Wildlife in Khao Yai

If you're quiet, patient and lucky

Photo of , , Khao Yai National Park

What we say: 4.5 stars

Khao Yai is Thailand's largest protected area where animals are still free to roam, including two dozen species that are considered vulnerable, endangered or critically endangered.

Aside from the superstars -- tigers, leopards, Siamese cobras, reticulated pythons, green tree vipers, and Thailand's largest herd of wild elephants -- Khao Yai is also the stomping grounds of barking deer, a few different species of gibbon, Asiatic black bears, giant porcupines and monitor lizards among many others.

It is also one of Asia's premier bird-watching destinations with some 300 bird species calling the park home, including rare bluebirds, bulbuls, hornbills, woodpeckers and owls.

While docile monkeys and deer aren't afraid to take a seat right next to a group of travellers, as they often do, visitors should also not be surprised if an elephant walks right in front of them just about anywhere in the park. To have a better chance of spotting an elephant or any number of other beasts, it's best to head to an observation tower in the morning hours.

The most easily accessible wildlife observation tower -- Mor Tan Jarn tower -- is located down a short trail across from Saisorn reservoir not far from the Visitor Centre, and here the tower faces a salt lick and grasslands that are ideal for spotting wildlife.

Bird watching may be done with good success anywhere in the park, but the higher altitude area around Pha Diao Dai lookout is said to be a particularly good place.

If you want the thrill of seeing what creeps and roams the jungle at night, there is a night safari tour that may be booked at the Visitor Centre.


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Sights to see in Khao Yai National Park



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