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Complete Guide to Kvvvvvvaeng Krachan National Park

Complete Guide to Kaeng Krachan National Park

Kaeng Krachan National Park, with its immense size, is leaving other national parks eating dust. We’re talking about over 400 bird species, 66 mammals, 40 lizards, 76 snakes, and 43 amphibians you’ll miss if you don’t include the park in your Thailand travel list

It’s pretty immense so going there might feel daunting, right? Well, we’ve got you! We’ve created a guide below to help you learn the ins and outs of Kaeng Krachan National Park so you can get the most out of your visit!

Things to Know

Time Zone: Indochina Time (UTC/GMT+7)

Currency: Thai Baht
(Check the current exchange rate)

Language: Thai (Central Thai)

Calling Code: (+66), (032)

Location: Kaeng Krachan, Kaeng Krachan District, Phetchaburi 76170, Thailand

Nearest Airport: Hua Hin Airport (56.2 km)

Operating Hours: 8:30 a.m. – 4:30 p.m. (Daily)

Contact Number: +66 32 772 311

Admission Fee: 300 baht (Adults) and 150 baht (Kids)


Kaeng Krachan National Park in a Nutshell

Covering an area of 2,914 km², Kaeng Krachan National Park is Thailand’s largest national park located in Phetchaburi and Prachuap Khiri Khan Provinces. Declared a national park on June 12, 1981, the reserve became a World Heritage Site in 2021.

Expect to be overwhelmed by a large variety of flora and fauna that you don’t see anywhere else here. Leopards, bears, monkeys, elephants, and crab-eating mongooses are just some of the animals you’ll encounter. 

Aside from wildlife watching, a whole set of stunning sites and adventure awaits anyone who drops by Kaeng Krachan. For starters, there are caves and waterfalls and with such an immense lay of the land, camping and hiking is popular in the area. 

Best Time to Visit Kaeng Krachan National Park

The perfect time to visit Kaeng Krachan National Park is in December to February. These months will have the coolest temperatures during the dry season which makes them perfect for exploring the park’s dense jungles.

It’s also less likely for you to encounter rain during these months so you don’t have to worry about slippery trails. 

On the other hand, the rainy season (July to October) is perfect if your goal is to visit the reservoir and waterfalls within the park’s borders.

The time of day to visit the park is also dependent on what activities or wildlife you want to spot. Though the day is ideal for birdwatching, camping at night is great for observing nocturnal predators.

Although, visiting Kaeng Krachan National Park for wildlife sightings is more situational since it depends on the animal you want to see.

For instance, you’re more likely to spot more amphibians during the rainy season. If your goal is to see leopards and tigers, you should go during the dry season since they’re more likely to be seen cooling down near isolated bodies of water.

How to Get to Kaeng Krachan National Park

The only way to reach Kaeng Krachan National Park is via the passing minivans at the roundabout near Mahachai Petcharat Hospital or at Big C Supercenter Phetchaburi.

That means your starting point will always be these two minivan spots in Phetchaburi.

There’s no terminal on these spots so you only need to wait for these minivans to pass by and board them to the park’s headquarters. Ask the locals about Kaeng Krachan, and they’ll lead you to someone who can contact a minivan driver.

These minivans may take some time before arriving at these locations so it’s best to travel to Phetchaburi early.

Here are the ways to get to these minivan spots from Bangkok and other provinces so you can continue your travels to Kaeng Krachan National Park.

Public Bus: There are bus trips from Bangkok’s Southern Bus Terminal (Pinklao) to Phetchaburi Bus Station. This 2-hour journey will cost you approximately 300 baht, so boarding the earliest buses is ideal if you want more time for exploration later. 

Phetchaburi Bus Station is only 342 meters north of the minivan spot in the roundabout near Mahachai Petcharat Hospital. You can get there by walking south from the street in front of the station.

Public Minivan: Hourly minivan trips to Phetchaburi are available at Bangkok’s Pinklao Van Terminal. It’s next to the Southern Bus Terminal so go here if you can’t find any buses going to Phetchaburi.

The fare price and travel time are mostly the same for minivans and buses so it only comes down to preference or what’s available. Public minivans will also drop you off at Phetchaburi Bus Station.

Train: If you don’t mind the slow journey, a train ride from Bangkok Train Station to Phetchaburi Station is another option. It can take up to five hours to arrive, but it’s worth trying at least once since it lets you see the beautiful countryside.

It’s great if your goal is to stay in Phetchaburi for several days or go camping in Kaeng Krachan National Park. Phetchaburi’s train station is 2.4 kilometers from the minivan spot near the hospital so you still need to board a tuk-tuk to get there.

Plane: Hua Hin Airport is your gateway to Phetchaburi if you’re starting location is a faraway province in Thailand. Upon arrival, hire an airport taxi to Phetchaburi which should take you 42 minutes or more depending on the traffic conditions.

The airport is from the south so ask the taxi driver to drop you off at Big C Supercenter Phetchaburi instead. From here, just wait for the minivan that goes to Kaeng Krachan National Park.

Private Taxi: A private taxi is recommended if your starting location is in Cha-am or Hua Hin. This will cost you between 2000 and 3500 baht for one-way or roundtrip bookings.

The cost will only cover the fuel and the driver’s fee so you’ll still need to pay at the park’s entrance and for your food expenses. Private taxi drivers will also pay for their entrance fees and food expenses. 

Rental Car: Traveling in a rental car is the most efficient way to get to Kaeng Krachan National Park since you don’t have to wait at the minivan spots in Phetchaburi. It’s also a great option considering there are no public vehicles within the park.

With a rental car, you don’t have to rely on hitching a ride with other park visitors. This way, you have more control over your planned activities during your visit.

You need your driver’s license and an International Driving Permit to rent cars in Thailand.

Private Guided Tour: For convenience, you can also book a guided tour to Kaeng Krachan National Park. It’s an excellent option for first-timers who don’t have an idea which attractions and activities are good to try at the park.

Having a professional tour guide is also beneficial, especially if your goal is to explore the challenging areas in Kaeng Krachan. To get the best experience, book a multi-day tour to see and try everything that the park has to offer.

What to See and Do in Kaeng Krachan National Park

Go birdwatching within the park’s massive borders

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With over 400 recorded bird species, Kaeng Krachan National Park is a haven for dedicated birdwatchers. Though it’s nearly impossible to see all these birds in one visit, the scores you’ll see in just a day make the experience worth it.

Among its bird populace are endangered species like the Blue-banded Kingfisher, Grey-sided Thrush, Plain-pouched Hornbill, Silver Oriole, and White-fronted Scops Owl.

The best place to spot rare birds in the park is at the “Orchid Trail.” You can find this trail below the looking point in Khao Phanoen Thung.

Set up camp at the Ban Krang and HQ campsites

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For nature lovers, Kaeng Krachan National Park’s Bang Krang and HQ campsites are great camping spots that are worth visiting. 

The former is more spacious and relaxed which is ideal for stargazing and star trail photography at night. The latter is located within the park’s protected jungle which makes it the perfect retreat for animal spotting.

Go here if your goal is to observe nocturnal animal activities and photograph common sightings like gibbons, elephants, leopards, and barking deer. 

Tents are available to rent at the visitors center at the park’s entrance.

See the butterflies along the banks of the Pranburi River

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If you love butterflies, you’ll have an absolute field day walking along the banks of the Pranburi River near the Ban Krang Campsite. It’s a great place if you want to watch and photograph heaps of butterflies fluttering about. 

There are numerous recorded butterfly species within Keang Krachan National Park, so there’s plenty to see. 

Keep an eye out for species like Leopard Lacewing, Red Helen, Green Dragontail, Dark Blue Tiger, Cyclops Bushbrown, Himalayan Jester, and more. Some rare butterfly species can also be found on the Orchid Trail.

Hop on a boat and cross Kaeng Krachan Reservoir

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Going to Kaeng Krachan National Park gives you the chance to go on an exciting boat ride around its massive reservoir. This impressive waterbody is surrounded by lush hills that look vibrant green all year round, so it’s definitely worth checking out.

A boat tour is also the only way to see the numerous islets within the reservoir up close which makes it a must-try. The best part is you may even spot crab-eating macaques swimming in the water during your boat ride.

If you didn’t book a third-party boat tour beforehand, you can arrange an on-site boat trip here for 600 baht at the park’s headquarters. It takes 40 minutes to explore the entirety of the reservoir.

Join an adventurous herping trip

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When it comes to spotting animals of the scaly and slippery variety, this park is a must-visit. Here, you can join an adventurous herping trip that’s available during the day and night.

In case you didn’t know it yet, herping is a wildlife-searching activity specifically for amphibians and reptiles. Kaeng Krachan National Park has a whooping 76 snake species, 43 amphibian species, and 40 lizard species recorded so far.

If you have favorite reptiles or amphibians, you’ll most likely find them here!

Cross the rope bridge in Kaeng Krachan Dam

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The rope bridge in Kaeng Krachan Dam is one of the park’s must-see attractions. Aside from the park’s diverse wildlife, this is arguably the most photographed subject in the area.

This spot was made popular when it was featured in the classic Thai film “Crazy Little Thing Called Love” – it’s a fan-favorite IG-worthy attraction!But you don’t need to watch the film to appreciate how lovely this rope bridge is. 

Explore the dense jungle on the park’s upper portion

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Exploring the park’s dense jungle gives you the best chance to spot as many wildlife during your visit. It’s over 3 kilometers past Ban Krang Campsite, so expect the trail to get challenging as you go deeper.

It’s where you’ll find cool and rare animal species like Black Baza, Mountain Imperial Pigeon, Dusky Langur, Blue-crested Lizard, and more. 

To get the most out of your time, book a guide at the park’s visitors center so they can lead you to the best spots here. 

Take a dip in the cascading waters at Pala-U Waterfall

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A visit to Keang Krachan National Park isn’t complete without taking a dip at the cool pond of Pala-U Waterfall. It’s one of the park’s more popular attractions for a reason—the stream is vigorous, the water is refreshing, and the pond is spacious.

You can even see fish in the water and they’re fun to feed. Our team had the most fun splashing about in this beautiful cascade.

This waterfall is even better during the rainy season, and we think it’s worth visiting even with the muddy trail along the way. Monkeys are also known to go to this waterfall so you might spot some during your visit.

Climb Khao Phanoen Thung to witness the park’s foggy mountainscape

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The viewpoint in Khao Phanoen Thung is a great spot for capturing stunning panoramic photos of the park’s mountainscape. If you climb it early in the morning, you might even see a cloud of fog covering the surrounding greeneries.

This area is already high but the thick fog gives the illusion that you’re even higher which makes the experience even more unforgettable. It’s on Kaeng Krachan National Park’s upper portion, but it’s definitely worth the challenging hike.

Below this viewpoint is the renowned Orchid Trail—another good reason to go to this area.

FAQs about Kaeng Krachan National Park

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