Guide to Travelling Thailand Without Leaving a Carbon Footprint

As far as awesome backpacking destinations go – Thailand has to be pretty high on the list. And it’s not hard to see why. The endless beaches, the beautiful islands, the gorgeous food, friendly locals and cheap prices too, make it a haven for anyone wanting to take a few weeks (or months) out from their normal routine.

It can be difficult as an eco friendly traveller though – as you’re constantly searching for ways to make your travel habits a little more green a little more environmentally friendly. It can be hard – because when you’re lounging about on the beach – who actually (and be honest here) wants to be thinking about keeping their carbon footprint smaller? There are some easy ways though, which you can do naturally and almost effortlessly.

 1.     Choose a direct flight

Flying direct keeps your carbon footprint much smaller as you’re going on one direct route (rather than trailing round a load of destinations first). I know it can be tempting when you’re on a budget to opt for changeovers and stopovers (because it’s usually a little cheaper) but it’s not a good choice for the environment, so try and avoid it if you can. There are plenty of direct routes from the UK to Thailand, so you shouldn’t struggle to find something suitable.

2.     Choose a newer aircraft on your flight out

Newer and more modern aircraft are usually better for the environment as they’re more careful about carbon emissions and more ergonomically made. You may not think it makes much of a difference – but newer aircrafts can proudly boost much lower emission numbers, so you should really keep an eye for the newer aircrafts flying your route. Often with most airlines, you can pay a little extra when you book your tickets, for a eco-friendly donation to be made too – so you could even do this.

3.     Quit the taxi habit

It can be tempting to rent a car or go everywhere by taxi or tuktuk in Thailand (and whilst you should definitely experience a tuktuk ride at some point!) neither of these should ever be your primary mode of transportation as they’re not eco friendly at all. Instead spend your flight familiarizing yourself with public transport, so that when you arrive you’ll be confident enough to use it and find your way around on your own. It sounds obvious, but you’ll usually see and experience more doing things this way too – as you’ll see the city from a local’s perspective not just a tourist’s.

4.     Take the train

For many of us in Thailand, island hopping and adventuring will definitely be on the agenda. Try and avoid flying these routes though – as it’s definitely not eco friendly and the low cost airlines are very careless with carbon emissions. Thailand has a fantastic train network that you should look into instead as an eco-friendly alternative. You can usually ride in a first class cabin for relatively cheap – if you’re the kind of traveller who likes their creature comforts.

5.     Entertain yourself

Instead of going on long coach tours and bus tours to see the sites, try and entertain and teach yourself. You can hire bikes from most Thai towns, and biking the countryside is an eco friendly but equally exciting way to see all the attractions. Bikes are zero in the way of carbon emissions – so the more you can use them the better.

6.     Kayaking

In Thailand it’s not uncommon to want to explore the beautiful ocean, and one of the best ways to do that is by speedboat. However – we all know a speedboat isn’t great in terms of being eco-friendly and there are many more alternatives you can take. One of my favourites is kayaking. Kayaking lets you take things a bit slower, at your own pace – and best of all – it’s emission free.