Krabi’s chief mountain and waterfall
The namesake mountain of Khao Phanom Bencha National Park rises to 1,397 metres, sourcing the Krabi River and contributing much to the province’s scenery. This is your place if looking to cool off at a waterfall and take a walk through the jungle without straying too far from Krabi town.
The main attraction in this 50-square-kilometre park is Nam Tok Huai Toh, a pretty 11-tier waterfall that cascades down a series of cliffs and slopes. If the lowest natural swimming pool is too crowded, take the steep trail to the right if facing the falls to discover several more secluded swimming spots higher up. The waterfall is an easy 500-metre walk from the visitor centre and the smaller Nam Tok Huay Sa Khe is even closer.
Beyond these waterfalls the park has no easily accessible attractions other than a two-kilometre nature trail. Asiatic black bear and Sumatran serow are among the mammals that live in the park, though you’re very unlikely to spot one near the falls. The park also contains at least 200 species of birds—hornbills sometimes glide around near headquarters and eagles soar above the higher terrain, where the rainforest thins to moist evergreen forest.
Along the road to park headquarters you’ll find the entrance to Tham Khao Pheung, a cave with white limestone walls and some unusual rock formations. Visitors are supposed to pay a guide 100 baht for a tour.
At park headquarters you’ll find a visitor centre, restaurant and campground where you can set up your own tent for 30 baht or rent one for 270 baht. A few fan-cooled cottages are also available, starting at around 800 baht, or you could stay at the privately run Phanom Bencha Mountain Resort off the access road. The park doesn’t draw too many visitors, especially on weekdays, and the area is a good option for relaxing with nature.
Otherwise, Huai Toh Waterfall and Khao Pheung Cave work well as a day trip from Krabi town or Ao Nang that could also include Wat Tham Seua.
The park cannot be reached by public transport. Most choose to either pay a motorbike taxi or tuk tuk around 500 to 1,000 baht round trip, or rent a motorbike. If going on your own, head north out of Krabi town on Uttarakit Road and take a right on to Phet Kasem (Route 4). The turnoff (a left if heading east) is well sign-posted. From here it's another 20 km to the front gates and signs lead you right to the park. Admission for foreigners is 200 baht plus another 20 for motorbikes.
Address: Around 20km from Krabi town.
Coordinates (for GPS): 98º55'1.56" E, 8º14'17.16" N
See position in Apple or Google Maps: Apple Maps | Google Maps
Admission: 200 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.
These tours are provided by Travelfish partner GetYourGuide.
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