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: 3-days wildlife tour in Khao Yai

By: , Israel | posted Wed 20 Sep, 2017

Our guide in the first day was khan and in the second and third day was tata.

We had a perfect time in the national park.

A big part of it thanks to our guides. They were just fantastic. Showed a lot of knowledge in many different subjects. Were very flexable and kind. Very happy with an amazing attitude .

Also the park is pretty impressive.

The hotel we stayed was beautiful with great breakfast.

Thank you so much!

Tour operator's response

Dear Rotem,

We are glad to hear you enjoyed your trip with our guides.

Thank you for booking with us!

Hope to see you again ;-)

About: 1-day wildlife tour in Khao Yai

By: , Netherlands | posted Sun 17 Sep, 2017

Great experience. Friendly, enthousiastic and helpfull guides. Learned us a lot about the flora and fauna.

Tour operator's response

Thanks Joop for the kind words!

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

By: | posted Tue 12 Sep, 2017

1 day wildlife tour with night safari in Khao Yai

We had a very enjoyable time during the National Park tour and night safari. We had the opportunity to come into contact with lizards, scorpion and moth, as well as have various wildlife sightings such as giant black squirrel, giant hornbill, muntjac, gibbon, common mock viper, ape, porcupines and lantern flies. We were also really lucky to have caught a glimpse of an elephant!

Tata is an excellent tour guide and has a great eye for detail, being able to spot wildlife from afar. He is extremely patient with us and also very passionate about his work. He is really knowledgeable and provided a lot of interesting facts on wildlife that we saw. The scope used greatly enhanced our wildlife experience. All in all we had a really good time on this tour! Two thumbs up!

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

By: , United States | posted Sat 9 Sep, 2017

My tour was awesome!! Even though I only signed up for a day trip - everything went really smoothly, including the taxi pick-up, the tour itself, and the taxi drive back to Bangkok. I felt I was really able to see a good glimpse of the wildlife in the park and the hike was stunning. Thanks to my tour guide for being so awesome at spotting animals and a great experience overall!!

Tour operator's response

Thanks Jennifer!

Good to hear about your good experience.

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

By: , Italy | posted Sat 9 Sep, 2017

Thanks so much for the day spent together. We had very good and professional guides. We could observe the real thai wildlife and we loved it!! Surely, we recomend this adventure at all.

Pietro

About: Doi Inthanon National Park adventure tour (rainy season)

By: , Israel | posted Sat 2 Sep, 2017

PERFECT. Dui is amazing. So is jo.

About: 2-day tour - Erawan Falls, raft house stay at Sai Yok National Park & more

By: , Singapore | posted Sat 2 Sep, 2017

Thank you for the wonderful trip! Love the food that our guide Mai brought us to. The places were beautiful. We really enjoyed ourselves! The whole tour was not too rush and with the private transport it was great! Will recommend to other friends! :)

Tour operator's response

Hi Chae Yun,

I am so glad to hear that you enjoyed the tour with us, I will make sure to pass this message to Mai.

I wish you all the best!!

Steffen

About: 2-days wildlife tour in Khao Yai (Group tour)

By: , United States | posted Tue 29 Aug, 2017

We absolutely loved our trip to Khao Yai - our taxi drivers were prompt and polite, and our tour guide - Apple - was phenomenal. Although the weather was not on our side, we sighted numerous monkeys, white handed gibbons, two species of horn bills and much, much more.

I highly recommend visiting Khao Yai to nature-lovers everywhere. Be sure to come prepared for rain and mosquitoes, and leave your fear of creepy crawlers at home!

We had a blast! Thank you again for the devoted team at Khao Yai, who preserve the park and share it with the rest of us.

Tour operator's response

Thanks Hannah for your kind review!

Glad to hear you had a great time with our guide.

You are always welcome to visit again ;-)

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

By: , China | posted Sat 26 Aug, 2017

It was a lovely day in the national park.

The walk through the wild was the highlight of the day for me, I wish it would have last longer, but not everyone is comfortable walking in the mud through the vines.

The park is big, as a result we spent a significant amount of time in the car, on the road.

I would also have liked to get more information from the guide, about the wild life, about tips on where to look for interesting sight, how to spot wild animal etc.

A good day nevertheless.

Tour operator's response

Dear Adam,

Thank you for sharing your feedback.

Yes, with a group tour it is not as flexible to change the itinerary. It is easier with a private tour when our guides can more adapt to the preference of the guests.

Also, because we tend to focus on wildlife watching, generally speaking the driving offers the better chances for bigger wildlife because more distance is covered. Obviously it is nature so there are never guarantees, but our experience has learned that e.g. results to spot elephants increases significantly when driving. Being a highlight species, we do our best to give the guests the best chance.

Am a little surprised to hear the guide did not share enough information about the wildlife. He is very knowledgeable and we usually get to hear different opinions on this matter from guests that have joined him on a trip.

About tips on how to spot the animals, I guess that is the secret of the guide ;-)

That is something very hard to explain. Especially in jungles like in Thailand, it is so 3-dimensional and animals can literally be anywhere, and yet often are so well camouflaged that one can stand in front of it, and still not actually notice it.

But next time, don't hesitate to ask such questions ;-)

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

By: , Netherlands | posted Wed 23 Aug, 2017

We booked a 1 day with night safari last August 6th through Thai National Parks. This was by far the best organised safari trip we have experienced. Our guide (Apple is his name) was exactly on time, with a clean car (being Dutch both things are important to us ;-) ) and what's more, he showed not only great knowledge and pasion about the park, the jungle, the vegatation and the animals, he also mastered our language pretty well (besides his impeccable mastering of English). So we have here someone who is really interested and enthustiastic, it was a great pleasure to have him as a guide socializing also very well with our teenage daughters. He chose a great route through the jungle and got away from the usual tracks. This allowed us to see Gibbons, great Hornbills, green snakes, Cinnoman trees etc. Food was arranged, and again we had a briliant lunch and dinner. Unfortunately it started raining during our evening safari, but nevertheless we saw porcupines and many deers so that was a nice experienc after all. Anything negative? Yeah, we wished we booked a longer tour! So I highly recommend booking a safari with Thai National Parks and book Apple as well, it is a experience you will not forget.

Tour operator's response

Thanks Bas for the kind words.

We will pass it on to guide Apple.

And you are always welcome for a longer trip ;-)

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

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Wat Chang Lom at Si Satchanalai Historical Park - Sukhothai

Wat Chang Lom at Si Satchanalai Historical Park - Sukhothai

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Sea of mist - Doi Inthanon National Park

Sea of mist - Doi Inthanon National Park

Copyright 123RF,