Discover Thailand's tropical wildlife spots
Watch elephants bathe in the river, see bats swarm from caves at sunset, spot monkeys in the jungle and snorkel through azure waters bursting with tropical marine life. Thailand is simply packed with wildlife, both above and below land. Go in search of pink dolphins, trek through a wilderness home to wild elephants and porcupine and sleep in floating raft houses surrounded by the sounds of the jungle. If you’re wild about animals, Thailand will knock your socks off.
Have an elephant encounter in Chiang Mai
Although elephant trekking is popular throughout Thailand, the practice is often unethical and sometimes unkind. So instead we offer the chance to get to know the local elephants in a more authentic way through Save Elephant Foundation. Instead of a tourist ride on an elephant, choose an ethical elephant encounter in Chiang Mai where you’ll see the animals living as a herd at the Elephant Nature Park. Watch them splash in the river and learn all about the work of Save Elephant Foundation.
Watch bats swarm in the twilight
Take a safari across Khao Yai National Park and head to the eerie bat caves at sunset for a real showstopper. All of a sudden, you’ll see thousands of bats flood from the caves and flit into the dusk. At the same time, birds of prey swoop into the swarm, trying to grab themselves a snack. It’s an eye-opening experience. The next day, you’ll trek along elephant trails and set out on safari in a traditional songthaew, scouring the jungle for macaques, toucans, gibbons and sloths.
Set off in search of pink dolphins
Stay on a sleepy mainland beach bursting with local atmosphere and take a longtail boat trip to spot pink dolphins off the coast. Khanom is a seaside resort with an authentic vibe, views over the outlying islands and a bunch of leaping pink dolphins living in its waters. First, you’ll stop off at the local market to buy some fish for the dolphins, before heading out into the bay to spot them. Be sure to keep your camera ready as they often jump alongside the boat.
Sleep in untamed jungles
Explore the enchanting jungle with giant trees and lakes of Khao Sok National Park, scattered with sparkling lakes, limestone cliffs and waterfalls. You’ll stay in a jungle lodge, where you can fall asleep to sounds of nature under starry skies before heading to a floating raft house in the heart of the wilderness and follow overgrown trails to spot monkeys, birds and insects. The park is home to a handful of exotic species, including gibbons, clouded leopards, tapirs and elephants, so keep your eyes peeled.
Suggested Bite-Sized Trips & Itineraries for Wildlife Watching
3 days / 2 nights (flexible)
Khao Yai National Park
We're a passionate bunch here at Rickshaw. Find out why we said 'no' to elephant riding & take a gander at our elephant-friendly trips
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