Airport expansion to turn Thailand’s Sichon’s tourism fortunes

‌Sichon in Southern Thailand will welcome its new international terminal at Nakhon Si Thammarat Airport by 4Q2023, setting it on course to attract more travellers who will discover its peaceful and serene environments.

Just 40 minutes from the airport, attractions include Sichon beach, recognised by Lonely Planet as one of the best 10 beaches in Thailand, and the country’s second highest peak, Khao Luang mountain range, a terrain intersected by waterfalls traversing its sides. Visitors to Sichon can expect to spend their time strolling through coconut groves, uncovering the rich heritage of Nakhon Si Thammarat, which dates back over 1,200 years, and more.

Sichon is home to Wat Phra Mahathat, pictured, one of Thailand’s oldest temples and an annual destination for Buddhist pilgrims

Ravi Chandran, senior advisor to Urasaya, a residential and hospitality development concept which will be unveiled on Sichon beach in the coming months, commented on the potential of the destination: “Far from the tourist crowds, this is life in southern Thailand as it was 30 years ago – naturally beautiful, culturally authentic and perfectly peaceful.”

Chandran, who was former CEO of the Laguna Phuket integrated resort, added: “This is the most authentic and natural destination I have seen in Asia – this is the Thailand visitors want to see and it is somewhere people will want to live.”

In his press statement, Chandran said Sichon will not become a mass tourism hub – high-rise hotels are not expected to rise along the coast and the buzz of banana boats and jet skis will not be heard offshore.

“Naturally, sustainability will underpin every aspect of Sichon’s future development. The concept is already ingrained in the area’s heritage, as local people have been practicing responsible, eco-sensitive crafts for centuries. Take Kiriwong Village (for example) – materials are hand-woven and organically dyed using the local fruit from indigenous trees, including mangosteens. (On) Pak Phanang river, fishermen cast their nets. This is the most authentic and natural destination I have seen in Asia,” he remarked.

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