Khao Yai National Park
is a national park in Thailand. It lies largely in Nakhon
Ratchasima Province (Khorat), but also includes parts of
Saraburi, Prachinburi and Nakhon Nayok provinces. It was the
country's first national park, established on September 18,
1962. A major role in its establishment was done by Boonsong
Lekakul, one of the 20th century's most famous
conservationists in Thailand.
The park is the second largest in Thailand. It covers an
area of 2,168 square kilometers, including evergreen forests
and grasslands. Its altitude mostly ranges from 400 to 1000
m above sea level. There are 3,000 species of plants, 320
species of birds and 67 species of mammals, including
Asiatic black bears, Asian elephants, gaur, tigers, gibbons,
Indian sambar deer, Indian muntjac, dholes, and wild pigs.
Its waterfalls include the 80 metre Haew Narok. Namtok
Sarika is popular with the Thais.
Recent wildlife studies show that animal ranges,
particularly the few resident tigers, are impacted by human
activity near the center of the park. This study has not
impacted the government's call for private lodging
concessions within the park itself.
The park is often visited by travelers from Isan, Bangkok
and beyond, for whom there are over 50km of hiking trails.