Good news for nature lovers seeking a little reprieve from the concrete jungle. Source: Shutterstock

THE Tourism Authority of Thailand (TAT) is pleased to announce that two of Thailand’s national parks have been designated as Asean Heritage Parks (AHPs), bringing the number of the Asean Heritage Parks in Thailand to a total of six.

Thailand’s ministers approved the nominations of two protected areas in Thailand during the 15th Asean Ministerial Meeting on the Environment and the 15th Meeting of the Conference of the Parties to the Asean Agreement on Transboundary Haze Pollution.

They are Hat Chao Mai National Park and Mu Ko Libong Non-hunting Area, and Mu Ko Ang Thong National Park, the 45th and 46th Asean Heritage Parks respectively.

These parks make up four of Thailand’s national parks designated in the previous years: Khao Yai National Park (also a UNESCO World Heritage Site), Tarutao National Park, Mu Ko Surin-Mu Ko Similan-Ao Phang-nga National Parks Complex, and Kaeng Krachan Forest Complex.

The Hat Chao Mai National Park-Mu Ko Libong Non-hunting Area

Announced as a remarkable, International Ramsar Site in 2002, these protected areas consist of limestone forests, beach forests, and mangrove forests. It also has a coastal seagrass ecosystem, which is the last remaining habitat of the dugong (Dugong dugon), one of the 15 preserved species in Thailand which has a declining or nearly extinct population.

Hat Chao Mai National Park is located in the Andaman Sea in the Sikao and Kantang districts, Trang province. It consists of sea pines, mangroves, seagrasses, isles, and a white sandy beach stretching along the coast for more than 20 kilometers.

Source: TAT

Mu Ko Libong Non-hunting Area is not only a significant habitat for the dugong (Dugong dugon) but also one of the best places for bird lovers who want to spot a variety of shorebirds in the South of Thailand. They include rare species of winter migrant birds such as crab-plovers (Dromas ardeola).

Mu Ko Ang Thong National Park

Located in the Gulf of Thailand, Mu Ko Ang Thong is an archipelago of 42 limestone islands with steep cliffs.

The combination of its beauty, such as the clear waters, white sandy beaches, as well as the biological diversity on land and in the sea make the national park one of the most magnificent tourist attractions in the Gulf of Thailand.

Here, the Paphiopedilum godefroyae var. ang-thong or Ang Thong Lady Slipper grows in abundance. An endemic orchid species native to Thailand, it grows along the coasts of Mu Ko Ang Thong. It is found in cavities of rocks and on the ground on Ko Wua Talap, Ko Sam Sao, and Ko Phi.

Source: TAT

To add on, the stunning Chancharas Cliff offers outstanding scenery of numerous islands and islets within the archipelago of Mu Ko Ang Thong.

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