Solo Female Travel: Backpacking Alone in Thailand

Thinking about solo female travel in Thailand? I’ve been living here since 2014, I moved here alone and often travel solo around Thailand and I think it’s a fantastic place for female solo travel. I think South East Asia generally feels safe as a solo traveller and I felt much safer travelling alone in South East Asia than other countries like Sri Lanka and India.

People’s initial shock of finding out that I love travelling alone is often replaced with either a look of awe, confusion or pity. I feel that travelling alone as a female should warrant none of these reactions, but there we are. Maybe, slowly, we are changing these norms. So read on for my solo travel tips, particularly geared towards single travellers coming to Thailand and/or South East Asia.

First Solo Trip in Thailand

If it’s your first solo trip, then I can’t recommend Thailand strongly enough. I think Thailand is one of the best destinations for solo female travel, especially for first timers going it alone. Thailand welcomes millions of travellers every year and so things are well set up for travelling around that it feels very easy and convenient. I did my first solo trip to Koh Chang in Thailand 3 years ago and since then I have visited many Thailand destinations and other places in Asia solo as well, such as Indonesia, Sri Lanka and India.

Is it safe for single female travellers in Thailand?

I cannot speak for everyone but I have always felt confident enough travelling solo here. Thai people are extremely helpful, crime is not common and there are so many backpackers around that it is easy to meet people. I have had unpleasant incidents here, all of which could have happened and have happened in other countries as well. I feel the main concerns that we worry about when travelling solo are crime, scams, feeling lost or not in control and for me personally, sexual harassment, assault and rape.

Solo Female Safety: Accommodation

For me this is one of the most important factors of making sure I feel safe when travelling solo. When in a group or with a partner, I have been very relaxed about accommodation and not always booked in advance. I love the feeling of just showing up somewhere, negotiating a price, and finding a place to sleep for that night. However, when I travel alone, I always book in advance. I always choose accommodation that is in the main area/street so that I won’t be walking alone at night time. I prefer staying in hostels as it’s so easy to meet people but have also booked beach bungalows for myself before and made sure that these are along the main beach area. I book using Agoda or Booking and read reviews to see people’s comments about location and how convenient it is for other places. I always take a card from the hotel so that I can show it to people or taxis to help me get home.

 

Solo Female Backpacker: Transport – Trains

Night trains were one of my big concerns when travelling alone as you hear horror stories and I wanted night train travel in Thailand to be a good experience and not feel too worried or scared to sleep. Luckily, I always feel really safe on night trains in Thailand. Book a top bunk as I feel these are harder to access and always go second class, that way you are in a compartment with lots of other people – not just 3 people in your own cabin. I always feel there is safety in numbers. I normally chat to the people near me and get to know them and I sleep with my little backpack with my valuables near my head. I love ones about this size and think they are great for travel, you check them out on Amazon.

Read here for my 20 travelling essentials for Thailand.

Single Female Safety: Transport – Taxis

Unfortunately Thailand has a terrible record for road safety, but not much we can do about that. If you’re lucky, your taxi will have a seatbelt. If there is nothing to plug the seatbelt in to then just loop it around your body. My top tips for taking taxis in Bangkok would be to always ensure they go on the meter. It’s illegal for them not to but they will try anyway. Always sit in the back seat, never in the front. If you’re travelling alone in Bangkok then taxis can be very convenient but keep your guard up. I’ve been harassed by two taxis drivers in three years here and when I told people everyone asked me if I was sitting in the front. I wasn’t but apparently if I had I would have been asking for it. People’s attitudes suck and so do some taxi drivers but don’t let that stop you from living your life or enjoying your holiday. In Bangkok, many taxi drivers don’t always know where they are going so keep your phone out to check where they are going via GPS. Sometimes they are trying to scam you, but more often than not, I find they just don’t know the quickest route. Have your money ready so you can get out the moment the taxis pulls up. Some people feel safer using Uber but I have my doubts of whether that is really safer given recent news articles.

Travelling Thailand Solo Tip: Don’t be too polite. If you feel like a guy is being over-friendly, close down the conversation, avoid looking at him and get out of the taxi at the nearest busiest place. 7/11 convenient stores can be good as there are many of them and they are open 24 hours a day.

Solo Backpacker Safety: Transport – Night Buses

Super cheap and super cold, night buses are a very useful way of backpacking around Thailand. I frequently take them alone and have rarely encountered any problems. I keep my valuables nearby and try and get a seat downstairs. Large backpacks will often be stowed under the bus so keep all your valuables with you. I often loop an arm or a leg through my small backpack so that I might wake up if someone tried to steal it. Night buses can arrive in the early hours of the morning to random destinations so make sure you get off at your stop (the conductor can tell you) and know where you’re going if you are off the beaten track a little bit. You can book buses here for discounts. These buses are the tourist ones which depart from Khao San Road.

Solo Traveller Tips: Transport – Boats and Ferries

Generally speaking, Thailand has a good reputation for sea safety and I have rarely felt scared. That said, some ferries depart early in the morning which has left me with needing to be at a pier at 4am when it’s still dark. In these situations I try to make sure I’m staying near the pier so I can get there easily.

Travelling Solo: Walking

Walking around at night time in Thailand I have rarely felt afraid. I think there are often many people around, even late at night and I live on a main road in Bangkok. I always use a crossbody bag with a zip like this one to make it harder for someone to grab it. I feel that walking confidently can give you the appearance of knowing where you are going (even if you don’t) and can make you less of an easy target (just a personal feeling).

Single Female Traveller: Money & Documents

Thailand is a developing country and the minimum wage here is 300 baht a day. I have found Thai people to be extremely honest and I have friends who have even had expensive smart phones returned to them. However, I still think it wise to not flash around a lot of cash. I keep cash in various different places when I’m travelling and separate it into different purses or bags.

You should always carry a copy of your passport with you in Thailand. Many people don’t, but if you ever had a run in with the police then this is useful to have on you.

Safety in Thailand Information:

Emergency Police Number 191

Tourist Police (eg for scams) 1155

 

For more useful information for travelling Thailand, read this post

 

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Travelling Thailand: Useful Links

I have put together a list of useful links for travelling Thailand which cover transport, accommodation, events, tours and news.

 

Thailand Useful Links: Transport- Trains and Buses

http://www.railway.co.th/checktime/checktime.asp?lenguage=Eng Train timetable website but you cannot book tickets on it. (train ticket bookings coming soon…see kohlife below!)

Koh Life website this is actually a friend’s transport agency that he started last year and it’s going really well so far! They have tons of buses and ferry links on the decent VIP buses (think proper reclining seats and no TV blasting at you all night like some other buses I’ve been on!). They will be adding trains soon. You can get discounts for multiple bookings and group tickets.

www.thaiticketmajor.com also has bus ticket bookings for all of Thailand. I find the website is not that navigable and buses leave from different areas around Bangkok so make sure you know where the departure station is.

 

Thailand Useful Links: Transport- Flights

I usually find a great deal for domestic flights with either Air Asia or Nok Air. I always use Skyscanner to compare prices.


Thailand Useful Links: Transport- Taxis

I always just use meter taxis but I know some people are a fan of Uber and Grabtaxi. I’ve found both of these to usually be more expensive, but the benefits are taxi drivers with a GPS who will know where they are going!

Thailand Useful Links: Accommodation

I usually compare Agoda and Booking.com to find the best deal for accommodation.



Booking.com

Thailand Useful Links: Events Information

Facebook is a really useful tool for finding events happening in the area and various bars and clubs advertise special events on here.

I enjoy reading BK Magazine for inspiration about where to travel and what to do and see http://bk.asia-city.com/

Full Moon Party Schedule Information

http://fullmoonparty-thailand.com/schedules.html

Thailand Useful Links: Tours

If you’re looking for cycling tour then I definitely recommend https://www.covankessel.com/ as I have done several of their bicycle tours around Bangkok. I think they are good value for money and the guide provided has always been very knowledgeable.

For other tours I recommend using local tour agencies around Khao San area or through your hotel, Ask around to make sure you are getting the best deal.

 

Thailand Useful Links: News

For local news I follow:

www.bangkokpost.com

https://coconuts.co/bangkok/

Thailand Useful Links: Weather

None! I honestly find weather forecasts to be extremely inaccurate as the weather here is very unpredictable! The best advice I can give is to keep your options open and your travel plan flexible so you can move around if the weather turns bad.

Thailand Useful Links: What to Pack

People often ask me what they should bring out to Thailand so I wrote these two blog posts, aimed at backpackers or flashpackers.

Backpacking Essentials for South East Asia

What to Pack for South East Asia

Thailand Useful Links: Travel Books

As always the Bible for travellers is often Lonely Planet or a similar brand. I have find the Thailand one extremely useful and also Southeast Asia on Shoestring. Buy your own copy on Amazon here. I don’t recommend Kindle versions and this is one book where I would rather have a real, paper edition!

Buy Lonely Planet Thailand Travel Guide here

Buy Thailand’s Islands and Beaches version

Buy Southeast Asia on a Shoestrong by Lonely Planet here.

I always try and buy the latest version but old versions are dirt cheap and can still be useful for the planning stages of your trip.

Learn some Thai with a Thai phrasebook. I have this and it was very useful when I first arrived here. Definitely get a phrasebook with a CD or MP3 version as Thai is a tonal language and so you need to be able to hear the word to reproduce it. Buy your copy here.

 

Thailand Useful Links: This Blog!

I’ve got tons of information from itineraries to transport, from wildlife to diving and the top islands to visit. Click the links below.

Thailand Islands: The Best Islands To Visit

Best Quiet Beaches in Thailand

The Best National Parks in Thailand

Thailand: Most Beautiful Destinations

Top Activities to Do in Bangkok, Thailand by a local!

50 Things To Do in Bangkok, Thailand

Wildlife In Thailand: See Wild Animals in Thailand’s Jungles, Oceans and Islands

Pink Dolphins in Thailand: Where and How to See Wild Pink Dolphins

Best Diving in Thailand

Activities To Avoid in Thailand

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Gift Ideas for Scuba Divers and Ocean Lovers

Looking for the perfect gift for your scuba diving or ocean obsessed loved one or friend? Read the list below for inspiration and potential gifts for Christmas presents or birthday presents for your scuba diving obsessed friend. I’ve selected presents for ocean loving people to suit a range of different online shopping budgets.

Scuba Diver Gift: Dive computer (big budget)

This is on my Christmas list this year (hint hint Mum and Dad). When you’ve got more than a few dives under your belt, you may want to start taking more responsibility for yourself underwater.  Especially if you are thinking about doing a future divemaster course then consider getting a dive computer. A friend I met on a dive boat personally recommended the Cressi Leonardo dive watch (which she actually received as a Christmas gift!). It is certainly much more budget-friendly than others I have looked at and they have a range of different colours. Compare prices and see the different ranges here on Amazon

gifts for scuba divers

Scuba Diver Gift: Books of top dive destinations

I actually bought this as a birthday present for a scuba diving friend. It has incredible photos of dive sites around the world and is definitely an inspiring present for those who love diving.

 

 

Scuba Diver Gift: Practical Present

For your scuba diving buddy who has long hair and is sick of getting hair tangled up in the mask straps behind his or her head. Buy them a scuba mask strap cover, I personally love this mermaid style one and am putting this on my Christmas present list. Click on here to compare prices and see other styles.

 

Eco-friendly Ocean Gift: Scuba Diving Water Bottle

Having seen first-hand the amount of plastic floating in the water while diving in Indonesia last year I am now more of an advocate than ever for cutting down on our plastic consumption. Living in Thailand this is not always easy to do as even buying street food comes in so many different containers and in countries where you cannot drink the tap water, plastic bottled water is the only alternative. However there are now more hostels and hotels offering refills (at a discounted prices) and I always take advantage of this. For anyone who wants to save the environment, consider buying them this refillable water bottle and help save our planet, a small step at a time. It’s a water bottle in the shape of a dive tank!

Scuba Diving Presents: GoPro and accessories (big budget presents)

While the GoPro is definitely a very generous present to receive (click here to compare prices between different GoPros) there are all sorts of extra accessories that can be bought at a cheaper amount for your already gopro obsessed friend. While I already have a selfie stick and a float, I now am after one of these domes for half water and half land shots. Although they are quite large for travelling!

 

 

 

Fun Gifts for Scuba Divers: Small Budget

I love these cute PADI inspired luggage tags for your friend or family member to add to their suitcases or even their fin or BCD bags.

Ocean Lover Present: Fish Book

Thanks to my lovely parents for this great Reef Fish ID book that I received for my birthday last year. The more I dive the more I want to be able to identify the fish I see and to develop my knowledge further. I have this one as I dive around the Indo-Pacific and it actually seems to be more in depth than most I’ve seen on dive boats themselves. Buy it or a similar one here on Amazon. 

 

perfect gifts for scuba divers and ocean lovers
Yellowface Angelfish in Komodo National Park

 

Scuba Diver Themed Gift for Men or Women: Evolution of Diving T-Shirt

I think these diving themed T-Shirts are a great extra gift to give to anyone who loves diving. I actually bought one for my first ever diving buddy a long time ago and I think it was appreciated. Check sizes and stock here and buy yours today. 

Unique Ocean and Beach Fun Gift

If like me, you are whale shark obsessed then you need one of these HUGE inflatable whale sharks in your life! A friend bought one but then she left the island I’m living on and so I had to get myself one!

Whale Shark Inflatable Gift
Messing on my whale shark float in the Maldives

Ocean Gift: For the Mermaid in your life

Okay, so my awesome sister gave me one of these mermaid fishtail blankets a few years ago and it’s very cosy and perfect for snuggling up on the sofa (especially when you aren’t used to winters in the UK!). It was such a great gift and I was so happy with it! Compare mermaid blanket prices below by clicking on the image.

 

Ocean Gift: For mermaid lovers on a budget

I love this mermaid quote and who doesn’t love a good mug for their cup of tea or coffee? Ones with wittier sayings are even better. Buy yours here on Amazon.

 

Scuba Diving Gift: Practical Present

With the same mermaid quote but a notebook version, for the diver who loves to keep a journal of all their diving adventures and dive trips.

Best Practical Gift for People who love the ocean

I will forever swear by these dry bags. They are so useful and handy and I take mine everywhere with me, to the beach, islands, boat trips and even mountains when it might rain. Buy your dry bag here, I think 5 litre is the best size for a day bag.

 

 

Suggested posts for you:

For more practical ideas of what to take scuba diving, read this useful post

For useful backpacking essentials that everyone should have, click here

For an ultimate guide for what to bring travelling in South East Asia read here

 

 

Disclaimer: This post contains affiliate links. If you purchase an item I may receive a small commission at no extra cost to you. These are all gifts that I want or already have!

 

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Scuba Diving Packing List: What to Take on a Dive Boat

I started scuba diving around four years ago and completed my Open Water in Koh Tao, Thailand, like many others. So far I have dived around Asia extensively in Thailand and Indonesia but also in the Philippines, Malaysia and Taiwan so this scuba diving packing list is advice meant for diving in tropical waters. For me, scuba diving is an addiction and the more I do it, the more I want to do. A few people have asked me about what to take diving, so I thought I’d make a useful scuba packing list of what I take on a dive boat. Below are diving essentials and useful items that I always check off my diving packing list.

What to take on a dive boat:

1. Gopro. There are many other similar video cameras for diving but the Gopro is still a popular, small and useful item for diving. It took me too long to get mine and I missed out on some great footage of diving with turtles in the Gili islands in Indonesia.
Scuba Diving Tip: When learning to do your Open Water or Advanced qualification and doing other dive courses you are, generally speaking, not permitted to use cameras. Compare prices for GoPro HERO4 BLACK and Gopro Hero 5 on Amazon here.

take on a dive boat
Turtles and Stunning Coral in Komodo National Park

2. A red filter for the GoPro is a must for my diving holiday packing list. It took me a long time until I cottoned on to this as before I received my red filter (thanks Dad!) all my photos and videos were so blue or green and not showing the real beauty of the coral. You lose red colour the deeper you dive. See which red filter fits your underwater camera here. 

what to take on a dive boat
How my photos looked before I bought a red filter!

3. Gopro selfie stick, a recent purchase that allows me to get closer to animals or corals without disturbing them with my bubbles or presence. Buy a similar one like this Selfie Stick GoPro Hero on Amazon.

what to take on a dive boat
Getting up close to some fish

4. Bikini or swimwear. I personally prefer to wear a bikini under my wetsuit as it is easier when you need to go to the toilet on the dive boat!

Scuba Diving Tip: I usually wear a bikini with straps so that I won’t flash anyone while peeling off my wetsuit but I also make sure it doesn’t have any ties near my neck that might irritate me when my wetsuit is zipped all the way up.

what to take on a dive boat
In my happy place

5. A rash vest is another item that makes it onto my packing list. I get cold so easily on scuba dives, even when diving in warm water so I usually wear a rash vest under my wetsuit. If you don’t need to wear a wetsuit then definitely take a rash vest on your dive trip. Cold and shivering means you go through your air a lot quicker!
Scuba Diving Tip: When diving in countries like Thailand and Malaysia, most dive centres only provide short wet suits and even might charge extra for a long wetsuit which I am not prepared to pay. Browse brand name rash vests here

Scuba Diving Tip: choose a rash vest with a zip all the way up the middle – makes it so much easier taking it on and off!

what to take on a dive boat

6. Tiger balm/ decongestant – you cannot equalise with a cold or blocked nose so these are useful for keeping your sinuses open. I have used Actifed as a very strong decongestant which always helps me equalise but you shouldn’t use it for diving consecutive days. There is also a risk of reverse block so use with caution. Buy your tiger balm and nasal sprays on Amazon or wait until you arrive in Asia as they are equally cheap here.

7. Socks! – you might not look like the coolest diver out there but if you’re wearing fins without booties for days on end then socks will stop them from rubbing (and protect my nail varnish!) Also very useful for liveaboard diving packing lists because of diving multiple dives a day.

8. Dry bag – forever a fan of these. Keep your stuff dry when climbing on and off boats, from ocean spray and monsoon weather. Buy yours here for a reasonable price.

what to take on a dive boat
Dry Bag – it goes everywhere with me from dive boats to hiking National Parks

9. Spare contact lenses – if like me you need to wear contacts to actually see the fish then make sure you take a spare pair with you. I find that clearing your mask underwater particularly stings when wearing contacts and changing them between two dives can help. I use daily contacts for diving.

Scuba Diving Tip: only soft contacts can be used for diving.

10. A hoody – maybe just for people who feel the cold but multiple dives lower your body temperature so at the end of the diving day I’m often feeling the cold.

11. Suncream – I’m still looking for a suncream with a high SPF that is reef safe and doesn’t come in a tiny plastic bottle! Drop me a comment if you have any suggestions – it will be much appreciated!

12. GoPro extensions – something to make your gopro float that doesn’t include air. I’m still looking for a GoPro floating selfie stick so if anyone knows where I can buy one then let me know please. I used to have one of these orange devices that float but you it means you cannot see the screen on my GoPro Hero 4. Buy a floating GoPro device here.

13. Your log book – recently I’ve made sure I write in my log book in between dives – especially when doing three dives a day, to help me remember and write about the moment.

14. A sarong – I never bother with heavy beach towels nowadays and I prefer to travel with lightweight, quick drying sarongs instead. I might not always head straight home after a dive and I don’t want to be carrying around a wet, heavy towel to the bar for post diving beers. I love a turtle themed one like this one 

Read more here for the best dives sites in Thailand

For the best dive destinations in South East Asia check out my list

Looking for more packing advice? Here are my backpacking essentials that I never travel without

Disclaimer: This post contains affiliate links. If you purchase anything from Amazon I will receive a small commission at no extra cost to you.

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Wildlife In Thailand: See Wild Animals in Thailand’s Jungles, Oceans and Islands

Want to know where and how to see the best wildlife in Thailand? One of the reasons that I am still so in love with living in Thailand is the nature and wildlife. From jungles and forests to oceans and mountains to beaches, Thailand has so many different natural habitats which makes it one of the most amazing countries to see nature and wildlife in South East Asia. There are many exotic animals  found in Thailand and it is home to many native animals that we have the chance to encounter.

So, for the best places to see wild animals such as elephants, dolphins, whales, turtles, sharks, whale sharks, monkeys and more, continue reading my Thailand travel blog. I have recommended the best places for wildlife in Thailand, particularly ways to experience wild animals in their natural environment.

See Wild Elephants in Thailand

I think Khao Yao National Park is one of the best places to see wild animals in Thailand and the most common place to encounter wild elephants. They are amazing creatures and despite all the elephant sanctuaries in Thailand (ethical or not?), the jungle is where they truly belong and to have the opportunity to see Asian elephants in the wild, and not in chains or in a camp, is a unique animal experience that I would love more tourists to take advantage of. Paying National Park fees ensures that that protected areas like Khao Yai National Park will remain safe and ethical places to see animals like elephants.

Wildlife Safari in Thailand: See Wild Elephants in Khao Yai National Park

I strongly recommend the wildlife safari called Greenleaf Tours as I thought they were fantastic and they have very knowledgeable guides and will even pick you up from Pak Chong, the town where the minivans from Bangkok arrive.

Want to visit the park independently? You can rent scooters from Pak Chong upon arrival from Bangkok and ride around 15 minutes until you get into the park. Like all National Parks in Thailand, you can camp overnight by renting equipment from the National Park office. Make sure to bring your own food.

Khao Yai is about 2 hours from Bangkok by minivan (approx. 180 baht) making it an ideal day or overnight trip from Bangkok.

Cost of Foreign Visitor – National Park fee (at time of writing) = 400 baht. Seeing wild elephants = priceless.

Thailand Travel Tip: For getting to Khao Yai National Park, take a minivan to Pak Chong from Bangkok Ekkamai Bus Station

For more about how to visit Thailand’s National Parks read my post here

Thailand Wildlife Fact: Elephants are seen as Thailand’s sacred animal. However, many elephants who are forced to work in elephant camps are subject to animal cruelty and animal abuse in Thailand. Read here for my recommendations on ethical elephant sanctuaries.

wild elephants thailand
Elephant Spotting in Khao Yai National Park
Wild Animals in Thailand: Snorkel or Dive with Turtles around Thai islands

Seeing turtles when snorkelling or diving is definitely possible and you can have a good chance in some areas of Thailand. The island of Koh Tao is named after turtles although I have seen more when scuba diving around Koh Chang, Koh Phi Phi and around the Similan islands. All turtles I have seen here are Hawksbill turtles and are a smaller version of their cousins that I’ve seen in Indonesia but well worth a turtle spotting dive.

For getting to the Gulf of Thailand (Koh Tao, Koh Phangan, Koh Samui): book your transport here.

For travelling to Koh Phi Phi, book flights or a night bus to Krabi and then a ferry. You can book in advance using this website.

Koh Phi Phi Travel Tip: allow more time as the ferry has often taken longer than 2 hours for me.

diving with turtles in Thailand
Diving with turtles in Thailand
Wild Animals in Thailand: Diving with Whale Sharks

The whale shark is the biggest fish in the ocean and are one reason why divers come to Thailand. They are generally spotted around Chumpon Pinnacle near Koh Tao and occasionally around Koh Phangan. Richelieu Rock, above the Similan islands is the dive site where I was lucky enough to see my first one and most divers will tell you this is the best dive site for whale shark spotting. Rainy season around Koh Tao and Koh Phangan sometimes brings more in and a few were spotted around June-July of this year (unfortunately not by me!)

Diving Thailand Tip: For dive trips to Richelieu Rock and the Similan islands, take a night bus to Khao Lak and book your diving in centres there. It can get busy so consider contacting a dive centre in advance to ensure your place.

For more about diving in Thailand, read this post

whale shark thailand
Diving with a whale shark at Richelieu Rock, Thailand
Venomous Animals in Thailand: Monitor Lizards

These enormous monitor lizards can be found all over Thailand and even in Bangkok. They can grow up to a couple of metres. We regularly see them in Bangkok’s parks and have a good look when crossing over any canal as you can often see them swimming (and not what I thought was a crocodile on first glance!). They eat small birds and can climb trees. Despite many locals nonchalant attitude towards these massive lizards, they are actually extremely dangerous and their bite can be fatal to humans so approach with caution. Head to Lumpini Park in Bangkok for a good chance of spotting them.

Thailand Wild Animal Fact: The nickname for a monitor lizard is an extremely rude swear word in Thai

wild animals thailand
Monitor Lizard among canons in Bangkok
Wild Animals in Thailand: Monkeys

Thailand has a variety of different species of monkey. Macaques are probably the most common monkey that you can see on the mainland and also on some of the islands. They live in huge families so often where this is one, there are lots more. I love seeing them in Khao Yai National Park as they are still a respectful distance away from humans, whereas places like Lopburi you can see them but they can be aggressive and often steal items from visitors.  I also heard some good advice once which was not to smile at monkeys – they see the act of baring your teeth as a threat.

wild animals thailand
Macaques in Khao Yai National Park

Dusky Langur Monkeys – These monkeys are fairly rare but can be seen in various places around Thailand. I have personally seen them in Khao Sok National Park, Railay beach and Khao Sam Roi Yot National Park.

wild animals thailand
Dusky Langur at the beach

Thailand Animal Abuse: Be aware that monkeys should be in the wild and never pay for a photo with a ‘pet’ monkey as monkeys are treated as a tourist attraction. They often have their teeth removed, are wearing nappies and on chains. Read here for more things to avoid doing in Thailand

Wild Gibbons in Thailand

These are one of my favourite animals to spot and to hear in Thailand. You can often hear their distinct voices but catching a glimpse of these tree-top dwellers is more difficult. You can often hear gibbons calling to each other at dawn and dusk. After watching a documentary on them I discovered that when they mate for life, their mating calls develop and become more complex and have a wider range as years go by. I’ve spotted these in a few different national parks around the country such as in Khao Yai National Park and Khao Sok National Park.

Book your Khao Sok bus tickets here, discounts available for multiple bookings and tickets.

wild animals thailand
Zoomed in photo of a Gibbon in Khao Yai National Park
Wild Animals in Thailand: Spot Wild Dolphins in the Sea

Dolphins will always remain an amazing animal to me, no matter how many times I go dolphin spotting and I love seeing them when I am not even expecting to. I was told that on boat trips to Koh Similan, dolphins were spotted on average twice a week during dry season (October-May). I have recently been to Nakhon SI Thammarat to go pink dolphin watching which was an incredible experience, read about how and where to see pink dolphins in Thailand here.

pink dolphins thailand
Pink(ish) dolphins in Nakhon Si Thammart province
Wild Animals in Thailand: Go Whale Watching in Thailand

During the months of August-November, huge Bryde whales migrate to Thailand to feast on anchovies in the Gulf of Thailand. I went last year and was lucky enough to see around 5 whales including a mother and calf and they even swam around our boat while we were having lunch. I did the day trip from Bangkok with Wild Encounters who were very professional, extremely knowledgeable and answered all of my many questions about whales.

wild animals thailand
Whale Watching in Thailand from a respectful distance
Dive and Snorkel with Sharks around Thailand

If you are a shark lover then definitely consider a shark watching trip either diving or snorkelling. I have seen sharks around Koh Phi Phi and diving the Ao Nang islands near Krabi. I’ve spotted black tip reef sharks, bamboo sharks and once I was lucky enough to see a 3 metre leopard shark while diving in Koh Phi Phi. Thailand doesn’t have any dangerous sharks and some people think you have more chance of seeing them snorkelling than diving as the bubbles can scare them away. Some dive centres like the Adventure Club on Koh Phi Phi have a specific shark watching trip that I plan to try out in the future.

How to Travel to Koh Phi Phi and Krabi – book your transport here

wild animals thailand
When the shark is way too fast for you!

Travelling Thailand? Don’t forget these useful items!

    1. Gopro – essential for documenting all your adventures and underwater trips. Buy your GoPro HERO5 Black from Amazon here
    2.  Gopro Red Filter for diving – unless you want all your photos to come out extremely blue. Buy a GoPro Blue Water Filter (HERO5 Black) (GoPro Official Accessory) from Amazon
    3. A completely waterproof Dry Bag (Blue, 5l) to keep all of your things dry when jumping on and off boats, or getting caught in sudden downpours in the jungle.

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Disclaimer: some links are affiliate links. If you purchase a ticket or item I will receive a small commission at no extra cost to you.

Travel Blog about Thailand, South East Asia & the Maldives