The UNESCO criteria for natural world heritage areas are forest fertility and national and international biodiversity values. There are a range of forest ecologies, including moist evergreen forest, hill evergreen forest, dry evergreen forest, mixed deciduous forest and dipterocarp forest. These provide a home for a variety of flora and fauna, including mammals, birds and reptiles which are listed as endangered.
All of these outstanding features prove the value of Dong payayen-Khaoyai forest complements and justifies the consensus of the UNESCO World Heritage committee in approving it as a Natural World Heritage site on 14the July 2005.
About 175 km Northeast of Bangkok, Khaoyai National Park is a mountainous area, reaching its highest point at the summit of Khao Rom 1,351m above sea level. Other significant peaks in the park are Khao Lame 1,326m asl., Khao Kiew 1,292m asl., Khao Sam Yot 1,142m asl., Khao Pha Pa 1,078m asl. In the north and the east of the park is a mountain range which slopes down towards the south. Another lies in the west of the park and together they capture such quantities of water to supply 5 important waterways leaving Khaoyai.
Prachinburi River and Nakhon Nayok River : Situated in the south, these rivers are vital for agriculture in adjacent lands and generate significant economic and social benefits for the region. They meet in Chachoengsao province forming the Bang Pakong river.
Lam Takong stream and Lam Prapleung Stream : These 2 streams in the north of the park nourish agricultural areas of the Khorat Plateau. They run into the Mae Nam Moon River, the most important waterway in the lower Isaan region. This in turn continues east, eventually feeding into the Mae Kong River.
Muak Lek Stream : This stream runs year round out of the north west of the park, supporting agricultural areas and livestock in north-east Thailand. It joins the Mae Nam Pa Sak River in Muak Lek District, Saraburi province.
Dense forest cover and the influence of 2 monsoon systems bring plentiful rain and moderate temperatures to Khaoyai National Park. The comfortable temperatures (an annual average of 23 C) make the park suitable for visitors and a range of recreational activities.
Summer (March – May): Although other nearby areas can be extremely hot in summer time, the elevation of Khaoyai makes it cooler and suitable for visitors.
Rainy season (Jun-September) : The forest becomes energized, the grasslands turn green and the waterfalls thunder, making Khaoyai lively and memorable.
Winter (October – February) : see visitors come in large numbers to Khaoyai nature lovers seeking the blue skies and green of the forest. Cool night-time temperatures and lingering dawn fogs give way to the full round orange sun amid the mountains
Khaoyai National Park contains fertile forest, home and feeding ground for many kinds of animals.
Mammals : There are about 112 species of mammal such as elephant, guar, barking deer, sambar deer, serow, gibbon and pileated gibbon. Khaoyai is also home to carnivores such as tiger and Asian wild dog.
Reptiles and Amphibians : There are more than 209 species of reptile and amphibian, including king cobra, python, monitor lizard and various species of turtle.
Birds : There are more than 392 bird species. The highlights include Great Hornbill, Wreathed Hornbill, Brown Hornbill and Oriental Pied Hornbill. Apart from hornbills, there are magnificently colored birds such as Coral billed ground-Cuckoo, Green Magpie, Scarlet Minivet, Red-headed Trogon, and Blue Pitta.
Moreover, Khaoyai National Park is also home to a wide range of butterflies and other insects.
Khaoyai Shrine : first point at Pak Chong gateway, built in 1962 is situated at KM 24 on Thanarat Road. Buddhists always stop and pay their respects and receive blessings at the shrine.
Visitor center : like a small museum for you to get more information & has a Souvenir shop.
View point : KM 30 of Thanarat Road. This point looks northwards into the park, providing a view of the beautiful forested mountains
Khao Kiew/Pha Diew Dai Viewpoint : This view point is 14kms from the park headquarters and a short walk off the road to Khao Kiew Summit. You can enjoy the short walk through moist evergreen forest. The weather is normally cool all the year round due to the altitude. Trees and rocks near the viewpoint are adorned with moss and lichen.
Wildlife Observation Towers : Nong Pak Chee - this tower is situated at the edge of grassland, adjacent to the Nong Pak Chee reservoir. A saltlick visible from the tower also attracts wildlife to the location. Access to the tower from the road at KM. 35-36 and follow a well-marked track for 1 km. through the grassland.
Waterfalls : Haew Suwat Waterfall is a well known waterfall where the water runs over a 20m cliff into a large pool below. In the rainy season the volume of water increases greatly and it runs fast and cool. Haew Narok Waterfall is a 3 tiered waterfall in the south of Khaoyai and is the biggest waterfall in the park. The water tumbles 60m off the top tiers, before falling straight down off the 2nd and 3rd tiers, which lie close to each other. Altogether the creek level drops by 150m.
Hiking & Trekking : Khaoyai National park has a large range of wild treks, but many of these areas are not allowed to be hiked without a guide. Please contact our Hotel & Tour operator company by the side of Thanarat Road. (Road No. 2090) www.khaoyainaturelifetours.com
Camping an overnight in the jungle. You need to get permission from the National Park Headquarters to do this. Before returning to your ordinary life, make the most of your trip and stay at a ranger sub-station in the deep jungle. Bathe in canal (Klong), sleep in a tent and wake up to the myriad of voices of the insect world. For nature lovers who want this experience, please contact www.khaoyainaturelifetours.com