Neon-tinted coral shimmering in gin-clear waters. Cloud leopards prowling through ancient jungle. Hill-tribe villages nestled among the thick rainforests of Chiang Mai. This is authentic Thailand, and its rich wildlife, traditional culture and pristine landscapes deserve protecting. It is the very reason why the Responsible Thailand Awards were first established: to shine a light on the locals, tour operators and hotels acting as guardians of this compelling country. And Experience Travel Group certainly know their stuff when it comes to sustainable adventures in Thailand – here's one example of what you can expect...
Their Hidden Hotels and Secret Adventures itinerary has you spending time with two local communities. First, you’ll immerse yourself in village life with the Tai Lue people of Chiang Kham district in the north, visiting local temples and learning how to make one of their most beloved desserts: sticky rice with coconut, wrapped in banana leaves. In the south of Thailand, you’ll also spend time at a community lodge in Lamnai, too.
Not only that, this trip ensures you take slow, sustainable journeys throughout, whether it’s an overnight train from Bangkok to Phatthalung, a walk in the countryside among tea and coffee fields or exploring Chiang Mai by electric tuk-tuk. This trip will even take you to hidden corners of Thailand few other travellers discover, such as feasting on the northern Thailand speciality khao soi in Chiang Mai or going birdwatching in the waterfowl reserve of Thale Noi.
Like the Responsible Thailand Awards, Experience Travel Group knows how important it is to stay somewhere that offers more than just a place to rest your head. Consequently, you’ll be staying in a mix of immersive retreats, from authentic homestays such as Ban Dok Bua in Phayao, where you’ll be hosted by a local Thai family and bed down in pristine countryside, to the luxurious Koh Jum Beach Villas, which offers a faithful glimpse of traditional Thai island life.
This is just one example of the kind of responsible travel you can experience in Thailand, but it shows that if you consider the sustainability of every facet of your trip, you’ll not only enrich your own experience but go some way to help protect the present and future of Thailand’s heritage, landscapes and wildlife.
The Tourism Authority of Thailand is offering £5,000 in holiday vouchers towards a responsible holiday to Thailand with Experience Travel Group.