Geocaching may not be as popular worldwide as it once was, but there’s still a thriving geocaching community in Thailand.
A quick glance at the map of geocaches in Thailand shows that there are thousands waiting to be discovered. The majority are in the Bangkok, Chiang Mai and Pattaya areas, where there are more local geocachers and also more tourists. Visitors often spend part of their vacation in Thailand hunting for caches near their hotels.
In some places there are geocaches hidden around ancient temples. For example in Sukhothai, where around 30 temples have caches that are waiting to be found. The majority are relatively easy to find.
This video shows the fun you can have geocaching around the ruins in Sukhothai. Temple hopping is interesting, it can get a bit boring. One way to liven it up is to either look for or place geocaches. There is a geocache at nearly every temple at Sukhothai. This transforms a normal sightseeing trip into a private treasure hunt.
The video above is a few years old. But more people are getting involved with geocaching in Thailand.
For example, in May 2020, students from Bangkok Patana School hid stashes in various parks around Bangkok city centre. Picture clues and coordinates were posted and fellow students and teachers had fun finding and photographing the caches. The items were then replaced for the next seeker to find.
This was done as a way of getting students out into the open air, following the coronavirus lockdown, and also exploring their local parks in a way they hadn’t experienced before. As a result, students got out of the house and explored their nearby parks.
You too can hunt for the school’s containers, more information here.
Geocaching allows participants to experience discovery, adventure and exploration in the real world. Video games are great but they aren’t a substitute for real life escapism. In addition to the reasons below, geocaching represents a great ‘new normal’ activity. It can be done solo or with one or two friends. It takes you to areas away from crowded locations. You can utilize your time indoors wisely, by problem solving and learning more about nature or navigation.
Five Reasons to Geocache
- It’s a great way to stay healthy while having fun.
- It’s an activity that can be done solo or with friends or a family of all ages.
- The act of taking and replacing items in a cache is a way of giving back to strangers, who may well thank you online later.
- You can experience new places like a local or discover new places in your home town that you didn’t know existed. .
- There are caches suited to all levels, from kids to hardcore puzzle addicted adventurers.
From a personal perspective. Here is an explanation of the attraction of geocaching from a friend of mine who is an avid geocacher in Thailand.
It is less then a game and more of a hobby. I bury treasure wherever I travel and record the GPS coordinates. I then place these coordinates on various places on the web and other places in the real world for people to find and then plan a adventure to locate these treasures. I sometimes bury the containers, in which case a metal detector is required. But most are in the open air.
In my caches I put a note stating who I am what they have found (in case a non geocacher finds it) and an email address to inform me it has been found. I like to do things the old fashioned way and I leave some treasure for the finder to keep. I know most people don’t do this now. But it adds to the enjoyment for me.
I also instruct the finder to take the ‘treasure’ and replace the empty container back into the spot where it was found with a note stating “I beat you to it!” and also their own item of hidden treasure. This is for the next hunter. and so on.
The appeal is the adventure. I like to place containers in places that will take a person off the beaten path to find them. Some are in towns and cities in Thailand. Others near rivers or in caves and jungles around the country.
I should note that geocaching isn’t limited to expats and foreign tourists in Thailand. A lot of Thais take part. This Thai geocaching video shows a Thai woman placing caches and explaining how to use the geocaching.com app. It’s had almost 1 million views.