Thale Ban National Park
It is located in Ban Wang Prachan, Tambon Wang Prachan, 40 km from the town of Satun. The park has an area of 122,500 rai, covering the Kupang Pulot and Hua Kraming National Forest Reserves and the Pa Khuan Bo Nam Puyu Forest Area in Amphoe Mueang Satun’s Tambon Ban Khuan and Tambon Puyu. It was declared a national park on 27 October, 1980.
The word “Thale Ban” was changed from “Loet Roeban” in Malay, which refers to a subsiding sea or a sea which is a result of the subsidence of earth between Khao (Mount) Chin and Khao (Mount) Mot Daeng. Thale Ban is a large lake covering an area of around 63,305 rai. Most of the areas are a complex of mountains and dense woods. Wild animals found here include serow, elephant, tapir, common wild pig, monkey, gibbon, and Khiat Wak, or Ma Nam (Giant Asiatic toad or Malayan giant toad). The toad is considered as a symbol of Thale Ban. It looks like a combination of a frog and a toad, with a tail. But it sounds like a puppy. The lakeside, particularly in the rainy season, teems with this unique animal. For bird-watchers, this place offers an opportunity that should not be missed. There are various species of bird, such as whiskered tree swift, stripe-throated bulbul, chestnut-naped fork tail, woodpecker, etc.
Rain forest covers both lowland areas and high elevations where forested crags add to the dramatic scenery. This area receives rain from April to November with the heaviest falls during June to October. The driest months are December to March . The hottest temperatures is recorded in April and December the coolest month.
The park is known to contain 64 mammal species, including the rare Pardofelis marmorata, Tapirus indicus and Capricornis sumatraensis, 282 bird species, most notable many hornbill species, 40 reptile and 20 amphibian species were counted.
Attractions in the Thale Ban National Park
Bueang Thale Ban
It is a freshwater lake located in the middle of a valley flanked by the Chin and the Wang Pra Ranges. The lake covers an area of around 125 rai. There is an abundance of freshwater fish and shellfish. Around the lake are Bakong plants (Hanguana malayana), which grow densely. The park provides lakeside pavilions for visitors’ recreation, as well as a wooden path around the lake.
Namtok Ya Roi
It originates from a source in the Hua Kraming Forest. The waterfall has nine tiers and visitors can swim in a pool at each tier. It is favourite among local visitors. To get there: Follow Highway 4184 (Khuan Sato – Wang Prachan) from Km 14 – 15 for around 6 km, and go on for another 700 m on a lane off the main road.
Namtok Ton Plio
It originates from Mount Chin. This large and beautiful multi-tiered waterfall flows from a high cliff. To get there: Take Highway 4184 (Khuan Sato – Wang Prachan) from Km 9 – 10 or the park’s headquarters for around 10 km, and follow a dirt lane off the main road for another 3 km.
The park offers houses and tents for visitors. For further details, contact the Thale Ban National Park, Amphoe Khuan Don, Satun 91160, at Tel. 0 7472 2736 – 7.
To get to the Thale Ban National Park: Take Highway 406 for 80 km. See a direction sign on the left at the Khuan Don T-junction and turn left to Highway 4184 for another 20 km. Alternatively, get on a bus (Hat Yai – Satun) at the Hat Yai’s Clock Tower and get off at the Khuan Sato T-junction. Take a further trip by mini-bus (Satun – Wang Prachan). One bus leaves every hour. A fare is 20 Baht per person.
Thai – Malaysian Border Zone or Wang Prachan Checkpoint. It is just 2 km from the park’s headquarters. Located here is the Thale Ban National Park Ranger Station. Taking a further trip of around 20 km, visitors will arrive at Padang Besar, the marketplace where goods are available at inexpensive prices. Visitors can also visit Kangar, the capital of Perlis, which is only 30 km away. The checkpoint is open from 7.00 a.m. – 6.00 p.m. Here, a morning marketplace will be held on Saturdays and Sundays. For more information, call Tel. 0 7472 2730 – 1.
To get there: From the town of Satun, take Highway 406 for 19 km and turn right at Km 61 – 62 to Highway 4184 for 20 km. Alternatively, get on a mini-bus (Satun – Wang Prachan) in front of the Laem Thong Hotel, or take a Satun – Khet Daen (border zone) bus at the Khuan Sato T-junction; the bus leaves every hour and the fare is 30 Baht per person.
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