Thai National Parks

Wang Chin Route - 6 days, 5 nights

What? 

Lead by expert Dutch biologist Sjon Hauser, this route will start in Chiang Mai OR in the city of Phitsanulok 300 km Southeast of Chiang Mai and subsequently travel 800-1100 km while crossing through much of Northern Thailand in a comfortable minivan. At least four of Thailand’s most interesting national parks will be visited, beside religious, historical and cultural sites and mountain tribe villages in the relatively little known remote areas of the country. There will be no difficult trails to walk, only easy to moderate ones.

Along the route we will get to the summit of highest mountain in Thailand, visit waterfalls, hot-springs and viewpoints, with a little bit luck, in the right period of the year get chance to see sea of mist covering valleys in white from some great view-points.

Mr Hauser has lived in Chiang Mai area for more than 20 years. He is author of dozens of travel related books/publications, has expert knowledge of flora and fauna of Northern Thailand and is an expert in snakes in the region. 

This tour is for maximum eight persons. 

Tour itinerary

Day 1; (Bangkok or Chiang Mai) - Phitsanulok - Nakhon Thai

Option 1, Starting in the morning from Chiang Mai - You will meet your tour-leader Sjon Hauser in Chiang Mai for a five hours’ drive to Phitsanulok. The first stop will be the beautiful Wat Phra That Suthon with a giant but elegant Reclining Buddha statue. Before lunch we will also visit a rare shrine where local devotees have offered dozens of wooden phallus to a female spirit. Continuing, we will not visit the town of Phitsanulok, but turn onto the highway to the east and stop at a workplace where truck bands are recicled into trash bins and furniture. In Nakhon Thai, 100 km east of Phitsanulok, we will spend 2 nights in Panya Garden Resort. The resort is surrounded by paddy fields and teak trees.

Option 2, Starting in the afternoon from Phitsanulok - After meeting your tour-leader Sjon Hauser, Phitsanulok’s Wat Yai will be visited, a temple known for its venerated golden Buddha image called Phra Phuttha Chinnarat. Later on we will get to Nakhon Thai (see above).

Day 2; Nakhon Thai - Phu Hin Rong Kla National Park - Nakhon Thai

After an early breakfast we drive to the Phu Hin Rong Kla National Park further east. On the extensive flat top of this mountain we will walk a few short trails through moist evergreen forests. The mountain top was used as a stronghold by communist rebels back in the 1970s. We will visit the remains of their training camp, caves and rock formations which the rebels used as air shelters. A somewhat longer walk leads to the Lan Hin Pum viewpoint with impressive vista over the valley. This is also an ideal place for a picnic style lunch break. After the lunch we will visit a Hmong-village in the national park and later on if we still have time and energy visit a museum about the hectic history of the park or alternatively visit another area with strange rock formations and rare flowering plants. 

Day 3; Nakhon Thai - Wang Chin

We will leave the resort and continue to the central parts of the Northern Thailand towards Si Satchanalia Historical Park. We will drive by villages, low hills, mountains and picturesque countryside and stop a few times to visit the morning market of Chat Trakan, and see various crops grown in the fields, see villagers working and observe egrets, storks and some other birds that may be feeding on the muddy fields. We will also stop at a large lotus swamp rich in bird life. We eat lunch on the bank of Yom River next to the Si Satchanalai Historical Park. Subsequently we will explore the park to see the 600 to 700 year old ruins and kilns. Then, we will continue to Punjen Hide Away Resort where you can relax at the swimming pool before dinner. We can spend the evening by an easy night walk along a forest stream in hope to see nocturnal animals.

Day 4; Wang Chin

After breakfast we visit the beautiful Mae Poeng waterfall in the Wiang Kosai National Park. During the peak of the rainy season, access to the waterfall may be restricted and there will be some alternative nature exploring nearby. In the late afternoon, we’ll continue to the west and will have a simple lunch at the market of the small town of Li. Li is the center of veneration of the legendary monk Khruba Si Wichai and if on schedule we may visit a nearby temple to learn more about the life and his temple projects in the 1920s and 1930s. From Li it is a 150-km drive to Mae Chaem, and halfway, near Hot, we’ll stop at impressive erosion formations in the bank of the Ping River. We’ll spend two nights at Mae Chaem’s Navasoung Resort in the foothills of Doi Inthanon, Thailand’s highest mountain.

Day 5; Wang Chin - Thoen - Hot - Mae Chaem

After the breakfast we’ll enter the Doi Inthanon National Park. When we reach the summit at 2565 meters above the sea level we will explore the cloud forest around, known to be home for some very rare birds. On the way down from the summit we will visit the twin Royal Chedis or make a 1-hour walk in dense evergreen forest. Later on we have a simple lunch in a Hmong village. After lunch we visit a royal agricultural project promoting alternative crops among the tribal population. On our way back to Mae Chaem, we visit the impressive, yet little visited Mae Pan Fall which is accessible by a short jungle trail.

Day 6; Mae Chaem - Doi Inthanon - Chiang Mai

In the morning we head for Hot again. We will visit a hot spring and then continue to Op Luang Gorge where the Mae Chaem River has cut a tunnel through the granite rocks. From here we will walk through deciduous forest and see some pre-historic rock paintings and gorgeous lianas hanging on the trees. Lunch will be near the gorge. After lunch we continue to Chiang Mai. Our driver will drive you to your hotel in the city.

When?

The best time of the year for this tour is May to November during the rainy season when the nature is lush with much activity in the paddies and fields.

During the cooler December to January season some concerned areas for this tour may get overcrowded by tourists, this may pose problem for making reservations.

February to April is generally the driest period with very little activity on lower elevations, including agricultural activities.

Tour rates include:

  • Entrance fees national parks (a total of 1200 baht per person) and temples
  • English speaking guide
  • Transportation
  • All meals except dinner on day 4 and 5
  • Some snacks & fruit
  • Drinking water

Reviews from our guests

We appreciate your feedback after the tour when booking with us.

About: 1-day wildlife tour in Khao Yai (Group tour)

By: , United States | posted Sat 22 Jul, 2017

We really enjoyed our day long hike. We saw lots of animals because our guide was excellent at spotting them. My only suggestion would be to better explain what our day is going to be like e.g. how long the morning hike is, the different afternoon walks. We got tired after the first hike, but were relieved that the afternoon was much lighter.

About: 1-day wildlife tour with night safari in Khao Yai

By: , Switzerland | posted Thu 20 Jul, 2017

Apple was an amazing guide with perfect english and was able to explain to us so many facts about not only the park but Thailand in general.

Thanks to his skills and a lucky day we got to see a lot of different animals.

We definitely recommend the visit to the park! Also, if you're already a group of friends we recommend taking a private tour (that's what we did) so you can decide what you want to do and customize the tour a bit with your guide.

Tour operator's response

Thanks Rafik for your feedback.

Glad to hear you had a lucky trip.

About: 1-day wildlife tour in Khao Yai

By: , Germany | posted Wed 19 Jul, 2017

When making choices around your stay in Bangkok, we can highly recommend to get out of the cultural jungle and see Mother Nature too. If you like to discover animals in their natural habitat, Khao Yai is a great place to do! Our guide Beer (Grylls :-)) was a highly enthusiastic advocate of animals and already after the first kilometer drive spotted a huge water monitor resting on a tree not far from the road. We felt the display was so perfect ( we could make beautiful close-ups) that it was "organized" to make a great first impression on our tour :-). Though we missed the elephants, the trekking in the jungle was a memorable experience. After some time adjusting ourselves to the sounds and lights of the tropical forest, Beer was spotting a pilated gibbon family of five, one of them white. We followed and watched them for some time, then spotted two great hornbills having a breakfast on the trees. Amazing birds, impressive size. During our great thai lunch, we saw a northern pig-tailed macaque visiting our bags in the truck. Later we encountered a barred flying dragon (we do not know how Beer was finding this cc 15 cm small lizard from the car, but let this be his secret), a gaur, several barking deers, another monitor and a huge family of macaques. The day would have not been complete with a stellar tropical rain and the subsequent vivid colors of vegetation, chasing us back from the fantastic 100 m high waterfall. Beer's eyes are incrediable. He spotted an asian wine snake on a tree from 50 meters driving at 25 km/h! Thanks guys for the great day - I probably give up visiting zoos and focus on enjoying animal kingdom exclusively in natural habitat, like your beautiful Khao Yai National Park! Please do your best to preserve it to our grandchildren! Ton, thanks for your flexibility and patience when dealing with our paypal transfer problem!

Tour operator's response

Dear Zsolt,

Thank you for your extensive review of your trip. Felt like being in the jungle while reading it ;-)

And your recommendation to visit true wilderness instead of zoos is a very good one. Surely it might not be as easy to spot animals as in the zoo, but with our experienced guides like Beer you are likely going to see a bunch of interesting creatures, and get to watch them in their home. I have never seen a zoo where e.g. gibbons can truly swing around in high trees like they do in the wild where they belong.

Thank you for booking with us!

About: 1-day wildlife tour in Khao Yai (Group tour)

By: , Belgium | posted Wed 19 Jul, 2017

The national park was very nice. We had a friendly and enthousiast guide who showed us all around, so I would recommend doing a tour.

About: 1-day wildlife tour with night safari in Khao Yai

By: , Denmark | posted Sun 16 Jul, 2017

The 12 hours, was one of the highlights of the many times we have experience Thailand. Thanks to our competent guide, Apple. Encountered Elephant, two types of apes and many other species of animals. The 4 hour trek was out of our comfort zone but felt great afterwards. Thank you Thai National Parks.

Tour operator's response

Dear khun Sornsiri,

Glad to hear we have helped you experience Thailand in a different way ;-)

Thanks!

About: 3-days wildlife tour in Khao Yai

By: , Switzerland | posted Sun 16 Jul, 2017

Tip Top!! Tata (our guide) was extremely helpfull and allowed us to discover the nature present in the park (snakes, elephants, lizzard, s lot of colourfull birds, gibbons...) all of those animals are living there and it is amazing to see them in their natural environment. Most of all Tata is a passionate and perfectionist caracter so the experience that we shared with him was made from the best quality you can imagine (and even more). Thank you for this unforgettable experience!

Tour operator's response

Thanks Franck for your kind words!

We will pass your comments to Tata ;-)

Thank you for booking with us

About: 2-days wildlife tour in Khao Yai

By: , United States | posted Sun 16 Jul, 2017

We had an excellent 2 day birding trip - will definitely recommend to others!

Tour operator's response

Thanks Karen!

About: 1-day wildlife tour with night safari in Khao Yai

By: , New Zealand | posted Tue 11 Jul, 2017

Great experience in the Khao Yai National Park with Beer and the driver (never got introduced so sorry didn't know his name). Beer and the driver went out of their way to find the wild animals and we were luck to see Great Hornbill, a lone male elephant, gibbons, monkeys, snakes, spiders and a lizard. You could tell Beer was very passionate about his job which made it really enjoyable. The food at lunch was amazing. We would also like to thank the lady who held the spotlight for us on the night safari. It started raining heavily and she carried on even though we should have all turned back. Sadly not much to see in those conditions so would recommend canning that if wet. (We carried on as we didn't know what to expect but only saw frogs and deer.) Many thanks to the team involved. We would definitely repeat this experience.

About: 1-day wildlife tour with night safari in Khao Yai

By: , Germany | posted Thu 29 Jun, 2017

We booked a private 1-day tour with night safari and it was just wonderful. Our guide (Tata) did a great job, spoke very good English and knew a lot of details about the park and the different species of animals and plants.

In addition, we were really lucky to spot a wild elephant, a family of gibbons, two vipers, macaques, a scorpion and lots of further wildlife. The tour was well organised with safari rides on the car, jungle hiking, visiting two waterfalls and a stop at the park headquarters. Lunch and dinner were very tasty and served nicely and the scenery of the park is beautiful.

All in all, we can only recommend the park and the tour to everyone. Thank you Tata for the great day!

Tour operator's response

Sounds like you had a nice trip. Thanks for sharing your great experience with our guide!

About: 1-day wildlife tour in Khao Yai

By: , Singapore | posted Tue 27 Jun, 2017

Recommended guided tour with very knowledgeable guide

Tour operator's response

Thanks Christine!

Tour details in short:

  • Duration: 6 days, 5 nights
  • Type: Private tour
  • Price: (on request)
  • Group size: 1 to 8 people
  • Grade: Easy to moderate
  • Transport: Air-conditioned minivan
  • Start: 8 a.m. (Day 1) from Chiang Mai or about 2.00 p.m. from Phitsanulok
  • End: 5.00 p.m. (Day 6)

What to bring:

  • Long trousers
  • Rain clothing
  • Sweater or light jacket
  • Hiking or sport shoes
  • Towel
  • Flashlight
  • Insect repellent
  • Sunblock lotion
Lan Hin Pum Viewpoint at Phu Hin Rong Kla National Park

Lan Hin Pum Viewpoint at Phu Hin Rong Kla National Park

Copyright 123RF,

Wat Chang Lom at Si Satchanalai Historical Park - Sukhothai

Wat Chang Lom at Si Satchanalai Historical Park - Sukhothai

Copyright 123RF,

Sea of mist - Doi Inthanon National Park

Sea of mist - Doi Inthanon National Park

Copyright 123RF,