Khao Yai national park, Thailand

Khao Yai National Park (in Thai เขาใหญ่) is definitely one of the greatest parks in the world. This the most popular and also the oldest reserve of Thailand that covers an area of 2,168 square kilometers. The park has got its name booked in the list of UNESCO World Heritage sites as it is home to one of the major undamaged monsoon forests. The visitor center greets the tourists in a very friendly manner and the staffs mostly speak English, which works wonders for flourishing tourism.  offers breathtaking landscapes, diverse ecosystems, and abundant wildlife. Whether you are a seasoned nature enthusiast or simply looking to connect with the natural world, Khao Yai National Park promises an unforgettable experience.

Pristine Wilderness of Khai Yai National Park, Thailand.

One of the most appealing aspects of Khao Yai National Park is its untouched wilderness. Spanning over 2,100 square kilometers, the park boasts lush forests, cascading waterfalls, and scenic hiking trails. As you explore the park, you will be immersed in its tranquil atmosphere, far away from the noise and pollution of the city.

There are some beautiful waterfalls in the park. The most famous is probably “Haeo Suwat”. Some scene of the movie ‘The Beach’ with Leonardo Di Carprio were shot there. The vegetation, scenery, animals and 50 km of hikking trails make Khao Yai a popular destinations among Thais and tourists.

History

Khao Yai National Park was the first national park of Thailand and it was established on September 18, 1962. Popular conservationists during the 20th century, Boonsong Lekakul, played a key part in the development of this park. It got the recognition as an ASEAN Heritage Park in 1984 and in 2005 it became a part of the UNESCO World Heritage Site.

High resource of animals and birds

Khao Yai National Park is definitely a hot shot tourist attraction. It serves as an ultimate destination to view varied wildlife. You can see barking deer, sambar deer, Malayan sun bears, Asiatic black bears, gaur, tigers, leopards and elephants. In fact, there are some 250 wild elephants that wander along the boundaries of the Khao Yai National Park. Apart from animals, the park gives equally prolific views of diverse species of birds. The park hosts a maximum number of hornbills in Thailand. Different types of hornbills are found here such as the great hornbill, Indian pied hornbill, brown hornbill, and wreathed hornbill. More than 300 species of bird can be found in Khao Yai park. January and March are better for visitors who are willing to experience different activities of the wreathed hornbills.

The biodiversity of Khao Yai National Park is astounding. The park is home to over 300 species of birds, including the rare and elusive great hornbill. As you wander through the forest, you may also encounter various species of primates.Gibbons and macaques are swinging through the trees. Additionally, Khao Yai National Park is known for its thriving populations of elephants, deer, and even tigers.

One of the waterfalls in Khao Yai. From the water flow, this is in rainy season.

If you are there only for a quick visit, the easiest animals to see are the monkeys on road. Some guardians gave them bananas in the afternoon and the deer in some fields.

Big Cats and More

If you have a fascination for big cats, Khao Yai National Park will not disappoint. While spotting a tiger may require some luck and patience, the park is known to harbor a small population of these magnificent predators. However, even if you don’t catch a glimpse of a tiger, Khao Yai National Park is home to other charismatic carnivores such as leopards and Asian black bears. Additionally, the park’s forests are inhabited by an array of smaller mammals, including macaques, langurs, and pangolins.

Entrances

Khao Yai National Park can be accessed by two main entry points. One is in the northern side and the other is in the southern side. The northern entrance can be accessed through the Nakhon Ratchasima Province. The southern entrance can be accessed through the Prachinburi Province. Those who want to visit the park from Bangkok; they can take the southern entrance.

The park remains open from 6am to 9pm. Foreigners normally pay 400 baht 200 for children), and Thais only 40. If you bring a proof of residence in Thailand, like a work permit or a Thai driving license, you might be able to pay the Thai fee.

Deer that you can often see in Khao Yai. That one was 2 meters from me.

Khao Yai National Park plays a crucial role in wildlife conservation in Thailand. The park actively contributes to the preservation of endangered species, conducts research on threatened habitats, and promotes sustainable ecotourism practices. By visiting the park as a wildlife enthusiast, you are not only immersing yourself in nature. You also supporting conservation efforts that ensure the long-term survival of the park’s unique fauna and flora.


Visiting the park is a remarkable experience for both nature lovers and wildlife enthusiasts. The park’s pristine wilderness, panoramic views, rich biodiversity, and diverse flora offer an opportunity to reconnect with the natural world. Whether you are captivated by birdsong, seek elusive big cats, or simply crave tranquility amidst stunning landscapes, Khao Yai National Park is a true paradise waiting to be explored.

Video in Thai about Khao Yai, starting at the museum, with night safari and more

Our pictures on Flickr about Khao Yai are at:  http://www.flickr.com/photos/50651722@N03/sets/72157633470128087/

This post is also available in: Thai

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