Thailand trekking

Trekking is one of the most popular outdoor activities in Thailand enjoyed by visitors of all ages. While trekking, you can explore stunning scenery of Thailand's countryside. Treks can range from a single day light excursion to physically challenging adventures of a week or more.

Treks are easily arranged through many private operators and government organisations. A trek can range from a light walk in the woods to a grueling physical challenge. Assess your objectives and level of fitness before booking a trek that is right for you. Safety and medical considerations are important if you are trekking a way from civilisation. Your trek organizer should have contingency plans and first aid for any unforeseen problems. Proper equipment is necessary for trekking. Make sure you have adequate warm and comfortable clothing, proof against insect bites, and a hat and UV block against the sun. When exercising in tropical climates, it is recommended to drink up to five litres of water a day.

Thailand trekking areas

Trails are found in Umphang Wildlife Sanctuary and the western portion of Thung Yai Naresuan, which together with the adjoining Huai Kha Kaeng Wildlife Sanctuary has been designated a World Heritage Site by UNESCO. Campsites are provided but you must bring your own tent and camping gear. Permits are required for entry into the wildlife sanctuary. These can be obtained at the Umphang Eco-tourism Club in Umphang.

Phitsanulok & Phetchabun
Both provinces are popular camping and trekking destinations because they contain several national parks between them, each featuring different landscape and flora and fauna.

Thung Salaeng Luang National Park , 80 kilometres from Phitsanulok on the route to Lomsak, is marked by its open savanna, which blazes with colour during the wildflower season (July - October). Wild animals are often spotted feeding around these fields.

Phu Hin Rong Kla, 125 kilometres from Phisanulok, got its name from the strange-looking rock fields eroded by wind and rains. The park features many hiking trails, most of them leading to beautiful waterfalls.

Nam Nao National Park on the Lomsak-ChumPae route is one of the top camping destinations in the cool season (November - February) with its pine forest, caves of stalactites and stalagmites and dry, cool weather. It is a watershed area and the source of several rivers in the North and Northeast.

Forest trekking

The province has long been a favourite destination for nature lovers, most of whom come to scale the famous mesa mountain Phu Kradueng. The other two of Loei's triple lofty treats are Phu Luang, within whose range lies a wildlife reserve, and Phu Rua. Best time to go is November to April.

Nakhom Ratchasima
Khao Yai, or " Big Mountain" , sprawls over parts of Nakhon Ratchasima, Prachin Buri and Nakhon Nayok. It is the most popular national park in the country, attracting one million visitors a year with its scenic beauty and abundant plant and wildlife.

Chiang Mai
The best trails are found in Doi Inthanon National Park where over 360 bird species, spectacular butterflies, wildlife, orchids and other distinct flora vie for the hiker's attention. Within the national park, there are beautiful Siriphum and Chedi waterfalls.

Home to a large ethnic population, including the Mon, Karen and Burmese, who have long settled in the border towns of Sangkhlaburi and Thong Pha Phum. Some of the best hiking trails are in three national parks: Saiyok in Saiyok District and Erawan and Chalerm Rattanakosin in Srisawat District.

Surat Thani
Khao Sok in western Surat Thani and the adjoining Khlong Sean Wildlife Sanctuary provide a home for tigers, clouded leopards, Malaysian sun bears, elephants, gaur and many other rare species. The park has hiking trails leading to caves and waterfalls surrounded by virgin forest.

Nakhon Si Thammarat
Most of the activities are centred on Khao Luang National Park , which contains the highest peak in the South, Khao Luang. The area owes a lot of its new found international fame to the people of Khiriwong village, who led the way in community-based eco-tourism.

Khao Yai
Active travellers who like to explore deep into the forest can choose one of the 13 trails at Khao Yai. Note that some trekking route should be guided by experienced forestry officials. Although Khao Yai is only a few hours from Bangkok , the weather is cool all year round. A visit during the rainy season (July to October) is the best time to enjoy waterfalls, and the forest is at its peak of greenery. Trails at the park are known for an abundance of leeches during the rainy season, so keep some repellent handy. The cool season provides refreshing breezes. Park visitors can also ask park officials to arrange a night time outing to observe wildlife near the park office.

Hilltribe trekking

In northern Thailand , there are ten different tribes of hill people. The Karen are by far the numerous and they're easy-going and friendly. Many of the Hmong people live in Chiang Mai near the mountain peaks. The most remote of the hilltribe people are the Akha, who still practice shifting cultivation. Trekking is one way to learn about their lifestyles and traditions. Royally-sponsored projects in the northern provinces of Chiang Mai and Chiang Rai offer a good opportunity to understand the lifestyles of hilltribe minorities.

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