At 2,915 square kilometres, Kaeng Krachan National Park covers a number of districts and is the largest National Park in Thailand. Thick evergreen forests set against a backdrop of granite and limestone mountains (the highest summit - Pa Nearn Tung Mountain - is over 1,200 meters above sea level) dominate the park. Kaeng Krachan is of particular interest to trekkers, mountaineers, and bird and butterfly watchers. The source of the Petchaburi and Panburi Rivers, Kaeng Krachan's is a popular destination for rafting and its attractions include a 45-square-kilometer reservoir, waterfalls, cliffs, and caves. Kaeng Krachan is also home to a wide variety of wildlife including bisons, deer, tigers, monkeys, bears and a few elephants. The park's resovoir is the result of dam construction and has around 30 small islands all of which are in fact the tops of flooded hills. It's possible to rent boats to visit the main island - Kaeng Island. Pa Nearn Tung Mountain is not accessible by motor vehicles, and you need to walk to its summit to witness amazing views and the midst and fog the area experiences during the cool season. Tor Tip Waterfall is probably the most attractive waterfall in the park. The18-tier waterfall sports cascading streams and pools where visitors can swim. Pa La-U Waterfalls (Pa La-U Noi (small) and Pa La-U Yai (big)) are also extremely popular. The park's most spectacular cave is Viman Cave. It houses stalactites and stalagmites alongside evidence of pre-history human habitation. The best months for hiking and camping are between November and April but you will require your own tents and supplies of food. This is a genuinely vast park and a trip to just one of its attractions could take you the entire day.
Details: Admission to the park is 200 Baht and it is open daily. Sightseeing boats on the resovoir cost 400 Baht per boat. Fishing boats are available at 800 Baht, 1000 Baht, and 1500 Baht for around 10 people. It is possible to rent recently constructed bungalows through the Royal Forestry department in Bangkok.
How to get there: The park is about 40 kilometres from Cha-am. It is possible to get there by public transport (the Kaeng Krachan route minibus) but if you do you will need to rent a 4-wheel drive vehicle to navigate part of the park. Given this, a trip to the park might be best approached through one of the tours available in Cha-am and Hua Hin.
Kaeng Krachan National Park
Amphur Kaeng Krachan,
Royal Forest Department - Bangkok