Butterfly watching in Sa Kaeo
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Butterfly watching in Sa Kaeo


This year, Sa Kaeo province is aiming to be "a green tourist province" with the focus on eco-tourism and anti-global warming. Its governor Sanit Naksuksri invites all to the 8th Pang Sida Butterfly Watching Festival in order to cherish the unspoiled beauty of forests in Thailand's Eastern Region.

The Grand Palace and the Temple of the Emerald Buddha.

Pang Sida National Park in Sa Kaeo province is part of the Khao Yai-Dong Phaya Yen forests, hailed by Unesco as a World Heritage site. Around May-July every year, it becomes a heaven for butterfly watchers as Thailand's most butterfly-populated area with more than 100,000 butterflies from over 450 species in sight.

Butterfly watching is a popular eco-tourism activity there because it can be done around the clock, as both diurnal and nocturnal butterflies thrive there. The best time to watch them though is in the morning, when butterflies like to sunbathe on leaves to keep their bodies and wings warm.

Nestled in Khao Yai-Dong Phrayayen Forest, 250km from Bangkok, Pang Sida National Park is comprised of high mountains and abundant moist evergreen forest, dry evergreen forest, dipterocarp forest and grasslands, criss-crossed by streams and waterways. It boasts many large trees, wild elephants, bulls, boars, barking deer, red gaur, tigers, hornbills, peacocks and more. In its Huay Nam Yen forest believed to be Thailand's largest and last habitat of crocodiles. white-water crocodiles were found in 1991.

Call Sa Kaeo province's tourism and sports office on 086-907-1537 or the Tourism Authority of Thailand Call Centre 1672.

The Temple of Dawn.

London named world's best travel spot

TripAdvisor(TM), one of the world's largest travel sites, has announced the winners of its 2012 Travellers' Choice(R) Destinations awards. In its fourth year, the award has honoured 440 outstanding destinations in 37 markets worldwide, including lists for Africa, Asia, Australia, the Caribbean, Central America, China, Europe, India, Mexico, the Middle East, South America, the South Pacific and the United States.

Top Travellers' Choice World Destinations:

1. London, England

2. New York City, US

3. Rome, Italy

4. Paris, France

5. San Francisco, US

6. Marrakech, Morocco

7. Istanbul, Turkey

8. Barcelona, Spain

9. Siem Reap, Cambodia

London was voted the world's, Europe's and the United Kingdom's best destination. With the Diamond Jubilee and Olympic Games fast approaching, it's a well-timed triumph. Coming in second and third places were New York City and Rome, respectively.

Siem Reap was named travellers' favourite destination in Asia. With its rich history and the majestic Angkor Wat temple complex, tourists are flocking to Siem Reap. China's main cities of Beijing and Shanghai followed in second and third places, respectively.

The Travellers' Choice Destinations awards acclaim top travel spots worldwide based on millions of reviews and opinions from TripAdvisor travellers. The criteria are the popularity of destinations, taking into account travellers' favourites and most highly rated places.

For the complete list of 2012 Travellers' Choice Destinations winners, visit http://th.tripadvisor.com/TravelersChoice-Destinations.

The Butterfly Watching Festival at Pang Sida National Park in Sa Kaeo province.

Cultural excursion

Culture expert Chulapassorn Panomvan na Ayudhya invites culture lovers to follow in the footsteps of Mae Ploy, a leading female character in the classic Si Phaendin (Four Reigns), to several scenes in Bangkok and Thon Buri. Participants will meet opposite the Grand Palace on Na Phra Lan Road at 8am for registration. On May 26th at 8:30am, they will listen to interesting stories about the Grand Palace and nearby places, such as Sanam Luang, Tha Chang Wang Luang, the palace entrances, Tha Ratchavoradit Pier and Tha Phra. At 9am, they will start their tour in the Temple of the Emerald Buddha, the Grand Palace and the Temple of the Emerald Buddha Museum. They will look back to palace ladies' way of living and palace customs as mentioned in Si Phaendin.

After lunch on their own, they will cross the Chao Phraya from Tha Tien Pier to Thon Buri, the birthplace of Mae Ploy. The next destination is the Temple of Dawn, the royal temple in the palace when Thon Buri was the capital. This symbolic temple of King Rama II is full of various fields of rare-to-find arts. The next stop is Wat Molee Lokkayaram Ratchavoraviharn (Wat Thai Talat) whose location had been a fort during the Ayutthaya period and some sculptures of Western soldiers, built by French soldiers, remain.

The group will then visit Tonson Mosque where nine former Chularatchamontri (Thai Muslim spiritual leaders) were buried along with a Muslim consort of a king. They will find the origin of the Bunnag family, an ancient aristocratic family close to the Siamese royal court. In Si Phaendin, Mae Ploy's family was descendants of this family. The next destinations are the Bang Luang Canal, a major scene in Si Phaendin from the start until the end, and Wat Hong Rattanaram Pier.

The trip is conducted in Thai and the fee is 500 baht per person.

Call 081-343-4261.

If you have any comments or news to share, email pichayas@bangkokpost.co.th.

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