How to Plan an Incredible Family Trip to Japan in 2024/2025. Learn more.
National Park Guide in Thailand

National Park Guide in Thailand

By Chris QuanUpdated Sep. 6, 2023

There are 147 national parks, each one of them unique in its own way, with its own flora, fauna, and activities. Parks like Khao Yai and Khao Sok are perfect for hiking along the trails of the jungle and try to spot some wild animals like elephants or gaurs. Doi Inthanon, with the tallest mountain of Thailand and more than 300 hundred species of birds, is perfect for birdwatching and enjoying some amazing views when hiking the peaks.

In Doi Suthep-Pui you can also enjoy some pretty high peaks, and you can visit the winter residence of the King, Phubing Palace. Erawan National Park is famous for its seven-layered waterfall. The layers form seven ponds where you can swim while hiking to reach the top.

Finally, Kui Buri. This park offers you a safari-like experience. You can reach several viewpoints with an open-air vehicle while a guide will introduce you to the wildlife of the park. Read our quick guide and learn more about these six wonderful national parks.


  • The amazing national parks are the perfect place for nature lovers.
  • Here you will find gorgeous nature, stunning sceneries, and rare wildlife.
  • Visit Khao Sok, one of the oldest rainforests in the world.
  • In the Erawan National Park, you can hike your way to the top of the mountain and get refreshed in the ponds of the seven-tiered waterfall.
  • Hire a private tour guide for a customized experience.

Discover real reviews of Highlights Travel Family's best-rated service across trusted platforms.

National Parks in Thailand

The national parks in Thailand are many and varied, and it can be hard to choose just one. All of them are perfect for hiking and camping (some, like Khao Sok, let you sleep in the middle of the jungle). Doi Inthanon is the place if you love birdwatching and hiking on high peaks; while Erawan offers a totally different experience with its seven-tierd waterfall, where you can swim and have fun.

For wildlife watching, we strongly recommend Kui Buri, with an impressive amount of elephants and gaurs. All the tourists get to see at least one elephant!

National Park Location Activities Flora & Fauna
Khao Yai Central Thailand, 2 hours from Bangkok Hiking, camping Fig trees, elephants, macaques, civets, bears, jackals, reptiles, migratory birds
Khao Sok South Thailand Hiking, canoeing, rafting Bua phut, elephants, gaurs, bantengs, great hornbill
Doi Inthanon Chiang Mai province Hiking, birdwatching Siamese Sakura flower, 380 hundred species of birds
Doi Suthep-Pui Chiang Mai province, 10 km from the city Camping, hiking, birdwatching Oaks, dipterocarps, magnolia, boars, macaques, Indochinese serow
Erawan Central Thailand, a few kilometers from Kanchanaburi Hiking, waterfalls, swimming, caves exploring, camping Indian muntjac, elephants, lar gibbon
Kui Buri Prachuap Khiri Khan Province Hiking, wildlife watching, camping Dipterocarps, hopea odorata, palms, elephants, gaurs

Khao Yai National Park

The park, the third largest of the country, was established in 1962. It covers an area of 2,168 km2, and it is home to an impressive variety of animals: elephants, macaques, civets, bears, jackals, reptiles, and many more. It is also home to more than 300 migratory birds, and has a vast population of hornbills.

Various tour operators usually arrange group tours with 10 or 12 people. If you want a more customized experience, opt for a private tour. With this kind of a tour, it will be just you and the guide. You can spend one, two or three days in Khao Yai.

A one-day tour will depart from Pak Chong and you will be driven along, while possibly spotting some gibbons, hornbills, macaques, etc. Then the trek will start inside the jungle and the guide will instruct you about the local wildlife, especially the characteristic fig trees. After a Thai lunch, you will visit a waterfall (where the movie "The Beach" was shot); and then you will visit more places looking for elephants.

Location: Nakhon Ratchasima Province

10-Day Best of Thailand with Koh Samui:

Khao Sok National Park

The most popular park in southern Thailand is also one of the oldest rainforests of the world. The highlights of the parks are the limestone hills, the waterfalls, the raft houses, and the caves. The park covers 739 km2, and it is home to wild mammals and to the iconic huge bua phut flower, the symbol of the province, that blooms from October to December.

Hiking around the many trails with the aid of a guide is the most popular activity inside the park. Guesthouses will offer other activities such as canoeing and rafting. Some companies offer longer trips with the possibility of sleeping in the jungle.

During the wet season (April-December) the heavy rains make hiking in the jungle difficult. The dry season (January-April) sees temperatures ranging from 22°C to 36°C. Getting to the park from Koh Samui, Phuket, and Krabi is really easy, via both public and private transportation. The entrance fee is 300 Thai Baht.

Location: Khlong Sok, Phanom District, Surat Thani Province

Doi Inthanon National Park

"The Roof of Thailand" covers 482 km2 and its part of the Himalayan mountain range. Its peak is the highest mountain in Thailand, and the weather is humid and cold all year round. Besides the summits of Doi Inthanon, other highlights are the waterfall and the hiking trails, and the two chedis built for the King.

The park is a good place for birdwatching, especially during February and April, when the big migrations happen. A one-day tour starts from your hotel in Chiang Mai around 8 a.m. First, you will reach the peak of Doi Inthanon, and then you will follow a nature trail with a local guide from the Hmong tribe. After lunch, you will visit the two chedis and two waterfalls.

As said above, the park is characterized by high humidity and cold weather, with temperatures ranging from 10°C to 12°C (lower during the night) at the peak. You can get there by taking the highway from Chiang Mai. Opening times are from 5:30am to 6:30pm.

Location: Chiang Mai Province

6-Day Chiang Mai and Chiang Rai Highlights Tour:

Doi Suthep-Pui National Park

The park covers 265 km2 and is characterized by high peaks (the highest one is at 1695 m), waterfalls, caves, and luscious evergreen forests with plenty of oaks and dipterocarps. There are about 2000 species of flowering plants, and more than 300 species of birds, as well as mammals like wild boars, macaques and porcupines.

Inside the park, you can visit the Doi Suthep Temple, built 1055m above sea level, around the 14th century. You can also visit the Bhubing Palace, the royal winter residence, ideal for birdwatching. North of the Palace, you can reach Yod Doi Pui campsite, with tents and bikes available for rent.

The park has cool temperatures all year-round, about 20°-23°C during the day and 6°C at night. August and September see heavy rains almost every day.

Location: Chiang Mai Province, a few kilometers northwest of the city

Erawan National Park

Erawan is one of the most famous parks in Thailand, mostly because of its seven-tiered waterfall with emerald green ponds, where tourists can swim and relax. There are not too many trails, and wildlife watching is very limited. Macaques and monitor lizards are common. Inside the forest, it is possible to see elephants, gibbons, and wild boars.

Besides the waterfalls, you can visit the caves around the main trail: some with stalagmites and stalactites, some with traces of past human habitation. At the visitors' center, you can rent tents, sleeping bags, mats, and pillows if you wish to camp inside the park.

The park is protected by numerous hills, so it doesn't see too many rainfalls. The park is open from 8am to 4:30pm, entrance fee is 300 Thai Baht. The park is usually quite busy, especially during lunch. There are many buses departing from Kanchanaburi, and it is recommended to go there early.

Location: 30km from Kanchanaburi

Kui Buri National Park

If you love elephants, Kui Buri is the place for you. The park is the best elephant and gaur sighting place of the country, and other mammals (like golden jackals, leopards, deers) are extremely common as well.

The main activity in the park is, as said, wildlife watching. Private trips inside the park use a safari car. The wildlife watching area is a forested area with many grasslands and viewpoints.

The wildlife watching areas are open from 2pm until sunset, and you cannot enter these areas after 5pm. You will get an open-air car for your day-tour, with a driver and a guide. Slowly driving into the forest, you will look for birds and elephants, stopping here and there at one of the many observation points. The last point is perfect for spotting gaurs and bantengs.

Location: Prachuap Khiri Khan Province, 4 hrs from Bangkok

Explore Thailand's National Parks with Asia Highlights

We believe that planning your trip carefully is a fundamental step in order to get the best out of your experience, especially when hiking and camping in the wild. Start planning with Asia Highlights, and we will help you find the best way to explore Thailand's parks, arranging transportation and tour guides, and satisfying all your needs.

Why Travel with Asia Highlights (98.8% positive customer reviews among 10,000+)

  • Unique experiences tailored to your interests: Enjoy a premium trip that goes beyond the typical tourist attractions.
  • Hassle-free travel and peace of mind: Every aspect of your trip will be carefully planned and organized by your 1:1 travel consultant.
  • Experienced and knowledgeable guides: Your guides will be local and love to work for travelers' smiles.
Popular tours
Make the most of your time
Choose the best time to visit

Discover real reviews of Highlights Travel Family's best-rated service across trusted platforms.

More reviews

Get Inspired with Some Popular Itineraries

At Asia Highlights, we create your kind of journey — your dates, your destinations, at your pace. You can have any trip tailor made for your travel.

More Travel Ideas and Inspiration

Start planning your tailor-made tour with 1-1 help from our travel advisors. Create My Trip
4.9 ExcellentTrustPilot rating TrustPilot Logo

Sign up to Our Newsletter

Be the first to receive exciting updates, exclusive promotions, and valuable travel tips from our team of experts.

The Asia Highlights Experience

1-to-1 Expert Planning

1-to-1 Expert Planning

Your tour will be tailor-made to suit you by a destination expert. Your personal travel advisor will always reply within 24 hours.

Personal Journeys

Personal Journeys

Enjoy having your own personal local guide and ride. Explore destinations at your own pace. Have as much flexibility as possible.

Authentic Experiences

Authentic Experiences

Go beyond the sightseeing. Understand the destinations by practicing the local culture and interacting with local people.

One-Stop Service

One-Stop Service

Leave all the booking work to us, including international and internal transportation, visas, hotels, meals, and activities.

Where Can We Take You Today?

China Tours

About Us
At Asia Highlights, we are committed to providing you a premium, quality private tour, whether it's a milestone trip, family trip, or bucketlist trip — your planning will be made easy with just one specialist throughout. Know more ...
Rated 4.9 out of 5 | Excellent
China Highlights International Travel Service Co., LTD
Corporate Number: 914503003486045699
Featured on