For any traveler wishing to explore the wonders of nature, a Thailand National Park is an outstanding destination. There are many forest parks if you long to explore the tropical rainforest or travel deep into the wild jungle to see some of the exotic animals in Thailand. If you prefer scuba diving, snorkeling, or sea kayaking there are a number of national marine parks in the south and east of Thailand that are simply stunning.
In fact, Thailand has over 100 national parks, including more than 20 marine parks; each park in Thailand contains unique flora and fauna as well as basic amenities, including some bungalows with electricity and grounds for camping (even if you don’t bring your own tent.) Most of these parks are easily accessible and admission fees are relatively modest, though booking ahead is often recommended as some parks are very popular with Thai visitors, particularly over long holiday weekends.
Eco-oriented activities at a national park in Thailand range from trekking, kayaking, nature photography, camping and snorkeling to spotting exotic birds and other animals in Thailand unlike those found elsewhere in the world. However, simply relaxing and enjoying the pristine beauty of unspoiled Thai nature may be the most rewarding experience of all.
A few of Thailand’s more popular national parks are:
Khao Yai National Park is perhaps the most popular Thai park as it is just 200 km from Bangkok and the bucolic surrounding area features a variety of accommodation options, a variety of activities, and diverse wildlife that includes wild tigers, elephants, bears, and exotic birds, such as the giant hornbill.
Doi Inthanon National Park in Northern Thailand features Thailand’s highest peak and contains waterfalls and forests containing numerous species of orchid. The area is also inhabited by indigenous hill tribe villagers.
Sam Roi Yot National Park is a favorite for bird watchers as the coastal region of the park features marshes that are home to a variety of waterfowl and other marine life.
Erawan National Park, located in Kanchanaburi Province in western Thailand, features a renowned seven tiered waterfall and a tropical forest that contains numerous wildlife species.
Marine parks include Koh Samet (conveniently located near Bangkok), Ang Thong Marine National Park (a favorite kayaking and snorkeling day-trip from Koh Samui), Tarutao Marine Park (the most remote and unspoiled of Thailand’s southern islands), and Ao Phang Nga National Park (a popular day-trip from Phuket that features unique limestone islands such as “James Bond Island” from the film The Man with the Golden Gun).