Khao Yai National Park, the region’s first national park, was established in 1962 and is listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site in Thailand. The park covers an area of 2,168 km², making it the nation’s third-largest national park which extends into Nakhon Ratchasima, Prachinburi, Saraburi and Nakhon Nayok provinces, right up to the Cambodian border. Nature lovers will be in a heavenly biodiverse world rich with flora and fauna in its grassland areas, highlighting the natural beauty of Thailand’s diverse landscapes when they take a Khao Yai trip on public holidays.
Haew Narok Waterfall
Haew Suwat Waterfall
Haew Pratoon Waterfall
Wang Heaw Waterfall
Nang Rong falls
Khao Luk Chang Bat Cave
Khao Chiew Viewpoint (Pha Diew Dai Cliff)
PB Valley Khao Yai Winery
Wang Takrai National Park
Kang Sam Chan
Khun Dan Prakarn Chon Dam
PALIO KHAO YAI
Khao Yai National Park was established in 1962, the first national park in the region and is listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site in Thailand. It is also listed among the 10 most spectacular national parks in Southeast Asia. The park covers an area of 2,168 km², making it the nation’s third-largest park which extends into Nakhon Ratchasima, Prachinburi, Saraburi and Nakhon Nayok provinces, right up to the Cambodian border. Nature lovers will be in a heavenly biodiverse world rich with flora and fauna, highlighting the natural beauty of Thailand’s gorgeous surroundings and diverse landscapes.
Bird watchers will marvel at the more than 300 species of birds, along with 50+ species of reptiles including various types of snakes and lizards, and more than 70 species of mammals such as wild elephants, deer, wild boars, macaque and gibbon monkeys to name a few.
For trekking enthusiasts, there are seven official trails that must be accompanied by either a guide or a ranger with hiking times ranging from a few hours to a few days, reminiscent of the American Wild West experience. Two trails that the visitors are allowed to walk alone is an 800-metre long circular trail behind the visitor centre and the Thai-American Friendship Trail.
The park contains several waterfalls, actually, there are more than 40 waterfalls but here are a few of the highlights along with some other popular places to see in and around Khao Yai:
Some of the best outdoor activities include visiting the park’s numerous tourist attractions like the Khao Yai bat cave, going on a night safari, hiking, camping, swimming in waterfalls, and spotting wild animals. There are two campsites in the park, Laam Ta Khong Campsite and Pha Kluai Mai Campsite. Tents and accompanying gear are available for rent at each campsite, but only on arrival.
Families travelling will kids are among the many tourists who enjoy activities such as walking some easy nature trails, joining a night safari, and swimming in waterfalls.
A must-go with family is the Jim Thompson Farm. A thousand-acre Isaan-style (Japanese) spread of flowers, farm animals, gardens, arts and crafts (even beer) with a market selling fresh organically-grown produce and fruits in several food stalls, selling authentic local dishes, like the Thai papaya salad. With a township to see and experience the traditional lifestyle, silkworm weaving, cultivation and dine on traditional Isaan food. Open only in December and January, there is an entrance fee of 200 baht per person, with a shuttle tram to take visitors around.
One more of the park’s popular tourist attractions is the Nong Pak Chi Tower, one of the animal watchtowers that were put up to watch wild animals. It is open from 6 am to 6 pm.
It’s the nation’s third-largest park which extends into Nakhon Ratchasima, Prachinburi, Saraburi and Nakhon Nayok provinces. Nature lovers can enjoy hiking, native species and bird watching, visiting waterfalls, viewpoints and camping on its extensive camping ground. Considered to be still the best way to find and encounter Khao Yai’s flora and fauna is a guided tour.
The entrance fee to sample Khao Yai’s natural treasures is 400 baht for adults and 20 baht for children. For those who want to have more than a day trip, the entrance tickets will be valid for 3 days.
A must-see in Khao Yai is the Chocolate Factory, a laidback stop for pizza, chocolates, coffee and other comfort food. There are no entrance fees to go into this restaurant-cum-food gift shop.
From Bangkok, it takes approximately 3-4 hours by car, or you can take public transportation, like a bus or minivan from the Mo Chit Bus Station to Pak Chong district where the National Park is located. There is also a train from Hua Lampong Train Station in Central Bangkok to Amphoe Pak Chong, the closest station to the national park. Amphoe Pak Chong is the main point of entry as the rail lines and main road cross the Dong Phaya Yen Mountains into the region. The trip takes about 4-5 hours. Our THG travel specialists can make travel arrangements with tour operators to make your travel easier and more convenient.
The best time to visit Khao Yai is either in the post-rainy season or winter from November to February when everything will be green and waterfalls will be fully flowing.
Khao Yai World Heritage National Park is so vast that for most, one day is not enough. It is recommended to spend at least 2 or 3 days in and around the region to be able to more fully explore its natural wonders.
It can take approximately 3-4 hours to drive depending on where you are coming from in Bangkok and the traffic conditions.
In December, the weather is cool by Thailand standards with clear blue skies, sunny days and light breezes, temperatures averaging 21 degrees during the day and dropping to 10 degrees at night.
Yes, there is the Sarangburi sunflower field on the way to the national park which is only open from November to January when the field is in full bloom.
It takes approximately 2.5- 3 hours to drive from Suvarnabhumi Airport in Bangkok to Khao Yai, with the road distance being 169 km.
It is not possible to enter the park on foot from the checkpoint. The visitor centre is around 14 km further in and other popular attractions are much further inside the park. The two most popular waterfalls, viewpoints and the visitor centre can be accessed by car or bike and reached without any need of a guide.
Tambon Mu Si is one area near Khao Yai for those who prefer more luxurious accommodations. A unique and interesting accommodation is the Baan Suan Noi (Hobbit House) inspired by the Lord of the Rings series. The location has been modelled into hobbit homes nestled in hills with tiny cute round doors as detailed as those shown in the movies.
Tambon Pak Chong is known as the district that is the entrance to the park, thus, it boasts of several nice hotel accommodations. Another district close to the park with 4-star hotel accommodations is Amphoe Pak Thong Chai.
Just on the outskirts of the park is another unique accommodation, the Lala Mukha Tented Resort, an eco-friendly resort with eco-safari tent accommodations and treehouses built in a fusion of African elements with the contemporary, for a back-to-nature experience and childhood camping reminiscences. Some tents have futons, on which kids would feel tempted to sleep in sleeping bags.
Many or most of the hotels in the areas near Khao Yai have a swimming pool among their features.
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