Khao Yai National Park
"Big Mountain" National Park is Thailand's third largest and most accessible, being only 3 hours' drive from Bangkok. Khao Yai covers an area of 2168km² (over half a million acres) and is great for those interested in wildlife, breathtaking jungle scenery and potential glimpses of wild animals; including tigers, leopards, gibbons, deer, hornbills, exotic snakes and elephants, all living in their natural habitats. There are also over 300 species of birds, 44 waterfalls, five vegetation zones, jungles, grassy plains and mountains as high as 1,350m (4,500ft). A trekkers paradise!
The park can get extremely busy on weekends and national holidays, so best to go on a weekday to avoid the crowds. The only disadvantage of this is that there are fewer food choices inside the park, so your options may be limited to bowls of noodles.
The park has many well-established trails to waterfalls, wildlife observation towers and other areas of interest. If you are more adventurous and physically fit, you can engage a tour guide to take you on hikes to the more remote areas - up mountain paths and deep into the jungle. Places of interest are: Kong Kaeo Waterfall - within easy walking distance, Pha Kluai Mai Waterfall which is within walking distance of the parking lot, and Haew Suwat Waterfall, the largest of the three, with three tiers and is a 1km walk from the main road.
There is plenty of accommodation near the park entrances and also inside the park itself. Make sure you read the Getting Around section in the app Info. Night Safaris can be arranged with certified guides at the Visitor Centre, where there is also an excellent museum, cafeteria, convenience store and gift shop. The main lodging is also near the Visitor Centre, and there are two camping grounds 2km away. Entry: Adult/Child 400B/200B (plus 50B for car park). Open: 6:00am to 9:00pm daily. Tel: +66 25620760 Address: Amphoe Pak Chong, Nakhon Ratchasima 30130 Website: www.thainationalparks.com/khao-yai-national-park Getting Here: See the app info section.