December 6, 2022
BANGKOK – Hotels overflowed and visitors slept in their cars as tourists flocked to the “Switzerland of Thailand” for the National Father’s Day long weekend on Sunday.
Pang Ung Lake in Mae Hong Son province is home to the Pang Tong Royal Development Project, which was initiated by the late King Bhumibol Adulyadej the Great, whose birthday is celebrated as Father’s Day.
Tourists were reportedly forced to camp or sleep in their cars as temperatures sank to a chilly 17 degrees Celsius at Pang Ung Lake on Sunday. Hotel rooms in the area were mostly booked up.
A popular spot was the scenic Ban Ruam Thai village on Pang Ung Lake, a testament to King Bhumibol’s success in getting locals to switch from opium cultivation to growing fruits and vegetables.
Panudet Chaisakul, chairman of Mae Hong Son Tourism Business Association, said visitors were basking in cold weather and the sea of fog that blankets seven districts in the morning.
He also urged tourists to experience another famous attraction in this area – the 4,088 curves and spectacular sights on roads 1095 and 108 between Chiang Mai and Mae Hong Son. Visitors who conquer the so-called “Dragon Route” can also get a certificate as a souvenir, he added.
Another beacon for tourists in Mae Hong Son is the bright yellow hills of Khun Yuam district, where wild marigolds (dok bua tong) bloom at this time of year.
The district’s Thung Bua Thong Forest Park has already seen more than 80,000 visitors over the past month, said its chief Manoch Kingmuang.