KHAO YAI National Park

Although there are other places of interest besides to Khao Yai national park a visit of the last one is a ‘Must have done’. Our place is almost surrounded by this giant park which covers an area of 2.158 Square kilometers. Its highest peak is Khao Rom 1.351 meters above sea level. The park is source of four Rivers and dotted by waterfalls.

Roughly there are three vegetation types in the park. A dense rainforest, an open plain and a more mountainous part on the higher peaks.

The rainforest has high rising trees (Like rubber and teak to 50 meters) mixed with medium sized ones, a thick underground with lianas, ferns and epiphytes like orchids. It is a feast for all your senses. The area where the tourist center is, at about an half or three quarter driving was in a far past a remote village difficult to access by a small dirt road .  

Now, right after the lake is the heart of the park. It houses the visitor center where you can ask any question, hire guides (speaking English) and a small 7-11.  Next to is  a roofed terrace surrounded by street stalls where you eat cheap and healthy. At the other side of the road you find the obligatory souvenir shop and a good coffee shop. You can watch the busy birds over the small river which you can cross over a bridge and you find the Gibbons high in the threes. The immense grassland of the plain allows you also to observe wildlife.

Further up the road it gets more a mountain like area. The bush is less dense but the views are impressive. Never ignore a viewpoint in Khao Yai. When we speak about Khao Yai we speak about wildlife. It is said that this is the best place to spot wild in its natural habitat. The small stuff (I never counted them) are more than 2.000 types of butterflies, thousands of moths (including the worlds tallest , the Atlas moth good for 40 cm. wingspan. Flying skinks, geckos and tall monitor lizard. They are joint by all types of frogs you find in the books.

More than 300 types of birds mostly very colorful join them with the very visible hornbills and eagles as the masters of the sky.

Snakes are common in Khao Yai. Most are more afraid of you than you of them. But watch out for the.  spitting cobra and the green viper witch red eyes. The Burmese python is their master but seldom attacks humans. Just avoid every snake. Their bite may not be lethal for humans, but it hurts anyhow. Avoid also scorpions. The big black one (35 cm) is innocent but its small brown nephew not.

Of course, the mammals are popular.  We got Lori, porcupines, bats. Deer’s, fishing cats, jungle leopards, families of Dingo’s, wild pigs, buffalo’s but also the Malayan sun bear and it’s Asian black nephew’s. The roads are dotted with playing and sleeping families of the south-east Asian pig tailed macaques, Gibbon monkeys cry out high in the tops of the trees. 

The king of the jungle is of course the Asian elephant.. Hundreds of families are around . Although they are most active at night. You can see them during any moment of the day. Especially lonely males, circling around the female leaded families and jumbo’s are easy to upset. Best is to stay in the car, leave the engine and lights running but absolutely not try to pass them. Just wait until the park rangers come to help with their jeeps and guide the animals back into the jungle.

Popular activities in the park are bird watching from the watchtowers in the Park, hiking and trekking (for leaving the signaled tracks you need a guide) and cycling in the hills.

We advise to spent two full days to enjoy all aspects of the park. Guided tours are plenty but they also show you the most accessible parts which you can do by yourself. Just take your time and if you decide that some places are of more interest to you hire a guide in the park. We can give you advice on these matters.

There are also smaller points of interest outside the park. The biggest water dam in the region is only 15 km from the B&B.  Spectacular if it releases water. You can do wild water rafting here. Next to it is a clear waterfall in which you can safely swim. At short distance you find wang bon reservoir consisting of 3 lakes. Mostly Thai come here to camp. They have some lunch places and you can row on the rock surrounded lake wit pine trees growing on their banks.

For some more inspiration watch this movie about Khao Yai National Park
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