Cheow Lan Lake @ Khao Sok National Park is inhabited by a range of mammals such as tigers, elephants, tapirs and many monkey species. Birds such as hornbills, banded pittas, and great argus are as well forest residents. Less commonly seen reptiles include the king cobra, reticulated python, and flying lizards.
The reservoir area includes the Khlong Saeng, Khlong Nakha and Kaeng Krung Wildlife Sanctuaries where rare animals can be found. West of Khao Sok National Park lies Sri Phang Nga National Park which extends the preservation area to 4,000 square kilometers.
Khao Sok National Park is one of the most beautiful national parks in Thailand. Due to its majestic scenery and biological diversity the park is nicknamed the ‘Gui – Lin of Thailand’, which refers to a very beautiful place in China. The name ‘Khao Sok’ is derived from the word ‘ Ban Sop”, which means ‘house of dead bodies’, The Royal Forest Department declared Khao Sok as the 22nd national park of Thailand on December 22nd, 1980.
The park has a total area of 738.74 square kilometers, which covers parts of the Khlong Yee and Khlong Pra Sang forests as well as portions of the Krai Son and the Khao Pung sub-districts in the district of Ban Ta Khun and the Khlong Sok and Panom sub – districts in the province of Suratthani.
The Khao Sok National Park has a general topographic composition of Limestone Mountains and possesses the scattered peaks of Ka Lo Mountain whose form resembles those of towers. The highest peak to reside in the park measures at 961 m above sea level. The area in which the park is located contains highly acidic, sandy soil that is easily eroded during rainstorms.
Wat Suwan Kuha is located at Mu 2 Tambon Krasom, about 9 kilometres from Phang Nga provincial town on Highway No. 4 (the Phang Nga – Phuket route). At Km. 30, there is a paved road on the right leading for 1 kilometre to the temple.
Wat Suwan Kuha is known locally as “Wat Tham” – a cave temple. It is one of the province’s important temples due to its historical and archaeological background. The temple is located on a mountain with a number of caves.
Among them are Tham Yai, Tham Chaeng, Tham Muet, and Tham Kaeo. Tham Yai is on the lowest level and decorated with ceramic tiles and crockery throughout its length. This cave serves as a wihan where several Buddha images are enshrined. The most important one is the Reclining Buddha. In another cave, there are royal initials of kings and members of the royal family, such as King Rama V the Great, King Rama VII and Queen Rambhaibarni, King Rama IX the Great, etc. The area in front of the cave is the feeding ground of a large number of monkeys.
Sri Phang Nga National Park, in Phang Nga province, covers an area of 246 square kilometers, stretching along a range of hills parallel to Andaman Sea coast. Most of the national park is moist evergreen forest and the low altitude of the region gives birdwatchers a great opportunity to search for some of the difficult to find species from southern Thailand.
A pleasant place to stay with good birding along the access track, along with a number of short trails into the forest, Sri Phang Nga National Park is an ideal place for those wanting to investigate an area of quality habitat seldom visited by foreign birders. Additionally, this location is a good place to relax amongst beautiful surroundings, with some nice views across the forest from the well-kept campsite.
Sri Phang Nga’s close proximity to Khao Sok National Park, Khao Lak and Kuraburi (the departure point for Ko Surin) mean that it is an ideal location to spend a few days at if visiting any of these areas.
Sri Phang Nga National Park is part of a much larger complex of forest which is still home to most of the large mammals characteristic of the area. Although species such as tiger, elephant and tapir are unlikely to be seen, White-handed Gibbon and Dusky Langur are frequently spotted.
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