Tourism officials are urging expats to “explore unseen Thailand via bicycle in an effort to spur domestic travel.
The first highlighted destination in the campaign created by the Tourism Authority of Thailand, Tourism and Sports Ministry and Designated Areas for Sustainable Tourism is Bangkok’s “green lung”: Khung Bang Kachao.
Actually located in Samut Prakan, Khung Bang Kachao is a large green oasis on the periphery of Bangkok, and one of the country’s most important oxygen producers. The area also has environmental, economic, tourism, social, and cultural significance.
On Aug. 31, Tourism and Sports Minister Phiphat Ratchakitprakarn led a group of foreign ambassadors, along with expatriate residents, to the park. Among their bicycle-tour stops were Wat Bang Nam Phueng Nai, the Bang Nam Phueng Community Enterprise Homestay, the Sri Nakhon Khuean Khan Botanical Garden, and Bang Nam Phueng Floating Market.
Phiphat said Khung Bang Kachao is the “perfect place for expats to experience the charm and attractions of local tourism activities — all in an area easily accessible from Bangkok as well as from surrounding provinces” where many expats live as retirees, technical consultants, managers and trainers.
“We hope that after visiting Khung Bang Kachao, expatriates will spread the word to their families and friends. We want them to see more “unseen” places and travel more often. Hence, it is necessary to introduce them to places that are attractive to them,” the minister said.
DASTA has developed these cycling routes in accordance with a four-point policy of the Ministry of Tourism and Sports: Safety, Clean (complying with the Amazing Thailand Safety and Health Administration), Fair (distributing revenue to the local communities), and Hospitality.
The concept also fits research showing that expats like to better understand the concept of “Thainess,” learn more about the Thai way of life, and seek out opportunities for nature tourism.