'Dark Sky' project taps pool of stargazing visitors

'Dark Sky' project taps pool of stargazing visitors

The National Astronomical Research Institute of Thailand and the Tourism Authority of Thailand have announced this year's list of the top 12 tourist areas registered as "dark sky conservation areas".

The goal is to raise awareness of the impact of light pollution while promoting astronomy-related tourism along with recommended travel routes for stargazing under the banner of "Amazing Dark Sky in Thailand”. 

The areas chosen were based on three criteria: ample and well-controlled dark-sky areas, good management of local lighting, and a high-quality observation area where popular stars or constellations can be viewed with the naked eye.

The two organisations invite interested people to observe the night sky at these locations.

The 12 dark sky reserves are in five national parks, one community and six private properties.

The national parks are Huai Nam Dang in Chiang Mai, Pha Taem in Ubon Ratchathani, and Phu Khiao-Thung Kramang Wildlife Sanctuary Park, Pha Hin Ngam National Park and Phu Lan Ka National Park in Chaiyaphum.

On Tai community is located in Chiang Mai’s San Kamphaeng district. 

The six private properties are the Alcidini Winery; the Rain Tree Residence Hotel; Muak Lek ATV riding field; the Piano Resort and GranMonte Vineyard and Winery, both in Pak Chong district of Nakhon Ratchasima; and the Yai Plu camping area in Saraburi’s Muak Lek district. 

Astronomical institute director Saran Poshyachinda said the "Dark Sky in Thailand" project was launched in 2020 to raise awareness of light pollution.

Its name was changed this year and the 12 tourist sites registered as dark sky conservation areas will enjoy this status for the next three years, he said.

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