Credit: City Nomads
June 2021

With Thailand still on track to reopen for tourism from July, it’s high time to dust off our bucket lists and unleash our inner adrenaline junkies. A rugged playground of mountains, waterfalls, and lush jungle, there’s no question Thailand is high among Asia’s top havens for thrill seekers. Game to rappel down a roaring waterfall or dive deep sans oxygen tank? Here’re the top activities in Thailand to get your adrenaline rush.


Deepwater Soloing

Photo courtesy of Hu Chen on Unsplash


Done over the sea or ocean, deepwater soloing takes regular ol’ rock climbing to heart-pounding new heights. No ropes, no safety gear – just you hanging by your fingertips from a cliff face, your fall cushioned by the crashing waves beneath you. And yes, falling is inevitable – your only way down is by plunging back off the cliff. Krabi has become a hotspot for deepwater soloists in recent years, in particular the beaches of Railay and Tonsai. Here, craggy limestone cliffs rise tens of metres above the warm waters of the Andaman Sea, with postcard-perfect views to inspire your climb. Whether you’re a beginner or pro, there are dozens of established routes to get you high. 


Jungle Ziplining

However many times you’ve done it, ziplining never fails to deliver that heady zip of adrenaline, especially if you’re flying through the rainforests of northern Thailand. Ranking among the world’s best spots for extreme ziplining, Chiang Mai’s lush jungle will have you feeling (and screaming) like Tarzan – think mountainous heights and tall trees, overlooking stunning valleys. You’ll find no shortage of ziplines to test your mettle here, including a rollercoaster zipline with 360-degree turns. A favourite, though, is the Eagle Track Zipline, which offers a course of up to 16 ziplines mixed in with thrills like balancing beams. UOB Cardmembers booking through the KKday app can enjoy up to 7% off packages!



Photo courtesy of Marco Assmann on Unsplash


The daredevil cousin of scuba diving, freediving is one thrill that’ll have you holding your breath – literally. This breath-hold diving happens without oxygen tanks, meaning you descend hundreds of feet till the air in your lungs runs out. It’s the ultimate feat of mind over matter, which explains why it’s been dubbed a kind of underwater meditation – you move through the ocean’s depths with complete calm and control. The island paradise of Koh Tao is one of Thailand’s best spots for this, with no shortage of freediving schools and spectacular dive sites in the Gulf of Thailand. Push your limits with cavern swim-throughs at Green Rock, or explore the wildlife-rich wreck of the HTMS Sattakut. 


Whitewater Rafting 

If ever there was a sport made to do with friends, whitewater rafting is it. While northern Thailand is best known for its powerful rapids, don’t miss out on thrills and spills in the southern rivers as well. Set conveniently just outside Phuket, the Song Preak River in Phang Nga is a lesser-known spot amidst lush tropical jungle. Don’t be fooled by the river’s serene looks – a small dam hidden upstream will be opened when your raft is launched, unleashing fast-flowing rapids that’ll toss you over natural ramps and surprise swoops. UOB Cardmembers: book a Phuket Day Tour featuring river rafting and ziplining (from THB 1,430) via the KKday app to get up to 7% discount off tickets.


Mountain Motorbiking

Photo courtesy of Art Rachen on Unsplash


Thailand is teeming with not only majestic mountains, but also twisting, turning mountain roads – the perfect track for thrills on two wheels. For a fast track to your adrenaline rush, look no further than the 600km Mae Hong Son loop. This famously tricky circuit takes you all around the picturesque province while packing in over 4,000 curves. Technical challenges like hairpin curves, sharp climbs, and rugged terrain will keep your heartrate riding high throughout, but don’t ignore the scenic beauties en route as well. Ob Luang National Park is home to a splendid river canyon, while the sleepy town of Pai is peppered with hot springs.


Waterfall Abseiling

If plain ol’ abseiling can’t get your adrenaline spiking, try throwing in a roaring waterfall. Waterfall rappelling has been making a splash in Thailand in recent years, and the appeal is obvious – think descending down a sheer, slippery cliff with cascades thundering over you. And where better to get your adventure high than on Thailand’s tallest mountain, Doi Inthanon? This Chiang Mai icon cradles a handful of powerful waterfalls, but the Wachirathan Waterfall is an impressive highlight with its multi-level streams, pouring downward for around 80 metres.


Cave Exploring

While you’ll find plenty of adventure on land, possibly the most otherworldly experiences to be had in Thailand are hidden underground. Thailand is home to ancient limestone caves at once spooky and spectacular, chief among them Tham Lot – a gargantuan 1.6km-long cave system in Mae Hong province. Raft your way through masses of stalactites and stalagmites in eerie shapes, including a cavern dubbed ‘Doll Cave’ for its uncanny formations – all in the dark, no less. If prehistoric art floats your boat instead, trek your way to Phi Hua To Cave in the mangroves of southern Thailand. Literally translating to ‘big-headed ghost cave’, this former burial site is lined with startlingly lifelike prehistoric paintings.


Scuba-Diving With Sharks

Photo courtesy of Milos Prelevic on Unsplash


Even if you’re an old hand at scuba-diving, Thailand’s turquoise waters still teem with new worlds to stretch your limits. Among the finest dive sites to get your pulse racing are Hin Daeng and Hin Muang (aka Red Rock and Purple Rock), set in the warm seas off Koh Lanta. Both sites star massive walls stretching to over 60 metres deep (by contrast, recreational depths are typically limited to a maximum of 40 metres). Bejewelled with red and purple corals, these walls are swarmed with small critters like pelagic fish alongside mightier visitors like whale and leopard sharks. The strong currents around amp up the thrill too.



Photo courtesy of Skydive Thailand


If freefalling thousands of feet toward the ground – wind deafening, earth spinning, breath knocked out of you – doesn’t get your heart pounding, nothing will. Thailand boasts a couple of established skydiving drop zones conveniently located near Pattaya, both offering stunning scenery as you scream your way down. If you’d prefer dazzling views of sea and sand, Skydive Thailand runs tandem experiences along the coastal province of Rayong. Greenery lovers can opt for Thai Sky Adventures, which operates jumps on the north shore of Nong Kho Reservoir amidst rolling countryside.


Getting Around

Getting around Thailand’s natural attractions can be tough without your own car, so smooth the way with rental services like Avis Car Rental. This rental company has convenient fleets of vehicles from Pattaya to Phuket, and UOB Cardmembers can enjoy up to 20% off rentals.


Top Image: Skydive Thailand



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