Most visitors to Thailand will visit Bangkok, Chiang Mai and some of the many beautiful beaches that the country has to offer. Fewer people think about going to visit some of the beautiful national parks that are spread throughout the country. There are over a hundred national parks to explore, ranging from huge ones like Khao Yai in the centre of Thailand to smaller ones like Phuket’s Sirinat National Park.
You will probably encounter plenty of wildlife in the national parks and there are always marked hiking trails to follow.
For accommodation, many of the national parks accept campers bringing their own tents, but there is also the possibility of hiring camping equipment on arrival. This is great if you are backpacking without your own transport and don’t want to lug a tent and all the other camping gear you’ll need with you. Some national parks also have bungalows to rent.
As well as the national parks there are private resorts that offer tented accommodation that have a bit more luxury about them, so it’s more ‘glamping’ than camping.
Some of the national parks have canteens and food vendors who sell snacks and drinks. Be aware that when you enter a national park, you may need your own transport for within the park – some of the distances are huge. You can usually rent scooters or cars just on the outside of the park.
The other thing to remember is to bring some warmer clothes for the evening and at night. Thailand’s climate is warm and balmy most of the year, but it gets cooler during the evenings, so having garments like fleece jackets in your backpack is a good idea.
The national parks in Thailand are very popular, so can get crowded. Visiting at the weekend is asking for a busier campsite, which can have its own advantages. You get to meet new people when you’re staying on a busy site. However, if weekday travel is a possibility for you, you might choose to visit during the week to enjoy the park in a little more solitude.