NAKHON RATCHASIMA, Thailand � The Khao Yai National Park, about three hours’ drive by car from Bangkok, is an increasingly popular highland environment tourist attraction.

Thailand’s tourism authority said that last year alone, 1.2 million domestic and foreign tourists visited this national park located in the province of Nakhon Ratchasima (also known as Korat) in Thailand’s northeastern corner.

The Khao Yai National Park covers 300 sq km and is the third biggest national park in Thailand. It offers various attractions such as diverse wildlife, waterfalls, hiking and biking trails, and farms growing temperate fruits such as strawberries.

However, the sunflower farms on the Khao Yai highlands have become a major tourist draw.

Tourists are willing to travel from as far as from China, for instance, and also from Malaysia to enjoy and capture the beautiful scene of swaths of sunflower farms.

With the cool weather in Khao Yai from November until early January; the day temperature hovering around 20 degrees Celsius and below, and dropping to about 10 degrees Celsius at night, the number of tourists to the sunflower farms rises sharply during the public holidays.

According to Thailand’s tourism authority, the sunflower farms at Khao Yai have become increasingly popular as a tourist attraction, resulting in the emergence of more sunflower farms in nearby areas such as Saraburi and Lopburi.

To cater to the influx of tourists, scores of hotels and resorts have cropped up, some imitating the structures in the United Kingdom with names such as ‘Thames Valley’ and ‘Notting Hill’, and Tuscan Valley in Italy.

The Khao Yai National Park also has its own ‘Toscana Valley’, taking after a quaint village in Florence, Italy as this has also become another tourist attraction.


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