Than Bok Kharani National Park

Bask at a waterfall, kayak through a cave

Photo of , , Krabi

What we say: 3.5 stars

Located 45 km north of Krabi town in the Ao Luek area, this pristine national park covers areas of rainforest, mountains, mangroves, swamps, beaches, sea and islands.

Many who visit Than Bok Kharani independently come for the eponymous waterfall located near the visitor centre. The cool emerald water flows over sloped tiers that tangle with the roots of banyan trees into a host of natural pools that are great for swimming. Locals flock here on weekends to escape the heat, but even then, the falls offer a tranquil experience. Wildlife such as gibbon, Javan mongoose, langur, king cobra and a range of tropical birds can be spotted in the park.

Although not as easily accessed as the waterfalls, sea caves reachable only by kayak are perhaps the park's more popular draw. Located in the area of Baan Bor Thor, caves such as Hua Ga Lok and Phi Hua To contain ancient drawings believed to be 3,000 years old. The maze of inlets emerge into lagoons sheltered by towering limestone cliffs. The park also encompasses a large coastal area and 23 islands, including Ko Hong, but these are usually visited as part of entirely separate tours out of Ao Nang.

The national park does not offer accommodation.

Please note, we didn't visit this national park due to time constraints. The write-up was gleaned from locals in Krabi town and other travellers.

More details
45km north of Krabi
Opening Hours: Daily 08:00 to 16:30
How to get there: Songthaews depart for Ao Luek roughly every 30 minutes from in front of Vogue department store on Maharaj Rd in the centre of Krabi town. The cost is 80 baht and they drop travellers at the start of the road which leads to the park, from where it's necessary to walk the final 1.3 km or take a motorbike taxi.

The same songthaews pass by on their way back to Krabi town -- the last one comes through around 16:00. If coming by motorbike or car, head north from Krabi town on Route 4 for around 40 km and follow signs for the park.

Most who want to visit the caves arrange a tour from Krabi town or Ao Nang, but it is possible to hire a kayak independently in Baan Bor Thor, reachable from Ao Luek via Route 4039 (look for signs pointing to ‘Tham Phee Huato'). Baan Bor Thor can also be reached by motorbike taxi from Ao Luek for 80 baht.
Last updated: 16th September, 2013
Last reviewed by:
Usually found exploring Bangkok's side streets or south Thailand's islands, David Luekens is an American freelance writer & photographer who finds everyday life in Asia to be extraordinary. You can follow his travails here.

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