Amazing Dark Sky Thailand programme by TAT to boost stargazing
If you’re looking for the next big thing for Thailand, the Tourism Authority of Thailand suggests looking up. The National Astronomical Research Institute of Thailand has teamed up with the TAT to launch the new Amazing Dark Sky Thailand, which focuses on attracting those who appreciated staring up at the night sky.
In a country whose main concern with celestial bodies is when to party for the Full Moon, the new program gathers a collection of 12 perfect locations around the country for stargazing and dark sky conservation. The areas are scattered around five key regions across the kingdom. The TAT governor spoke of the programmes as a new tourist experience that will attract tourists to travel around the country.
“We are promoting astronomy tourism or dark sky tourism as another new tourist experience, that is in line with the ‘Visit Thailand Year 2022-2023: Amazing New Chapters’ campaign. Tourists who are fond of watching the stars, and astronomical phenomena like meteor showers and eclipses when they occur, can do so and combine this with other tourist attractions and activities at different locations around Thailand.”
The programme was first created in 2020 when NARIT joined the TAT to raise awareness about light pollution, or what is now called dark sky conservation. The goal was to create and grow this new style of tourism that would help preserve quiet and dark areas by making the peaceful night skies a tourist attraction in itself.
The designated dark sky conservation areas are locations that are equipped with tourism facilities, but have wide open spaces and an absence of manmade light pollution, allowing astronomical observation without the use of telescopes or other devices, according to the executing director of NARIT.
“A dark sky conservation area needed to be an open space where the surrounding sky could be observed freely enough from light pollution, and where prominent celestial objects were visible to the naked eye. There must be personnel in the area able to provide tourists with basic astronomical knowledge, as well as facilities like restrooms, restaurants, and accommodation.”
A travel guide with routes and astronomy details has been launched along with a website for more information. Areas now designated as part of the Amazing Dark Sky Thailand programme:
- Dark Sky Conservation Areas in National Parks:
- Huai Nam Dang National Park, Chiang Mai
- Pha Taem National Park, Ubon Ratchaburi
- Phu Khieo-Thung Kraman Wildlife Sanctuary, Chaiyaphum
- Pa Hin Ngam National Park, Chaiyaphum
- Phu Langka National Park, Chaiyaphum
- Dark Sky Community:
- On Tai Community in San Kamphaeng District, Chiang Mai
- Dark Sky Properties:
- Alcidini Wine Vineyard in Pak Chong District, Nakhon Ratchasima
- Raintree Residence Hotel in Khao Yai, Nakhon Ratchasima
- Muak Lek ATV Stadium in Muak Lek District, Saraburi
- Ban Rai Yai Cha Phlu in Muak Lek District, Saraburi
- The Piano Resort in Pak Chong District, Nakhon Ratchasima
- Gran-Monte Wine Vineyard in Pak Chong District, Nakhon Ratchasima
SOURCE: TAT Newsroom
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