Kaeng Krachan National Park,
Thailand

Thailand's biggest national park!

personal experience...

I visited the areas for four days in 2016. I kept trying to get up there to the national park and surrounding lodges, but the wet season meant the park is closed from August to October. I enquired August 1st.

the national park

Even though the park is not well known, this is the largest National Park in Thailand. It is also the best for birds, both in terms of special lodges and sites set up for viewing, but also for species diversity.

access

The National Park entrance is at least a 3 hour drive from Bangkok. It is best to rent a car, preferably 4WD. It is best to hire cars from the BKK Bangkok International Airport, as then you can stick to the highways and avoid central congested Bangkok and her confusing suburbs.

Generally, it is a good idea to avoid weekends. This is when the non-birdwatching of the locals from Bangkok (i.e; families), that have finished the work week, come up.

The national park is mostly closed between August and November.

One advantage of being there in this 'off' season when the park is closed is the lodges will be quiet.

And in fact, there is still some things to do... 

when the national park is closed...

There is plenty to do.

Some of the National Park is open. A couple hours drive south is Pala-U Waterfall.

Quite a few roads that go around and past the park have good bits of forest. Wildlife can be seen just driving and walking some of the quieter roads, particularly in the morning...

Blue-tailed Bee-eaters can be seen on the wires along the roads (Damon Ramsey)
Common Tailorbird
Striped-throated Bulbul, (image by Damon Ramsey).
Hornbills, such as the 'Oriental Pied', can often be seen flying across roads around the surroundings of the national park (image by Damon Ramsey)
The 'Small Asian Mongoose' can sometimes be seen lurking across the roads early in the morning (image by Damon Ramsey)

There are also some private areas that allow viewing of target species...

private areas...

There are several private lodges, such as Baak Mak Chalets and Samarn Bird Camp.

There places also have guides that can take you to a few set up spots for target bird species (depending on the season).

Blue-winged Pitta

In summer, the Bue-winged Pitta are in the area and breeding. There is a hide set up to watch a known nest. It is just a few metres walk away from a road.

This can be accessed through the local bird lodges. There is usually a fee to get in, and a fee for your guide to take you there.

They can also be seen at Baan Maka lodge in summer.

Blue-winged Pitta with worms for the kids (image by Damon Ramsey)
Blue-winged Pitta feeding the kids (image by Damon Ramsey)

Eared Pitta

This is quite a difficult bird to spot. But there is a hide set up to see it during the summer months. It involves about a ten minute walk through the forest.

This can be accessed through the local bird lodges. There is usually a fee to get in and a fee for your guide to take you there.

Eared Pitta (image by Damon Ramsey)

Owl 

This site involves about a ten minute walk through the forest.

This can be accessed through the local bird lodges. There is usually a fee to get in and a fee for your guide to take you there.

Oriental Scops Owl

A few other birds pop in for the worms as well....

Puff-throated Babbler

and mammals...

Treeshrew (image by Damon Ramsey)