If your are making travel plans with kids, there is definitely no adventure more thrilling than to immerse them in nature and to observe wildlife in their most natural habitat. From walking trails with breathtaking views at Khao Sam Roi Yot, camping at Thailand's largest national park at Kaeng Krachang and an almost guaranteed wild mammals watching experience at Kui Buri, we had the highlights covered here for a truly authentic nature and wildlife experience at Hua Hin.
Sublime view of Thailand’s largest freshwater marsh amidst a myriad of exotic water fowls in Khao Sam Roi Yot National Park
Coined as “the mountain of three hundred peaks” the Khao Sam Roi Yot National Park is made up of a series of limestone hills, wetlands, beautiful beaches. At the northwest corner lies Thailand’s largest freshwater marsh. Strolling on the 1km wooden broadway stretching over the marsh is a sure way to enjoy the sublime view of the surroundings.
Get ready your binoculars as migratory birds, amphibians and many other water species can be spotted within the vicinity.
Bird sightings are best from January to February as the water fowls embark on their flight path from Asia to Australia.
Hike up to unravel Thailand’s stunningly gorgeous shrine cave
Never leave Khao Sam Roi Yot National Park without catching a glimpse of the mystical shrine cave. Accessible from the Laem Sala Beach, The nature trail leading up to the cave is 430m long at 130m elevation from the beach and is slated for advanced hikers but we mount it all the same with our 4 and 7 year-old.
The cave is made up of magnificent chambers and house the iconic pavilion erected by previous late Thai King. The erected shrine is located in one of the two distinctive sink holes when a part of the limestone cave collapsed years back. Arrive at 10am in the morning and witness the spear of sunlight piercing through the cave chamber from atop casting a spectacular mystical sight.
Camp at Thailand’s Untouched Nature -Kaeng Krachan National Park
The largest national park in Thailand and top spot for birds and butterflies watching had us falling for. Soon as the sun sets and dips into the horizon, the jungle took on a different life of its own. Tonight we will be spending the night here. Tent rental is available at the park but I would still recommend you bring your own tent for personal comfort. Basic home cooked food is available at the camp site in local eatery setting. The rangers managing the eatery here were really helpful. In fact, I got to give them credits for pointing us to the direction to where the porcupines were. It was quite a thrill for myself and the kids spotting porcupines looming around mischievously in the darkness just few metres away from where we were eating.
The symphony of nature coming from the sounds of insects, birds and bigger animals is solid proof that the jungle is never quiet at night. Fortunately for me and for the little ones, the unusual lullaby from mother nature and the exhilaration from exploring every corner that is screaming to be discovered in the day had us drifting to sleep in no time. Amidst the vast jungle during the off peak holiday season, we were the only tents pitched in the dark.
The coming of dawn, relentless birds’ chirping from near and afar, playful dusky leaf monkeys swinging from trees to trees and the spectacular view of morning mist shrouded hills piercing through the clouds are all part of yet another new start of the day at Kaeng Krachan. Our day was spent driving around the park to catch a glimpse of the spectacular mountain top view and trekking the many trails available in the park.
Destination for an almost guaranteed sighting of bigger mammals in the wild - Kui Buri National Park
If sightings of golden jackals, porcupines, asian forest tortoise, dusky leaf monkeys and a bigger than life gecko tokay are not enough to thrill your inner child, we recommend paying a visit to the Kui Buri National Park Just south of Kaeng Krachan, this place has the highest success rate, though not guaranteed across Thailand for spotting bigger mammals in the wild like elephants, gaurs, deers, bantengs. Other mammals like golden jackals, deers, leopards and langurs are also common sights across the savannah.
Reflecting on this trip, I think we were able to bask in Thailand’s tranquility and untouched nature. The myriad of limestone hills, wetlands, nature trails and beautiful beaches where thousands of wildlife species call home is what Hua Hin has to offer besides its already well-known delightful mix of city life and seaside beach resorts. Hua Hin definitely reveals itself as an ideal destination for nature and wildlife enthusiasts.