Everything a birder needs
Samarn Bird Camp is arguably the best option in Kaeng Krachan for birdwatchers and other nature lovers seeking affordable rooms, transport and English-speaking guides from a single source.
Located just east of the main gate to the park’s must-see central section, the charming place greets you with an open-sided eatery decorated with thick wooden tables and murals of hornbills. You can use the free WiFi, or relax on benches to watch the birds attracted to fruit and flower trees. Forested mountains collect morning mist behind the resort.
You can rent a tent and use shared bathrooms or go for one of several clean and functional rooms. Set in a concrete motel-style structure out the back, the double room that we checked out had a TV, small desk, paintings of birds, firm beds with decent linens and a typical wet bathroom with hot-water shower. Families could go for a “chalet” with “mountain” or “garden” views through wide glass windows along with two to four bedrooms.
The small resort took its name from the owner, a soft-spoken Thai man who speaks English and is an expert on wildlife. Along with his son and a small team, Samarn leads private birding, hiking, boating and photography tours in the park and surrounding region. A full-day trip with a guide and four-wheel-drive truck costs 3,600 Baht (total, not per person), which is very reasonable. Samarn can also arrange to pick up and drop off guests at Park Headquarters.
Samarn has an excellent reputation and his place is popular with both Thai and foreign birders. Directly across the road, Kum Nang Paya is another solid nature-oriented resort with a similar setup in the same price range.
Address: Just east of the Sam Yod ticket checkpoint, Kaeng Krachan
T: (086) 900 3456; (081) 866 3041;
Coordinates (for GPS): 99º33'47.22" E, 12º48'39.85" N
See position in Apple or Google Maps: Apple Maps | Google Maps
Room rates: 600B to 1,500B
What we were quoted as a walk-in.
Plus 50 baht for bedding, etc.
|200 baht||200 baht|
|Standard double room||1,100 baht||1,100 baht|
|Superior double room||1,500 baht||1,500 baht|
Two-bedroom; four-bedroom available for 4,000 baht.
|3,000 baht||3,000 baht|
David Luekens first came to Thailand in 2005 when Thai friends from his former home of Burlington, Vermont led him on a life-changing trip. Based in Thailand since 2011, he spends much of his time eating in Bangkok street markets and island hopping the Andaman Sea.
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