Khao Lak-Lam Ru National Park is in Phang Nga Province, Thailand.
Khao Lak-Lam Ru is named after two of its tallest peaks, Lam Ru and Khao Lak. Khao Lak is also the name of a coastal area dotted with villages. The park is just off Phetkasem Road (Route 4), and it is 19 miles (30 km) south of Takua Pa and 71 miles (115 km) north of Phuket City.
The park has an area of 48 square miles (125 sq km), and it thus covers parts of four districts: Takua Pa, Mueang Phang Nga, Thai Mueang, and Kapong.
Even though the park does not have designated campsites, visitors may do so. The park’s facilities include four bungalows where visitors may spend,d the night. They are located near the park headquarters and visitor’s centre as are the restrooms and several restaurants. One is operated by the park, while the others are privately owned. The park restaurant sits on a hill, providing guests with a sea view.
History of Khao Lak-Lam Ru National Park
Khao Lak-Lam Ru was originally a seashore park. In 1984, however, the government enlarged it to protect the central drain basin in the province. The park thus encompassed forests and mountains that were further inland. In August 1991, Khao Lak-Lam Ru officially became the 66th national park in Thailand.
The Indian Ocean Tsunami of December 2004 devastated Khao Lak, which suffered more fatalities than any other region in Thailand. Over 4,000 people were killed. The vegetation has since grown back, and the hotels, restaurants, and other buildings have been rebuilt or replaced.
National Park Flora and Fauna
Because of its size, Khao Lak-Lam Ru boasts several different ecosystems, including mountains, rain forests, mangrove forests, and beach forests. The tallest mountain stands at 3533.5 feet (1077 m). The shore also encompasses several ecosystems, including sand, stone, and coral reefs. There are also rivers; the two main rivers are the Phang Nga River and the Ta Gua Pa River.
Among the many tree species in the forests are the champak tree (Magnolia champaca), the ditabark tree (Alstonia scholaris), and the taikian (Hopea odorata). Several species of the Dipterocarpus genus grow in the area, as do many ferns and orchids.
Various cashew trees grow closer to the shore. Other tree species near the beach include the putat (Barringtonia asiatica) and the screw-pine (Pandanus odorifer).
The park has many butterflies, especially in the rainforest. Examples include Stichophthalma godfreyi, Troides amphrysus ruficollis, and Troides aecus thomsoni. The last two belong to a genus commonly known as the “birdwings,” and they are members of the swallowtail family.
Amphibians in the park include the Asian giant toad, Heymon’s froglet, and the southern big-headed frog. Fans of reptiles might find the reticulated python, white-lipped pit viper, Malayan pit viper, iridescent earth snake, and the Bengal monitor.
Bird watchers may see bushy-crest hornbill, crested serpent eagle, emerald dove, homrai, oriental pied hornbill, scarlet minivet, and white-bellied sea eagle.
Mammals include macaques, bats, Malayan porcupines, Asian bearcat (binturong), Malaysian weasel, Malaysian tapir, giant black squirrel, langurs, and flying lemur (colugo).
The park’s marine areas are home to several species of sea slugs, moray eels, and sea cucumbers. There are also feather stars, lizardfish, Long Tom, tiger cowrie, and giant murex.
National Park Attractions
The park has several waterfalls. Lam Ru Waterfall is the largest and boasts five tiers. Ton Chong Fa is also large and has a pool at its base where visitors may swim. It is also near two nature trails. One is 3.1 miles (5 km) long and takes about two hours, while the other is 4.3 miles (7 km) and takes around five hours to complete.
Other waterfalls include Hin Lat, Ton Pling and Lam Phrao. The first one isn’t far from Lam Ru.
The International Tsunami Museum is dedicated to tsunamis in general and the 2004 Indian Ocean Tsunami in particular. It is housed in a two-story building along Phetkasem Road. The Thai Navy boat 813 remains on the museum’s property and bears witness to the incredible power of the tsunami, which had carried it 1.2 miles (2 km) inland. Admission costs 100 baht, and the hours are 9 a.m. to 9 p.m.
Part of the park runs along the coast of the Andaman Sea. There is thus a multitude of beaches in or near the park. Hat Khao Lak lies within the park, and at roughly five miles (eight km) long, it is one of the more extensive beaches in the area. It consists of three smaller beaches lying side by side. Bang Niang Beach is the northernmost beach, Nang Thong Beach is in the middle, and Sunset Beach is in the south. All three beaches boast white sand and are near resorts. Visitors can relax, go swimming, or go snorkelling.
There is another Khao Lak Beach a few miles to the south of the Khao-Lak Lam Ru Park’s headquarters. It is sometimes described as the “original” Khao Lak Beach because that name knew it before Hat Khao Lak was given its name. The “original” Khao Lak Beach has three neighbouring beaches: Poseidon Beach, Khao Lak Beach, and Secluded Beaches. Khao Lak Beach is near a small village called Ban Khao Lak.
Phang Nga Elephant Park is about 9.1 miles (14.7 km) southeast of Khao Lak-Lam Ru Park. It is located near a small village called Thung Ka Ngok. The elephant park opened in 2015 and is operated by a family that has worked with elephants for over 150 years. It offers two educational programs, one tailored for families with small children. The programs are about four hours long, and visitors must book their visits in advance.
The Sea Turtle Conservation Center, also known as the Phang Nga Coastal Fisheries Research and Development Center or “Turtle Heaven”, is a few miles south of the park. It was established in 1985 as the Phang Na Mollusk Culture Research Station. In 2002, it adopted its current name and missions, which include operating a turtle sanctuary. Four endangered sea turtle species live in the Andaman Sea: Ridley Sea Turtle, Leatherback Turtle, Hawksbill Turtle, and Green Turtle. The sanctuary cares for sick and injured turtles and shelters baby turtles until they are around eight months old. The year holds a Turtle Release Festival every March. The Centre is open from 8:30 to 4:30, and admission costs 20 baht.
Park Entrance Price: 200 baht for adults and 100 baht for children.
The park is open every day from 6 a.m. to 6 p.m.