6 Best National Parks in Thailand

If white sandy beaches, yummy tropical cocktails, breathtaking temples, and awe-inducing archaeological sites come to your mind when you think of traveling to Thailand, then you won't be wrong. You should also know that you are going to be meeting a warm and welcoming people with great food. Perhaps no other features describe Thailand better than her captivating National Parks.

At these beautiful places, you will experience refreshing encounters, especially when you can view wildlife from a safe distance and observe them in their natural habitats. Visitors and locals attest to the fact that Thailand's National parks are priceless gems that makes the country an irresistible choice for holidaymakers and tourists alike.

So if you are thinking about which national parks in Thailand are worth seeing or how many national parks in Thailand, it will be great to note that Thailand has hundreds scattered across the length and breadth of the country.
best national parks in thailand wildlife

So this compilation of best national parks in Thailand can serve as a guide in helping your selection.

1. Khao Sok National Park

Once you visit Khao Sok, you will be welcomed by the rich, green rainforest that are arguably the oldest in the world. In addition, you will see huge limestone mountains that are very tall, deep valleys, caves, beautiful lakes and different species of plants and animals.

Located in Southern Thailand, Khao Sok Nature Resort is among the places that you must see when in-country. This nature resort, founded in 1980, forms a part of the Thailand government effort in preserving the environment, side by side with development and growth.

Want some ideas on what to do in Khao Sok Nature resort? You can engage in a number of activities in Khao Sok nature resort. If you are brave enough, you can request a not-so-close but personal encounter with an elephant, visit the surrounding jungle on foot or explore clear waters using a canoe.

If you are the bookworm, then you would love to hear the tour guides telling stories about the nature resort as well as the history of the plant and animal life in the resort. Just know that you will be held captive by the rich diversity Khao Sok nature resort offers. Thinking about how to get to Khao Sok National Park?

You can get to Khao Sok and move about the Nature Resort in a number of ways. You can reach the city via two airports; one located at Surat Thani or Phuket Airport. Phuket to Khao Sok National Park is obviously the fastest, so you should consider that when you are in-country. Moving within the city in taxis and mini buses should get you from place to place easily. You don't really need an automobile to move around the resort, so wear good trekkers.

2. Doi Inthanon National Park

Doi Inthanon is famous for hosting the highest mountain in Thailand, called the Inthanon Mountain. In addition to this, visitors can see many interesting places within the park and there are fun activities to engage in. To kick start your tour, you can engage the services of a tour guide who would likely know most things about the park.

You can start by visiting the National Park itself. Your tour will take you through some interesting spots before you get to the park. These captivating spots should include passing through scenic villages/settlements, acres of rice fields, vineyards and fruit orchards. This tour will whet your appetite.

Along the way, you will encounter some really friendly natives, who will warmly greet you with a smile. Thinking of what to do in Doi Inthanon National Park? Here are some of our best recommendations.

At the Doi Inthanon national park, you can decide to head straight to the peak (which is 8415 feet (2,565 meters) above sea level) of the mountain (it is important to follow all instructions to the letter) and enjoy great views of the surrounding landscape. Trigger the adventurer in you by embarking on a search of the remains of the previous king of Chiang Mai entombed in the park.

From there take a hike along the Angka Luang Natural trail so you can enjoy the view of the forest from above. If you have time on your hands, pay a visit to the twin pagodas (Phra Mahathat Napha Methanidon and Phra Mahathat Naphaphon Bhumisiri), erected for King Bhumibol Adulyadej and Queen Sirikit to mark their fifth cycle birthdays. Historians note that each pagoda also enshrines Buddha's relics.

3. Doi Suthep-Pui National Park

National parks in Chiang Mai rank amongst the most important landmarks in northern Thailand if you are looking for the best national park in Thailand. These parks are home to some of the most beautiful species of plant and animal life. In addition, you will find lush-green jungles, captivating mountains, waterfalls, and other water bodies.

One of the parks found within the vicinity of Chiang Mai is the Doi Suthep-Pui National Park. The Doi Suthep has so many exciting features and landmarks. To begin with, the Doi Suthep is home to the notable Wat Phra That Doi Suthep and Bhubing Rjanives Palace. You will also find the Twin Mountains called the Doi Suthep and Doi Pui respectively.

The Doi Suthep will thrill hikers to no end. This is because of the many trails that crisscross the park; a hike should take you through numerous caves. You will catch beautiful views of the mountain points, the greenery and thunderous waterfalls.

Speaking of waterfalls, try to visit the most popular of all, the Bua Tong Sticky Waterfall. This waterfall is located about an hour and a half drive from Chiang Mai Old City. The Bua is famous for the fact that you can walk barefoot along the edge of the waterfalls without falling off as the bed of the waterfall grips or sticks to your feet, giving you a firm footing!

4. Khao Yai National Park

Known as the third largest national park in Thailand, Khao Yai has some beautiful grasslands and forests, just as you will find in Africa. Thousands visit the Khao Yai National park yearly to enjoy what nature has to offer. If you are undecided as to what activities you should partake in while you visit the Khao Yai, let these suggestions come handy:

A. Embark on a nighttime tour of the wild. If you are fortunate, you will see deer, wild pigs, porcupines, rare Asiatic black bear and even tigers (Note that the latter are hard to spot and you should never go off into the natural habitats of these animals without expert guidance).

B. The Khao Yai National Park is home to a large number of elephants. You might as well watch these magnificent creatures go about their daily living; from a safe distance of course!

C. Visit an Italian themed park on the grounds of the Khao Yai, where you can feed sheep and alpacas like it is done in Italy.

D. You will really enjoy going wine tasting in the vineyards at the Khao Yai Park. Thanks to its high places and cooler temperatures, this region of Thailand supports the cultivation of wine grapes like Shiraz, Cabernet Sauvignon, and Chenin Blanc.

E. Take a tour (by foot) of the designated UNESCO world heritage site located in the park. During your tour, you can enjoy watching the waterfalls, sight beautiful and rare birds and keep tabs on a procession of large elephants!

Keep the heat at bay by swimming in the Ban Tha Chang spring. Locals have found refreshment in the spring for hundreds of years.

5. Mu Ko Angthong National Marine Park

The Ang Thong Marine National Park has beautiful islands, and snorkeling areas, located on the coast of Koh Samui in the Gulf of Thailand. Most of the speedboat trips begin at the Big Buddha Pier in Bangrak, but there are also some girl trips you can do with wooden boats. At Koh Mae Koh you will get to see some of the best snorkeling sites. You can even see the monkey rock and much more.

Snorkeling in the azure sea, surrounded by thousands of fish and if lucky arises, get to see a turtle. Jungle ride to waterfalls, cheap shopping, boat sightseeing and delicious fruit shakes. The small island offers everything possible to contribute to a relaxing holiday.

6. Erawan National Park

It is the real Thailand that guidebooks and brochures barely talk about like the Erawan National Park. If you like hiking and nature, then a visit to Erawan National Park is an absolute must! Home to a multitude of hiking trails, caves, and the famous Erawan falls, this sanctuary is perfect for the outdoor adventurer.

While not exactly in Bangkok city itself, it’ll take about a 3 hour car ride to get there. And hey, if you’re lucky, you may even spot some elephants and deer too!

Pro tip: Bring your swimsuit and an extra change of clothes! You don’t want to miss out on swimming in the 7-tiered waterfall, would you?
Kalyan Panja