Lonely Planet Writer

These Thai national parks are closing for the rainy season

If you’re heading to Thailand at some point this year and want to soak up some of its incredible natural beauty, you may need to plan ahead. The annual closure of some national parks has begun, with some places due to be affected until December 2018.

Koh Chang Island, part of the Mu Koh Chang National Park. Photo by Justin Foulkes/Lonely Planet

The parks closure has now become an annual event with 66 of the 147 national parks taking part at various times over the next nine months. The closure is ordered by the Department of National Parks, Wildlife and Plant Conservation and will affect some of the top attractions in the country. The Thai national parks closure coincides with the beginning of the rainy season which can cause dangerous conditions for visitors. As the country is perennially popular with tourists, it also allows for some valuable recovery time for the parks’ eco-systems. Yuthasak Supasorn, governor of the country’s tourism authority said in a statement that “natural rejuvenation is a key to preserving the biodiversity and pristine quality of Thailand’s amazing nature and natural resources.”

Home Phutoey Resort, Sai Yok National Park. Photo by Justin Foulkes/Lonely Planet

Which national parks are closing in Thailand this year?

In total, the southern region will be the most affected, with 28 parks due to close. 24 parks in the north will close for a time, 25 in the north-eastern region and just 20 more dotted around the rest of the country. For some parks, it will only be certain attractions like waterfalls that will be closed and different areas of the park may be closed at different times. The list of parks and affected attractions are exhaustive so for a complete list, including their dates, visit the Tourism Authority of Thailand before planning your excursion.