Asian wild elephants in Kuiburi National Park, Thailand.

© sittitap/Getty Images/iStockphoto

Kuiburi National Park

Top choice in Hua Hin & the Upper Gulf

Who doesn't want to see herds of wild elephants roaming through the forest or enjoying an evening bath? At Kuiburi National Park's hôoay léuk unit, up near the border with Myanmar and about 65km from Pranburi, it's almost guaranteed. Wildlife-watching drives in the back of pickup trucks go through the forest and reclaimed farm fields where elephants live. They're used to seeing vehicles, so they pay them little mind, making this almost like an African safari experience.

There are also plenty of gaurs (wild cattle) and they're seen fairly often. Most of the spotters don't speak English, but they know some relevant vocabulary. Avoid Saturdays if possible, as the park gets very busy. It's 45 minutes west of Khao Sam Roi Yot National Park; follow the national park signs for 'wildlife watching'. The two make an ideal combo visit.

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