Kaeng Krachan National Park (a couple of hours drive from Bangkok)
Kaeng Krachan National Park is an ideal place for nature and trek lovers and for anyone who wishes to enjoy the great variety of adventures it offers, such as Pala-U waterfalls, an easy relaxing rafting on the Petchburi river which is also a wonderful attraction for families with young children, etc. What makes Kaeng Krachan National Park a great tourist attraction is its relatively short distance from Bangkok, only a couple of hours drive. In addition, there are plenty of tourist attractions on the way: Amphawa Floating Market, The Swimming Monkeys, the ancient town of Petchburi, The Palace on the Hill (Khao Wang), the pretty resort town of Cha Am, the royal holiday town of Hua Hin, and many more…
Kaeng Krachan National Park has been announced as a protected area on 1981. It is the largest national park in Thailand and it spreads over 3,000 square kilometers.
It begins on the eastern slopes of Tenasserim mountains, on the Myanmar border and spreads over half of Petchburi province and parts of Hua Hin district, (Prachuap Khiri Khan province).
Map Legend: 1 – park offices; 3 – lake and dam; 5 – Panoen Thung volcano (1207 meter tall); 6 – Thor Thip waterfalls in the middle of the jungle with 9 stairs; 7 – KU camp, the starting point for extreme rafting lovers!!; 8 – Petchburi River; 11 – Pranburi River; 12 – Pala-U waterfalls.
Two rivers cross the national park – the Petchburi river flowing down towards the huge Kaeng Krachan dam, which creates a big lake and then flows all the way down to the town of Petchburi and the Pranburi river, crossing on the south of the national towards a dam and then flowing down to the town of Pranburi.
As there is a lot of humidity and plenty of rain in the national park area it is an ideal habitat for its evergreen forest and many wild animals such as elephants, tigers, monkeys, dear, etc. and plenty of birds and butterflies. The area is mainly mountain terrain and there are only a few roads crossing it so population on the national park is scarce and its breathtaking wild nature has been almost untouched – 95% of the park area is covered by evergreen forest growing on the mountains, in addition, there are rivers, waterfalls, stalactite and stalagmite caves and plenty of wild animals – which makes it an ideal place for real trekking lovers.
For your convenience, here are some links to websites offering additional information on trekking and overnight stay at the national park as well as other useful information:
- Click here for a map of the national park
- Click here for information about the park tour programs
- Click here for walking treks
- Click here for a blog about the adventures of someone who visited at the national park
- Click here for lots of pictures of the national park
- Click here for general information about Kaeng Krachan National Park (1)
- Click here for general information about Kaeng Krachan National Park (2)
- Click here for general information about Kaeng Krachan National Park (3)
Summary: Kaeng Krachan National Park is the biggest and one of the most interesting and pretty national parks in Thailand. It is great for wild nature and trekking lovers as well as for families looking for easier adventures.
For nature and trekking lovers: this is an ideal park for you. You will find interesting and extreme treks including camping and possibilities of overnight staying in the wild. The national park is well organized and you can rent all you need for camping there. There are experienced guides which will take you for treks in the evergreen forest and will explain about the many species of wild animals and birds you will see on your way.
For easier adventure lovers: you will find a few easy and pleasant adventures such as a visit at Pala-U waterfalls, which are very pretty and there is no need for a long walk to get to them, as well as an easy and relaxing rafting which is a great solution for families with young children. Click here for an article about the easy and relaxing rafting on the Petchburi river.
The national park offers ATV’s as well as motorbike trips guided by its experienced guides. The park also offers a movie theater with interesting adventures such as the “battle field game” where two groups fight each other using guns with plastic bullets.
Kaeng Krachan National Park has plenty of attractions for any kind of tourist. Since it is relatively close to Bangkok and offers so many attractions – it is certainly one of the national parks you should visit!!
Here is a picture of a nice couple at the park offices, just to assure you that there are tourists on the park too, not only local folks J
Here are a few videos I found for you on You Tube:
Click here for a video about a leopard in the park
Click here for a video made by a family with a baby on the national park
Unfortunately, I have read some articles on the web claiming the national park is closed for visitors during the summer months. Of course this is not true – there are only 2 specific adventures which are closed during the summer, (August – October):
- Panoen Thung Mountain – the tallest mountain on the park, which can only be reached by 4×4 vehicles and the way up is very steep and dangerous.
- Baan Krang Camping site, next to Panoen Thung mountain.
The rest of the national park is open all year round – Pala-U waterfalls, the lake, the rivers and rafting, etc.
Until I will have the time to prepare a video of the national park for you – here is one about the national park’s butterflies, (which I did not make)… Enjoy!!
Dr. David Thailand Travel Guide
Thailand-Expert : Thailand Private Family Adventure Tours