10 Bizarre National Parks In Thailand For A Rare Encounter With The Wild
Gift-wrapped by nature with beautiful beaches, mysterious caves, strange limestone cliffs, and various other visually appealing geographic surprises, these national parks in Thailand are unique in every aspect. While one is abundant in its coral reefs, the other is thriving with fauna like Black Bear, Porcupine, Malayan Sun Bear, and Malkoha. While the 9-tiered Mon Hin Lai Waterfall and Nong Pha cavern with stalactites and stalagmites are attractions of one park here, charming hot springs and “sea of frog” are attributes of another. All in all, Thailand has around 150 national parks, of which the best are listed here.
The Best National Parks In Thailand
Which one of these would you like to visit on your trip to Thailand?
1. Ao Phang Nga National Park
Encompassing the bay flanked by 42 karst islands, limestone cliffs, caves, beautiful beaches, and lagoons, this is one of the most famous national parks in Thailand. Take a boat to explore the Koh Panak Cave or visit the “James Bond Island” – Khao Phing Kan, where the Bond film was shot. The emerald Andaman Sea also favours the growth of native mangrove vegetation, which you can explore on a boat.
Entry fee: INR 634 (adults) | INR 211 (kids)
2. Kui Buri National Park
The Kui Buri National Park is rich in moist and dry evergreen forests and has abundance of various palm species. The fauna consists of Asian Elephant, Malayan Tapir, Gibbons, Serow, Asiatic Black Bear, Macaque, Tiger, Leopard, Sambar, Banteng, and Fea’s Muntjac. Various wildlife-watching platforms at Pa Yang will let you enjoy watching elephants taking a mud bath and splashing around in the water. Bring your own car or take the tour in 4×4 trucks. You can even spend a night in wilderness by renting bungalows and tents or take a 1 kilometre hike to 15-tiered Dong Ma Fai Waterfalls.
Timings: 2 PM till dusk
Entry fee: INR 422 (adults) | INR 211 (kids)
3. Khao Sam Roi Yot National Park
Visit during January-February to sight the migrant birds like Kentish Plover, Malayan Plover, Purple Swamphen, Oriental Hobby, White-bellied Sea Eagle, Spoon-billed Sandpiper, and Eastern Marsh Harrier. Take a boat trip through the Khao Daeng Canal to catch a sight of Irrawaddy Dolphins. Other fauna includes kingfisher varieties, herons, egrets, mudskippers, crab-eating macaque, pangolin, fishing cat, serow etc. Take a hike through rocky terrains to reach the Viewpoint and Sai and Kaeo Cave. The best attraction here is the Buddhist temple inside the Phraya Nakhon Cave where sunlight enters through the hole on the roof. Camping in Thailand national parks is suitable at Laem Sala Beach where you can rent a campsite.
Timings: 8 AM – 3:30 PM
4. Erawan National Park
Erawan National Park is famous for the 7-tiered Erawan Falls cascading through the boulders, creating an indigo coloured pool, where taking a dip can be refreshing. Tucked in the Tenasserim Hills, this national park also has four caves namely Phartat, Wang Bahdan, Rua, and Mi where hiking is enjoyable. You can also spot the Khao Nom Nang Hill that stands in the shape of A breast near the waterfall.
Timings: 8 AM – 4:30 PM
Entry fee: INR 633 (adults) | INR 422 (kids)
5. Mu Ko Ang Thong National Park
This is one of the best national parks in Thailand for boating, speed boat rides, diving, and snorkeling. The islands are blessed with sandy white beaches, inland seawater lakes, sinkholes, caves, and towering limestone hills where hiking is enjoyable. Limestone forestry and mangroves are flourishing here and what is notable here is the endemic Ang Thong Lady’s Slipper Orchid. The fauna includes Macaque, Otter, Leopard Cat, Wild Boar, Dusty-Leaf Monkey, Pacific Reef Heron, White-bellied Sea Eagle, Black Baza, Yellow-spotted Trevallies, and Sea Turtles in Coral Gardens. Enjoy canoeing, kayaking, or hiking to Wua Ta Lap Viewpoint and Bua Bok Cave.
Entry fee: INR 633 (adults) | INR 316 (kids)
Tip: It is closed during November to the first 3 weeks in December.
6. Khao Yai National Park
Covering parts of Khorat Plateau and San Kamphaeng Range on Thailand national parks map, Khao Yai is the first national park of Thailand and is a heaven for mountaineers and hikers. Within the tropical forestry and grasslands, you will find Coral-billed Ground Cuckoo, Red Junglefowl, Red-headed Trogon, Malayan Porcupine, Indian Elephant, Gibbon, Asian Black Bear, Wild Boar, Ussuri Dhole, Indian Muntjac, and Southern Pig-tailed Macaque. Heo Suwat and Heo Narok are among the most significant waterfalls in Khao Yai National Park, Thailand.
Entry fee: INR 844 (adults) | INR 422 (kids)
7. Kaeng Krachan National Park
This national park in Thailand near Bangkok is famous for the highest density of butterfly species and more than 420 bird species including ratchet-tailed Treepie, Giant Pitta, Wooly-necked Stork, and all the endemic Broadbill and Hornbill species. Many snakes like Oriental Vine Snake, Siamese Cat Snake, Red-headed Krait, Mountain Pit Viper, and Blue Coral Snake can be seen here. Enjoy boating in the lake and rivers or take a hike around Pa La-U and Thorthip waterfall. Camping at the HQ Checkpoint can be fun too!
Timings: 5 AM – 5 PM. Closed from August to October
Entry fee: INR 633 (adults) | INR 425 (kids)
Suggested Read: Explore The Tropical Paradise Of Coral Island Thailand
8. Khao Sok National Park
Khao Sok National Park is famous for the old and diverse virgin rainforest, Rafflesia kerrii and Cheow Lan Lake where boating can be enjoyed after exploring caves like Nam Talu, Khang Cow, and Diamond Cave. Take a Bamboo raft or canoe to explore Sok River and the surrounding mountain ranges and limestone cliffs. Enjoy trekking through rainforests and watch fauna like Malayan Tapir, Tiger, Gaur, Sambar, Muntjac, Asian Elephant, Wild Boar, Mouse Deer, Gibbons, Pig-tailed Macaque, and Scolopendra cataracta.
Timings: 6 AM – 6 PM
Entry fee: INR 700 (adults) | INR 320 (kids)
9. Mu Ko Surin National Park
With five islands on the Andaman Sea, Mu Ko Surin is one of the popular national parks in Thailand for diving and snorkeling. Richelieu Rock, Ko Surin Nuea, Ko Surin Tai, and Ko Khai are the prospective locations. You can find Snappers, Cardinalfish, Breams, Pufferfish, Unicornfish, Angelfish, Barracuda, Butterflyfish, Sea Turtle, Anemonefish, Moray Eels, Whale Sharks, and Manta Ray. February to April is a suitable time for diving and snorkeling. Other fauna you can spot here includes bats, skinks, reticulated pythons, Bengal Monitors, etc.
Entry fee: INR 846 (adults) | INR 430 (kids)
10. Mu Ko Similan National Park
This is among the top 10 national parks in Thailand with eleven islands on the Andaman Sea. The granite islands on the crystal clear sea are blessed with rainforests, white beaches, and coral reefs surrounding them. Visit from December to April to explore the island fauna like Nicobar Pigeon, Flying Fox, Mangrove Monitor Lizard, Sea Turtles, and more. You can stay overnight on boats after a diving trip.
Entry fee: INR 1056 (adults) | INR 634 (kids)
Be sure to include all of these aforementioned national parks in Thailand in your travel itinerary for a wholesome Thailand holiday experience.
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