Thailand has a lot more to offer than beautiful beaches. In this guide, we recommend you the most beautiful national parks in Thailand. The growing tropical weather ensures that nature in Thailand is overwhelming in many places. Nature lovers can go on long walks or take excursions to beautiful nature parks. Some of the national parks can be found inland, but there are also national parks that are concentrated in the sea. For example, the Ang Thong National Marine Park is a national park that consists partly of the sea and partly of islands (42 pieces). It is a combination of green nature with white beaches and an underwater world that is one of the better diving and snorkeling spots in Thailand.
On this page, we provide information about Thailand’s national parks that you should definitely consider when planning your trip to Thailand. Or if you are traveling through Thailand completely without planning and are looking for interesting places where you can optimally enjoy nature.
In total, the Similan Islands consist of eleven islands. This small island group is recognized as one of the most beautiful in Thailand and even in the world. The islands are located on the west coast in the Andaman Sea. In total, ten of the eleven islands are uninhabited. Only Koh Similan has inhabitants in the form of humans. The whole area of this small archipelago is a national park where both the land and the underwater world are very beautiful. For as long as it lasts, this area is not that touristic either. As a result, you can also enjoy relative peace when you sail here by boat along the islands and visit the islands every now and then.
The ten islands that are not inhabited and the inhabited island offer a great diversity. They often have beautiful beaches and good diving locations in common. The renowned media platforms National Geographic, Discovery and Lonely Planet all agree that the Similan Islands are an absolute paradise destination with unique natural beauty.
Ao Phang Nga
The national park of Ao Phang Nga should not be missing in our overview. Here you will find some of the most beautiful granite rocks that emerge from the water. This really feels like a fairytale. In total, the park covers an area from below at 400 km². The park can be found in the southwest of Thailand on the Andaman Sea. The whole part consists of 42 islands of which the islands of Phing Kan should certainly not be missed. Perhaps some people still recognize these islands from the famous James Bond movie ‘The man with the golden gun’. For this reason it is also popularly called the ‘James Bond Island’. Literally translated, the name of these islands means hills that lean against each other.
Since 1998 it has been forbidden for tourist boats to approach close to the small piece of rock called Ko Tapu. In this way one tries to slow down the erosion as much as possible. The wooded islands with steep banks may be approached. These are definitely worth a visit and all have their own charm. A cruise in this national park will certainly not disappoint you.
The Khao Yai National Park is centrally located in Thailand and was founded in 1962. Due to its location in the middle of the jungle you are in a beautiful green environment full of beautiful animals and plants. Originally, before it was declared a national park, farmers lived in this area. These have been housed around the park since 1962. In total, the park has an area of 2168 km². Several provinces are therefore located in this area. The park is also quite high. The entrance to the park is at an altitude of 400 meters, but most parts are higher than 1000 meters. The beautiful vegetation of the rain-forest is complemented with an enormous diversity of animals, such as tigers, bears, elephants, macaques, gibbons, deer, wild boars, dogs, and various types of cats. You can also spot the horn-bill here. The related double rhinoceros also lives in this area. A visit to this national park is a fantastic experience and brings you closer to nature.
Khao Sok Park is located in the southwest of Thailand. This park was established on December 22, 1980 and has an area of 739 km². This park is so unique because there is still primeval forest here, but you will also find some rain-forest that is more diverse and older than the rainforest in the Amazon region. The reservoir also has a prominent place in the park. The dam that caused this lake was built in 1982 and is located at the Khlong Saeng. One of the main attractions of this park is undoubtedly the Rafflesia kerrii. This flower, which is related to the genus Rafflesia, is the second largest flower in the world. The flower can have a diameter of 90 centimeters.
Some animals you may encounter are the Asian elephant, sambars, leopards, tapirs, dwarf deer and snakes such as cobras and pythons. There are also many species of monkeys, other reptile species, insects, bats and many birds.
Ang Thong National Marine Park
At Ang Thong National Marine Park, which covers an area of over 100 km², there is only 20 km² of land. For the rest, it is sea in this marine park. Much of the beauty of this nature reserve is therefore below sea level. The 42 islands are all fairly centrally located together. The contrast between sea and islands is beautiful and the islands also have unique flora and fauna. One of the most beautiful places is Ko Mae Ko lagoon. You can enter many of the islands and have beautiful viewpoints. The park can be found in the east of Thailand and has existed since 1980.
Doi Inthanon National Park can be found in Mae Cheam District, in northern Thailand. Especially the cloud forest and peat areas are unique here. This park is also quite high. The lowest point is at 800 meters, while the highest point is almost 2,600 meters above sea level. Due to these large differences in height, the climatic conditions in the park are very different and that results in a great diversity in both flora and fauna. It is one of the parks with the most bird species and in total about 383 animal species can be found here. The park is 482 km² and was established in 1972. The large height difference ensures that the beautiful water features and waterfalls that are situated in the park. When you visit the north of Thailand, this location is highly recommended.
The Kaeng Krachan National Park has been established since June 12, 1989. It was the 28th park to be established. The park borders Myanmar and one of the striking places, in addition to the beautiful jungle with an extensive flora and fauna, is the Kaeng Krachan reservoir, which is no less than 45 km². Some specific landscape types that you encounter in this park are, in addition to the tropical rain-forests, the saltwater swamps. Also in this mountainous area are two large waterfalls that are also very beautiful. No fewer than 57 species of mammals and more than 300 species of birds live in the park. Often these come from all over the world; there are migratory birds from China and Siberia that can be spotted here. This park can count for bird watchers who are busy with a ‘big year’. Other animals such as tigers, the Asian elephant, the gibbon, the Asiatic black bear, and the leopard that are found in this area. The former King Bhumibol also liked to visit this park.
Erawan should also be mentioned in this overview. In 1975 this was Thailand’s 12th national park. The park can be found in the west of Thailand and is one of the most famous parks in Thailand and far beyond due to its waterfalls. The Erawan Falls are the main reason that many visitors go here. Green ponds are interconnected and form terraces of water that are lower and lower. These terraces of water are connected by waterfalls that really seem to come straight out of a fairytale book. It also seems a bit edited with photoshop, but that is not the case. Also in this park are of course the necessary animals and plants, but it is mainly these iconic waterfalls that make this park worthwhile.