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Friday 14 July 2023

Sichon project to champion "tranquil tourism"

Even regular visitors to Thailand might never have heard of Sichon - but that might change soon.

While the region is set for some tourism development, locals hope it will never be another Phuket or Koh Samui.

The new international terminal at Nakhon Si Thammarat Airport - about 610 km south of Bangkok, on the east coast of the Malay Peninsula - is due to open later this year and tourism operators aim to maintain Sichon's "charms, adventure, nature, and sustainability."

The aim to promote "tranquil tourism" in the southern Thailand region despite the imminent arrival of international flights.

It is hoped travellers will be able to explore the authentic cultural and natural heritage of the region and former Laguna Phuket CEO Ravi Chandran is one of those who sees huge potential in the destination.

Sichon is a place where Buddhists pay their respects in ancient temples, fishermen pull their catches up onto the beach and artisans work looms to weave materials dyed by natural colours derived from local fruits.

Sichon has been recognised by Lonely Planet as one of the best 10 beaches in Thailand.

Chandran, a senior advisor to Urasaya, a residential and hospitality development concept which will be unveiled on Sichon beach in the coming months, says he wants to see carefully-managed, eco-conscious, locally-inspired tourism.

“Sichon is quite something," he says. "Far from the tourist crowds, this is life in southern Thailand as it was 30 years ago - naturally beautiful, culturally authentic and perfectly peaceful.

"This is the Thailand visitors want to see and it is somewhere people will want to live.

“I really think that this is a new beginning for the south of Thailand and it is a chance to get it right first go - by embracing a future defined by heritage, nature and sustainability.”

The provincial capital, also called Nakhon Si Thammarat, is one of Thailand’s oldest cities with a history that dates back over 1,200 years.

There are no current direct flights from Australia but access initially will be via Singapore, Malaysia, and China. Stay tuned.  

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