6 Fun Things In Prachinburi
Prachinburi is a province only 130km east of Bangkok but gets few non-Thai visitors.
This is despite good transport links from Bangkok by both road and rail, a dozen or so historical sites, and the fact that a chunk of the province lies inside both Thap Lan and Khao Yai National Parks.
1. Thap Lan National Park
Despite being Thailand’s second largest national park covering 2,236sq km, Thap Lan is virtually unknown outside the local area.
This massive wilderness is home to one of the last remaining native palm forests, and is the home to a successful tiger program which promoted breeding and reintroduction of the species to the park.
This success has led some to claim that the park now contains more tigers than there are in the whole of China.
In addition to tigers, it provides habitat for the long-term survival of some of the most endangered species, like the Asian elephant, the pileated gibbon, the banteng, the Sunda Pangolin, and other species such as the Asian golden cat, clouded leopard, and Indian civet.
While it’s a beautiful wilderness, it suffers from poaching, illegal logging, and encroachment by illegal property development. Patrols by armed rangers (as seen in the video) are sadly only a small deterrent.
However, it’s as safe as any other National Park as long as you follow park rules and the directions of park rangers. Wild elephants can be dangerous and should be given a wide berth.
The top attractions for visitors include the Lan Forest and Recreational Garden, Thap Lan waterfall, Thap Lan Reservoir, Huai Yai waterfall, Lam Mun Bon Dam, and the Chom Tawan beach.
Khao Lamang is the highest point in the park at 992 meters. Thap Lan is part of the same forest complex as the adjacent Khao Yai National Park (see next).
Please note that there is an admission fee at almost all National Parks, which is substantially more for foreigners than it is for locals.
The park entrance is at Moo 1, 520 Kabin Buri-Pak Thong Chai Road, Bu Phram sub district, Na Di District, Prachinburi province, about 60km from Prachinburi town.
2. Khao Yai National Park
Khao Yai is probably the best know of all the national parks in Thailand, and it has got so popular that on holiday weekends officials have been forced to limit the number of visitors.
While the majority of visitors seem to head for the entrances in Nakhon Ratchasima province (Korat), a faster route is through Prachinburi as a chunk of the park is inside this province, and it is often less busy.
We are not going into detail here about Khao Yai as it is extremely well documented on the web. It’s enough to say that it is very beautiful and abounds with wildlife, including wild elephants, bears, deer, and a handful of very shy tigers.
Watch out for the fascinating road signs, which include “Caution! Cobras Crossing”.
From Bangkok’s Morchit Mai bus station there are regular buses and passenger vans to Prachinburi town. From there you’d need to hire a songtaew or motorcycle.
Driving from Bangkok takes about 2 hours. Follow Phaholyothin Road to Rangsit (north of Don Muang airport). Watch for the U-turn going towards Nakhorn Nayok and follow that road all the way to Nakhon Nayok. As you enter Nakhon Nayok town both Prachinburi and Khao Yai are well signposted.
You can also take a train from Bangkok’s Hualampong station to Prachinburi station.
3. Verona at Tub Lan
The Verona is an odd ball attempt to recreate the famous Italian city in the Thai countryside.
In an effort to try and please everyone the result is a strange mishmash of a modern version of bits of Verona, themed accommodation, lots of outdoor activities, a shopping mall, a cowboy town, a farm, and other ideas glued together under the label of Romeo and Juliette’s home town.
It wasn’t to our tastes but you might enjoy it.
Their website is here
Verona at Tub Lan is at 251 Moo 6, Bu Phram sub district, Nadee district, Prachinburi province. Thats on Highway 304 -- the Kabinburi-Pak Chong Road.
4. White Water Rafting
This kind of white water rafting is not extreme and is suitable for most able bodied folks from teens to 50s, but it will get your blood pumping!
However there is a 2km hike along a forest trail to get to the starting point at Kaeng Hin Phoeng on the Sai Yai river.
The distance covered by the raft is about 4.5km and takes about 2 hours, starting at Kaeng Hin Phoeng.
The trip traverses a total of seven rapids and a whirlpool on the way.
Safety equipment is provided on site.
A white water rafting festival is held here every year in July. The Tourism Authority of Thailand will publish details when the exact dates are known.
It’s on the fringes of Khao Yai National Park. From Prachinburi town, take Highway 3452, and then Highway 33. Turn left into the road next to a PTT gas station at Km 201 and follow the road for about 200m.
GPS Location is N14° 8.169’, E101° 44.449’
5. Takhro and Salatdai Waterfalls
Both of these waterfalls are in Ban Takhro, Bu Fai district, Prachinburi.
Takhro Waterfall is quite wide and and spanned by a pedestrian suspension bridge. On one side are the foothills of Khao Yai National Park and on the other bank there is verdant forest.
From Takhro Waterfall you can stroll alongside the stream for 2km to get to Salatdai Waterfall.
On the way, there are several places good for taking a refreshing dip in the clear water.
Before heading to Salatdai Waterfall, you should contact the Ranger Unit at Takhro Waterfall to ensure your safety.
From Prachinburi town, follow Highway 3452 towards Prachantakham for 16km then turn right into Highway 33 at Prachantakham Intersection. Turn left into the posted access road.
6. Oldest Banyan Tree
Ton Pho is the largest and oldest Banyan Tree in Thailand, according to records which go back 2000 years, and is the symbol of Prachinburi province.
The history of this ancient tree is fascinating.
According to legend, the ruler of the ancient city of Muang Mahosot sent his representatives to India. The representatives requested a branch of the same tree under which the Lord Buddha had attained enlightenment.
Public records seem to confirm the story by showing that about 2000 years ago a seedling was brought from the Bodhgaya religious site in India and planted at Wat Ton Pho Si Maha Pho.
The seedling flourished and grew and is now a huge Banyan Tree about 20 meters around and 30 meters high.
From Prachinburi town, follow Highway 319 towards Phanom Sarakam as far as the 32km marker, then turn left and drive for another 1 km.
Thanks for reading about Prachinburi. It’s well worth a visit and easy to get to from Bangkok.