The park is host to some amazing biodiversity, across all lines. Having a day or more to enjoy in the park gives you the opportunity to see some incredible animals, and the crown jewel is, of course, the Asian elephant. For many westerners, myself included, elephants are animals that are the fringe of imagination, but here you have a chance to see these awesome animals in their wild habitat. Add in the macaques, snakes, and birds, and that's quite a menagerie to enjoy.
Many tours of the park settle for drives to the major highlights, and you really miss a lot of the park. Hiking along some of the 50+ km of trails in Khao Yai is an intimate way of seeing the park. The trails range through the tropical jungle to the open plains. Along the way you can see the multitude of animals that live in the park, from macaques to snakes to some big jungle insects and even, if you're very lucky, elephants. You see the changes in the landscape, vegetation, and really get a feeling of the forest and the richness of biodiversity. So strap on a pair of boots and hit the trail, and explore the park with your feet. You'll be rewarded for exploring.
There are several different ways to spell the name of this cascade, but they all add up to one thing: beauty. This semi-secluded waterfall is found in Khao Yai National Park and is reached through a steep staircase cut into the rockwall surrounding this little grotto. The water spills about 20 m from the cliff into a small pool, then runs through large boulders before resuming its journey downstream. There is no swimming allowed, and if you reach it in the afternoon the sun catches the spray and throws up small rainbows. There are large rocks on the opposite bank, providing many opportunities to sit, watch and listen to the water with friends or partners (many Thai couples were seen enjoying each other's company).
Khao Yai is located within the Dongrak Mountain Range, Khao Yai's elevation ranges from 200 to 1351 m a.s.l. (Khao Rom) Khao Yai National Park consists of complicated mountains such as Khao Rom, the highest about 1,351 meters, Khao Lam about 1,326 meters, Khao Keaw about 1,292 meters, Khao Sam Yod about 1,142 meters, Khao Far Pha about 1,078 meters, Khao Kampang about 875 meters, Khao Samor Poon about 805 meters and Khao Kaew about 802 meters above sea level.
Moreover, the area has vastly grassy field alternating with productive forest. The north and the east part are smoothly sloping down, while the south and the west part are rising up.
(In the photo is the view in the north part)
Millions of Wrinkle-lipped bats sleep in the caves in the daytime and fly about looking for food at night. Around sundown you can see them emerging from the caves in a steady stream. They sound like ocean waves with all their wings beating in the air.
This is a fantastic sight to see and I highly recommend it.
We drove out to the park just as it was starting to get dark. There we were told to get into a larger truck. We stood up in the back of it and wished we had brought winter jackets with us.
It does get cool once the sun goes down. The guides had large spotlights that they spotted on different areas as we drove around.
We did see a lot of deer, a civit cat, and an owl but no elephants, bears or anything like that.
Spend a whole day hiking in the park. Your day will go something like this:
We left the lodge at 8:30 am. After our ride to the park in the back of the truck, we arrived at the park headquarters to get a permit. While driving thru the park, we saw a long-tailed squirrel, a Hornbill, and a Hawk. Then everyone got out of the truck, it was time for the 4 hr hike in the jungle. Actually about all we saw was a group of Gibbons. Luckily I missed seeing the King Cobra when it went by the guide.
At 14:00 it was finally lunchtime and we got to ride to the park restaurant. While eating our lunch at picnic tables outside, we saw birds, butterflies, and a Monitor Lizard. After a leisure lunch we went to a waterfall where we could swim. We saw Macaque Monkeys lined up alongside the road, waiting for a hand out.
We did the half day tour of Greenleaf. Around 4 oçlock in the afternoon we went into the National Park of Khao Yai. First we visited a spring. It was so clear that it was incredible. Local people were swimming in this pristine water.
Then we went to a cave. Inside this cave were small buddhistic tempels, and on the roof of the cave hundreds of bats were hanging. Some of them had little baby's too, lovely.
The *** of the bats is collected and sold. It contains some sort of explosive substance which they can use to make explosives. Incredible isn't it?
We saw a real huge spider in this cave. It looked more scary than it was. it had huge scissor-like legs. Then we went over red and dusty sandroads to a field from where we could see the bats fly out of the caves. It took some time before they started and then we saw a real spectacle. Millions and millions of bats came out, hunting for insects. In a big big stream they continue to come out for almost an hour or so. The high sound they make was unforgettable.
it was just as if we saw a movie of national geographic, as if it was not real, sooo amazing!
My son found a large millionpied, and played with this animal for almost half an hour. When it walks over your arms you'll get a good massage.....
This tour together with the full day tour costs 1500bath, children pay only half price
Water and snacks and fruit is included.
We went out in Khao Yai National Park by jeep.We did the full day tour with Greenleaf. First we entered the National Park, then we'd put on the leeches-socks becourse we were in rainseason. We looked for the whitehanded gibbons, which we discovered after a while. The produce a very typical sound, a sort of singing. Then we started a walk through the slippery rainforest. We saw giant tree, some snakes (a real big one coming out of the tree) and some small ones just above the ground on a small branch. These green snakes very poisenous, and I think they called them Indonesian Vit Piper snakes. Very intresting to see them in real!
We met some giant spiders, in giant webs.
After lunch in a treehouse we looked for the hornbills, and after a while we saw a pair, hopping from one tree to another. I succeeded catching them in flight (see the pics)
There were many macacs monkeys around. Then a dusk we were looking for wild elephants but we never found them.
This day was one of the highlights of our holiday, which I can really recommend to you.
The guides of Greenleaf are very experienced and do all they can to give you a day you won't ever forget.
The price of the tour is 1500 bath (it is this tour together with a half day tour in the evening to see the bats fly out of a cave)
Children only pay half price
Food, and drinks and snacks are included in the price, and so is the transport
We had an excellent guide in Khao Yai in 2006, named Isara Sukkum. Both nature guide in different jungle tours, and the temples in the area. You can make your own plans or get his suggestions and tours.
Isara is both a very pleasant person – usual in Thailand, a good organizer, and an expert in the plants and animals, very keen on environmental issues. He always has the ambition to study and improve.
Yesterday I mailed him a picture of an interesting tree I had seen in Bangkok, within a day I got the Latin name.
I suggest contacting him by email
and you'll get his links and Thai phone if you need it.
He has a website with beautiful pictures and links about his tours, but the website is not always functioning. Anyway I recommend him as a guide, and a guide could be excellent and professional even if he wouldn't have internet ambitions.
There are many waterfalls in the area of the national park. The largest and highest waterfall is Haew Narok Waterfall, it is a highlight of this park that I think you shouldn’t miss, it’s located at the south end of Khao Yai National Park. Some other waterfalls is Haew Suwat Waterfall, Wang Haew Waterfall, Kongkaew Waterfall, Pha Kloi Mai Waterfall, Mai Plong Waterfall, Haew Sai Waterfall, Manaw Waterfall, Tad Ta Phu Waterfall and more. If you happen to visit there and make just a day trip, at least go to Haew Suwat Waterfall, its easiest to reach just by car and beautiful. see photos of waterfall from my last several trips in travelogues.
Thong Somboon is a theme park caters to local Thai (I presumed) to have a taste of American wild west - but in comfort. Good for family day outing - especially many activities for youths: ATV driving, horse riding, cable car ride etc
There are many nature trails of different distances in Khao Yai National Park. Each trail has signposts that tourists can follow. Walkers can also request to have a park ranger from the national park's office accompany them as a guide. The trails within the national park comprise 4 main activities;
1) Nature Trail ; less than 1 km to walk..
2) Hiking Trail ; these kind of trail is between 1- 8 km in length, requiring at least one hour to half day walking.
3) Trekking Trail ; These trails take about 2-4 days trekking and camping around Khao Yai.
4) Birding Trail : Mostly bird watching can be done on the sides of the road, on them walk trails and around the old golf course area. Birdwatchers on the trekking trail will be delighted to see Oriental pied Hornbills, Silver-breasted Broadbills, Red-whiskered Bulbuls, Black-crested Bulbuls and many other birds. The park is home to more than 300 bird species.
There is main visitor centre in central of the national park, provides visitors with all the information they will need, as well as permits to hike along the trails. So when you arrive at Khao Yai, go to the visitor centre for services and details on accommodation or to request a park ranger to accompany you on a trek.
Khao Yai National Park provided many activities. People visit the park in different purpose, some go there for various outdoor activities, for education, camping, trekking, wildlife watching, bird watching, mountain biking and even river rafting.