There are 48 national parks in Thailand, many of which are easily accessible to the visitor. Usually there is somewhere to stay but the choice of accommodation can be limited. Most parks charge an entrance fee of about 400 Baht.
This is the oldest national park in Thailand and one of the best in the world. Khao Yai has large areas of rain forest, an abundance of wild life, and over 500 km of hiking trails. The park is located in the north-east 205km from Bangkok and can be reached by bus or train. Accommodation can be arranged with the Tourism Authority of Thailand.
Main features are its waterfall and the spectacular Phrathat cave. Buses run daily from Kanchanaburi. Try to avoid visiting on weekends or public holidays when it will be very busy.
Located between Erawan and the Burmese border. Take the bus from Kanchanaburi along highway 323 and get off at the park entrance.
This is Thailand's highest mountain (2565 metres) and has many trails worth exploring, plus several impressive waterfalls. Tours are available from Chiang Mai.
This small park is located 18km along the road from Tak to Mae Sot.There are several trails leading to waterfalls and a large hill tribe centre on the west side.
From Sukhothai take the road to Chum Phae. The park is 55km after passing through Lom Sak.
Located 90km south of Had Yai almost on the border with Malaysia. The parks beautiful unspoiled forests support a great variety of wildlife.
The park encompasses a group of islands off the south-west coast and offers beaches, coral reefs and rain forests. Turatao island has an outdoor museum and an aquarium. The visitors centre is located at Pak Bara.
The park HQ is 1½km from Phuket airport. Turtles nest in this marine park from November to February.
Probable one of the most photographed spots in Thailand, Phangnga 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, while Tham Lot Caves provide plenty of scope for adventure.
The offshore islands of Koh Thalu and Koh Tapu are major attractions, where small boats pass under magnifiscent natural rock formations.
The park is located 96km by road from Phuket Town and can be reach by tour bus or boat. Most hotels will be able to arrange day trips. Accomodation is also available for overnight stays.
Located about 240km south of Pattaya, Koh Chang is Thailand's second largest island. It has dense tropical forests, white sandy beaches and spectacular waterfalls. If you want unspoilt natural beauty this is a good place to stay, but don't expect to find disco's and fast food.
Day trips to this group of islands can be booked from Pattaya or Rayong. There are many places to stay on the main island of Samet which is a little more developed than Koh Chang.