Rayong, Thailand – Rayong, a province known for its stunning beaches and vibrant coastal communities, is also home to some of Thailand’s most captivating national parks. These pristine natural reserves offer a diverse range of ecosystems, from lush forests and cascading waterfalls to rare wildlife, making them a haven for eco-tourists and nature enthusiasts. Let’s embark on a journey to discover the breathtaking beauty of Rayong’s national parks.
Khao Laem Ya – Mu Ko Samet National Park
Located on the eastern coast of Rayong, Khao Laem Ya – Mu Ko Samet National Park is a jewel in the province’s crown. This park is renowned for its picturesque landscapes, comprising lush jungles, white sandy beaches, and crystal-clear waters. Mu Ko Samet, an archipelago within the park, is a haven for divers and snorkelers, offering an opportunity to explore vibrant coral reefs and a rich marine life.
The park also houses the iconic Khao Laem Ya headland, a perfect spot for hiking and offering panoramic views of the Gulf of Thailand. Birdwatchers will be delighted to find a variety of avian species, including hornbills and sea eagles. With its abundant natural beauty, Khao Laem Ya – Mu Ko Samet National Park is a must-visit destination for anyone seeking tranquility and adventure.
Khao Chamao – Khao Wong National Park
Nature enthusiasts should not miss a visit to Namtok Khao Chamao – Khao Wong National Park. Located inland, this park is a haven for hikers, as it boasts a network of trails that lead to breathtaking waterfalls and caves. The park’s lush rainforests are home to various species of flora and fauna, including elusive tigers, gibbons, and rare orchids.
The park’s crown jewel is the Khao Chamao Waterfall, a multi-tiered cascade that invites visitors to take a refreshing dip in its cool waters. For spelunking enthusiasts, the Khao Wong Cave offers a fascinating underground adventure, with stalactites and stalagmites decorating its chambers.
Khao Wong Caves
Khao Wong area of the national park is an isolated small mountain 5 km south east of Khao Chamao.
The main attraction of Khao Wong area is Khao Wong Caves, a series of caves accessible by a trail through an impressive forest habitat surrounded by limestone cliffs. A trail that starts from a nearby checkpoint leads to the first shrine-cave which has nearly 7 meter wide opening and an average of 35 meters height through it.
Continuing through this cave, the trail will lead to a wide and high entrance (exit) at the other end, this entrance is covered with vegetation hanging from above and with sight of forest outside, making it a spectacular view while walking out. The trail will continue between cliffs to a number of other caves through forests; entrances to these sub-caves are only a few hundred meters apart.
During the cold and dry seasons the trails are pretty dry and easily accessible. During the wet season the trail gets muddy through forested areas, many water ponds will build up blocking the route.
There are a total 80 caves in Khao Wong area, but not all are accessible.
Rayong Botanical Gardens
Tucked away in the heart of Rayong Province, just a few minutes away from the Mae Phim Beach lies a hidden gem that’s a paradise for nature enthusiasts and science aficionados alike – the Rayong Botanical Gardens. This verdant oasis is a sanctuary for biodiversity, research, and education, offering visitors a chance to immerse themselves in the wonders of the plant kingdom.
Spanning over 300 acres, the Rayong Botanical Gardens is a lush tapestry of plant life from Thailand and around the world. It serves as a living museum of biodiversity, with an impressive collection of over 3,000 species of plants, including rare and endangered ones. The garden’s meticulously designed landscapes showcase a wide range of ecosystems, from tropical rainforests to arid deserts, creating a unique opportunity for visitors to explore diverse plant environments within a single location.
The lush and thriving mangrove forests stand as silent sentinels, guarding the delicate balance of coastal ecosystems. These unique and vital ecosystems, found along the Gulf of Thailand, play a crucial role in protecting the shoreline, supporting biodiversity, and mitigating the effects of climate change.
Characterized by their distinctive tangle of prop roots and brackish waters, offer a haven for countless species of flora and fauna. They serve as essential breeding grounds and nurseries for fish, crabs, and other marine life, contributing significantly to the local fishing industry.