Thale Noi Waterfowl Reserve
is the largest waterfowl
reserve in Thailand. It can be reached via Highway No. 4048 from Amphoe
Muang to Amphoe Khuan Khanun and to Thale Noi, for a total distance of
32 kilometres. The road is paved asphalt all the way. The reserve is the
responsibility of the Royal Forestry Department and covers 450 square
kilometres, divided into 422 square kilometres of land (94%) and 28
square kilometres of water (6%), or Thale Noi.
The sea is 5 kilometres wide and 6 kilometres long with an
average depth of 1.2 metres. The sea is covered with assorted flora such
as lotus, bulrush, reed, and grass used for thatching. More than 187
species of waterfowls, migratory and indigenous birds make their home at
Thale Noi. Some live here throughout the year and some migrate only in
winter from October to March when the population density is at its
highest. The low season is June-September which is the nesting period.
Species that are prevalent here are those of the heron and stork family
such as yellow bittern, great egret, painted stork, red stork; ducks
such as lesser whistling duck, cotton pygmy goose, and garganey; grebe;
rails such as white-browed crake, white-breasted waterhen, watercock,
common moorhen, and Eurasian coot; jacanas such as pheasant-tailed
jacana and bronze-winged jacana; cormorants such as great cormorant and
little cormorant; black-winged stilt; Brahminy kite; red-wattled
lapwing; whiskered tern; common kingfisher; and barn swallow. The best
time to study flora and fauna is during October-March when there is an
abundance of birds and pink lotus in full bloom cover the reserve.
Moreover, tourists can visit villages and see cottage industries like
reed mat making.
Thale Noi has been named the first world ramsar site
(wetland site) in Thailand. This aims to preserve the sustainable
ecology of the area, one that is being developed into one of the
country’s most important nature study centres. As such, there is careful
control of eco-tourism in Thale Noi in order to minimize impact on the
Tourists can take boats from Thale Noi pier and go on two
routes; the first one for tourists with services by the Thale Noi
community and the second for academics and nature study by requesting
permission and guide from a reserve official. The reserve has
comfortable accommodation. For more information, please contact the
Royal Forestry Department in Bangkok, tel: 0- 2579-7223, 0-2579-5734, and Thale Noi Non-hunting
Travel to Thale Noi is easy by boat and car. Access can be
made from seaside districts like Ranot, Sathing Phra and Muang of
Songkhla, and Pak Phayun, Khuan Khanun and Mueang of Phatthalung.
Visitors by train can alight at Pak Khlong station and continue by car
to Thale Noi for 8 kilometres.Tourist Advice on a Nature Study of Thale
Obtain information from and make accommodation reservation
at the park 30 days prior to the visit, tel: (074) 615722, 685230. Thale
Noi Non-hunting Area is in Tambon Thale Noi, Amphoe Khuan Khanun,
Tourists studying migratory birds and water flora should
know the best time to see them:
- The boat tour to study waterfowls provided by the Thale
Noi community goes along a fixed route and takes 1 hour. The fee is 200
baht for 8 persons.
- Researchers and nature watchers interested in studying birds must obtain
permission from the park directly and must strictly follow the advice of
- Embark boats with caution and try to disperse the weight
of passengers evenly through the boat. Passengers should not stick arms
and feet outside the boat while it is cruising or disturb the boat’s
- Visitors should not make loud noises during the tour or
pick flowers and plants along the way.
- Visitors should wear attire that is in tune with nature
and bird watching equipment, and should wear a life vest in the boat.
- Do not eat or drink during the tour and dispose of garbage in bins in