Khao Yai National Park
Khao Yai National Park
The first national park in Thailand, opened in 1962, and still one of the best, Khao Yai has been named a World Heritage Site because of its variety of flora and fauna. It covers an area of 2,168 sq. km. in the Dong Rak mountain range and spreads over four provinces; Nakhon Ratchasima, Nakhon Nayok, Saraburi and Prachin Buri, forming a divide between the Central and the Northeast regions. Covering of protected forest, jungle and grassland spread over rolling hills and mountains, the park is traversed by paved roads, as well as by a dozen marked walking trails.
The main access is via Pak Chong, 87 km. southwest of Nakhon Ratchasima’s provincial capital. The habitats of Khao Yai range from mixed forests to rainforests and grassland, while there are several mountains with peaks between 800 and 3,000 metres above sea level, as well as many splendid waterfalls. In addition to a wealth of flora, the park is home to at least 25 species of larger mammals, including elephants, tigers, leopard, Asiatic black bears, Malayan sun bears, barking deer and sambar deer.
Vantage points afford spectacular panoramic views, while waterfalls add to the considerable scenic attraction. The wildlife population includes at least 25 kinds of the larger mammals, as well as more than 300 species of birds and countless butterflies.
Attracting awe-inspired tourists and thirsty wildlife alike, Khao Yai is deservedly famous for its plethora of waterfalls that are prettied by butterflies, wild orchids and other colourful fauna. As the rainy season swells mountain streams, rivers surge over multi-tiered falls, with cool pools of fresh mountain water to bathe and swim in. Adding to the outdoor experience, these exhilarating natural wonders provide a soothing respite after a long hike through the wilds. Some of the most spectacular falls to seek out are Namtok (waterfall) Heo Suwat, famous as the waterfall location that appeared in the Hollywood blockbuster The Beach, and the park’s tallest and most dramatic falls of Heo Narok.
Khao Yai is cleaved with over 50 km. of hiking trails, many of which have been formed by wildlife movement. Deep in this massive sweep of forest it is easy to loose your way so hire a guide to get the most from your outdoor experience. Aside from hiking in the park, visitors can also embark upon an exciting night safari, or ride through the jungle on an AT V (All Terrain Vehicle). Other pursuits around the park’s perimeter include a round of golf at a lush 18-hole golf course, soothing spa treatments at several resorts, and a wine tour of the newly established vineyards that capitalise on the excellent soil conditions and cool air to cultivate extremely palatable classic red and white wine bouquets.
For more information, please contact
The National Park, Wildlife and Plant Conservation Department
Tel: (66) 2562 0760 or
The park office at
P.O. Box 9, Amphoe Pak Chong,
Nakhon Ratchasima Thailand 30130.
How To Get There
Buses depart daily from Bangkok Bus Terminal on Kamphaent Phet II Road to Pak Chong several times. The journey takes around 3 hours. From Pak Chong bus station take a sawngthaew to the park gates.
More Information : The Transporation Co.,Ltd.
Tel: (66) 2936-2852 to 66 ext 611, 448
The main route from Bangkok is via Highway No.l to Saraburi, and from there direct to Nakhon Ratchasima. At Pak Chong district, take a right turn to the Park, The journey takes about 3 hours drive.
Road condition is very good and quite safe.
The State Railways of Thailand operates daily services from Bangkok Railway Station (Hua Lamphong). for more information.