Located approximately 200 kilometers from Bangkok, Kanchanaburi is considerably convenient to visit. This province is rich in history and natural attractions. Apart from the famous Death Railway built
between Thailand and Burma during the World War II, there are some national parks worth visiting for those who love hiking and adventure.
Despite its small size of 59 km2, Chalerm Rattanakosin National Park formerly known as the Tham Than Lot Forest Park is a so-called hidden gem. The number of wildlife, historical artifacts of
the Burmese and Japanese armies as well as spectacular landscape make this national park a fascinating place.
The former name of the national park was Khao Sa Bab National Park which was established in 1975. Later in 1982 it was renamed as Namtok Phlio National Park for Namtok Phlio (Phlio Waterfall) is the
main attraction of the national park. The area of the national park covers 135 square kilometers in four districts. There are many beautiful waterfalls namely Phlio, Khlong Narai, Makok and Trok Nong as well as nature trails. Namtok Phlio is located in Laem Sing district just 14 kilometers from Chanthaburi city. The former kings of Thailand namely King Rama V, King Rama VI, and King Rama VII visited it and left the royal monograms there.
Highlights of the national park are enormous caves called Tham Than Lot which means a cave where a river flows through. It is less dangerous than the recent world-famous Tham Luang in Chiangrai.
Actually, there are two caves; Than Lot Noi and Than Lot Yai. Than Lot Noi Cave is about 300 meters long and 10 meters high. A 2.5-kilometer nature trail from this cave leads to the larger Than Lot Yoi Cave.
Estimated hiking time is 3 hours. It is believed that in the ancient time people lived there as many skeletons were found. Than Lot Yai Cave is 60 meters wide.
Visitors must register before and after visiting the caves, and they have to leave the cave before 16:30. In addition, they should be in good health, and they should not touch anything in the caves.
Besides the splendid caves, there are also scenic waterfalls such as Tri Trueng Waterfall and Than Ngoen. The former one is actually on the nature trail from Than Lot Noi Cave to Than Lot Yai Cave. The
magnificent Tri Trueng Waterfall is 1.5 kilometers from Than Lot Noi Cave. It cascades through three levels whereas Than Ngoen Waterfall flows down seven levels.
The rich forests of the national park are also home for many kinds of wildlife and a variety of plants. Bears, Serows, Northern Red Muntjac, Asian Elephant, Pheasants, and Partridges can be found here.
Chalerm Rattanakosin National Park opens daily from 08:30 am to 16:30 p.m. Admission fees for foreigners are 200 baht for adults and 100 baht for children. Accommodations, campsites, toilets,
shower rooms, food shops are available there. However, food shops open only on weekends or a holiday.
High tolls, taxes, car seats, parking are included.