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Chanthaburi: Khao Khitchakut National Park

If you are looking for a calming vacation with greenery not very far from Thailand’s capital Bangkok, Chanthaburi could be your perfect escape. It is well-known for its mountainous landscape, large tropical fruit plantations, beautiful coastline, gemstone industry, and history during French occupation. There are a few national parks in this province where visitors can appreciate tropical rain forest flora and fauna.
Located only 25 kilometers from the city of Chanthaburi, Khao Khitchakut National Park is in its namesake Khitchakut district. It became Thailand’s 14 th national park in 1977. With its area of nearly 60 square kilometers, Khao Khitchakut National Park is relatively small. Still, just spending a few hours there is guaranteed an experience of adventure and pilgrimage.
The magnificent landmark of the national park is the Khao Phra Bat which is the highest peak at 1,085 meters above mean sea level. It is not easy to climb towards the mountaintop, but once a year around February to April, thousands of Thai people walk a couple kilometers up hill to worship the Buddha footprint under a giant rock. There is also a temple at the hilltop. Locals believe that worshipping this sacred place brings them good luck and prosperity. Not only the unique round shape rocks, but visitors can also enjoy splendid view of lush forest, Nom Sao island, and Chanthaburi city from the top.
Other highlights worth visiting are Krathing Waterfall, Khlong Chang Se Waterfall, and Khlong Paibun Waterfall. Krathing Waterfall comprises of 13 levels of fall with clear-water pools for swimming. It is said that 8 th and 9 th levels are the most magnificent. Along a beautiful nature trail of the waterfall lies a wide variety of plants. As for Khlong Chang Se Waterfall which means ‘wavering elephant’, the water falls from a very high cliff, and for safety reasons visitors must be accompanied by a park official. With shady surroundings, Khlong Paibun Waterfall is ideal for camping and picnic.
The national park is a habitat of a great number of wildlife and fish such as Asian Elephant, Asiatic Black Bear, Asian Koel, Yellow Mystus, and Spiny Eel.
The national park’s entrance fees for foreigners are 100 THB for adults and 50 THB for children. Food shops and toilets are also provided.