Sep 6, 2009

Khao Yai National Park

Khao Yai means big mountain, large mountain. It is the Oldest National Park of Thailand... It's about an hour drive away from Korat downtown. We love the day trip drive there, enjoy the green area, mountain scene and nice waterfalls.

The national park has been being famous for a long time. As it is only 3 hours drive away from Bangkok. The National Park covers the area of 4 provinces; Nakhon Ratchasima, Prachenburi, Nakhon Nayok and Saraburi, with total area of 2,168 square kilometers. The main entrance is in Pak Chong District, Nakhon Ratchasima.

Khao Yai National Park established on September 18, 1962. In 1984 the park was made an ASEAN Heritage Park, and on July 14 2005 the park together with other parks in the Dong Phaya Yen mountains was inscribed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site under the name Dong Phaya Yen–Khao Yai Forest Complex.

It's easy to get around the area by driving, it 's very convenience. there're good roads, many routes all around Khao Yai National Park.

Khao Yai has three main seasons, with an annual mean temperature of 23 ° C, though this varies greatly with the seasons.

Rainy Season: May-October. During this season, it rains most days, resulting in stunning waterfalls. The atmosphere is humid, with average daytime temperatures of 27° C, In the humidity, flora and fauna flourish, whilst after the rain there is clean air and clear visibility (great for photograph!).

Cold season: November- February. This is the most popular time to visit Khao Yai, as clear, sunny and cool weather are ideal for hiking and nice sunsets are common. The days average around 22° C, while the nights can drop to 10° C.

Hot Season: March-April Even in the hot season, Khao Yai does not experience of heat felt elsewhere in the country. Daytime temperatures reach between a high 20° C, to a low 30° C, During this season it is dry and often windy. Waterfalls can be dry by April.

This was the best view at Km. 30 View Point

At Km. 30, Thanarat Road, traveler can enjoy seeing scenery in the north part of Khao Yai National Park which is very broad and beautiful.

View of the Cliff at Haew Suwat

There are many waterfalls in the National Park. The largest and highest waterfall is Haew Narok Waterfall, it is a highlight of our trip, you shouldn’t miss, it’s located at the south end of Khao Yai National Park. Some other waterfalls is Haew Suwat Waterfall, Wang Haew Waterfall, Kongkaew Waterfall, Pha Kloi Mai Waterfall, Mai Plong Waterfall, Haew Sai Waterfall, Manaw Waterfall, Tad Ta Phu Waterfall and more. If you happen to visit there and make just a day trip, at least go to Haew Suwat Waterfall, its easiest to reach just by car and beautiful.

Wang Heaw Waterfall, a huge waterfall about 40-60 meters wide, in the middle of the eastern forest of Khao Yai National Park, is situated about 17 kilometers from Khao Yai National Park Office 6 (Sai Yai) and has more and heavy water in the rains. The area is suitable for adventuring and camping lover because traveler has to spend about two days of walk to travel there. Along the trek, traveler can see many kinds of plants, naturally beautiful rock and scenries. This is one of the beautiful waterfalls.

Heaw Narok Waterfall, the biggest and highest waterfall in this area, is situated in the south part of Khao Yai National Park. The waterfall is a three-level cascade, its water drops step by step from 60-meter high of first level to the second and third level with about 90 degrees, approximately 150 meters, to its very deep abyss which is very fearsome when the water falls heavily in the rains.

Heaw Suwat Waterfall is situated at the end of Thanarat Road and three kilometers from Pha Kluy Mai Waterfall by walking. There is water dropped from 20-meter high cliff onto a pond below which is appropriate for playing water but not in the rains because there are very much cold and heavily flowing water.

There are many nature trails of different distances in Khao Yai National Park. Each trail has signposts that tourists can follow. Walkers can also request to have a park ranger from the national park's office accompany them as a guide. The trails within the national park comprise 4 main activities;

1) Nature Trail ; less than 1 km to walk..

2) Hiking Trail ; these kind of trail is between 1- 8 km in length, requiring at least one hour to half day walking.

3) Trekking Trail ; These trails take about 2-4 days trekking and camping around Khao Yai.

4) Birding Trail : Mostly bird watching can be done on the sides of the road, on them walk trails and around the old golf course area. Birdwatchers on the trekking trail will be delighted to see Oriental pied Hornbills, Silver-breasted Broadbills, Red-whiskered Bulbuls, Black-crested Bulbuls and many other birds. The park is home to more than 300 bird species.

Mor Sing To

Visitors Center

Major Campsites in Khao Yai National Park are at Pha Kluai Mai and Lam Ta Kong.
When I was there, it was weekend so the campsites were quite crowded, all tents are so colourful.

There are 3 types of accommodation for tourists who want to stay overnight at Khao Yai;
Lodging house,
Tourist house (Youth Camp)
Tent (bring your own tent better)

References :
Wikipedia ,