Boats on the beach in Thailand
Asia,  Ecotourism

Ecotourism in Thailand
-How to Have a Sustainable Travel Experience-

If you are planning a vacation in Thailand in the near future, there are many options for a more sustainable travel experience here. While Thailand has been popular with young backpackers for decades, it’s now becoming a great South-East Asian sustainable travel destination. Ecotourism in Thailand offers you the chance to experience the natural beauty of the land without disturbing the country you are visiting. Ecotourism aims to leave a destination just as you found it when you first arrived there.

About Ecotourism in Thailand

Sustainable travel has become increasingly popular in Thailand in recent years, thanks to its stunning natural destinations. Certain areas of Thailand, such as Koh Phangan, Bangkok, and Phuket, have been crowded with tourists for decades. The Thai government has even taken measures to reduce overcrowding in the country, closing the popular Maya Bay, which was featured in the movie The Beach, in 2018 to give the area a chance to recover.

Many travelers are looking for a more authentic and sustainable travel experience for their next vacation in Thailand, and want to spend time away from the crowds exploring the country’s UNESCO World Heritage sites and protected parks. Communities in areas such as Chiang Mai welcome tourists into their homes to experience their lifestyle and learn more about the local culture. Learning about the Hill Tribe culture is something more visitors are looking to do during their vacation in Thailand, and it helps to give back to the local community.

Thailand Ecotourism Initiatives

One area of concern surrounding tourism in Thailand is its elephant population. The Elephant Nature Park opened in the 1990s and offers a sanctuary for mistreated elephants. This sanctuary works to educate the population, and through their visitor and volunteer programs, it helps to look after these animals.

New Heaven Reef Conservation is a wonderful organization that is located on Koh Tao, a popular destination with divers. They work on a wide range of marine conservation activities and offer one-day experiences up to a full month program for visitors looking to enjoy a sustainable travel experience.

Trash Hero Thailand is a global NGO that originated in Thailand. During your vacation in Thailand, consider joining the local community in their activities with Trash Hero Thailand, which aim to unite locals and tourists to look after the land.

Unique Ecotours in Thailand

When planning your next vacation in Thailand, consider one of these unique, sustainable travel experiences. Chang Thun Village is located in Trat Province, which is about four and a half hours from Bangkok, and offers Community Based Tourism, which is where visitors engage in the traditional practices of the region. This works to preserve the local community, and the program is managed by the community itself.

If you are heading to Chiang Rai, which is just three hours away from Chiang Mai, the Phu Rua Highland Agricultural Research Station is an agrotourism center where you can experience local farm life and tour their facilities. You’ll learn more about the Hill Tribe plantations while giving back and assisting the local community during your time on the farm. During an agrotourism tour, you can also learn traditional Thai cooking skills and finish off your night staying in a mud house. All of these sustainable travel initiatives work with the local community, and the fees you pay all return back to the people you are staying with.


When planning your future vacation in Thailand, head off the beaten path and consider searching for a more sustainable travel experience. These organizations listed above all work with local communities to preserve the land and leave it in as good condition as you found it.



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