Holding the title as Thailand's oldest and most popular national park, Khao Yai National Park is an amazing attraction that is home to an abundance of nature, wildlife and opportunity for adventure. Spanning 2158 sq km, the Khao Yai National Park is located approximately 2 hours from Bangkok and is listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site. The mountainous terrain and picturesque natural landscapes are among some of the best places in Thailand to see native wildlife.
While Thailand has an unfortunate reputation for not treating animals ethically and exploiting them for tourism purposes, the Khao Yai National Park is a completely natural environment where animals are free to roam and live in the wild. The park offers many guided wildlife walks and tours where a ranger will guide you through the jungle to animal spotting locations and waterfalls and will also educate you on the native flora and fauna. The guides operate throughout all throughout the day and sometimes offer night-time hikes that allow you to see more animals who prefer to roam the park after dark.
There are many animals inhabiting the national park including elephants, tigers, birdlife, monkeys, bears, cloud leopards, deer and squirrels. There are also various types of snakes, spiders, rodents and insects, so it is best advised to wear long sleeved clothing. There are several waterfalls throughout the national park offering incredible scenery and photo opportunities. The biggest and most powerful waterfall is the three tiered Haew Narok waterfall which towers at 150 metres. The thundering cascades splash into a large pool and create a load roar which you can hear from miles away.
The most famous waterfall within the Koah Yai National Park is the Haew Suwat, which features twin falls with a 20m drop into a large pool. The waterfall appeared in the popular film, The Beach, with Leonardo Dicaprio and is an amazing sight to see. The best time to visit the Khao Yai National Park is during the wet season as the rainfall significantly enhances the environment and power of the waterfalls.