Thailand for the avid explorer who looks for life-changing experiences totally different from their everyday routine.
Rock climbing: Railay, Krabi
Railay’s dramatic limestone cliffs are regarded the world over as some of the best rock-climbing on the planet. It seems only right that we popped our wall-scaling cherries here, under the expert instruction of a local climbing school. The experience was physically and mentally challenging, but we felt a real sense of achievement as we grew in skill each day, eventually making it to the top. Our reward? Views so beautiful they made us cry.
Jungle lodge: Four Seasons Tented Camp, Golden Triangle
This is a once-in-a-lifetime, awe-inspiring tent hotel experience, akin to an African safari lodge, but in the far reaches of wild Northern Thailand. Its location is a meeting point of three countries in lush jungle, still largely unexplored by tourists. Just fifteen tents are set up meticulously, flanked by the mountains of Laos, overlooking Myanmar’s Rauk River.
Sea kayaking, Ang Thong, Koh Samui
Spend an awe-inspiring day paddling in and out of hidden lagoons, mysterious caves and the pristine secret coves at Angthong Marine Park – made famous by the book ‘The Beach’ – on professional class ocean kayaks. We discovered the white sand beaches of ‘Ko Mae Ko’, gasped at the Emerald green saltwater lake, known as the ‘Green Lagoon’, and were taught about the origins of the bizarre and beautiful rock formations that are so ubiquitous to the area.
Mahout training, Patara Elephant Camp, Chiang Mai
For those with an interest in conservation, be a mahout for a day and look after your own mighty beast. This is no circus, as you’ll be expected to care for, wash, feed and examine your new friend’s droppings before you get to ride on its back. You’ll also find out about the efforts to protect them from poachers and mass tourism. It’s a humbling experience and we can’t overstate the power of the connection you’ll form with your elephant by the end of the day. A wonderful way to connect with nature, and the very special wildlife of these islands.