About Kui Buri
Known to be the best elephant and gaur sighting place in Thailand, it is almost 99% sure visitors will see elephants any given day of the year.
Established in 1999 Kui Buri National Park is located in the Tenasserim Hills in Prachuap Khiri Khan Province. The forest consists of dry- and moist evergreen forests with trees such as Dipterocarpus tuberculatus, Hopea odorata, Terminalia chebula and different species of palms.
The national park is home to one of the biggest population of gaurs in entire Thailand, with estimated around 100 individuals and around 320 elephants (by 2016). In December 2013, 24 gaurs were found dead in the national park. Clinic tests concluded that the cause of deaths is bacterial, not chemical substances. Following by this incident, the national park was closed 8 months and re-opened again in August 2014. Few years later a herd of 70 gaurs was spotted feeding near one of the ranger stations.
Although the national park doesn't have that many mammals such as in nearby Kaeng Krachan National Park, it is probably the best spot in entire Thailand to easily see few species thanks to the easily accessible open areas. Apart from elephant and gaur, the other relatively common mammals are golden jackal, deer, langur, Burmese hare, Malayan porcupine and wild boar. Other interesting but rare mammals are white-handed gibbon, leopard, Malayan tapir, Asiatic wild dog.
Kuri Buri headquarters area has a campsite with a visitor center and basic facilities, no restaurants. Tents are available for rent at the visitor center from 270 Baht a night including accessories. There is one 3 bedroom bungalow with 2 toilets for 1,800 Baht per night. Own tent allowed for 30 Baht per night.
There is not much interesting to do at the headquarters area of the park, even birdwatching possibilities are limited. The only interesting place is the wildlife watching area.
Visitors are recommended to do a a day trip to the wildlife watching area from the nearby towns like Hua Hin, Pran Buri or Kui Buri. The wildlife watching area is at a substation called Huai Leuk, it is quite far north from the headquarters. There are no public transportation options to get to the wildlife watching area, the visitors must arrange a private transfer to get there.
Once at the Huai Leuk Wildlife Watching Area, a safari vehicle must be arranged, private vehicles won't be allowed to pass the dirt road beyond the substation. A tour with a safari vehicle costs 850 Baht per group for max 8 people (Feb 2019 price), can only be arranged on arrival to the wildlife watching area. The price of arranging the tour from the headquarters is 950 Baht, visitors are recommended to drive to the wildlife watching area instead of getting to the headquarters.
The wildlife watching area is open from 2 pm until 6 pm. The visitors are recommended to visit the area on the late afternoon as there won't be much of wildlife activity on the earlier hours, wildlife becomes gradually more active from around 3:30 pm onward. Visitors from Hua Hin are recommended to leave from the town around 1:30 pm. Visitors won't be allowed to enter the wildlife watching area after 5 pm, but once inside, the tour can continue until 6 pm.
The rainy period in the park is May to November with heavy rainfall in May and August to November, less rain June-July. It is rare that park gets closed due to rain, but back in 2018, the park closed twice over several days due to flooding.
The entrance fees is 200 THB for foreigners (children 100 THB), 40 THB for Thai citizens (children 20 THB) and 30 THB for cars (Feb 2019 price). The entrance tickets are valid for both the headquarters area and the wildlife watching area.
There are no camping grounds or other accommodations for rent at the wildlife watching area.
Attractions of Kui Buri
Huai Luek Wildlife Watching Area
Hueai Luek Wildlife Watching Area is an area behind Huai Luek Substation where local guides can be arranged for private trips in pickup style safari vehicles. The safari vehicles are open, umbrellas provided in case of rain. A safari tour costs 850 per group. Advance booking is not possible, guides available on spot only. Some guides speaks very basic English, others don't.
The station has a car parking area, toilets and a visitor center.
The wildlife watching area north from the substation is a forested area with several grassland areas. The last grassland area has a viewpoint with nice view over surrounding areas. While doing safari trip the local guides will inform each other with walkie talkies when they see animals. Apart from the elephants gaurs, golden jackals and deers may be seen with a bit of luck.
Dong Ma Fai Waterfall
A 15 tiers which used to be open for visitors, but since a while back closed for visitor because it requires 11 km hiking on raugh terrain and overnight sleeping in the forest.
- 081 776 2410 (Visitor Center)
- 032 646 292 (Visitor Center)
- 090 442 8707 (Wildlife watching area)
(In Thai only)