan and vegetarian substitutes offered on request, and food allergies catered to, the class is perfect for foodies of every persuasion. After a basic introduction to a range of authentic Thai ingredients, it’s time to roll up your sleeves and get your hands dirty in the kitchen as you create 12 classic dishes including tom yum soup, pad thai, green chicken curry, sticky rice and more, along with curry pastes, and coconut cream from scratch. As a bonus, you’re also given access to an e-recipe book and how-to video collection, so you can recreate your very own Thai favourites for your friends and family at home!

Book here

Cycle the countryside

Not only is cycling a great way to immerse yourself in Thailand’s vibrant atmosphere and surrounds (not to mention stay active!) it’s also a simple and easy way to minimise your carbon footprint and experience local life! Whilst riding a bike in the bustling capital city may be a little daunting for some, less-frequented villages like Chiang Mai offer a tranquil and scenic spot for a leisurely ride. Adventure seekers and experienced riders might opt to explore at their own pace, but for those who would prefer to leave the navigation to someone else, a bike tour is the perfect option! Suitable for riders of all ages and abilities, the half-day Lanna countryside cycling tour in Chiang Mai is an activity that the whole family will enjoy. Spend a morning or afternoon exploring the lazy back roads of Chiang Mai, stopping at traditional villages, a local school or rice fields, and gaining extra tips and facts along the way – it’s guaranteed to be a wheel-y good day!

Book here

Visit a marine conservation park

Encompassing over 1,430 islands, Thailand is a snorkelling and diving paradise. And while popular hotspots such as Koh Phi Phi and Mu Koh Similans draw travellers from all over the globe, marine conservations and lesser-known islands offer a far more intimate experience to explore the natural beauty below the surface! Translating to ‘golden bowl’, Mu Koh Angthong is a natural wonderland of towering limestone islands, exotic reefs and crystal clear lagoons. Whilst you could easily spend weeks discovering the wildlife and marine life of this spectacular region, a tour is a great way to experience the best of both worlds (in a day!). Departing from Koh Samui, zip through the emerald water on a speedboat, stopping for a swim at Koh Tao Plow or Koh Wao, before heading to some of the most scenic spots in the park for a photo-shoot op. Work up a sweat on Talay Nai Island with a trek to Emerald Lagoon, before spending the afternoon kayaking, snorkelling, rock climbing, or simply relaxing on Wua Ta Lap.

Book here

Embark on an eco day trip

If an off-the-beaten-track adventure away from the hustle and bustle of Phuket sounds like your idea of a good time, then an eco-adventure day trip is for you! As well as offering a breath of fresh air from the (often) chaotic city, 4-Waters Eco-Adventure Trip provides an opportunity to get up close and personal with the native wildlife, and soak up the beauty of the natural surrounds. Starting with a paddle along the waterways of a mangrove-fringed river and stopping at multiple sites – including Khao Phra Thaeo National Park, Sirinat National Park, Ton Sai Waterfall, and Natai Beach – you’ll spend the day wildlife spotting, trekking, swimming, and exploring until your heart is content. From there it’s on to Khao Phra National Park to discover the beautiful natural habitat of the gibbons (keep your eyes peeled!) before heading to Phangnga for a relaxing soak in the hot springs followed by an amazing sunset at Natai Beach.

Book here

Taste Thailand on a foodie tour

From street to shophouse, Thailand boasts one of the most diverse (and delectable) foodie scenes, and the tantalising mecca of sounds and scents in the capital is a good place to start! Perhaps nowhere offers a more authentic taste of the local food and culture than street stalls and markets, but with so many to choose from, it’s hard to know where to begin. For a culinary journey that will excite the senses, and delight the taste-buds, Bangkok Food Tour is a must! Follow your guide to hidden gems in historic Bang Rak, the ‘Village of Love’, where you’ll sample a selection of handpicked specialties and flavours, from savoury to sweet, and searingly spicy (for those who dare). From local curries and traditional Thai desserts, to herbal tea at an 80-year-old shop (and mastering the art of picking the best Thai fruit), this one-of-a-kind tour will have you sampling, sipping and shopping until your heart’s content!

Book here

Experience life on an organic coffee farm

If you’re crazy about coffee, it’s safe to say you’ll love Chiang Mai. Boasting lush vegetation, and the perfect climate for agriculture, this mountainous region in the north of Thailand is at the heart of the thriving coffee culture. Home to more coffee shops than 7-elevens, there are plenty of places to sit and enjoy a house-roasted brew, but for those keen on discovering the history and culture behind the cup, Suan Lahu is the place. Run by the local Lahu tribe who have been farming the lands for years, a tour of the organic plantation makes for a wonderful and enriching experience. Learn first hand about cultivating, planting and growing the beans, before sampling some of the freshly ground blends. As an added bonus, you’ll get to visit the Lahu village where many of the local workers live, giving you an insight into the history and traditions behind Thai coffee, for the complete farm-to-cup experience!

Book here