Thai National Parks

About Khao Yai

Established in 1962 as Thailand's first national park, it is the third largest national park in Thailand. Situated mainly in Nakhon Ratchasima Province, Khao Yai extends into Prachinburi, Saraburi and Nakhon Nayok provinces. Khao Yai is just 3 hours away from Bangkok.

It covers an area of 2,168 square kilometres, including rain/evergreen forests and grasslands. 1,351 m high Khao Rom is the highest mountain within the park. The average altitude of the national park ranges from 400 to 1000 m above the sea level. The area around Dong Phaya Yen mountain within the park was listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 2005.

The main entrance to the park is at north where most visitors coming through Pak Chong in Nakhon Ratchasima Province, the second entrance is at south in Prachinburi Province.

Khao Yai is a very popular destination for both foreign and local tourists, it can be extremely busy on the week-ends and holidays.

  • Many mammals, birds and reptiles
  • Ideal for birdwatchers
  • Many open grasslands, ideal for photography
  • Many saltlicks, ideal for seing mammals
  • Good roads, ideal for bikes
  • One of best national parks for hiking with many trail options
  • Many attractions
  • Good campsites
  • Very busy every day, overcrowded during the week-ends
  • Too much trafic holds animals away from roads
  • Macaques gets into all tents in search for food
  • Many leaches during the rainy periods

There are many trails to choose between from 500m up to 8km long, all together over 50km making it a great destination for hikers. There are also some longer routes that requires guides for up to 3 days hiking. The park is home to one of highest and most impressive waterfalls as well as few mid size and many smaller waterfalls, most of these easily accessible.

What makes Khao Yai more interesting than most other national parks in Thailand is that there are many open grassland areas which increases the chances to see some amazing mammals. There are many saltlicks on open areas which attracts bigger mammals such as elephants, gaurs, deers and many more.

Most touristic attractions are located on the west side of the park accessible through paved roads. Vehicles and motorcycles are allowed, the roads are ideal for bicycling and one of best destination for bikers in whole Thailand. Bikers are seen on the roads frequently, quite often in groups.

There are two camping grounds and several restaurants as well as shower/toilet facilities within the park. Plenty of hotel and guesthouses can be found right outside the national park boundries. Few of restaurants are located around HQ, one at Haew Narok Waterfall in Southern parts, one at Haew Suwat Waterfall. One of camping groungs also has a restaurant but not open regularly.

Khao Yai is home to around 300 resident and migratory birds and has one of Thailand's largest populations of hornbills. Some of the interesting birds that can be found in the park are barbets, scarlet minivets, broadbills, pittas, mountain scops-owls, great slaty woodpeckers, collared owlets, blue-winged leafbirds, Asian fairy bluebirds, trogons, drongos and magpies. Many ground dwelling birds such as silver pheasants, junglefowls, green-legged partridges and siamese fireback are common on the roads and trails. Best time to visit Khao Yai for birdwatching is during the dry months and during March April when the big bird migration happens.

Some common mammals include elephants, bears, gaurs, barking deers, otters, gibbons and macaques. While the tigers are believed to be extinct in Khao Yai National Park there is only one known crocodile in the national park and it can be seen on same location along the one of trails.

Khao Yai is also a good destination for watching reptiles. The best time is around March-April but with still good activity until October, during cold season it is more difficult to spot them. Chinese water dragon, water monitor and crested lizards are among the many lizard species that can be found in the park.

Climate

The rainy season is May to October with high humidity. Avarage temrepatures are 27 degrees during the day and 13 degrees during the night. Perfect season for waterfalls.

The cold season is November to February with clear and sunny sky. Average temperatures of are 22 degrees during the day and down to 9-10 degrees during the night. Ideal season for hikers.

The hot season is March to April, humid with avarage daily temperatures 20-30 degrees during the day and 17 degrees during the night.

Videos from Khao Yai National Park

  • Elephant - Khao Yai National Park

    Elephant - Khao Yai National Park

  • Mugimaki Flycatcher - Khao Yai National Park

    Mugimaki Flycatcher - Khao Yai National Park

  • Moustached barbet - Khao Yai National Park

    Moustached barbet - Khao Yai National Park

  • Wild Dogs - Khao Yai National Park

    Wild Dogs - Khao Yai National Park

  • Blue pitta (female) - Khao Yai National Park

    Blue pitta (female) - Khao Yai National Park

  • Asian brown flycatcher - Khao Yai National Park

    Asian brown flycatcher - Khao Yai National Park

  • Siberian rubythroat - Khao Yai National Park

    Siberian rubythroat - Khao Yai National Park

  • Japanese Thrush (male) - Khao Yai National Park

    Japanese Thrush (male) - Khao Yai National Park

  • Coral-billed ground cuckoo -  Khao Yai National Park

    Coral-billed ground cuckoo - Khao Yai National Park

  • Pink-necked green pigeon - Khao Yai National PArk

    Pink-necked green pigeon - Khao Yai National PArk

  • Orange-headed thrush - Khao Yai National Park

    Orange-headed thrush - Khao Yai National Park

  • Coral-billed ground cuckoo - Khao Yai National Park

    Coral-billed ground cuckoo - Khao Yai National Park

  • White-rumped shama - Khao Yai National Park

    White-rumped shama - Khao Yai National Park

  • Burmese shrike - Khao Yai National Park

    Burmese shrike - Khao Yai National Park

  • Blue whistling thrush - Khao Yai National Park

    Blue whistling thrush - Khao Yai National Park

  • White-rumped Shama - Khao Yai National Park

    White-rumped Shama - Khao Yai National Park

  • Silver pheasant - Khao Yai National Park

    Silver pheasant - Khao Yai National Park

  • Japanese thrush (male) - Khao Yai National Park

    Japanese thrush (male) - Khao Yai National Park

  • Red-headed Trogon - Khao Yai National Park

    Red-headed Trogon - Khao Yai National Park

  • Coral-billed ground cuckoo - Khao Yai National Park

    Coral-billed ground cuckoo - Khao Yai National Park

  • Green-eared barbet - Khao Yai National Park

    Green-eared barbet - Khao Yai National Park

Specie photos of Khao Yai National Park

  • Banded kingfisher - Khao Yai National Park

    Banded kingfisher - Khao Yai National Park

  • Black-throated laughingthrush

    Black-throated laughingthrush

  • Asiatic brush-tailed porcupine

    Asiatic brush-tailed porcupine

  • Black-and-buff woodpecker

    Black-and-buff woodpecker

  • Black-throated sunbird

    Black-throated sunbird

  • Black-throated sunbird (male)

    Black-throated sunbird (male)

  • Black-winged cuckooshrike

    Black-winged cuckooshrike

  • Black giant squirrel

    Black giant squirrel

  • Asian fairy-bluebird

    Asian fairy-bluebird

  • Asian koel (male)

    Asian koel (male)

  • Black-capped kingfisher

    Black-capped kingfisher

  • Asian emerald cuckoo (male)

    Asian emerald cuckoo (male)

  • Ashy minivet

    Ashy minivet

  • Ashy minivet

    Ashy minivet

  • Asian koel (male)

    Asian koel (male)

More about Khao Yai National Park

Open map of Khao Yai

Expand for next days

Phone(s)

  • +66 (0)8 6092 6529
  • +66 (0)8 6092 6531
Indian muntjac, female

Indian muntjac, female

TNP

Indian Elephants in Khao Yai

Indian Elephants in Khao Yai

iStockPhoto

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