Tourism Authority of Thailand (TAT) is delighted to announce that the Department of Rural Roads, Ministry of Transport, is currently developing three scenic routes for tourism in the South, centre and Northeast of Thailand.
These are the Southern Coastal Road or ‘Thailand Riviera’ route connecting destinations along the western coast of the Gulf of Thailand from Samut Prakan province to Narathiwat province; the ‘Naga Withi’ route along the Mekong River from Loei Province to Ubon Ratchathani province; and the ‘Burapha Khiri’ route passing through Nakhon Nayok, Nakhon Ratchasima, Prachin Buri and Sa Kaeo provinces.
The project aims to create a network of tourist road routes offering safe, comfortable and picturesque travel that will further increase Thailand’s tourism competitiveness and widespread appeal, as according to the 20-year National Strategy (2018-2037).
The improvement of existing road sections and addition of new sections will also create job opportunities for the local people, according to the Director-General of the Department of Rural Roads, Mr. Pathom Chaloeywaret.
As the longest of the three scenic routes, the Southern Coastal Road or Thailand Riviera route is divided into four phases, construction has already begun on the Samut Songkhram to Chumphon (Phase 1) and Chumphon to Songkhla (Phase 2) sections with completion set for 2023 and 2026, respectively. Construction of the Samut Prakan to Samut Songkhram (Phase 3) section is expected to begin in 2023, the same year in which design work is scheduled for the Songkhla to Narathiwat (Phase 4) section.
The ‘Naga Withi’ scenic route, from Loei Province to Ubon Ratchathani province, is named for the Naga, a semi-divine serpent-like creature that according to some local beliefs resides in the Mekong River. Work on the construction of this route, which supports the Mekong River Lifestyle Tourism Development Zone, is set to begin in 2022.
The third of the scenic routes, the ‘Burapha Khiri’ route, is currently in the design stage. Among the many sites and attractions on offer along its length will be two UNESCO World Heritage Sites – Khao Yai National Park and Dong Phayayen-KhaoYai Forest Complex.