The annual three-month closure of Kaeng Krachan National Park, the country's largest, takes effect today.
The park's Ban Krang and Phanern Thung campsites will be off-limits to tourists until Oct 31, park chief Kamol Nuanyai said.
Kaeng Krachan closes each year to ensure the safety of visitors during the rainy season and to allow for rehabilitation of the ecosystem.
The national park in Phetchaburi province is one of Thailand's most important protected areas for wildlife conservation. Located about three hours' drive from Bangkok and covering 2,915 square kilometres, it is abundant in natural resources, trees and wildlife.
Tourists can visit natural attractions, bird and butterfly watching spots and admire the "sea of mist" created by inland fog. The forest is also the watershed of the Phetchaburi and Pran Buri rivers, which benefit farming, electricity generation and tourism.
The World Heritage Committee (WHC) will decide whether to list the Kaeng Krachan Forest Complex as a natural World Heritage site at a meeting next year in Turkey.
Approval by the UN body could hinge on better protection of Karen tribal people who live in the forest and have long complained of rights violations.
The cabinet last month approved proposals to improve the living conditions of the Karen, who also want more of a say in forest management to ensure their traditional livelihood is protected.
Source: Bangkok Post
Cha-Am, Tha-Yang, Kaeng Krachan, and Petchaburi. Discussion on areas north of Hua Hin.
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