Blog : Sightseeing

10 Remarkable and Beautiful Big Trees in Thailand

10 Remarkable and Beautiful Big Trees in Thailand

Besides their tremendous importance for the environment, big trees have great societal value as study sites, tourist attractions, or centers of communities. Come along as Living ASEAN and the BIG Trees Project travels around Thailand to see ten magnificent trees.

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Story: BIG Trees Project /// Photography:  Charnpichit Pongtongsumran with BIG Trees Project, Sitthisak Namkham, Pipop Boosarakumwadi, Arisara Jaktreemongkol

 

– Giant Tree in Uthai Thani –

Circumference: 97 meters (including buttress roots*) Age: 400 years

This giant tualang is on private land in the middle of a forest, but the landlord is happy to let everyone come visit. One side of the tree has the claw marks of a bear trying to knock down a honeybee nest. The Lao villagers here are descendants of settlers brought here two hundred years ago as an outpost in the conflicts with Burma.

*”Buttress roots” reach from branches to the ground to support the tree.

Tualang tree (Koompassia Excelsa Taub)

 

– Sai Song Nam Kingdom, Klong Sung Nae, or “Little Amazon,” Phang Nga, Thailand –

At Klong Sung Nae fresh water runs into the sea, creating a combined  “two waters” (song nam) ecosystem. Rowing along the stream you pass beneath disorderly hanging roots of 200-year-old banyans while traversing a rich natural environment: a grove of 6 remarkable ficus trees, black hornbills, snakes hunting for food . . . if you’re lucky, you’ll see some playful otters jumping and swimming around.

 

Photo: Sitthisak Namkham

– Giant Monkeypod, Kanchanaburi –

Now a tourist destination in Kanchanaburi Province, this is considered the largest Thai monkeypod (rain tree) on record, taking 10 people to reach all the way around it. The branches extend out to cover a remarkable area of 2,416 square meters. Monkeypods, native to South America, came to Thailand more than 100 years ago, perhaps by Catholic priests bringing them from Saigon. Some, though, say it was an Englishman, first head of the Thai Royal Forest Department, who imported them from Burma, while yet others maintain King Rama the 5th (Chulalongkorn) brought them back from Java, and gave them their Thai name of “kampu.”

 

– “The Giant,” Chiang Mai –

This arboreal colossus is now a Chiang Mai tourist destination with a coffee shop where you can relax and enjoy the view of the lush green forest. To see The Giant, Chiang Mai you have to drive up a scary, steep, narrow road, but it’s still high on the list of must-see attractions in Chiang Mai’s Mae Kampong District.

 

Photo: Pipop Boosarakumwadi

– Tree in a Rice Mill Smokestack in the Middle of Bangkok –

Truly unusual and startling! Growing out of a smokestack to spread its branches above an abandoned rice mill, this banyan tree appears to have a rectangular trunk. The smokestack is 2.75 meters wide and the banyan rises 26 meters above the ground. Located in the Rat Burana District, the tree is listed in “Unseen Bangkok.”

 

Photo: Arisara Jaktreemongkol

– Heart-shaped Bodhi tree, Silpakorn University –

At the front entrance of Silpakorn University’s central library, its door next to the Royal Palace on Bangkok’s Rattanakosin island, stands this gorgeous bodhi tree. Its charming heart-shaped foliage lifts the hearts of all visitors. Silpakorn University, the first Thai university of the arts, was founded by an Italian.

 

– Giant Tree, Sakon Nakhon –

This tree is within a “don pu ta,” where the spirits of ancestors are said to reside. Local villagers have strong beliefs about this, so trees in that area are not cut down. This giant tree has become the residence of bees, bats, ants, birds, and insects living condominium-like on different levels. But it makes a first-class children’s playground during community merit-making festivals based in this ancestral spirit forest.

 

5 Amazing Lesser-Known Tropical Islands

5 Amazing Lesser-Known Tropical Islands

These small islands in Southeast Asia may not be world-famous, but they are beautiful paradise each in a special way. Check them out.

/// ASEAN ///

kham01
Photo // Panu Tangchalermkul
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Photo // Panu Tangchalermkul
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Photo // Panu Tangchalermkul

– Koh Kham (Thailand) –

Koh Kham lies just off the coast of Chonburi Province, which is about an hour’s drive east from Bangkok. The small island is an eco-tourism park protected by the Royal Thai Navy. So, everything is well organized while the price is reasonable. Staying overnight is not permitted, but you can enjoy plenty of activities during daylight hours from snorkeling to kayaking to hiking. Views from the vista point perched high atop the hillock are fantastic. For those who love the beach, it’s a good destination for one-day trips not too far from Thailand’s capital.


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Photo // I Travel Philippines
siargao02
Photo // Milet Miranda
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Photo // Lee

– Siargao (The Philippines) –

Siargao is well known for the big waves that have attracted many surfers from across the globe. The legendary “Cloud 9,” a jargon for gigantic tubular waves, usually occurs just off the coast from here. The best time of year to enjoy the surfing scene at Siargao is September when the Siargao Cup, an international surfing competition, is held. If surfing is not your cup of tea, beautiful sceneries are aplenty waiting for you to explore.


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Photo // Phalinn Ooi
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Photo // Phalinn Ooi
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Photo // Katja Hasselkus

– Pangkor Laut (Malaysia) –

While visiting the island in 1994, Italian operatic tenor Luciano Pavarotti called it the most beautiful place that he’s ever seen. Nowadays Pangkor Laut is home to five-star resorts and spas frequented by celebrities. Aside from sipping cocktails at the infinity pool and rewarding yourself with a good massage, you can go on sightseeing tours and witness the exotic flora and fauna unique to the island Tropical forest.


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Photo // Mgzkun
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Photo // Mgzkun
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Photo // Phan Y Thao

– Binh Ba (Vietnam) –

Despite becoming more popular nowadays, Binh Ba remains the same old cozy island known for friendly people and beautiful beaches. The best way to explore Binh Ba is by motorbike. Feel the wind in your hair as you ride to pristine white sand beaches and take a dip in crystal clear water. Binh Ba is also dubbed the “Lobster Island.” So, you can experience authentic Viet seafood cuisine whilst here.


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Photo // Fabio Achilli
bunaken02
Photo // Ilse Reijs and Jan-Noud Hutten
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Photo // Ilse Reijs and Jan-Noud Hutten

– Bunaken (Indonesia) –

Divers will love Bunaken, a small island that is part of the Bunaken National Marine Park at the northern tip of Sulawesi. It’s one of the most sought-after diving spots in Indonesia that are known for a great diversity of marine life. You can find over 70 different corals and rare fishes that only exist in the Pacific Ocean. Sharks, sea turtles and dugongs, even saltwater crocodiles are occasionally spotted here at Bunaken. Still not satisfied? Dolphin and whale watching trips are available, too.

 

9 Most Romantic Places in Southeast Asia

9 Most Romantic Places in Southeast Asia

Planning the journey of a lifetime with your special one? You need look no further than Southeast Asia. Here are the Region’s top nine romantic places to ponder your next move.

/// ASEAN ///

Top 9 Most Romantic Places in Southeast Asia
Photo: jeffrey manzini
Top 9 Most Romantic Places in Southeast Asia
Photo: jeffrey manzini

– Pulau Lengkuas, Belitung, Indonesia –

A small islet off the northeastern coast of Belitung Island, Pulau Lengkaus is home to white sand beaches and crystal clear waters. Apart from swimming, exploring pristine coral reefs, and climbing rocks worn smooth by erosion, there isn’t much else to do. That’s what makes the idyllic landscape great fun for couples wanting to spend their time alone, away from crowded beaches and tourists.

Its only landmark is a 12-story-tall lighthouse. Built in 1882, it still performs the function for which it was intended. You can climb to the top holding hands and enjoy fascinating views together.


 

Top 9 Most Romantic Places in Southeast Asia
Photo: 準建築人手札網站 Forgemind ArchiMedia

Top 9 Most Romantic Places in Southeast Asia

– Gardens by the Bay, Singapore –

This man-made forest park looks futuristic, but it has got tons of beautiful plants and flowers too, which makes it ideal for taking selfies with your beloved. Gardens by the Bay afford captivating views of the scenery and Singapore skyline, especially from the Skywalk that gets even more romantic by night.


 

Top 9 Most Romantic Places in Southeast Asia
Photo: Lynda
Top 9 Most Romantic Places in Southeast Asia
Photo: Yun Huang Yong

– Sapa Lake, Sapa, Vietnam –

Fascinating attractions abound in the northwestern town of Sapa, but its pride and the most romantic place is the iconic lake and namesake. Here you can chill out while gazing at reflections of the whole town on water. The view is even more picturesque as light fog lingers longingly over the blurred top of the lake.


 

Top 9 Most Romantic Places in Southeast Asia
Photo: Christian Haugen
Top 9 Most Romantic Places in Southeast Asia
Photo: Chris

– Bokeo Nature Reserve, Bokeo, Laos –

If you and your better half are wildlife lovers, Bokeo Nature Reserve is your next romantic destination. The protected forest of deciduous trees and mountainous terrains are home to the black-cheeked gibbon once thought to be extinct. The endangered ape species can only be found at high elevations in Laos, Vietnam, and China.

An ecotourism program known as Gibbon Experience is provided at Bokeo Nature Reserve. Ready for fun? You can stay in one of treetop huts that are interconnected via zip lines, or trek across the terrains to observe the gibbons from under the canopy. All monies paid to the program go towards keeping the nature reserve in good shape as nature intended.


 

Top 9 Most Romantic Places in Southeast Asia
Photo: Photo Dharma

Top 9 Most Romantic Places in Southeast Asia

– Banteay Srei, Siem Reap, Cambodia –

Located in the area of Angkor in Cambodia, Banteay Srei is considered one of the most beautiful temples dedicated to Hindu god Shiva. Even the name is prepossessing: Banteay Srei means the “citadel of beauty.” Built in the tenth century, the temple was crafted of sandstones in shades of pink and showcased some of the finest stone carvings. Renowned for beautiful sculptures and intricate design in sweet pinkish hues, Banteay Srei is a must-visit place if you and your sweetheart love the works of art from the ancient past.

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