The Khao Yai National Park is adjacent to four provinces of Thailand, Korat and Saraburi which are located north and west of the park, and Nakhon Nayok and Prachin Buri, which border the south of the Khao Yai National Park.
The southern provinces are hardly mentioned in guidebooks in connection with the national park, although they are very easy to reach from Bangkok.
That is why the southern provinces of Nakhon Nayok and Prachin Buri are still presenting a side of Thailand that is unadulterated by tourism, with the original charm that made the Land of Smiles so famous.
Only 8 km from the southern gate of the National Park, the Palm Garden Lodge in Prachin Buri is within close range of the park. In the early 1960s, Khao Yai was declared a national park and now it is one of Thailand’s oldest nature reserves.
This is certainly one of the reasons why this natural oasis, northeast of Bangkok, is the home of some specimens of rare and endangered animals and plants. In 2005, Khao Yai National Park was declared a World Heritage Site by the UNESCO.
The Khao Yai National Park is the transition from the Central Plain of Thailand to the Khorat Plateau of Isaan. When approaching Khao Yai from Bangkok, the mountains of the national park rise imposingly out of the plain.
Due to the large altitude difference on a relatively small area, there are a variety of vegetation zones such as ever green rain forest, arid areas, deciduous forests and heathland. They are precisely these different vegetation zones that give the area a biodiversity that is not really common in Thailand.
The Palm Garden Lodge offers full day-trips in the National Park. You start in the morning with your own special guide for the Khao Yai National Park in the Palm Garden Lodge. You can choose your own trails for treckking and view points for animal watching.
There are, for instance, over 2000 different species of plants and about 300 species of birds in the national park. In addition you may find some other mammals such as the Sambar Deer, the Asian Civet Cat, macaques, the white – handed gibbon, free-living elephants, and last not least the rare Gaur. There is even a small population of tigers living in Khao Yai National Park
They are more than 500 km of hiking trails running through the park which are, in most cases, well equipped with signs. Walking routes can be chosen individually, depending on the weather, condition and the level of difficulty.
At the starting points there are small restaurants that are popular meeting places for trekking specialists and nature lovers. However on the trails you are often alone with nature and can enjoy it in its diversity. Chattering birds and other sounds of the wilderness accompany the hiker. With a little bit of luck, you may also see some of the diverse species of Khao Yai, such as the rare Hornbill.
They are two major rivers with approximately 20 waterfalls and cascades running through the park. Some of the falls are quite impressive, others just romantic, like the Haew Suwat, who served as a scenery in the traveller movie „The Beach“ with Leonardo DiCaprio.
Khao Yai National Park is certainly one of the most beautiful natural paradises in Thailand. It is easy to reach due to its proximity to Bangkok and the province of Prachin Buri.