Pran Buri Forest Park

About Pran Buri

A small mangrove forest park about 3.2 km², situated in Pran Buri District of Prachuap Khiri Khan Province, about 25 km south from the popular tourist destination of Hua Hin. The park is popular for its mangrove forest walk and birds.

Followed by a visit from the Thai Royal Family, the park was established as a forest recovery project in 1982. The park area was partly shrimp farms, after a successful program the farms were turned into forest.

The forests in the park are mainly mangrove, mixed deciduous and pine trees along the coast. The mangrove forests are next to the Pran Buri River where the river reaches the Gulf of Thailand, consequently affected by the tides.

The main attraction of the park is a kilometer long boardwalk over the mangrove forests. It is also possible to explore the forests by boat when possible.

The rainy season is from May to November with most rainfall in September to November. Rest of the year is quite dry.

Mangrove-tree roots

Wildlife

The forest floor in the mangroves is covered by muddy sediments formed by the tides, densely covered by horizontally grown tree roots above and below the ground. This muddy habitat is an ideal place for crabs, mudskippers and shrimps. During the low tides, many crabs and mudskippers can be seen from the boardwalk.

A bit over 110 bird species reported from the park. There are 4 kingfisher species in the park; collared kingfisher, black-capped kingfisher, common kingfisher and white-throated kingfisher, these often seen fishing after easy catch in the mangroves. Of the other birds, perhaps the rarest in Thailand is Oriental plover. Little stint, Malaysian plover, mangrove whistler, brown-headed gull, red-necked stint, common tern, greater sand plover are few of the many coastal or mangrove birds that can be seen in the park. There is a watchtower along the boardwalk through the mangroves for birdwatching.

Long-tailed macaques and big monitor lizards are also common in the park.

Getting there & get around

There are no public transportation options to the forest park, private arrangements needed.

Unfortunately, the way to the forest park is not signposted. The easiest way to get there is to hit the lat/long coordinates below on a navigator and follow the directions. To get there from Hua Hin, drive south on highway 4 and turn left to route 1019. Just 200 meters into the road right after the railway crossing, turn left and follow the small road all the way to the park.

Entrance to the park is free, no charges to walk on the boardwalk. Toilets are also free of charge.

The park is open from 8 am to 5 pm every day.

Coordinates for directions; 12.4136, 99.9851

Activities

The main activity in the park is walking along the boardwalk, birdwatching and relaxing on the beach. There are also picnic benches in a few spots in the forest to sit and relax.

When the high tides happen during the daytime it is possible to do boat tours along the river and canals and even to a nearby harbour. Long-tail boats are available halfway through the boardwalk, and can only be arranged on the spot. These boats can accommodate up to eight people, costing 500 Baht per group. The boat trip takes around 40 minutes.

Visiting the forest and walking the boardwalk normally doesn’t take more than a couple of hours for most visitors. A visit to Pran Buri Forest Park can be combined with visiting Thao Ko Sa Forest Park south, or even Khao Sam Roi Yot National Park further south.

Stay & eat

There are no park accommodations available for rent but there are plenty of hotels in the area and in Hua Hin.

Camping

It is possible to camp next to the beach. Tents are available for rent for 300 Baht per night, including 2 sleeping bags and 2 pillows but no mats or blankets. Own tents will be charged with 30 Baht per night, a standard fee in all national parks and other protected sites.

Eat

There is a restaurant in the headquarters area and plenty of other restaurants within a short driving distance in most directions. The park restaurant is closed every Monday, open from 8:30 am to 5 pm Tuesday to Sunday all year round.

Phone(s)

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

  • 061 464 4951
  • 032 621 608

The attractions of Pran Buri

Mangrove Boardwalk

A wooden boardwalk through the mangrove forests, starting from the headquarters area of the park. It is a circular path with no side trails, meaning there is no chance of taking a wrong turn and getting lost. It takes more or less 30 to 50 minutes to walk the trail depending on how rushed or relaxed the walk is preferred.

The habitat along the boardwalk changes slightly every few hundred meters
A Cerberus species snake, some crabs, shrimps and other small creatures may be found on and between tree roots.

The path is easy, mostly in shadow with no particular challenge. At some point, the boardwalk elevates a bit to canopy level, offering a good view of the surrounding areas.

On the west end of the boardwalk it is possible to rent a long-tail boat for a trip along Pran Buri River, to the canals and possibly to a nearby fishing harbour.

There is a watchtower along the boardwalk for wildlife watching, used mainly to spot birds.

It is possible to use a stroller on the wooden path.

Watchtower

A watchtower along the mangrove boardwalk, mainly for birdwatching.

The view from the watchtower
The view from the watchtower

Had Sai Khao Beach

The beach is not ideal for swimming as it is too shallow even far out from the coast, but it is a good place for a picnic. There are many benches/tables and the area is quite clean.

There is a campsite, basic restaurant and toilets at the beach area. This is where the park headquarters is located.