Sarika is a subdistrict of Nakhon Nayok province nestled against the jungle covered mountains of Khao Yai National Park.
It’s a playground for Bangkokians during holidays when they arrive to enjoy the jungle walks, white water rafting, ATV trails, paintball, dramatic waterfalls, and more.
It’s a great area to visit on ordinary working days when few people are around, and its not that well known to foreigners.
There are lots of resorts, guesthouses, and hotels there, so outside holidays and long weekends its easy to find a place to crash.
There’s also the Royal Hills golf course/hotel if that’s your sport.
Getting there: Ideally hire a car or use a tour service. Vans and Buses run regularly from Bangkok’s Morchit Mai (Chatuchak) bus terminal to Nakhon Nayok town. Some services run further to Sarika so check before travelling.
The Sarika Waterfall is a popular, picturesque 9-tiered fall cascading 200 meters down a forested hillside through a series of pools.
During the later part of the wet season and during the cool season, the falls are quite spectacular, but the flow can reduce to a trickle at the height of the hot season.
Getting there: From Nakhon Nayok town it’s well signposted in both Thai and English. Take highway 3049 for about 12 kilometres, then at the Khun Dan Prakarn Chon Dam intersection keep to the left onto highway 3050 for another three kilometres. The entrance to the waterfall is at the end of the road.
Another beautiful waterfall is at Nang Rong where the water rushes over large boulders down multiple levels, where each level has a pool suitable for swimming.
It’s on highway 3049 at km20, not too far from the Khun Dan Prakarn Chon Dam.
Wang Takhrai is a botanical and recreational park filled with huge, shady trees and has a small river running through it, with a small but pretty waterfall.
A popular activity is riding large rubber inner tubes down the fast moving waterway.
There is also a variety of beautiful ornamental flowers and plants.
Food, drink, and basic accommodation is available. Admission is 150 baht per car.
Makha Bucha Buddhist Memorial Park
This unusual Buddhist center is not far from the Sarika Waterfall but you’ll have to look carefully to find it.
On the way to the waterfall the park is on the right hand side about 600 meters before the waterfall entrance, or on the left hand side when leaving the waterfall.
It was constructed in 2012 to celebrate the 2600th anniversary of the Lord Buddha’s enlightenment.
Ganesha is called Phra Pikanet in Thai. He has the head of an elephant with a single tusk, the other is broken off. He has a pot belly and four arms.
There is a sitting Ganesha 15 meters high and 9 meters wide, plus a reclining Ganesha 9 meters high and 15 meters long. Pretty gardens round off the serene feelings.
Ganesha is widely respected by Thai Buddhists.
Ganesha Park is just off highway 3049. From Nakhon Nayok town follow 3049 for about 6km and then turn left at the traffic lights. You will see it easily!
A replica of the Lord Buddha’s Footprint is housed in a mondop on top of Khao Nang Buat, about 10km from Nakhon Nayok town.
The hill is about 100 metres high with a stairway of 227 steps to the top. This replica of the Lord Buddha’s Footprint was built in 1858.
There is an evening fresh food market with some very tasty dishes at the Sarika intersection on highway 3049. You can’t miss it if you’re in the area after about 5pm. Try the yummy Kao Mun Gai!
Rong Kleua Market is a fairly large covered market specialising in cheap clothes, footwear, accessories, etc, and its possible to pick up some good bargains here, but don’t expect to get big discounts as prices are already quite cheap.
It’s on highway 3049 roughly halfway between Nakhon Nayok town and the resort area of Sarika subdistrict. While the signs are all in Thai, it’s hard to miss it.
Also in this area: Khun Dan Prakarn Chon Dam