Khao Kho National Park
Khao Kho National Park is situated right smack in the middle of northern Thailand, almost in the middle of the country excluding the peninsula, in the beautiful Petchabun Mountain Range. Not surprisingly this mountain range and all of its fantastic national parks, including Khao Kho Park, can be found in Petchabun Province, the capitol of which is the quiet – but replete with rural charm – Petchabun Town.
Khao Kho National Park is about an hour north of the capitol and a relatively new addition to Thailand’s formidable roster of national parks. When it was established in 1995 the name it was given was Namtok Than Thipl Forest Park. Namtok means waterfall. Why they took it out of the name I will never know, because in few other places anywhere in the world are there such concentrations of breathtaking waterfalls.
Than Thip Waterfall is one of the premier falls in the park, as it is one of the most accessible and leisure-friendly. Easily accessed from the road, and in all seasons, you can get under the waterfall and swim/splash around in a little basin at the base. The fall is 26 meters high and 30 wide, falling almost like a brilliant sheet of glass off the rock face.
There are 8 other excellent falls in the park with enough variation in size, strength, accessibility (some are only accessible in certain seasons and some require some serious trekking), and location to keep things really interesting and challenging, as well as provide some choice. The trail to Pha Lat Waterfall will take you through the full range of forest conditions up into the mountains past many excellent viewpoints to the fall that rolls right off the cliff – not advised for folks who don’t care for high places. Wang Tum Fall has a big basin under the fall where you can get in and bask in the cool mountain majesty.
That’s something else I should probably mention, it is always cool and comfy in the park. Extraordinarily temperate year round, it’s not too likely that your visit will turn into a bummer over the weather; a lot of visitors compare the landscape and climate to a Swiss springtime. And since the park is somewhat new and not developed in any real way (there are bathrooms and campgrounds, a few restaurants, but not much else), it’s not usually as crowded as some of the other parks in the Kingdom. Send us an email if you have any questions about Khao Kho or any other national parks in Thailand!