I've always lived in areas that - although not quite big cities - were too bright to see stars. I never knew until one day where there wasn't any civilization that you could look up and see a literal soup of stars up in the sky. I've only seen it for that week and never again. Does anybody know the best places in Thailand to maybe see something like that again? Especially somewhere that is beautiful itself.
Not sure about Thailand - but if you had to Lake Tekapo in the South Island of New Zealand, the star view is spectacular! Something to do with the crystal clear air and absence of city lights. :-D
Doubt you'll see "billions" but one of the best places I've seen with a really starry night sky is Khao Sok National Park. Staying overnight on the lake you are pretty far from sources of light pollution. Take a kayak and paddle out into the lake on a clear night and it should be pretty cool. Clearest skies are usually December-February but you can get lucky other times of year.
Of course it's hard to beat being hundreds of miles into outback Australia, where the night skies in winter are usually crystal clear and you have the Southern Cross for company.
North Korea - low levels of electricty and next to no manufacturing (burning) activity means clear skies for star gazing.
As for somewhere in Thailand, sorry I can't help you there.
#6 chinarocks has been a member since 17/6/2011. Posts: 738
Camped at 12,500 ft. underneath a 14000 ft peak in SW Colorado. I've never seen stars like that before, you could almost touch them at that elevation. It seemed like more stars than sky. I've been to the Outback and NZ several times and there's no contest though not too shabby. I agree with Leonard in that dry/low humidity climates are best for star gazing. You should also throw elevation in as well as avoiding a full moon. The Andes (Chile in particular) are pretty awesome for stargazing too. I like the idea of getting out on a kayak at night in Khao Sok. I'll have to try that when I'm there next year.
#7 daydreamfarmer has been a member since 22/3/2013. Posts: 26
I agree with most places mentioned but that isn't helpful when it comes to Thailand.
You can still enjoy a good night sky in Thailand but keep 2 main factors in mind:
- light pollution from a nearby town. You want to be in the deep country side or in a national park. A mountain trek in northern Thailand would also be good.
- the moon. Most people forget this factor and they don't realize that the moon is a huge factor. Try to be outdoors during New Moon or Dark Moon. I'm sure that if you ask all the above posters if there was a moon on those nights they'll all say that there wasn't. Check a lunar calendar and let your stargazing visit coincide with the appropriate lunar phase.
"I agree with most places mentioned but that isn't helpful when it comes to Thailand"
Like I said, Khao Sok on the lake on a clear night can be fantastic. Or I camped on top of Chiang Dao peak in January a couple years ago (2100m) in the north and that was impressively starry too. High altitude, dry season.
And now back to the Australian outback (grin). I lived in my van for months at a time during 7 or so years, mostly avoiding cities and trying to free-camp as much as possible. Especially in the top-end during winter there are countless days of deep blue skies, you know when it's so blue it's almost black. Same for nights when you're hundreds of miles from any city and no light pollution. Big-ass starry skies. Even on full-moon nights like this one with the kite-shaped Southern Cross overhead and the two "staring eyes" Alpha and Beta Centauri. That was taken with a 60-second exposure in the middle of the night with a mediocre camera. Imagine what your naked eye sees.
Stanthorpe is a good place to see stars and planets. There's a guesthouse there with a Japanese owner who has a big arse telescope in his backyard with a full spin around dome. It's like a pro setup and you can see Saturn clearly and the moon looks massive. There's some interesting rock formations there too.