Another fresh post this week about one of Thailand’s central eastern hidden gems; Namtok Philo National Park! In Thailand last week we had a five day holiday for the Buddhist celebration of Makha Bucha. While I spent most of my time on Koh Chang, where else, by day three I was pretty exhausted with the partying and late nights and decided to drive home from Koh Chang early. It was also fortunate that my lovely Thai girlfriend had time off from work to join me in Chanthaburi for the last couple days of the holiday. This post is about how to make the most of a visit Namtok Philo National Park.
What is Namtok Philo National Park?
It is a lovely national park set in Chanthaburi province containing luscious green jungle with a calming river and impressive waterfall at the end of the hike into the jungle. There are also a few monuments built to commemorate King Rama V’s visit to the area in 1875. But wait, what makes this place a hidden gem besides an abundance of natural beauty? The fact that the river is positively TEEMING with fish, and that’s a word I don’t use often!
How to get there?
From Chanthaburi it is a simple 20 minute drive to Namtok Philo National Park and you should see signs the closer you get. Just rent a bike for the day if you are in Chanthaburi and off you go! Free parking was available so there should be no trouble looking for a spot to park.
What to see/do?
When you get into the park you can just follow the various paths and nature trails along the river up to the waterfall. At the river you will see an abundance of fish and Thais swimming in the river or relaxing on the riverbank with a picnic. I really recommend bringing a bathing suit or clothes you don’t mind getting wet and going for a swim. To really top the relaxing nature of your visit off, act like the locals and bring a picnic! This place is perfect for an afternoon swim in the cooling waters while getting your feet nibbled on by small fish like the massages you can see in Siem Reap and other places in Southeast Asia. Don’t forget to bring your camera!
Food and drink?
My advice is to bring a picnic but there are also a few small restaurants and places to buy snacks and drinks inside and outside of the park.
If you are renting a bike for the day, that might cost you 250 or 300 baht. Full tank of gas? 100 baht. Foreigner ticket price? 200 baht. So right away you can see this is a very affordable and relaxing day trip and one that I highly recommend if you are visiting Chanthaburi.
Hope you enjoyed reading and that this post inspires you to add another stop on your Thai travels, take care and stay tuned for future posts!