Khao Phanom Bencha National Park is a small national park in Krabi Province, Thailand. The park is named after Khao Phanom Bencha mountain, which is the park's highest peak at 1,397 meters asl, and protects an area of virgin rainforest and rare wildlife. Extending over an area of about 50 square kilometres between the Maung, Ao Luek and Khao Phanom districts, Khao Phanom Bencha National Park is located right at the northern edge of Krabi Town, but the main visitor area and park’s office are around 27 km from the city at the east side of the park. The park's main attraction is its virgin forest in perfect condition and full of natural streams, large waterfalls, wildlife, caves and trails through woodlands. Khao Phanom Bencha National Park is open daily from 8:00 am to 4:30 pm, including public holidays.
Located approximately 27 north of Krabi centre, the Headquarters is close to the park's most interesting area and main attractions, including Huay Toe Fall, Huay Sakhe Fall, Khao Pheung Cave, and two beautiful circular trails through mountain forests. Right next to park's office and visitor centre there is a restaurant offering very good food compared to many other national parks, as well as a very small camping ground with parking space. The small camping area has mostly sandy ground, partly grass. There are no pavilions to set the tents under on rainy days, like in some other parks in Thailand, and there are no proper showers in the bathrooms. The park's office provides tourists tents for rent, but bringing your own tents is also an excellent choice. Tents for 3 people are available for THB 225 per day, while those for 8 people cost 810 THB. Sleeping sets cost 60 THB per person. There are also some bungalows available for rent with fan or a/c. A fan bungalow costs 600 THB for 2 people and 1,200 THB for 4 people, while one with a/c per 2 people costs 1,000 THB and 2,000 THB for 4 people.
Huay Toe Fall is the main attraction of the park. Accessible by a short stroll of about 500 meters from the national park’s office, the waterfall consists of 11 tiers with 5 major falls. Some of them stand with majestic height of 70-80 meters and some ponds are also available for fresh and relaxed dips. The first few tiers are relatively easily accessible, then the trail leading to the last levels and beyond gets gradually steep and difficult to walk. The trail continues uphill for few kilometres in different directions to a viewpoint and at the end leads back to the camp on circular paths.
Huay Sakhe Fall is a 3-level waterfall with crystalline ponds. Located about one kilometer away from the national park’s office, the waterfall is accessible by a trail starting just behind the restaurant. An impressive big tree with gigantic roots can be seen on the trail to this falls.
Khao Pheung is a large cave featuring stalactites and stalagmites. Located less than 2 km south/west from the visitor center, the cave is administratively outside the park. Khao Pheung has two side entrances not too far apart, and has many larger and smaller chambers. Following the signs in the cave you will pass through chambers and out from the second exit. Bats, frogs and geckos can be found in the cave. The cave is accessible by a short steep/rocky trail long a couple of hundred meters. The trail is not suitable for kids or anyone who is unable to climb. Guides normally waits at the ground level, can be hired for 500 THB, they can also take visitors to the other caves higer up on the same mountain.
Khao Phanom Bencha Peak is the favourite destination for those who love hiking in Krabi. There are two major trails, both circular, to reach the summit; one is called Dogslide Trail, the other Nature Trail. Both trails starts next to the visitor center, same trail as to the waterfalls and split in two opposite directions about 1.5 km into the trail at around 340 meters asl. Both trails give you a good sight of natural vegetation, wild animals, caves, waterfalls, streams, and even a sea of cloud. You can see the whole Krabi city from the higher view points. According to the information at the visitor center, the Dogslide Trail is about 2,4 km long, while the Nature Trail is 2.9 km long with highest elevation at around 540 meters asl. Only very fit people are recommended to walk these trails. Hikers are recommended to take at least 2 or 3 bottles water with them.
Flora & Wildlife
The park's forest includes several tree species as Teak, Takian, Dipterocarpus Alatus, Lagerstroemia, Magnolia champaca and Parkia Speciosa. At lower elevations Calamus palms and bamboo are found. Animal species include Clouded Leopard, Sumatran Serow, Tapir, Asiatic Black Bear, Dholes, Wild Boar and Mouse Deer. Numerous monkey species reside within the park such as Langur, Lar Gibbon and Stump-tailed Macaque. Generally mammal sightings are quite rare apart from primate sightings. Khao Phanom Bencha is also home to many interesting reptile species and over 200 bird species makking the park a significant bird-spotting area. Bird species include White-crowned and Helmeted Hornbill, White-rumped Shama and Argus Pheasant. An extremely rare bird here is the endangered Gurney's Pitta.
The climate on the area of this national park is the typical monsoon weather, consists of 2 seasons: raining and hot season. Raining Season runs from April till December every year. The heavy rain would be found in September while November would be cold with an average temperature at 26.4 degrees Celsius. Hot Season starts from mid of January till April every year. February is the lowest of raining and very hot but suitable for travel. In April, the average temperature is 29 degrees Celsius.
There are no public transport options to reach the park directly from Krabi, so if you do not want to use taxis, the best solution to get there is to rent a car or a scooter. The easiest way to get to Khao Phanom Bencha National Park from downtown by car or scooter is to follow Route 411 northbound, then turn right on Highway 4, the Phet Kasem Road which runs just outside the centre, and after less than a kilometre turn left into Route 1016. Once on Route 1016, just follow the signs to the park until you reach the checkpoint. There are also other entry points to get into the park, however, some of them have been closed due to a landslide during a very bad rainy period in 2011.
Park Access Fees
The entrance fees for foreigners are 200 THB for adults and 100 THB for children, cars to be charged with 30 THB.Read More
Khao Phanom Bencha National Park Events
Other Tours & Excursions
- 02/23/2019Food and Drink
- 02/25/2019Food and Drink
- 03/01/2019 to 03/03/2019Cultural
- 03/07/2019 to 03/09/2019Cultural
- 03/22/2019 to 03/24/2019Manifestation
- 04/01/2019 to 04/30/2019Sports Events
- 04/13/2019 to 04/15/2019Public Holiday
- 09/28/2019 to 10/07/2019Cultural
- 11/12/2019 to 11/14/2019Public Holiday
- 12/04/2019 to 12/05/2019Cultural