If you love hiking and nature, Thailand is a great destination for you. The country has many national parks with diverse landscapes, wildlife, and cultural attractions. In this blog post, I will share with you some of the best Thai national parks to go hiking in that are not too far from Bangkok. Whether you are looking for a day trip or a longer adventure, you will find something to suit your preferences.
Khao Yai National Park
Khao Yai National Park is Thailand’s first national park and a UNESCO World Heritage Site. It covers an area of 2,168 square kilometers and spans four provinces: Saraburi, Nakhon Ratchasima, Prachinburi, and Nakhon Nayok. The park is home to over 350 species of animals, including elephants, deer, porcupines, otters, and even tigers. It also has five different types of forests and many waterfalls.
There are six short hiking trails within the park, ranging from 2 to 8 km, that you can explore by yourself. An easy and scenic trail is the Kong Kaeow Nature Trail, which starts at the Visitor’s Centre and takes you through a mixed deciduous forest and a bamboo grove. You can also join a guided trek for a more challenging and immersive experience. The park offers three-day treks that take you to the highest peak of the park, Khao Rom, and to the stunning Haew Suwat waterfall.
Khao Yai National Park is about three hours’ drive north from Bangkok. There is no direct public transportation to the park, so you will need to rent a car or join a tour. The entrance fee is 400 baht for adults and 200 baht for children (both Thais and foreigners).
Kaeng Krachan National Park
Kaeng Krachan National Park is the largest national park in Thailand, covering an area of 2,915 square kilometers along the border of Myanmar. The park has an evergreen forest that hosts a variety of wildlife, such as elephants, leopards, gibbons, and reptiles. It is also known as the best birdwatching location in Asia, with over 400 species of birds recorded.
The park has several options for hiking enthusiasts, from day trips to multi-day hikes. You can explore the park on your own or join a guided tour. A popular trail for beginners is the Baan Krang loop trail, which is about 3 km long and takes you through a pine forest and along a stream. For more experienced hikers, there are longer trails that lead to waterfalls, caves, and viewpoints.
Kaeng Krachan National Park is about three hours’ drive west from Bangkok. You can take a bus or a train to Phetchaburi town and then hire a taxi or a songthaew (a local truck) to the park. The entrance fee is 300 baht for adults and 200 baht for children (both Thais and foreigners).
Khao Sam Lan National Park
Khao Sam Lan National Park is a small but beautiful park that is only an hour and a half’s drive away from Bangkok. The park has three hills that offer panoramic views of the surrounding countryside. The highest peak is 330 meters high and has a temple on top. The park is also home to many monkeys that you can see playing in the treetops.
The park has several hiking trails that are easy and picturesque. You can walk around the hills and enjoy the views of the rice fields, orchards, and water houses. You can also visit the seven waterfalls that are connected by the trails and swim in their clear pools.
Khao Sam Lan National Park has an entrance fee of 100 baht for adults and 50 baht for children (both Thais and foreigners). You can rent a tent or a bungalow at the park if you want to stay overnight.
These are just some of the best Thai national parks to go hiking in that are not too far from Bangkok. There are many more parks that you can discover in Thailand, each with its own unique charm and attractions. So grab your backpack and hiking shoes and get ready for an unforgettable adventure!