Khao Yai, the second largest national park in Thailand became part of a larger area granted UNESCO World Heritage status in 2005. It is located in the south west of the Korat Plateau within the Sankamphaeng Mountains in north east Thailand. It is largely forested and is a place that nature lovers on holiday in Thailand must visit. Similarly Indochina tour packages will a decent content of natural environments may include a visit to Khao Yai National Park.
How to get there
There are road and rail connections with Bangkok and hence any destination elsewhere in the country or abroad. At present both the road and rail journey from the capital to Korat takes around four hours though future planes for an express line heading for China will half that time by rail but into Korat. Pak Chong near the northern entrance is a stop on the current rail service before Korat.
Best time to visit
Monsoon season between May and October is low season though tourists interested in the natural environment are not automatically deterred by rain. As a result Thailand travel packages are available all year round. The altitude means that temperatures are slightly lower than elsewhere, averaging 27C but lower between November and February before this rises through March and April.
Things to see and do
70% of the Park is moist evergreen rain forest but there is also some dry evergreen rain forest, some deciduous cover, hill evergreen forest and grassland. The latter is maintained as grazing for elephant, gaur and deer by controlled burning of tress to prevent them from taking over.
The forests are full of wildlife; the call of gibbons will wake you in the morning after which you will see macaques, wild pigs, porcupine and civet. There are plenty of reptiles and snakes but clouded leopards are more elusive. There has been no definite tiger sighting since 2005 though it is still possible that transient tigers may visit because there has been an unofficial sighting or two. Asiatic black and sun bears are a possibility and if you visit one of the caves there will be hundreds of thousands of bats. There are Siamese crocodiles growing up to 3 metres long and avoiding humans if they can.
There are over 300 species of resident birds including the Great Hornbill, firebacks, the Indian Pied and pheasants.
The Waterfalls are spectacular:
• Haew Suwat was a location used in the film ‘’The Beach’’ with Leonardo DiCaprio.
• Haew Narok is three tiered 150 metres in combined height.
• Pha Kluaymai is a great spot for wildlife
Trekking is very popular and there are night safaris available as well.
There is accommodation both within the Park, close by outside.
Within the park there are bungalows, dormitories and camping facilities while in Pak Chong there are guesthouses, apartments and a few hotels. Thailand tour packages which are designed to spend more than a few hours here will arrange accommodation to suit their clients.