Photo: Everything about the park is enormous.

How to get to and from Kaeng Krachan National Park

Use the quicklinks below to jump to the desired section regarding transport in and around Kaeng Krachan National Park.

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From Phetchaburi, minibuses run to Park Headquarters hourly from 08:00 to 19:00 for 100 baht, departing from in front of Big C off Phetkasem Road (Route 4), a few kilometres southwest of the city centre. Before you go there, ask staff at your guesthouse if they can call the driver to pick you up. A taxi arranged through a guesthouse should cost around 1,200 baht one-way to Park Headquarters, or 2,500 baht to Ban Krang Camp.

From Bangkok, catch a minibus from Sai Tai Mai (Southern) Terminal to Phetchaburi (they also stop at Big C) and make a transfer.

From Hua Hin or Cha-am you would also need to head to Phetchaburi for a transfer, or pay around 2,000 baht for a one-way trip to Park Headquarters by private taxi.

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Getting around

No public transport runs into the park and the area is very large and spread out. The fact that motorbikes and bicycles are not allowed inside the park makes things extra tough for budget travellers.

Hitching and hiking
How much of a headache this would be depends on your luck. If you’re at Headquarters around 05:00, you could probably find a group of travellers heading to Phanoen Thung that would let you hop on for free or a percentage of the total cost of the vehicle. At one of the campgrounds in the park, it might again be possible to jump in with a group returning to Headquarters later on.

If you’re not so fortunate, prepare to hitch for 20 kilometres from Headquarters on a route that includes two turns to reach the ticket checkpoint at Sam Yod. From there it’s another 15 kilometres to the nearest campground at Ban Krang, and from there you’d have to again walk or hitch 15 kilometres up the steep road to hit Phanoen Thung. Don’t expect passing drivers to speak English.

With a local driver
Four-wheel-drive trucks with local drivers can be arranged at Headquarters, the Sam Yod ticket checkpoint and Ban Krang Camp. The price is 1,200 baht (per vehicle, not per person) for a one-way or round trip from Headquarters to Ban Krang and 1,600 baht to Phanoen Thung. A full day trip (05:00 to 17:00) to/from Phanoen Thung costs 1,800 baht, and it’s 2,000 baht for an overnight round trip—in this case the driver will camp and take you back the next morning.

These prices are not cheaper if you start at Sam Yod or Ban Krang, nor if you’re only doing a one-way trip to get dropped off at one of the campgrounds. In other words, going one-way from Ban Krang to Phanoen Thung costs the same—1,600 baht—as a full-morning trip from Headquarters to Phanoen Thung and back. If staying multiple nights at Ban Krang or Phanoen Thung you might have to pay full price for both the drop off and pick up. Most drivers do not speak English, but park staff should be able to help you sort things out.

With a private vehicle
Renting a car, SUV or pick-up in Bangkok, Kanchanaburi or Hua Hin and driving to Kaeng Krachan on your own is not a bad idea. Keep in mind that only four-wheel-drive vehicles with sufficient clearance are allowed on the road from Ban Krang up to Phanoen Thung, and only at certain times of day (see Orientation for the hours.) Give it a pass if you’re not experienced with handling steep and rugged mountain roads.

Though motorbikes are not allowed inside the park, you could rent one in Phetchaburi, Cha-am or Hua Hin and cruise to Park Headquarters. From there you could look to join a larger group or arrange your own private truck for a day or overnight trip to Phanoen Thung and/or Ban Krang.

Kaeng Krachan is easy enough to reach with your own vehicle. Whether coming from the south or north, take Phetkasem Road (Route 4) and cut west on Highway 3499 at a junction with signs for the park. This road shoots straight into Baan Kaeng Krachan and down to Park Headquarters, from where you can follow signs to the Sam Yod ticket checkpoint. To reach Pala-U from Headquarters, cruise south on Highways 4006 and 3301 and then cut west on 3218.

With an all-in tour company
If you’re looking to explore with minimal hassle, Samarn Bird Camp, Baan Maka and Kum Nang Paya all offer accommodation, pick up at Park Headquarters (or perhaps in Phetchaburi or Cha-am) and day trips using their own vehicles. If he's around, Mr Tom at Rabieng Rimnam Restaurant and Guesthouse in Phetchaburi town is another good source for an all-in trekking tour. While tours can also be arranged in Hua Hin, these are usually day tours that go only to Pala-U Waterfall or Ban Krang.

Mix it up
For example, book a one-way trip by pick-up at Park Headquarters to Phanoen Thung and camp there for a few nights. Then walk or hitch down to Ban Krang, where you could ask around to see if you could split the cost of a ride back when you’re ready to leave. If that doesn’t work, arrange another truck through the rangers at Ban Krang to come and take you back to Headquarters.

If you have a car but it’s not four-wheel-drive, you could stay outside the park and book a full-day trip by pick-up from Headquarters to Phanoen Thung and Thor Thip Waterfall and back. The next day, you could drive yourself to Ban Krang to do some hiking before heading to Pala-U or the reservoir.

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Where to next?

Where are you planning on heading to after Kaeng Krachan National Park? Here are some spots commonly visited from here, or click here to see a full destination list for Thailand.

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