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thai railways en route to the preserved beauties of the Kingdom

National Parks & Treasures

The 1960 Reservation and Protection Act and the 1961 National Parks Act helped establish Thailand's National Parks System. The first National Park established was Khao Yai (See List Below). There are now over 110 National Parks in Thailand, including 19 'Marine' National Parks (Coastal, island, and open-sea areas). Thailand has one of the highest percentages of protected areas of any country in the world. The Thai Government is doing its best to enforce laws against illegal poaching, logging, and uncontrolled tourism in protected areas. Each of Thailand's National Parks is unique and highlights different aspects of Thailand's diverse natural beauty. Some Thai National Parks are famous for their dramatic scenery (Phang Nga Bay National Park), others are known for their wildlife (Khao Yai National Park). Big, small, quiet, touristed, there's a National Park for every taste in Thailand.

Getting to Thailand National Treasures by Train Travel

Erawan National Park
Erawan's main features are its waterfall and the spectacular Phrathat Cave.Thai Railways runs weekend 'Excursion Rail Services' from Bangkok's Hualamphong Station to Kanchanaburi Station. Other days you should leave from Bangkok's Thonburi Rail Station. Take the bus from Kanchanaburi along highway 323 and get off at the park entrance. Try to avoid visiting on weekends or public holidays when it will be very crowded. In addition, Sai Yao National Park is located between Erawan National Park and the Burmese Border.-- -see Kanchanaburi Train Station
Doi Inthanon National Park
This is Thailand's highest mountain (2565 metres) and has many trails worth exploring, plus several impressive waterfalls. Don Inthanon National Park is also a 'Bird-Watcher's paradise, with over 400 species of birds. You can arrive at the park by public bus, private tour bus, or songthaew from Chiang Mai. Tours are available from Travel Agencies in Chiang Mai.-- See Chiang Mai Train Station
Hat Noppharat Thara / Ko Phi Phi Marine National Park
Hat Noppharat Thara is a long, scenic beach about 200 m North of Ao Nang (on the mainland). The two Islands of Ko Phi Phi Don and Ko Phi Phi Leh make up the Phi Phi Islands, an idealic tropical paradise. Together, these two locations are make up Hat Noppharat Thara / Ko Phi Phi Marine National Park. Thailand's National Parks System has succeeded in protecting the natural beauty of Phi Phi Leh so far, but not Phi Phi Don. There are numerous bungalows and resorts on phi Phi Don, but none on Phi Phi Leh. - See Suratthani Train Station
Khao Sok National Park
Khao Sok National Park is a virgin forest where various species of plant and animal life can be found. This includes wild elephants, leopards, and a number of very rare and sacred tree species. The Rafflesia Kerri Meyer (Bua Phut or 'Wild Lotus'), the largest flower in the world, is found only in Khao Sok. In addition, numerous hiking trails follow rivers up to waterfalls that fall over spectacular limestone cliffs. See Surathani Train Station
Khao Yai National Park
This is the oldest and largest National Park in Thailand and one of the best National Parks in the world. Khao Yai has large areas of rain forest, an abundance of wild life, and over 500 km of hiking trails. Khao Yai has the largest intact Rainforest Area in Asia. It also has an abundance of various species of wildlife, including elephants and tigers! The park is located in Thailand's Northeast Region, 205km from Bangkok and can be reached by bus & train.--see Northeastern Train Lines Section - Pak Chong Rail Station
Ko Tarutao Marine National Park
The park encompasses a group of islands off the Southwest Coast of Thailand and offers amazing beaches, pristine coastlines, coral reefs and rain forests. These islands are fairly isolated, and need a bit more effort to get to. The basic accomodation on the Tarutao Islands can be booked at the Park Accommodation Office in Pak Bara (ph 074783485). The Tarutao Islands have an outdoor museum and an aquarium. The Visitors' Centre and ferry pier is located at Pak Bara.- see Hat Yai Station or Trang Train Station and 'Beaches' - Ko Tarutao Islands Section
Lansang National Park
This small park is located 18 km along the road from Tak to Mae Sot in Northern Thailand. There are several trails leading to rugged Granite Peaks (1000 m), waterfalls and a large Hill Tribe Centre on the West Side of the park. Get there by private car from Chiang Mai. Otherwise, the bus to Mae Sot can drop you off. There are basic bungalows and tent rentals available. -- see Chiang Mai Train Station
Phang Nga Bay National Park
Phang nga is probably one of the most photographed spots in Thailand. Phang nga Bay was made famous by the James Bond movie "Man with a Golden Gun". Forested limestone pillars rise out of the sea like inverted mountains. The Tham Lot Caves provide plenty of opportunities for adventure. The offshore islands of Koh Thalu and Koh Tapu are also major attractions, with small boats passing under magnificent natural rock formations. The park is located 96km by road from Phuket Town and can be reached by tour bus or boat. Most hotels will be able to arrange day trips. Accommodation is also available for overnight stays. -- see Surathani Train Station
Phetra Marine National Park
Phetra is a Marine National Park on the Andaman Coast of Thailand. This park features a pristine coastal shoreline, open water, and about 30 islands of Southern part of Trang Province and Northern part of Satun Province. Two largest islands are Ko Phetra (Satun Pr.) and Ko KhaoYai (Satun Pr.). The other Islands in the Park include Ko Lao Liang (Trang Pr.), Ko Lidi (Satun Pr.), and Ko Bulon (Satun Pr.). Several islands are the site where marine turtles lay eggs. See Trang Train Station
Thaleh Ban National Park
Located 90 km south of Had Yai, and 37 km Northeast of Satun on the Thai / Malay Border. This park features a well-preserved section of 'White Meranti' Rainforest. The terrain is hilly (700 m) and features winding rivers, waterfalls, and caves. Thaleh Ban's beautiful unspoiled forests support a great variety of wildlife. In addition, there is also a lively weekend 'Border Market' on both sides of the Thai/Malay Border. You are permitted to cross without 'visa formalities' on the 'market days'. You can arrive at the park by private vehicle or songthaew from Satun. -- See Hat Yai Train Station and Visa Run Section


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