National parks in northern Thailand
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National parks in the North

Ramkhamhaeng National Park
Road map | National park map | Highland map

A view in the park Ram Khamhaeng national park, within the province of Sukhothai, is surrounded by the districts of Kirimas, Ban Dan Lan Hoi, and the provincial capital of SuKhothai. The park is also Known as Khao Luang by local people. It covers an area of about 341 square kilometers. Khao Luang is an important source of water for the surrounding areas. The park covers Khao Luang mountain range, Sai Rung waterfall, a herbal garden, and the savannah located in the high country of the Khao Luang range.

History is another important part of Ramkhamhaeng national park. Most people consider Sukhothai as the first capital of Thailand (13 to 14 centuries). The Sukhothai historical park, where the main structures of this ancient capital existed, actually merges with Ram Khamhaeng national park in the north-eastern corner of the Khao Luang range. Many ancient structures are seen within Khao Luang too.

On 27 October, 1980 this area became the 18th national park of Thailand in honor of King Pa Khun RamKhamhaeng.

The Majority of the park's land is within the contours of the Khao Luang mountain range. Khao Luang is like a giant ant hill in the middle of a rice field, for it is surrounded by low farmland. The waters of the Khao Luang range are essential to the agricultural lands below. These waters are tributaries of the Yom river in the east, and the Ping river in the west. Another notable geographic feature of this park are the 4 main peaks of the Khao Luang range: Khao Phu Ka, Khao Phra Mar Ya, Khao Jedi, and Pha Na Rai.

The high country is known for its year round comfortable cool weather. In general, the best time to visit the park is during the cold season (October to January), but the best time to Visit Sai Rung waterfall is during the rainy season (June to September).

Forests and wildlife
Most of the forest in the park is in a pristine condition. The main types of forest are the dry evergreen forest, mountain evergreen forest, the mixed deciduous forest, dry dipterocarps forest, and savannah. Some of the important tree species within the park are Hopea Odorata Roxb., Anisoptera Glabra, Mangifera Spp., Tectona Grandis, Pterocarpus Macrocarpus, Xylia Kerrii, Shorea Obtusa, Shorea Siamensis, and Dipterocarpus Obtusifolius. There are also various kinds of bamboo and medicinal plants.

There are a number of wild animals and birds in the park. Some of the known, and believed to exist, animals in the park are bantengs, barking deer, asiatic black bears, wild pigs, monkeys, gibbons, serow, and squirrels. There are also various kinds of birds, both resident and migratory, such as hill mynas, maroon orioles, barbets, laughing thrushes, Chinese francolins, greater coucals, robins, owls, hawks, kingfishers, woodpeckers, swallows, red jungle fowl, and common Koels.

Tourist attractions
High country of the Khao Luang mountain range: The 4 main peaks of the park are within the high country. These peaks offer beautiful views. Khao Phu Ka and Khao Phra Mae Ya at 1,200 meters above sea level are the park's highest summits. Looking up from the park's headquarters one can see the outline of a woman, in what some people would say is a very suggestive position, on one of the ridgelines.

Another point of interest within the high country is the Savannah. This savannah covers approximately 5 square kilometers, and contains various medicinal plants.

There is also a giant ficus tree (Sai Ngam), spreading its' branches in a beautiful manner, on the main hiking trail that leads to the high country. This is a wonderful place to rest on the steep hike up from the headquarters.

Medicinal plants: There are hundreds of medicinal plants within the park. There is a herbal garden in the headquarters area.

Sai Rung waterfall: This waterfall is fed by the sources on high country of the Khao Luang range. There is a section of this waterfall where water pours down a cliff that is approximately 100 meters high.

Historical points of interest
Phra Ruang road: It is believed that this historic road was built around 700 years ago as a strategic route connecting Kamphaeng Phet to Sisatchanali via Sukhothai. The approximate length of this road is 123 km. This road might be the first national highway of Thailand.

Buddha's footprint (Roypratputabaht): This stone structure is located on a slope of Buddha footprint mountain. There are 108 auspicious symbols on the carved stone footprint.

Bang Khao Phu Ja Jedi: This large brick jedi, or stupa, is situated on a small hill within the park. It is a Khmer style stupa, and is believed to have been built about 1,500 years age.

Taam Pra Na Rai cave: Legend has it that a sacred statue was found here radiating light. All that remains today in this cave is the base of the statue. This cave is near the Khao Luang high country hiking trail.

Plong Nang Nak hole: This hole in the high country of the Khao Lung range is believed to be extremely deep.

Taam Pra Mae Ya cave: This cave is located near one of the park's substations. A statue of Pra Mae Ya, the mother of King Pa Khun Ramkhamhaeng, was discovered here. This statue is now in the provincial headquarters.

Siripong dam: This ancient dam was built by one of the Sukhothai Kings. It is located near Sukhothai historical park. In the old days the water from the dam would flow through canals to the capital city's walls and into holding ponds. The city inhabitants could then use the water. The dam is still being used today.

Accommodations and facilities
There are bungalows for rent in the area of the park's headquarters. Tents are avilable at the designated camp ground in the high country of Khao Luang.

How to get there
There are at least two ways to come from Bangkok by road. Drive or take a bus to Kamphaeng Phet or Sukothai. From Kamphaeng Phet take highway no. 101 to the north to Kirimat district town. Or, from Sukothai, take the highway no. 101 to the south to Kirimat. At the major 4 ways intersection in Kirimat, turn into the road in the westward direction and follow the signs for about 15 km.

Contact address
RamKhamhaeng National Park
P.O.Box 1, Amphur Kirimat
Sukhothai 64160

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