Bangkok, 16 August, 2021 – Thailand is a country rich in natural resources. Offering everything from dense forests to extensive marine ecosystems, there is no shortage of natural wonders to see when visiting the Kingdom. Luckily for tourists, most of these places are also surprisingly accessible and immensely enjoyable for both solo travellers and families alike.
Each province has a unique landscape upon which its communities have built their livelihoods.
In Phuket, for example, fishing is a cornerstone industry sustaining a way of life on the island. In other parts of the country that are not on the beach; such as, the provinces that make up the Northeastern Isan region, vast fields of rice, corn, and sugar cane are the pillars upon which communities are grown and sustained.
Every year, tourists to Thailand experience a host of natural spectacles that transpire without human interference.
One such example is the widely popular sunflower season that decorates the central provinces of Lop Buri and Saraburi between November and January. During this time, thousands of sunflowers bloom making way for numerous activities that tourists and locals alike flock to the area to enjoy.
Another favourite of nature enthusiasts is the blooming of the elusive Himalayan Cherry Blossoms at Khun Wang Royal Agricultural Project in Chiang Mai. Occurring from mid-to-late January during a very brief time frame, the entire project – sitting at 1400 metres above sea level at Doi Inthanon – comes alive with the fragrant, bright pink flowers rarely seen in Thailand.
The natural wonders of Kanchanburi
Kanchanaburi province, which shares its western border with Myanmar, is one of the many ecologically diverse provinces in the Kingdom. Known for its floating homestays dotted along the River Kwai, Kanchanaburi has long since been a favourite destination for tourists looking to get away from Bangkok without overspending time or money.
Unlike some other tourist hotspots throughout Thailand, Kanchanaburi is easy to visit as a day trip from Bangkok either by car or train. Regardless of how you reach it, you’ll experience captivating scenic ecosystems throughout the entire journey.
Many of the most popular tourist destinations in Kanchanaburi are woven into a natural background that is often seen in movies set in the region. Seeing the infamous bridge over the River Kwai and the WWII-era railroad, exploring national parks with dramatic waterfalls, and escaping to off-the-beaten-path wellness retreats are the most common activities tourists to this area come to experience.
There is also one lesser-known human made wonder in Kanchanaburi that is worth taking the time to find.
Khao Laem Dam, also known as Vajiralongkorn dam, is a multipurpose rockfill dam under the Development of the Mae Klong River Basin Project. Along with a handful of other large dams throughout Thailand, the Vajiralongkorn Dam is essential to producing hydroelectricity in the Kingdom.
In Thailand, hydropower regularly produces more energy than solar and wind projects throughout the country. Vajiralongkorn Dam, which spans 1,019 metres across the Khwae Noi River and stands at a stately 92 metres high, is one of 26 dams in Thailand. Of those, 19 are hydroelectric power stations, including this one.
In addition to creating energy, this dam also collects floodwater and acts as a primary supply source for agricultural projects in and around Kanchanaburi province.
When going to view the Dam, visitors will first notice a well-kept shrub garden at the foot of the massive stone barrier. This garden, also known as the Queen Sirikit Memorial 72nd Birthday Anniversary Park, is one of the commemorative flower projects kept blooming year-round by the provincial government.
Once on the property, spectators can drive up to the Park on top of the Dam to have a look at the lake, free of charge. As visitors walk around the viewing area atop the Dam, the panoramic views may leave them in awe of the sheer size and scope of both the surrounding landscape and the engineering involved in the construction of the Dam.
For an enhanced angle on the expansive vista below, visitors can also take a short hike up the 100+ stairs to an observation point that guarantees breath-taking views of the Dam from both sides, as well as the sparkling emerald water held still by the Dam itself.