Thailand's National Parks: Trekking, Bird and Wildlife Watching, Biking and More

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Asia » Thailand
May 7th 2018
Published: May 7th 2018
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I just visited a Thai national park this week. For a
westerner to visit a Thai national park, it's not as common as you'd expect.
Tourists come from all over the world to Thailand but very few ever leave Bangkok or
the beaches, so visiting Thailand's national parks isn't usual. A pity really,
as they're not only beautiful but there are tons of things to do too -
trekking, mountain climbing, biking, white water rafting, horseriding, golf,
bird watching and wildlife watching - it's not like you're stuck out in the
jungle with nothing to do. Thailand actually has many national parks so if you
like nature and a bit of wildlife, why not eschew the beaches and the big
cities and head out into the jungle and visit a national park instead.

Khao Yai National Park

Khao Yai is one of the most famous national parks in
Thailand as it's only a 2 hour drive from Bangkok so easy to get to. Khao Yai
is the park I just came back from and it really is beautiful. Eco-tourism is
popular in Khao Yai so you'll see a lot of wildlife (elephants, tigers, deer,
lemurs), and you can enjoy trekking, horseback riding, golfing, fishing, biking
and more. Khao Yai also has some excellent resort hotels that are western
standard so you don't have to rough it if you want to visit a Thai national

Mu Ko Surin National Park

Mu Ko is a cool national park in Thailand as it consists
of five islands, a bunch of rocks and some 'island's that are nothing more than
jungle. You can also see the famous sea gypsies here (Thai tribes that live in
a village of floating houses out in the water), as well as lots of wildlife.
Rent a boat (with boatman) and go out into the middle of the water, drop anchor
and take a swim - beautiful. There is also some park accommodation on a couple
of the islands (not high-standard, but good enough for a couple of nights),
which you'll love if you like a vacation where you're 'roughing it' a bit and
with not many people around.

Khao Luang National Park

Located down south near Nakhon Si Thammarat, Khao Luang

National Park is known for its high mountain peak (Khao Luang itself), which
you can climb, as well as the enormous variety of wildlife. The clouded leopard
is a rare species of big cat that's not seen very often, but if you're lucky
you may see it in Khao Luang. The park is also famous for some very beautiful
waterfalls, a natural feature that Thais absolutely love so, if you do get to
one, be prepared for quite a few people lounging around on the rocks and in the
pools. Khao Luang is a very beautiful national park, where you can hike for
days without seeing many people. If you decide to do so, just make sure you
hire a guide to go with you as hiking through a Thai park can be intimidating
if you're not sure where you're going.

Tarutao National Park

Made up of a group of 51 protected islands in the Andaman
Sea, Tarutao National Park is famous for its marine life, especially dolphins,
crocodiles and sea turtles. It's mostly famous though for being used for the
2002 'Survivor: Thailand" television show. Ko Tarutao is the biggest
island and has some of the loveliest beaches you'll ever see.Swimming and diving here is amazing as the water is
so clear and, because it's the site of healthy coral reefs, the fish you'll see
are unbelievable.

These four national parks in Thailand are gorgeous places to visit. They're each
completely different (mountains, beach, oceans, jungle) but there's something
for everyone. The best time to visit most of Thailand's national parks is
during September to March before the hot and rainy season starts but, even in
the rainy season, it's still possible to see a lot and have a wonderful time.
So put on your hiking boots (or your bikini) and head out into one of
Thailand's famous national parks - they'll put Bangkok to shame. Honestly.


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