If you follow the usual tourist trail in Thailand, you will get to enjoy some stunning beaches, tranquil temples, lush jungles, along with a plentiful supply of cultural delights. Holidaymakers return here year after year because there is always something new to see or do. You could spend the rest of your life exploring the land-based attractions in this country, and you’d probably never get bored, but if you have never seen Thailand from the air, you are really missing out.
If you are flying to Thailand, and you are lucky enough to have a window seat, you are going to see a bit of what the country's aerial views have to offer. You may be treated to some breathtaking sights during your decent to Suvarnaphumi Airport, but for most of the time, you are going to be too high up to fully appreciate the landscape. There are actually much better ways to enjoy this part of the world from the air, and it is well worth trying one of these options during your trip.
One of the most wonderful things about getting high up off the ground is you get to see your location in a totally new way. You are almost certain to observe things you would have otherwise been completely unaware of. The other nice advantage of taking to the air is that it gives you a much better understanding of the layout of the area. Of course, you are also going to be able to take some unique and fabulous photos from this elevated vantage point.
There are a number of ways for you to enjoy Thailand from the air. The right choice for you is likely going to depend on your budget as well as your sense of adventure – not to mention your level of courage. Here are six of the popular options you may want to consider:
6 Do A Tandem Skydive In Pattaya
Jumping out of an airplane over the Thai jungle may sound like suitable content for a nightmare, but there is probably no better adrenalin rush in the world.
Thai Sky Adventure is a company based just outside the popular seaside resort area of Pattaya. If you have never tried this type of thing before, you will probably want to start off with a tandem skydive where you are connected by a harness to an experienced instructor.
The drop zone is over Nong Khor Reservoir, so you can expect some amazing sights during your descent. If you enjoy the jump, you may decide to do AFF training course with Thai Sky Adventure so you earn your sky diving license and start jumping alone.
5 Learn To Fly A Plane In Sri Racha
Enjoying the view as you fly to Thailand on a commercial airline is one thing, but imagine how much better it would be if you got to actually pilot the craft. Sriracha Aviation is based in Sir Racha, which is in Chonburi province and close to Pattaya.
They offer a one-day pilot package where you get to learn the basics of flying a small plane. This course lasts about six hours, and you get to spend an hour actually in the air. You can also stay on and do a longer course to get your private pilot license.
4 Go On A Helicopter Tour Of Phuket
Phuket is the most popular island for tourists because of the plentiful supply of resorts, fun activities, and superb beaches. A private helicopter tour is going to mean you get to experience something truly unique and memorable.
Sky Dance can arrange to fly you around all of the most beautiful attractions in the Phuket area. You can also charter a helicopter to take you around Bangkok (along the Chao Phraya River) or to visit some of the other nearby islands. Sky Dance also provides a luxury shuttle service to a number of locations, such as Pattaya, Ranong, Hua Hin, and Bangkok.
3 Learn To Paramotor Or Paraglide In Sri Racha
A paramotor is where you paraglide with large propeller attached to your back. Don’t worry - it’s completely painless. The fact that you have the propeller means you can travel much further, and it is almost like having your own flying car (or maybe a flying motorbike). This can be a relatively sedate way to travel once you get used to the height, and you should have plenty of opportunity to take some photos of the stunning Thai landscape below.
If you want to experience this exciting way of flying for yourself, you could try the Paramotor School of Thailand. The school is based in Sri Racha, and there are a number of courses available. If you just want to experience what it is like to take to the air with a large propeller stuck to your back, you could try the one-day course – this includes 20 minutes actually spent in the sky.
If you want to become skilled enough to take charge of your own paramotor, there are also more extensive courses to choose from. They also offer paragliding courses here as well if you prefer to do things the traditional way.
2 Travel In A Hot Air Balloon In Chiang Mai
Flying in a hot air balloon is something everyone should experience at least once and what better place to do this than Thailand? This can be an incredibly exciting thing to do and just watching the balloon envelope fill up with hot air is likely to get your feel-good hormones pumping. Lift-off is a real adrenalin rush, but once you are up there in the sky, it can feel completely relaxing, yet exhilarating. The nicest thing about a hot air balloon is you travel at such an unhurried pace that you can get to fully appreciate the sights below.
Balloon Adventure Thailand is located in Do Saket district, which is just outside of Chiang Mai. The flight lasts for about 75 minutes, and all participants are given a certificate at the end – refreshments are included as part of the trip.
There is also a balloon pilot license course that lasts about three weeks. The best time of year to go hot air ballooning in Chiang Mai is between November and March.
1 Climb Doi Inthanon
Jumping out of airplanes or flying in helicopters isn’t for everyone, but this doesn’t mean you can’t still enjoy Thailand from the air. A less intense experience is available by climbing Do Inthanon. This is the highest mountain in the country, measuring 2,565 meters (8,415).
Thai people love to climb it so they can enjoy the cooler weather on the peak. It’s a relatively easy ascent, and you’ll be rewarded with some spectacular views from the top. Some tourists decide to stay in the Doi Inthanon areas for a couple of days (although it is an easy day trip from Chiang Mai) because there are lots of interesting waterfalls and other natural wonders in the local area.
Some of the other mountains where you can get to enjoy Thailand from the air would include:
• Doi Suthep (Chiang Mai)• Khao Yai National Park (Nakhon Ratchasima, Prachinburi, Saraburi, and Nakhon Nayok )• Doi Chiang Dao (Chiang Mai)• Phu Soi Dao (Uttaradit)• Khao Nom Sao (Ranong)