Khao Yai National Park is a UNESCO World Heritage Site and one of the best national parks to visit in Thailand. The best way to spend time in the park is to book a stay at a Khao Yai hotel for a few days. This way you can explore the park at your leisure.
The park is massive in size, so seeing the entire park in one day is simply impossible. Even if you’re staying at a Khao Yai hotel close to the park, you probably won’t be able to cover absolutely everything in the time you’re there.
Book a Wildlife Tour
Booking a wildlife tour, or several tours over multiple days is one of the best ways to see the wide variety of attractions and wildlife the park has to offer.
These guided tours take you for hikes along the longer trails that take you deeper into the jungle than unguided tourists are permitted to hike. These tours are guided by experts who know the park well. They’ll be able to take you to the spots that have the most frequent sightings of whatever type of wildlife you’re most interested in seeing.
The park is home to a wide variety of mammals including elephants, gibbons and macaques, barking deer and sambar deer, porcupines and civets. The more elusive species include gaur, jackal, dhole, otter and the Asian black bear and sun bear.
There are also well over 400 species of birds living in the park, and over 85 species of reptile. Your chances of seeing most of these species of animals improve significantly when you book a guided tour.
Tour guides in the park accept both multiple tourist tours and single tours where you and your guide will be the only ones on your hike.
Logistics of Visiting the Park
From your hotel in Khao Yai, you should hire a songthaew to deliver you to the park and pick you up at the end of the day. Many of the Khao Yai hotels will book the transportation for you or have shuttle buses that provide this service.
There is a visitor’s centre about 14 kilometres inside the park borders. The only trail that unguided visitors to the park are allowed to walk is close to the visitor’s centre. The path is 800 metres in length, and while it shows you the beauty of the park, it’s just a teaser of what the park really offers.
This is why booking a guided tour is the only proper way to see the park. If you want to book a tour, book it as far in advance as possible. Tours are popular as they’re the only way to get away from the crowds and offer the best chance to spot the greatest number of species of wildlife.
When you book your Khao Yai hotel room, be sure to inquire whether they are also able to book a guided tour of the park for you.