In recent years, travelling to Thailand has become increasingly popular for South African holidaymakers. From its stunning beaches and bustling night markets to its rich cultural heritage and vibrant cities, there are a wide variety of activities in this Southeast Asian paradise.
But while it’s easy to get caught up in the hustle and bustle of city life, it’s important to take time out to explore the natural beauty of Thailand. To help you make the most of your holiday in this magical country, here are some of Thailand’s most breathtaking national parks that you must visit.
Khao Yai National Park is one of the largest and oldest national parks in Thailand. It spans more than 2,000 square km and is home to a variety of exotic wildlife, including elephants, gibbons, bears and over 300 bird species. The park also offers an incredible array of activities for visitors to enjoy, from hiking trails and waterfalls to camping spots with spectacular views over the valley. Visitors should also look out for Haew Suwat Waterfall—made famous in Leonardo DiCaprio’s movie The Beach—as well as wild elephants bathing in their natural habitat!
Khao Yai National Park is located just two hours north-east of Bangkok by car. There are several accommodation options within the park itself or nearby if you want an extended stay. However, it is recommended that you visit during the cooler months since temperatures can reach up to 38°C during summertime!
Just a few hours drive south-west of Bangkok lies Kui Buri National Park – another beloved destination among nature lovers visiting Thailand. This park stretches over 250 square km and is home to a wide range of wildlife including gibbons, tigers, leopards and gaurs (a type of wild ox). Visitors can experience these magnificent animals in their natural environment either by taking a guided safari tour or simply exploring one of the many walking trails throughout the park. During certain times of year (usually November), visitors can even witness herds of wild elephants crossing through Kui Buri via roadways built specifically for them!
The nearest major town to Kui Buri National Park is Prachuap Khiri Khan which is located about 2 hours away by car from Bangkok or just 1 hour away from Hua Hin town center. Accommodation options around the park vary depending on budget but are generally quite affordable when compared with other national parks in Thailand.
The Similan Islands are located off the west coast of Phang Nga province and are made up of nine islands that feature idyllic white sand beaches surrounded by turquoise waters. Here you can find crystal clear swimming spots perfect for snorkeling or diving with colourful sea life including manta rays, dolphins and whales if you’re lucky!
For those who aren’t so keen on getting wet, there are also plenty of hikes around the islands that offer stunning views across the Andaman Sea.
This stunning park is situated in the Surat Thani province and features lush rainforest-covered hills surrounded by limestone cliffs. It is also home to some amazing wildlife such as tigers, leopards and hornbills as well as over 1000 species of plants. Visitors can explore caves, enjoy canoe rides on Cheow Lan Lake or take a day trip into the jungle for an incredible experience full of adventure.
Whether you’re looking for an adventure-filled getaway or a relaxing retreat into nature—Thailand has something for everyone! With so many breathtaking national parks scattered across this gorgeous country—it won’t be hard for South African travellers to find some truly magical experiences during their holidays here.
So why not take some time out from all the hustle and bustle, grab your hiking boots and go explore some of Thailand’s best kept secrets? Browse our Thailand holiday packages now.
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