Krachan National Park
Krachan National Park, in Petchaburi and Prachuab Kiri
Khan provinces, is the largest National Park in Thailand,
occupying 2915 square kilometres (1125 sq. miles); this is
possibly Thailand's premier forest birdwatching location due
the quantity and quality of species that have been found there.
the forest here is in an excellent condition and consists
of evergreen tree species, although a number of deciduous
species are also present, particularly in the lower elevations
of the park. Kaeng Krachan's location on the border with Myanmar
means it is part of a much larger forest complex than just
the National Park and an excellent refuge for a huge number
of species, including many of Asia's rarest mammals and birds;
indeed Kaeng Krachan is part of one of the largest remaining
stretches of forest in Southeast Asia and as such this location
is of international conservation importance.
Krachan is within three hours of Bangkok so it ispossible to visit
it as a day trip if one leaves before 5am, although it is much better
to stay 2-3 days and take time to explore the forest - and it is
worth visiting during the week to avoid the weekend traffic. It
is possible to see an enormous number of species here by getting
to many different altitudes and 100 species in a day is a real possibility
but would perhaps be too much of a rush to enjoy fully.
Krachan National Park is home to a huge number and range of species
and is a place where some species that are rarely seen anywhere else
in Thailand can be found with patience. This is where many southern
species have their northernmost outposts as well as being where many
other species are at their southernmost extremity. Kaeng Krachan is
also the only place in Thailand where Ratchet-tailed Treepie can be
seen, this species normally being found in Indochina.
(Photo by Alex Vargas)
number of exciting ground-dwelling species inhabit the lush
forests here but are extremely hard to find, with Grey Peacock-Pheasant,
Kalij Pheasant, Ferruginous Partridge, Blue Pitta and Eared
Pitta all being found - but only by a lucky few; most people
only see these species after many visits to the park. Giant
Pitta has also been seen here but sightings are EXTREMELY
rare, only once every few years at most. The mid and upper
storeys of the forest are also very productive in birding
terms with many species from a wide range of bird families
occurring. Great Slaty Woodpecker, Orange-breasted Trogon
and Banded Broadbill are all regularly seen and more species
are being added to the park list every year as more birders
explore this wonderful habitat. There are so many good birds
to see here that a visit of at least 2-3 days is essential
as well as birding at different altitudes to maximise the
number of species seen.
are some of the most memorable birds in Thailand and Kaeng
Krachan presents the opportunity to see Great, Oriental Pied
and Wreathed Hornbills. Tickell's Brown Hornbills are present
but more scarce, listen for them and you may be lucky.
distinct speciality of Kaeng Krachan national park are the
Broadbills. These spectacular birds are extremely difficult
to find outside of the breeding season, but when they are
nest-building, from mid February to July, Dusky, Silver-breasted,
Banded, Black-and-red, Black-and-yellow and Long-tailed Broadbills
become easier to find; even Green Broadbill has been seen
a couple of times by some lucky observers. Of course, there
is also a good range of commoner birds here with bulbuls,
leafbirds, laughingthrushes, flycatchers, babblers, warblers
and woodpeckers all well represented.
extensive forest of such excellent quality there is
still a good mammal population here. Many species of squirrel
can be found including the amazing Black Giant Squirrel which
looks more like a dog in a tree with Dusky Langurs, Banded
Langurs and White-heanded Gibbon often seen leaping around
in the canopy. Tigers, tapirs and elephants are still present
in Kaeng Krachan, although seldom seen, and there are even
rumours that Sumatran Rhinoceros, one of the world's most
endangered mammals, still roams the forests. Kaeng Krachan
does present visitors with one of the best chances of seeing
Leopard in Southeast Asia with fairly frequent sightings with
Dhole and Yellow-throated Marten sightings reasonably common.
if you need help organising a birdwatching
trip to Thailand, take a look at the suggested itineraries
for ideas on creating a tailor-made birdwatching trip
and contact me for advise: Thailand
Krachan National Park can be reached within 3 hours of Bangkok
if leaving early in the morning and driving a private vehicle. Get
on Rama 2 road and join the Petkasem Highway heading towards
Petchaburi for about two hours. A short distance before reaching
Petchaburi there is a new road bridge across the main highway.
Turn left and drive across the road bridge which will take
you onto the road heading towards Kaeng Krachan National Park.
Follow this road for about half an hour until it reaches a
T-junction; turn right here and follow the signs until reaching
park HQ, about another 20 minutes or so. The park gate will
take approximately another 20 minutes from HQ.
from the south, or having missed the turning, there is another
sign to the park, at Tha Yang, about 10 kilometres after Petchaburi:
follow this road and the signposts to the park all the way
by public transport is also possible, but will incur some expense. From
Bangkok take a bus to Petchaburi from the Southern bus terminal.
From Petchaburi one must charter a songtaew to the National Park
which should cost in the region of 600-800 baht one way. Finding
a songtaew will take a little effort but walking around the bus
station asking to go to Kaeng Krachan National Park should get the
right response. Taxis/songtaews for charter also wait at the town
clock tower and the Petchaburi Rama theatre. If communication is
a problem show the songtaew drivers the Thai script for the park:
National Park Thai Script.
At park HQ,
or the park gate, entrance fees can be sorted out and at weekends
there are drivers who offer a taxi service up and down the mountain
and I'm sure the staff at HQ can contact some of them during the
week. These drivers charge 1200 baht from HQ to Ban Krang campsite
and back or 1800 baht from HQ to the campsite at Km 30 and back
(2004 prices). If this is not possible continue with your songtaew
charter to the campsite (it will cost extra though).
For those wishing
to head to the campsite at Km 30 (Panoen Tung) timing is important.
From Ban Krang campsite the road is narrow and in varying states
of repair and certain times are allotted for ascent and descent.
Times for going up are 5.30-7.30 am and 1-3 pm. Times for going
down are 9-10 am and 4-5 pm. These times are important for those
with limited time. Driving up the road to Panoen Tung is best done
in a vehicle with good ground clearance, not a standard saloon car.
Whilst the state of the road does vary from time to time and one
may read in some trip reports that driving to the top in a saloon
car was possible, it is best to assume that the road will be fairly
poor quality and loose stones on corners in particular can make
it difficult to get enough traction. Even the dirt road to Ban Krang
can be quite rutted and a car with good ground clearance is advisable,
whilst attempting to cross the streams past Bang Krang campsite
should be done with caution even in vehicles with good ground clearance
as the entry and exits from the fords are quite steep - quite a
number of visitors have ripped parts of their cars' bodywork off
at these streams.
For those driving
in and out of the park every day the gate opens at 5.30am and closes
at 7pm, although it is advisable to be out before that due to the
potential danger of elephants on the road, indeed you may find the
rangers have locked the gate if you reach it after 7pm.
is the quality of the habitat at Kaeng Krachan that a large number
of interesting birds will be seen anywhere in the park, however,
there are few special locations for a few particular species.
Treepie can only be seen at the highest altitudes of the national
park and has often been spotted near the Royal Lodge a short
walk from Panoen Tung campsite, close to the restaurant at
Panoen Tung and in the vicinity of Km 27 to Km 29. It has
also been seen as low down as Km 24.
Pittas and Partridges are most often found in the gullies
and clearings in the forest within a few kilometres of Ban
Krang campsite and the streams in this vicinity are a good
place to search for some of the rarer Kingfishers during the
breeding season. All these species are really hard to find
and on a short visit one would do well to see more than 1
of these species.
worth noting that the majority of the birding is from the
road and at weekends constant traffic can make birdwatching
quite unpleasant, dusty and difficult. The park is to be completely
avoided on public holidays when it becomes very busy and difficult
to bird along the road.
The headquarters is some distance outside the forest itself and
really is not the prime birding spot for this site. However, some
wetland and open-country species can be seen around headquarters
and it is worth exploring a little if waiting for transport up the
mountain or there has been some other delay. Egrets, Pond Herons
and Pipits can all be seen here and colourful birds such as Indian
Roller and White-throated Kingfisher are typical residents. Black-collared
Starling hangs around here too and is quite a handsome character
and even some forest species can be found with Greater Racket-tailed
Drongo, Lesser Necklaced Laughingthrush and Large Scimitar Babbler
can be found with luck in the thorny forest nearby.
The roads from HQ to the park gate pass through farmland and forest
fragments. Whilst the national park proper is the main attraction,
some interesting species can be found along here. Indochinese Bushlark,
Greater Coucal and Paddyfield Pipit are all quite common while Indian
Rollers and White-throated Kingfishers will be seen on the overhead
wires. Some of the grassier areas contain Grey-breasted Prinia,
Lesser Coucal and Bright-headed Cisticola, and listen out for Chinese
Francolin calling, you may be able to track one down or see it crossing
one of the roads. Sooty-headed Bulbul is common and both Black-collared
and Vinous-breasted Starlings are around, although not abundant.
At night Large-tailed Nightjars can be seen on the road itself and
Spotted Owlets are fairly easy to find too.
Greater Necklaced Laughingthrush
(Photo by Nick
Song Nok: A few kilometres outside of the
national park Ban Song Nok is a private garden and guesthouse
owned by "Auntie Ek". She
maintains a waterhole and blind as well as providing daily
food to birds, meaning that this is usually a hotspot for
certain species, particuarly if the weather has been dry.
Ban Song Nok is a popular spot so you usually need to book
places at her blind in advance, but she does not mind people
just turning up to have a word with her and book the hide;
if there is nobody there already you can usually go straight
in. Red Junglefowl, Lesser Necklaced Laughingthrush, Greater
Necklaced Laughingthrush, Kalij Pheasant, Bar-backed Partridge,
Scaly-breasted Partridge and Siberian Blue Robin are all regular
visitors here in the dry season and Red-legged Crake often
shows up in the wet season.
at Ban Song Nok are not confined to the blind area with the
garden providing plenty of habitat and adjoining the forest.
Birds such as Golden-fronted Leafbird, Lineated Barbet, Banded
Bay Cuckoo, Tickell's Blue Flycatcher and Common Flameback
all being regularly seen, so it is worth having a look around
for some of these species before or after you sit at the blind.
costs 200 baht per person to visit the blind at Ban Song Nok and flash
photography is not usually allowed as it disturbs some species.
(Photo by Nick
Sin Waterhole: This artificial waterhole is
little more than a bird bath in the forest but during the
dry season it attracts a profusion of birds. Activity here
can be at high levels throughout the day with species such
as Lesser Necklaced Laughingthrush, Greater Necklaced Laughingthrush,
Scaly-breasted Partridge, Bar-backed Partridge, Large Scimitar
Babbler, Kalij Pheasant, Tickell's Blue Flycatcher, Siberian
BLue Robin and many other commoner birds all being regular.
There are foten surprises to be seen here too with a Slaty-legged
Crake regular in some years and birds such as Green Magpie,
Grey-headed Woodpecker, Streak-breasted Woodpecker, Besra,
White-browed Scimitar Babbler all turning up from time to
from the fact that a visit to this spot gives the chance to
see some rare and sectretive species, it is fantastic for
photographers with close-range and clear views of all the
birds. It is also a great place for birdwatchers to get really
good views of commoner birds such as Puff-throated Babbler,
Black-naped Monarch and Abbott's Babbler instead of the brief
glimpses one often obtains in the forest.
to the hide here is strictly by appointment only, so I will not
give directions as turning up without booking first would cause
a problem; to book yourself into this hide it is best to do so through
Gunn at Ban Maka or Samarn at Samarn Bird Camp.
costs 200 baht per person to visit Lung Sin Waterhole and flash
photography is not allowed unless you want to book the whole hide
out yourself as it deters the more secretive species from coming
to bathe and drink.
to Bang Krang: This road passes
through disturbed forest which is worth spending some time in for
the more common birds and a few of the less common ones. In the
early morning there is usually a lot of bird activity along this
road and it offers a good opportunity to see Thick-billed Green
Pigeon, Black-naped Oriole, Greater Flameback, Grey-headed Woodpecker,
Greater Yellownape, Hill Myna and Golden-crested Myna. Black-thighed
Falconets can often be found at a couple of points along this road
- look out for them perched upon dead snags. Areas of forest near
water along here are the best places to see Black-and-red Broadbill
which is a fabulous bird. Fruiting trees along here attract Green-eared
Barbets, Asian Fairy Bluebirds, Oriental Pied and Great Hornbills,
Stripe-throated Bulbuls and Hill Mynas to mention but a few and
when a tree which is bearing fruit is found it is worth waiting
some time to see what turns up.
It is also worth
driving out of the park an hour before dusk so that there is time
to stop along this road when birds are spotted. Woodpeckers seem
to be active right up until dark and several species can often be
found along here at this time including Lesser Yellownape, Common
Flameback and Streak-breasted Woodpecker.
Krang Campsite: Birders
will know that it is often in and around campsites that bird
abundance is at its highest due to the "edge effect"
and at Bang Krang this can often be true. In the dry season
many flocking species can be obvious here with Scarlet Minivet,
Blue-winged Leafbird, Black-winged Cuckooshrike, Swinhoe's
Minivet and a variety of Leaf Warblers in almost every flock.
Sultan Tits frequently show themselves to be very confiding
here with both Taiga and Asian Brown Flycatchers lurking around
in low trees.
morning bird activity can be very high here, particularly
if there are fruiting trees around. Blue-eared Barbet, Green-eared
Barbet, Asian Fairy Bluebird, Thick-billed Green Pigeon, Black-crested
Bulbul, Stripe-throated Bulbul and Blue-winged Leafbird are
always interested in these types of trees and other species,
even hornbills, are likely to turn up and feed on fruiting
Bee-eaters usually frequent this campsite too; sometimes they
are obvious, sometimes a little more searching is required.
Trips To Kaeng Krachan:
If you have only a few days for
birding from Bangkok, Kaeng Krachan makes an
excellent two or three day trip. At any time of
year a good selection of colourful forest birds
are present with migrants present in the dry season
and resident birds more obvious in the wet season.
me to arrange a trip and/or to discuss the best
birdwatching options for you: email@example.com
species of woodpecker can often be found here, with Greater Yellownape,
Common Flameback, Heart-spotted Woodpecker and Greater Flameback
all being frequent and during the breeding season Silver-breasted
and Banded Broadbills can sometimes be found. Whatever the time
of year, though, a morning here is excellent for getting aquainted
with many of the commoner forest birds and photographing them.
the campsite a track crosses the stream and provides access to a
seldom-visited part of the forest. At the stream crossing itself
a small flock of White-rumped Munias are often to be found and along
the track sightings of Black-and-red Broadbill are frequent. This
is also a good area to look for Puff-throated Babbler, Violet Cuckoo,
Orange-breasted Trogon, Streak-breasted Woodpecker and Greater Necklaced
Laughingthrush. From the clearing at the "Youth Camp"
it is often possible to see Grey-rumped Treeswifts flying around
as well as many of the birds that also occur in the campsite.
the campsite can be good for those that like night birding. Large-tailed
Nightjars are common; listen for their call which sounds like a
resonant "chonk, chonk" and Great Eared Nightjar can sometimes
be seen cruising around just before it gets dark. Other night birds
here include Asian Barred Owlet, Collared Owlet, Brown Hawk Owl,
Collared Scops Owl and, for some lucky birders, Oriental Bay Owl
and White-fronted Scops Owl (see below).
For White-fronted Scops Owl:
Krachan is one of the few places where birdwatchers
have a chance of seeing this rare and secretive species.
The owls can often be heard uttering their strange drumming
call at night around the campsite and along the road
near streams 1 and 2. However, in my opinion, walking
along the road in the dark will eventually result in
a birder getting crushed by elephants, so it is best
to search for this bird in the campsite where many birders
have found it.
March 2011 two White-fronted Scops Owls have been frequently
viewed by large numbers of birders and photographers
at a daytime roost near stream 2; please view these
birds quietly and refrain from using flash.
the staked-out birds have moved on then this species
also calls and responds to call playback at dawn, throughout
the morning and even in the middle of the day; contrary
to what may be said about these owls I have heard them
calling at all times of the day on many occasions.
Crossings 1 to 3: Shortly after passing out of the
campsite some moist forest is entered, which continues past the
third stream crossing to the point at which the road begins to climb
uphill; this is where many of the "best" birds are most
regularly encountered. Tickell's Brown Hornbills often frequent
this area and it is probably the best area of the park for seeing
Orange-breasted Trogon which can often be seen sitting quietly out
in the open.
of forest has a good helping of woodpeckers that can be seen, although
thick vegetation and high trees can make them hard to see. Many
species of woodpecker in Thailand join flocks and if you locate
groups of Lesser and Greater Necklaced Laughingthrushes there is
a decent chance that a woodpecker or two may be with them. Streak-breasted
Woodpecker often joins these groups and sometimes any of the following
may also join the party: Rufous Woodpecker, Buff-rumped Woodpecker,
Greater Flameback, Common Flameback, Greater Yellownape, Crimson-winged
Woodpecker, Banded Woodpecker, Heart-spotted Woodpecker. This is
also a great area to find Great Slaty Woodpecker; a bird which is
very reminiscent of a Pterosaur!
is a bird that is common here and due to its restricted range you
may not see it anywhere else; other bulbuls which are frequently
seen along this tretch are Grey-eyed, Black-crested, Black-headed
In the dry season
bird abundance can sometimes be high along here in the morning with
small species flocking together to feed. Swinhoe's Minivet, Blue-winged
Leafbird, Black-winged Cuckooshrike, Sulphur-breasted Warbler, Eastern
Crowned Warbler, Pin-striped Tit Babbler, Asian Paradise Flycatcher
are just a few of the species which can be seen in most flocks.
These flocks start to disappear as species begin to migrate and
pair up to breed.
(Photo by Nick
breeding season (March to July for most species) is far better
here than November to early March when most birders visit
for searching for many of those colourful resident species
that many birders see in the field guide and are high on the
"wish list". Broadbills in particular become far
easier to see at this time with Silver-breasted Broadbill
becoming abundant and easy to see from the end of February
onwards. Many pairs of Banded Broadbills are present along
here and call noisily throughout the day when they are pairing
up. A few pairs of Black-and-yellow Broadbills make a stunning
interlude if you can spot them up in the canopy and you may
be lucky enough to find a group of Dusky Broadbills too. All
of the broadbills make quite conspicuous nests consisting
of a hanging mass of vegetation, suspended by a single piece
of vine or branch, often directly over the road!
that wish to see forest kingfishers, this area gives you a
decent chance in the breeding season. Banded Kingfisher can
always be found but you must be patient, they sit still for
ages and are eaily missed. Oriental Dwarf Kingfisher (the
black-backed version) is absent for most of the year but it
always turns up in mid March and is progressively easier to
see as the nesting season proceeds. Listen for it along the
stream - there are usually a few pairs around.
visiting birders are keen to see Pittas but it should be known that
these are extremely difficult birds to see. Outside of the breeding
season the only Pitta that there is a realistic chance of seeing
is Blue Pitta and even that is seen very infrequently until it begins
calling in late February to March. From late April to early May
Blue-winged Pittas and Hooded Pittas begin to arrive from further
south and are fairly easily seen as they will call loudly from perches
in trees. In the heart of the breeding season (June/July) Eared
Pitta usually becomes findable and of course we can all dream of
seeing Giant Pitta along here, and for the vast majority that is
all it is - a dream!
is a bird straight out of a child's colouring book and it can usually
be found along this piece of road, although it can be remarkably
elusive considering how noisy it is. Crested Jay is an uncommon
prize here too but it is seen on a semi frequent basis in this area.
are many great birds to be found along this stretch of road I do
not want to create the impression that you will see many of these
species on any one visit. Most of these birds are very hard to find
and it will take many visits to see even half of them and at times
it is possible to walk for several kilometres and see virtually
27.5: At kilometre Km 27.5 there
is an obvious place to park a car; the spot is marked by a sign featuring
a bird silhouette. From here up and down the road for about 1 kilometre
is an excellent place to find Ratchet-tailed Treepie. This species
can be difficult to find and very reluctant to show itself but several
pairs are usually in the area. Long-tailed Broadbill is like something
from a fairytale and frequently nests here and birders are hardly
likely to forget Red-headed Trogon if they see one here.
(Photo by Nick
huge tree is just to the right of the road a few hundred metres
uphill of the parking spot, and if it is fruiting it is a
great place to see Great Hornbill, Wreathed Hornbill, Great
Barbet, Asian Fairy Bluebird, Mountain Imperial Pigeon and
if you are very lucky, perhaps Yellow-vented Pigeon or even
shrub layer along the road Radde's Warbler is common in winter
and White-hooded Babbler can be found at any time of year;
Golden, Grey-throated and Spot-necked Babblers are also resident
at this altitude. If you are really lucky you may get a view
of either Rufous-browed Flycatcher or Rusty-naped Pitta; both
live here but are really skulking and shy. Bird waves in this
area usually contain Grey-chinned Minivet, Speckled Piculet,
White-browed Scimitar-babbler, White-crested Laughingthrush
and Yellow-bellied Warbler; in the dry season these are also
usually joined by Sulphur-breasted Warbler and Swinhoe's Minivet.
it can seem like there are no birds at all along here, but
with patience there are a large number of excellent species
can be found.
Tung Campsite: There are some
magnificent views over the forest from this altitude and lots of
birds too. Ratchet-tailed Treepie is the star bird to look for here
but plenty of other species can be found here too. This is a great
spot for Barbets with Blue-throated and Blue-eared very easily seen
and Great Barbet can often be observed calling noisily from treetops
but plenty of other interesting birds can also be found such as
the attractive Grey Treepie, Blyth's (White-browed) Shrike-babbler,
Dark-sided Flycatcher and Black-throated Laughingthrush.
There is a short
nature trail which starts here which can often turn up some nice
species such as Rufous-browed Flycatcher, White-browed Piculet and
Collared Babbler. There is plenty for visitors to discover in this
area and a couple of days at this altitude would be well-spent if
time allows. Other high altitude species to look for up here include
Wedge-tailed Green Pigeon, Red-headed Trogon and Long-tailed Broadbill.
here has a nice view over the forest at the back of the shop and
sitting here whilst having lunch frequently provides views of White-browed
Scimitar-babbler, Streaked Spiderhunter, Blue-throated Barbet, Vernal
Hanging Parrot, Flavescent Bulbul and Orange-bellied Leafbird.
34-36: The road continues past the campsite for
a few kilometres to a trail to TorTip waterfall; the section between
kilometres 34 and 36 being perhaps the best and the open areas afford
some lovely views over the forest providing the opportunity to scan
for raptors - Rufous-bellied Eagle is seen more often here than
most places, Grey-headed Fish Eagle is rare but Mountain Hawk Eagle,
Oriental Honey-buzzard, Crested Goshawk, Grey-faced Buzzard are
all frequently seen and when raptors are migrating other species,
particularly Chinese Sparrowhawk, Japanese Sparrowhawk and Black
Baza, are highly likely.
It is worthwhile
looking out for bamboo which has reached the flowering stage as
this is favored by Pin-tailed Parrotfinch. In most years there is
a clump of bamboo which flowers for a few months before dying and
this always attracts these colorful little birds which are extremely
difficult to see otherwise.
A few pairs
of the stunning Red-bearded Bee-eater occupy this area, they are
easiest to locate when breeding but can show up at any time, and
other species such as Yellow-vented Green Pigeon, Wreathed Hornbill,
Great Hornbill and various barbets will turn up in the fruting trees
Most of the
reports of Plain-pouched Hornbill come from this area; in my opinion
the vast majority (all?) of these reports are misidentified Wreathed
Hornbills. It can be very hard to see the stripe on the pouch of
some Wreathed Hornbills and many of them also show the brownish
base to the bill that the field guide suggests is an id feature.
I was once fooled into thinking I had seen a Plain-pouched Hornbill
here due to this feature but a photo was obtained and when we zoomed
in we could see the stripe on the pouch which confirmed it as Wreathed
The trail to
Tortip waterfall goes through some nice forest where some of the
southern species at the northernmost limit of their range are sometimes
seen with Streaked Bulbul, Black-and-yellow Broadbill, Red-throated
Barbet and Maroon-breasted Philentoma all having been seen.
within the national park are limited. At park headquarters there
are a few bungalows but the quality of these are pretty low. There
is also a decent campsite at HQ with good toilet facilities for
those that are required to wait here for any reason. However, park
HQ is some distance from the birding and most birders will want
to get to Ban Krang campsite which is pleasantly situated with enough
flat areas to pitch tents but very limited toilet facilities, barely
adequate for their purpose. Food is usually available from the small
restaurant but they do sometimes run out of food after the weekend,
so it is worth bringing cooking equipment and food if staying for
a few days without your own transport. There is camping equipment
for hire; tents, sleeping bags etc. but some of the tents are very
poor so don't be scared to ask for another one if the first one
you get is little more than a plastic bag and some sticks. The campsite
at Panoen Tung is considerably better, with good tents for hire
and a small restaurant and clean toilets and showers. Petchaburi
is a suitable place to stock up on food for the camping trip with
a large supermarket (Big C) on the main highway to the south. The
closest ATM is at park HQ and there is a decent small hospital close
to Kaeng Krachan municipality.
those wishing to stay in comfort then Ban
Maka is an excellent option and closer to the
park gate (approx 10 minute drive) than many other guesthouses
with good food and friendly owners who speak good English
and go out of their way to help guests with any sensible request.
Bird Camp is also a good option for birdwatchers,
with good quality rooms, good food and helpful owners; this
has the added bonus of being very close to the park gate.
Both of these guesthouses are used to catering to birdwatchers
and will provide early breakfasts and assistance in visiting
the forest. There are a couple of rooms available at Ban
Song Nok too and "Auntie Ek" will probably
provide food as she is very friendly, although I have never
eaten there myself.
Padang camp is also a useful place to stay and has wireless
internet available for those that need it. There are also
a wide selection of guesthouses further from the park gate,
near the dam, that are all pleasant enough if all other options
are exhausted; it does, however, take about 25-30 minutes
to drive to the park gate from this area. Staying at any guesthouse
does involve travelling into the park every morning and paying
the entrance fee every day.
Necklaced Laughingthrush on feeding station, Ban Maka. (Photo
entrance fee to this National Park is now 200
baht per person for foreigners plus 30 baht for your vehicle.
Western Thailand Birding Locations
Review: Ban Maka by Robert DeCandido
the thumbnail photos to see larger images.
at Kaeng Krachan
Tickell's Brown Hornbill
Oriental Pied Hornbill
at Kaeng Krachan
Common Grass Yellow
Kaeng Krachan is a must-visit location
for birdwatching trips in Thailand whether as part of
a longer itinerary or for just a few days from Bangkok.
Each time of year has its specialities but there is
always something good to see at Kaeng Krachan.
a look at some suggested itineraries and contact me
for more information: Thailand
Krachan & Tung Bang Jak, 4-5th July 2008
Krachan,Tung Bang Jak & Khao Yai, 8-11th May 2008
Krachan & Laem Pak Bia/Pak Thale, 19-20th February 2008
Krachan, Laem Pak Bia/Pak Thale & Khao Yai, February 2008
Scops Owl at Kaeng Krachan, 15-19th February 2007
Tour 10-24th January 2007
Krachan, 19-21st June 2006
Krachan, KNC & Krabi, 30th April-7th May 2001
Krachan National Park, 25th September 2000
Krachan National Park, 4th July 2000
Krachan National Park, 7-8th April 2000
at Ban Maka
- posted 05/05/09
(Tickell's Brown) Hornbill
- posted 30/04/09
at Kaeng Krachan - posted 10/03/09
Rainy Season Birding Trip
- posted 09/08/08
Krachan & Tung Bang Jak -
Day Trip: Kaeng Krachan, Tung Bang Jak & Khao Yai
- posted 15/05/08
Quest for Broadbills -
at Kaeng Krachan - posted 24/03/08
Birding at Kaeng Krachan & Laem Pak Bia/Pak Thale
- posted 10/03/08
Great Days Birdwatching - posted
of Thailand, 17 January to 6 February 2008 -
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