The National Astronomical Research Institute of Thailand (Narit) and the Tourism Authority of Thailand (TAT) have teamed up to promote “astronomical tourism” by designating 18 stargazing locations as dark sky reserves in 2023. These locations, free from artificial light, provide a perfect setting for stargazers and photographers alike.
Amazing Dark Sky in Thailand Season 2
The Amazing Dark Sky in Thailand Season 2 project was launched to showcase the 18 dark sky reserves across the nation. This initiative follows the successful 2020 Amazing Dark Sky in Thailand project, which aimed to promote dark sky tourism, raise light pollution awareness, and preserve peaceful, dark skies ideal for stargazing.
Astronomical Activities and Milestones
Over the past three years, Narit has organized more than 150 astronomical activities, attracting at least 100,000 stargazers. This year, 26 locations were proposed to be endorsed as dark sky reserves, but only 18 met the criteria, as explained by Narit director Saran Poshyachinda.
Dark Sky Reserves: National Parks and Properties
The 18 dark sky reserves comprise five national parks and 13 properties. The national parks include Mae Wong National Park in Kamphaeng Phet, Ta Phraya National Park in Sa Kaeo, Khao Yai National Park in Nakhon Ratchasima, Si Nan National Park in Nan, and Namtok Pha Luang Forest Park in Ubon Ratchathani.
The 13 properties consist of:
- Khon Kaen Zoo
- Mela Garden Retreat Cottage Resort in Saraburi
- Khirimala Eco Camp in Ratchaburi
- Saengsuk Farm in Rayong
- Rai Khao Noi Sawana in Nakhon Ratchasima
- Ao Toh Li Viewpoint in Phangnga
- Ton Khao Hom Ban Aom Doi (Chill Chiang Dao) in Chiang Mai
- Villa De View Chiang Dao in Chiang Mai
- Chiang Dao Farm Stay in Chiang Mai
- Ban Suan Pa Pong Doi in Chiang Mai
- The Teak Resort in Chiang Mai
- Putoh Chiang Dao in Chiang Mai
- Summit Green Valley Chiangmai Country Club in Chiang Mai
Future of Astronomical Tourism
With the growing interest in astronomical tourism and the ongoing efforts of Narit and TAT to promote and preserve dark sky reserves, Thailand is well-positioned to become a top destination for stargazers and photography enthusiasts seeking unique experiences under the stars. The Amazing Dark Sky in Thailand Season 2 project not only showcases these natural wonders but also encourages responsible tourism and environmental awareness.