A favourite destination for Malaysian bikers is Thailand, as can be seen from the large numbers of riders crossing the border every weekend and during the holidays. However, a new ruling by the Thai authorities might put a damper on things, especially for riders wanting to spend time in forest reserves across the border.

Quoting a statement from department chief Thanya Netithammakun of the National Park, Wildlife and Plant Conservation Department, the Bangkok Post reported that the restriction on large displacement motorcycles follows a ban on the consumption of alcohol in parks. This is in addition to no smoking signs being placed in park entrance areas as well as car parks under its jurisdiction.

According to Netithammakun, large numbers of riders on big bikes would congregate in Khao Yi, a extensive forest encompassing the areas of Nakhon Ratchasima, Prachin Buri, Nakhon Nayok dan Saraburi. The reasoning for the ban was given as noise pollution, which, besides disturbing other park visitors, also has a negative impact on fauna in the forest reserve.

Previously, visitors who disobeyed park rules would be removed from the area, but this ruling now prohibits big bikes from entering the forest reserve completely. Netithammakun said these measures are to protect the forest reserves during the long holiday period, adding that 12.9 million people visited Thailand’s national parks last year, generating a revenue of 2.4 billion Thai baht (RM29.8 million).