Khao Phra Thaeo National Park
This virgin rainforest is created by an ecosystem of trees, animals, and waterfalls that distance visitors from the noise of the city, and invite them into a universe of different shades of green.
Due to the recent boom in the rubber and tourism industries, almost all of Phuket’s rainforests have been razed and destroyed. However, the Khao Phra Thaeo National Park stepped in to preserve the last remaining virgin rainforest, and you can see this beautiful park up close today. (Something to add to your Phuket sightseeing list!)
This virgin rainforest is created by an ecosystem of trees, animals, and waterfalls that distance visitors from the noise of the city, and invite them into a universe of different shades of green. The Khao Phra Taeo National Park, however, is not suited for those who want to sit back and relax, because the best way to get around the area is by relying on your own two feet (read: hiking!).
Nature and animal lovers, floral enthusiasts, and bird watchers will enjoy the national park most as they are likely to see something that they have only read in books or seen on television. Khao Phra Thaeo National Park houses some of the most beautiful species of flora and fauna only found in Thailand. Some of these amazing wonders include the Asian Fairy-Bluebird, the rare White Back Palm, the Malay sun bear, and the barking deer, just to name a few.
Some of the more popular things to see in the park include the Namtok Bang Pae (Bang Pae Waterfall), located at Tambon Pa Khlok, past the Two Heroines Monument. You can also find an arboretum and a nursery for the rehabilitation of captured gibbons in this area.
Some consider Namtok Ton Sai (Ton Sai Waterfall) to be the more popular waterfall, though. This body of water may not be as spectacular as the other waterfalls; however, Ton Sai bellows in the heart of the rainforest, making it an ideal resting spot for the trekkers. Its scenic appearance is a perfect location for a family picnic or group shot with friends. This is where the park’s headquarters are located, as well as a reasonable restaurant nearby in case visitors get hungry.
By the bottom of the waterfall, you’ll find a small museum and information center, where you can get a guide to bring you around the park and point out all sorts of animals. The reserve also has several hiking trails, the short one taking approximately 1-2 hours, and the longer ones taking more than 4 hours, requiring an experienced guide.
What to bring: If you are planning to pay Khao Phra Thaeo a visit, it is always better to bring a few essential items…
- Camera (and binoculars if you have any)
- Proper trekking attire
- A bag to store your rubbish – littering in the park is strictly prohibited
- Cash and/or food!
How to get there
Located near Thalang town, Khao Phra Thaeo is approximately 20km from Phuket town. To get there, head north on Thepkasattri Road from Phuket town for about 20 kilometers until you reach the main intersection at Thalang. From there, take the road heading east for about 7 kilometers, (this road cuts through rubber plantations), until you reach the Forestry Department checkpoint.
Address: Thep Krasatti, Thalang District, Phuket 83110, Thailand
Operating hours: 9am-4pm
Entrance fee: THB400
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