National Parks in Krabi
Everything you need to know about Krabi's National Parks
Recognised as an area of outstanding natural beauty, large tracts of Krabi Province are incorporated into several national parks covering the coastline, beaches and offshore islands. The outlying areas also include the beautiful Phi Phi islands and the Koh Lanta group.
Several National Parks also include the mainland interior which is covered with rich forest and features refreshing rock pools, waterfalls, caves, hot springs and nature reserves with walking trails. These inland beauty spots are often busy at weekends with large family groups and local excursions. Outside these times, they're quiet, serene and incredibly peaceful. The entry fee to national parks is 400 baht.
Low-impact tours with small groups are available to various national parks. Tours often include an activity like kayaking or trekking as well as a knowledgeable guide who can provide interesting information about the plants and local wildlife. Park fees are usually included in the excursion price.
Possible in some of the parks (bring your own tent) which also have basic bungalow-style accommodation. Often busy at holiday times so it’s not always possible to book; check with the Park Offices on arrival.
Other National Parks of Krabi
Bang Kram Wildlife Sanctuary
The inland area around Khao Noi Chuchi (Bang Kram Wildlife Sanctuary) is the last patch of lowland rainforest left in Thailand. Considered to be home to more species of birds than any other forest reserve in southern Thailand, birdlovers should look out for Gurneys, Black-breasted Pitta, Chestnut-collared Kingfishers, Black Hornbills and Crestwood Partridges.
The Khao Nor Chuchi Wildlife Sanctuary is the the only place in the world where Gurney's Pitta, a rare bird species, is extant. A nature trail 2.7km long has been established and leads through the forest, showcasing the bio-diversity of this region. At the end you can swim in the famous Emerald Pool or visit the nearby hot springs.
- Location: Located at the southern end of the province on the mainland, opposite Lanta Island about 25 kilometres away from Klong Thom off Highway No. 4.
Krabi is well-known for areas of outstanding natural beauty and one place that should make your must-see list is the Emerald Lagoon in the Thung Teao Forest Natural Park, an unusual lowland forest rich in bio-diversity, complete with a nature trail and a Emerald pool. Read More...
- Opening Hours: open every day during daylight hours
- Location: Thung Teao Forest Natural Park is situated in the Khao Pra-Bang Khram area which is located next to the Bang Teao Village, about one hours drive from Ao Nang.
- Remarks: Bring mosquito repellent and water if you’re planning on taking the nature trail, also do not leave any valuables such as cameras unattended as you swim as thefts have been known.
- Price Range: Admission is 100 baht for children and 200 baht for adults
- How to get there: head towards Amphur Klong Thom on highway No.4/ Turn left onto highway 4038 then right onto the rural road following the signs towards the Emerald Pool Waterfall.
Hat Nopparat Thara National Park
One of the major national parks, Hat Noppharat Thara, covers a large part of the Krabi coastline including the popular beaches of Ao Nang, Noppharat Thara Beach, and Railay Beach. The park also consists of around 80 islands, including Koh Poda, Koh Gai, and the idyllic Phi Phi islands.
Within Hat Noppharat Thara, close to Ao Nang, lies Susaan Hoi. The name translates as the 'Shell Cemetery' where fossilized shells lie perfectly preserved, embedded in layer upon layer of shell and rock. The fossils date back millions of years when the area was a large freshwater swamp inhabited by these little creatures who lived and died by the millions, now petrified.
If you're interested in fossils you will find it fascinating and it's worth bearing in mind that there are only two other sites like it in the world; one in the US and the other in Japan. There's also a small museum nearby describing the site history and giving details of the fossils plus a number of shops selling shells (none of which are found at the site, or in nearby waters.) Information can be obtained from the National Park Office at Hat Noppharat Thara Beach, next to Ao Nang.
- How to get there: Along the coast, 18 km by road from Krabi Town, at Ban Laem Pho, or from Ao Nang beach, simply follow the road signs. The entrance to Sussan Hoi is marked by a small Chinese temple.
Khao Ngon Nak Viewpoint
Khao Ngon Nak Viewpoint is a perfect playground for hikers and tropical adventure seekers. Located in Nong Thale, some 30km northwest of Krabi Town, the departure point of the trail is five kilometres behind the Four Seasons Resort in Tubkaak, but not that easy to find, therefore it is recommended to hire a driver or guide to get there for people unfamiliar with south Thailand’s roads and signage (some organized tours are also available at tour desks).
The trail to the summit of the Dragon Crest Mountain (Khao Ngon Nak in Thai) is approximately four kilometres long and allows hikers to feel like Indiana Jones in search of hidden treasure. It takes about two and a half hours to reach the highest viewpoint situated 565m above sea level. The climb is not that difficult but requires being at least in a decent physical condition; along the way, hikers encounter a stream, two viewpoints, a waterfall, and last but not least the panoramic summit.
- Opening Hours: all year round
- Location: Baan Nong Thale
Khao Phanom Bencha National Park
This densely forested park offers peace, serenity, waterfalls and caves. Tham Khao Ping, a cave with large stalactites and stalagmite formations is situated 3 kms from the Park Office.
There are also several picturesque waterfalls. Nam Tok (which means 'falling water') Huay Toh- a 1.2km walk from the Park Office, Nam Tok Klong Hang - 10km from Khao Phanom District Headquarters, and Nam Tok Ton Hahn - 16km from the Khao Phanom District Headquarters. The area is ideal for hiking.
- How to get there: In Khao Phanom district, about 20 kms directly north of Krabi town. Follow signs to Huay Toh waterfall. Easily reached by Songteaw, motorbike or mountain bike, the park has several trails leading to scenic spots and provides great opportunities to observe plant and animal life.
Therapeutic and soothing, the Krabi Hot Springs are ‘hot tubs’ crafted into smooth rock channelling water from deep rooted thermal springs located in volcanic chambers. The waters average 35-40 degree Celsius and are brimming with natural mineral salts which are claimed to cure all manner of health complaints including rheumatism and sciatica. The sensation is utterly relaxing and the environment is certainly unique, imagine sitting in a bath tub hollowed out from nature’s stone and surrounded by rainforest. These jungle baths feed into a cool stream which is perfect for dipping and diving into. Read More...
- Opening Hours: from 07:00 - 18:00
- Remarks: You will need to bring a beach towel, sandals and of course swimwear.
- Price Range: Entrance is charged at 90 baht for the springs or you can pay 200 baht and also access the Khao Phra Bang Khram Nature Reserve and Crystal/Emerald Pool.
- How to get there: To get to Klong Thom Hot Springs you can choose to book a tour, or hire a taxi to take you there direct. Car rental is also an option with the drive taking around 40 minutes. Follow highway no 4 towards Amphur Klong Thom turning onto highway 4038; thereafter follow Sukhanphiban 2 road and the signs for 12 kilometres to the hot springs and the Emerald Pool.
Susan Hoi is an archaic petrified shell cemetery located 17 kilometres from Krabi town centre on a 200 metre stretch along Ban Laem Pho. This shell cemetery is considered by recent scientific experts to date back 40-25 million years, although local folklore claims it’s even older at 75 million years. The cemetery came into being after the limestone deposits in the water covered and fossilised shellfish, snails and a variety of other sea creatures creating slabs of intricate geological relics. Read More...
- Location: Susan Hoi is situated at Bam Laem Pho Cape which is 17 kilometres southwest of Krabi town
- Remarks: It’s worth booking a guide when going on this excursion who will be able to point out the different formations and add background information as you explore. The site is best visited early morning or late afternoon to avoid the midday sun, you might also be taken to visit shell souvenir outlets or shops as part of your daytrip whether you travel by taxi or as part of a booked excursion.
Located at the southernmost point in Krabi Province, this Marine National Park covers the Lanta Island group.
Koh Lanta Yai - the main and largest island - is the National Park's headquarters and home to several communities of Chaolay or Sea Gypsies, a separate ethnic group who still maintain their traditional ways.
Lanta has become the destination for people who simply want to chill out. Read More...
Located in Ao Luk district, close to the border of Krabi and Phang Nga provinces, Bokkharani National Park also borders the Andaman Sea. The National Park headquarters offers a trail through the rainforest and limestone walls with waterfalls, caves and even a small temple.
Popular with locals as it offers cool, shady forest and a number of small pools, it is an ideal location for picnics and a swim. Busy at weekends. Bring your own snacks or sample barbecued chicken, fruit and snacks from local vendors at the entrance of the park. Read More...
- How to get there: In Ao Luk on the main road Phang Nga - Krabi, turn right at the traffic light in direction of Laem Sak. Bokkharani National Park Headquarters is located on the left about two kilometres after the traffic light.