After 10-year gap, Thai lotuses bloom again
 
, Posted on 19-May-2017


After 10-year gap, Thai lotuses bloom again

Prachuap Khiri Khan : For the first time in a decade a Thai lake has given up its dazzling secret -- the pink blooms of tens of thousands of lotuses.

The sea of colour in Khao Sam Roi Yot national park, three hours south of Bangkok, is a show-stopping feat of nature that has locals hoping for a tourist bonanza.

But it has also sparked warnings over the fragility of the environment with park rangers pleading with people not to visit until the lake is healthy enough to deal with an influx of tourists.

The flowers, considered sacred in Thai culture, are good news for locals who have been ferrying camera-toting visitors through the lotuses which lie in knots on the lake's vast waters.

But "currently they should not come," said head ranger Rungroj Aswakultarin.

"The national park is in the process of restoring the lotuses. When it comes to the right time the park will open them up to the public," he said.

Rungroj's caution is understandable. 

For the last decade the park -- a stunning jumble of lakes, tributaries and towering limestone karsts three hours south of Bangkok -- saw no widespread lotus bloom.

No-one has been able to pinpoint exactly why. 

But officials blame a mixture of drought and pollution from fertilisers and nearby seafood farms.

In recent years rangers have tried to clean up the park and this year were rewarded with a sea of pink flowers.

Thailand struggles to balance its lucrative tourism industry with preserving the environment.

Few countries have experienced the kind of stratospheric growth in tourism. 

In the last decade the number of foreign arrivals has more than doubled from 13.8 million in 2006 to a record 32.5 million last year, growth partly powered by Chinese arrivals.

Those expecting to find the kind of pristine, untouched beaches in tourist brochures are often left disappointed among hordes of visitors.

Thailand's tourism minister has called for the industry to chase fewer holidaymakers but ones with deep pockets. 

This week some 61 national parks, including 25 marine parks, closed to visitors for the monsoon season, an annual move to try and help them recover. 

But some environmentalists have argued the most vulnerable ecosystems need to close for longer, or face much stronger restrictions on visitor numbers. 

 

 
AFP


Related News

BA flights disrupted for third day after IT crash
May 29

BA flights disrupted for third day after IT crash

London : Passengers faced a third day of disruption at Heathrow Monday as British Airways cancelled short-haul flights after a global computer crash that unions blamed on the outsourcing of IT services to India. The embattled airline said it was cancelling 13 short-haul flights from Heathrow Airport, Europe's...

Read More
Fears for 2,000 people trapped in Philippine city battle
May 29

Fears for 2,000 people trapped in Philippine city battle

Marawi : Army helicopters fired rockets at Islamist militants in a southern Philippine city Monday, as fears grew for up to 2,000 people unable to escape a week of relentless fighting that has left women and children dead. President Rodrigo Duterte imposed martial law across the southern third of the Philippines...

Read More
Facebook 'ban' of anti-Muslim slur sparks Myanmar outcry
May 29

Facebook 'ban' of anti-Muslim slur sparks Myanmar outcry

Yangon : Myanmar netizens were in an uproar on Monday after Facebook seemingly banned people from posting the word "kalar," often used as a slur against Muslims, at a time of rising Islamophobia in the country. Facebook is under global pressure to clamp down on hate speech, violent threats or deliberately...

Read More
Police make fresh arrest over Manchester bombing
May 29

Police make fresh arrest over Manchester bombing

Manchester : British police said they had arrested a new suspect on Monday over the Manchester bombings, bringing to 14 the number of people they have in custody over the attack. Authorities detained a 23-year-old in the southern coastal town of Shoreham-by-Sea, more than 400 kilometres (250 miles) from...

Read More
Greek ex-PM Mitsotakis, early austerity champion, dies aged 98
May 29

Greek ex-PM Mitsotakis, early austerity champion, dies aged 98

Athens : Former Greek Prime Minister Constantine Mitsotakis, an early proponent of austerity cuts that Greece eventually had to adopt during the economic crisis, died Monday aged 98, his family said. A patriarch of one of Greece's most influential political families, Mitsotakis quit politics in 2004, aged 85,...

Read More
Travolta donates his Qantas plane to Australia museum
May 29

Travolta donates his Qantas plane to Australia museum

Sydney : Hollywood star John Travolta has donated his "beloved" Boeing 707 plane to an Australian aviation museum and is aiming to be part of the crew to deliver the vintage aircraft. Made for Qantas Airways in 1964, the "Saturday Night Fever" heartthrob and qualified pilot acquired the jet when Australia's national...

Read More
China says intercept of US plane ‘safe’
May 29

China says intercept of US plane ‘safe’

Beijing : China Sunday denied the Pentagon's charge that an encounter between Chinese fighters and a US surveillance plane over the South China Sea was "unsafe and unprofessional". Tensions between the two economic superpowers have risen in recent years over the disputed waterway,...

Read More
Great Barrier Reef bleaching worse than first thought
May 29

Great Barrier Reef bleaching worse than first thought

Sydney : Coral bleaching on Australia's Great Barrier Reef is worse than first thought and the impact will accelerate unless global greenhouse gas emissions are cut, scientists said Monday. The 2,300-kilometre (1,400-mile) World Heritage-listed reef suffered its most severe bleaching on record last year...

Read More
North Korea fires missile in latest provocation
May 29

North Korea fires missile in latest provocation

Seoul : North Korea test-fired a missile Monday into Japan's maritime economic zone -- the latest in a series of provocative launches that have ratcheted up tensions over its nuclear weapons ambitions. It was the North's third ballistic missile test in as many weeks and the 12th this year -– carried out in...

Read More
Sri Lanka monsoon toll climbs to 164
May 29

Sri Lanka monsoon toll climbs to 164

Colombo : Sri Lanka's monsoon toll climbed to 164 with the discovery of more bodies of people buried in landslides triggered by intense rains, the Disaster Management Centre (DMC) said Monday. Friday's deluge also caused the island's worst flooding in 14 years and drove nearly half a million people out of their...

Read More