Top 20 best National Parks in Thailand
Last Updated on November 5, 2022
Thailand counts more than a hundred national parks, protected areas, and wildlife sanctuaries. Most of them are paradises on earth and offer spectacular scenery and impressive wildlife.
From trekking to waterfalls through lush jungles to taking a safari to see wild elephants, you’ll be amazed every step of the way. Thailand is home to incredible scenery, and you’ll find some of the best national parks in Southeast Asia.
Listed below are some of the best national parks in Thailand you should add to your bucket list, as well as the top marine parks in Thailand.
Travel tip – Before any international trip, make sure to get travel insurance and check visa requirements.
Must-Read – Thailand Packing List and Outfits
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Best National Parks in Thailand Map
Mu Ko Ang Thong National Park
Mu Ko Ang Thong National Park offers breathtaking viewpoints, white sand beaches, and amazing landscapes.
It’s also a great area to go snorkeling or diving.
One of the best National Parks in Thailand, it’s conveniently located near Koh Samui and Ko Phangan, from which you can arrange for a day trip or to be dropped off for a few days. It’s the perfect place to unwind and disconnect.
You can rent a bungalow or a tent at the park’s headquarter on Ko Wua Ta Lap, there you’ll also find basic facilities and a restaurant.
The entrance fee for Ang Thong National Park is 300 Baht for foreigners.
Khao Sok National Park
Its convenient location, near Phuket, Krabi, and Khlong Sok in the Surat Thani Province, make Khao Sok National Park the most popular mainland park in Thailand. The park is mainly rainforest with a rich fauna and flora.
Among its more iconic spots are the limestone cliffs, waterfalls reached by trekking through the lush jungle, Khao Sok lake and its raft houses, Cheow Lan Lake, caves, and few water streams. You might spot some elephants, but the park highlight is the Rafflesia flowers, easily seen from the trails.
You can get to the park HQ by public transportation from the nearby towns or join a tour. A guide is mandatory for most trails.
Related – Krabi 4-day Itinerary
Mu Ko Lanta National Park
Mu Ko Lanta National Park regroups several islands and actually only a small portion of Ko Lanta. The park boasts stunning beaches, awesome snorkeling spots, impressive caves, and a couple of nice trails and viewpoints. It’s also home to nomadic sea gypsies.
To visit it, you will need to book a tour from Ko Lanta. You can drive to While Ta Nod Beach where you’ll find the visitor center nearby, but the rest is only accessible via a tour. There’s a nice and easy trail starting at the visitor center.
On Ko Lanta Yai, you’ll find a couple of trails leading to caves and waterfalls, you’ll need to hire a guide to go there.
Pick a tour according to what you want to do and see, some focus more on snorkeling or kayaking, while others include hikes to waterfalls and lookouts.
The entrance fees are 200 Baht and note that most of the islands are closed from May to October to preserve wildlife.
Than Bok Khorani National Park
Located near Krabi, Than Bok Khorani National Park makes a great day trip. Famous for its lush vegetation, limestone formations, scenic waterfalls, and underground caves, the park is made of several smaller areas in Northern Krabi, most of which you can easily visit.
There’s a lot to do there, from trekking to emerald blue ponds to kayaking through caves home to 3000 years old paintings, you’ll be enchanted by the park many wonders.
You can visit some of the most popular places on your own if you have a car or motorbike. From the park’s visitor center, you can hike to Than Bok Khorani Waterfall.
You can also book a boat tour to Hong Islands, one of the most beautiful places of the park, and/or book a kayaking trip through the park’s lush mangrove, visiting a cave or two along the way.
Erawan National Park
Erawan National Park is famous for its waterfalls and emerald green pond. The color of the water is surreal. The park offers a couple of easy hikes with the trails being well maintained and highly frequented.
It’s best to avoid weekends and local holidays to avoid crowds.
Most of the trails will lead you to waterfalls and caves. Some of the best places to visit include the 7-tiered Erawan Falls, Bridge Over the River Kwai, Phra That Cave, Death Railway, and Hellfire Pass.
To visit the park, you can arrange a tour from Bangkok or Kanchanaburi. From Kanchanaburi, you can also take public transportation to the visitor center and hike to the fall.
The park’s entrance fee is 300THB. You can rent camping equipment and bicycles at the visitor center.
Kui Buri National Park
In Kui Biri National Park, you have high chances of spotting elephant’s herds. It’s one of the best national parks in Thailand to see wild elephants.
The park is mostly evergreen with many open areas, making it super easy to see wildlife. The park is also home to many gaurs (Indian Bison) and a couple of leopards. The leopards are rarely spotted though.
The main thing to do there is wildlife watching, there are no hiking options. You’ll need to get to the Wildlife Watching Area (only opened from 2 pm to 6 pm) and organize a safari from there.
The entrance fee is 200THB, the safari costs 850THB for up to 8 people.
You can easily get by public transportation to Kui Biri Town or nearby Hua Hin, but then you’ll need to hitchhike, rent a motorbike, or take a cab to the park. The easiest is to book a tour from Hua Hin.
Related – Best ethical places in Southeast Asia to see wildlife
Khao Yai National Park
Khao Yai National Park is Thailand’s first National Park and is one of the easiest places to watch wildlife. You have strong chances of seeing elephants, macaques, Gibbon, porcupines, civets, barking deer, and sambar deer. The park is also home to around 300 bird species, among them the famous horn bills.
The park also features a couple of hiking trails (most require a guide) and stunning waterfalls (don’t miss Haew Suwat Waterfall).
It’s best visited as a safari, at least if you want to see wildlife. Most attractions are far apart, a lot of areas cannot be accessed on foot, and you’ll need a guide for most treks.
You can arrange the safari from Bangkok as a day trip, or you can also get there by public transportation, but it’s complicated, and you’ll need to book a safari anyway, unless you rent a car.
You can also hire a guide at the nearby village of Pak Chong.
You cannot enter the park on foot. There’s a campground there, and several guesthouses and hotels outside the park boundaries.
The entrance fee for Khao Yai National Park is 200 Baht/day (valid 3 days if you camp there).
Tarutao National Marine Park
Located in the Andaman Sea, Thailand’s first marine park includes 51 islands and more than 1,490 square kilometers of land and sea.
Its most famous island is the quiet and laid-back Ko Lipe, but most of the park’s terrestrial point of interests are on Ko Tarutao, the biggest island of the group. The island is mostly uninhabited and covered with forest. The beaches are pristine, and the trails will take you to amazing viewpoints.
You can take a boat around the island. For island hopping and diving, you’ll need to arrange a tour from Ko Lipe.
To get to Ko Tarutao from the mainland, you’ll need to take a boat from the Pak Bara Pier. You can camp and rent tents at the visitor center, there are also a few bungalows, but you’ll need to book one in advance. The entrance fee is 200THB.
Doi Inthanon National Park
Located in Chiang Mai Province, Doi Inthanon National Park is home to Thailand’s highest mountain and is part of the Himalayan mountain range. It’s Northern Thailand’s most popular parks. During winter, the area is often covered with fog, and in the morning you can witness the Mae Kha Ning (frost flowers) phenomenon.
Doi Inthanon National Park is a great place for trekking, on most trails you’ll end up at a beautiful waterfall or a traditional village.
The park’s entrance fee is 300 THB. Getting there by public transportation from Chiang Mai can be done, but is challenging. The best way to visit the park is to either rent a car or join a tour.
If you want to spend the night, there’s a campsite and a couple of bungalows near the visitor center, you can rent tents and camping equipment there, but there are no restaurants nearby.
Bang Lang National Park
Bang Lang National Park, located in Yala Province in Southern Thailand, is the most off-the-beaten-path park of this list. You won’t see many tourists there, contrary to the rest of Thailand. The park is known for its lush tropical rainforest, rich fauna and flora and its spectacular sights.
Although chances are slim, you might see Sumatran rhinoceros, tapirs, rhinoceros hornbills, helmeted hornbills and many more, mostly lizards and birds.
From the Park’s Headquarters, you can easily trek to the Bang Lang Dam, Halasa and La-ong Rung Waterfalls, Than To lake and Than To Waterfall.
Kaeng Krachan National Park
Kaeng Krachan National Park is the largest national park in Thailand. Located near the border with Myanmar and easily accessible from Hua Hin, the park boasts a wide variety of wildlife, plenty of hiking trails, stunning vistas, and a couple of waterfalls and caves.
You can choose to camp there or take a day tour from Hua Hin. To reach the park, head to Kaeng Krachan Town where you’ll need either to hire a guide or rent a car, as there are no public transportation to reach the beginning of the trails. It’s highly recommended to visit by car, especially if you plan on camping there (make sure to arrive early).
The best time to visit is from February to May, as winter tends to be chilly, and summer sees heavy rainfalls.
The entrance fees are 300 Baht per person. At the park, you can rent any camping equipment you need and hire a ranger to go on a hike (most trails require one to come with you).
Khao Sam Roi Yot National Park
Located in the Prachuap Khiri Khan Province, and one of the best marine parks in Thailand, Khao Sam Roi Yot National Park features beaches, coastline, mangroves, limestone rock formations and caves, and an extensive freshwater wetland. It’s one of the most varied parks in the country.
Located near Hua Hin, you can easily reach the park from there, you can either go on a tour or rent a car or motorbike and go on your own.
For a self-guided tour, head to Bang Pu Beach first, then hike to Phraya Nahkon Cave (you can take a boat for a small portion of the way).
After lunch, drive to Khlong Khao Daeng village and take a boat tour through the river. Next, head to the park’s headquarter and hike the porcupine cave and horseshoe cave trail.
If you still have time, take a stroll through the Bueng Bua marsh boardwalk.
You can visit the park year-round, and the entrance fee is 200 Baht for foreigners.
Doi Suthep-Pui National Park
Located near Chiang Mai, Doi Suthep-Pui National Park is known for the Wat Phra That Doi Suthep, a famous temple, as well the Bhubing Palace, numerous waterfalls, and scenic lookouts.
Contrary to most national parks in Thailand, this park is great for hiking and offers many trails easily accessible. The park is also rich in wildlife, but they can be hard to spot.
You will find public transportation to the temple from Chiang Mai, but to visit the rest of the park, you’ll either need to book a tour, hire a guide, or rent a car (4W are recommended for some areas) or motorbike.
Some people visit the park on a bicycle, but unless you’re really fit and used to uphill cycling, it isn’t recommended.
The most popular waterfalls are Huai Rap Sadet Waterfall, Monthathan Waterfall, and Dtaat Mook Waterfall. You’ll also find a couple of remote villages inside the park that are best visited with a guide.
The entrance fee for Doi Suthep-Pui National Park is 100 Baht per person. You’ll find 2 campsites within the park.
Ao Phang Nga National Park
One of the best marine parks in Thailand, Ao Phang Nga National Park is famous for the James Bond Island (from The Man With The Golden Gun movie) and can be easily visited from Krabi, Koh Phi Pho, or Phuket.
Apart from James Bond Island, the park boasts crystal-clear water, white sand beaches, and spectacular limestone rock formations.
To visit the park, you’ll need to book a boat tour, try to book one with kayaking included, there are many caves and hidden lagoons that are only accessible via kayaks or canoes. Some tour operators offer wild camping on some of the islands.
The mainland areas are mostly mangroves and are ideal for birdwatching.
Khao Lak Lam Ru National Park
The small Khao Lak Lam Ru National Park north of Phuket might be tiny but packs in beautiful beaches, tropical evergreen forests, hiking trails, and the stunning Ton Chong Fa Waterfall.
You can easily reach the park’s headquarter from Phuket, many public minibuses pass by it. There you’ll find a campground, a couple of accommodation options, showers and restrooms, and a restaurant.
From the visitor center, you can walk to a couple of beaches. The nearest waterfall is 12 km from there, so it’s best if you have your own mean of transportation. The Lam Ru Waterfall is also worth hiking to, but will require transportation as well.
The park’s entrance fee is 100 Baht.
Sai Yok National Park
Famous for its waterfalls, caves, historical sites and raft houses along the Khwae Noi river, Sai Yok National Park is a must-visit while in Thailand.
Among the best places to visit, you’ll find Khwae Noi River, Sai Yok Lek Waterfall, remains of the Death Railway, Dao Wadung Cave, Khang Khao Cave, and Lawa Cave.
At the visitor center, you’ll find a campground, accommodations, and a few trails to waterfalls and caves. To visit farther places, you’ll need either to go on a tour or rent a motorbike or car.
Khao Luang National Park
Located in the Nakhon Si Thammarat Province in Southern Thailand, Khao Luang National Park is a mountainous national park popular for its wildlife, waterfalls, caves and long trails.
The park is one of the best destinations in Thailand for birdwatching, with over 350 bird species found within the park. There have been rare sightings of tigers and leopards, but you’ll mostly see small mammals and amphibians.
To visit the park, you’ll definitely need your own transportation or to book a tour from Nakhon Si Thammarat. You can camp at the visitor center, but there’s not much to do around there, just the start of a trail to a small waterfall.
The park’s must-sees include Karom Waterfall, Krung Ching Waterfall, Tha Phae Waterfall, Phrom Lok Waterfall and Ai Khiao Waterfall, as well as Hong Cave and Kaeo Surakan Cave.
Namtok Phlio National Park
A hidden gem only known to locals, Namtok Phlio National Park is nestled in southeastern Thailand’s Chanthaburi Province. The park is known for its river, waterfalls, and trails winding through its lush rainforest.
Make sure to take the short hike to the park’s highlight Nam Tok Phlio waterfall, then check out some other trails in the area.
You can easily get there from Chanthaburi by Songthaew. Ask to be dropped off at the crossroad, from there it’s a 10-minute walk to the park’s entrance.
Thap Lan National Park
With endless jungle, waterfalls, dams and reservoirs, and straddling three provinces, Thap Lan National Park offers its visitor plenty of things to do.
The most popular area to visit is Lan Forest and Recreational Garden with its beautiful yellow blossoms from April to June. Lam Man Bon Dam, the Thap Lan Reservoir, and Hat Chom Tawan, are also popular sights.
If you want to see waterfalls, Namtok Thap Lan and Namtok Bo Thong waterfalls, are both highly recommended.
The easiest way to visit the park is to drive around or to hire a guide for the day.
Related articles to help you plan your trip to Thailand:
- Visiting Thailand’s Deep South
- 10-day Thailand Itinerary
- Everything you need to know before visiting Thailand
What about you? What is your favorite? Which one do you think is the best National Park in Thailand?
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What a great idea for an article – Thanks for sharing! So far I’ve only been to five of these, so I’ve got plenty of reasons to return to rural Thailand in the future, I guess. The pictures look absolutely gorgeous at any rate. Thanks also for the link to my article about Nam Tok Phlio:-)
Ooh wow! They all look so amazingly beautiful. They are all going on my list of places I want to visit. The colour of the water is just stunning and all that lush green is so wonderful.
I went to khao lak?
Gorgeous post. Thank you for sharing.