Covering a total area of 31,325 rai, including parts of Amphoe Mueang, Amphoe Ao Luek, and Amphoe Khao Phanom, Khao Phanom Bencha National Park is Krabi’s only on land National Park. It offers pristine, lush forest with mountain ranges running north to south. Khao Phanom Bencha, the highest elevation of Krabi, stands at 1,397 metres above sea level. Its marvellous scenery is enhanced by streams, waterfalls, caves, and wild animals such as Asian tapir, Sumatran serow, Asiatic black bear, and Fishing cat. In addition to this, it boasts more than 218 species of birds such as eagles, hornbills, and woodpeckers.
Other attractions include:
Namtok Huai To – Originating from Khao Phanom Bencha, this waterfall is composed of 5 cascades, each with its own name, such as Wang Sam Hap, Wang Chong Loi, Wang Doi Prong, Wang Thewada, and Wang Ton Phrio. Namtok Huai To eventually flows to Khlong Krabi Yai in Amphoe Mueang, Krabi.
Namtok Huai Sade – Located some 300 metres from the park’s office, this waterfall is composed of 3 cascades with a crystal clear pool. It eventually flows to Khlong Ton and Khlong Krabi Yai.
Trekking to the peak of the Khao Phanom Bencha is another highlight. Two routes are available.
First route: This route takes 4 days and 3 nights starting from
Namtok Huai To, which is located 300 metres from the park’s office. Visitors climb 5 cascades and at the top walk further towards the stream. Take a left turn at the large dipterocarpus Yang tree and stay overnight at Khao Luk Chang. The next morning continue walking and stay overnight at Khuan Namkhang. Then, keep trekking towards the foot of Khao Phanom Bencha. The next day, visitors can trek to its peak and stay one more night.
Second route: Commute by car towards Bang San Operational Base. This route is 60 kilometres and takes 3 days and 2 nights. Trekking starts by walking from the said base heading for Khao Phanom Bencha’s peak, which takes the whole day. Stay overnight. Proceed downhill the following day and stay at Khuan Namkhang. Trekking continues the next morning towards the park’s office.
Either route, tourists will experience the beauty of flora and fauna, caves, cliffs, waterfalls, streams, sea of fog, panoramic view of Krabi, and cool weather all year- round. Getting the necessary information beforehand is recommended.
Rental tents are available (2 – 8 people) at a rate of baht 150 – 600/night. Alternatively, tourists may bring their own and pay a fee of baht 30/tent/night. Contact Khao Phanom Bencha National Park, P.O. Box 26, Amphoe Mueang, Krabi, 81000, Tel. 0 7662 9013, 08 9893 6455. In addition to this, contact the Department of National Park, Wild Life, and Flora, Tel. 0 2562 0760 or visit www.dnp.go.th, e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org.
Admission: Adult 100 bath Child 50 bath
To get there from the provincial town of Krabi, proceed along Phetchakasem Road for 1 kilometre towards Ban Talat Kao T-junction. Take a left turn onto the Talat Kao – Ban Huai To route. The total distance to the National Park is 20 kilometres.