Introducing Khao Phanom Bencha National Park
This 50-sq-km park (admission 200B) protects a dramatic area of virgin rainforest along the spine of 1350m-high Khao Phanom Bencha, just 20km north of Krabi. The name means Five-Point Prostration Mountain, a reference to the mountain’s profile, which resembles a person prostrate in prayer, with hands, knees and head touching the ground.
The park is full of scenic waterfalls, including the 11-tiered Nam Tok Huay To, just 500m from the park headquarters. Close by and almost as dramatic are Nam Tok Huay Sadeh and Nam Tok Khlong Haeng. On the way into the park, you can visit Tham Khao Pheung, a fantastic cave with shimmering mineral stalactites and stalagmites. Numerous trails snake through the park providing excellent opportunities for hiking. You can discover lesser-known streams and waterfalls, too.
Clouded leopards, black panthers, tigers, Asiatic black bears, barking deer, serow, Malayan tapirs, leaf monkeys, gibbons and various tropical birds – including the helmeted hornbill, argus pheasant and extremely rare Gurney’s pitta – make their home here.
There is no public transport to the park, and it doesn’t offer any lodging or eating options. But the park is an easy day trip from Krabi by hired motorcycle; just follow the signposted turn-off from Hwy 4. Alternatively, you can hire a túk-túk for around 300B return.