Because of the anticipated increase in the number of visitors to the seven important national parks in the North during the winter season, park officials have decided to step up their efforts to ensure compliance among parkgoers with a prohibition on the use of alcoholic beverages.
According to Songkran Pakchokdee, director of the StopDrink Network, a non-governmental organization that works to reduce alcohol consumption, the alcohol ban is imposed on every park visitor under the alcoholic beverages control law. The law was announced in 2021 by the Department of National Parks, Wildlife and Plant Conservation (DNP), which is responsible for the conservation of national parks, wildlife, and plants.
According to him, additional strong steps are required to ensure that the restriction is fully maintained during the cold season, which is generally the time of year when parks in upper Thailand are among the most popular tourist destinations.
According to him, the prohibition on alcohol not only aims to protect the rights of visitors who would prefer to take in the natural beauty rather than consume alcohol or interact with loud crowds, but it also aims to protect the park from trash left behind by inebriated campers. Visitors who would prefer to enjoy the natural beauty rather than drink or have to mix with rowdy elements.
Those who are caught disobeying the alcohol restriction could face a jail sentence of up to one month or a fine of up to one thousand baht, according to what he said.
Doi Suthep-Pui, Op Khan, Phu Hin Rong Kla, Doi Inthanon, Chae Son, Phu Soi Dao, and Phu Chi Fa are the seven national parks that make up the area.
According to Surachet Phinitngam, the assistant chief of Suthep-Pui, warning signs have been installed throughout the park to serve as a gentle reminder to tourists about the prohibition on consuming alcoholic beverages. The warnings are also posted on the official Facebook page for the park.
In addition, the staff of the park will encourage visitors to take part in a campaign to assist in the preservation of the natural world. When they leave, they will be required to bring back all of the garbage from the camping spots, he explained.
According to Wanlop Mangtha, an officer at Op Khan National Park, the park has only one entry. At the gate, park officials typically asks guests for their cooperation and does normal inspections for alcoholic beverage containers. Having said that, it’s possible that won’t be enough anymore.
It is possible that pre-entry inspections may not be sufficient during the high tourism season; thus, random patrols of the park’s camping site will also be required for the sake of the parks as well as the guests that visit them.