Mae Wong National Park

About Mae Wong

Covering 894 km², Mae Wong National Park is situated in the Dawna Range west of Thailand in Nakhon Sawan and Kamphaeng Phet provinces. The park is rugged and hilly with the highest peak Khao Mo Ko Chu at 1,964 m asl, one of highest in Thailand.

The forests of the national park is part of the huge continuous forest called Western Forest Complex, about 18,730 km², including 19 national parks and wildlife sanctuaries in both Thailand and Myanmar. The neighbouring parks are Khlong Lan National Park to the north, Umphang National Park to the east and Huai Kha Khaeng National Park to the south.

The rainy season in the park is June to October, the winter season with cooler weather is November to February, summer (hot) season is March to May.

Wildlife

All surrounding protected sites including Mae Wong are known to have an impressive record of larger mammals like tigers, elephants, gaurs, bantengs and more. The tiger population in Mae Wong National Park is perhaps not as big as in neighbouring Huai Kha Khaeng or Thung Yai further south, but camera traps reveal that there are still roaming tigers in the area. A camera survey by DNP from 2011 captured nine tiger individuals.

Some other mammals that can be found in the park are Asian black bears, back-striped weasels, binturongs, stump-tailed macaques, Malayan tapirs, lar gibbons, Malayan porcupines, golden jackals, Bengal slow loris, yellow-throated martens, banded linsangs, large Indian civets, small-toothed palm civets, Indochinese serows, Asian red-cheeked squirrels, black giant squirrels and Phayre's flying squirrels.

Mae Wong is one of the best places in Thailand for birdwatching. Currently, there are more than 340 birds recorded from the park. In Thailand, rusty-capped fulvetta is a resident bird only known to be found in Mae Wong National Park. Other rare birds recorded from the park are (some may be historical records); Burmese yuhinas, rufous-necked hornbills, crested kingfishers, yellow-bellied fairy-fantails, yellow-bellied flowerpeckers, white-throated bulbuls, yellow-vented leaf warblers, grey-breasted parrotbills, dark-sided thrushes, rufous-browed flycatchers, brown-crowned scimitar babblers, Pallas's leaf warblers, pale-capped pigeons, black-throated laughingthrushes, silver-eared laughingthrushes, rufous-backed sibias, small niltavas, spot-necked babblers and slaty-bellied tesias.

Visiting

Mae Wong is all about wildlife watching. A proper terrain vehicle is recommended to reach up to higher elevations, stopping at various spots along the roads and walking forward/backward may give opportunity to spot some exciting animals.

Mammal watching in Thailand is not easy as the forests are very dense, not easy to spot animals. So, a lot of patience and effort needed to get a glimpse of mammals, not only in Mae Wong, but in most parks in Thailand.

Due to the high altitudes, the night temperatures in the park may drop down to 8-9º C. Visitors are recommended to have sweaters with them. Early morning drives can be a very chilly experience without a proper sweater or jacket.

Visitors are also advised to have insect repellents and leech socks during the rainy seasons.

Get there

The headquarters and the main visitor center are located in northern parts of the park on the main road where some of the main attractions can be found. The headquarters is 16.5 km from nearby Khlong Lan town center where public bus services to/from Bangkok does operate several times a day. There are no public transportation options into the park, so private transportation is a must.

Get around

The park offers many short, mid and longer trekking options with longest ones up to a week long journey deep into the heart of the jungle. Several of the longer trails lead to waterfalls deep inside the jungle, but there are also few waterfalls easily accessible with up to a day's return hiking.

Entrance fees & opening times

Entrance fees for the foreigners are 200 Baht for adults and 100 Baht for children.

Mae Wong National Park is open 6 am until 6 pm every day but closed from 16th May until 15th August every year.

Stay & eat

There are some basic accommodations with smaller rooms for rent as well as few camping grounds along the road for the visitors who wish to camp.

(all price and information in this page updated on August 2021)

Park accommodations

There are nine accommodations available in the park for 5 to 7 people, some beds are double. The price ranges from 1,500 Baht to 2,400 Baht per night and a significant discount applies for stay Monday to Friday, except during the holidays.

Park accommodations can only be booked through the DNP website in advance. As the money transfer must be done within 2 days and the fact it takes a longer time with transfers from abroad, it is only possible to book from within Thailand only. Payments can be done at 7-Eleven convenience stores or banks.

Camping

Tents can be rented at the spot, 250 Baht for 2 people or 325 Baht for 3 people. Sleeping bags and other accessories cost 60 Baht per person. It may be better to have your own sleeping bag as Mae Wong is a popular park visited by many locals, sleeping bags can be in poor condition.

Phone(s)

You are recommended to ask a Thai speaking person to call on your behalf.

  • 090 457 9291

The attractions of Mae Wong

Headquarters & Visitor Center

Both headquarters and the visitor center are located 16.5 km from Khlong Lan town and 6 km from the checkpoint on northwest of the park. There are basic facilities such as showers, toilets, a restaurant, parking area but also a cafeteria and a gift shop. There are a few accommodation options for rent around the visitor center area.

The designated area for the campsite is 400 meters west from the visitor center near a smaller waterfall called Kaeng Pha Khoi Nang. Tents and accessories are available for rent from the Visitor Center (see price above). Another km west from the campsite there is an open place called Kaeng Pa Nang Roy Rapids, ideal for swimming and picnicking.

Khun Nam Yen Campsite and Viewpoint

A campsite and viewpoint located 3.7 km from Chong Yen and 24 km from headquarters. Compared to Chong Yen (see below), there are a bit bigger and cleaner toilet and shower facilities in this campsite. There are no restaurants or rooms available.

The viewpoint here has 360 degrees visibility at 1248 meters altitude, one of the best in Thailand.

Chong Yen Campsite and Viewpoint

Chong Yen is a substation and campsite located at the northwest edge of the national park. It is on the end of main road (km 93), 27.5 km from the headquarters.

The viewpoint 300-400 meters north is the highest peak of the road with an altitude of 1,420 meters asl, a popular destination for local tourists. The campsite area is the main destination in the park among birders.

Permission from the headquarters needed to stay at Chong Yen. The accommodations here can only be rented from headquarters. There are no restaurants at the campsite, visitors should take food and necessary equipment with them. Toilet and shower facilities are very basic and may get a bit unpleasant during the week-ends when it is very busy.

There are a couple of smaller trails around. The Umphang trail to the west leads all the way to Umphang town, the trail itself is an overgrown old road. We don't have information about the exact length, but we have been able to map 10.7 km of it as seen on the map above. Strict permission from HQ needed to walk this trail for a longer hiking, a guide or ranger must accompany hikers.

Park rangers at Chong Yen regularly maintain few water-holes for birds where grey peacock-pheasant, rufous-throated partridge, white-necked laughingthrush, white-necked laughingthrush and many other bird species can be seen regularly.

Khao Mokoju Summit

Located 38 km from the headquarters, it is the highest peak of the park at 1,964 meters asl.

It is possible to get to the summit with a 5 days round trip hiking accompanied by park rangers. It is not always possible to get there, a Facebook page informs when it is possible, questions can be asked there in Thai only.

The price for a ranger to accompany as guide is 13,500 Baht per group. Participants are also responsible to buy enough food/water for themselves and staff and have all their own equipment such as a tent, sleeping bags, rain cloth. Locals can be hired to carry the equipment for 550 Baht per day (excluding food/water).

November to February is the best time to see the sea of mist from top of the summit, hills below covered in white mist creating a spectacular view.

Mae Kra Sa Waterfall

Formed by streams from Thanon Thong Chai mountain range it has 9 tiers. It is located 18 km from the park visitor center on the same trail as Khao Mokoju Summit and requires a guide to visit.

(The marker on the map for this waterfall is based on analysis of several sketch maps, it is not accurate)

Mae Gee Waterfall

Another waterfall along the same trail to Khao Mokju, with one tear over 200 m tall it is one of the tallest waterfalls in Thailand. It is located in the Khao Mokoju area and requires several days of hiking to reach.

(The marker on the map for this waterfall is based on analysis of several sketch maps, it is not accurate)

Mae Rewa Waterfall

A five tiered waterfall with deep pools located about 21 km from the visitor center on the same trail to Khao Mokoju Summit. It is located in the Khao Mokoju area and requires several days of hiking to reach.

(The marker on the map for this waterfall is based on analysis of several sketch maps, it is not accurate)

More photos

Rufous-necked hornbills from Mae Wong
Grey-peacock pheasant