Famed as the largest national park in Thailand, Kaeng Krachan National Park rests on the border of Myanmar and is an extension of Tanintharyi Nature Reserve. This sprawling nature’s reserve was declared as a national park in 1981 and with a mesmerizing collage of thick woods, cascades, valleys, caves and exotic wildlife, Kaeng Krachan National Park is in the bucket list of every nature lover, photographer and wildlife fanatics.
If you are one of them, head to this fascinating piece of land to experience ultimate fun and adventure.
And before your take-off, here is the handy guide on everything related to Kaeng Krachan National Park.
Everything you need to know about Kaeng Krachan National Park
Location and geography of Kaeng Krachan National Park
Sprawling over an area of 2914 sq. km, Kaeng Krachan National Park is located in the Phetchaburi and Prachuap Khiri Khan Provinces of Thailand. Located right at the border between Thailand and Myanmar, this park offers a diverse yet extremely scenic landscape, with two rivers; Phetchaburi and Pran Buri, flowing through it.
Best time to visit Kaeng Krachan National Park
While planning your visit to Kaeng Krachan National Park, you must keep in mind the climate factors, in order to experience the best of the place. Though the place is moderately hot round the year, the wet seasons like June to October are pretty humid. Heavy rainfall is recorded and this may hamper safari and wildlife spotting, so it is advisable to avoid these wet months. So, the ideal time explore Kaeng Krachan National Park is from November to March, as these months are relatively cooler, dry, soothing and will help you to enjoy all the must-do activities.
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How to reach Kaeng Krachan National Park
Hua Hin in Thailand is the nearest town to Kaeng Krachan National Park. The park is 190 kms from Bangkok and one can fly down till Suvarnabhumi Airport and drive for approximately 2 and a half hours to reach the national park.
Entrance charges and timings of Kaeng Krachan National Park
Kaeng Krachan National Park is open to visitors every day from 5 am to 7 pm. The park is frequented by locals and tourists alike and remains crowded during weekend and public holidays. Entrance charge for adults is INR 634/person and for children it is INR 423/person. Moreover, for camping rentals, safaris, vehicles and guides, one needs to pay extra. You can avail all these from visitor centre, located outside the premises of the park.
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Flora and fauna of Kaeng Krachan National Park
Kaeng Krachan National Park is characterized by thick covers of tropical and sub-tropical trees and palm plantations. The forest cover is luxuriant and once you climb the highest point, located at an altitude of 1500 meter, along with the Burma border, you can enjoy a spectacular view of the sprawling forest land.
Kaeng Krachan National Park is most popular for diverse wildlife. Along with 57 mammal species and 400 bird species, this expansive park is a home to numerous snakes and more than 300 types of butterflies. Commonly spotted animals are clouded leopards, bear, deer, elephant, stump-tailed macaques, golden jackals and crab-eating mongoose. This place is a haven for ornithologists, as they can spot rare bird species like white-fronted scoops owl, hornbill, wholly-necked stork, ratchet tailed treepie and grey-headed fish eagle etc. Endangered snakes like mountain pit viper, sawtooth-necked bronzeback and red-headed krait are also spotted.
Tourist attractions in Kaeng Krachan National Park
1. Pala-U Waterfall and Thorthip Waterfall
The verdant land has numerous waterfalls and hiking through them and bathing is one of the most refreshing experiences. Pala-U Waterfall and Thorthip Waterfall are among the best places to see in Kaeng Krachan National Park. Hiking through the forest trails to reach these places and enjoying the surreal beauty of the cascading water make your excursion worth in every aspect. The clear and reinvigorating plunge pool looks too inviting for a swim or dip inside.
2. Khao Phanoen Thung
Kaeng Krachan National Park is known to have a series of fascinating viewpoints and Khao Phanoen Thung is the best among them. The place offers a jaw-dropping view of the surrounding misty forests, deep valleys, and distant mountains. Little descend from the viewpoint will take you to ‘Orchid Trail’, where you can spot rare bird species and butterflies. It is advisable to visit Khao Phanoen Thung, early in the morning, to avoid the excessive rush of tourists.
3. Kaeng Krachan Reservoir
Located at the heart of the national park; Kaeng Krachan Reservoir is an expansive waterbody, formed by damming Phetchaburi River. Encircled by lush greenery and mountains, this place soothes mind and soul of every traveller, who spends some time here. You can enjoy boating in the reservoir or indulge in bird watching.
4. HQ Campsite
Kaeng Krachan National Park is endowed with many camping grounds and HQ campsite is one of the most popular ones. This is a spacious area, surrounded by verdant forests, perfect for camping. Located in the periphery of the rainforest, HQ Campsite features quite a few restaurants with free WIFI, ATM, clean and hygienic washrooms. Moreover, mobile connectivity is stronger here, compared to other camping sites of the forest.
5. Ban Krang Campsite
If you are a nature enthusiast; Ban Krang Campsite is the perfect ground, to spot rare butterflies and birds. This expansive camping ground is located inside the forest, offers facilities like restaurants, washrooms, shower area and visitor center. You can carry your own camping equipment or you can hire the same from the visitor center.
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Things to do in Kaeng Krachan National Park
1. Go wildlife spotting
Wildlife spotting in Kaeng Krachan National Park is an experience, you should certainly not skip. Take a guided walk and you can easily spot leopards, elephants, jackals and stump-tailed macaques. Tigers are rarely spotted in this zone. Stay alert during your excursion and don’t forget your camera and binoculars.
2. Enjoy the thrill of caving
Located near Ban Krang, Tham Hua Chang is a picturesque limestone cave. Resembling the shape of an elephant, the beauty of karst topography and scenic charm of the place will leave you spellbound. Featuring stalactites and stalagmites of different sizes and forms, this cave can be reached by trekking and walking down some lesser popular forest trails.
3. Indulge in birdwatching
Kaeng Krachan National Park is a haven for ornithologists. As a home to nearly 400 plus bird species, this piece of area overwhelms every bird lover. One can spot endangered to nearly extinct bird species like fish eagle, giant pitta, white-fronted scoops owl, great argus, and broadbills. Among many trails, try Orchid trail to enjoy an enchanting bird watching experience.
4. Butterfly watching
Pranburi river flows through the national park and the banks of the same are ideal places to spot numerous butterflies. Depending on the season, one can even spot more than 100 types of butterflies and the sight of this colourful insect flying in the air is surely a stunner.
Places to stay in Kaeng Krachan National Park
Resorts and hotels where you can stay while exploring Kaeng Krachan National Park
If you are visiting Kaeng Krachan National Park, never get hassled thinking where to stay. There are many hotels, homestays, and lodges in Hua Hin and one can stay there and visit the park in day tours. But if you really wish to stay in the forest, either choose a camping ground or try to book Samaran Bird Camp, Kaeng Krachan Boathouse Paradise Resort, Kanyapa Resort and Baan Maka Chalet.
Dying to visit this nature’s wonderland? Customise your Thailand tour package and experience the beauty of Kaeng Krachan National Park on your trip.
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