One of my favorite things about Thailand is it’s diverse landscapes and wildlife. In America it makes sense we have deserts, mountains, oceans, lakes, islands, and glaciers because we’re the third largest country in the world. The fact that Thailand has such natural diversity in its small size is amazing and what’s even better is it’s small size allows for easy travel to experience all of it!
Some animals you are sure to encounter no matter where you are in Thailand are the stray dogs, stray cats, and roaming chickens. I have an entire album on my phone of pictures of stray dogs. They are outside of 7-11 and inside our classrooms. The cats and chickens I could definitely do without but, after a while, they just become part of the scenery.
Cows are also everywhere in Thailand. I live in a city and am not shocked when I drive one tied to a stop sign. They are everywhere and they are fascinating. Cows in Thailand are so skinny but appear to (creatively, see: tied to a stop sign) graze all day.
Monkeys are another common sight in Thailand. I like to think of them in 2 categories: tourist moneys and non-tourist monkeys. Non-tourist monkeys are exciting to see and will not interact with you. I have seen them on non-busy roads in the jungle and playing in abandoned temples. They have no interest in humans and are fascinating to watch as you can observe their natural monkey life. Tourist monkeys, on the other hand, will interact with you. They are found on popular day trip beaches and touristy temples. They will steal your phone, water, breakfast, etc. and have no problems with climbing on your head. They have had bad interactions with humans before so they can be dangerous. I usually steer clear of tourist monkeys because my Applecare doesn’t cover monkey theft.
Snakes, bugs, snails, and lizards are a fun part of authentic life. It is very difficult to keep these creatures out of your home no matter where you are in Thailand. Luckily, I have never had a snake in my home, but I have had friends who have and am on guard at all times. You learn to make peace with the spiders in your home because they eat the other bugs. While, at first, cohabitating with lizards is uncomfortable, you learn to ignore them as they are very skittish and do not want to interact with you.
Scorpions, tarantulas, and leeches can be found in the national parks in Thailand. My mom has a leech story that she would prefer I not share on a public internet space. I am a huge fan of the Thai national parks and think these creatures only add to the fun and experience.
Elephants are what everyone thinks of when they think of Thai wildlife. Visiting an elephant sanctuary is a must do for any Thailand visitor. I have been twice and interacting with these majestic creatures never gets old. There are also some places in Thailand where you can find wild elephants; these are mostly national parks and it’s best to hire a guide to help you spot them.
Thailand's wildlife is just one of the many reasons it’s a must visit. I encourage anyone visiting or living here to go to as many national parks as they can while they are here. Khao Sam Roi Yot and Khao Sok are two of my favorites. The views, hikes, and wildlife are incredible and make you develop such a deep love for Amazing Amazing Thailand.