National Parks in the Central
Chaloem Rattanakosin national park is the smallest park in Kanchanaburi province. Its main features are fertile forests, steep limestone mountains, waterfalls and mysterious caves. The park was designated in February 1980 as Thailand's 17th national park covering an area of 59 square kilometers. The forested, limestone mountains of the park are the watershed of Mae Klong river. The highest peak in the park is Kam Paeng mountain which reaches 1260 meters.
The park is mostly covered by dry evergreen forest, deciduous forest with some areas of bamboo forest. There are many kinds of animal in the park, such as leopard, Banteng, Gaur, deer, white-handed gibbons and monkeys. Over 60 species of bird have been recorded in the park, including Oriental Pied Hornbills, Francolin, Tickell's Blue and Red-Flydatchers and Coppersmith Barbets. A special type of animal is "water dog" or barking tree frog (Manam of Kiadwag in Thai), a rare frog with a croak that is remarkably similar to a dog's bark.
Highlights and tourist attractions
Tharn Lod Noi Cave The subtle lighting in this 300 meters cave illuminates the many stalactites. A small stream inside cools the air in the cave.
A 2km trail leads from this cave to its sister cave. On this trail there is a huge tree covered with bamboo stakes that villagers use to climb and collect honey from bee nests in the upper branches.An hour walk would take one to the other cave.
Tharn Lod Yai cave A spectacular sinkhole with a natural stone arch over the stream. The cave is an ancient graveyard; and weapons, skeletons and charms have been found in the cave.
How to get there
From Kanchanaburi drive along the route no. 323 to the west to the intersection with route no. 3086. Turn right (to the north) on to route number 3086 and drive to Nong Pru district. Turn left (to the west) onto the road 3480 to Ban Tha Lamyat. There is a dirt road to the park headquarters. The distance from Kanchanaburi to the park is about 96 km.
Chaloem Rattanakosin National Park
P.O. Nongprue Amphur Nongprue