Saturday, 7 June 2008

Tourism Boom For Nakhon Nayok Province In Thailand

Over one million tourists a year visit the Thai province of Nakhon Nayok. Remarkably, 95% of them are Thai.

If you ask westerners to name tourist destinations in Thailand, most would list the famous beach resorts such as Pattaya, Phuket and Koh Samui. Some might even mention the cities of Bangkok and Chiang Mai. Those that really know the country may mention places like Kanchanaburi, Pai, The Golden Triangle and the smaller islands and beaches. Absolutely nobody would mention Nakhon Nayok.

Yet this small Thai province, only 100km east of Bangkok, is one of the most visited destinations in Thailand. The area is renowned for its waterfalls, rivers and forest. It sits at the foothills of Khao Yai National Park, which is one of the finest natural attractions in Thailand. The cool mountain water that flows out of this park feeds the rivers and waterfalls of Nakhon Nayok.

Every weekend, thousands of Thais flee the heat of the city to play in the refreshing water of Nakhon Nayok's famous waterfalls such as Sarika and Nang Rong. Others picnic by the stream, under the towering trees of Wang Takhrai Botanical Gardens.

However, it is the latest attraction that has really seen tourism in the area boom. The completion of the Khlong Tha Dan Dam in 2005 has been a huge boost to Nakhon Nayok's tourist trade. The dam is the biggest in Thailand and the biggest of its type in the world. It is an imposing structure and an attraction to tourists in itself. Its biggest benefit is that Nakon Nayok River now has water all year round. Nakhon Nayok's tourist trade had always been seasonal, relying on the rainy season as the waterfalls dry up to a trickle during the dry season. The construction of the Klong Tha Dan Dam means they can now release water into Nakhon Nayok River all year round.

Other attractions in Nakhon Nayok include rafting or kayaking down Nakhon Nayok River. There is also trekking around the forested foothills of Khao Yai National Park or even 3-day treks right into the heart of the park. Nakhon Nayok has plenty to offer for those looking for soft adventure sports.

Thai tourists have enjoyed visiting this area for a long time. Surely, it is only a matter of time before western visitors start to discover the charms of Nakhon Nayok.

To read more about the attractions of this beautiful and charming province of Thailand, please visit Nakhon Nayok Tourist Information.

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