Despite the low season, or because of it, northern Thailand presents a pleasant escape from summer's stifling heat and a chance to explore the region's natural beauty with little interference from fellow visitors. A case in point is Doi Inthanon National Park in Chiang Mai where the mercury read a cool 15 degrees Celsius at the height of afternoon when we travelled in May to the highest mountain peak in the country.
Tourists visiting Doi Inthanon National Park in Chiang Mai generally head for the famous summit of this mountain resort. To them, the long trek to the summit is a sense of accomplishment. However, little do they know that halfway to the top is a three-kilometre-long trail called Kew Mae Pan boasting pristine nature and breathtaking scenery.
Get it right...
Jae Son, about 75 kilometres north of downtown Lampang, is one of the North's most famous national parks. But does everybody know everything about this wonderful forest? I don't think so.
Just a few hours' drive from Bangkok, Kaeng Krachan National Park fascinates nature lovers with its abundant birds, butterflies and other wildlife that thrive in this large piece of forest in Phetchaburi Province.
Erawan National Park in Kanchanaburi impresses visitors with neat gardens, cute facilities and clean nature that are a tribute to excellent management skills of park officials.
Falling for Erawan
Tales of misadventure in Thailand's national parks have been an endless source of entertainment for visitors huddled around the campfire over the years. For anyone who has just returned from Erawan National Park however, the story might be different.
The rugged terrain dominated by imposing rocky outcrops and colourful wild flowers attract visitors to Phu Hin Dang in Ubon Ratchathani at this time of the year.
Phu Hin Dang is part of Phu Jong Na Yoi National Park that straddles Thailand, Laos and Cambodia. Its pristine forest cover is home to exotic wildlife and a happy hunting ground for poachers.
Shrimps climb banks on their way to lay eggs deep in a jungle in Ubon Ratchathani
As the crow flies
In less than two hours' drive you can be whisked off to an amazing tract of greenery that you never thought existed close to Bangkok. Chet Khot Nature Study Centre in Sara Buri Province is a forest strip that connects to the World Heritage site of Khao Yai National Park and boasts a rich diversity of flora and fauna.
Gateway to Indochina
Phu Chong Na Yoi National Park sits in Ubon Ratchathani, the door to Laos, Cambodia and beyond
Nursery for all seasons
Queen Sirikit Botanic Garden has some of the most fascinating collection of plant species anywhere. It sits on 1,000 hectares of scenic landscape on the foothills of Doi Suthep mountain in Mae Rim District of Chiang Mai.
Homestay in Ban Busai
Eco-tourism gains a firm foothold in Wang Nam Kheo District of Nakhon Ratchasima
While the lake created by construction of Ratchaprapha Dam and Khao Sok National Park attract leisure tourists throughout the year, opposite them by Highway 401 is Khlong Phanom National Park that draws fewer visitors even though it promises some great adventure, exotic birds and animal life.
Monsoon rain revitalises park
Pha Taem National Park in Ubon Ratchathani houses not only the well-known 180-metre-long pre-historic cliff paintings, but also other hidden treasures in its 212,500 rai of forest and mountainous terrain.
Krabi's other side
Kayaking through Tha Lane's stunning mangrove and limestone cliffs presents a facet of Krabi not known to most tourists who are generally more at home with its exotic beaches and life under the sea.
Khuen Si - Mae Khamin
A long while ago we took a trip to Huai Mae Khamin, one of Kanchanaburi's most beautiful waterfalls, via Si Sawat. Today we'll visit Huai Mae Khamin again but this time we're going to take a different route.Let's use Ban Tha Thung Na, around 45 kilometres northwest of Kanchanaburi downtown on Highway 3199, as our starting point.
The Ubolratana Dam in Khon Kaen has spawned a gigantic reservoir around which rise beaches and parks with nature trails once walked by dinosaurs
Paddling in the Gulf
Mu Ko Ang Thong Marine National Park is truly seductive, its charms the dazzling topography and abundant marine life scattered over 42 islands in the Gulf of Thailand. Situated off the province of Surat Thani, its rich diversity of marine and plant life makes it one of the most frequented spots by nature enthusiasts who arrive there from around the globe.
Foggy logic lures campers
I had to pinch myself to make sure I wasn't dreaming. In front of me hung a gigantic mass of fog filling up the entire valley and obscuring from view the beautiful natural surroundings of Khao Panoen Thung mountain in Kaeng Krachan National Park, the largest of its kind in Thailand.
Don Hoy Lord in Samut Songkhram, a small province only an hour drive from Bangkok, is where you can see various kinds of birds at this time of the year.
A river rages through
Ob Luang National Park in Chiang Mai is unique for its gorge through which runs the free-flowing Mae Chaem River that's popular among adventure buffs for its strong rapids. At one point the river is just two metres wide, sandwiched by giant rocks 50 metres high that almost block off its path.
Turtles fail to show up
From late November until January sea turtles come to lay eggs along a 13-kilometre stretch of beach that is part of Khao Lampee-Hat Thai Muang Marine National Park in Phangnga. However, no eggs or turtles have been spotted so far this season.
Humans wreck havoc at World Heritage park
We all have our pet reasons for visiting Khao Yai, Thailand oldest national park that just happens to be the closest to Bangkok residents who yearn for forested hills and slightly cooler weather.
Family weekend biking, kayaking
The rainy season is a good time to explore nature. Mae Wong National Park straddling Nakhon Sawan and Kamphaeng Phet provinces is a good weekend outing if you are seeking greenery not too far from Bangkok.
The Oriental darter makes a comeback
Over the past few decades, local ornithologists had come to accept that the Oriental darter, or nok ai-ngua in Thai, was on the verge of extinction. Only one or two specimen, whose scientific name is Anhinga melanogaster, were occasionally spotted at sites, namely Phu Khieo Wildlife Sanctuary and Khao Yai National Park .
Trekking in rainforest
South Thailand is flanked by sea on two sides and embraces several rainforests in its midst. One of them is in Khao Luang National Park that attracts nature lovers and trekkers all year round.
Heritage to the World
Home to more than 800 species of wildlife, the Dong Phayayen-Khao Yai Forest Complex has substantial tropical forest ecosystems to provide a viable habitat for the long-term survival of these species
Conservation 'must be park focus'
Ecologists yesterday urged the National Park, Wildlife and Plant Conservation Department (DNP) to focus more on wildlife protection than tourism promotion at Khao Yai National Park to ensure the new World Heritage site is well protected.
Park accommodations take on colour
New-generation lodges are a welcome change from the drab-looking forest bungalows of yore.
In recent years every time I visit or even stop by a national park, there's one thing I always do: check out the park's new generation of accommodations.
Read full news
Chiang Mai Night Safari Project opening to controversy
Prime Minister Taksin Shinawatra, after visiting the Singapore Night Safari, had an idea that Chiang Mai should have such a tourist attraction to accommodate local and foreign wildlife lovers.
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