National Park Waterfalls Closes Doors to Foreigners

A poster announcing the reopening of the waterfalls. Image: Huay Mae Khamin Waterfall / Facebook
A poster announcing the reopening of the waterfalls. Image: Huay Mae Khamin Waterfall / Facebook

KANCHANABURI — A national park in the western province of Kanchanaburi became the latest attraction to shut its doors to foreigners.

The Huay Mae Khamin and Pha Tad waterfalls announced on its Facebook page that the waterfalls would “open for Thais only.” Both waterfalls, located in Srinakarin Dam National Park, will be open on July 1 but visitors will not be allowed to go into the waters or stay overnight.

“Yes, foreigners are not allowed,” a park official said over the phone Wednesday. “I think it’s better to speak directly to the park’s chief.”

Thiti Sompee, the park’s chief, could not be reached for comments as of press time. He was said to be out of office for an official business.

However, the chief of the Department of National Parks, Wildlife and Plant Conservation said it’s not an official policy to refuse foreigner’s entry to the parks.

“We allow both Thais and foreigners to visit the parks,” Thanya Netithamkul said. “They must ensure that social-distancing measures are taken, wear face masks, and register online prior their visits. We did not specify that foreigners are to be banned from visiting.”

Over the past weeks, some establishments that reopened under the coronavirus lockdown easing preferred to ban foreigners, including expats who live and work in Thailand, from visiting.

Wat Pho, a popular temple in Bangkok, posted a sign barring foreigners, which they said was “the temple’s regulation.”

Buses operated by the Transport Co., which resumed their inter-provincial services, had previously announced that they would not allow foreigners to board as they do not possess Thai ID cards. The company later withdrew the rule and permitted foreigners on board with their passports.

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