When thinking of Thailand most people envision tropical white sand beaches or ornate Bhuddist temples but this exotic country is also home to many remarkable monuments of nature including some beautiful National Parks. If you are considering a visit and don’t know where to start you could try consulting a Thailand trip planner so that you can organize your itinerary to include as many of Thailand’s amazing examples of nature’s artistry as possible.
In case you need further inspiration here’s a peek at some of the most beautiful National Parks in Thailand.
1. Similan Islands National Park
An archipelago of nine islands, this place is perfect for diving enthusiasts. If you don’t really fancy breathing underwater from an oxygen bottle, try snorkeling. Either way, the Similan Islands are home to endangered corals and amazing marine life. Bioluminescent plankton will leave you breathless (pun intended), as if you’re at some underwater rave party. You can also just relax at the soft, white, sandy beaches, or if you prefer dry land, take a hike instead.
2. Khao Sok National Park
Finding yourself amid this dense, ancient jungle with peculiar rock formations, you’ll fall in love with this park. Many wild animals roam the jungle, like wild boars, elephants, and macaques, but don’t worry they prefer to stay away from people. Weather is another story though. It’s always a good idea to check with your Thailand itinerary planner to see if it’s the monsoon season, because wet, slippery ground and increased animal activity at this time necessitate some caution. Admire the flora and fauna on a boat tour across the lake if you grow tired of walking.
3. Doi Suthep-Pui National Park
Here you can bathe in a pool under a towering waterfall, hike through the forest to see amazing wildlife and plants, such as salamanders, parrots and tall oak trees and a royal winter residence as well as a ornate Buddhist temple.
4. Mu Koh Lanta National Park
Are you more of a hiking, diving or sunbathing person? Well, doesn’t matter, since nearly every Thailand itinerary planner will guide you to this natural reserve. Hike to the old lighthouse, explore unbeaten paths, or just relax on the powdery white beach. Tip: be careful where you leave your belongings because kleptomaniac monkeys have been known to make off with unattended items.
5. Sai Yok National Park
If you love waterfalls, you’ll adore this place. Head right for the rope suspension bridge over the Khwae Noi River, where you can gaze at the beautiful Sai Yok waterfall. Other nature gems include large caves with towering stalactites and stalagmites and many wild animal species, such as tigers, gibbons, elephants, wild pigs. Pro tip: some animals may seem dangerous, but in fact most of them are quite timid and shy, so you don’t have to raise any alarms. Also, if you visit the Tham Khang Kow cave, be prepared to witness the smallest mammal in the world – the Kitti’s hog-nosed bat. Flashlights required!
6. Erawan National Park
Another place for the waterfall admirers, where you can enjoy small emerald ponds in the jungle. Apart from wild animals you can normally spot in the jungle, watch for the rare birds here, like the crested serpent eagle. Also, if you get tired or hungry, the good news is – there are restaurants, bungalows and a campground available.
7. Khao Yai National Park
Khao Yai should be on every nature lovers Thailand itinerary and if can you might want to reserve a two-day visit because one day simply isn’t enough. Well-maintained campgrounds are scattered about if you decide to spend the night. You’ll stumble upon more than 300 species of birds and animals during your stay, plus all that hiking through the forests and grasslands will pay off when you reach the cascading waterfalls of Khao Yai.
8. Khao Sam Roi Yot National Park
Make sure you visit the main attraction of this national park – the Phraya Nakon Cave. It has a hole in the ceiling, through which sunlight fills up the stone dome, so the best time of the day to visit it is during mid-morning. Khao Sam Roi Yot is a marine park, rich in cave islands and amazing vistas.
9. Mu Ko Ang National Park
Being an archipelago of 42 islands, this national park has much to offer, no matter your interests. You Kayak around the islands or snorkel among corals–you just have to arrange it with local operators (climbing and trekking tours available too). Alternatively, you can always enjoy traditional Thai food in the lagoons and just chill and relax at a beach bar.
10. Mu Ko Surin National Park
White sandy beaches, clear water and dense jungles is what will leave you in awe if you plan to visit Mu Ko Surin in Khuraburi. The best thing to do here is to go snorkeling and exploring the shallow reefs and its secluded marine inhabitants. This place is also home to Moken Sea Nomads, an ancient tribe exceptionally skilled in hunting and diving.
This is just the tip of the iceberg. There is so much natural beauty in Thailand you will no doubt need to visit again and again to see even a fraction of it. We should know, after spending four months in Thailand we only made it to four of these ten. So you’d better get started!
Born in England, Sarah developed her wanderlust at a young age as she traveled around Europe with her parents. As a young adult she spent every penny she could on experiences as opposed to possessions. Eventually she found a way to earn a living doing what she loved: traveling, writing and capturing images of the wondrous world we live in. When not on the go Sarah enjoys time in her “sometimes home” of Vancouver.