Kaeng Krachan National Park
About the park
Kaeng Krachan was declared as a national park on 12 June 1981. Covering an area of 2914 sq km it is the largest national park in Thailand. The park is located in Phetchaburi and Prachuap Khiri Khan provinces, bounded by the Tanintharyi Nature Reserve along Myanmar's border to the west. The park is not only part of the rainforest area north and south of the park in Thailand, but also part of a huge continuous rain forest complex deep into Myanmar covering 30,000 sq km.
Kaeng Krachan National Park is famous for dense morning mist covering the park with hill tops sticking above mist cloud around December-March, creating a spektacular view.
- The best destinations for birdwatchers
- The park with most different types of mammal species
- Mostly untouched forests with only one 36km long dirt road through the main forest area
- Has short, avarage as well as longer trails
- Apart from the week-ends, not getting many visitors
- Good campsites
- No public transportation to the campsites, hitchhiking required
- No bikes, motorcycles or bicycles allowed on dirt road to Ban Krang and Phanoen Thung
- 4WD required for the last 10km of the dirt road between Ban Krang and Phanoen Thung campsites
Possibly Thailand's top bird and buterflywatching location, over 420 species of birds has been observed in the park boundries which is the highest number of bird species in any national parks in Thailand. There are 57 known species of mammals and around 300 butterfly species.
Some of rare birds that can be found in Kaeng Krachan are ratchet tailed treepie, white-fronted scops owl, giant pitta, whooly-necked stork, great argus and grey-headed fish eagle. The park is also home to seven species of horn bills.
Wild mammals such as leopards, stump-tailed macaques, deers, porcupines, civets, martens, elephants, bantengs, gibons, wild dogs, langurs, gaurs and many others can be found frequently in the park. There are also tigers in Kaeng Krachan but they are not common.
Phetchaburi and Pran Buri rivers are both originated from Tanaosri Ranges within the park. Kaeng Krachan National Park covers a reservoir and mainly rain forests with rich flora and fauna. The highest elevation is a peak among Burmese border at around 1500 m, the second highest peak is Khao Phanoen Thung at 1,207 m which is accessible by a overnight trekking from Phonoen Thung Camp Site.
Most visitors to Kaeng Krachan stays around the first campsite area next to the HQ where there is not much to see of the real wildlife the park offers. The real beauty of the national park starts approximately 19 kms from the HQ at Dan Khao Sam Yot Checkpoint which is a dirt road extending 36.5km west through Ban Krang and Phanoen Thung campsites. There is a third campsite being prepared 10km south from Bang Krang with another dirt road in service towards the end of 2014.
There are many trekking and mountain trails deep into pristine forest, especially in the areas around Thothip Waterfall and the stream of Pa La-U. Permission from HQ needed for longer guided trekking. First couple of months after the end of the rainy season the trails may still be covered with fallen trees, bamboos, branches or grown bushes which will make trekking very unpleasant. It may take time for the park personel to clean the paths.
The best time to visit the park is November to February when it is cooler and drier. October used to be end of the rainy season but due to climate change frequent rain may continue into the December. Although birdwatching possibilities are relatively good at all time, March-April is the most ideal time when bird migration into the park is at it's peak.
Kaeng Krachan National Park is closed for visitors August to October. The road to Phanoen Thung campsite from Ban Krang is open on a strict schedule and closes strictly at 7pm, means you won't be able to get in or out off the schedule;
- Heading up to Phanoen Thung; 5:30am – 7:30am and 1pm – 3pm.
- Out from Phanoen Thung; 9am – 10am and 4pm – 5pm.
Access to the main forest area of the park is limited to two roads, the 36.5km road beyond Dan Khao Sam Yot Checkpoint (checkpoint is 19km from HQ) in the central parts, and one into the area around Pala U Waterfall in the south east.
The entrance fee is 200B for foreigners and 40B for Thais (Nov 2013). There will be additional 30B fee for vehicles and 30B per night if you intend to camping.
If you are planning a trip to Ban Krang and Phoneon Thung campsites, bare in mind that mobile reception will be limited to very few operators and extremely bad, mostly inaccessible. So, let your loved ones know that you will switch off from the digital reality for a while. There is an ATM at park HQ.
Videos from Kaeng Krachan National Park
Orange-bellied flowerpecker juvenile - Kaeng Krachan National Park
Blue-winged pitta - Kaeng Krachan National Park
Common green magpie - Kaeng Krachan National Park
Streak-eared bulbul - Kaeng Krachan National Park
Rufous woodpecker (female) - Kaeng Krachan National Park
Himalayan striped squirrel - Kaeng Krachan National Park
Racket-tailed treepie - Kaeng Krachan National Park
Banded kingfisher (male) - Kaeng Krachan National Park
Chestnut tiger - Kaeng Krachan National Park
Streaked Spiderhunter - Kaeng Krachan National Park
Butterfly in slow motion - Kaeng Krachan National Park
Hooded pitta - Kaeng Krachan National Park
Orange-breasted Trogon - Kaeng Krachan National Park
Butterflies - Kaeng Krachan National Park
Green-billed malkoha - Kaeng Krachan National Park
Vernal hanging parrot - Kaeng Krachan National Park
Dusky leaf monkey - Kaeng Krachan National Park
Chestnut-headed bee-eater - Kaeng Krachan National Park
Ratchet-tailed treepie - Kaeng Krachan National Park
Asian barred owlet - Kaeng Krachan National Park
Red junglefowl - Kaeng Krachan National Park
More about Kaeng Krachan National Park
- Visitore Centre: Tel: +66 (0) 32 459 291
- Park Headquarters: +66 (0) 32 459 293
Kaeng Krachan Reservoir
Dusky leaf monkey at Ban Krang
Kui Buri National Park that has been closed for visitor since gaur-deaths will re-open in June. – Read more
A new campsite will open in Kaeng Krachan National Park towards the end of this year. – Read more
DNP has introduced an online image-sharing network to protect wildlife. – Read more
The only crocodile in Khao Yai National Park has grown up to a size considered dangerous. – Read more
A half marathon (21km) will be held in Khao Yai National Park March 2, 2014. – Read more