How to do Khao Yai National Park

How to do Khao Yai National Park

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More on Khao Yai National Park

Khao Yai National Park rewards travellers who come prepared. On the flip side, it can be extremely frustrating for those who show up expecting easy public transport and a go-to strip of guesthouses and tour offices like you’ll find down in Khao Sok. Read on to get a logistical leg up on “Big Mountain” before you arrive.

Travelfish says:
Khao Yai vies with Erawan as Thailand’s most heavily visited national park and the crowds get larger every year. Go for a weekday visit if possible and avoid Thai holidays at all cost, especially in the December-January peak season.

It's a jungle out there. Photo by: David Luekens.
It's a jungle out there. Photo: David Luekens

The best time to visit might just be the June to October rainy season, when the forests thrive, crowds are thin, waterfalls are most impressive and wildlife most active. If you get a sunny day during rainy season (not as unusual as you may think), you’ll see Khao Yai at its best. The cool season from November to February is best if you plan to do extensive hiking. Waterfalls dry up and the jungle wilts during the hot months of March and April, but this time is great for bird watching.

All of the park’s highlights can be hit in a single day and some visitors make it a day trip from Bangkok, which we do not recommend. Plan on a solid three-day stay if you want to camp, hike and hopefully spot some wildlife. With your own vehicle you could easily lose a week exploring the park and surrounding region.

Jungle versus grass. Photo by: David Luekens.
Jungle versus grass. Photo: David Luekens

Approaching the park The most important thing to keep in mind is that there is no public transport operating inside Khao Yai National Park.

Unless you have a private vehicle and want to enter through the little-used southern gate, you’ll want to approach the park via the northern gateway of Pak Chong with its train, bus and minibus connections to Bangkok, Ayutthaya, Khorat and several other places. Just don’t expect to show up and find English-speaking travel agents ready to take ... Travelfish members only (Full text is around 800 words.)

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Reviewed by

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.

Tours in Thailand



Our top 10 other sights and activities in and around Khao Yai National Park

Wildlife observing
Wildlife observing

Be patient

No pic at the moment — Sorry!
Chet Sao Noi Waterfall

A haunting set of falls

Haew Narok Waterfall
Haew Narok Waterfall

Stupendous falls

Pha Diao Dai Viewpoint
Pha Diao Dai Viewpoint

Solitude Point

Khao Yai tours
Khao Yai tours

Need some guidance?

The Khao Yai farm and wine trail
The Khao Yai farm and wine trail

It’s not quite up there with Tuscany but ...

Haew Suwat Waterfall
Haew Suwat Waterfall

No jumping allowed

Khao Yai Art Museum
Khao Yai Art Museum

Worth a stop