Visiting Khao Sam Roi Yot National Park

Khao Sam Roi Yot National Park - Phraya Nakhon Cave - Aleenta Hua Hin Resort & Spa

Thailand, a country renowned for its rich cultural heritage and stunning natural landscapes, offers many attractions for travellers. From its vibrant cities to tranquil beaches and lush forests, Thailand’s diverse environment captivates visitors from around the globe. The national parks stand out among these natural wonders, offering glimpses of the country’s unspoiled beauty and biodiversity.

One such gem is Khao Sam Roi Yot National Park, located in the Prachuap Khiri Khan Province, near the charming resort town of Hua Hin. Known as the “Mountain of Three Hundred Peaks,” Khao Sam Roi Yot is Thailand’s first coastal national park, established on June 28, 1966. This park is a must-visit destination for nature enthusiasts, adventure seekers, and anyone looking to experience Thailand’s breathtaking landscapes and rich wildlife. With its dramatic limestone mountains, serene beaches, and diverse ecosystems, Khao Sam Roi Yot National Park offers an unforgettable escape into nature’s splendour.

Khao Sam Roi Yot National Park

Khao Sam Roi Yot National Park is unique in Thailand’s conservation history. On June 28, 1966, it was designated as the country’s first coastal national park, marking a significant step in Thailand’s efforts to preserve its natural heritage. This move aimed to protect the unique coastal ecosystems, diverse wildlife, and striking landscapes that characterise the area, ensuring that future generations could enjoy and study these natural wonders.

“Khao Sam Roi Yot” translates to “Mountain of Three Hundred Peaks,” aptly describing the park’s distinctive topography. The park’s landscape is dominated by limestone mountains, which rise abruptly from the coastal plains, creating a dramatic and rugged skyline. With their jagged profiles, these peaks offer panoramic views and testify to the park’s geological history.

The moniker “Three Hundred Peaks” reflects the multitude of limestone formations and the park’s vastness and majesty. Visitors can look in any direction and see a seemingly endless series of peaks, each with its unique shape and character. This name encapsulates the awe-inspiring natural beauty that makes Khao Sam Roi Yot a treasured destination for both Thai residents and international tourists.

Its Unique Geography and Landscapes

Khao Sam Roi Yot National Park is renowned for its striking geography, dominated by limestone mountains that create an imposing and rugged terrain. These mountains, formed from ancient coral reefs, soar dramatically from the coastal plains, reaching heights of up to 605 meters (1,985 feet). Weathered by time and elements, the jagged limestone peaks provide a stunning backdrop against the lush greenery and blue skies, offering numerous vantage points for breathtaking panoramic views.

The park’s landscape is remarkably diverse, encompassing a variety of natural habitats that support a rich array of flora and fauna. In addition to its towering mountains, the park boasts a picturesque coastline with pristine beaches. These sandy shores, such as Laem Sala Beach, offer tranquil spots for relaxation and exploration, contrasting beautifully with the rugged mountain terrain.

Beyond the beaches, Khao Sam Roi Yot is home to expansive freshwater marshes, Thailand’s largest. The Thung Sam Roi Yot Marsh is a crucial habitat for many resident and migratory bird species, making it a hotspot for birdwatching enthusiasts. This wetland area also supports diverse aquatic plants and animals, contributing to the park’s ecological richness.

The park’s landscape is further enriched by its mangrove swamps, which play a vital role in coastal protection and provide breeding grounds for various marine species. These swamps are accessible via boardwalks and boat tours, allowing visitors to explore the unique ecosystem up close.

Several small islands are scattered throughout the park, each adding to Khao Sam Roi Yot’s scenic beauty and biodiversity. Together with the mainland’s varied habitats, these islands create a mosaic of natural environments, making the park a unique and valuable conservation area.

The limestone mountains, serene beaches, freshwater marshes, mangrove swamps, and islands form a diverse and captivating landscape that defines Khao Sam Roi Yot National Park.


Main Attractions

Tham Phraya Nakhon Cave

One of the most iconic attractions in Khao Sam Roi Yot National Park is Tham Phraya Nakhon Cave. This stunning cave and its enormous chamber houses the beautiful Kuha Karuhas Pavilion, a royal pavilion constructed during the reign of King Rama V. The pavilion is a symbol of pride and historical significance, often illuminated by sunlight streaming through the cave’s collapsed roof, creating a magical and ethereal atmosphere.


  • Access:
    The cave can be reached by a hike from Laem Sala Beach, which takes about 30 minutes, or by boat from Bang Pu village, followed by a steep climb.
  • Best Time to Visit:
    Early morning is ideal for catching the sunlight illuminating the pavilion, which offers the best photo opportunities.
  • What to Bring:
    Wear sturdy shoes suitable for hiking and bring plenty of water, as the hike can be challenging. A flashlight may also be useful for exploring darker parts of the cave.

Prepare for a physically demanding trek, but once inside the cave, you will be rewarded with breathtaking views and a unique cultural experience.

Beaches and Islands

Khao Sam Roi Yot National Park has several beautiful beaches, each offering a serene escape and unique experiences.

Laem Sala Beach:
Located near Tham Phraya Nakhon Cave, Laem Sala Beach is known for its peaceful ambience and scenic beauty. This beach is ideal for relaxing, swimming, and enjoying picnics under the shade of casuarina trees. The beach also serves as the starting point for the Tham Phraya Nakhon Cave hike.

Sam Phraya Beach:
It is a quiet, less crowded beach for those seeking solitude and relaxation.

Hat Nom Sao Beach:
This beach is known for its clean sand and calm waters, which make it suitable for families with children.

Boat Tours:

Boat tours offer a fantastic way to explore the park’s outlying islands and coastal beauty. These tours typically depart from Bang Pu or Laem Sala Beach and provide a unique perspective of the park’s landscape.

Koh Nom Sao:
The island is known for its pristine beaches and excellent snorkelling opportunities.

Koh Rawing:
It is a smaller island with rich marine life, ideal for diving and snorkelling.

  • Booking:
    Tours can be booked through local operators or at visitor centres within the park.
  • Duration:
    Tours vary in length, from a few hours to a full day, depending on the destinations included.
  • What to Bring:
    Essentials include sunscreen, a hat, swimwear, a towel, and a camera to capture the stunning scenery.

Exploring the beaches and islands of Khao Sam Roi Yot National Park offers visitors a chance to experience the park’s natural beauty from both land and sea, making for a memorable and enriching adventure.


Wildlife and Birdwatching

Khao Sam Roi Yot National Park is a haven for wildlife enthusiasts, offering a rich tapestry of biodiversity across its varied landscapes. The park’s ecosystems, ranging from limestone mountains to freshwater marshes and mangrove swamps, support an astonishing array of flora and fauna, making it one of Thailand’s most biologically diverse areas.

One of the park’s biggest draws is its incredible birdlife. Over 300 bird species have been recorded here, making it a prime destination for birdwatchers. The park’s wetlands, especially the Thung Sam Roi Yot Freshwater Marsh, serve as crucial habitats for many resident and migratory bird species.

Migratory Birds:

From Russia:
Species like the Siberian Rubythroat and the Eastern Yellow Wagtail.

From China:
Birds such as the Chinese Pond Heron and the Yellow Bittern.

From Northern Europe:
Including the Black-tailed Godwit and the Northern Pintail.

During the migration seasons, the marshes come alive with flocks of birds, creating a spectacular natural display that attracts birdwatchers from around the globe. The diversity of bird species provides ample opportunities for observing and photographing these beautiful creatures in their natural habitat.

Other Park Wildlife

Beyond its avian inhabitants, Khao Sam Roi Yot National Park is home to various other wildlife species contributing to its rich biodiversity.

Spectacled Langur (Dusky Leaf Monkey):
These primates, with their distinctive white eye rings, are often spotted in the park’s forested areas. They are known for their gentle nature and are frequently seen in family groups, feeding on leaves and fruits.

Barking Deer (Muntjac):
These tiny deer are named for their dog-like bark, which they use as an alarm call. They are elusive but can occasionally be seen grazing in the park’s forested and grassland areas.

Both long-tailed and pig-tailed macaques inhabit the park. These intelligent and adaptable primates are frequently seen near tourist areas, often foraging for food.

Rare Porcupines:
The park is home to several porcupine species, including the Malayan Porcupine. These nocturnal animals are known for their spiny coats and are more challenging to spot, usually requiring night-time excursions.

Monitor Lizards:
Commonly seen basking near water bodies.

Civets and Leopards:
Though rarely seen, these nocturnal predators inhabit the park’s more remote areas.

The park’s wetlands and forests support a variety of frogs, snakes, and lizards.

Khao Sam Roi Yot National Park’s rich biodiversity makes it an exceptional destination for wildlife observation. Whether you’re an avid birdwatcher, a wildlife photographer, or simply a nature lover, the park offers endless opportunities to experience the wonders of Thailand’s natural world.


Park Activities for Visitors


Khao Sam Roi Yot National Park offers a variety of hiking and trekking opportunities, allowing visitors to immerse themselves in its stunning landscapes and enjoy breathtaking viewpoints.

Popular Trails and Viewpoints:

Khao Daeng Viewpoint:
It is a moderately challenging hike that rewards visitors with panoramic views of the park’s limestone peaks, coastline, and surrounding areas. The trail takes about 1-2 hours round trip and is best visited early in the morning or late afternoon to avoid the midday heat.

Thung Sam Roi Yot Freshwater Marsh:
A series of boardwalks and trails wind through the largest freshwater marsh in Thailand, offering excellent birdwatching opportunities and views of the marshland ecosystem.

Tham Sai Trail:
This trail leads to Tham Sai Cave, providing a mix of scenic forest paths and opportunities to explore the cave’s limestone formations.

  • Footwear:
    Wear sturdy hiking shoes with a good grip to navigate rocky and uneven terrain.
  • Clothing:
    Lightweight, breathable clothing is ideal. Long sleeves and pants can help protect against sunburn and insect bites.
  • Hydration:
    Bring plenty of water to stay hydrated, especially on longer hikes.
  • Sun Protection:
    Use sunscreen, wear a hat, and bring sunglasses to protect against the sun.
  • Navigation:
    Carry a park map or use a GPS device, as some trails may not be well-marked.
  • Safety:
    Hike with a companion if possible, and inform someone of your plans before setting out.

Cave Exploration

The caves in Khao Sam Roi Yot National Park offer a fascinating glimpse into the park’s geological history and unique underground ecosystems.

Tham Phraya Nakhon:
The most famous cave in the park is known for its royal pavilion and the natural light that illuminates its interior. Reaching the cave involves a hike from Laem Sala Beach or a boat ride followed by a steep climb.

Tham Sai Cave:
This cave, accessible via the Tham Sai Trail, features impressive stalactites and stalagmites. It is less crowded than Tham Phraya Nakhon, providing a quieter exploration experience.

Tham Kaeo:
Known for its glittering crystal formations, this cave is another hidden gem worth visiting.

  • Footwear:
    Wear sturdy shoes with good traction, as cave floors can be slippery.
  • Lighting:
    Bring a flashlight or headlamp, as parts of the caves may be dark.
  • Clothing:
    Dress in layers, as cave temperatures can be cooler than outside.
  • Safety:
    Be cautious of low ceilings and uneven surfaces. Follow any posted safety guidelines.

Boat Excursions

Exploring Khao Sam Roi Yot National Park by boat offers a unique perspective on its coastal beauty and diverse marine life.

Mangrove Swamps:
Boat tours through the park’s mangrove swamps allow visitors to see this vital ecosystem up close. These tours often include opportunities to spot various bird species and marine life.

Coastal Tours:
Trips along the coastline provide stunning views of the park’s limestone cliffs and hidden beaches.

Island Visits:
Some tours include stops at the park’s outlying islands, such as Koh Nom Sao and Koh Rawing, where visitors can snorkel, swim, and explore.

One of the most exciting aspects of boat excursions in Khao Sam Roi Yot is seeing dolphin pods in the bay. These playful creatures are often spotted swimming alongside boats, offering a memorable wildlife encounter.

  • Booking:
    Arrange tours through local operators or visitor centres within the park.
  • What to Bring:
    Sunscreen, a hat, sunglasses, swimwear, a towel, and a camera for capturing the beautiful scenery.
  • Expectations:
    Tours vary in length and itinerary, so check with operators for specific details.

Khao Sam Roi Yot National Park provides a wealth of activities for visitors, from hiking and cave exploration to relaxing boat tours. Each activity offers a unique way to experience the park’s natural beauty and diverse wildlife, ensuring an unforgettable visit.


Unique Park Experiences

Dolphin Watching

Khao Sam Roi Yot National Park offers visitors the thrilling experience of watching dolphins in their natural habitat. The park’s coastal waters are home to pods of dolphins that can often be seen frolicking in the bay, providing a delightful spectacle for nature lovers.

Early morning and late afternoon are the best times to spot dolphins, as they are more active during these cooler parts of the day. Dolphin sightings are most common in the bay near the park’s coastline. Boat tours departing from Bang Pu and Laem Sala Beach frequently encounter dolphins in these areas.
Tips for Capturing Great Photos of Dolphins:

  • Camera Settings:
    Use a fast shutter speed to capture sharp images of dolphins moving quickly through the water.
  • Lens Choice:
    A zoom lens (70-200mm or longer) is ideal for close-up shots without disturbing the dolphins.
  • Positioning:
    Try to position yourself at the front of the boat for an unobstructed view. Be ready to shoot, as dolphins can appear and disappear quickly.
  • Patience:
    Dolphins are unpredictable, so be patient and keep your camera ready to capture spontaneous moments.

Maintain a respectful distance to avoid disturbing the dolphins. Follow any guidelines your boat tour operator provides to ensure a safe and responsible wildlife viewing experience.

Golf Course

Khao Sam Roi Yot National Park features a small golf course that provides a unique playing experience for those who enjoy a leisurely round of golf amid stunning natural scenery.

The golf course is set against the backdrop of the park’s majestic limestone mountains and lush greenery, offering golfers a picturesque and tranquil environment. The course is relatively simple and designed more for casual play and enjoyment than serious competition. It features a few basic holes with varying difficulty levels, suitable for golfers of all skill levels.

While the course may not be pristine compared to professional courses, it is well-maintained enough to provide a pleasant golfing experience. The natural surroundings more than make up for any minor imperfections in the course itself.

This golf course is ideal for visitors looking to relax and have fun rather than engage in competitive play. It offers a laid-back atmosphere where golfers can enjoy the scenery and fresh air while playing a round. Equipment rental is typically available, but checking in advance is a good idea. The course is open to all visitors, making it a convenient and enjoyable activity for families, couples, and solo travellers.

Khao Sam Roi Yot National Park offers these unique experiences, allowing visitors to enjoy its natural beauty in diverse and memorable ways. Whether spotting playful dolphins or enjoying a casual round of golf, these activities add a special touch to any visit to this remarkable park.


Practical Park Information

Khao Sam Roi Yot National Park is located in the Prachuap Khiri Khan Province, making it easily accessible from Hua Hin and Bangkok.

From Hua Hin:

Approximately 60 kilometres (37 miles) south of Hua Hin.

Travel Time:
Around 1 hour by car.

Take Phetkasem Road (Highway 4) south towards Pranburi. From Pranburi, follow the signs to Khao Sam Roi Yot National Park. Public transportation options include buses and taxis, though renting a car or hiring a private taxi provides more flexibility.

From Bangkok:

Approximately 230 kilometres (143 miles) south of Bangkok.

Travel Time:
Around 3-3.5 hours by car.

Head south on Phetkasem Road (Highway 4) from Bangkok, passing through Hua Hin and Pranburi, then follow the signs to the park. Alternatively, visitors can take a train or bus to Hua Hin and proceed to the park by car or taxi.

Park Facilities

Khao Sam Roi Yot National Park has several facilities to ensure a comfortable and enjoyable visit.

Main Visitor Centre:
It provides maps, brochures, and information about the park’s attractions and activities near the park entrance. Staff are available to answer questions and offer guidance.

Information Kiosks:
Smaller kiosks are located at popular sites such as Laem Sala Beach and Thung Sam Roi Yot Freshwater Marsh.


  • Restrooms are located at attractions like Laem Sala Beach, and popular hiking trailheads are available at the main visitor centre.
  • Facilities are generally well-maintained, but carrying your own toilet paper and hand sanitiser is advisable.

Operating Hours:

The park is open from 6:00 AM to 6:00 PM.

Visitor Centres:
Typically open from 8:30 AM to 4:30 PM.

  • Best Time to Visit:
    The cooler months from November to February offer the most comfortable weather for outdoor activities.
  • What to Bring:
    Essentials include comfortable walking shoes, a hat, sunscreen, insect repellent, water, snacks, and a camera.
  • Guided Tours:,br> Consider hiring a local guide for a more informative and enriching experience, especially for birdwatching and exploring less accessible areas.

Khao Sam Roi Yot National Park is well-equipped to welcome visitors, providing essential facilities and helpful information to ensure a memorable visit. Whether travelling from Hua Hin or Bangkok, the park’s natural beauty and diverse attractions make it a worthwhile destination for nature lovers and adventure seekers.


Stay with Aleenta

Aleenta Hua Hin Resort & Spa is an award-winning boutique resort located along the pristine stretch of Pak Nampran Bay. Known for its intimate and tranquil atmosphere, the resort provides a perfect retreat for those looking to relax and rejuvenate in an idyllic beachfront setting.

Aleenta Hua Hin Resort & Spa features 25 unique residences, most with private pools. The accommodations are divided into various categories to suit different needs:

Ocean View Residences:
These suites offer stunning views of the Gulf of Thailand and are just steps away from the beach.

Pool Suites:
Equipped with private plunge pools, these residences provide an exclusive and luxurious stay.

Beachfront Villas:
Spacious and elegant, these villas offer direct beach access and expansive living areas, perfect for families or groups.

The resort boasts a range of amenities designed to enhance guests’ comfort and enjoyment:

  • Ayurah Spa offers a variety of treatments and therapies designed to relax and rejuvenate. The spa focuses on holistic wellness, combining traditional and modern techniques.
  • Aleenta also features several dining options, including an acclaimed beachfront restaurant serving gourmet Thai and international cuisine from locally sourced ingredients.
  • Besides private pools in many residences, the resort has communal infinity pools overlooking the ocean.
  • The resort provides beautiful venues for weddings, corporate events, and private parties, complete with planning services to ensure a flawless event.

Aleenta is committed to sustainability, employing eco-friendly practices such as using solar energy, recycling, and supporting local conservation efforts.

Aleenta Hua Hin Resort & Spa is approximately 30 kilometres (18.6 miles) from Khao Sam Roi Yot National Park, making it an excellent base for exploring its natural wonders. The resort can arrange for transportation and guided tours to the park, allowing guests to easily visit popular attractions such as Tham Phraya Nakhon Cave, Laem Sala Beach, and the park’s renowned birdwatching spots.

Aleenta Hua Hin Resort & Spa provides a luxurious, relaxing retreat and the perfect opportunity to explore the nearby Khao Sam Roi Yot National Park. With its elegant accommodations, top-notch amenities, and proximity to one of Thailand’s most stunning natural parks, Aleenta ensures an unforgettable vacation experience.



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Pranburi, Hua Hin,
77220 Thailand

T: +66 32-618-333 

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