National Parks Near Chanthaburi
Two small national parks are easily reached from Chanthaburi, and make good day trips. Both are malarial, so take the usual precautions.
Khao Khitchakut National Park is 28km northeast of town. Though it’s one of Thailand’s smallest national parks (59 sq km), it’s bordered by wildlife sanctuaries and harbours wild elephants. The cascade of Nam Tok Krathing is only impressive just after the rainy season. Another attraction atop a hill is a temple where, by an enormous boulder, Buddha is believed to have left a footprint. To get to Khao Khitchakut, take a sŏrng·tăa·ou from next to the post office, near the northern side of the market in Chanthaburi (35B, 45 minutes). The sŏrng·tăa·ou stops 1km from the park headquarters on Rte 3249, from which point you will have to walk. Returning transport is scarce so expect to wait or hitch.
Namtok Phlio National Park, off Hwy 3, is 14km to the southeast of Chanthaburi and is much more popular. A pleasant short nature trail loops around the waterfalls, which writhe with soro brook carp; you can bathe here. Also on display are the strikingly mossy Phra Nang Ruar Lom stupa (c 1876) and Along Khon chedi (c 1881). To get to the park, catch a sŏrng·tăa·ou from the northern side of the market in Chanthaburi to the park entrance (50B, 30 minutes). You will get dropped off about 1km from the entrance. Private transport is 1500B.
Accommodation is available at both parks; book with the park reservation system.