Located a short 3-hour drive from Bangkok, Khao Yai National Park is a beautiful sanctuary for a diverse collection of wildlife encompassing 320 species of birds and 66 species of mammals, including a healthy population of about 200 wild elephants. It is the oldest of the national parks in Thailand and part of a large forest complex declared a World Heritage Site by UNESCO.
A hike in the forest is the best way to explore Khao Yai to search for gibbons, monkeys, and the majestic great hornbills. Accompanied by forest guides, hikers search for evidence of elephant activity and sightings of other wild creatures who find sanctuary here. Elephant sightings are quite common along the scenic roads that pass through the park. There are also areas of dry grassland that increase the chance to spot elephants and other wildlife.
Khao Yai is also the home to a Buddhist cave temple inhabited by a population of wrinkle-lipped bats. Just before sunset each evening, a swarm of thousands of bats streams out of the cave opening like a huge black snake slithering into the sky. Watch the sunset as the bats head off in search of their nightly meal!
There are three seasons in Khao Yai: the winter season starting from November to February, the dry season March – April, and the wet season from May until October. The winter season welcomes clear skies, sunny and cooler temperatures averaging in the 70s during the day and down in to the 50s at night. It's a good time for hiking! The dry season is hot, hot, hot with temperatures reaching into the 90s, so stick close to the water. The wet months bring welcome rain for the waterfalls and cooler temperatures.
A visit to the Khao Yai is a part of our Thailand Cambodia Overland trip, but it can easily built into a customized itinerary. It would combine well with a trip to Ayutthaya, the historic ancient capital of Siam, or easily connected from Bangkok.
For more information about Khao Yai National Park and how to include it in your adventure to Thailand, give us a call at 800-345-4453.