National parks in central Thailand
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National Parks in the Central

Kaeng Krachan National Park, Petchaburi province
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A vew of Kaeng Krachan Kaeng Krachan national park was established in 1981 as the 28th national park in Thailand. It is the largest national park in Thailand with 2,915 square kilometers of forest in the watersheds of the Phetchaburi and Pranburi rivers. It includes portions of Nong Ya Plong, Kaeng Krachan and Tha Yang districts in Phetchaburi province and of Hua Hin in Prachuab Khiri Khan province.

The park includes a reservoir lake, waterfalls, caves, mountains. It is almost entirely covered with evergreen forest which supports ecologically, economically and scientifically valuable plants and animals including many wild elephants. The park is an excellent place for recreation and education.

Keang Krachan dam, at the middle of the eastern border of the park, is the first earthern dam constructed in Thailand. Its reservoir is fed by forested watershed which extend to the Tenasserim mountain range dividing the watersheds of the Gulf of Siam and the Andaman Sea.

The park is composed of two major watersheds. About half of the area drains into the Phetchaburi river which flows to Kaeng Krachan dam at the eastern edge of the park (near the headquarters) and then down through farmland to the provincial capital of Phetchaburi. The southern haft of the park drains into the Pranburi river which flows south to the Pranburi dam and then to the town of Pranburi in Prachuab Khiri Khan province. Because of abundant rainfall and healthy forest cover in these watersheds, the streams, waterfalls and rivers of Keang Krachan flow year round.

Humidity remains high throughout the year with heavy rain during the rainy season, and cool weather for much of the year. The steep forested areas of the park are even more humid than the young forest and cleared lands in the lower elevations.

Due to the high humidity of evergreen forest there are many economically valuable trees such as Afzelia, Hopea, Dipterocarpus, Lagerstroemia, Pterocarpus, Aquilaria and many more. Wild life includes elephant, gaur, banteng, barking deer, gibbon, wild pig and birds.

Tourist attractions
Visitors to the park may enjoy relexing by the lake near the headquarters, touring Pala-u waterfall in Prachuab Khiri Khan province, or taking a boat tour of the lake and the lower Phetchaburi.

Visitors can request permission to travel up the Khao Panoen Thung road or to arrange hikes of one or more days. Visitors who wish to tour the forest along the Khao Panoen Thung road or to hike the trails within the forest must request a permit at the visitor center at the headquarters. In general, guide service is required for any forest travel away from the Khao Panoen Thung road. Trekking may not be possible during the rainy season.

Lake or Kaeng Krachan reservoir The reservoir covers an area of 46.5 square kilometers with the capacity of 710 million cubic meters of water. There are 20 to 30 islands dotting the water surface. The lake was created by the construction of the earth-dam which block the Phetchaburi river. Visitors can hire boats for sightseeing on the lake.

Panoen Thung mountain At 1,207 meters above sea level, this is the second highest peak in the park. On the mountain top, grassland (about 500 square meters area) and evergreen forest make a good camping spot, with cool temperatures year-round. A 6+ kilometer hard trail (about 5 to 6 hours) to the peak begins at Panoen Thung at km. marker 30.

Thorthip waterfall This 9 level waterfall, located deep in the forest, can be reached by a steep 4 kilometers trail from the end of the Nam Tok Thorthip road (km. marker 36), 55 kilometers from the headquarters. A campground has been built nearby at the confluence with the Phetburi river.

Tharnthip and Hinlad waterfall These two waterfalls cascade through deep forest. They are located on a tributary of the Pherchaburi river about 5 kilometers upstream of the Thortip confluence, and can be visited as part of a 3 or 4 day loop trekking along with Thortip waterfall.

Pranburi waterfall This 3 level waterfall is located on the upper Pranburi river, in the valley just south of the steep hill-climb at kilometer 18 - 23 on the Khao Panoen Thung road. It can be visited in one-day hike.

Mae Laliang waterfall This 3 level waterfall is located 5 kilometers west of the roadside campground at kilometer 27.

There are several other interesting places including waterfalls, hot springs, caves in the park.

Accommodations and facilities
There are several bungalows for rent. Campground, restaurant, and grocery shops are available.

How to get there
Bangkok to Phetchaburi is 115 kilometers. There are many roads which enter the park.

1. If driving from Bangkok on the highway no.4 to the south there is a turn-off road to the right at 6 km north of Phetchaburi. Follow this route till it meets the route no. 3499. Turn right (to the west) into the route no. 3499 to get to the park headquarters.

2. Starting from Phetchaburi, drive 20 kilometers on the highway no.4 towards (to the south) Tha Yang district. Take a right turn and drive 38 kilometers to the park. This last section of the road is route no. 3499.

Contact address
Kaeng Krachan National Park
Amphur Kaeng Krachan,
Phetchaburi 76170

Tours: We arrange 2 to 6 days trekking, nature walk and camping in this national park for small groups. These are for learning, self sufficiency; understanding yourselves, people and environment; communication with local people, taking photos, and relaxation. We can also include going to the beautiful interesting places outside of the park. If you have your own small group of 2 to 8 people please contact us using the inquiry form.

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