The Huay Lan Reservoir Royal Project in Mae On shot to fame earlier this month when photos of the peaceful and serene reservoir, which can contain up to five million metric tonnes of water, was posted on the project’s own Facebook page.
Following the lockdown period, said the director of the project, authorities thought to invite the public to come in and enjoy the nature and serenity of the lake, by publicising on Facebook. Soon the photos went viral and people began to share news of this new destination on social media, even traditional media.
However, on 11th July, it was announced that following the masses of visitors over the past long holiday weekend, the reservoir is reconsidering whether or how to open to the public, due to great abuse of resources.
Cars, trucks and bikes were lined up in traffic to visit the reservoir, and there was inappropriate speeding and bad driving later into the evening and night with some people even destroying the sign and gate to the reservoir by hitting them with their vehicles.
Many people also brought tents, built fires, set up loud speakers, had karaoke parties and were generally causing loud noises late into the night. The next days local villagers were shocked to find large amounts of garbage lying around, dogs pawing at garbage bags and spreading rubbish across the area.
Laksawan Puangmaiying, a researcher at the project told CityNews that the project thought it would be nice to offer a new destination to the many people seeking relief after the long lockdown. She thought that she was doing the public a service. “We feel very uncomfortable that people are using such a natural spot to party, get drunk, make loud noises, blare music, rev cars and generally disrespect nature. We always welcome those who want to come to simply enjoy nature.”
“We are going to have to have an urgent meeting with local villagers to see what to do because it is unfair that they are so disturbed and disrupted,” she said. “There is only one way in and out of the reservoir and that is through the village.”
“I suspect that we will have to reinstall the barrier which we tore down earlier this year and set strict rules and times to enter and leave.”
“The reservoir is lovely because it looks as though it has a beach,” she continued. “We just want to invite people to come here and all we ask is that they respect nature, and others.”