There is something totally exhilarating and feel-good about connecting with the place you are staying at on holiday in a ‘real’ way. Phuket, with its gorgeous scenic landscape and spectacular Andaman Sea marine world, is the perfect island vacation spot to step into an eco-adventure.
Responsible Travel is fast-becoming an integral element of the vacation experience, particularly for the global Millennials who value the true value of a destination and appreciate tourism’s cost to the planet. Not only that, but thrilling eco-action is fun too and Thailand’s biggest island is the perfect location to mix up lounging on the beach with environmentally friendly pursuits.
With tens of millions of visitors descending on Phuket each year, there is a real need for activities to be low impact so that the carbon footprint left behind is reduced or at least kept at bay. Alongside this, natural habitats, communities, and the culture of a destination can be rightfully preserved through sustainable tourism that also opens the door to adventure-filled experiences.
Ethical Elephant Tourism
Opened in 2016, Phuket Elephant Sanctuary is a far more responsible way to get close to these majestic animals that have been so exploited by the tourist trade. This beautiful retreat stands next to Phuket’s Khao Phra Thaeo National Park and looks after elderly and vulnerable elephants as well as those that have been used in the tourism and logging industries. The adventure is enhanced by being able to feed and walk with the elephants as they roam freely, bathing in pools and cooling in the mud; a rare treat to see wildlife so intimately, make a connection, and play a part in their survival.
The Flying Hanuman takes you high above the trees of Phuket in a protected forest with canopy ziplines, sky bridges, spiral walkways, and wilderness walks overlooking the island’s hillsides. A top-rated rainforest adventure in Southeast Asia, the natural setting has barely changed since it was developed as a tourist adventure attraction. Those with a sense of adventure are rewarded with a bird’s eye view of Phuket’s rich, green interior; forest flying that gives you a different perspective on a different side of Phuket away from the island’s golden beaches.
Eco-adventures can still take you to unspoilt and picturesque parts of Phuket’s coastline and the wider region. A wonderfully eco-friendly way to explore the blue waters of the Andaman Sea is by the peaceful, almost meditative pursuit of kayaking. There are tour companies offer trips with a paddle guide and adventures that take you into the heart of Phuket’s glorious seascapes such as Phang Nga Bay, discover deserted beaches, coral reefs, and fishing communities. Paddle Asia has been running impact expeditions in the region for close to 20 years and everyone paddles their own canoe.; getting out on the water is the ultimate way to explore the island and to protect the delicate marine ecosystem.
Other Things To Do
Phuket is, without doubt, far more sophisticated at catering to tourists and has a reputation that stretches way beyond its coastlines when it comes to gourmet restaurant dining. However, a big part of Phuket’s appeal is the sheer volume of things to see and do all within a stunning setting.
Across Phuket, there are plenty of places to visit that enhance the natural beauty of this part of the world too, including a gibbon rehab project, soi dog foundation, botanical gardens, mangrove walks, and orchid and butterfly gardens too. The Phang-Nga Wildlife Breeding Center and the Tone Paniwat Wildlife Sanctuary Station can also be visited with an appointment.
There are so many eco-adventures to choose from in Phuket and in essence, these are all about feeling inspired and leaving a positive impact; from responsible dive and snorkel experiences that explore the colorful marine life in the waters surrounding Phuket to safaris that approach wildlife with respect and with conservation in mind. Vacations, whereby you are in-tune with your natural surroundings, are unforgettable.