From Bangkok to Chiang Mai, Thailand is a vibrant country, with plenty to do on land and sea, that even the laziest of tourists can stay active. Here's why!
From the bustling city of Bangkok to the bright blue waters of the Andaman Sea Islands to the Gulf of Thailand, the variety of cities are all so unique and perfect for the mind & body. In Thailand you can climb the ancient temples in Ayutthaya (near Bangkok) go scuba diving off the coast of Koh Phi Phi, challenge yourself at Muay Thai boxing and eat the most amazing and nutritious meal of your life, for less than the cost of a Starbucks coffee. Expedia.com asked me to recommend some of the best Thailand experiences (see more of that here) that will also keep you moving. Since there is such a range of activities on land and sea, even the laziest of tourists can stay active.
Thailand - the land of smiles, or more appropriately - the land of incredible food and fairytale like adventures, has a way of heightening all your senses. It’s the contrast of old and new, the unfamiliar mixed with traditional, finding the differences in the various areas and exploring a different way of life, that defines Thailand...and surprisingly, it’s a pretty healthy adventure.
Here are 5 reasons why Thailand is the perfect place for a healthy vacation!
Healthy & Delicious Food Everywhere
Whether you’re a vegetarian or a meat lover, there is something delicious to be found around every corner, in every city in Thailand. Although the popular dishes vary from the North and the South, you can always expect to have a bit of sweet, sour, spicy and tangy in every dish. The main ingredients consist of fresh herbs, chili, lime, kaffir lime leaf, fish sauce, garlic and a lot of fresh veggies. Dishes are made fresh and always grilled, slow cooked or steamed, so you won’t find greasy, artificially enhanced options. Follow your nose, pull up a stool and indulge in the healthiest street food you’ll ever have.
Often the best dishes are found from the small stalls around the markets. Operated by one maybe two people, you’ll find a huge selection of tasty and healthy treats like raw coconut ice cream, simple grilled meat skewers, sautéed veggies, tropical fresh fruit cut perfectly in to-go containers and my favorite fresh pressed juices.
Detox Your Mind & Body
No matter how active you might be, your body does need rest and a healthy dose of Vitamin C and Thailand is the perfect place to disconnect. Take a break from email, technology and life, as you reset on a secluded beach away from the tourists and party atmosphere. Whether you’re off to Phuket, Krabi, Koh Samui or another exotic island, just let your body recharge. Spend an hour kayaking, an hour sunbathing, an hour walking along the beach, repeat and then end with a spa treatment. You’ll feel nourished, relaxed and invigorated!
Adventures on Land
Heading to Bangkok? Skip the tour bus and instead walk around this vibrant city. Take in the sights and sounds you would otherwise miss zipping around the streets in a bus or taxi - plus it’s a great way to get a lot of exercise.
If the countryside is more your speed, you can test your endurance venturing through Thailand's many temples. Our favorite is Ayutthaya, located just an hour away from Bangkok. You can spend hours exploring the ruins and climbing up the many stairs to take in panoramic views of this ancient capital.
If you’re looking for something a bit more adventurous, you can head to Northern Thailand, where there are plenty of outdoor activities, that are truly a once in a lifetime experience. Trek through the jungle, ride a bike around rural rice fields and soothe your mind by visiting an elephant camp.
Adventures at Sea
The warm, crystal clear waters and sandy beaches of the Thai islands, make the perfect beach getaway and is where much of Thailand's beauty can be appreciated. Remember that movie The Beach (thanks Leo for the giving us beach major lust), well the incredible scenery and unbelievable beach really exists and it’s an island called Koh Phi Phi (pronounced pee pee). Phi Phi without a doubt is one of the best places for scuba diving in the world. And for good reason! The waters are crystal clear, the coral and fish are plentiful and if you’re lucky you might just see sea turtles, rare fish, manta rays and maybe a shark or two. If diving is a little to adventurous, snorkeling is also a great option. The waters are calm and clear and you don’t have to venture out too deep to see some sea life.
If you don’t make it to Koh Phi Phi, visiting the more popular islands are just as fun. Many of the resorts and hotels offer plenty of water sports like kayaking and parasailing often at no or very little cost. You’ll be having so much fun, you might not realize how active you’re actually being!
Get in the Ring with Muay Thai
You can’t visit Thailand and not try Muay Thai boxing. It’s like a combination of karate, boxing and Taekwondo and will test your entire body, leaving you sweating like crazy! With plenty of options throughout the country, classes are easily found, or you can always hire a private instructor through many of the hotels and resorts. No matter your fitness level, you can learn the basics and really enjoy a unique workout. You’ll kick, punch, work hard, and every sore muscle will be worth it. You can even reward yourself with a wonderful Thai massage afterwards!