The year-end long holidays are just a couple of weeks away. Surely, when the much-awaited period arrives, tens of thousands of vacationers will be headed to many of the more than 150 national parks across the Kingdom.
During a recent meeting of all national park chiefs, chaired by Thanya Netithammakul, the director-general of the Department of National Parks, Wildlife and Plant Conservation, attendants were given a number of instructions. Here is a list of those that the public too should know about.
1) On the last day of 2019 and the following New Year's Day, all Thai citizens will not have to pay to enter national parks. The entrance fees vary from one park to another. However, in any case, with this measure, nature lovers, especially those who come with families or groups of friends, will be able to save some cash for other purposes.
2) Noisy visitors, drunk campers or other troublemakers must be put under control so that other people can enjoy their hard-earned holidays in peace. If there is a complaint that such a nuisance happens in any national park, the chief could be in trouble. So don't be surprised if you see park rules being strictly enforced.
3) Styrofoam and single-use plastics will not be allowed in national parks. This is aimed at minimising non-biodegradable waste, some of which can be fatal if ingested by wild animals. Actually, a total ban is set to begin on Jan 1. But as responsible travellers, you can start using fewer such products now instead of waiting until the next holiday to do so.
These days, most national parks have their own Facebook pages. Therefore, it is easy to message each park for whatever related information you might need. Keep in mind though that it would be easier if you are able to do it in Thai. In case you cannot, ask for help from a friend who speaks Thai. The Department of National Parks, Wildlife and Plant Conservation itself also has a fan page. So in case you come back from the New Year holidays and have a complaint or a compliment to make, search on Facebook for NationalPark.Interpretation or call 02-561-0777, ext 1731.