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Best Places to Visit in Thailand for Wildlife Tourism
June 16, 2023 Travel
11 minutes, 52 seconds Read

Best Places to Visit in Thailand for Wildlife Tourism

Best Places to Visit in Thailand for Wildlife Tourism


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Edited by: Bhawna Nijhawan

Summary :- Besides beautiful beaches and incredible nightlife, Thailand also has some magnificent wildlife sanctuaries that you should visit while vacationing there. These are my recommendations for Thailand’s best national parks and wildlife spots.

It’s hard to believe that a country with epic nightlife and amazing beaches has incredible wildlife, too. However, guess what? Thailand is filled with natural wonders. There are more than 150 national parks and wildlife sanctuaries in the country. Many of these top national parks and sanctuaries are just a drive away from the city. However, some of these wildlife spots can be difficult to find and explore without a tourist guide. Below are some of my personal recommendations for Thailand’s best national parks and wildlife viewing spots.

Green Elephant Sanctuary Park

At the Green Elephant Sanctuary Park in Phuket, you can experience a heartwarming adventure with giant elephants. This sanctuary rescues elephants from all over Thailand. I recommend spending at least a half-day there learning about elephants and interacting with them in their natural habitat. Also, do not miss the opportunity to get into bathing gear and swim with them in freshwater.

Green Elephant Sanctuary Park

The sanctuary park also has photographers to take pictures of you and your friends having fun. In my life, I’ve had several rewarding experiences, but I’ll never forget my trip to the Green Elephant Sanctuary Park. My favorite part about the experience was not only getting to see the elephants up close but also joining them in a freshwater pool and playing with them. The Green Elephant Sanctuary Park offers an unforgettable experience with elephants in a beautiful environment, so I recommend you go and experience it for yourself. 

Location: Phuket, Thailand

Timings: 8 am–5 pm

Entry fee: 2500 THB

Kui Buri National Park

This national park was established in 1999 and has stunning natural beauty. Kui Buri National Park has a lot of palm trees and is home to Thailand’s largest elephant and gaur population. There are almost 320 elephants here, as well as gaurs, leopards, golden jackals, barking deer, and langurs.

Kui Buri National Park

As well as animals, there are several species of birds found here, including the crested fireback, the Indian roller, and the Asian openbill. Overall, it’s a perfect sight of wonder, popular with tourists of all kinds. Tourists enjoy spotting wildlife and watching birds at Kui Buri National Park. I haven’t been to Kui Buri National Park yet, but it’s a year-round destination. You should avoid going there in the rainy season. It’s the breeding season, so you won’t see much wildlife during those months.

Location: Kui Buri District, Thailand

Timings: 2 pm to 6 pm

Entry fee: 200 THB

Huai Kha Khaeng Wildlife Sanctuary

Huai Kha Khaeng Wildlife Sanctuary is one of Thailand’s most interesting and diverse wildlife-watching spots. In Thailand, it’s difficult to see wildlife because most forests are dense, covered with thick vegetation. However, it’s easy to spot wildlife at Huai Kha Khaeng Wildlife Sanctuary because the forest is relatively clear and there are lots of animals. This sanctuary has the biggest tiger population in Thailand, as well as banteng, elephants, and leopards.

Huai Kha Khaeng Wildlife Sanctuary

Birds are also abundant in the sanctuary. It is estimated that around 270 bird species have been recorded from the sanctuary so far, taking into account historical records. Since Huai Kha Khaeng is located in a remote part of the country, so you will need to arrange your own transportation. While there are no accommodations or restaurants within the sanctuary, there are a few basic hotels and restaurants outside the sanctuary.

Location: Chang Wat Uthai Thani, Thailand

Timings: 6:30 am to 3:30 pm

Entry fee: 200 THB

Khao Sok National Park

Khao Sok National Park should be on your list of places to see if you want to experience Thailand’s raw beauty. I will be honest here – while on vacation in Thailand, I had several doubts about visiting Khao Sok National Park. While Khao Sok was on my Thailand itinerary, I realized going there was not an easy task.

Khao Sok National Park

It made me wonder whether I should do it or skip it and enjoy the beach trip instead. Finally, I went, and what an incredible adventure it was! I’m so glad I visited this national park. Khao Sok has some of the most breathtaking scenery. There are a bunch of animals in the park, including sambar deer, sun bears, Malayan tapirs, and 200 about bird species. The wildlife encounters at Khao Sok were definitely a highlight of my trip to Thailand. The colors, landscapes, and rawness – it is an incredibly beautiful location.

Location: Surat Thani, Thailand

Timings: 7 am to 7 pm

Entry fee: 300 THB

Samui Elephant Sanctuary

The Samui Elephant Sanctuary is a beautiful and lovely sanctuary that rescues elephants from exploitation practices such as trekking, circus performances, logging, and street begging. The sanctuary is located amid the lush jungles of Koh Samui, on an undulating hilltop with impressive views of the Gulf of Thailand and Koh Phangan.

Samui Elephant Sanctuary

The rescued elephants are free to roam throughout the sanctuary and can express their natural instincts. This is the place to visit if you are interested in having meaningful encounters with these magnificent elephants, as well as learning about their individual histories and traits while supporting ethical tourism. Additionally, you will have the opportunity to see a herd of beautiful cows, some clucking chickens, and rescued dogs too.

Location: Surat Thani, Thailand

Timings: 9 am to 5 pm

Entry fee: 3000 THB

Mu Ko Chang National Park

Mu Ko Chang National Park is located in Trat province in the east of Thailand, around 300 km from Bangkok. Waterfalls, trails, viewpoints, and coral reefs are the main attractions in this national park. Upon researching, I found that Mu Ko Chang National Park was officially opened on 31 December 1982. It’s Thailand’s 45th national park.

Mu Ko Chang National Park

Around 110 bird species have been recorded in the national park. The park is home to heart-spotted woodpeckers, copper-throated sunbirds, mustache barbets, and eastern buzzards. Isn’t that awesome? Hiking is the main activity in the national park, either on short trails that lead to waterfalls and mangrove forests or on longer and more challenging trails that go deeper into the woods. The park has a lot of waterfalls too, most of them easily accessible, but others require a bit more effort. Another popular activity is diving/snorkeling in coral reefs.

Location: Chang Wat Trat, Thailand

Timings: 8:30 am to 4:30 pm

Entry fee: 200 THB


ElephantsWorld was founded in 2008 and is a sanctuary for sick, old, disabled, abused, and rescued elephants. Here, they can enjoy nature until their last breath in a natural environment. Visiting these beautiful animals can be a very memorable experience for a visitor. You can learn more about the sanctuary’s history and the elephants living there, as well as the local wildlife.


You can also feed the elephants healthy food – sticky rice balls for the old ones and plant foods for the young ones. My experience at ElephantsWorld was amazing. A river in the mountains is where my friends and I bathed the elephants. As I hiked up the sanctuary’s mountain, I was blown away by Kanchanaburi’s natural beauty. 

Location: Kanchanaburi, Thailand

Timings: 9 am to 4 pm

Entry fee: 2500 THB

Snake Farm

Thailand’s Snake Farm is the second-oldest snake farm in the world. It is one of Bangkok’s tourist attractions that is recommended by the Tourism Authority of Thailand (TAT) and many popular media channels like National Geographic. Thailand’s Bangkok Snake Farm cultivates venomous snakes, extracts their venom, and makes antidotes for snake bite victims. There’s a lot to learn about reptiles at this farm – even if you’re scared of snakes, it might help ease your fears. Among the poisonous species on display are king cobras, Malayan kraits, and Russell’s vipers. During my visit there, I got to talk to the snake farm doctor about snakes in general.

Snake farm

He described the living habits of these reptiles with a lot of passion. Among the many snakes I saw on the farm, many were simply stunning, from bright green tree snakes to rainbow snakes, which change their color in the sun, to banded kraits with yellow and black stripes that were highly venomous, and radiated rat snakes that were very intimidating.

Location: Bangkok, Thailand

Timings: 9:30 am to 3:30 pm

Entry fee: 200 THB

Kanta Elephant Sanctuary 

I visited Kanta Elephant Park for a half-day and engaged in playful activities with elephants. Seeing elephants in their natural habitat gave me a whole new perspective. Trust me, you’ve got to visit Kanta Elephant Sanctuary too. You will love spending the day in the park, interacting with elephants, feeding them, and playing with them.

Kanta Elephant Sanctuary 

This will allow you to learn about elephants’ natural behavior & habits. You can also ask your doubts from your local guide as you watch the elephants in their natural habitat. Basically, you can create cherished memories with these gentle giants here and be a part of something special. Don’t forget to take pictures with the elephants in the traditional Thai clothes provided at the venue.

Location: Chiang Mai, Thailand

Timings: 7 am to 6 pm

Entry fee: 2500 THB

Maerim Elephant Sanctuary

Maerim Elephant Sanctuary rescues miss-treated elephants and provides them with a beautiful environment where they feel safe, loved, and cared for. Locals told me that Maerim Elephant Sanctuary has elephants rescued from riding camps, circuses, and illegal logging. As an animal lover, I was impressed by the sanctuary’s commitment to providing rescued elephants with a beautiful life.

Maerim Elephant

In my opinion, Maerim Elephant Sanctuary is a place where you will make memories that will last a lifetime as you roam freely with the magnificent elephants. You will learn about the realities of caring for elephants and the cruelties they endure before they are rescued. I think young children will love visiting this elephant sanctuary.

Location: Chiang Mai, Thailand

Timings: 8:30 am to 6 pm

Entry fee: 2000 THB

Also Read :- Best Tourist Places to Visit in Thailand

Helpful Tips For Responsible Wildlife Tourism

Wildlife tourism is very popular among tourists in Thailand, and many people post pictures on social media of themselves riding elephants, swimming with dolphins, and posing with tigers. Everybody takes selfies with wild animals, including travelers, celebrities, influencers, etc., since they receive many likes. But what we see on Instagram isn’t everything. It’s rare for travelers to realize what life is like for the animals they meet on their adventures. I don’t blame anyone for this. In the world of wildlife tourism, you don’t see what goes on behind the scenes. Here are some tips for responsible wildlife tourism in Thailand:

Do some research on ethical animal tourism

In order to engage in wildlife tourism responsibly, it is essential that you educate yourself. Gain a basic understanding of the issues surrounding wildlife tourism and research the national parks and wildlife sanctuaries you are considering visiting in Thailand. 

 If there is a selfie code, follow it

The Wildlife Selfie Code was started by World Animal Protection. According to the Selfie Code, forced selfies, where you have to hold, hug, restrain, or bait an animal with food, should be avoided. You should avoid animal entertainment and hands-on encounters as these are where abuse and exploitation occur.

Don’t feed your food to animals

It’s so tempting to feed wildlife, especially since it seems like a harmless way to get to know them. However, feeding human food to animals, whether they’re in a sanctuary or in the wild, is not good and they can become sick.

Don’t disturb animals while on safari

There are many ethical safaris where you can watch animals from a distance without disturbing them. Rather than a forced encounter, you see the animals in their natural habitat, engaging in their natural behavior.

“Sanctuary” is a tricky term

Sanctuaries provide support to animals that have escaped abuse, but researching first is essential since any facility can claim the name “sanctuary” in several regions of the world. A good animal sanctuary is one that doesn’t allow you to get close to an animal.

Support wildlife-protecting communities

When you visit a wildlife tourism spot, there is usually a community or organization running it and making it possible! Donations can be made to support those communities. As these are communities that care for and protect wildlife, supporting them also means supporting animals. 

Don’t just enjoy wildlife, make it educational

One of the best things about wildlife tourism is how educational it can be. It’s likely you’ll see animals and habitats you’ve never seen before. Hiring tour guides is an easy way to ensure your wildlife experiences are educational. In this way, you will have plenty of opportunities to ask questions and learn about wildlife.

Be responsible when purchasing souvenirs

In Thailand, you may find souvenirs made from endangered animals or habitats, such as coral, seashells, elephant tusks, and sea turtle shells. If you don’t buy these souvenirs, you’re helping shift the market demand. It’s an indirect but significant way to support responsible wildlife tourism.


Does Thailand have a lot of animals?

Thailand has more than ten percent of the world’s animals. There are 285 mammal species in Thailand. Whether it’s giant mammals, fluffy monkeys, or bizarre lizards, Thailand’s animals are as varied as its landscapes. Other mammals often seen in Thailand are elephants, tigers, leopards, sun bears, sambars, deer, sheep, goats, wild cattle, etc.

What is the rarest animal in Thailand?

Thailand’s rarest animal is the Indochina Tiger. Southeast Asian tropical and subtropical forests are their natural habitat. As a matter of fact, there’s a slim chance you’ll see an Indochinese tiger in Thailand. Only 200-250 of them are left in Thailand’s natural habitat, so you’d have to be super lucky to see one. 

What is the largest animal in Thailand?

The Asian Elephant (Elephas maximus) is the largest animal in Thailand. Even though Asian Elephants are smaller than African Elephants, they still stand between two and three meters tall and weigh around four tons. One of the largest ever Asian elephants recorded stood close to 3.5 meters tall, had a length of 8 meters, and weighed well over 7.5 tons.

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