Khao Yai National Park
Established in 1962, Khao Yai was Thailand's first national park. Today it is the second largest national park in Thailand and, in 2005, the area along with the surrounding Dong Phaya Yen mountains was listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
Flora and fauna
The lower regions of the park seem to be around 350m above sea level. Even at this altitude and in general throughout the park you will find a more attractive climate than in nearby Bangkok. The average day temperature throughout the year is around 23 degrees Celsius.
As for most areas in Thailand the year is split into three seasons. There is a hot season, cold season and a rainy season.
The Hot Season lasts from March through April. The day temperatures can be a bit above the annual average but it is still very pleasant due to the higher altitudes.
After the Hot Season the Rainy Season starts. This lasts from May till October. You will find many days with rain. Average day temperatures are still high but humidity also increases.
The Cold Season lasts from November till February. During this time the day temperatures are pleasantly in the low twenties. Night time might require a sweater as temperatures will drop furhter.
Khao Yai is along the way from Bangkok to Nakhon Ratchasima (Korat). The nearest town is Pak Chong, which can be reach either via most Bangkok-Korat trains or via most buses to Korat. Once in town, hire or share a songthaew to the park's main northern entrance.
- Adults: 40 baht (2008 fees)
- Adults: 400 baht (2008 fees)
- Children (under 14): 100 baht
- Bicycles: 10 baht
- Motorcycles: 20 baht
- Cars: 30 baht
One of the best ways to see the park is renting a car or motorbike in Pak Chong and staying one night in the park. If you don't have your own transport it is quite difficult to get to the park information centre as the bus from Pak Chong usually takes you to the ticket office and the natural park centre is about 10km away. A lot of people hitchhike and park rangers are usually quite willing to take anyone as long as they contract their services for the day.
Take a night time jeep safari spotting deer. Booking can be made through most hotels. Bookings can also be made directly at the visitor centre in the park.
Visit some of the spectacular waterfalls. They might not be the largest you have seen but the scenery is simply stunning. During the Hot Season some waterfalls might be almost dry. The Rainy Season is the best time to see spectacular falls. During the months of June, July, August they can have plenty of water. Under these wet conditions flora also will be at it's best.
At Zone 1 in the visitor center a small souvenir shop is setup. They offer a variety of souvenirs from Khao Yai National Park, such as bags, T-Shirts, ...
At Zone 1 there are a number of small food stalls and a restaurant where visitors can order a variety of Thai food and drinks.
- Sak Phu Duen Hotel, . , in the heart of Khao Yai. Facilities include a restaurant and pool. Cost approx £30 sterling per night for a double room.
- Park bungalows sleeping from 2 - 24 people are available for rent from the park office, or check the Department of National Parks website.
- Khao Yai Garden Lodge, Air conditioned and fan rooms available from 350 B to 2500 B. Swimming pool, garden area and restaurant. It is situated at 12 Km from Pak Chong and 12 Km from the entrance of the National Park. They organise tours to the park although they are overpriced and lack variety. The restaurant within the hotel is highly overpriced with low quality/ quantity food. A good option is walking up the road and get food from the stalls along the road or breakfast from the service staion. website: www.khaoyai-garden-lodge.com ; Th Thanarat Km 7;
- Greenleaf Guesthouse & Tour is located in Pak Chong. Every day tours are organised to the park. It offers clean, basic double rooms for 200 B, the people are lovely and the tours are great.
Camping is available within the park at designated sites. Bring your own tent or hire one from the ranger office.
This page was last edited at 13:31, on 9 March 2009 by Ronald van Coevorden. Based on work by Jani Patokallio, Evan Prodromou and julia forman and Anonymous user(s) of Wikitravel.