The most interesting national parks in Thailand

Waterfall in Khao Yai National Park

Waterfall in Khao Yai National Park, photo by JakubJenicek/flickr

Located in the south-eastern part of Asia, in the center of the peninsula of Indochina, Thailand is one of the most visited destinations of the continent. This popular country has a rich cultural and natural heritage. The north of the country is a mountainous area, the north-eastern part consists of the Khorat Plateau which is bordered to the east by the Mekong River. The center of the country is dominated by the Chao Phraya river valley, which runs into the Gulf of Thailand. The country also has a 2.600 km long coastline in the southern part. Owing to its geographical diversity, the country has several spectacular national parks, of which some will be presented in this article.

1. The Khao Yai National Park


One of Thailand’s best-known national parks, Khao Yai is a huge protected area and is located in the north-eastern part of the capital city, Bangkok, in the Nakhon Ratchasima Province. It is considered the oldest and second largest national park of the country. Khao Yai National Park has about 500 km of hiking trails. Visitors can admire the park’s spectacular waterfalls and the wonderful and intact forests. There are 3.000 species of plants, 320 species of birds and 66 species of mammals, including among others Asiatic black bear, Asian elephant, gibbon, wild pig and Tiger. There are bird watching, trekking or hiking tours in the park.

Waterfall in Khao Yai National Park

Waterfall in Khao Yai National Park, photo by JakubJenicek/flickr


2. The Khao Sok National Park


This national park is one of the most visited parks in Thailand. It is located in Surat Thani Province and lies on a 700 km² surface. The park has a large area of virgin forests, the largest in Southern Thailand. The wild mammals that live here include Malayan Tapir, Asian Elephant, Tiger, Sambar Deer, Bear, Pig Tailed Macaque, White handed Gibbon, Squirrel and Mouse Deer. Khao Sok has a large lake which has a diameter of about 50 km. The variety of the fauna makes the park the best choice for nature lovers.


Monkey in Kha Sok National Park

Monkey in Khao Sok National Park, photo by jeffgunn/flickr


3. The Ao Phang Nga Bay National Park


One of the most beautiful marine parks of the world, Phang Nga National Park is located in Phang Nga Province, in southern Thailand. This is a carstic area and there are several caves here. Some of the most attractive ones are Lod Yai and Lod Lek. Beautiful also are the mangrove forests on the coastline. Among others, kayaking in Phang Nga Bay National Park is a popular activity.

Ao Phang Nga Bay

View over Ao Phang Nga Bay, photo by Argenberg/flickr


4. The Ang Thong National Marine Park


Ang Thong National Marine Park is a breathtaking archipelago of 42 islands in the Central Gulf Coast of Southern Thailand. It is located north west of Ko Samui. The park’s wildlife contains sixteen species of mammals like langurs, crab-eating monkeys, hogs and silver haired bats, also dolphins and whales in the sea. The landscape is gorgeous and the fauna is represented by dry evergreen forests, beach forests and limestone forests.


5. The Erawan National Park

The park is located in the Tenasserim Hills, in Kanchanaburi Province. Founded in 1975, it is Thailand’s 12th national park. The major attraction of it is the Erawan Falls, a waterfall named after the three-headed white elephant of Hindu mythology. There are also four caves in the park: Mi, Rua, Wang Bahdan and Phartat.

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