Explore the mangroves
Published/Last edited or updated: 15th December, 2018
Mangrove trees blanket most of the park’s nearly 800 acres, with a pine-fringed beach on one side and a rock formation known as the Ram’s Head, reachable after a two km hike inland, on the other. Initiated by the Thai royal family in the early 1980s, the forest was reestablished on land once occupied by shrimp farms.
It’s always a bit dark beneath the mangrove canopy, where creepy arm-like roots pierce the murky sediment that supports a healthy crab population. This is also a decent bird-watching destination, with kingfishers among the species commonly spotted. A lookout tower affords splendid views of the mangroves from above, while the Ram’s Head overlooks not only the forest but also Pranburi river and the sea.
Bring some decent shoes if you plan to make it all the way up to the Ram’s Head, which requires a rugged climb relying on pre-fastened ropes in places. While the beach is usually quiet and great for a picnic, it’s not so good for swimming as the water stays shallow for a long way out. Boats can be hired in nearby Pak Nam Pran village for a tour of the river (400 baht for a 40-minute tour). The park makes a pleasant stop-off on a daytrip that could also include Khao Tao or one of the other outlying beaches.
Hop on Route 4 south out of Hua Hin and take a left onto Route 3168 when you see signs for Pak Nam Pran, then go right at the fork if you want to go straight to the park, or left to check out Pak Nam Pran fishing village first. From there you can also follow the seaside road to the park. A handful of restaurants and resorts are found along this road, and campers can set up a tent for 30 baht per night. Admission to the park is free.
Address: 25 km south of Hua Hin
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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