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Central Thailand

National Parks

Our most recommended Central Thailand National Parks

Bangkok: Elephant Sanctuary & Erawan Waterfall Tour

1. Bangkok: Elephant Sanctuary & Erawan Waterfall Tour

You’ll start your adventure with an early pickup before heading to the elephant sanctuary. ElephantsWorld is a conservation organization dedicated to helping these intelligent and proud creatures. Once there, you’ll listen to an introduction and safety briefing before preparing food for the elephants. Get down and dirty and give the elephants a mud bath before heading to the river to rinse them off. There will be some time to shower before you tuck in to a delicious buffet lunch. After helping yourself to delicious Thai dishes, feed the elephants the food you prepared earlier. At Erawan National Park, you’ll trek through the lush forests and caves before arriving at Erawan Waterfall. This famous seven-tiered beauty with its emerald pools is a great place to take a dip or simply relax and enjoy the scenery.

From Bangkok: Erawan National Park & Kanchanaburi Group Tour

2. From Bangkok: Erawan National Park & Kanchanaburi Group Tour

History lovers visiting Thailand will value this opportunity to tour the region of Kanchanaburi in West Thailand. During this memorable day trip from Bangkok, you’ll visit the Death Railway which was put on the map by the 1957 movie, Bridge Over the River Kwai. You’ll begin the day by getting immersed in Thailand’s rich bounty at one of the country’s best-loved national parks, Erawan National Park. Walking trails, running water, and undisturbed wildlife characterize this peaceful area. Erawan Waterfall has seven tiers and a set of limestone caves at its base: you'll forget all about the busy streets of Bangkok. This natural paradise is the perfect place to breathe in the fresh country air. Continue to JEATH Museum, dedicated to the Allied Prisoners of War who died building the Burmese railway. This museum is a sad yet important reminder of Thailand’s history; it’s thought that over 100,000 lives were lost during this period. JEATH is an acronym for the main nationalities involved in the building of the railway: Japanese, English, Australian, American, Thai and Dutch. Finally, you’ll visit the historic Bridge over the River Kwai. You’ll get the chance to walk over the bridge, soak up the impressive scenery, and take a moment to remember the past, before returning to your accommodations/meeting point at approximately 8:00 PM.

Bangkok: Khao Yai National Park Full-Day Tour

3. Bangkok: Khao Yai National Park Full-Day Tour

Start your adventure with an early pickup before beginning the 3-hour journey north-east. You’ll have a quick stop at the famous The Birder’s Lodge to grab some coffee before arriving at Khao Yai National Park. Khao Yai Naitional Park is one of the largest national parks in Thailand and a UNESCO World Heritage Site. You’ll head down one of the many nature trails, admiring the local flora and fauna. As one of the oldest national parks in the country, you’ll find all kinds of animals living in the area, from mammals and reptiles to birds and insects. If you’re really lucky, you may just spot a herd of wild elephants nearby. After lunch, you’ll trek to Haew Suwat Waterfall and Haew Narok Waterfall, two of the park’s most picturesque bodies of water. Marvel at the majestic cascades, snap photos of the lush scenery, and take a quick respite before making your way back to Bangkok.

Bangkok: 2-Day River Kwai & Erawan National Park Tour

4. Bangkok: 2-Day River Kwai & Erawan National Park Tour

Day 1: In the early morning at 7:30AM, your personal guide and driver will meet you at your hotel lobby in Bangkok. You will begin with a visit to the floating market of Damnoen Saduak. Close to the market you will board a fast long-tail boat, which will bring you through the narrow "khlongs" to the market. At the market you will enjoy watching farmers selling fruit and many kinds of local products in their boats. If you want, you can take one of the paddle boats to cruise through the market (optional). Following this great experience, you will continue your trip to the bridge over the River Kwai, the Allied Forces Cemetery, and the JEATH war museum. You will then travel once more by long-tail boat to the Jungle Raft, a unique, floating hotel in the middle of the jungle, made from wood and bamboo. The resort offers a unique accommodation experience right on the flowing Kwai Noi River. All floating rooms are tucked into a floating bamboo lodge moored along the historic River Kwai Noi and surrounded by lush green mountains and jungle. At this "floatel", the historic River Kwai Noi flows underneath your bed. The walls are weaved from local bamboo decorated with wooden furniture reflecting the Mon living style (hotel subject to availability). Day 2: Following breakfast, your guide will take you by long-tail boat back to your private vehicle. After another 45 minutes to 1 hour of travel will take you to Erawan National Park, where you will find the most beautiful waterfalls in Thailand: the Erawan Waterfalls. The waterfall consists of 7 plateaus, and you can hike to the highest level through a small jungle path. After reaching the top, you will still have plenty of time to discover the natural fish spas, see the natural shaped slides, and go for a swim. Following lunch, you will be taken back to your hotel in Bangkok.

Khao Yai National Park Jungle Trekking Day Trip From Bangkok

5. Khao Yai National Park Jungle Trekking Day Trip From Bangkok

After hotel pick-up in the early hours, head to the first stop on the trek at the Kilometer 30 viewing point at Thanarat Road. Capture the scenery of the Northern part of Khao Yai National Park, great for photo opportunities. Trek onward to Kilometer 33, known as Nong Park Chi to the locals. Walk for around 2 hours, passing an observation tower and many different species of wildlife. There is a salt lick close to the tower to attract wildlife, along with a lake, open grassland and forest. Savor a traditional Thai lunch at a local restaurant. After lunch, head to the Khao Yai National Park Visitor Center in the park headquarters, a useful starting point for visitors with information and interpretive facilities to enhance your appreciation of the park. See exhibits on the natural environment and wildlife of Khao Yai, and get information about day hiking trails. Finally, stop at the splendid Haew Suwat Waterfall, with plenty of shady tree spots to sit under and many large rocks to lie down on and relax. This stunning waterfall was made famous in The Beach, but is unfortunately off limits to swim in. After your full day trekking in the forest, transfer back to Bangkok at approximately 6:00 PM.

Kanchanaburi: Erawan Waterfall & Train Full-Day Tour

6. Kanchanaburi: Erawan Waterfall & Train Full-Day Tour

You’ll start bright and early and head to Srinakarin Lake, built as a result of the Srinakarin Dam on the Kwai Yai River. The peaceful lake offers fantastic views of the reservoir and the surrounding mountains and forests. Admire the lakeside views and get your photos in before heading to your next destination.  Erawan National Park is named after the three-headed white elephant in Hindu mythology. The park is most famous for housing the Erawan Waterfall, a cascade that tumbles down seven tiers – said to resemble the god Erawan. Take a quick dip in the emerald green pools, scout the nearby caves, and take in the lush surrounding forest of the park before digging in to a tasty lunch at a local restaurant. Up next is the infamous Siam-Burma Railway, also known as the Death Railway. Ccatch a train and chug past stunning views of the Tham Krasae Bridge and River Kwai. You’ll end the day with a stop at the Bridge On The River Kwai, where you’ll learn about its cultural and historical significance while admiring fantastic views.

From Kanchanaburi: Elephants World Sanctuary Visit

7. From Kanchanaburi: Elephants World Sanctuary Visit

Elephant World is a self-supporting environmental conservation organization that cares for domestic elephants, situated just outside the town of Kanchanaburi, Thailand. Elephant World cares for the daily needs of over 30 elephants and staff by offering eco-travelers the experience of an up-close and personal encounter with these wonderful creatures. Choose from either a 1-day program or an overnight stay which includes accommodation in a traditional Thai-style cottage by the river and the mountains.  1-Day Experience The 1-day experience starts with pick up from your hotel or guesthouse in Kanchanaburi at 9 AM. Arrive at Elephant World, where you'll meet and feed the friendly elephants up close. Then observe the elephants bathing on a huge river. Have the opportunity to clean fruits and vegetables and prepare and cook sticky rice balls for your new friends. After lunch, gather plants and vegetables for elephants at the sanctuary's farm then plant banana trees and sugarcane. Feed sticky rice balls to the old elephants and take the elephants to the river for a bath where you can scrub them clean before feeding them with the fruits you prepared. The day program ends at 4 PM when you will head back to your hotel. Overnight Experience The overnight experience is the same but includes overnight accommodation in a traditional Thai-style cottage, equipped with a bathroom and hot shower, mosquito nets, and a comfortable terrace for relaxing. In the wet season, the elephants sleep and eat in the forest. Staying overnight will allow you to walk the elephants out into the forest at the end of the day with the mahouts. The next day, wake early up to the sounds of the wildlife. Bring the elephants back in from the forest before the day's activities begin. In the dry season, take a walk with the elephants in the morning. Choose to hike to the top of a mountain (for an extra fee of 100 THB) and enjoy the view or observe the beautiful birds next to the river. After that, return for a tasty Thai lunch and check out. Finally, enjoy a fun afternoon with the elephants and help them take a bath. Then, enjoy rafting down the River Kwai with life jackets provided. Relax and admire at the peaceful atmosphere of the surroundings as you float back to Elephant World. Finish the program at around 3 PM and return to your hotel in Kanchanaburi.

Bangkok: Kanchanaburi and Erawan Waterfall Private Tour

8. Bangkok: Kanchanaburi and Erawan Waterfall Private Tour

Explore western Thailand on a private tour from Bangkok. Starting with pickup at 7:00 AM, travel 2.5 hours to Kanchanaburi, learning about the history of this area and life under Japanese occupation in WWII from your English-speaking guide as you go.   The first stop will be at the Allied Cemetery and the JEATH (Japanese-English-American-Australian-Thai-Holland) War Museum. Learn about the poor circumstances of the Asian convicts and European POWs during the construction of the Myanmar railway. Next, you will visit the iconic bridge over the River Kwai, the main landmark of Kanchanaburi. Wait until the local train passes and enjoy the view of the picturesque river. After a delicious lunch at a local restaurant, you will proceed to one of the most beautiful waterfalls in Thailand, the Erawan Waterfalls. The waterfall consists of 7 plateaus and has many caves hidden behind the walls of water. If you wish, you can take a dip in the crystal-clear pools.  At the end of the tour, hotel drop-off will be provided. You will reach your hotel in Bangkok at around 6:00 PM.

Kanchanaburi: Elephant Sanctuary & Erawan Waterfall Tour

9. Kanchanaburi: Elephant Sanctuary & Erawan Waterfall Tour

Take a relaxing break in the peaceful and natural surroundings of Elephants World. Visit the Erawan National Park and swim in the clear pools. Start your adventure by heading to the elephant sanctuary. Elephants World is an environmental conservation organization and animal rescue facility dedicated to helping ill, old and abused elephants. Listen to an introduction and safety briefing before preparing to feed the elephants. Get down and dirty and give the elephants a mud bath before heading to the river to rinse them off. There will be some time to shower before you tuck into a delicious buffet lunch. After helping yourself to delicious Thai dishes, feed the elephants the food you prepared earlier. At Erawan National Park, trek through lush forests and caves before arriving at Erawan Waterfall. Enjoy the impressive 7-tiered waterfall and emerald pools. Take a dip or simply relax and enjoy the abundance of native flora and fauna around you.

Khao Yai National Park: 2-Day Private Tour from Bangkok

10. Khao Yai National Park: 2-Day Private Tour from Bangkok

DAY 1: Around 9:00 AM on day 1 your private driver will meet you at your hotel in Bangkok and take you to Khao Yai National Park. The first stop that you're heading to is Khao Yai Nature Life, the transfer takes about 3 hours. Once there, it's time to meet and greet your guide, then continue for the afternoon tour. You will be visiting a Buddhist cave temple, see million wrinkle-lipped bats flying and forming a snake-like stream in the sky and visit a viewpoint overlooking the National Park. This tour will be joined with a small group (max 10 people). After today's tour a transfer to your hotel. DAY 2: Get up at 7:00 AM, enjoy breakfast, then pickup for the tour will be at 8:00 AM. First stop in Khao Yai National park is a stop at the Viewpoint to stretch your legs. You will be joining a guide in a small group party. Then, the guide will take you hiking through the dry evergreen forest where gibbons, monkey and hornbills are often seen. After that you will drive up to Haew Suwat waterfall, followed by lunch near the waterfalls and swimming in a natural pool. In the afternoon, you will see to the second highest mountain of the park and relax on a superb viewpoint. Your most favorite part of the day could be the evening when you are going to be checking out the wild elephants that might come to the salt licks. This join tour finishes at 7:30 PM in Khao Yai. Your private driver will take you back to Bangkok. Expected return time in Bangkok is 10:30 PM.

Frequently asked questions about Central Thailand National Parks

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Other Sightseeing Options in Central Thailand

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What people are saying about Central Thailand

Overall rating

4.6 / 5

based on 7 reviews

This was such an amazing trip. Started off with the Jeath museum and death railway (which we were also able to get a boat trip too for only 200thb). Then onto the waterfalls which was incredible. Bond was an amazing guide and answered any questions we had. Would’ve loved longer at the waterfalls but still had an incredible time!

This was an excellent trip for those looking to get out of Bangkok for the day. Nook (our guide) and Nik (our driver) were great! They were knowledgeable, efficient and friendly. Also Erwan falls is gorgeous, and the bridge over the river Kwasi is worth seeing.

Nicky, our guide, was incredible! Super accommodating, friendly, and attentive. She made sure everyone was doing well at all times. Also, the sights were incredible and I thoroughly enjoyed my day.

Tar was a great guide and had organized the trip really well. Would have liked some more time at the waterfalls though. No complaints. :)

This was a great trip. Jackie was a great guide, the tour was well organised and interesting. Highly recommend it to others.