Take in the Fresh Oxygen on the Hills of nearby Nakhon Nayok with the All New Mitsubishi Pajero sport
This edition of the Amazing Road Trips with All New Mitsubishi Pajero sport is bound to please nature lovers because we are traveling to Khao Paeng Ma, one of the few places you can view the near-extinct wild gaur, as well as Khao Yai, the location of an abundance of wildlife including 250 species of birds. And for adrenaline junkies, we have a beautiful trail for you to run and cycle on at the Lamprapleung Dam.
Get to Know Our Destination
From an aerial view, Khao Paeng Ma or Khao Phu Luang looks like a horse’s mane due to the long and narrow sharp edges of the hilltops. The hill used to be filled with trees but deforestation and concessions given to private companies to fell trees turned it bare. The Wildlife Fund Thailand under Royal Patronage then stepped in to join hands with locals to plant trees and turn it back into a lush jungle filled with wildlife. This area is also one of the very few homes to the wild gaur, reflecting the abundance of the area. The Lamprapleung Dam is located nearby and was formally known as Ban San Kampaeng Dam. The scenery there is spectacular, particularly the winding roads around the dam that must not be missed. Recently, Wangnamkiew District has launched a trail for runners and cyclists that passes through the dam.
The Khao Yai National Park spans an area of 11 districts in 4 provinces, namely, Saraburi, Nakhon Ratchasima, Prachin Buri, and Nakhon Nayok. The park is a World Heritage Site as declared by UNESCO and comprises of a range of mountains which are the origin of many key rivers and waterways such as the Nakhon Nayok River and the Mool River. Driving through Khao Yai National Park will give you various sightings of wildlife, as well as 250 species of birds, 5,000 species of insects, and 216 species of butterflies.
Fun in the Sun
- At Khao Paeng Ma, don’t miss viewing the herd of wild gaur which usually come out to hunt during the afternoon and evening. You may also catch a glimpse of other wildlife as well as a sea of mist during the morning. Don’t forget to do your part to help preserve nature and bring your garbage out for disposal.
- A trip to Lamprapleung Dam won’t be complete without trying the new trail for running and cycling which boasts magnificent views. Breathe in the fresh air of the area which was ranked number 7 in the world in terms of the abundance of fresh oxygen by NASA’s aerial map.
- The Khao Yai National Park has a wide variety of wildlife to be seen. Herds of wild elephants with adorable baby elephants can be seen from kilometer 30th all the way to the entrance to Nong Pakchee and Pong Tonsai, as well as the Nernhom checkpoint to enter Khao Yai all the way to Khlong Samsib. If you are a bird lover, do bring your binoculars because there are definitely lots of birds to see.
- Camping is available on Khao Paeng Ma with a tent pitching area located 300 meters away from the wild gaur and the sea of mist viewing area, facing the management office and next to the parking lot. Do bring your own tents and supplies because there are none available for hire. Binoculars are available for rent though. If you want to see wild gaurs, do visit during the rainy season because as many as 40 gaurs can be seen.
- There are plenty of accommodations to choose from at Lamprapleung Dam with different price range so take your pick. Camp grounds and tents for hire are also available.
- Khao Yai National Park is also opened for camping at the Lamtakong camp ground. Food and beverages are available at the restaurant there but they do close at 3.30pm on Sundays-Thursdays, 5pm on Fridays, and 7pm on Saturdays so do plan accordingly. Toilets and showers and tents for hire are available should you fail to bring your own.
How to Get There
From Bangkok to Khao Paeng Ma in Wangnamkiew District of Nakhon Ratchasima Province, use the Ongkarak-Nakhon Nayok, Prachin Buri-Nakhon Ratchasima route. From the new Kabinburi intersection, use Highway 304 (Kabinburi-Wangnamkiew) and drive for about 200 kilometers. Before arriving at the 79 Market in Wangnamkiew District, turn left at the Chaopor Luangraj Shrine and go straight for 11 kilometers. You’ll come across a sign directing you to Khao Paeng Ma. Lamprapleung Dam is located on Highway 3052 or if you come from Khao Yai, use Thanarat Road to get to Highway 304.
Khao Yai National Park can be reached via many routes from Phahonyothin Road. If you pass Rangsit to Saraburi, turn right onto Friendship Highway and pass Muaglek before turning right again at the intersection before Pakchong District. At kilometer 58, enter Highway 2090 (Thanarat Road) and drive for about 25 kilometers and you’ll reach a checkpoint. Then drive uphill for another 14 kilometers and you’ll arrive at the Khao Yai National Park office. If you wish to use the route passing through Nongkae, use Highway 305 and then Highway 33 (Suwannasorn Road). Pass through Nakhon Nayok’s downtown area and you’ll come across the Nernhom intersection or Naresuan roundabout. Before arriving at Prachin Buri, turn left onto Highway 3077 (Prachin Buri-Khao Yai Road). You’ll reach Nernhom checkpoint and the entrance up Khao Yai. If you turn right from Phahonyothin Road near Rangsit, you will enter Highway 305 heading for Nakhon Nayok. Then take Highway 33 (Suwannasorn Road) and drive until you reach the Nernhom intersection or Naresuan roundabout. Take a left onto the Prachin Buri-Khao Yai Road.
Safe Driving Tips
For more information, please contact:
Nakhon Nayok Tourism Authority of Thailand Office
Areas of jurisdiction: Nakhon Nayok, Prachin Buri, Sakaew
182/88 Moo 1 Suwannasorn Road Tambon Tachang Muang District Nakhon Nayok Province 26000
Tel: 0 3731 2282, 0 3731 2284