× Note: Sanctuaries are different to National Parks in Thailand, Thailand currently has established 39 sanctuaries and access is more restrictive as their role is as a sanctuary for wildlife rather than a park for the nation. Some sanctuaries do allow limited access to tourists.

Chantaburi wildlife sanctuaries, forest parks, national parks

22 Jun 2019 15:31 - 22 Jun 2019 16:32 #5257 by wvwv
3-day trip to Chantaburi over a Friday and weekend...

Covered Soi Dao Wildlife Sanctuary
Phlio Waterfall National Park
Khao Laem Sing Forest Park
Kung Krabaeng Wildlife Sanctuary

Didn't make it to Kitchakut National Park but I believe the main attraction there is only open Jan-Feb anyway.

Soi Dao wildlife sanctuary 200 baht

There are 2 main peaks in this park, Khao Soi Dao Nua (north) at around 1500m and the tallest further south at around 1600m which I'm not sure of the name of but think it might just be called Khao Soi Dao. Not to be confused with Phu Soi Dao [National Park] which is a mountain and national park further north.

The south peak has not been reachable for a long time to my knowledge but it looks like the best bet for good views because looking on Google Earth there are lots of steep cliffs near the top without tree cover. There is a dam quite high up in the mountains and I thought that might be the best way to get to the peak (with a machete and a full day).

The north peak has unbroken tree cover so I assume no views. The north peak is very close to the water source of Soi Dao Waterfall which is the main draw of the wildlife sanctuary for most tourists. In the past it was possible to climb to the peak or at least close to the peak, and it was certainly possible to climb to level 16 of the waterfall, however the trail has now disappeared after the 9th level of the waterfall. At the 9th level there is a conqueror sign to say you have made it.

On the left, up where I guess a trail used to be, there is an 'activity prohibited' sign which I guess should read 'no entry'. There is also an old rope to the other side of the river at the 9th level but no track can be found on the opposite side. I'd read that views were very good from the top of the 9th level (so between the 9th and 10th levels), so clambered up past the activity prohibited sign and after 30 minutes of climbing sometimes using vines I managed to get to a rocky outcrop (I'm sure I was well off the original trail) with some good views across the sanctuary.

This bug was flying around, think it's a Golden-Coloured Tortoise Beetle. About 1cm x 1cm.


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22 Jun 2019 15:44 #5258 by wvwv
Phlio Waterfall National Park 200 baht

On the east side of this NP is Trok Nong Waterfall which is not very impressive. The height of the fall is about 1-2 metres. On the west side is Phlio Waterfall and also Klong Narai Waterfall. Klong Narai has a nature trail up along the river for 2-3km which abruptly ends at nothing in particular. There are lots of sea bean/sea purse seeds along this trail at this time of year, named because you usually find them washed up on beaches. Lots of people use these for making jewellery.

Phlio Waterfall is by far the busiest/best waterfall of the 3. I didn't bother with a photo because of the hordes of Thais. There is a nature trail from the actual waterfall back around to near the checkpoint where you started walking from.

There is supposed to be a path through from Trok Nong Waterfall to Phlio Waterfall. I found it at the Trok Nong end easily (it's right next to the end of the waterfall path), but was prevented walking through by a ranger. I couldn't find the other end at the Phlio side.

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22 Jun 2019 16:17 #5259 by wvwv
Over next to the coast now. If making a trip from Bangkok/Pattaya/Rayong to somewhere east like Chantaburi or Trat the coast road is lined with viewpoints and small parks and beaches and is much more scenic than taking the main Sukhumvit Road highway.

In order of west to east you have:

Kung Wiman Beach
Noen Nangphaya Viewpoint
Kung Krabaen Bay Royal Development Study Center (a new mangrove walk and aquarium amongst other things)
Chao Lao Beach
Kung Krabaeng Wildlife Sanctuary
Pak Nam Rat Viewpoint (a long roadbridge)
Khao Laem Sing Forest Park
Taksin Maharaj Bridge Viewpoint (another long roadbridge)
Laem Singh Beach

Khao Laem Sing Forest Park Free

Laem Singh Forest Park is very small and free entry. It has a nature trail up to a lighthouse which has impressive views across the sea.

Kung Krabaeng Wildlife Sanctuary 200 baht

This WS is 200 baht and it's not worth it however there is a nature trail well-signposted which starts from outside the checkpoint and enters the sanctuary, which is a bit bizarre as you can just use it to avoid the fee. You could also just walk back a little from the carpark and walk along the beach. I guess they're relying on people being honest. The nature trail is overgrown and only barely passable until you get to another trail which it joins up with which leads from the main beach inside the sanctuary to the 'pink stone' which is a pinkish coloured sandstone (I think) near the sea. If you entered the sanctuary the normal way through the checkpoint and took this trail then it is an easy to follow trail. It's only if using the trail starting from outside that the first half is difficult to follow.

There are good views along the trail and it takes about 30 minutes to walk at a leisurely pace. 45-60 if using trail from outside.

Some images from the other places mentioned:

Noen Nangphaya Viewpoint

Kung Krabaen Bay mangrove walk

view from one of the bridges, the hills in the distance are Phlio National Park

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