Chiang Mai is attempting to woo tourists from May 27 to 29 with an attractive lighting display at seven temples, the Electricity Generating Authority of Thailand (Egat) said.
Egat assistant governor Jiraporn Sirikum said recently that the highly efficient lighting system, called “Chiang Mai Light Up”, with solar panels with be installed from May 27 to 29.
She said that Egat has joined hands with partners to develop religious places, especially temples, to become international cultural tourist attractions.
They aim to support and develop tourism in several aspects with the energy-saving innovation while also reducing carbon dioxide emissions. They also want to increase the safety in temples, and beautify the night.
The LED lights will be installed at seven temples — Wat Muen Lan, Wat Phan On, Wat Samphao, Wat Phantao, Wat Chai Phrakiat, Wat Tung Yu, and Wat Srikerd.
From May 27 to 29, people will be able to view the lighting display at the seven temples, while also visiting the temple fair, free of charge. Local products will be put on sale at the fair.
After the three-day fair, visitors can enjoy the lighting display every Sunday and on religious holidays.
The last group of some 100 travellers left Similan Islands on Sunday before the Andaman archipelago is closed for five months for the monsoon season.
The Mu Koh Similan National Park announced that as usual, the islands will be closed to visitors from May 16 to October 14.
Similan stands for “nine” in the Yawi language, as it covered nine islands in the archipelago.
Initially, Mu Koh Similan National Park comprised nine islands, namely Koh Huyong, Koh Payang, Koh Payan, Koh Miang, Koh Ha, Koh Payu, Koh Hin Pousar, Koh Similan and Koh Ba-ngu.
Koh Bon and Koh Tachai were later added to the national park, bringing the number of islands under Mu Koh Similan National Park up to 11.
The Similan Islands in the South of Thailand are popular among divers and can be accessed via Phang Nga province. The islands are closed during the monsoon season every year, though Koh Tachai has been closed to tourists indefinitely since October 2016.
Meanwhile, in a bid to help the islands recover from uncontrolled tourism, the authorities have placed a cap on the number of tourists allowed to visit and demolished all overnight accommodation.
SUP, or stand-up paddling, is fast becoming popular among eco-friendly travellers because this sport requires nothing more than a board and beautiful, natural surroundings.
To meet this new craze, the Tourism Authority of Thailand (TAT) has come up with a list of SUP hotspots that are worth checking out.
Kwai River, Kanchanaburi
Kwai River is an excellent site for SUP beginners and enthusiasts, with tour guides available for both morning and evening trips down the river. Paddlers will find themselves passing several tourist attractions and historical landmarks, including the World War II Bridge over the River Kwai. If your timing is right and you’re under the bridge when a train is running over it, you can capture a once-in-a-lifetime snap to make your friends jealous.
For more info, call TAT Kanchanaburi Office at (034) 511 200, (034) 512 500.
Rayong Provincial East Plant Centre
This 2,500-rai botanical garden in Rayong’s Klaeng district is home to diverse flora and fauna, especially hundreds of wild birds. The highlight is its “ancient swamp forest”, which boasts hundreds of Cajuput trees in a large swamp covered in a thick layer of grass dubbed locally as “Ya Nang Ma” or dog-skin. This grass on the swamp is strong enough to support the weight of a human.
Paddlers can navigate the pond under dappled sunlight breaking through the branches of the trees. Kayaks and bicycles are also available for those not keen on paddling.
Call the TAT Rayong Office at (038) 655 420 or the Rayong Provincial East Plant Centre Office at (038) 638 880 for more info.
Khao Rakam Reservoir, Trat
The Khao Rakam Reservoir with a 47.6 million cubic metre capacity in Trat’s Muang district was built to store water during the dry season. From September to March every year, the reservoir’s floodgates are closed to keep the water in, an action that floods nearby areas and almost “drowns” a 5-metre tall Buddha statue. Paddlers can move up close to the “Drowning Buddha” for photos and to make offerings.
Call TAT Trat Office at (039) 597 259 for further details.
Kok River, Chiang Rai
Kok River in Chiang Rai’s Chiang Saen district offers various challenges for SUP paddlers, as they can choose from courses ranging from 3km long to over 10km long, depending on how much people want to exercise. The forest views along both sides of the river are outstanding and can be even more beautiful during sunset.
Call TAT Chiang Rai Office (053) 717 433 for details.
Culture Minister Itthiphol Khunpluem is visiting Kalasin on Friday to launch nationwide Visakha Bucha Day celebrations.
The Northeast province is marking the holiday, which falls on Monday, with a five-day cultural fair at its most revered ancient chedi.
The “E-San Doo Dee” cultural festival runs from today until Tuesday at Fah Daed Song Yang Ancient City, home to the Dvaravati-era Phrathat Ya Khu chedi in Kamalasai district.
Celebrations will peak on Sunday, when Thailand marks the birth, death and enlightenment of the Buddha on Visakha Bucha Day.
Highlights include the sprinkling of holy water from 20 temples in the province over the chedi. Buddhist monks will then wrap the sacred monument with a giant piece of cloth on Sunday.
The ceremony is being held for the first time in three years after being suspended due to the Covid-19 epidemic.
“This year will be the first time that we can resume our tradition as the virus situation is improving,” said Kalasin Governor Songphol Jaikrim
Culture Minister Itthiphol will attend the opening ceremony at Phrathat Ya Khu on Friday, he added.
Along with religious ceremonies, the fair will feature masked dance, a light and sound show, traditional art performances and a procession of “Thung” banners with over 1,800 traditional dancers every night until next Tuesday. Visitors can also shop at booths selling OTOP products.
Salawin National Park in Mae Hong Son will be developed as Thailand’s latest eco-tourism attraction, complete with trekking, beauty spots and hot springs.
Plans to turn the mountainous forested landscape bordering Myanmar into a major tourism destination were unveiled on Thursday by the Forest Industry Organisation (FIO).
The FIO is responsible for conserving natural resources and sustainably developing communities that live in Salawin National Park.
FIO director Sukit Chanthong said the park has the potential to become a major eco-tourism destination, citing its hot springs and elevation of an average 800 metres above sea level.
The natural hot springs emerge from the ground at a temperature of 79 degrees Celsius before cooling farther downstream to create health-giving benefits for bathers.
FIO hopes that developing the park as a tourism attraction will generate much-needed jobs and revenue for local communities.
The government has set a target of 7-10 million tourist arrivals this year as travel restrictions are lifted. Mae Hong Son is popular with foreign tourists mainly thanks to its resort town of Pai, where hot springs are also a big draw.
The FIO also plans to turn Salawin National Park into a learning centre to promote awareness of natural resources and the need for conservation as well as sustainable development.
Thailand remains one of the top destinations for tourists around the world, according to the latest study by Visa.
The Visa Global Travel Intentions Study ranked Thailand the fourth most chosen destination for international tourists.
The study augurs well for Thai entrepreneurs to ready themselves for an influx of foreign tourists.
Thailand is placed behind the United States, the United Kingdom, and India. Some 30 per cent of the respondents chose Thailand to take a break, 25 per cent to escape and relax and 18 per cent for adventure and outdoor activities. The online survey shows that more people are looking for more activities, including travelling to help them release daily stress.
Bangkok, Phuket, Chiang Mai and Hua Hin are the most popular destinations in Thailand that tourists around the world search for information about through online channels. Meanwhile, activities that interest tourists the most are traditional Thai massage and Thai foods.
Also, spending time in a spa resort and experiencing Thai culture such as visiting Thai temples is one of the attractions that many tourists are looking for while staying in the country.
Serene Gay, group country manager for Asean Region of Visa, said she was very pleased that Thailand remained one of the world’s most popular tourist destinations. The reopening of the country and foreigners beginning to return is significantly a positive sign for recovery of the tourism industry.
She said the Thai business sector should be ready to welcome tourists and transform their business to meet the new demands of tourists, which are changing from the pre-Covid-19 era. Several needs, such as the demand for security and the digital payment or contactless payment are considered to be key factors to sustain the growth of the business.
“We hope that all this information will be useful for entrepreneurs, both big and small businesses in Thailand, to prepare for the recovery of the tourism industry. Visa expects to be their business partner as their digital payment solutions. We would like to be part of the country to recover and return to their full potential again”, said Gay
Previously, a study by the Pacific Asia Travel Association found that Thailand’s tourism industry is showing good signs of recovery. It is estimated that the number of tourists will reach 46.96 million by the end of 2024. As the government eases measures to facilitate entry into the country, more tourists will return to Thailand.
Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha is delighted at Forbes Adviser listing Ayutthaya among the “Top 50 Best Places To Visit Post-Pandemic”.
Government Spokesman Thanakorn Wangboonkongchana said on Wednesday that Prayut thanked the entire world for recognising Ayutthaya, which is a beautiful place that contains a lot of Thai history.
Prayut said that he believed the various identities of Thai tourist attractions are popular. He said that when it is combined with the efficiency in managing the situation and disease control, it will attract a lot of tourists back to Thailand soon.
Prayut thanked and praised staff from related agencies for implementing Thailand’s entry process to control the pandemic while considering the safety of Thai citizens and tourists.
He also ordered related agencies to monitor and control the situation so everyone in the country will be able to do their normal activities, including the tourism sector, to generate revenue and employment.
Ayutthaya is one of eight places in Asia featured in the list, apart from Harbin (China), Bhutan, Assam (India), Lombok (Indonesia), Taipei (Taiwan), Uzbekistan, and Doha (Qatar).
Forbes posted on its website about Ayutthaya: “One thing’s for sure: no one in the West learns about Ayutthaya in history class, despite the fact that it was the largest city in the world in 1700. Most of today’s visitors go to see earlier history, though. The ruins at Ayutthaya Historical Park date back to 1350. The park is expansive and from a different period and culture than the renowned Angkor Wat, so don’t write it off before you go.
“Trains from Bangkok leave frequently to make the 90-minute trip to Ayutthaya. In fact, most visitors arrive on a day trip but staying the night is even better. You’ll get to see the temples in early morning and late afternoon, when they’re at their quietest. Sunset in particular is beautiful and a great reason not to leave too early.”
Some 2,000 travellers entered Thailand via the Sadao-Malaysia border crossing in Songkhla on the first two days of the Test & Go measure being scrapped.
The Centre for Covid-19 Situation Administration had ended the scheme on May 1 so fully vaccinated travellers could enter the country without having to get a RT-PCR test.
Hat Yai Songkhla Hotels Association president Sitthiphong Sitthiphatprapha said around 2,000 Malaysians entered Thailand via the Sadao border crossing on May 1 and 2, which is close to the number of tourists during the whole of April.
“This was the result of the Test & Go scheme cancellation,” he said.
Sitthiphong said 80 per cent of arrivals headed to other provinces, such as Krabi, Phang-nga, Phuket and Koh Samui, so the number of visitors in Songkhla was not a lot, but he hoped the number would increase soon.
He asked related public and private organisations to introduce tourism promotion activities to handle an increasing number of tourists in the future, especially once Thailand Pass is cancelled in June or sooner.
Sitthiphong said Tourism Minister Pipat Ratchakitprakarn would visit the Sadao border crossing on Friday to check how many travellers have entered Thailand from May 1 and to see if there are any problems.
Mu Koh Surin National Park in Phang Nga province on Monday released 94 baby green sea turtles into the sea, a memorable sight for scores of tourists who watched the event.
The park staff had been monitoring the incubation of the sea turtles after the mother turtles laid eggs on March 6.
On Monday morning, park staff found that sand in the hatching area had sunk significantly so they released eight baby turtles back into the sea and monitored the rest of them closely.
In the evening, the staff found that the sand was still sinking continuously. When they removed the sand, they found that the baby turtles were trying to climb out of the the hole. The staff then released 86 baby turtles into the sea.
The staff has released 94 sea turtles into the sea from a total of 112 eggs, after 57 days of hatching. Six eggs were empty while 12 eggs were not developed.
Tourists who saw this rare and beautiful sight considered themselves lucky as the park will be open only until May 16. The park usually closes during the rainy season from May to October every year.