Sporty Spice – fun and adventurous sports to try on a Thai vacation
Are you the kind that can’t sit still for too long? And you’ve been planning an adventurous trip to Thailand? Let us congratulate you on a smart decision: the Southeast Asian nation is a treasure trove of experiential travel, with rainforest excursions and multi-day treks leading the way for thrill-seeking tourists.
But beyond that, there are several ways to get even more active and challenge yourself to learn something new… And whilst you’re at it, you can make new friends, have a culturally immersive experience and, oh well, burn some calories, too! Here are our favourite ways to get sporty on a Thai holiday.
White water rafting
Some call it an extreme sport and others an extremely fun sport. For the very best white water rafting in the Kingdom, visit the cities and villages in the north, from Pai to Chiang Mai. Conditions are best between July and February, when countless tour operators in the area advertise a range of trips.
Whether you opt for a 3h adventure or an overnight excursion with accommodation (and plenty of great food!) in a jungle village, make sure to ask about the level of rapids and don’t overestimate yourself: white water rafting can be a real workout! But shooting through pristine forests, past impressive waterfalls and – if you’re lucky – the occasional wild animal, is simply priceless!
The classic. Muay Thai is Thailand’s national sport and as such, training camps are scattered across the country. Some travellers just pop in for a day, but to get a more thorough experience of the combat sport, and to understand its historical background, sign up for a week-long program – or make it a month, if you have the time!
Koh Samui is perhaps the country’s most important hub for the ‘art of eight limbs’ and several local camps (and even some hotels!) offer courses led by professional boxers. Though Muay Thai isn’t just about physical force: instead, it can help improve coordination, body tension and even mental strength. Why wouldn’t you give it a go?
Rock climbing and abseiling
Scared of heights? You might want to skip this one. For everyone else, rock climbing is among the most rewarding and adrenaline-inducing sports to try whilst in Thailand. Its hotspot, no doubt, is the southern province of Krabi, where dramatic cliffs and karst mountains give the landscape its unique appeal.
Amazingly, you and your fellow travellers can be total beginners and still sign up for a day of climbing with a teacher – gorgeous views of the emerald sea and plenty of laughs are guaranteed. For the more experienced and daring, try abseiling down a waterfall in Khao Yai National Park. It’s an experience you’ll never forget!
The most recent adventure sport to have washed up on Thailand’s beaches is, in some ways, not actually a sport. Invented as recently as 2012, flyboarding has taken over the world by storm and there certainly are worse places to try it than the Thai Kingdom. If you’re into water sports and speed, flyboarding might just become your latest obsession.
Available mostly on Phuket and Koh Samui, the adventurous activity is taught by professional instructors, though once you’ve gotten the hang of it, you’ll be free to dash across the sea as you desire – just watch out for swimmers, will you? One final warning: flyboarding is extremely addictive. You might find yourself taking to the air more than once during your vacation!