Around Bangkok: Khao Yai National Park
Bangkok Attractions | Attractions around Bangkok
One of the favorite locations for tourists and city residents who would like an escape from Bangkok's hectic city atmosphere for a short time is Khao Yai National Park. Khao Yai National Park is close enough in proximity to Bangkok along with the astonishing scenery of the park makes it the perfect get-away for stressed Bangkok residents and tourists.
Khao Yai National Park was selected as Thailand's first National Park in 1962. Khao Yai National Park has a peaceful atmosphere and a variety of activities, which has endeared the park to its first visitors and continues to do so today. Some rate Khao Yai National Park as the best national park in Asia. There are several markets and restaurants on the park ground for the visitors to the park.
The popularity of Khao Yai National Park has been so great the park has been forced to close in 1992 in order to repair damages caused by the visitors. Extensive repairs were made in the park. Some of the resort and the golf courses were torn down. The park has once again opened it doors to visitors, but the visitors take care of the park while they are visiting.
Khao Yai National Park encompasses 2.172 square kilometers and takes up portions of four provinces. Khao Yai National Park has been named as one of the Natural Heritage Asia and now is used as a pattern for many other National Parks of the country.
The site has several activities for the outdoorsman or women, such as bird watching, mountain biking and river rafting. Khao Yai National Park is the most well known for its hiking. The terrain of the park varies range from the evergreen rainforest to the deciduous, and savannah. The park elevation level ranges from 400 to over 1000 meters above sea level.
There are several different types of marked trails covering about 50 kilometers, with varying distances and scenery in Khao Yai National Park. Every trail has posted signs with helpful information along the trail. Hikers can even get a park ranger to accompany them on their hike. If you have a very sharp eye, you might be able to spot some of the wildlife that live in Khao Yai National Park. If you are familiar with the species of wildlife residing in the park you could see a barking deer, serows, gibbons, and macaques, Malayan sun bears and Asiatic black bears, tigers and leopards. The tigers and leopards are a rare find, however there is an astonishing range of bird species to be found in the Khao Yai National Park. There is an extensive assortment of hornbills. Most of the wildlife can be seen between June and October. The hornbills are at their best during their mating season between January and May.
One of the most popular hiking trails in Khao Yai National Park would take a hiker around a half of a day. The trail starts at the Khao Yai National Park's headquarters and ends at the Nong Phak Chi Wildlife watchtowers. On the trail you are will be able to spot an assortment of birds, such as the hornbills, red headed tarragons and dollarbirds just to name a few. Wild mushrooms, a wide variety of flowers, and streams are some of the sights you will see along this trail. After reaching the towers, you can look over the salt lick so you can see wild dogs and elephants.
If you are an adventurous hiker, you will want to start off on another one of the popular trails. This trail will take a hiker an entire day to complete. The trail starts at the Khao Yai National Park Headquarters and ends at Heaw Suwat falls and then continues on to Thung Khao Laem. On this trail you be able to spot some of wildlife. As you hike along this portion of the trail you might be able to see some gibbons, elephants, and exotic birds.
Getting to Khao Yai National Park from Bangkok is fairly simple. You will take highway No.305 from Rangsit-Ongkharak Road in Bangkok to Nakhon Nayok and get onto Highway No. 3077. After 10 kilometers you will reach Khao Yai National Park Headquarters. You will have the option hire a car and drive about 2 hours or you could arrange to take an organized tour from your hotel or travel agent.
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