Thailand is a country blessed with incredible rural land, jungles and tropical beaches. Most people head to Thailand for a beach holiday, but if you’re looking for something a bit more adventurous, we’ve rounded up five of Thailand’s best national parks, from jaw-dropping limestone karst islands, through to seven-tier waterfalls:
1. Erawan Falls National Park
Erawan National Park is located in western Thailand in the province of Kanchanaburi. After entering the national park you’ll trek through the jungle and arrive at an incredible waterfall, known as Erawan Falls. The waterfall has seven-tiers and is a mindblowing turquoise color, thanks to mineral composition of the water. You can splash around in the waters and cool down after the jungle walk.
2. Khao Sok National Park
Khao Sok National Park is located in southern Thailand in the Surat Thani province. It’s one of the places in Thailand that gets hit with the most rainfall, meaning it has a dense, green rainforest full of incredible plants and animals including wild elephants, tigers and deer. Khao Sok is home to one of the world’s largest flowers, known as the Rafflesia Kerri, which is a super rare species. The park has towering limestone karst formations that can be seen peeking out of the rainforest canopy. Top activities include exploring caves by kayak, walking in the jungle and taking a dip in its clear rivers.
3. Ao Phang Nga National Park
Ao Phang Nga National Park is located in the warm seas in southern Thailand. The park has a series of gravity-defying karst islands, which look like they’ve erupted out of the sea, making a jaw-dropping view. The park is only accessible by boat and most day trips take you around some of the karst islands and drop you onto one of the white sandy beaches. There are also limestone cliffs, lagoons and caves that can be explored by kayak. Be sure to visit the popular James Bond Island, which was a filming location for The Man With the Golden Gun.
4. Mu Ko Ang Thong National Park
Next up is Mu Ko Ang Thong National Park, which is another stunning marine park located in southern Thailand. Mu Ko Ang Thong is located in the Gulf of Thailand, near to the popular islands of Ko Samui and Ko Phangan. The park features 42 small islands that can be visited by speedboat. A normal day trip in a speedboat will take you around some of the islands and let you do a little snorkeling or kayaking. You can also do some sunbathing on some of the beaches and see wildlife such as monkeys and otters. The great thing about Mu Ko Ang Thong is that you can stay the night in the park and rent a tent or a bungalow.
5. Mu Ko Surin National Park
If you love to snorkel or dive, then Mu Ko Surin National Park is the place for you. The park, which is located in the Phang Nga Province on the Andaman Sea, consists of a series of protected islands that have clear waters, coral reefs and tons of sea life. There are two main islands to stay on and a variety of inlets to visit by boat to explore the surrounding reefs. Bring your scuba gear!