Thap Lan National Park was declared as Thailands 40th National Park in December 1981. It is the countrys second largest National Park, covering an area of 2,235.80 sq.km. The highest peak of the Park is Khao Lamang, at a height of 992 m above sea level. Thap Lan National Park extends across two provinces: Nakhon Ratchasima and Pranchin Buri. Park Headquarters are situated about 197 km from Bangkok. The Thap Lan area is comprised of continuous mountain ranges with naturally created valleys, chasms and waterfalls.
Thap Lan National Park is one of six related areas under the management of National Parks, Wildlife and Plant Conservation, which together constitute Queen Sirikits Dong Phayayen-Khao Yai Forest Complex, in recognition of Her Majesty the Queens 72nd birthday anniversary. The other five areas are Khao Yai National Park, Pangsida National Park; Ta Phraya National Park; Phraphutthachai National Park; and Dongyai Wildlife Sanctuary. See the relevant brochures for more information on each area.
Of Cultural Interest:
The fan palm has a special place in Thai culture as its leaves were used as parchment, on which Buddhist texts were inscribed.
During the 1960s and 1970s, communist guerillas sought refuge in the area we know today as Thap Lan National Park. These refugees cleared forest for rice cultivation, and the remnants of their encampments can still be seen today.
More recently, influential officials exploited local villagers, forcing them to carry out illegal logging within the Parks boundaries. Often, the loggers settled in the Park to enable them to easily clear new land for agriculture. However, attitudes have begun to change in recent years, and now the villagers themselves are working with Park authorities to help restore the Parks forests. For example, the Petroleum Authority of Thailand has sponsored one project involving tree planting at the edge of the Park. The trees are provided by the Royal Forest Department and are planted by local villagers. Wildlife Fund Thailand (an NGO) provides expertise and training for the villagers, and has helped them to make an exhibition in the village to explain the project to the wider community.
The landscape is of big and small mountains lining in a large area. The highest peak is Khao Lamang with its height of 992 meters from the sea level. The continuous mountain ranges have naturally created valleys, chasms and waterfalls, which are the sources of rivers, such as Moon River and Bang Pakong River.
Thap Lan has three main seasons, with a mean annual temperature of 28๐C.
Rainy Season: May-October. During the rainy season it rains most days, though is wettest in October. In the rainy season around 269 mm of rain falls at Thap Lan, resulting in spectacular waterfalls (although there may be lots of leeches; be prepared!).
Cold Season: November-February. At Thap Lan between November-February, one can expect cool and dry weather, great for hiking the many trails of the Park! This is also the most comfortable time of the year for camping, though nights can be cold. The coolest month is December, with an average daily maximum of 24๐C.
Hot Season: March-April. During the hot season, temperatures at Thap Lan can reach 31๐C, which is still a welcome relief from the rest of the country at this time. During this season it is dry, and waterfalls can be reduced to a mere trickle.
Flora and Fauna
Fan Palm Forest: Found in Thap Lan National Park, near Ban Thap Lan, Ban Khun Sri Bupram and Ban Wang Mued, are the rare Fan Palm, or Talipot Palm Forests. In the past, these forests covered much of the northeast region of Thailand, though the spread of agriculture saw the destruction of a large number of Palm Forests. Today, Thap Lan is home to one of the few such forests remaining in Thailand. Fan Palms are an ancient plant that produce a single massive inflorescence, the largest in the plant kingdom, containing up to 60 million flowers. After this huge exertion of energy, the tree dies.
Dry Evergreen Forest: Most of Thap Lan is covered in evergreen forest, particularly on the lower mountain slopes of the Park ranges. There are a number of important plant species found within this forest type, including Dipterocarps and Hopia. Bamboo is also often found in drier forests.
Because Thap Lan National Park covers such a large area, and is connected to the areas of Khao Yai, Pangsida, and Ta Praya, it is home to a number of wild animals, including tigers, elephants, buffalos, bangtang, serow, black bears, sun bears, crown gibbons, hornbills, pheasants and lorikeets, amongst others. A total of 149 bird species have been confirmed within the Park, including several rare species restricted to low-land evergreen forest, such as the green imperial pigeon, stork-billed kingfisher and scaly-crowned babbler.
There is faint hope that one of the most endangered mammals in the world, the Kouprey, may still survive in Thailands National Parks of Thap Lan and Pangsida. Though one has not been sighted within Thailand for more than 30 years, this primitive cattle species could provide genes valuable in the production of disease-free strains of domestic cattle.
Poaching and illegal cultivation of many animals and plants in the past and present have depleted species numbers in many of Thailands National Parks and other natural areas, including Thap Lan. What remains is invaluable, and we must not allow anybody to take further advantage or damage these populations again
At Thap Lan there are a range of features worth visiting. In addition to the Fan Palm Forests, Thap Lan boasts many spectacular waterfalls, a dam and a beach which are all popular places for swimming.
Many trails are dotted throughout the Park, with many day treks starting from Park Headquarters. In addition to these treks, guides from local villages lead educational tours along a nature trail in both replanted and remaining patches of original forest.. Along this trail it is possible to see the tracks of the Asian elephant, sambar deer, common barking deer, common wild pig and gaur. A nature trail handbook has been produced to help visitors identify the tracks they see (Ask at Park Headquarters to purchase a copy).
Other trails within the Park, many of which start from Highway 304, lead to some of the many waterfalls, including Huai Yai Waterfall which is 50 m high and 30 m wide. The cliff of this waterfall appears to curve 150?. July to September is the best time to see Huai Yai Waterfall, and many others in the Park. Huai Yai Waterfall is a 6 km walk from Highway 304. Khao Makha is a popular spot for camping with its wonderful natural scenery, and a nature trail leading from the top of the mountain. There are also many dams situated away from Park Headquarters in other areas of the Park, which are suitable for private recreation and boating.
Please Select Attraction : + The Beautiful of Nature Fan Palm Forest Huai Yai Waterfall Huai Khum Phu Waterfall Bor Thong Waterfall Suan Hom - Huai Kha Min - Huai Tai Yai Waterfall Makha Mountain Lam Moon Bon Dam Lam Prang Lam Plai Mart Dam Heo Nok Kok Waterfall
The Beautiful of Nature
Fan Palm Forest
is the largest and last fan palm of Thailand. There are fan palm trees, which are an ancient plant that has flower clusters at the top when it is 20 years old. A fan palm tree produces more than 60 million flowers, after that it dies out.
Activities - flowers admiring - Nature trail study
Huai Yai Waterfall
Huai Yai Waterfall: is a beautiful and big waterfall. It is 50m high and 30m wide. The cliff at the waterfall looks like a 150-degree curve. The waterfall is at the Km.79 from the highway 304, and about 6km from the intersection at Km.79.
Activities - Waterfall Traveling
Huai Khum Phu Waterfall
Turning off from national road number 304 about 20km to Thung Po Sub-district, Nadi District, Prachin Buri Province, visitor can see a cascade, called Huai Khun Phu Waterfall, watering a small dam below, and suitable for recreation.
Activities - Waterfall Traveling
Bor Thong Waterfall
Locating in Buparam Sub-district, Nadi District, Prachin Buri Province, away from national road number 304 about 6 kilometers on road and 500 meters on foot, Bor Thong Waterfall is a very beautiful waterfall especially in the rains (form July to September), and has not much water in summer.
Activities - Nature trail study - Waterfall Traveling
Suan Hom - Huai Kha Min - Huai Tai Yai Waterfall
Locating in Wang Nam Kheaw Sub-district, Wang Nam Kheaw District, Nakhon Ratchasima Province, about 6 kilometers away from national road number 304, the waterfall has a cliff 50 meters high and 30 meters wide and is very beautiful especially in the rains(form July to September), and has not much water in summer.
Activities - Camping - View - Waterfall Traveling Top
Khao Makha a locates in Udomsub Sub-district, Wang Nam Khao District, Nakhon Ratchasima Province, about 5 kilometers away from national road number 304. There is an up-mountain road which traveler can enjoy seeing scenery. The area is suitable for student to come to take visual education, has camping area and natural trail for exploring the wonderful mountain.
Activities - Camping - View - Nature trail study Top
Lam Moon Bon Dam
About 20 meters beside national road number 304, Khon Buri District, Nakhon Ratchasima Province, Lam Moon Bon Dam is a soil dam, about 30 meters high, suitable for recreation.
Activities - View - Rafting-Canoeing-Kayaking
Lam Prang is 35 kilometers from Khon Buri District. The area is suitable for conservation traveling, such as, and for student to come camping, birding and studying other wild animal. The area has lodging house and camping area, and also has a route to get to Pang Sida National Park.
Activities - Camping - Bird Watching - Nature trail study Top
Lam Plai Mart Dam
Locating 17 kilometers from Serng Sang District, there is a beautiful area called Hard Chom Tawan of Lam Plai Mart Dam which is an attraction of Amazing Thailands year in cooperation between Thub Lan National Park and Serng Sang District in holding. There are boat for traveling, beaches for playing water, camping area and lodging house for family and grouped travelers.
Thab Lan National Park Headquarters is on the highway 304, about 197 Km. away from Bangkok. From the intersection Kabin Buri Mai on Kabin Buri - Nakorn Rachasima for 32Km, you will reach the Park Headquarters.
From the Mo Chit bus station in Bangkok, catch a bus to Kabin Buri. From here, catch a second bus heading to Nakhon Ratchasima, but get off at Thap Lan National Park, about 32 km from Kabin Buri. The Park is on the right-hand side of the road, and Headquarters are on the main road where the bus will let you off.