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Talk:Khao Yai National Park/Listings

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Khao Yai National Park Thailand first national park. Has an area of about 2,168 square kilometres in the Phanom Dong Rak mountain range and covers Nakhon Ratchasima, Nakhon Nayok, Saraburi, and Prachin Buri. The area is home to an abundance of animals such as 3,000 species of plant, 200 wild elephants, tigers, gibbons, bears, deer, bats, wild pigs, bird, and etc.

In the past when there were no roads through the area, Khao Yai was regarded among travellers as a wild and dangerous place. The jungle here divides the Central Region and the Northeast. Khao Yai became Thailand’s first national park on 18th September 1962 and is an ASEAN World Heritage because of its variety of flora and fauna.

The general terrain of Khao Yai National Park consists of mixed forests and rainforests. Some parts have wide plains interspersed with verdant forests. There are many valuable plants, including plants that are traded, scented plants and herbs. There are several mountains, with peaks ranging from 800-3,000 metres above sea level. Due to its altitude and the lush jungles here, Khao Yai has a cool climate even in summer, with an average temperature of 23 degrees Celsius. Khao Yai gets the most visitors in the cool season from October to February. In the rainy season, trekking is not as convenient, but the area is refreshingly green and all the waterfalls are full of water, sending echoes all around and creating a lively atmosphere for visitors.

Wild animals that can be frequently seen include deer that graze on grass plains and sometimes come to feed around the park office. Other animals are elephants, sun bears, wild boars, monkeys, tigers, gaurs, and mountain goats. The park built 2 wildlife watchtowers at Mo Singto and Nong Phak Chi. Visitors are allowed up there during 8 a.m.- 6 p.m. Those who want to go on a night safari by car can contact the park office before 6 p.m.

Khao Yai is also suitable for butterfly and bird watching. Surveys found that there are over 200 species of birds here that use Khao Yai as a feeding ground and as a permanent home.

Jungle Trekking - There are more than 20 trails to choose from, each different in natural beauty and distance. Some trails take 1-2 hours to complete like the Kong Kaeo trail and the Km. 33 trail (Thanarat Road-Nong Phak Chi). Some trails require overnight stays like the Nang Rong-Khao Yai trail, Samo Pun trail or Kho Yo 4 Unit-Wang Heo waterfall trail. Information and guides can be obtained from the tourist service centre. For Khao Yai National Park the admission fee is 400 baht for adults and 200 baht for children. Accommodation in Khao Yai National Park and in other Thai National parks can be reserved at www.dnp.go.th or by calling the Parks Reservation Division, National Park Office, Tel. 02 5620760

Places of Interest in the Park

Kong Kaeo Waterfall(น้ำตกกองแก้ว) is a low waterfall that originates from Huai Lam Takhong that divides Nakhon Nayok and Nakhon Ratchasima. It is especially lovely in the rainy season. It is suitable for swimming and can be reached by walking from the tourist service centre for about 100 metres. A rope bridge spanning the waterfall gives the area a natural feel and nearby are short nature trails.

Pha Kluai Mai Waterfall (น้ำตกผากล้วยไม้) is a medium waterfall in Huai Lam Takhong, about 7 kilometres from the park office. It can be reached by car and by foot. In the area visitors can find the Red Dendrobium orchid that is the symbol of the waterfall. The waterfall has two separate bodies of water flowing down rock levels to merge at the bottom. A trail leads to Heo Suwat waterfall.

Heo Suwat Waterfall (น้ำตกเหวสุวัต) is a famous waterfall at the end of Thanarat Road. It is accessible by car. The waterfall is only 100 metres by foot from the parking lot, or a 3-kilometre walk from Pha Kluai Mai waterfall. The water falls from a cliff about 20 metres up. A distant viewpoint offers a lovely high-angle view of the waterfall through trees, or you can walk down to the waterfall itself. However, please note that in the rainy season the water flows rapidly and caution should be taken.

Heo Narok Waterfall (น้ำตกเหวนรก) is the largest and highest waterfall of the park. It is south of the park office on the way to Prachin Buri. You can walk 1 kilometre by foot from the main road to a viewpoint where you can see the beautiful waterfall. The waterfall has 3 levels. The first is about 60 metres up. Water from this level goes down to the second and third levels straight down below, with a total drop of at least 150 metres. The water has considerable strength in the rainy season and is quite dangerous, but refreshing, when it comes splashing down on rocks at the bottom. The area around the waterfall is the usual feeding ground of wild elephants and there have been occasional accidents when elephants drop from the cliff and die.

There are also other lesser waterfalls in the park like Mai Plong Waterfall, Heo Sai Waterfall and Heo Prathun Waterfall. For information, contact the park’s tourist service centre.

Getting There - Khao Yai National Park is only about 205 kilometres from Bangkok. You can take 1 of 2 ways; from Km. 56 of Mittraphap Road go on to Thanarat Road for about 23 kilometres or at Hin Kong intersection, go onto Highway No. 33 (Nakhon Nayok-Prachin Buri) to Noen Hom intersection and take Highway No. 3077 to the park. The second route is rather steep and is more suitable for the return trip.

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Accommodation near Khao Yai

  • Ban Duang Pon Resort (บ้านดวงพร รีสอร์ท) 161/1 Km.20 Thanarat Road, Tambon Mu Si (Tel: 0 4429 7074, 0 4429 7094), 11 rooms: 600-1,800 baht www.duangponresort.com
  • Rabiang Lure Resort (ระเบียงเรือรีสอร์ท) 72 Mu 9 Pansuek – Kudkla Road Tambon Phaya Yen (Tel: 0 3622 7189, 08 9699 7968), 33 rooms: 1,500-15,000 baht
  • Ban Ruea Khao Yai Resort (บ้านเรือเขาใหญ่ รีสอร์ท) 101/3 Km.20.5 Thanarat Road, Ban Kutkla (Tel: 0 4429 7151) 30 rooms: 700-1,400 baht
  • Ban Suan Nok (บ้านสวนนก) 23/5 Thanarat Road. Km. 20 (Tel : 0 4429 7620), 10 houses  : 1,200 –2,500 baht.
  • Greenery (กรีนเนอรี่) 188/ 1 Mu 5 Km.22 Thanarat Road, Tambon Mu Si (Tel: 0 4429 7668 Fax: 0 4429 7226 Bangkok Tel: 0 2661 2999, Fax: 0 2661 2389) 300 rooms www.greeneryresort.com 2,700++ - 7,200++

--globe-trotter 10:11, 7 February 2010 (EST)

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