Thailand's Top 10 Outdoor Adventures

Thailand is brimming with opportunities for exploration, excitement and exploits. Here are 10 Thailand adventures guaranteed to get your adrenaline pumping.

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10: Skydiving

We don't need to tell you what an amazingly scary experience skydiving is; if you're looking to inject your vacation with pure adrenaline, this is the extreme. The weather is Thailand is good 365 days a year, so that means there is jumping every single day. Strap yourself to a jumpmaster, and experience the thrill of a lifetime.

9: Zip Lining

From the sea to the sky, our next adventure takes you through the canopies of the Chiang Mai rainforests. You'll ride in your single-person swing and cruise a cable suspended through the 1500-year old Thai rainforest. Upgrade from a single swing to the complete adventure package offered by Flight of the Gibbon, and you can rock climb, mountain bike and stay in authentic Thai village home stays.

8: Sea Kayaking

Since you're having so much fun enjoying Thailand's scenery and wildlife, why not do a little to preserve it? And, of course, still have fun. Sea Canoe is an eco-friendly company that has operated in Southern Thailand for over 18 years. With offices in Phuket, Krabi and Koh Samuir, Sea Canoe can offer adventures in Khao Sok, Trang and Tarutao. Their staff is knowledgeable, and they offer a multitude of locations for kayaking adventures, ranging from a few hours to over six days.

7: Snorkeling

Dive into the marine life just off the coast of Thailand. Similan Diving Safaris offers a full range of diving programs that will teach you how to explore reefs or get lost in the blue during an open-water dive. Located in Phang-Nga, you'll peacefully roam the underwater beauty of Similan and Surin Marine National Islands.

6: Mountain Biking

Give the elephants a break and hit the Thai wilderness on two wheels. Mountain biking is supremely popular in this country and there are many different tours from which to choose. M.T. Hill Tours offers rides lasting from a few hours to a full day, but one of their more interesting tours takes place at night. Explore the bustling Bangkok City on a three-hour bike tour; the ride ends relatively early, so you can hit the town once you've turned in your bike. Just promise us you'll change out of your bike shorts.

5: Whitewater Rafting

Relatively new to the Thai tourist market, whitewater rafting is quickly being added to many adventure trek itineraries. Rush the rapids in Southern Thailand's Phang Na province, and you're guaranteed an exhilarating ride. Book with Phuket Tours, and you'll score a visit to the Ton Pariwat Wildlife Sanctuary and an elephant ride through the jungle.

4: Waterfall Abseiling

Number 7 is perfect for those who find regular rock climbing or repelling to be a bit mundane. Throw in the force of a waterfall, and now you're talking adventure. Many hotels and travel guides have programs that allow you to abseil, or repel, down Thailand's beautiful and powerful waterfalls. You'll feel your heart in your chest as you lean over the edge of a 35-foot waterfall and the ground slowly slips beneath your feet. Find out more about waterfall abseiling at Doi Inthanon in Chiang Mai.

3. Visiting an Elephant Sanctuary

Realizing the harm caused to the elephant population by the tourism industry, many travelers are opting to volunteer at elephant sanctuaries instead of riding them. The Elephant Nature Foundation is run by Thai-born Lek Chailert, a recipient of the prestigious Genesis Award for her dedicated work in saving the Asian elephant. Her flagship project, The Elephant Nature Park, shelters elephants that have been abused and neglected in the logging, trekking and entertainment industry. The park provides a sanctuary for more than 30 rescued elephants on 200 acres of lush land near Chiang Mai in the beautiful Mae Taeng Valley. Volunteers play a vital part in assisting with the running of the center, including feeding, bathing, rescue and park maintenance. Volunteers can come for one-day visits or longer, and their contributions go directly towards protecting and caring for these gentle giants.

2: Jungle Trekking

Get intimate with the wilds of Thailand by hitting the unmarked trails. We recommend at least a three-day trek to see mountain ridges, rainforests and experience camping in the beautiful Thai wilderness. The folks at Active Thailand will provide an informed English-speaking guide who will pick you up at your Chiang Mai City hotel and arrange all your food and camping needs. You just need to bring dry socks, SPF and a sense of adventure.

1: Caving

Get to the heart of Thailand by exploring ancient caves and tremendous caverns like those in the Pang Mapha District of the Mae Hong Son Province. Here you can venture underground and discover wildlife, history and geology. Expert guides, like those at Cave Lodge, will escort you through geologic labyrinths, vertical caves and collapsed caves. Combine your journey with forest hikes or rafting to see even more of the Thai landscape.

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