SICHON/THAILAND: Thailand was home to three of the world’s most visited tourism destinations in 2023, underlining the country’s position as one of the planet’s most popular places to visit. This influx of tourists, however, is having an impact on many of the kingdom’s favorite resort destinations. In Phuket, it has been predicted that “Carmageddon” awaits in 2024, as the volume of road traffic exceeds the planned expansion of the island’s transport infrastructure², while the rising trend of tranquil tourism points to a desire for a more peaceful travel experience.

Tourists in hotspots such as Phuket, Pattaya and Hua Hin are facing significant road congestion in 2024, while the buzz of jet skis and banana boats is not conducive to rest and relaxation. It is little wonder that Condé Nast Traveler recently revealed that “silent travel” – including secluded nature resorts, peaceful retreats and walking tours – is expected to be a major global trend this year.

“The high season 2023/2024 is likely to see a traffic gridlock scenario that will have a profound impact on tourists and residents alike. The absolute failure to bring transportation infrastructure projects from paper to reality over the past decade will have long-term repercussions,” stated Bill Barnett, Managing Director of leading tourism and hospitality consultancy, C9 Hotelworks.

One idyllic southern Thai province, however, is embarking on a new era of serene and sustainable travel. Nakhon Si Thammarat, the tropical province that blends natural scenery and rich cultural heritage, recently unveiled its new international airport terminal, which will pave the way for direct flights from key cities across Asia. The facility will enable Nakhon Si Thammarat International Airport to handle to four million passengers a year, serving a vast province that covers 9,885 square kilometers. In comparison, Phuket, which has a total area of 547 square kilometers, recently unveiled plans to raise its airport capacity to 18 million passengers per year by 2027.

All of which makes Nakhon Si Thammarat a front-runner for global explorers seeking an alternative to the congested roads and crowded beaches of other Thai destinations. Upon arrival, guests will not be greeted with traffic jams and long transfer times. Instead, they will enjoy wide, open roads and the opportunity to travel seamlessly to their final destination – including the powder-soft sands and crystal-clear seas of Sichon, on Thailand’s gulf coast.

The roads also offer opportunities for cycling. The “Emerald Route” showcases the spectacular scenery around Khao Luang National Park, which is home to the 1,780-metre Khao Luang Mountain, as well as cultural and historical sites such as Wat Phra Mahathat, the 13th Century Buddhist temple and Khiriwong Village, the eco-tourism community which is famed for producing organic, hand-woven silks. Alternatively, cyclists can end their ride with a refreshing dip in the sea at Sichon, which was recently named as one of Thailand’s 10 best beaches by Lonely Planet.

This sense of freedom is likely to appeal to affluent travelers who are seeking personal well-being and a sense of seclusion. According to a recent study, a rising number of high-net-worth individuals (those who make more than 200% the median household income) desire more meaningful travel experiences that cater to their physical, mental and emotional needs.

Sichon as a destination is gathering pace in terms of accommodation and living opportunities. One example is Urasaya Beachfront Residences. Nestled directly on the shore at Sichon Beach, overlooking the Gulf of Thailand, Urasaya is a collection of four- and six-bedroom residences, complemented by world-class resort-style facilities such as a clubhouse, restaurant, beachfront bar, infinity pool, fitness center and spa.

The project recently won two honors at the 18th PropertyGuru Thailand Property Awards.

Pre-sales for Urasaya Beachfront Residences commence in February 2024, ahead of the project’s official launch in March 2024. For more information, please visit